Archived Thread
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SYSTEM Update:

[X] Norseman Custom

BGM Load: "Omaera Zenin Moete Shimaetsu!!!", Iwasaki Taku --- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann BEST SOUND


Fortunes, now is not the time to be gaping dumbly like an openmouthed carp; you had to do something. FAST.

"COME HERE, IZANAGI!" you cry out in a thundering voice, a lot more manly than you could have expected considering the dire moment.

In a flash, your formidable augustness comes forth, but even this is too slow. You are greeted with mad giggling and a huge black fist all but overshadowing you, even in your mighty state. The result is predictable, a meaty thunderclap echoing across the shrouded land. Pain and surprise is expelled forcefully from your very lungs as you are sent careening, like a chump, some undeterminable distance through the fog infested air. The power of the blow was comparable to being slugged by a divine tetsubo, and every bone and muscle in your body protests in vain.

Your landing is just as sudden and rather disgraceful, crashing through many trees, before skipping and bouncing another unholy distance like a stone across the surface of a pond, to end in a laid out heap on the flaky white ground. Oh, there was no illusion you were going to feel this in the morning, unless by some miracle your condition was to be miraculously healed. As it is, many precious minutes of excruciating agony pass by, distorted by the accursed child's rampant giggling, before your august constitution "reboots" and allows you to stagger up to your feet.

Offhand, you have the presence of mind to recall in your heady daze of numbed pain and fireblood that you are unarmed. Reaching over to pop back in your right arm that did not quite reattach properly, which sparks another dizzying spell of pins and needles, you grit your teeth and call for your spear. It was none too soon either, for once more you felt those mad, bloodthirsty eyes of red on you. Through the gloom, she appeared, gliding---no---flying above you, like a bird of prey poised to swoop down.

Funny: you recalled vaguely of Machi-nee warning you about crazy things in Gensokyo. Guess she had not been joking.

"Ah ha ha ha ha, found~ you~!" the blonde-haired child of black coos in a sing-a-song tone of voice.

By Bishamonten, you must have been knocked clear around this hill! How could she have found you so-

Any incredulous disbelief is swept aside in a flash, as you found yourself diving into roll. The brightest light you had seen yet in this nightmarish land, pure blinding white emanating from the eyes of the giant man-thing, sweeps through the space you once stood, like the wrath of O-Susano'o. A blade of fire blue lightning scars the earth molten red, before exploding in flame and spitting---orbs at you!"

You are so stunned by the absurdity that you forget that this may in fact be a manifestation of the danmaku Machi-nee also mentioned to you. However, these are far from those playful little fireworks. The first "bullet" clips the brow of your helmet sending you twirling from the impact in whiplash, leaving your back wide open for a full mess orange and yellow orbs to smack right into you. Your motion though mercifully "grazes" you through the worst of it, but without conscious control, the result became obvious as many burning hits like knuckle clenched fist hammer into your person.

The foul stench of burnt flesh threatens to make you throw up the contents of your stomach, thankfully empty. In fact, you should thank the taste of bile for pulling you out from the delirium of pain and knocking some sense into you. Laughter reaches your ears and you spin about to see the girl---no---the demon deadset on "eating" you, its blade descending in full swing. Your spear has not left your white knuckled deathgrip, and though caught flat footed and hurt, you manage to raise a crude parry.

A shocking ring of metal on metal blasts you back in a shockwave of air and a brightness of some inexplicable powers colliding. Your dominant arm fouls up from the forces beyond your grasp, but grounding your center of mass and digging into the flaky white ground, you manage to retain your balance. Blood; you can smell that coppery, primal thing in the air, and one glance at your arm, ruined, confirms the source. It will take some time to "heal".

"ComE ON, you're not scared, yet, are you~?" the demon---DEATH---appears abruptly through the gloom and overshadows you. Before you can even think to defend yourself, it---she reaches out and grabs, that ridiculous fist enveloping you in a rough, inky hold. "Huh? Huh? HUH~?"

Heavens you are not being manhandled or, gasp, godhandled.

"bE AfRAID!" she raves, squeezing you, applying pressure, and then a little more. The blood welling up your throat.

You are being mauled!

"Hurry~, hurry~..."

So this was what the terror of death was like? Damn, you have only been alive for just barely two days and this was how it was going to end? What a foul joke, Ebisu.


Damnation. What was wrong with you? What was wrong with this place? You felt---so very alone and tired, as if you could sleep for all eternity and care not to ever wake up. Even at Hakurei's shrine, you could feel the others: Sikieki, Machi-nee, Kid, though you were worlds apart, a faint bod that connects you to them, but here, there was nothing. You were alone.

"I'm gonna~ eat~ ya~."

A veil of darkness begins to slip over your vision, dimming, and your blood cold. Forget trying to find a center; it did not matter anymore, not at this point.

"Grind your bones to meal~."

But it is then in the darkest hour of despair that a curious thing comes to your attention. No matter where you have been these short few days---has not Lady Sun always been there? Yes, in the Netherworld and Higan, her rays did reach, and then in the storm and rain, her light was just above the clouds. Even Tsukuyomi no Kami was nothing without his sister, and understandably was O-Susano'o jealous of her.

Funny: here in this stark, forsaken land, too, does her light reach. That blasted, disturbing white sun floating in the pitch-black sky...it was she, as surely, she was omnipresent in all realms you have walked. So enlightened you are, does a nostalgic anecdote bubble forth the calm sea of your memories...
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They say few forces in the universe binds two beings together as strongly as the bonds of family. The Law of Heaven itself pales beside such a thing, so seemingly trivial, as the bond of blood. Once, long ago, there was a man who cleansed himself in the middle stream, one whose water did not flow too fast or too sluggish. Why he was there, the detail escapes your recollection, but through him and his divine purity was Light born into this world. You remember her---but it is mostly the tales that precede her that you do. Still, there is little doubt to her name, the name that banishes the darkness.

You have no idea if this will work, a slim hope at best, and you two, the most distant of cousins, not even fit to be called blood relatives. You were only brought into this world by the shear will and emotion of that man, well, she was...as for you...you are still in the midst of uncovering that mystery. However, it is a mystery you shall never know if you perish here.

So do you pray and raise your voice to the heavens, impossibly clear: "We art of Izanagi. If Thy Augustness still remembers our bond, We entreat Your sublime Grace and Your divine light to Our side in this hour of need, honored cousin, Amaterasu-oomikami."

There was only silence, punctuated by the insane giggle of the girl-demon and another twist of bone. How predictable. You should have figured that the gods of yore were long de-

Two happen at once: a fiery flash of light, warm and so---full of life, explodes into being and second, a great wolf's howl greets your ears.

"Wha-" you hear the black and red demon girl splutter, a moment before something sings through the air.

There is not even a shudder of impact, a completely clean slice straight through the wrist, and you find the deathly vice grip that once held you relax. Gravity takes over, carrying both you and the giant meaty hand down to the ground; somewhere, in the back of your near-death addled mind do you lament that you were freed only to be crushed by weight of the laws of physics. This does not happen for you appear to land on something white and furry, which promptly takes off as if carried on wind by great sails.

"Ah. H-Hey~, that's~ my~ food~!" a mournful voice cries cutely from behind and is soon left behind too.

Good riddance to her, you think caustically, as you blissfully swoon---one of these days, you swore to return the favor she gave you today back a thousandfold---and faint into ignorance.

"Eien", Iwasaki Taku


Fortunes, what---who is that?


Who turned out the lights, and who's breathing---no---panting on you? Well, at least you could not complain they smelled like dog breath or some such. It's...different, like a sweet, clear blue afternoon in summer, the cicadas chirping not too loudly, but the perfect time to lay up in a hammock and laze away in the shade of your favorite tree. Nostalgic. Safe. Content.


Wow, what the? Hey, now, wasn't doing something like that a little overkill. Gah. Cold. Cut that out! You were getting up; all right, all right? Geez, so troublesome.



Turns out there was never an issue of "lights" and "electricity", except you had only been dozing off with your eyes close. Your vision blurs, taking a few blinks to clear out, but when you make the white that stands---no---sits in front of you, the owner of the husky panting... Well, if you were not such a wreck already in frightful pain, you would have belted out an awesome cry shrilly, indeed.

For now, you settle for just gawking at the great white wolf sitting on its hunches across from you, affecting what appeared to be the equivalent of a human's smile on its face. See, the jaw was relaxed and its black lips were drawn back like a grin, revealing rows of fine white teeth, and its pink tongue lolling out drolly. The scene would have already been bizarre enough had it just been an ordinary wolf, but of course, it was far more extraordinary, bearing ritualistic red markings and gravity defying growths of fur. More astonishing perhaps was the discus of jade on its back that did not rest there mind you but levitated perfectly in place, giving a spin every now and then that would loose modest tongues of fire.

And let's not get started with its tail... This wolf was---odd, an oddness that you sensed was very much like yourself. A kindred spirit, perhaps? And one more thing...it was...female!" For a moment, there you thought you saw...no, it must be some delusion from the pain.

"Uh, h-hey there," you manage to croak out, somewhat genially.

The mystical wolf replies with a bark in turn, causing you to pout inwardly. Some reason, you were hoping she could speak to you.

"Did you...save me just now?"

She answers with a nod, evidently comprehending of your words.

Aye, definitely not your run of the mill wolf she is, and try as you might, you cannot help but want to tease your unlikely savior a little, "Hey, you didn't just steal someone's kill just to eat it yourself did you?"
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Wha-! Why would I want to do that?! the White and Red wolf seems to reply to you, reeling back in shock with a strangled yelp (yourself filling in the words).

"Eh heh heh, sorry, just checking," you chuckle back, affecting the same frank, good-natured manner as Machi-nee.

Mou, I've got more class than that, she whimpers pathetically, ears drooping and her noble head slumping down.

"It's a pretty strange place I've wandered into, y'know?"

"And just what are you doing in this forsaken place-aru? I was having a nice, tender rabbit or three, not too old, not too young-aru~, when a big~, bright~ light~ entered my cave and said, 'Hey, Kagura! Snap: get off your butt, girl! I got work for you, you lazy good-for-nothing deadbeat!'. It sounded like she was in a real~, big~ hurry~-aru. She didn't even wait for my reply, and WOOOOOOoooo~, I find you, and WOOOOOOOOOOooo~, I saved you, ran away, and brought you to this shrine, see-aru~!"

You swing yours eyes about, and sure enough, just like the she said, you were in a shrine. Still, in that other crazy world, evidently, yet there seemed to be a lot of color in your immediate presence. In fact, there was a trail of fragrant flowers and green grass, even butterflies that lead right up to your companion. Her very presence seemed to breathe life and color back into this forsaken realm, and looking around her from a certain angle, you can perceive blue skies and a golden sun!

How strange.

"Oh, lookie~! Look at the time," the mystical wolf stands up on all fours, "Kagura's gonna go home-aru~. Think you can find your own way home, Gin-chan?"

Gin-chan? And...wait, you can hear a voice! Who's voice is that?

"G-Gin-chan..." you stutter aloud in confusion.

"Gin like silver!" the wolf howls excitedly, rising up on its hind legs, and you swear you see flowers blossoming transiently above the creature. "Do you like it-aru? It matches your fur~. Kagura likes that a lot!"

"Ah...are you...talking to me?"

"Of course, Kagura-chan's been talking to you, silly Gin-chan~," she wags her tail.

Yes, this is a very extraordinary wolf, indeed, and what a strange lisp she has.

"Well, Kagura's going home now-aru. Buh-bye~, Gin-chan. See ya~!"

You offer a weak smile as the cheerful wolf---Kagura ("God-Entertainment"?)---takes off down the stone steps, confirming some of your suspicions. A fresh trail of pungent green immediately sprouts in her wake coupled with a scattering of cherry blossom petals; clearly, she was something divine and much more powerful than yourself. The latter left no room for argument for not only had she bested that shadow-thing and brought you all the way here, she could also speak!

Someone had summoned her and sent her here. Perhaps, your prayer had not gone unheard of, after all? Still, you would rather not try your luck like that again any time soon. Your health could not withstand it, and speaking of your body, well, it appears when you lost consciousness, so did your connection with Izanagi-no-Nanashi fail. Remarkably, there was not a single scratch on you, but instead, a case of extreme---phantom pains.

It was a relief to know you were not in any danger of keeling over from internal trauma or blood loss, but as it was you were rather helpless. The suffering must be his---yours, and likely, you will not able to call upon your august self any time soon. Trying to force yourself now to do any grueling physical task would be beyond reckless, yet time was not on your side. Fatigue saps at your spirit and ravaged body; again, a case of the mind was willing, but the body frail. The remnant of Kagura's presence though, luckily seems to have a salutary effect on you; the greenery still standing strong.

A brief respite seems to be your only choice, if not at the very least to gather your thoughts as you observe your surroundings. This shrine---is very familiar, even with just you sitting here, leaning back against the thick strut of the torii archway. You dare say it is, nay, it is Hakurei Shrine but, oh, so very wrong. Nothing is as it was in the living world or still could be should you and O-Reimu succeed in your ambitious plans.

The grounds are broken, overrun with ratty husks of detritus and dead weeds growing out between the stone tiled pavement leading towards the offering box and bell. Aye, the very torii above you has been sundered aside tossed somewhere much like the missing roof of the shrine, as if some godly thing had reached down and torn it open. Dilapidated, abandoned, forgotten, rotting; the terrible signs were everywhere and you would not wish for the Red and White to see this ignomious sight.

Was this an alternate reality, a possible future yet unrealized, or the bitter truth, the true form of Hakurei Shrine? To think Hakurei no Reimu's progenitors and her entire line fought for this deplorable wasteland for generations was unthinkable. Surely, it was not always this way! Something must have happened.

Still, there is one thing to take heart from this... You may not be able to explain this---sacred world's present state of affairs entirely. The fog. The strangeness of everything. The shadow demon child that prowls this land. Why you are cut off from all your precious bonds. Why just being here now sickens you. But! Right beyond those rickety shouji doors, leading into the altar chamber...ah, you can feel it, the bed of the Land God.

There is still life here. Still hope, still time to change. Hakurei Shrine will not end this way. You will change its fate, and with this firm resolve do you stand after nearly an eternity, perhaps. Kagura's unexpected gift has withered away. You are tired, hungry, and sleepy, but you are far from finished yet, not when the goal of your adventure thus far lies so close.

What shall you do?


[] COMMUNE: Reach out with your spiritual senses, perhaps there is more to be learned..."
[] Investigate the compound..."
[] Enough Foolishness! Go forth, claim what has been ordained as yours by Hakurei no Reimu, and breathe life back into this world once more!
[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with your spiritual senses, perhaps there is more to be learned..."

I want to see what this can do...
I found myself smiling widely after reading the update. Any chance for Kagura to appear again?

[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with your spiritual senses, perhaps there is more to be learned..."
[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with your spiritual senses, perhaps there is more to be learned..."
[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with your spiritual senses, perhaps there is more to be learned..."
Hnn, maybe there's hope for you yet, Anon. Commune it is and off to writing I go.
>Hnn, maybe there's hope for you yet, Anon.
Don't get your hopes up.
Ah, I missed the voting. Never mind. I'm enjoying this.
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SYSTEM Update:


BGM Load: "Who's There?", Shoji Meguro


Now, as fantastic it would be for song and posterity to go barging in all manly, like you owned the place, to claim your prize, after your recent experiences you decide to err back onto the side of caution. This was an unfriendly hosts' reception until further notice, and you would hate to encounter another shadow-thing by just bungling your way through this. Instead, you shall use the best available tool in your arsenal to find the answer you: breathing deep, you close your eyes and reach out with your spiritual senses in commune with all things under heaven and earth.

Your range and precision was limited, but as you were only interested on what lies here on the ground of the other Hakurei Shrine, it did not matter much. The vacant "bed" of the Land God you sense immediately, like a huge wellspring of water waiting to be dug up. There is yourself, small, but a flame far brighter than that of any mortal man, illuminating the darkness with a brilliant silver light.

Silver. Gin. That's just like you, isn't it?

Had that been all there was you would have been pleased, but your wisdom pays off in a dreary fashion: you are not alone. There are two other presences right here and both are quite terrible in their own right. The first is a bright light, but this light is not its own, more like of a reflection of all around it. If you had to name it, it was like a mirror, reflecting another soul but not revealing its own true character, and from behind this surface, did you sense much darkness, condensed into a shadow that reveled in the waning moon.

Now, if this first light was terrible, then the second was the most terrible one of them all. As you are you cannot pinpoint its "light" at all, but it is a massive, magnetic presence, dwarfing all, including even the Land God's "bed". Absurd? Of course. Eyes everywhere from all angles watch and blink; you worry that they can see you. Luckily, they do not seem to pay you any heed, their attentions focused elsewhere, namely towards the waning crescent moon. You do not know whether to be relieved or insulted that your existence is so tiny compared to such titans, but you watch and wait just a little longer, for there seems to be much enmity and mischief in the air.

Suddenly, the eyes disappear all at once and it is now just yourself and the waning moon. You release a breath you did not even realize you were holding and "pull the plug", returning back to reality. The stakes of the "game" have risen, but you have come to far to turn back now. All you can do is hope for the best.

Quickly, you stalk across the ground and slip onto the wooden rouka that were thankfully did not fail beneath your weight, or betray your intrusion as you crept up to be nearly adjacent to the twin great shouji doors that lead into the altar chamber beyond. You could feel them close: your goal and the other presence. Whoever this person or thing is, truly, they are a formidable being of power for straight through these walls could sense his, her, its' agitated fury radiating out like heat from a fire.

And what a big fire it was! ...How you wish you were a god of thievery or some disreputable such right now. If this person possessed any enhanced senses or an ability to reach out, much like yourself, your hiding place would not last long. Damnation, why even assume it was a person? It could be a thing for all you know! Now, you really wish you had not had that nasty run in with the stupid shadow-
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"It's SHOW TIME!", Atsushi Kitajoh

"THAT. BITCH!" a loud feminine cry of unholy indignation shakes the very temple grounds, but the upheaval does not end with her scorn.

Oh no, it gets worse and some intuition drives you to wisely roll off the rouka and onto more solid pavement, covering your ears and mouth as best as you can before slamming your eyes shut. There is an intense crack, a pop, and then, only an eerie bright silence. You vaguely feel somethings brush and buffet against you, but you pay no heed to them, focusing solely on grounding your weight onto the ground. All of this, the fury of a woman unimaginable goes on and on seemingly into eternity, and then it ends.

It is your ears that tell you first, a strange blaring noise as your hearing tries to decipher the dying din that was so deafening earlier. The wind churns, dust circulates, and occasionally, you hear impacts nearby of debris, rock, dirt, wood, everything. Your precautions pay off as you do not quaff on the foul stuff in the air, though the same cannot be said for your ears. Tears are needed to clean away the irritants, soot clinging to the edges...no, its all over you.

But whatever she did, the measure of her power was enough to cut through the colorlessness of everything. The scene that greets you is straight out of the apocalypse: the sky is quite literally on fire and anything that had been standing abou yeah-high as your back up on the "deck" above has been shaved, no, burned off clean in two. Aye, the entire compound and the surrounding hills had been "decapitated" well into the unknown beyond...but the fog was unaffected.

How curious.

Angry stomping footsteps alert you to the approaching woman, but at this point, you feel that hiding would only delay the inevitable. Best to confront her while she was in a rage and liable to make an error in judgment, so do you stand only to be confronted with something unexpected. You had heard of "Angels and Demons", things of myth from the West, but never would you have imagined to meet one face to face. Roughly six wings, you count; black as ash, much like a tenguu, but her wingspan easily put the best of them to shame. The woman could have passed for your friend, Sikieiki's mother: green haired, green eyed (hey, it was the green hair that counted. Maybe her father had been blue eyed or it was someone else further back, yes?), a preference for a blue and white dress with an attached manteau, and a high conical-shaped hat on her head.

Heck, they even had a preference for hand-held "accessories"; she preferring a staff with a wicked silver crescent head that was symbolic of Lord Moon. ...but wait, was that thing bladed?

Suffice to say, you saw her and she saw you, and despite of possibly impending disaster, you could not help but quip:

"'Tis a beautiful day out for a ballad to fallen angels, is it not?"

The woman colors; your timing and execution, somehow, impeccable, but oh, there is more to that because for a moment you see the entire lower half of her body lose "focus" and flicker into a white ectoplasmic tail, like you had seen in the Netherworld.

"Well, a ballad to the ghost of fallen angels, is fine too," you deadpan slyly, rubbing your chin thoughtfully, with a devilish intent in your eyes. "I can work with that."

She turns redder; score!

"And you know what? I think I like the color of red on you."

Dang, you're on a roll. That's three in a row! Note to self: perhaps, women are more susceptible to be charmed when they're caught by surprise after a temper tantrum of epic proportions.

"Wh-Who! Who the hell are you?" Mistress Green Hair and Green Eyes shrieks at you shrilly, finding her voice at last.

"For a pretty lady, like you, I'll make an exception to the rule: I have no name," so you spark coolly with a perfectly straight face in reply.

"Wha-...That's not an exception at all, you idiot!"

"But it's the truth~, my fair lady!"

"My fair lady, my..." the ghost of fallen angels clenches her teeth, hiding her newly reddening face in her palm. It seems she managed to catch herself just in the knick of time.

My she is actually quite fun to tease. You are already four for four, so why stop now when you can go for broke?

"But a pretty fly wolf did name me on the way here. 'Gin-chan', she said, 'Gin like silver, because it matches the color of your fur~.'"

"Fur?! You're an ape, a mangy monkey! You have hair!"

"Damn right, I do, and it's a natural perm that let's you know I'm a nice guy."

The black winged woman's jaw drops.

"So," you twirl about in place and powerpose: snapping your fingers at her, your manly teeth gleaming white as sparkles spontaneously spark in you very presence, "what's your name, beautiful?"
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"Trinity Soul -piano ver.-", Iwasaki Taku

And lo, behold, she breaks out into gales of sidesplitting laughter, her wings flapping haphazardly. She drops her staff with a metallic thud, teeters and falls, quite dramatically right into your arms...well, you moved to intercept her...and oops, there goes her hat, letting spill those long luxurious, silken tresses of green. Wow, now you cannot help but wonder what Sikieiki would look like with long hair. Ahem. More importantly, the final tally? Yeah, flawless victory.

"G-Gods, ah ha ha ha, I-I," she tries to speak to speak sensibly, but the Laughing God evidently has her deep into his jolly embrace.

What that meant for you was a lot of squirming and unintentionally snuggling green-haired woman who was proving herself every bit as woman as...well, your best approximation was Machi-nee. You imagine it was a little unfair and biased, but meeting Onozuka Komachi first really set your standards high for the---fully mature flowers of the fairer sex. Besides, in penance, you were being haphazardly whacked by this lady's many wings and getting black feathers coated to your sooty person, so fair was fair, right?

Ah, this was truly an instance of heaven and hell. On one hand, you had a beautiful woman in your arms, but on the other hand, the beautiful woman in your arms was unintentionally smacking the crap out of you, getting her revenge no doubt for her free attentions. Thank goodness she calmed down before her blows rendered you absolutely senseless.

"Ah ha ha ha, and here I thought I'd seen it all," the ghost of fallen angels says to you, wiping away a stray tear, "but to think I'd meet an idiot even worse than that ungrateful, troublesome, bothersome, half-wit airhead of a woman-child!"

Wait, some of those adjectives sound very familiar for some reason...

"And she say's she on vacation for her For~ever~ Seven~teen~ group anniversary... What a load of bull! Even I know better than to lie about my age!"

Uhh, crap, this green-haired beauty could not be referring to the same person Kid and O-Reimu were talking about, could she? ...and if so, then that person was just here?

"Name's Mima, by the way, boy~," the sudden breathless lilt to her voice, though derails your thoughts for later consideration. Right now, you had a 100% genuine supernatural woman in your arms to deal with, and you might as well enjoy this one-night stand while it lasts.

"You live up to your namesake, O Charming Demon."

"Smart, easy on the eyes, silverhaired, and silvertongued?" she leans up and close, breathing into your ear. "You're quite the dangerous one. Just where did you show up from all of a sudden? The Moon?"

Well, her attack has its intended effect, causing you to feel just a little bit hot and bothered. Her line of query though mystifies you. Why would she think you have showed up from Lord Moon's home? Still, you cannot help but want to continue playing with her.

"The truth or do you mind if I---string you along with a lie?"

"By all that's foul and blackhearted, you really are dangerous. Different, too, from all the other boring louts I've dealt with through the times. Last I checked, there was not anything or anyone quite like you in all of Gensokyo. Boy~...no, Gin-chan~, just who are you? What---are you?"

Damnation, this really bites for there is little doubt that Mima's interest in you is genuine. The problem is, what was she doing here? And what did she speak of with that---other woman---just now, who left? Whatever it was, her presence could not bode well for you.

"Aw, oh dear, what's with with the long face now, my little silver soul?" Mima pouts to you in worry.

Her words though make your blood freeze...had you been any less courageous you may have lost your composure and dropped her like a ton of bricks, which you imagine she would not have appreciated, considering how caught up in the passionate mood was she. Still, her words...yeah, you were on thin ice buddy. It was a dangerous game, but it was too late to resist playing.

"This and that, Mima-han," you reply, cryptically.

"Mima-han? Well, well, you've certainly gotten around this tiny island."

"You'd be surprised by how much I know. So, what are your guesses?"

Fish for lies...

"Oh, I don't know. You're not cold like a youkai. You're warm like a human. You're not dead like a ghost. You're alive like a god. So I have to wonder~..."

...and sometimes you get the truth.

"You can smell O-Reimu on me, don't you?" you sigh, haplessly.

"On a first name basis with The Hakurei already?" Mima grins, nuzzling coyly against your neck. "My, oh, my, you must be a miracle worker."

"Then, you must know what I'm here for."

"Too bad, I do. That little hussy always did say something like this would happen some day."

Great, so she is a the stage boss; you cannot help but kick yourself again, mentally, for having wasted so much of your strength against the shadow-thing-girl. Likely, it will come down to a duel, but it could not hurt to try and dissuade Mima, could it?

"Do we have to fight, Mima-han? I feel like we could really get along just fine. Come to an understanding, yes?"

The green-haired ghost of fallen angels laughs, before reaching up to cup your cheek in an oddly maternal gesture.

"Boy~, you're just a baby. Of course, you can get along with everyone!"

Eh? Again, this business about you being a "baby"? What's that got to do about anything?

"'Besides, don't worry; it's not like I'm doing this because I want to, but I'm a woman of my word, so it's got to be. Now, set me down like the gentleman I know you are and let's have a little tea and snacks before we get this started. I can tell you're under the weather and tired. Least I can do is make the odds a little more fair."

And how was tea and snacks supposed to make you ready for a fight this big? Well, whatever. It just means you get to spend a few more precious moments with her and contemplate just how were you to beat this charming demon.
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"The Idol of Time and Space", Tetsuya Shibata

Time flies, and oddly, not another word is exchanged between yourself and Mima. Where she got the tea set and rice cakes from you do not know, and would rather not break the genial silence by asking her. It is not a formal tea ceremony by any stretch of the imagination, just two people sitting out on the porch, admiring the burning sky and the nightmarish countryside that was regaining slowly its lifeless black and white exterior. The debilitating effects of just being here in this realm, though, appear to have been reduced somewhat by Mima's display and you imagine your close proximity to the "bed" of the Land God. It is almost bearable to be here now.

Soon she is finished, her skill evident in her graceful economy of motion and certainty in picking out her ingredients. You are certain brewing green tea the traditional Nihon way does not take this much preparation, but the sweet, warm aroma of foreign spices and herbs puts your suspicions aside in anticipation of that first sip. You are not disappointed.

"It's good. What is it?"

Mima nods, with a smug smile.

"Chai. Unconventional, I know, but breaking with conventions is what made me who I am today in the first place, so I'm not about to stop now. Oh, and you should be feeling better ri~ght about...now."

Oh! Well, you do feel better, not a hundred percent like you did when you first set foot here, but a definite improvement. Izanagi is actually willing to answer your call now, though you sense your otherself still has vulnerable trauma that could open up again. A full day's rest would still be best in both of your interests, but it cannot helped.

"So what are the terms?" you ask Mima, idly munching away at a rice cracker.

"Spell Card Duel, of course," she replies in a matter of fact tone, helping herself too, "using the newest revision by The Hakurei. Now, I know you're in bad shape, but that little bothersome hussy will never let me live it down, if she thought I was going easy on you, so... We'll do three spell cards a piece, Shura-style. Don't worry, if you don't got any on you, I have blank spares. Oh, and as a bonus, I'll give you this."

The ghost of fallen angels frees her hands and reaches up above her as if to pluck something out of the air. A snap of her fingers and sparkling light of many colors came streaking in, gathering into a shape, likened to a sword, and then with a pop did the object materialize in her hand: a bokken (wooden sword).

"It might not seem like much, but it's precious," Mima hands the wooden sword over in careful ceremony, as if she were giving you an ancestral katana. "I'll tell you more, if you manage to beat me. Say, did The Hakurei teach you the power of words?"

You accept graciously, though you do not grasp...! Oh, by Bishamonten, this: it suits you. Nostalgic. And it smells---feels---reminds of you your landlady back at the shrine, but different. Still. it suits you very well, but something is arguably...missing about it.

The charming demon's expectant gaze though derails your further ruminations. In fact, you cannot help but blush a little at being caught in such a candid moment, behaving much like a child with a new toy, "Erm, she hinted at it, and I think I have some idea of where she was going, but..."

"Fine. I'll borrow a line from a well known dimensional witch I met a long time ago for you: 'Listen, names are very important things. Why? Because names have power. With things living or inanimate, depending on the names we give them, a thing can have the same power as that for which it is named.' You understand?"


"Let's think about this another way. See, in some cultures, people are born with two names, a given 'face' name and a 'soul' name that only they will discover after many great trials. The former is shared to all without worry, while the latter is guarded with extreme paranoia. If you know someone's soul name, they say it is possible for you to dominate them completely. This is particularly worrying in the case of a god; thus, they have need of many names to protect themselves but still be successful in life."

Ah, now, you understand O-Reimu's actions a little better.

"That said, I think, you know what you need to do with that bokken. Talk with that sword and do your business. When you're ready, come on over there. Don't worry; we got all the time in the world, and oh, think carefully, this might just be the choice that makes or breaks this duel for you. I don't think you want to imagine The Hakurei's face when she hears that you lost against me. She mi~ght just~ hate you forever."
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And with those dreadful words hanging in the air, like the executioner's katana, does she leave you to be alone, walking some distance away to stand in the middle of the clear yard between the former torii and your present place by the building. "Talk with the sword and do your business", huh? Well, there was no time like the present to find out and so you do, closing your eyes.

A little focus and the connection is made, to which the kami residing within the bokken answers you eagerly. It seems this "sword" has been waiting quite some time for someone worthy to come along, and much like a child welcoming his or her parents home, you cannot help but be rather overwhelmed by its enthusiastic reception. A whole slew of kanji assaults you at once in many colors and words, suggestions and wild dreams, so many different possibilities...but is that not strange? Even a bokken should only have one "soul" name; could it be that this sword has forgotten its name?

Ahh, alas, it is true, the "child" admits to you sorrowfully. There is a lot of names to go through, but...ah, this smell again! It's the Hakurei's scent, but different. You have a hunch this might be a clue and off you go through the almost neon lit space of dreams and words, with the spirit of the bokken eagerly trotting behind you. Soon, you encounter just four names standing, facing each other, tall and proud, like the four spirit lords of the cardinal directions, but each has something that was intrinsically unique right from a glance.

The one you notice immediately is the "fellow" who looked very much like yourself, smelling of sunflowers and clear, blue skies. In him, do you sense a silvery light, a "Silver Soul" like your own, so bright and welcoming, a sight that everyone longs to bask in, much like the sun. Within that light, you can feel your bonds to your precious ones much more strongly than you ever did before, as if distance no longer mattered, and it fills you with untold strength, but that was not all. There was another side to him: a discarded mask hangs by his obi, a white exaggerated thing complete with matching hair that you might see in a Noh play. The face is that of an Oni, "Shiroyasha" (The White Demon); it is hidden strength called upon in the desperation of battle, not to kill, but to protect what is dear to you.

See that the blade "he" carries is also a bokken like yours? The hotter the battle grows, so does your soul burn brighter. No obstacle is impassable and no opponent too great for you fight with everything on the line, absolute focus, as if every second may be your last, but even so you will not falter. Everyone's hopes and dreams are riding on you. Sure, you did not ask to be the one, but those troublesome idiots decided to bet on you, the underdog, and well, if it's going to be this way, you would hate to disappoint them. Your strength is more than just the sum of yourself, and so, too, is it the same for this wooden sword: wood but with the strength of something that surpasses even Japanese steel.

It's just like Machi-nee said, people become stronger when they have something to protect, and with this blade, you will never fall because everyone is always with you. Your time and memories together give you the strength to stand up and fight on, no matter what.

His name is "Lake Touya", a strange name, but it fits, for a brave, easygoing, capricious idiot, who does not know how to quit.

Still, that is not the only possibility; there are the other three as well, though they do not resonate quite as genuinely with you, their existence cannot be denied either.

There is Hiraishin, a blade that soars as if it were the thunder god, apt in Iaiken and blessed of heavenly swiftness, but he is a willowy, fragile man ill-suited for a contest of strength or endurance; one mistake could prove fatal. Across from him is the grisly blood-stained warrior, Benizakura, a man as if possessed by demons, fights with the strength of a war god, a beast of blood and battle, but you worry for his soul, tormented and so very alone. Last standing across from Lake Touya is Zantetsuken, a majestic sword saint, wise and old, his blade shall cut any and all, including Buddha or the Devil, provided he is wielded in the right hands; you fear it will take an eternity of study and training before you become worthy of him, and time is not something you have in luxury right now.

Aye, great they all are, and even if you can only choose one, somehow, you get the feeling this will not be the last time you see them. However, to defeat Mima your best hope is clearly Lake Touya; he is ready and able, and so does the faceless "child" beside you long quite badly to be in his presence. You have come to a most precarious crossroads between need and want. The charming demon was not kidding; this moment could really break you or make you.

CAUTION: What shall you do?


[] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.

[] Hiraishin - The blade swift as lightning, but rather fragile. Grants the Feat "Fleet of Foot". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.

[] Benizakura - A demonic sword, truly, and not one to be taken or drawn, lightly. Grants the Feat "RAGE". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked. Your CHARACTER may not be strong enough to control this blade...

[] Zantetsuken - A true spirit of swords, perhaps, even worthy of the title of "Saint of Swords". Alas, it is likely too soon for you to wield such a majestic spirit...
[X] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.
>too soon for you to wield
>may not be strong enough

[x] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.

I'd rather have a reliable weapon than one that relies on luck.

A weak but sure hit is still greater than a thousands powerful swings that miss.
Huh, so we've got balanced sword, the lightning fast yet fragile quick-draw sword, and an all-out bezerker sword we might not be able to control, and an elegent master we cannot yet use.

I call
[x] Lake Touya - The Indominitable Sword
for this choice.
I like a quick end to duels, with but Mima as our opponent I wouldn't rely on it.
Zantetsuken is what I'd pick later when we've 'leveled up' our August self sufficiently.
[] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.

I was tempted to go screw the rules, etc and pick Zantetsuken, but eh, this is fine too.
[x] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.
[] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword. Grants the Feats "Silver Soul" and "Shiroyasha". Your KENJUTSU perceives there is more potential waiting to be unlocked.
[x] Lake Touya - The Indominitable Sword

Indeed, Zantetsuken is really attractive, but I'd rather choose Lake Touya right now. It suits us.
Well, I think, we're in consensus, Anon. Lake Touya it is and the battle begins.

Didn't want to box you all in like this, but looking at my flow chart, verily did you screw the divine pooch by picking the ????? option.
If you had come here at full strength, it would not have mattered as much, though like I said, this won't be the last time you see these swords.

Oh, btw, I'll will likely be on hiatus come June 6th to the 21st for a military Annual Training event down in the arse, bleeding hot end of Nevada, USA. That's 14 days you'll have to survive without me, but I'm sure everyone will be all right, if a little heartbroken, in my absence.
[] Lake Touya - The indomitable sword.
Zantetsuken? A weak choice, real men don't settle for the second best.

Though seeing that I totally missed the vote I suppose we'll have to play it safe for now, but in due time I'll be expecting my Ame-no-wo-ha-bori.
Best of luck man.
But, is every writefag poppin off for two weeks here and there?
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SYSTEM Update:

[X] Lake Touya

"The expected choice, perhaps, but not one without its surprises..."

BGM Load: "Koko wa Samurai no Kuni da", Kamagata Eiichi


Heh, as if there was ever any doubt about what your choice...

"Hey, Sunflower Samurai-san, you done sunbathing yet?" you call out, running a hand lazily through your silver hair. "It's summer and it's hot. My skin's delicate to UV rays, you know?"

The Sunflower Samurai perks up, as if noticing you for the first time. In fact, the scenery seems to have changed without your notice; you are in that cool, sunlit field with him, and before you know it, the faceless "child" besides gives an audible giggle---a little girl dressed in red and white, barely tall enough to reach up to your thigh. Bearing an oddly strong resemblance to O-Reimu, now you see, she scampers off like an eager to be by that---other guy. Funny, he's wearing the same yukata as you, with one sleeve dangling all lonesome to reveal his bare muscled shoulder, crisscrossing with old scars. Thank the Fortunes, the samurai just has straight black hair tied up in a high ponytail, or else you would really start to worry.

Wait, where was his daisho?

"Sunbathing, me? Ha ha ha ha!" the Sunflower Samurai reaches down with a freehand to ruffle the little girl's hair, evoking a rather cute giggle. He looked old enough for the part; her father? "Boy, this isn't sunbathing; this is me getting my Vitamin Amaterasu-sama on. An ungrateful, bleach-haired ronin punk like you wouldn't know the difference!"

Too bad you will have to satisfy your curiosity another time.

"Yeah, yeah, but look we got work, okay?"

"Work?" the bushi cries with an incredulous laugh. "C'mon, boy, do you know how long I've been on vacation here? I think I might've gotten a little lazy and rusty. Can't you cut a guy as awesome as me a little slack? Like really, I've been here waiting to go home for ages. And you know what? It's. All. Your. Fault. For keeping me waitin' for so long, too! So why don't you be an upstanding adult and take responsibility, eh?"

The little O-Reimu lookalike laughs, too.

"See, even the little doll here agrees with me. Right?"

Ugh, the never of this guy, trying to push all the blame on you. It was not as if you were going slow on purpose. If it were not for the kid, you swear you would have given him a verbal tongue lashing to remember, but instead, you settle for something more low key.

"You know what they say, old man, sooner the work gets done, the sooner we go home."

"Tsk, how many times I've heard that and how many times I've been suckered."

As if sensing his soon to be sulky noncooperation, the little girl unexpectedly takes action, letting loose an unintelligible yelp, causing the older bastard to flinch back. She plants her foot down, hard, arms akimbo and, amazingly enough, stares down the poor sod who easily overshadowed her. It worked for the Sunflower Samurai, instantly, capitulates.

"Argh; fine, fine," he sighs haplessly, earning an approving giggle from the little tyke who could. "Women, no matter how small they are, they never change."

Guess this lazy bastard is not all bad.

"You ready to do this, punk?" the Sunflower Samurai asks you in a more solemn voice, arching his neck to stare up at the sky. The girl, too, follows suit eagerly and stares up with him.

"Ready when you are, old man," you fire back lazily, moving over to join the two.

"Shoot, knock it off with old man's! This old man's still young at only thirty-something, ya dig?"

"Yeah, yeah, let's do this!"

Lake Touya.

"Doukou ga Hirai Tenzo", Kamagata Eiichi

It is the sound of your boots scuffing into the dirt, with an theatrical grind for emphasis, that catches Mima's attention. Her black wings shift and with a knowing smile lightening her face, she turns to face you.

"Oh, have you grown a little taller?"

"Nah, methinks I am but standing straighter than usual," you quip back in turn.

"Hnn, it looks good on you, just like I expected," she eyes the wooden sword, resting in your obi, with a critical glance.

It has not changed much superficially, aside from the inscription of Lake Touya featured prominently now on its handle, but there was much more to it than meets the eyes. A worn, sturdy bokken in the hands of anyone else; however, in your rightful possession it is a bokutou that you are confident could cut through just about anything you set your mind to. Cutting, smashing, and basically destroying: this Lake Touya can do it, for it is a power beyond even venerable Japanese steel.

Mima clears her throat, "Well, as per courtesy, I'll go over the rules before we start and raise the barrier, so we don't accidentally destroy what's left of this old, rotten shrine."

On cue, with a snap of her fingers, lines of light materialize forming effectively a long rectangular box that restrained yourself and Mima within a definite space. The ceiling was well beyond your human body's ability to jump, though you imagine you could reach it with Izanagi's aid in a single bound. It could not have been more than four stories up to reach the top.

"This evening's duel will be decided by a Spell Card Duel in Shura-style. If you can't read the kanji, that means 'Carnage'."

Carnage? That's right. Machi-nee did say Shura was more of a physical, combative style for danmaku duels.

"You'll find your blank spell cards in your right pant pocket, by the way."

Whoa, she was right. When did Mima get a chance to slip these in?

"As for the question you're thinking...that's a s-e-c-r-e-t."

Ah, it seems you're not the only one who likes to tease on occasion.

"My rules are simple. Anything is legal short of biting, low blows, hair pulling, poke 'em in the eyes, and so on. You may choose to declare a spell card at any time. If you don't use one, they'll just get shattered anyways. Don't worry, they don't literally break, but they just turn black and you can't use 'em for the rest of the duel. It's a way of keeping track of who won or lost a round."

Sounds simple enough...

"First to break all three of the opponent's spell cards wins."

"And how do I do that?" you ask her, just a little curious.

"Well, you beat the crap out of them, of course!" Mima laughs, lifting up her staff and giving it a little theatrical overhead spin, before bringing it down with a martial shout. Quite the show-woman was she not? "Don't worry, the spell cards give you an aura of protection. I promise I won't bruise over your handsome face into a pulp, kid."
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Man, she is really fired about this isn't she? You never figured her for the hotblooded type. Too bad you have already had your fill of showing off today, so you simply draw and brandish your bokuto at the ready.

"Then I accept the duel, Mima the Charming Demon."

She gives a mighty laugh, her black wings beating excitingly, causing the air about her to churn.

"Ha haa~! The Wheel of Fate turns, the stage is set, and now is the time to decide your destiny, so do I, hereby, declare this duel: the first rebellion... ENGAGE!"

"Rebellion", Daisuke Ishiwatari

The abrupt beat of black wings gave her clear away from the start and the ample distance enough time for you to react, so occured a might shockwave from two weapons clashing, just like steel on steel. Mima's crescent-headed staff was not just for show but neither was your Lake Touya, both "blades" clashed and spark, as the two you locked into a contest of strength. She had pushed you back a fair distance, the great tracts of dirt a testament to your efforts, digging in your heels and bringing your body low to meet the thrust head-on with a swing of your on.

Neither of you would budge, even as Mima flapped her wings furiously, so would you up the ante, drawing more on your hidden reserve of strength. Truly was your choice in Lake Touya being vindicated and more was yet to come!

"What's wrong, Mima-han?" you grin snidely. "You seem kind of tense!"

"Oh, nothing," she smiled back with a ferocious gleam in her green eyes, like pools of fire. "I'm just surprised you're so stiff!"

Using her wings, Mima breaks off abruptly almost causing you to stumble, but she does not back away, she goes up only to come right back down, dress fluttering up dangerously. Thankfully, good sense reminds you that your skull will be clobbered very shortly if you take the time to ogle her fine, long naked legs, and you throw yourself into a diving roll. Her crescent staff slam down a moment later, splitting the ground with a mighty crack. Such is the energy that even you can feel a minor tremor, but now was not the time to be impressed, her back is exposed and she is within YOUR reach.

You charge in with a martial cry seeking to exploit, but Mima flies away, abandoning her staff outright, and causing you to slice nothing but air. You watch as she takes off towards a far "wall", littering some black feathers in her wake, twists about, and rebounds off, coming back twice as fast. Try as you might to intercept her, the ghost of fallen angels easily swerves right by you and recovers her crescent head staff.

Ah, but now is no time to be envious, Mima presses the attack. She glides but a few inches off the ground and strikes at you with a quick flurry of jabs, two-handed, using her superior reach to keep you at a distance. You block, evade, but are forced back at a disadvantage, the forking curve of the crescent headed staff, not allowing you to affect an effective parry and get in close. What you would give for a distraction; right now, she's too focused, and you might just have the idea.

"What's this, Mima-han?" you half-block another thrust, allowing her to push you back almost into a stumble. "I thought it was a man's job to do the thrusting!"

She smelled blood and was not about to let this opening, "Didn't you know? I like to be on top!"

Well, you would keep that in mind for future reference, but here comes the moment you have been for: Mima shouts and goes at it whole hog, overextending herself. You backstep just enough, lifting one foot up and your arms spread out for balance, as if you were a crane, watching gleefully as her crescent headed staff stabs right into the dirt. Then do you bring your foot down, planting and kicking off the crescent head, burying it as you leap forward and sweep into an underhanded slice.

Impact: you score a solid, nasty hit straight to her hand, as you land with your forefoot, and immediately step in with your hind foot, not even bothering to watch the grimace of pain blossom on green-haired woman's face. You shunt forward, one hand on the handle and the other hand against the back of the bokuto, as if striking with the body of a staff, aiming to catch her right under her jaw. In such close proximity, a "bunt" was far more effective, and if you were lucky you might just deliver enough energy to...


Impossible; Mima had blocked with the forearm of her rearhand, the impact kicked off a magical shockwave, pushing you both apart. You land in a crouch breathless and look up only to see her sending a death glare, bot her limbs trembling in anger. Failed you had to shatter a spell card while she was still in the mood to fight with weapons.

"For a baby," she spat maliciously, "you fight pretty good, but enough games. Fighting Mano-a-Mano was never my specialty anyways. Let's see how you dance and deal with this!"

Now, it was time to fight with danmaku, an area that you have no experience in other than being shot at in its more lethal form!

"Magic Sign [Milky Way]!"

What shall you do?


[] ?????"

And / or

[] Aggressively
[] Tactically
[] Defensively
[x] Tactically
[x] Tactically

Find an opening and exploit it, we made her step up first, let's not lose the advantage.
[x] Defensively
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>"Rebellion", Daisuke Ishiwatari
See picture.

>"What's this, Mima-han?" you half-block another thrust, allowing her to push you back almost into a stumble. "I thought it was a man's job to do the thrusting!"

>She smelled blood and was not about to let this opening, "Didn't you know? I like to be on top!"

I found myself laughing at this. A lot.

[x] Tactically

Might not be the best option, but eh.
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>"The truth or do you mind if I---string you along with a lie?"
[x] Tactically
[x] Tactically
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SYSTEM Update:

[x] Tactically


In a flash, day turned into night, well, at least it seemed to do so within Mima's kekkai. Two concentric circles of---something---appeared, one on the ceiling and the other on the floor, effectively covering the battlespace, and they bore patterns and sigils. Your strange knowledge identifies the patterns as ritualistic hexagrams, but everything else is lost on you.

Of greater concern, however, is the charming demon herself, brimming with power near blinding and wearing an expression akin to---ecstasy. She simply drifted there in mid-air, hovering but a foot or two, while the stuff coalesced into a throbbing sphere. It alternated between blue and red, then yielded along its circumference eight smaller spheres---no, it was shooting those spheres out in a spin!

You never dreamed you would be caught in a situation like this, but sure enough you are now running caught between the arms or spokes of some great wheel or colorful octopus. Each of the little spheres that shot out from the central mothersphere sprouted angles and spun themselves, reminding you of stars. If it was that simple you would not have minded as much, but as you ran, you saw that when the spheres inevitably struck the boundary walls, they would explode shoot back a random scatter of tinnier bullet stars. Colored green and yellow, the little anklebiters were soon saturating the air, making your life miserable as you swerved, ducked, and slid, trying to stay within the relative safety of the gap between the arms.

It was madness, and you fail to see how anyone can enjoy this danmaku "play", which Machi-nee claims was popular with women and youkai, resembling a fireworks show. Oh, you did not mind watching fireworks; the problem was when you were stuck right smack dab in the thick of it all, it became impossible to appreciate the beauty... Wait, there was something funny going on here.

Slowing your crazed jump-hop-slide-duck-crawl run for a moment to just observe, you see that the larger spheres are not random at all. They are being outputted at regular intervals, leaving gaps in between! It was a tight fit but maybe... You slow to match your "jogging" pace to swing of the "arms", staying just barely ahead and then you sprint through the "gap", praying that the little star spiked arms do not bite into your side horribly.

It---it worked! You have slipped between an "arm" of the great star wheel-

"Doh!" several sharp impacts, like punches slam into your back, sending you staggering, but you manage to maintain your balance and keep jogging. A green star bullet whizzes lazily by your face almost mockingly as you are reminded of the "colorfulness" around you; damnation, how could you forgot about those random star bullets! Still, you were beginning to understand the method to this madness.

The situation you were in was not a fixed zero-sum game. This barrage you were in was an intricate and complex pattern, both deadly and beautiful, in nature, but so was that its limitation as well. It was only a pattern, and this duel you find yourself in is really a mix of physical and mental contests. Mima, herself, was not even doing anything to physical attack you, caught up as she was in a trance within the center mass of that mystical power. In other words, she was a sitting duck; you might not have learned the means to shoot her yet, but in Shura-style duels, physical attacks were legal, right?

You wait and observe a little longer, now diving through the fusillade of bullets a little easier. Your stamina is virtually limitless for a simple task as jogging, compared to a mere mortal who would tire and slow down eventually. Still, it would be each easier if you could glide about in your present human form.

Agh, never mind such gripes; you now see what you were hoping to see. Mima's spell card? This Milky Way does not fire into the vertical arcs at all. The charming demon must have underestimated you grossly to believe you would have no means of crossing that distance to her. It was high time for a counterattack!

"I am thou...lend me your strength, Izanagi!" you cry out and so does your otherself answer, but this time, things are different.

Taking into account his---your wounds, you only ask for a partial transcendence, so does he lend you his limbs and the heavenly jeweled spear. Stronger, faster, and better now, you wait patiently, slipping through a gap between the star arms once more and back off from a clusterfire of random star bullets. All you require is but a slight lull and---now!

You pounce, leaping like a tiger into the air upon an unsuspecting deer below, and indeed is Mima helpless. The ponderous throbbing sphere attempts to compensate, correcting its trajectory of fire, the starry arms rising up to meet your descent. Shame: victory was already yours, for a mighty martial shout of triumph bursts for from your lips as you plunge both weapons into the sphere with---ahem---great force.

It cracks like glass and promptly shatters like an egg, exploding into a mystic shockwave of many colors that flings you both apart. Day returns to the battlespace once more, and so you land nimbly like a cat, returning Izanagi's limbs to your otherself once more. Stand you do and watch on smugly, self-satisfied, as the charming demon stirs and woozily comes to her senses.

A quip comes to mind and the dandy in you cannot help but share it with her:

"Did you know that from start to finish I'm always at cli-DARGH!"

Suddenly pain erupts across your senses, as you, too, receive the privilege of tasting dirt. Your eyes swim with tears, and you cannot help but moan that the singed smell you perceive is not of your burnt hair. A quick feel of the smarting welt on the back of your head, though confirms that alas it is so, much to your manly tears.

Mima's gilded laughter is like salt to your wounded ego.

"Well, well, I guess, we're one spell card down a piece. Too bad you did not see one of those leftover danmaku bullets coming, but oh well, all is fair in love and war, right, kid?"

You stand, humbled...

"Che, it's on now, lady!"

...but not beaten yet, adding a manly fist pump for good measure.

"Good, I'll be sure to put some extra love into this next one~. So do I declare the second duel..."

All right, here it comes; another one. You are starting to get the hang of this. It not as if the charming demon could do anything worse than the last one just now, right?

"Love Sign [Non-Directional Laser]!"

What shall you do?


[] ?????"

And / or

[] Aggressively
[] Tactically
[] Defensively
File 124418934033.png - (128.90KB, 321x600 , 2702310_m.png) [iqdb]
>"Did you know that from start to finish I'm always at cli-DARGH!"

Gee, sure is Den-o in here...

[X] ?????
[] Tactically

works well on the first spellcard
[X] Fight
[X] Evade
[X] Defensively

NDL doesn't look so bad...
For the first few seconds.
Long as you pay attention to the bullets though, it should be fine.
[x] Aggressively

>Non-Directional Laser
Non-directional. There are no tactics to be had, here. And who the hell would taunt?
[x] Aggressively
[x] Aggressively
[x] Aggressively
[x] Aggressively
Hnn, looks like we're leaning for EGFA. Cool. I'll see if I can get this done before I leave in a few short hours. Sorry, Anon, looks like you'll have to wait 14 days to see the conclusion of this, but hey, at least you're getting through another Spell Card, hopefully, right?

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SYSTEM Update:

[X] Custom - E.G.F.A.

"I'm-ma chargin' mah lay-zah! an' shootin' in all directions~."


BGM Load: "Dances of Witches", U2 - Immaterial and Missing Power


For some reason, you get the feeling that this next spell card will require more than just a cool head and keen powers observation to see your way to victory. Loosening out the tense kinks in your muscles, you move through the kata for "Thundering Heavens", as Mima slashes the air with her staff, twisting the shaft in her hands into a dexterous twirl. Quickly, she speeds up the rotation until her crescent-head staff is nothing more than a circle of silver. The air electrifies with a palpable turbulence, and sure enough, the charming demoness lifts off the ground shrouded in a humming sphere of light, rippling outwards from the twirling focus of her staff.

Bursting out from the center come five colored lights: red, green, purple, yellow, and blue. They fan out, projecting miniature circles of power that split in two then merge as one, increasing their diameter twofold with a golden outer ring. A queer whine that raises your heckles is your only warning before you catch a split second glimpse of lines thin as fingers shoot out, one landing right upon your chest.

You leap aside just in the nick of time, a beam of blue destruction lancing through the space you once occupied, blasting aside air and matter. But, oh, the fun is just beginning: landing on your feet, there is no time to rest for you see the entire array begin to turn clockwise. Any notion of safety is dashed upon the rocks; you see the beams split abruptly and the purpose of the dual arrays becomes clear for there is a second set of beams rotating now counterclockwise.

Sliding beneath the imminent danger when the clockwise beams part enough ways to give you some breathing space, you kick up to your feet swiftly only to see your dire hour just got even worse. A burst of power extends out from the mothersphere into the satellites, catching your eye with an almost blinding magnificence of colors. No longer can you track the exact paths of the for what you perceive is a literal throbbing nexus, and sure enough, here comes the bullet hell!

A random scattershot pattern comes upon you and you deftly evade to the right, mindful to watch your thin margin of safety as you roll and tumble over. Colorful little balls of hurt hum innocently by you, radiating a heat that nips and sears at your hair and clothes, close as a breath and far as a chance in hell, but there is something wrong. Oh no, they are not random at all. Not this time. The entire fusillade is being guided!

When you move, the scattershot pattern shifts with you. Narrowly do your reflexes backflip you out of harm's way as you are about to flee right into an emergent---the word comes to you, bubbling from the turbulent sea of your consciousness---laser. But Mima's not cutting you any slack; streaming out from the throbbing nexus is an undulating, cross sweeping flurry of five-point star bullets, the same coloration and make as in the last spell card.

Throwing yourself aside into a cartwheeling, you time the speed and execution with the tiniest breath of safety between the star bullets. The smaller danmaku glide through the air interrupted by the paths of their more extravagant brethren, some slipping between your legs, one almost grazing your side during the brief vertigo, and lo, does an epiphany dawn upon you.. This entire spell card: it is a flowering star-

PAIN, searing, blossoms in your thigh, just a heartbeat after your boots hammered into the ground. The agony is spectacular, like a club striking, and crippling. You stagger, a moment's hesitation, and the beginning of disaster! Through the dazzling display of light and fury, you spot a finger breadth beam suddenly cross your path, landing squarely upon your heart. Cold fear bites into every inch of your being, wrenching as if to tear out your spine, and had you been of the faint of heart, surely this second would would have been your doom.

However: a chicken shit crybaby you are not. Standing your ground, you swing Lake Touya with all your might as if to meet an oncoming foe, and bellow a mighty shout of defiance.


The beam focuses!


Suffice to say, you made the impossible possible: a divine bokken, fueled by the faith of your friends and the silvery hard-headed perm of your ego, has SPLIT "light" in two! The laser shrieks against your blade, the shock of impact reaches all the way up to rattle your clenched teeth, but you hold fast, squinting under the bright intensity of brilliant blue.

Like cloth, the attack frays into threads, deflecting off into a multitude of directions. Alas, they are no less dangerous for you feel one barely kiss the flesh of your shoulder. A growl of annoyance rumbles from your throat, as you note Mima had just cut a clean gash into your clothes. You are now rather determined to make sure the charming demoness comes out of this duel just as disheveled as your august self.

After what appeared to be an eternity, the laser dissipates at last, but now was hardly the time to celebrate! Bearing down on you was an imminent torrent of star bullets closing in from the right, while a scattershot pattern of danmaku swept in from the left and front. Damnation. You were trapped, but not without a way out.

"If you meet lasers, cut the lasers. If you meet stars, smash the stars. If you meet danmaku, break through the danmaku. A Great Man never loses sight of his path, and my way is a full frontal impact!"

With a great sweep of Lake Touya, you shatter the incoming scatter of bullets into colorful sparkles, clearing a space to charge in. A star meanders into your path only to be met by a vicious thrust, to which it gives way easy as a mere unarmored man, disintegrating into motes of light and sound. Embolden you set upon a path of magnificent carnage, slashing, cleaving, and stabbing all comers who fall before your might in a bedazzling display. Had you been any less you may have been enthralled for how many could say that they walked amongst the finest of fireworks and lived to tell the tale?

But a greater man you are, your expression the epitome of focus and your blade a graceful leaf dances in the whirlwind, untouchable. However, Mima has one more trick up her sleeve yet, for as you draw dangerously nearer to her nexus, the pattern of the flowering star shifts! Suddenly, the lasers begin to swing up and down like hammers---nay, it is more than that the entire stream of danmaku has begun to undulate vertically as they continue to sweep around and around. No longer are you fighting a river that only flows in one direction but you have been swallowed into the maelstrom of raging sea.

"Damn!" you curse barely bringing up Lake Touya in time to defend a slicing laser from above.

The clash of powers sings an electrifying cry, but oh no, you have been had: pinned by the laser, your body is open now to attack! A swathe of bullets stumbles into you, most mercifully missing by some stroke of luck, but you are not without misfortune either. One strikes you straight in the gut, a punch unlike any other; you swear you can feel your skin bruising black and blue, the force of the blow driving the air from your lungs.

Spittle flies from your gaping mouth, blinking away hot tears, as the laser from above ceases its attack. It is only by stabbing Lake Touya into the earth to be used as a crutch that you stop yourself from falling to your knees. You cough, hoarse and weak, gobbling for air. So close, yet so far: another five-colored scattershot approaches from the front, off to your right star bullets begin to wade in, and last from the left comes a meandering laser of red. There is little to no room for error up this close where your sight is almost useless amidst the brilliance of color and light.
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"But even if it means crawling on my belly," you breathe deeply, your lip upturning into a feral grin, "I don't know when to quit! The path without regrets is---FORWARD!"

With that said, you surge forth once more, running and cutting down that which stands in your path. The brightness is so much that you cannot even see, but still do you swing your sword even as dizzying, bone bruising impacts batter your body. Sound. Fury. Power. A determined soul the burns brighter, hotter!



And with that the very world seems to shatter like breaking glass, a tremendous explosion of forces blows you away, throwing you senseless to the ground. For what seems like days, all you can perceive is a white noise, numbing and alien. Could this be death? No, you could not be dead yet, even if you took things---a little too seriously in a playful duel with everything on the line, eh?

Thankfully any melodramatic angst is put on indefinite hold when a rich, womanly laughter breaks through the white din. You are back at the Other Shrine's grounds, back in the kekkai, and by your augustness do you feel utterly beaten up and just a touch drafty. Laid out flat on your back spread eagle, it is a superhuman effort just to crane your neck up to get a glimpse of the woman who has reduced you to such a pitiful state.

By Buddha, you hope your friends had the foresight to include some spare clothes, as the one you are clad in now are quite tattered and a little burnt. Still, it was not as if you were alone in suffering for across the way was Mima, leaning heavily against her crescent headed staff, just as equally "weary".

"Boy~, are you stupid or just stupid-stupid? Because that move just now was damn reckless stupid! Ah ha ha ha, what kind of fearless retard dropped on his head by his mother would think to walk through a spell card and hit the caster with a stick?"

True, the charming demoness did have a point there: attempting to break through an area of a spell card meant to be a "physically" impassable dead zone was a bad idea. You really need to figure out how to danmaku yourself. Perhaps, O-Reimu, the originator of the Spell Card duels, would be your best bet for beginner's lessons? Hell, just learning some way to be able to throw Lake Touya or Izanagi's naginata and have it return to you at will would be better than having to get up close and personal to deliver a blow to crush a Spell Card trance!

However...you were not about to just let her walk all over you either. Forcing the aches and pains aside, your body protesting at the madness of your will, you stagger up to your feet.

"It's not just---a stick, Mi~ma-han," you flash your best shit-eating grin, brandishing indomitable Lake Touya as the green-haired spirit of fallen angels. "It's THE STRONGEST STICK (second only to my lovestick)!"

...Wait a second, what's a lovestick, anyways?

"Pffffftttttt-WHAT YOU SAY?!" Mima splutters, coloring red visibly---not just on her flesh mind you but straight through her clothes and wings too.

Suffice to say, whatever you just said must have been pretty awesome, sorta. Perhaps, you have a talent for snappy witticisms?

"Ugh, end of happy fun grab assing!" shouts the charming demoness, effectively killing your groove with a dramatic flutter of her wings. If the meaning in her voice was not clear enough, then the irritated tic in her brow was definitive signal for the end of happy fun pre-battle shenanigans.

But when she gets that serious, you cannot help but act even more playful!

"Awww, what's the matter, Mima-han, not used to being teased?"

"Me? Teased? Fuah! Stop trying to stall for time, boy."

"Who said I was stalling? I am rearing to go for round three already, and this time---I'll be on top if you don't mind?"

Your reward is one Mima slapping a palm to her reddening face.

"Oh my Shinki! Are you and that hussy related? Did she sink her fangs into your virgin...no, don't answer that...I want to be able to keep thinking of you as an innocent, wool-headed baby. Definitely, definitely, total fluke you beat my last Spell Card."

Now that's a statement to raise an eyebrow at, "Ex~cuse me?"

"Look, with your present level of ability it should not have been possible, all right? I even took in account for you jumping around like a monkey, and when your only option is to get in my face and whack me over the head with a bokken...you see where I'm going here?"

Hey, now, you were kind of holding back yourself by not calling upon Izanagi for a partial transformation of your choosing like before.

"Hey-hey, they say talk is cheap, right, Mima-han? Reality bites and the fact is, we are tied two-for-two and nothing is going to change that."

The charming demoness tut-tuts at your perceived bluster in condescending disapproval, gesticulating with her finger for effect.

"Now, now, aren't we getting ahead of ourselves?"

"Me? Blowing hot air? Nonsense! I say what I mean, and know what, Mima-han, would you like to wager that I am going to win this next duel?"

"Tsk, tsk, spoken like a true sucker who has never known defeat."

Whoa, now, what's that supposed to mean?


Mima sighs and leans off her staff, tapping it thrice against the ashen white earth with sharp whacks, before hammering the butt home. A thunderous crash echoes across the Other Shrine's grounds as space "bended", drowning all in darkness: here there was only yourself and the spirit of fallen angels. For a moment, an unspeakable fear, primal and base, threatens to overwhelm you, but your courage is strong enough to fend off the terror---for now. It is only natural, after all, to fear darkness and even more sensibly when one finds himself so utterly enveloped in it.

Trying not to comprehend the absurdity, you fix your gaze upon the green-haired woman to discover a very different Mima. That look in her eyes, faded and impossibly old, it is looking right through you, far, far away, as if you were not even here with her. You turn about to see what she is looking at, ignoring the lack of sound in your movements, and spot there on the distant horizon, a bright light.

"You know, boy, I was thinking about letting you win, but now, good ol' Mima's all riled up to send you crying to the Hakurei."

Abruptly, it explodes, burning far brighter than Lady Sun could ever hope, flashing white to bathe this world in fire and fury!

"See, it just won't do to have you live through life like an idiot who never knew what it was like to lose. Me? I have lost, a lot---almost everything. And so, do I declare the final duel..."

There are lights appearing in the flames. So many, everywhere; could they be newly born stars? In fact, what you are witnessing now, could it be the birth of everything and every when? Aw, damnation, this was not the time to be admiring an illusion.

"Evil Shine [Daemon's Bane ~ TRINTY SPARK]!"



[] ?????"

And / or

[] Aggressively
[] Tactically
[] Defensively
[x] Defensively
>Trinity Spark
There are only two good points to having this declared at you:
One, she's not tag teaming with Yuuka.
And two, it's not Twilight Spark.
Go look it up on youtube before making any smart remarks.

[x] Defensively
Wow, I didn't expect you all to get cold feet over this. Oh well, it is what it is. Just need another vote or two...unless you all decide to change your minds.
[x] Defensively
[x] Deific Sacrifice 『Heavenly Jeweled Spear』

Izanagi is summoned before you, sacrificed in order to absorb the blast into pure energy, quantum dividing himself into a gigantic drill the Spear that Pierced the Heavens, Amenonuhoko.

You will lose your Persona, just as you'd lost your legion of souls before, but if you are to become not 'Izanagi-no-Mikoto' but the 'Izanagi-no-Hakurei' you must be willing to cast away all vanities for the sake of your goal.
Hnnn, I guess, I'll call it. E.G.F.D. it is. Who knows this might actually work into your favor, after all.
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SYSTEM Update:

[X] Custom - E.G.F.D.

BGM Load: "Lust SIN", Daisuke Ishiwatari



"There is nothing shameful about losing. To my experience, loss teaches people to be kinder, and at the worst, it twists their hearts blacker than poison. But if there is something I can call a SIN, is to those who don't understand what it means to lose. A loved one. An ideal. A cause. Themselves. Those people I can't forgive, definitely, absolutely, and that's why I'll have you taste it: OUR bitter resentment, the blazing anger of those who have LOST!"

And with those fateful words declared, she unfurls her great wings to their full awesome breadth, igniting a storm of power into a jade-hued inferno. The blast nearly throws you off your feet and its light is blinding, forcing you to squint at its magnificence. An eerie feeling wells up in your guts of danger and doom imminent. Aye, there is an undoubted pull in the very fiber of your being, as if that inferno was drawing you in like a vacuum.

The green blaze is condensing into a sphere, gravitating off the invisible plane and rising into the air. It is delusional to call this a miniature sun at all: the heat, the intensity, and it was alive. A deep reverberating pulse ripples across its surface, now beginning to rotate and exert a very real gravity of its own; this beat, this sound... Could it be a heartbeat?

Damn, how you wish you had more time to consider the enormity of your situation, but now was not the time for philosophy. That sun was getting smaller and smaller, and you had little doubts it would spell your doom. You assume, naturally, that like all previous spell cards you need to find some way to crack open that "egg" with enough force to break Mima's trance. The approach will not be easy; from a distance you can already feel the air coming to a suffocating simmer, your skin flushing and perspiring profusely.

Of course, knowing the Charming Demon, she must have had more than just that natural law in mind to deter your efforts, and sure enough, your dreadful thought comes true. Bursting out from twin solar prominences, two streaks of light appear, red and blue, pausing for a moment unnaturally to correct their course before accelerating rapidly in your direction, true as any arrow. The time for thinking was over.

Breaking into a run, you decide the wiser to put some distance between yourself and the sun. The streaks give chase, outpacing with you ease, not that you mind terribly much, for the demon within you has awakened, sensing the decisive moment has come at last. With a mane pure white as snow, he directs you, granting you his eyes, ears, nose, fangs, and claws unseen: a sixth sense, unbounded, empowers your body.

Abruptly, you dive forwards into a tumble, bouncing off a handspring into a cartwheel, not stopping as a shower of danmaku bursts upon you. The bullets of red and blue whizz by with a waspish noise, fast but still obeying the rules of the duel. Many come within reach of you, passing between the gaps of dead air and coming within the breadth of a kiss, slicing fresh gashes into your clothes. The heat against your skin, though, only makes your silver soul burn brighter!

Stronger. Faster. Better.

"Come 'ere, Izanagi!" you shout, pouncing upwards into a reverse somersault, tucking into a ball to increase your velocity.

Your other half responds to your summons, but not in a full manifestation, merely providing that which you seek: a comb.

"Old Lady Hakurei used to say, 'A Woman's Anger is in Her comb', no surprise it's full of thorns!"

The theatrics might have been overdoing it, but the streaks were thankfully too slow to react, as a good throw places the the lacquered implement right betwixt them. In an instant, a great growth of spikes bursts out in both direction, growing swiftly into full bamboo spears that score direct hits onto your attackers, dashing them into the ground in an overwhelming mass. Elation fills you at the sight of the small victory, but it is short lived.

The white demon warns you in just the knick of time: danger, get down! The bamboo suddenly explodes showering the air with deadly shrapnel as a shockwave passes overhead. When the dust has settled, you look up, coughing a bit at the irritants clinging to the air, to see the true identities of your attackers revealed at last. There are two, not one, but two new Mima's you have not seen before.

Red haired and red eyed, and blue haired and blue eyed: you are reminded of legends depicting the red and blue oni. Clearly, they must have been lesser doppelgangers of herself, sporting only a pair of wings compared to her three pairs. The Red Mima grins at you, a fiery inner light gleams in her eyes, as the Blue Mima gazes on stoically, though you cannot help but feel an undercurrent of disdain radiating out from her stern eyes.

"You're just full o' pocket-sized wisdom, aren't ya, kiddo?" the red begins in a decidedly thuggish drawl, levitating off the ground with a flap of her wings, also the same color as she.

"However, wisdom without power is impotence, just as armor exists to mask the frail body," the blue intones coldly, brandishing her crescent head staff like a spear.

"And that's why..."

"...all life lusts for want of power."

"It's only natural, yeah, to want..."

"...that which is unattainable..."



"...to snatch it all with my own two hands..."

"...to Lust is not a SIN."

And just what the hell were you supposed to say back to that? Now, was hardly the time for philosophy, still you make a note Mima-han may just be rather preoccupied with the concept of "Sin". As for your next move:

"Oh, Mima-han, I might just be hung as a horse for you, but isn't three on one a bit much? Like reverse gang-"

A bright blue beam thin as a finger nearly burns a hole, likely through, your forehead had it not been for the white demon's instinct, powering your arms up in time to guard the strike. Light flashes, the irritating stench of smoke invades your nostrils, and just as suddenly you find yourself having skid back several yards from where you were. The perpetrator is none other than Blue, holding up no more than a finger as if it to poke you, while Red holds back her guffaws...

"Save the XXX-XXX games until after you are twenty, boy."

"S'okay, s'okay~, pft-pfftt-tee hee hee; it's the fighting spirit that's critical, ya hear?" ...and fails to do so, "Ah ha ha ha ha! C'mon, me, let's go get 'em! Fresh Meat~!"

"Cover me."

The movement is too quick to follow, your vision doubles as a shocking impact rocks your skull, an unbelievable spike of pain blossoming upon your cheek. Sweat and saliva fly; it was a palm, not a fist, the sharp slap of flesh on flesh is like a thunderclap exploding in your skull. You stumble back in a daze and a precious groggy dance of footwork, blood rushing to your head. Even so, you cannot help but bemoan that this blow does not leave a bruise, never mind you are about to fall flat on your backside; punked by a woman no less.

There, a glimpse of red in the corner of your flickering vision, "So sorry, we lied~!"

"Aiming and sniping the target."

Quick: do a barrel roll, you fool! so echoes a disembodied voice, masculine and gravelly.

You do not quite "barrel roll" as much as you do manage a pretty good imitation of a fish out of water flopping about on dry land. Still, it gets you out of harm's way for your ears perceive a piercing shriek whistle by above you, the heat caressing at your hair.


Go for the ankles! The ankles! Bite her if you have to!

You comply swinging out wildly with Lake Touya, to and fro, though you have to question your illusionary(?) coach's sense of honor.


Oh, wow, that actually worked?

"AGH!" the sound of that body hitting the ground with a thud of cloth is quite satisfying, actually, "My ankle! Ooooo, you ankle biting sonuvabitch!"
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On instinct, you roll away from the source of the sound lest it wreak equal vengeance upon you, and just as well for another piercing shriek passes through the space you once occupied.

"GIYAAhhh! Blue-on-Blue! Blue-on-Blue, you stuck up, snooty school marm! Watch who you're shooting!"

"'Tis but an expression that my love for thee is like a LAY-ZAH."

You continue to roll as an encore attempt is made on your august person, again, the furious brightness and noise raking away at the invisible "ground". The person shooting at you did not have any reservations clearly with "kicking" an opponent while they are down.

Good, I fixed the lights. Make sure you don't take another LX Palm like that again. This body won't hold out, if you do! Now: WAKE UP.

Sure enough, as "the lights turning on", your vision and senses return to you and spring off the ground in a twisting Star kip up. Good on you, too, because a blue "laser" beam comes bearing down on you in the next heartbeat. No time for a conventional guarding stance, instead you improvise, reversing your grip on Lake Touya and throwing your entire weight into the block. A mighty resounding crash breaks out, the beam deflected but you are thrown back.

"Tsk, annoying stick. Myself, remove that infernal blade from the boy!"

Damn: two on one is really not...

"You don't hafta say so," comes the Red, her crescent staff slicing overhead like a poleaxe, "AN OPENING!"

...fair. The titanic blow rings through the air, and you helpless can only try to put up a feeble defense. Instantly, you are hammered into the ground with a grisly crash. Pain burns like fire in your arms and your chest, as the red Mima crows in triumph, but now more than ever you had to fight through your suffering. You would be sure to have O-Reimu mother you for a week, nay, a month once this was all over! Right now, you had to---DODGE.



Having rolled away to recover into a crouch, your battle spirit is temporarily put on hold when the dreadful sight is upon you. There is---a HUGE CRACK in the "Floor", no pun intended, where you were a moment ago, and it was spreading out with pained, ominous splinters at a frightening speed. Aye, even the Mima's had ceased their attack just gape at the mutually assured badness that was about to happen.


The floor of the kekkai shatters, like breaking glass, drowning all in a flash of light, and deposits yourself straight into---thin air.

"To hell with gattai!! (Gattai insert song #1, allegro in C minor K2564)", Iwasaki Taku - Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Complete OST


Holy ZEN. You. Are. FALLING.

Yes, you are a deity, but by Lady Sun are you feeling the damnable springtime of your youth because you sure as hell never learned how to fly! The Myriad of Gods, you are high. Impossibly high up and falling right through this barely breathable, cold as balls in a ice box cold air; an ordinary man would have been killed, passed out, or something not necessarily in that order. Right below you is an ocean of vaporous white coming up fast, the wind is howling, your natural perm blowing back "EPICally", and all around is just endless blue.

If it was only this, you might have been somewhat cool with your impending doom, but there is "stuff" raining down from---err, the higher sky above you. Huge big sharp chunks of "reality", literally, like panes of glass reflecting a vision of another place, showing sights and imagery that tugs dangerously at your sanity. Its falling like "steel rain", some of it definitely fast enough to slice more gashes into your clothes while others just huge plates that will squish you like a bug.

And just where are...!

The wake of a massive shadow falling over you cuts your almost panicked ruminations short. Twisting about, just managing to level yourself out, you look only to see a chunk of captured kekkai, big as a house, careening down on a collision course straight for you. The sight evokes not terror but a helplessness that brings manly tears to your eyes as you think of how disappointed your landlady will be when she hears you lost so pathetically.

"I should have taken flying lessons in my past life. Fare thee well, O Cruel-"

Of course, fate was not about to leave you hanging to such a boring end. A flurry of crisscrossing beams, red and blue, promptly sunder apart the giant debris, reducing it to much more manageable shouji sized floorboards. What comes diving steeply through that glittering mess does not surprise you. It's Mima, Mima, and Mima. Her sun of jade has gotten much smaller to your worst fears, and through the blaze you can almost make out the silhouette of her form. You do not have much time left.
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"Hey, there, kiddo~! Nice weather we're havin', huh?" the red one hollers at you, diving even faster by curling her wings about herself to reduce drag. "Don't worry, I'll keep ya company all the way until you go splat on the ground, tee hee hee!"

Che, you might be wingless, but there was no reason to belittle you just for that; after all, there were ways mere mortals without wings could fly, and since they were so kind as to provide you a means to the end, well, you would just have to taken them up on their offer. Tucking into a ball to increase your rotation speed, you "roll" towards a flat panel of falling captured kekkai and---kick off. One. Two. Three. Four. You are gaining altitude, rising up to meet your foes and their brightly burning sun!

"Once more, you speak ill of others too soon, myself," Blue smiles mirthlessly in chastisement of her sister.

Red is understandably not amused. "Oh yeah~? Then, watch me break our problem! HA."

In but a few short moments, the red Mima catches down to you, a feral battle cry upon her lips, but instead of meeting her blow for blow, the white demon spurns you onward. The real threat is above you and time was not on your side. You leap, twisting about in mid-air to just barely parry the thrust of the crescent staff. Momentum carries you upward but an opportunity you smell, tucking your legs in as the doppelganger begins to overshoot, and lash out with a mighty kick. The red cries out in pain and indignation, reduced to a mere stepping stone that propels you upwards faster. A string of curses claws at your ears but are drowned out mercifully by an oncoming gale.

However, idle her sister has not been for you spot her hovering close by to the jade sun and---Holy ZEN, was she holding a piece of that "sun" in her hands?

"How shameful that we have come to this, but you are a fool worth lavishing such a great art upon."

Great art? Ho boy, you had a bad feeling about this...

"To Spark is child's play: unchain your heart, chant the aria to your focus passionately, take aim at the prat who has taken offense... Now, unleash your annihilation of unconditional love: Storge Sign [EMPRESS SPARK]!"

Suffice to say, you were only by the wisdom of Shiroyasha. While you were paralyzed by the jaw dropping sight of what could only be described as the "Blazing White Kickban Finger of God", searing through the air, obliterating everything in its path to ashes, then nothingness... Well, it was pretty darn impressive and you had never seen anything quite like it, so it was understandable to be caught by surprise. You avoided the worst of the attack completely, having transformed your legs and kicked off a panel, throwing you well out of harm's way, as a scattering of colorful danmaku rain about...

Problem is, now you are without "stepping stones" and right back to where you started: falling like a rock, helpless. Gods, this evening is just getting worse and worse. Note to self: figure out how you can learn to fly as soon as godly possible, and---

"Found~ you~!"

By Ebisu, it's the red one, you can spot her shadow clear as day against the bright backdrop of the Empress Spark...and this might just be your ticket to get back into the fight.

"I'm gonna get ya this---GIYAAGH!"

Oh wow, did Red Mima just get taken out by one of her own sister's bullets? What strange things you are---oh crap, you have fallen below the cloud layer, which has been pushed aside by the shear power of the Empress Spark, opening a gaping sinkhole of sorts. In fact, you can see all the way to the ground as the blast recedes revealing nothing more than a scorched crater. Wherever you were, well, you just hope that crater was not the grounds of the Other Shrine. If there had been someone caught in the strike...you would pray for their souls and may be Sikieiki would be kind enough to speed up the processing of their reincarnation forms.

Still, it's an awful long way to fall. Could not the Charming Demon be kind enough to finish you off personally, instead of subjecting you to the ignominy of turning into a handsome smear of red and silver by gravity?

"It is time."

And just like that someone put the brakes on "what comes up, must come down", freezing you in mid-air (thankfully with no potentially fatal whiplash). But it is not only you that stops, soo too do the few surviving pieces of falling kekkai have stopped, too. Right now, it feels like you are just lying down on flat ground and a few a testing steps confirms you can stand.

The reason for becomes clear as a jade-hued light bathes the landscape in totality. Up above is Mima in all her glory, wings expanding to such godly breadth that they eclipse Lady Sun verily so. In fact, both of her lesser selves are now stand beside her, the red somewhat shamed and petulant while eyeing her blue-haired, blue-eyed sister accusingly.

Bottom line, you were out of time.

"I praise you for surviving this long, but everything ends here, Little Silver Soul."

Mima's decree booms, echoing across heaven and earth like rolling thunder.

"Any last words?"

Sure, you had plenty to say but you would settle for simplicity. Would not want to burn your bridges with her over just a spell card duel, right?

"Do your worst, Mima-han; do your worst."

You bare your fangs at fate, readying Lake Touya, as you steel that very silver soul of yours for whatever may come, to which the spirit of fallen angels wastes no words. The three powers combined, and the almighty was unleashed, terrible and awesome, descending upon you like divine punishment for there was no escape from this pillar of destruction and all would return to light in its glory. ...at least, that's what common sense had to say about it.

Your heart and the sword you grasp, though, has never burned---nay---blazed brighter than this very moment: a pure silvery light. You are not alone, and even though it seems but a trivial, childish farce, this battle was everyone's struggle. Your friends chose to trust you, to bet on you, to believe in you! This strength is proof you are more than just yourself, and fall or fly: this was it. Far you have come and it was time to decide your destiny.


What shall you do?

Choose, wisely...

[] The Open Palm
[] The Middle Way
[] The Closed Fist

[x] The Middle Way
[x] The Middle Way
[X] The Open Palm

To reach enlightenment.

Also, it's a universal gesture for "stop."
"These two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

Avoiding both these extremes, the Perfect One has realized the Middle Path"

The Way is not to selfishly seek victory, for that is merely an fleeting, earthly pleasure, nor is it to submit to despair and defeat, for that is unprofitable self-mortification. The awakened one will see through the fog clouding his sight and attain the Middle Way, the path bounded by death on one side and delusion on the other, yet part of neither.

[ODIN] The Middle Way
[x] The Middle Way
[x] The Golden Mean
Hnnnn, a somewhat unexpected turn of events, though I'm kind of not surprised either. Guess you all really do want to live in interesting times.

Very well, the Middle Way it is.

Hope you all do not regret it because you have just made another big choice, which will stick around for quite some time. And if it's not obvious what you all just did, well, it's a classic case of Alignment / Disposition. Trust me, there will be tangible consequences.

Good luck trying to stay on this path. It's a lot easier after all to be the Chivalrous Paragon or the Arch Renegade Bastard.

Neutral Good is True Good.
Though the hardest path reveals the truth in the end, doesn't it?
Unless, of course, you throw curves every now and again.

Also, I like this Mima.

And is Shinki going to appear at some point?
All right, folks, it's finally done, the conclusion to the prologue, and it's a monster wall almost 5000 words-ish. Then again, I seem to bust out lots of walls for you all, so meh.

We'll have a bit of time for table talk afterwards, as I spin up Episode 1. Oh, and to answer your question R.I.M., I have not discounted any possibility at this point. It's honestly just up to you all to pursue the right side quests and fulfill the requirements per say. Play the game and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

That said, some of these things will take time, since I'm generally followin' the chronology of Touhou. Anyways, WALL inbound, imminent!
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SYSTEM Update:

[X] ZEN ~ Norseman-ism + The Middle Way


The answer, nay, your answer comes to you clear as the ring of lightning, an epiphany truly, but before you can give it, a queer thing occurs. The thud of a heartbeat echoes loudly not in your ear but it is a powerful reverb that shakes to the core. You feel your knees weaken almost to jelly, a shortness of breath clawing at your throat, while time slows to a crawl, your vision fading to blackness.

"Corridor", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4

The ivory moon so bright and full on a starless night of the darkest velvet.

"There are many ways mortals have chosen to live, often in the extremes of love and hate, for to err is human, is it not so?"

Yet, there is a fog encroaching in, threatening to shroud your only wane, guiding light in this land of solitude. True, the path is but one, made of stone, passing between the multitude of torii, archways separating immaterial and material, yet such permanence only makes the deadly desire all the easier: to go astray, an irascible impulse for self-destruction.

"Still, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone from the household life. Therein lies sins, either: addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy and unprofitable, and conversely, addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable."

True: there is wisdom to be gained in experiencing beautiful and ugly humanity, yin and yang.

"Understanding both these extremes, did the Perfect One realize---the Middle Path. This journey concerns itself not selfishly in seeking victory, for that is merely a fleeting, earthly pleasure, nor does it submit to despair and defeat, for that is unprofitable self-mortification. The Awakened will see through the fog clouding His sight and attain the Middle Way, the path bounded by death on one side and delusion on the other, yet part of neither."

A figure materializes through the gloom, the figure of a giant gate and the mysterious silhouette of something bound to it. There, in front, a guardian stands watch, not man yet part of man, larger than life. The Guardian steps forth, the ring of chains accompanying it as a young man steps out from its mighty presence.

"So is this your true heart's desire?" he greets you, soft-spoken and gentle, an unusual air about his shoulders that makes him far older than shallow appearances.

You feel obligated to reply but the young man in black waves you off, gesturing instead to look up at the gibbous moon.

"I require not your answer, now, but it would behoove you to take my words to heart. Death is ever the patient, cunning hunter and time waits for none---not even for a god. No matter how high the mound of broken bodies beneath your feet rises, you can never return to where whence you came."

His single eye, visible through his swept blue fringe, glistens as if in nostalgia.

"An Answer exists, surely, but will it be your answer?"
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"BLAZE [Crimson Lotus]", Hiroyuki Sawano - Sengoku BASARA OST "Blue - It's Show Time!"

Suddenly, you are back: time is flowing, all senses clicking, the full blinding wrath of the Trinity Spark is but moment's away from obliterating you and just about the whole country side into oblivion, and you have never felt more alive, more certain of purpose. Though now was hardly a moment for theatrics, it just was not your style to go out with a whimper. Oh no, you were going to fight with every heartbeat of your being because right now, thunderstruck, you have come to understand something at last.

Twirling with a flourish, the image of a stance emerges from the sea of your consciousness---"Fang Point"---to which you flow into without hesitation, ready and waiting. But here does your instinct go astray from theory, the White Demon sees your wisdom, allow you to close your eyes and meld your senses completely. Sight of the body had no place in this battle, nor did your ears need to listen to the roaring, overwhelming din of that which approached you.

This power was not your foe or equal. Think, remember, her words, her scent, her feelings that proudly beating soul and behold the path in the storming flood of darkness infinite, with your heart. Howling a mighty cry to shatter mountains, you thrust Lake Touya, bathed in the magnificent light of that silver soul within you, into the titanic flow, a thunderous collision of force that shakes heaven and earth.

The flood is no easy obstacle, a lifetime of suffering: theirs and hers intertwined into a bittersweet melody of doom and despair. Your frail body shivers and shudders, muscles straining, the flesh sizzling, burning away, but still you press forward. This cannot be all that is Mima, the Charming Demon. You will not be lead astray, pushing forward against the shackles of gravity impossible, searching her blackened heart in pursuit of her true self.

Those words she said were not meant to wound or push you away. It was but a plea: stop, listen, think, and understand. To act with no regards to the feelings of those who support you and those who would stand against you is callous ignorance, if not outright contempt for their lives: everyone has a dream. As the arbitrator of those dreams, it is your duty to comprehend the full weight of what you embark upon, and the possibility of even the most minor of encounters. Difficult and trying times are ahead of you, certainly, but right now, more important than even winning, you want to save this person.

"That. Stubborn. Dumbass!" you breathe with great vehemence.

All she had to say was she wanted someone to understand her, for too long has she been alone and misunderstood; tired of being the outsider looking in.

"Don't. Look. Down on me!"

The flow is it...weakening?

"I don't know much about. Power. Sin. Right or Wrong. Where you came from or where you're going. Or much of anythin' at all about this world. I'm just saying what comes to me. What feels right. And you got! Something! Coming to ya, Mima-han! If you think. You can just. Shut me out. Everyone out! We're here. Right here! Definitely, there's some good, troublesome fellows. We might not be. That smart. But you can't give up, before you even try. To understand each other, right?"

It. It is weakening! Before, it was a near insurmountable force, each step like plodding through tar, but now, it is flowing in your favor.

"I remember someone telling me, if there's something a woman ought to look for in a good man, it's this: 'If you're a MAN, don't give up!'. And I never get tired of chasing women or girls!"

There: you see it! The sparkling light of a path, opening!

"So I declare the final spell card: Blazing Silver Soul [OUGI - ZAN KOU KEN]!"

So did the Silver Soul blaze brightly, as if a new sun had been born, shining light where there was once none. Bridging the gap of today and yesterday into tomorrow, the slashing sword that cuts even light: exuberant, vivacious, and perhaps, a little hopelessly reckless. You are immature still, but this will do...for now.

"Receive it; this is my---everyone's feelings!"

And with that recklessness, kicking a little bit of reason to the curb, does this twisted world shatter.
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"Tetsu wo Tataki Nagaratemee no Tamashii wo Tatakiagero", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST 2

"I...I lost, eh?" comes a breathless wheeze.

Like a great tree being felled in the forest, the weary, hurt body follows but a moment later, trailing sizzling wisps of smoke. The silvery clatter of a staff echoes across the still air punctuated by a mighty thud, spilling green tresses onto the white dusted plane in a shower of ash grey feathers; fanfare for the deposed champion. Her ratty, slashed clothes had seen better days and her pride, perhaps, a little more than wounded.

The shatter of glass soon joins Mima, too, as you are driven to your knees, leaning heavily upon Lake Touya for support. If the charming demoness was a wreck, then you have just been taking through a disaster complete with an incinerator and meat grinder. Your clothes are in tatters and that venerable body is adorned with bruises, burns, and bleeding cuts all over. The coppery after taste of blood was not a joke and worst was your hands, charred into a worrisome brown, shaking uncontrollably, one unresponsive and the other a permanent death grip on the handle of your bokuto.

A curious clinical observation emerges from the sea of your memories, for you note that the likelihood of nerve damage was high, and the shaking was a possible symptom, other than the unholy pain you were trying to ignore. You can only pray that your august constitution will somehow allow you to recover from such grievous injury. For a make believe duel, yourself and Mima really did go at it---hard. ...tsk, crap, your throat is dry and you feel thirsty as hell...dehydration, too? Damn.

"Ahhh-ah! How unsightly, ack, for a grown, upstanding adult," the spirit of fallen angel bemoans childishly across from you, between pained breaths, "to be reduced to this. Hate to admit it, agh, but that little bothersome hussy, hah, might be right...O-ow! Tsk-tsk, guess I really am overextending myself, at my. Age..."

Oh damnation, there she goes tugging on those newly declared heartstrings of yours, not that you believe you could ever deny a sulky, crying woman comfort. So do you laugh, not quite as cheery as you hope, coming off more like a pained retching noise, but it is the thought that counts.

"Y-You know, what they say, Mima-han? A woman's...number one, ugh, best make up...is her smile."

Mima's reply is something between a haughty snort and a complicated cough of agony.

"Boy, you didn't exist until yester...day (was it?)...don't be trying to butter up a hag old enough to be your mother several times over. Unlike that gap-ing whimsical airheaded blonde harlot, I understand the phrase age-before-beauty. Eternally seventeen my ectoplasmic, phantom ass! ...ugh..."

So much for sorta good intentions, and that said, she looks up to shoot a very cross, pouty look at you.

"And what the hell were you thinking? Trying so hard to the end. I already disqualified myself, didn't you know?"

Say WHAT?!

"Three spell cards a piece, remember~?" she hisses darkly at you. "I used four, you jackass."

Now that you think about it...hey, that Empress Spark was extra, was it not? Yeah, you feel a touch stupid, especially considering your woeful condition, and such is your embarrassment that naturally you attempt to change the subject to save face.

"Eh, whatever! Oh, and before I forget, you're welcome at our shrine anytime, Mima-han. Promise, I'll put the good word for you to O-Reimu."

The Charming Demon though totally sees right through you.

"Hey, shitty brat, I thought we just learned a big lesson here."

"...A-ah. Y-You heard, all that stuff. I said?"

"Yes, every single last embarrassing thing. You'd have to be deaf, tsk, and stupid not to be able to hear your hollering. By Shinki, I already feel sorry for whoever becomes your wife or plural."


"What, playing stupid now? Aarrghhh, you're a god! Of course, it's expected if you decide to have a couple of consorts. Making sure your bloodline continues? Stays strong? DUH~!...ack. That smarts..."

For some reason, you cannot help but feel Mima's condition is a whole lot worse than yours, despite appearances. Certainly, being buried under the mass of her wings did not help matters, but could your inspired, impromptu spell card have struck something beyond just the physical body? ...Nah, that's just nuts.
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"Damn, I must be old, bleh, and rusty, if a no-good nobody can just cut right through my Trinity Spark, as if it was butter."

Goodness, does this woman ever let up on herself? Why was she even beating herself up this hard, anyways? As a guardian, did she not fulfill her end of whatever treacherous covenant that duty-bound her here in the first place?

"And what in Shinki are you still hanging around here for? Go on. Get! Claim what's yours. I'm not in the mood to see your burnt, nappy perm head, so be a dear and disappear from my sight, all right?"

Try as you might, you cannot help but be stung by such a curt dismissal. You would protest, yet such well-meaning impulses are quickly killed and neutered a hundred times over by a singular "LOOK" from the spirit of fallen angels. Even puppies and kittens would have been incinerated, instantly...and that makes you sad. Bottom line, Maim was not in the mood to behave as an upstanding, eccentric adult and entertain your youthful fancy.

The point, thus, communicated, you shove off reluctantly and with considerable difficulty, forced to hobble away using Lake Touya ignobly as a walking cane. You almost fall flat onto your face, mounting the steps up onto the rouka. Note to self: it is not terribly flattering to be seen at your weakest, but even so, you ought to carry your head high and with dignity, no?

That thought in mind, do you decide to offer a farewell.

"Y'know, I was serious about what I said, right?"

Not to be outdone, so does the black winged woman answer.

"Ugh, and that's what worries me. I think I actually believe you, too, but don't expect me to pay a house call whenever you miss me! Don't send me letters, postcards, invitations, or what-have-you. I will damn well show up when I flaming please, and right now....! Ugh...I'm going to go on vacation. Nice~. Long~. Rest~. And. Recuperation~. ...I'll keep my eyes peeled to the stars for you, Gintoki. I'm sure The Hakurei would like that..."

And lo, strangely enough, did a faint bond form between yourself and She, the Charming Demon...

"Thou art I... And I am thou... Thou has established a new bond... It brings thee closer to the truth... Thou shalt be blessed with the Faith of The Tower Arcana."

...but wait, what the!"

"Mima!" you cry out, whirling about in surprise, but it was already too late.

Mima was gone, only a scattering of feathers that she was even here in the first place. Her words just now bothers you. She was the second person today to name you, again, with the "Silver". You admit it suits yourself, for what else would others see if not your totally awesome Nice Guy perm? ...but it was the last thing she said. The Hakurei. What did O-Reimu have to do with anything? Then again, you were going through all this trouble for her and yourself, so it was unusual to see that there were a lot more people than you knew whom had a stake in your coming.

Gods, you pray you were just being paranoid---and, hey, you are feeling a lot better than you were a moment ago. Sure, it still hurts like you got into a fight with a youkai panda and fought each other to a stand still before calling it a day, and well, you have this funny feeling in your chest. Mima might be gone from your sight, but somehow, she did not feel that far away. Could it be that you have forged bonds of friendship with her, though you did not even realize it in your terrible state?

Well, it must be. How else would you discover new found strength to move around, in spite of the mighty duel that just ended but moments ago. It seems you owe her quite a bit of thanks the next time you should meet.

But for now, onward you go into the altar hall. What transpires within need not be repeated. What is important is that by claiming what has stood empty for generations, balance has been restored at last, ushering a vibrant, beautiful transformation to a sickly wasteland of despair and stillness. The sun is shining golden, banishing the fog from whence it came, to reveal the sky in all of its endless magnificent blue. The clouds are like puffs of white cotton candy, and the land, a mix of many fauna and flora long dead, now revives in a gorgeous sprouting shower of colors.

Aye, even this very shrine, your shrine, is restored to your image: compassion and fairness tempered with wisdom and courage. This is your world and to describe it, you need only recall the words of a wise man:

"It is not about anger. It is about peace. It is not about power. It is about grace. It is not about knowing your enemy. It is about understanding yourself and all who walk in heaven and earth, friends, foes, and those you have yet to meet. Every moment, every breath, there exists a possibility, an infinite potential in all, great and small."

And that would do for now, but this place was yet unfit to be called your home, a haven perhaps, but not a home. Indeed, there was someone waiting for you on the other side of the torii, and quite a few who would love to hear from you. It was time to go home.
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"Broken Moon", U2 - Immaterial and Missing Power

The fanfare and music, a welcome fit for a folk hero that greets you upon returning to the whimsical realm of Gensokyo is wholly unexpected and quite flattering. You have never seen the Shrine so festive decorated with lanterns, flitting paper shikigami, and so many smiling, laughing faces. It was hard to believe it was just raining but hours ago.

Wait a second, this---who are all these CHILDREN!"


Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, burly ones, hair and eyes of almost every cut and color, dark and fair, girls and boys dressed in their best summer yukata of red, blue, green, and brown. Just who's doing was this? Did O-Reimu go around kidnapping all these...no, now that's just stupid. There is no way your honorable landlady was a closet shota-lolicon when there was a perfectly good specimen of the male species standing right here!

"Hey, you runny-nosed kids, out of the way! Big Sis Reimu comin' through," and speak of the Red and White, she approaches, ushering a cry of giggles and gales of laughter from the huge gaggle of jubilant children. "Move it or lose it, you hear!"

Thankfully, they part, opening a path for O-Reimu, so you need not be traumatized by visions of your landlady stomping down the adorable little buggers... Wait, adorable?! You just met these little tykes. How can you like...well, maybe you have a soft spot for kids, naturally?

"There; it's about time you got---HO MY ANCESTORS' BONES, WHERE ARE YOUR CLOTHES!?"

My, oh, my, so the mighty, invincible Hakurei no Reimu could blush red like a girl, too? How fascinating, alas, you must put this discovery aside for another time: you work hard so you are entitled to play hard, later. But...it could not hurt to tease her a little, right?

"Ah, O-Reimu, I have returned!" you reply in triumphant pomp, spreading your arms wide as if to sweep the flustered shrine maiden up into an embrace.

"Kyah! B-Back the hell off of me, you---you sweaty smelly silverback gorilla!"

"O-Reimu~, you wound me so. Is that any way to greet your tenant returned victorious from his long, arduous quest? Besides, I would like to believe I am more handsome than any gorilla."

"Yeah, that's right. Mi'lord deserves a kiss! A kiss, Miko-sama!" the children chorus together as one, quite shockingly you admit, which manifests in a surprisingly lady-like scandalized gasp from Reimu. "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!"

"Wh-what are you lot on about? And what do you know about kissing, you runts! Put some clothes on your lord. NOW."

"Awwwwww... Kiss? Puh-lease~?"


Darn, a kiss would have been nice to show her appreciation... Wait, actually... Erm, yeah, on second thought, maybe you were getting a little ahead of yourself there. Counting these children, it is an awful lot of eyes watching on for such a private, intimate occasion to be remembered. You were not really that ready to do something that audacious in full view of so many impressionable minds, yet.

That little crisis resolved, Reimu turns to address you, "Now, what happened to your---kyah!" only to flinch away, going as far as to cover her virgin eyes with a hand, "clothes?"

You were a hundred percent confident you were not disfigured or ugly in any way, for upon gaining the privilege of that long abandoned post of the land god, you made sure to utilize that power to mend your flesh and body to the utmost perfection. Alas, it did not apply to your clothes, which were not a part of your handsome augustness...

"Well, I had some trouble on the other side."

"That. I. Can. SEE. TOO MUCH. of, you big m-m-muscled man BABY god!"

Wait, could it be she was a little---old fashioned? Or was this just plain maidenly shyness? Then again, you cannot imagine O-Reimu having an awful lot of contact with the opposite gender, so...it would make sense. In fact, it appears the children have the same idea too, bearing openly conspiratory grinning faces.

"Agh, never mind!" she scoffs fed up at last with trying to maintain some semblance of manners and outright turns away, still blushing quite scandalized you notice. How feminine of her. "Look, see these kids here?"

Ah, speaking of these children... "I do."

"Then, say something proper to them, you moron. They're the lesser kami of the earth, air, water, and fire from my---our sacred land, who came to pay their respects to you and I."

"What? These children are kami?"

"Yes, and they're a total handful!"

You are tempted to reach out with your own spiritual senses, as you are a little skeptical that these adorable faces are truly just masses of mystical power and faith made manifest: fire, water, earth, and air. But what O-Reimu says---goes, and it was preposterous to think she would lie to you, a great big girl like her, so you would take her word for it. That said, as for what you ought to say to the children of the elements, well, you cannot help but feel embarrassed now in your state of duress.

"Uhhh, hey there, all," you wave, feeling a blush creeping up your neck. "How's it going?"

"GREAT~, mi'lord! We've missed you so much~!"

Wow, it is like a wave of positive good feelings just crashed right onto you. This warm, fuzzy feeling...could it be a kind of "Love"? Man. You wonder what would happen if you just asked them to dogpile you all at once, which they probably would do if you asked them at present time. Their opinion of you is self-evident on the smiling gleeful face, a few actually openly crying with runny snot noses and all, being comforted by their fellows in the back.
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Had this sacred land been without a god for so long that the children of the kami would react so passionately, as if delivered from the jaws of death? Man, what a hopeless, troublesome bunch. It must have been tough surviving this long without the protection and faith supplied from a proper Land God to sustain them. True, your existence was not essential, but without you, they could never truly live and ascend higher in the celestial order.

You smile.

"Good to hear, because I am thinking of settling down here for good, that is if O-Reimu-sama does not decide to evict me first. But don't worry, I'm working my august charm's on her slowly but surely! Before you know it, there might even been little black-haired red-eyed and silver-haired brown-eyed runts running around these parts, yeah?"

Of course, the threat of eviction was no joke, but for the sake of the occasion, you broke out into a gregarious laugh to rouse everyone along with a promise. You would have to be insensitive ass to send them home in despair, knowing they would only return to what they once were, because their new lord was an incompetent bugger of the N-th degree when it came to his people skills. A growl from your honored landlady, glowing red-faced again, is a clear voice of her disapproval at such grandiose claims, but she lets your indiscretion slide this time, perhaps seeing the value of golden silence, for now.

"Banzai! Banzai!"

It seems to have the intended effect.

"Hey-hey, Mi'lord~, what is your name? Yeah-Yeah, what are we going to call you?"

Speaking of names, you have been wondering that yourself. Yes, you have been named quite a few times this evening, but it does not really hold any weight in the grand scheme of things.

"Ehhh, that is, a complicated matter, my little friends..."

What you needed was the word of the girl in red and white, and nothing could begin truly without her say.

"You silly rug rats, isn't it obvious, who He is?"


"Come on, just look at His face and you can tell!"

Whoa, she was coming this way, right to you, in fact. What does she plan to...your mind goes BLANK. The rush of blood to your head, swirling in reddening face and ears, is a sensation unlike any other. Maybe it was the weakness of your knees that made you bend down so obediently into her soft, delicate hands, so small, clasping your cheeks, as she leaned up against you on the tips of her toes. Had she been a grown woman, it would have been close enough for a kiss, truly. That rare beaming smile and those mysterious chestnut eyes would have been more than dazzling. Bewitching. Enthralling. Enough to melt the ornate armor of man's heart and bring him to his knees.

You realize then that what you beheld was a treasure, undoubtedly, more valuable than any earthly possession. The last of her proud, noble clan and what stroke of luck it was that it would be you, whose fate would be clasped with she. What a terrible loss it would be, indeed, if you were ever to lose Hakurei no Reimu to anyone or anything.

"Yorozuya no Gintoki, Jack of Jacks, the God-of-All-Trades. There is no job our Gin-san can't do. His real name? Fu fu fu, that's a secret only His miko-sama will ever know."


And just as soon as you were beginning to savor the moment. The magic was over. Her touch rescended. It is only because you are too lost for words or action that you do not do something rash you may come to regret later.

"All right, you layabouts, it's bedtime! Go home. Shoo!"

As for O-Reimu, she was utterly innocent of the mystical spell she had just cast upon you. Man, maybe everyone was right; you really were just a kid, acting a lot bigger than he really was. But what choice did you have, yeah? People see a grown man and who were they to know that you had only lived, truly, for a few short days.

"Awww, but what about a feast? Yeah~. A feast for our Gin-san!"

"We'll do it tomorrow~! The first of many feasts to be remembered in Gensokyo because Hakurei Shrine is back and better than ever!"


Huh? Wha? A feast tomorrow? On such short notice? That O-Reimu is even more gutsy than you expected, and...wow, you feel awful sleepy. Eh..." What's this? You're being tucked into bed. Gods...so tired.

"Good night, Yorozuya no Gintoki. Today you have begun a new self, a new life, and many new encounters. May you dream peacefully this night in my---our home---the first of many dreams. Good night..."


End of Prologue.

Long Prologue is long and awesome.
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Congratulations! You have completed the prologue! A brand new adventure is about to begin as the realm of Gensokyo opens to you at last. Rest assured you shall live in interesting times.


Your character has grown immensely through this recent trial.

+ 5 pts to all character traits.

And as a bonus for your insight.

+ 3 pts to Understanding.

Hnnn, it appears you are quite close to reaching a new level of Expression and Understanding, soon.

You have gained a new Title!

"The Silver-haired Ronin".

You have acquired your first Spell Card!

"Blazing Silver Soul [OUGI - ZAN KOU KEN] ~ The Light Slashing Sword."

Expect an updated character sheet with up to date details, soon~, along with the launch of Episode 1 "Advent of the Scarlet Devil"!

Awesome. There are no other words.
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Oh, and as promised, here's the updated character sheet. And maybe we'll get around to starting Episode 1 this evening. If you got any lingering questions or comments about our work thus far, now is a good time to ask while we have down time. Enjoy.


"Yorozuya no Gintoki"

Title: "The Silver-haired Ronin" - a new fresh face in the Human Village of Kabukichou, often called "The Sleepless Town". People do not really know what to make of you, an interesting unknown quantity full of potential that Gensokyo has not seen for quite some time. You are free to associate with all you wish, but do not expect a whole lot of special treatment either. Some may just shun you outright as a mere vagrant wave man, ignorant of your true identity. That said, you may just be that particular, eccentric blend of mystery some folks may just be looking for...to spice things up. Tread carefully, now.

Personal Traits:

Knowledge - Lvl2 Informed
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl2 Eloquent
Diligence - Lvl2 Persistent
Understanding - Lvl2 Kindly

Feats / Skills:

Kenjutsu - Rank C+ - You are trained in the path of the sword. Though far from being a master swordsman, you are quite competent and more than a match for the run of the mill vagrant or peasant up to no good.

Yarijutsu - Rank C+ - Although trained specifically in "the art of the spear", your expertise in fact extends to all spear and / or staff-like weapons. Quite the spearman you are, O-Samurai-sama, but even you could use the tutelage of a master.

Iaijutsu - Rank C - Trained in Iaido, you are able to defend or strike even while your blade is sheathed. Competent you are, but there is always room for improvement.

Jiujutsu - Rank C - Even unarmed, you are far from helpless, but it won't hurt you to seek more training to improve upon yourself.

Commune - Rank B - An ability once common, though quite rare in more recent times, you possess the ability to converse and call upon the spirits of the realm. The kami are everywhere, for example be it in fire, earth, air, water, and void. Naturally, this also grants you some other unexpected talents, such as the ability to perceive the souls of the deceased. Alas, there are few teachers who could teach you how to improve your "center" and the methods vary wildly; each to their own, they say, and so it will be up to you to better yourself.

Lore: Shinto - Rank AAA - Though you are not a priest yourself, your knowledge of the gods, legends, traditions, and creatures who dwell in the land of Amaterasu certainly rivals that of one who has lived such a calling all of his life. There are still some mysteries for you left to discover and divine the meaning of, but it would be rare to see you caught flat footed in this field of theology and culture.

Lore: Zen - Rank C - You have adopted some of the teachings of Zen to your own lifestyle, mainly as a tool for meditation, but you are capable of some discourse on the subject if needed.

Lore: History - Rank C - You are knowledgeable in history of the old and the new. Of course, there is much more for you to learn as always, but you are relatively well-rounded no doubt.

Lore: Modern - Rank B - Somehow or another, you are quite well-versed with contemporary concepts and knick-knacks from beyond the border of Hakurei. You are not certain where this prior knowledge stems from, but likely, it is from your previous journey.

He of Potential - Character Trait - You are an individual of great potential. Though your growth is not something particularly spectacular, your consistency is a virtue in of itself. You are open-minded and ready to tackle any new body of knowledge, physical or mental, and make it your own.

He of Miracles Divinely - Character Trait - Contrary to your looks, the sum of your strength and vitality stems from more than just your muscles and willpower. Of course, you note that just being able to believe in yourself grants you a substantial boost in any situation. Only time will tell whether you will come to understand the full breadth of your powers.

Aura: Divine - Character Trait - You are possessed of an aura surely ordained by the heavens themselves. It is both a blessing and curse for all things can sense your greatness. There are those who would try to take advantage of you, yet there are also those who need your blessing and aid, sincerely. Be it God or Devil: the choice is yours to make, ultimately, for you are one destined for great things.

Shiroyasha - Weapon Trait - Though you might not look the part, there is a great sleeping well of battle potential that dwells within you; the memories, techniques, and experiences of battles over so many lifetimes, too many to count. When in dire straits, they awaken and are made manifest in your body through the guidance of the White Demon, pushing you to superhuman limits.

Silver Soul - Weapon Trait - Wherever you may roam, the presence of friends and loved ones is never far. Indeed, when it is darkest before dawn, it is their feelings and raw emotion that grants you the strength to carry on, moving forwards, no matter what may come. Distance is of no importance, such is the awesome strength of these bonds.


Thundering the Heavens - Your first kata empowering the wielder with superb athleticism and acrobatic prowess that would make any professional performer or gymnast green with envy. You may not be able to fly, but with your strong, graceful movements, tumbling into flips, rolls, somersaults, and more, it is very much as if you are defying the laws of gravity. Effect: +Evasion

Spell Card(s):

Blazing Silver Soul [Ougi: Zan Kou Ken] ~ The Light Slashing Sword - A powerful, though difficult to employ spell card, despite it's simplicity. Zankouken can only be declared in a dire moment when your Silver Soul blazes brightly and the spirit of the White Demon is with you. The spell card has been seen capable of cutting right through Mima, the Charming Demon's notorious Trinity Spark, which speaks volumes of its power, though it does not offer much in the of way protection in the process. If anything, it is a very conditional and risky "Bomb Card" compared to a true spell card. ~ Rating 2 out of 5 Danmaku ~
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Well, without further ado, friends, let this new adventure---BEGIN!


A New World Fool, Pursuing My True Self?

Episode 1 - Advent of the Scarlet Devils

A Touhou LA by J to the E


It is a fitting deep slumber that carries you through the long night. After a hard day's work, you were more than entitled to a peaceful respite, but alas, fated you were to live in interesting times and the Fortunes will allow no layman's laziness from you. Dream, you do, and so does a vision appear in the sea between the unconscious and waking.

"The Poem for Everyone's Souls", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 OST

Everything is so blue. A velvet room of blue, specifically a drawing room of noticeably Victorian sensibilities, never mind what the word "Victorian" means; the word just happened to feel appropriate for this Western-style setting. Whoever lived here spared no quarter for the fine furnishings and livery draped about the place, even the curtains were made of bluish silken lace. The windows were a clear crystal that from your angle seemed to disappear altogether giving an uninterrupted panning view of an expanse of flowing stardust and comets.

What a spectacular reception, and how you wish you could show this to your precious friends. The audible flip of a device being opened, a crisp, clean mechanically driven action, draws your attention to company. You were not alone and this woman seated by the window, gazing out at the starry infinity, was a sight to behold. A silver pocketwatch is on open display in the palm of her hand, a work of art and precision engineering keeping in time, with each stoic tick-tock of its hand.

Tea has been set out, a Western tea set, and curiously enough for two, in priceless fine china, textured with imagery of roses and thorny vines. Had she been expecting company?

"No good. No good at all," you hear her whisper huskily, an unusual exotic lilt to her voice. A foreigner? Must be, and it would account for her cultured, elegant beauty of a kind that you have never seen in the land of Nihon. "No more can it be stopped. Time is marching on by the merciless hand of the Wheel of Fate."

She frowns.

"The dream is ending and the selfish woman-child wakes. ...I have...lived a long time, seen so many faces so cold, and I have forgotten that one warm face who said this to me, once, 'Humans live for tomorrow, and it is humans who will punish monsters that can live only in the shadow of the past'. This tragedy: who is the just? who is the sinner? Was my judgment...wrong?"

She snaps shut the pocketwatch and all is suddenly dark, except for her, a glistening tear in moonlight runs between a blink of an eye, cold and empty.

"I am lost."

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"3/31", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3: FES OST

"Whoa!" you cry out, snapping awake in a frightful rush.

Agh! Sun. Futon. Blankets. Red and White. Chirping cicadas (noisy little bastards). The summer heat. Sweat. Wait, Red and White?

"GIY!" a feminine cry joins yours, as the owner falls flat on her rump, and more than just a little surprised.

It appears you almost had a head-on-head collision with your honorable landlady and miko, Hakurei no Reimu.

"Wh-What's with you waking up suddenly like that, Gintoki?!"

Hey, now, what's with that accusing tone?

"Ah, uh...O-Reimu, wh-what are you doing here?"

"M-Morning, h-hello! L-Like...B-break~fast, d-duh! N-Normal things normal people do in the morning, y-you big baby! Wh-Why else would I be here, in your room no less?"

Well, you could dream that she was here for other reasons, but it was really too soon for things like, erm, "breakfast in bed" (was it?). And, ho boy! what is that funny feeling down...

"And just---OH BENTEN'S BLESSING, WHAT IS THAT?" the positively scandalized Red and White gesticulates feverishly towards your very happy "Lil' Samurai".

"Um, morning wood?"

A blush, eh? Hnn, you really could get used to seeing this more girly side of the revered and feared Hakurei-

"Y-You...you pervert baby god!"


Ooowww~... THAT. could have gone better. Who would have thought living together with a girl you just met the other actually was not all fun and games. Note to self: exercise a little more delicacy around O-Reimu in the future. Right now, you could only hope that angry sting on your cheek left behind by a fervent palm print was not going to bruise, and like it or not, your day has started. Time was ticking away; plenty of things to do and so little time. Things on your mind, people to see and meet, and certainly, you could even try to meditate on that strangely vivid dream you had just now. Or...


You could freshen up and go find something to eat, preferably with your honored landlady as company.

What shall you do?

[] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?

[] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?

[] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Specify Who to Call)

[] Go Meditate, NOW. That vivid dream must be "Serious Business", right?

[] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!

Interesting. Looking forward to meeting with the SDM casts.

[x] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?
[x] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! Call Komachi.
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?

In this order. I want Machi-Machi to laugh at our messy hair.
[X] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?
[x] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Komachi)
[x] Go Meditate, NOW. That vivid dream must be "Serious Business", right?
[x] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?
[x] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Komachi)
[x] Go Meditate, NOW. That vivid dream must be "Serious Business", right?
[x] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?
[x] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Komachi)
[x] Go Meditate, NOW. That vivid dream must be "Serious Business", right?

Okay! Let's do this deity thing!
[x] Go hang your futon and blankets on the line to air out for the day, first? You do not fancy sleeping in the same sweat soaked things later tonight, after all. Cleanliness and Diligence is godliness, yeah?
[x] Hygiene Time~! Gotta look your best before you start the day, eh?
[x] Strike while the iron is hot. Questing for O-Reimu and Sustenance!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Komachi)
[x] Go Meditate, NOW. That vivid dream must be "Serious Business", right?

As much as I hate combining options, these all seem feasible.
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Well, calling the vote and in the interest of expedience I'll start explaining some things right now.


Personal Actions and Day Phases

All right, fellas, welcome to the Bigs' and I apologize for not making these appropriate updates to the UI Narrative. Like totally slipped my mind since we've been in story arc mode the entire time for the Prologue.

Anyways, in the spirit of Persona, you are going to be living on a schedule until the major story arc of the episode kicks off, which gives the protagonist XX number of days to do whatever, before you are called up to go resolve the major crisis about to happen.

Each day is broken up into phase: Early Morning, Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Late Evening. The Afternoon and Late Evening phases may be awarded as essentially "Bonus Time" for you to do more stuff. Awarding this "Bonus Time" depends on player performance and the GM.

There is only so much you can accomplish in one day. True, there is always tomorrow, but time management is going to be a big deal in measuring your success between balancing work, play, pleasure, and your relationships.

You have stats, skills, and a place to live for a reason. There will be plenty of things to do.


Oh, and it looks like, in order of priority...

[x] Go hang your futon...

...wins, ze. An apt choice that will have its own rewards.

Don't worry, there will be other chances to explore different things, which may lead to particular encounters and rewards~.

Admin, signing off. Be back in a few, hopefully.

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[X] Go hang your FUTON...

As Tsurugi said, "I am the Man who stands at the top of Diligence!"

Current Phase: Early Morning - Sunny - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Mata Sore Kaii!", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST


As tempting it might be to go freshen up or hunt down breakfast and O-Reimu, first, when starting a new lifestyle, they say you ought to begin with forming good habits. You were not certainly in need of an emergency run to the outhouse (your little samurai friend having settled down some) or whatever facility they have at the Hakurei---your home that passes for a sanitary privy. Therefore, the upstanding things that builds character in a man was to "make your bed", so rises the two zenny's worth of wisdom from your vast sea of memories. So you roll up your bedding and blanket to brave the wee hours of the morning to see just what the world has in store for you today, and by Ebisu, is it an eye opener.

"G'morning, Mi'lord~!" a two-rank formation of children in green and blue greets you in passing, almost taking you out in the process of rounding the bend.

"Whoa, morning," you reply, a little preoccupied with your impromptu balancing act in the hallway.

Wait a second, kids!" Dumbstruck incredulity boggles your mind for many a stupefied minutes before you shake it off and take in all the sights and sounds around you, trying to grasp the bustling activity and frenetic energy all around you. Your room opens out into the inner courtyard of the Hakurei's traditional estate, attached to the shrine's more utilitarian facilities, and you must say you never expected to see so much going on in this sleepy ancestral home, ever. The rapport of hammers, the laugh of determined little faces, the splash of water, the wet twist of cloth being wrung out; it is an all-out much belated "Spring Cleaning" of a scale you could not have imagined happening until now.

They were renovating the place, seriously!

Of course, the absurd thing about this fantastic situation was that mere children were doing the work of adults with far greater speed and ease than anyone could ever hope in their wildest dreams. Then again, it was not fair to put such expectations on mere mortals. This motley crew of red, blue, green, and brown were the manifestation of the elements, the children of the kami. It would be damn foolish to apply common sense to they of the supernatural.

How did O-Reimu manage to round all these fellows up and put them to work?

"Yo there, danna-sama!" a boisterous voice calls out to you.

Danna-sama? Hey, you were not the master of the house yet, much less "The HANDSOME HUSBANDOU!" of Hakurei Shrine. Then again, that is an awfully loaded word to address someone as... Last you checked, Hakurei Shrine was not a brothel that's for sure.

"Oo~, takin' your own futon 'n' things ta air out? Man, Danna, ya're a lot more respectable than ya look. Might be hope there between ya 'n' the Missus tyin' the knot, after all."

Suffice to say, such flagrant gossip drew your attention to this precocious little fella, zooming your penetrating gaze right on the perp: it is one of the kami children, a boy child of the earth to be exact. He comes up maybe just to your waist high, hazel eyes like diamonds, closely cropped hair, dusky-skinned, clad in a shortened kimono common among laborers and farmers, and---well, he was all muscle. A miniature Honda no Tadakatsu in the making, you would not be surprised if this fella would be able to hurl houses and boulders like trifling pebbles some day.

"Aw, Boss~, don't take it the wrong way," the earth kid laughs, slapping his thigh. Truth be told, you probably had more to worry from him in a brawl than the pain and discipline you could inflict on him, so it was in your best interest not to take umbrage. "Just talkin' like men is all, heh heh heh. Don't sweat, I'll be sure ta put the good ta the Miko-sama fer ya."

Hey, you were not mad, but it was just that this situation was awfully sudden and bizarre. The child-like kami looked like perfectly ordinary children! A glance out of the corner of your eye to behold several wind children trimming the overgrown bushes in the courtyard, with sickling blades of air that left barely visible disruptions to the naked eye, was enough evidence that you should not consider them just children. In fact, this fella here...

"You have a name, man?" you address the muscular boy casually.

Amazing how far a little respect goes because sure enough the "kid" is looking up at you positively with awe and worship. He pops to one knee, a formal gesture that would not be out of place on a loyal retainer, "Tsu-Tsuchi no Daiya, Boss!"

...he was a pint-sized adult, practically. Personally, you were a little taken aback by all this formality, but you would let it slide for now. Best to let your new "help" grow into the swing of things at their own pace rather forcing your expectations onto them.

"Hmm. Stand, Tsuchi no Daiya."

"Yes, Boss!"

Daiya rises and looks expectantly up to you, clearly pleased at being recognized. You would like to spend some time idling with him just to get the full swing of what is transpiring around you, but alas, breakfast calls and you would hate to keep O-Reimu waiting longer than necessary. Still, a quick summary from the little fella could not hurt to ease your curiosity.

"You the foreman of this energetic bunch here, Tsuchi-kun?" you gesture with a nod to the ongoing activity.

"Yes, Boss!" he makes to thump a fist proudly to his chest before stopping hesitantly, a blush burning his ears as some realization occurs to him. "W-Well, I'm just one o' the four. We also have the Wind Boss, the Fire Boss, 'n' the Water Boss, too, plus our seconds. Us 'n' the little ones here are all on a rotating roster. Best way we figured we could serve you 'n' Miko-sama, 'n' show our appreciation."

Show their appreciation? Now, that makes you raise an eyebrow.

"You all volunteered to do this?"

"Yes, Boss! Heh heh heh, ya shoulda seen the scene earlier when the Missus came out 'n' saw us all out here. Boy, was that funny! Heh heh heh heh."

You sigh inwardly. It would be like your honored landlady to cause a scene, would it not? You can only imagine her reaction when she met all of the kami children for the first time last night. Speaking of which, you make a note to inquire about the events of the evening prior later; you don't remember much other than your reception and being put to bed at some point.

"No offense," Daiya's gruff snort tunes you back into the conversation, "but Hakurei Shrine needs all the good help it can ta get back on its feet. We all live on this land, 'n'---no surprises--- we owe the both o' ya big, like big time, yeah. I'd still be just earth 'n' rocks, if y'all hadn't come along finally! 'n' by the Laughing God, is there lots 'n' lots o' work ta be done."

Daiya laughs jovially, but you cannot help but notice a tremor in his frank voice when he mentions his previous lack of existence. Hmmm.

"But don't worry, we'll do our best ta do our part, so y'all don't hafta sweat the little things."

"Good to hear," you nod your agreement, only to add afterward like an elder brother lecturing his younger brother, "but remember, if it gets big, let us know so we can take care of this mess together, all right? You all have no obligations to go it alone solo. Leave the heroics to O-Reimu and I. We're good like that, trust me."

The earth spirit-child is at a loss for words, not expecting such kindness from you, clearly.

"Wow, Boss, ya're really an upstandin' guy."

You shrug off his awe with an easy grin.

"And this upstanding natural silver perm guy needs to go, but don't fret, it is a pretty small world, so we will see each other soon enough. Later, Tsuchi no Daiya."

Oh yeah~, smooth exit, stage right for you.

"Sure thin', but ya might want ta get ya little friend taken care of, before ya see the Missus, Danna-sama!"

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System MSG: Congratulations, you have just earned yourself... + 1 pts of Diligence!


Relieved, and so fresh and clean-clean at long last, after many travails at that, you discover the dining room where your honored landlady has sequestered herself this morning.

"Took your sweet time to get here, sama," O-Reimu's sarcasm was not unexpected, just her way of coping you suppose.

You consider a witty quip, but a mutual growl, concerning the both of you, puts such playful foreplay on indefinite hold. Compromising, your honored landlady beckons you over, with a reddening sour face, to join her at once at the low table, set for two. A quick prayer and a word of thanks later, you are digging in with far more gusto than you would have expected out of a traditional meal: rice, miso soup, and some leftover side dishes from the night prior.

Still, this tense atmosphere at the table is a little bit on the annoying side, as the both of you steal supposedly stealthy glances at each other. They are not very stealthy since more often than not yourself and Reimu would end up meet each other's inquiring eyes, sparking a predictable result: the latter turning red and losing whatever courage she might have had to needle you into conversation. The former, well, you find yourself occupied with looking elsewhere all of a sudden, like trying to admire your handiwork, as you methodically pick apart the leftover broiled teriyaki mackerel.

Gods, this situation is it not like a pair of newlyweds trying to feel each other out? Agh! Newlyweds?! Bad. Bad. Bad! You are getting way ahead of yourself here.

"It was a feast!" the two of you cry out loudly in unison, only to almost facefault in embarrassment again in perfect synchronization, when you both realize the laughable achievement you have accomplished together.

Wow, you two were really getting nowhere fast, trying to overcome this suffocating barrier of awkwardness.



"Did you-"


"Hey~, how about-"


"I'm going first!"


"Will you cut that out?!"

Okay, this has got to stop.

"Baby Nappy Perm God!"

"Sweaty Lewd Armpit Miko!"

Well, at least you two were not on the same page when it came to shooting each other's egos full of holes.

"Wh-what---WHAT YOU SAY?!" Reimu slams her palms upon the table in utter red-faced outrage. It appears you managed to hit a nerve there.

"It's not an afro! It's a perm, you fashion challenged Red and White!" then again, you reply with equal fervor; she managed to hit a sore spot, too, quite unexpectedly.

And with those fighting words said, it was no surprise that like beasts of yore, the fated Shrine Maiden and the newly christened God of all Jacks came to lock horns, literally. Well, it was your hands intertwined in a might vice grip as the two of you butt forehead to forehead in the mother of all staring contests, growling furiously at each other.


Seriously, what was making you two so bloody aggressive all of a sudden? There had to be more civilized ways of feeling each other out than resorting to cave man and cave woman tactics. ...Oh my, come to think of it. With the way your noses were touch and this proximity, one false move and it would be a kiss. In fact, if someone walked in right now they might think that...


Ah. There is someone in the door way.

"S-Sorry! D-Didn't mean to interrupt, mi'lord and lady. B-BYE!"

Oh great, that was a girl too just now, was it not? Looking back at a decidedly "washed out" and "defeated" Hakurei no Reimu, you can imagine she already figures the various scandalizing rumors that will sprout in short order. It was not was if her life was over, right?

"Eehhh, I can't imagine them being bad rumors," you blurt out spontaneously.

Doh. Way to read the atmosphere there, you.

"You," Reimu grouses in decidedly dour tones, as she breaks away. You cannot help but miss her touch already---whoa, where did that thought come from? "I swear, by my ancestors' bones, I'm gonna thrash the hell out of you one of these days."

"For what?" you grin slyly at her, relaxing back into your seat cushion, "Making your life that much less boring?"

Arghhhhh, what the hell? Does your mouth have a mind of its own or something?

"The company could be better."


"Anyways, what are your plans for the day?"

My, that is an awful loaded question there. Just what could O-Reimu be trying to fish from you?

"I got a thing or two on my mind. Why? Need me to do something for you, O-Reimu?"

The Red and White flushes with a seething slap of a palm to her forehead. It appears you have hit the ugly nail right on its proverbial head, no pun intended.

"Perceptive aren't you, you little punk?"

Touchy, touchy.

"It's not much fun when you give it away so easily."

Oops. Innuendo, and, oh crap, where did she bust out that huge packet of ofuda from?!

"Okay-okay! I'll be serious," you compromise in a hurry, trying to avoid a particularly nasty scuffle this early in the morning.

Thankfully, she is placated, her eyes ceasing their flashing through various colors, and puts the potentially deadly spiritual weapon away. You really did not fancy being nailed to the wall with more of those things than you would care to count.

"Good, then I'll stop beating around the bush and be serious, too."
File 124707751277.png - (331.56KB, 1000x900 , 143917fdc2c9cc81b849bc6a60a1ec57.png) [iqdb]
Reimu falls silent, clearly in an effort to compose herself. Whatever she was about to say must have been difficult for her because the proud girl had a noticeable tic in her brown and a curious shudder to her tense shoulders.

"I imagine, you've seen what's been going on around the shrine this morning, right?" she asks you, with a one-eyed sidelong glance, as if she were a bird scoping out a potential prey animal.

The look sends a shock of unease through your guts, not because it brings up feelings of unpleasantness, but it evokes a cool feeling of mystery. Just what was she up to?

"I have, Hakurei no Reimu."

"Good, then forget the rent."

Forget the rent?!

"Come again?" you fight to keep your astonishment from showing through your "face" valiantly, but you have been caught wrong footed rather spectacularly. This was the last thing you would expect to hear from the Red and White.

She is unruffled, not even moved in the slightest by her voiding statement, "If you must thank someone, you owe your gratitude to our new mutual little friends."

And how had those little fellows managed to influence her? You could probably learn a thing or two from them, if they had managed to convince something of grave import to the incorrigible Hakurei no Reimu.

"My---our land," she amends tersely, "has problems. Big problems. Bigger than even I can handle alone, and throwing a bunch of ryou at it, isn't going to make it go away. So, consider this---a refinancing of our terms."

Refinancing? That's a funny way to put it.

"Officially, we'll still be landlady and tenet. The 'unofficially', is a different story."

"I'm listening," you give a flourish of your hand in polite deference.

"I want us to be partners."

P-Partners!" You flush red.

"Not that kind of partner, you pervert baby god," O-Reimu deadpans with all the emotion of a hammer, deflating your imagination gone wild to certain death.

Aww, she was no fun.

"I'm not going to expect anything out of you because if you leave at this point, that's going to cause more harm than good to this shrine," read: I. WILL. get even with your impudent ass later. "And as of this moment, you and I are fair and square, understand?"

True, the Red and White has done a brave thing by releasing you effectively of any contractual obligations. You were, more or less, equals, though she still held the upper hand by far as she could evict you by force, whenever the fancy should strike her. Then again, you would have to be a supreme jackass to get yourself kicked out into the street at this point, especially knowing all who depend and look up to you.

"I understand, O-Reimu," you nod to her. But just what was all of this leading to?

"Good," and then, with a heavy sigh, she produces a gold piece and offers it to you. In fact, is that not the same ryou you donated just the other day? "Go on. Take it. Fair is fair, remember?"

Wow, the Hakurei wants to start over that far back from scratch? ...She has a much bigger, noble heart than you thought.

"And no funny 'proper manners' games. Just take it, Gintoki."

Ha ha, she is turning red and you swear her eyes and hair matched the hue of her cheeks for just an instant. You accept the proffered ryou without whimsical ceremony. After all, better not to torment the poor girl any worse and make it quick and painless.

"Now that is that," you pocket away the gold piece, out of sight and out of mind, "How about you tell me what's the order of the day, Hakurei no Reimu-han?"

The Shrine Maiden sighs with a heavy pout, forlorn no doubt at her material loss, but quickly shakes her funk off to bring her full attention on more important matters.

"Whatever you do, don't laugh."

Fortunes, you had a bad feeling about this.

"A request for thee doth I have, Yorozuya no Gintoki-sama, God of all Trades. Two boons wouldst She of Hakurei ask, but nothing do I have to offer thou save our eternal gratitude and a reasonable debt owed to be repaid at a later date."

Dang, she just totally went "Old School" (that's the expression, right?) on you just now, didn't she? Sure, you appreciate the proper etiquette and the thought, but it was awfully quaint and awkward, considering how you were speaking to each other but moments---pffffffftttttttttttt!

"You're laughing, aren't you?" Reimu says in a dangerous voice, with a dark twitching glare.

"N-No~pe," you say in a tiny, shrill voice, turning red and blue in the face, as you struggle to hold back the guffaws. "D-Don't worry. I'm listenin', hic!"

Oh, yeah, you were going to pay for this, later, but the memory will be forever ingrained in your mind.

"Che, as you ought to know, I'm pretty penniless, so... The feast? Eating good food and drink like normal people with a stable calling in life? The things the kami kids out there want to accomplish, like renovating the Shrine? Not going to happen in the short term."

"You have an estimate for me?"

"Four ryou," sulks the Shrine Maiden dourly. It appears she has more experience with poverty than she lets on. "Don't worry, I'm an expert in haggling and my suppliers are good, none of the garbage stuff. The best, but you have to kick their balls and twist their fundoshi into knots, if you want it, and I'd say this Shrine is long over due for a little luxury."

You nod in deference.

"And the other job?"

"I need you to run an errand for me."

An errand?

"Bordering the Forest of Magic is a lake, dubbed Misty Lake, and there appeared a huge gaijin house back in my honored father and mother's time. ...Almost ten years ago."

O-Reimu pauses for a moment, breathing deeply. Thinking about her parents must be hard on her; their absence was self-evident. You feel you ought to say something to console her, but so do you sense you are still too immature to offer some manner of compassionate insight that could help her to move on, truly. For now, you elect to wait in polite silence for her to continue; better not to wound her pride accidentally with your good intentions, after all.

"There... There are youkai living," her gaze hardens, "or prowling about there that's for sure. Bloodsucking little beasts."

Yeah, you had the distinct feeling the Hakurei was not a big fan of these particular youkais' dietary preferences.

"The house is on an island smack in the middle of the lake. As you know, being who I am, I'm obligated to do certain things, like send out the latest revisions of the spell card rules. ...But somehow, or another, my shikigami that I send out on runs to that place always...always...fail their deliveries and never come back to me."

It figures Ebisu would want to inject some danger and intrigue into your first day of living as Yorozuya no Gintoki.

"So this is what I want you to do, Gintoki," Reimu eyes you with cold, deadly seriousness, "should you choose to accept: you will go visit this household, this very day, where you will deliver a copy of the spell card rules to its inhabitants---AND---a sealed letter that will be read only by whoever amounts to the leader of those beasts. Do you and I---have an understanding, Yorozuya no Kami?"

Correction: Hakurei no Reimu does not dislike these youkai in particular, she despises them. Great. Check.

Now, what are you going to do?


[] Accept O-Reimu's request. (Specify)
[] Refuse your honored landlady's request.
[] Change the subject. (Specify)
[] ????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] ????"

Okay, ladies and gents, I think there's a bit of confusion here. You can take on both requests, if you'd like to. My apologies, if I failed to communicate that clearly with the available choices. I wrote it the way I did so you all can choose either, both, or none at all.

[x] Accept O-Reimu's request. (Both)
[X] Deposit 4 ryou into the donation box on the way out.
[x] Accept O-Reimu's request. (Both)
[X] Deposit 4 ryou into the donation box on the way out.
[x] Accept O-Reimu's request. (Both)
[X] Deposit 4 ryou into the donation box on the way out.
[x] Accept O-Reimu's request. (Both)
[X] Deposit 4 ryou into the donation box on the way out.
File 124710411375.jpg - (41.00KB, 800x568 , 3431900.jpg) [iqdb]

[X] Accept Both Requests + 4 ryou donation in the box + BODY LANGUAGE!"

"Ho, ho, how uncommonly bold?"

Current Phase: Early Morning - Sunny - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Still Moment", Iwasaki Taku - Shin Megami Tensei Persona ~ Trinity Soul ~ OST


As dangerous as this job is to your coffers and health (potentially), what is life without a little danger, no? And what better way to show your resolve than with actions?

A plan spawns spontaneously in your mind, bringing a mischievous grin to your face, and quicker than either yourself or O-Reimu can expect, the two of you are well on your way down the halls in full view of all eyes, hand in hand. The Shrine Maiden doth protest once she comes to realize what is going on. However, conflicted between wresting her hand free of your insistent grasp and observing proper etiquette in front of the many awed looks of the kami children, she was effectively powerless through indecision.

As for you, well, you are just trying to ignore the onlooking curiosity of your audience and even a few encouraging cat calls. This is awfully bold and on the embarrassing side of things, but your courage holds true. Before you know it, the presence of the lesser elemental children ebbs and you are outside in the front yard of the shrine where only a handful are maintaining the grounds. Your destination soon arrives, the good old donation box, already out and standing duty for another lonesome, ordinary day.

Well, you would just have to change that!

Releasing your honored landlady's surprisingly girlish and soft hands, you fish into your yukata for that handy little money pouch your friends had so helpfully provided in your issue and produce the request ryou. Pop goes in the donation to the wooden box and so do you offer up a customary prayer in front of an openly gaping Hakurei no Reimu. Of course, you do not offer a prayer to yourself; that would be just silly, instead you have a few private things to say to your nemesis, the Laughing God.

"All right, Ebi-kun, I know not if you are listening in on this, but I have two burning words to say to you: BRING. IT."

Your inner machismo satisfied you turn back to O-Reimu, ignorant of the peals of gilded laughter emanating from some heavenly unknown. As for the Red and White, she was at a loss for words, not expecting you to "do business" in such a unconventionally conventional manner. You are a capricious individual who tends to fly in the face of established propriety. Your puppy-eyed look and proffered "paw" though soon rouses the miko from her contemplations. It did not take a genius to know what your intentions were, which she divines correctly.

With a shout, she beckons over one of the elemental children, a portly boy of the earth. He is eager to serve, much like the others, and off they went to return in short order with a small satchel, Lake Touya, your boots (oops!), and two curiosities: a Western-style spiral bound book in red and white, small and portable, and---a ballpoint pen?!

"Thanks for your hard work, child of the earth," Reimu dismisses the little fella graciously. His cheeks swell with red and you swear you see hearts pop over his head, before he nods off dumbly to return to his fellow who had paused to watch the exchange. Yeah, there was definitely a little pow-wow going on over there.

To think she could have that kind of effect on other folks, too. What a dangerous treasure she was, the fated Shrine Maiden of Hakurei.

"Here's your things and some essentials for your trip. Bamboo canteen with fresh water. A bento for lunch. A compass. Flint. The items to be delivered. Thread and needle. A hunting knife. And an up to date copy of 'Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots' written by me, of course. Don't waste the pages and read what I've got to say before you do anything reckless out there. This is the big bad world you are facing now, so you can't just go crazy however you feel like at the time. But. You are free to annotate the pages as you'd like, Gintoki. I might even add in your suggestions to the master manuscript."

Wow, this is darn thoughtful of her to prepare all this for you on such short notice. You never figured the Shrine Maiden to be so meticulous.

"Now, listen up because I don't want to wasting my breath all of this morning, when I have things I need to be doing too, you hear me?" she wags a chastising finger at you, affecting the air of a teacher quite well.

"Ears tracking, O-Reimu," you reply with a wink, which causes a faint hue of red to color her cheeks. Either it was the weather or dang you were getting good at this.

"Ahem! To get to Misty Lake from our Shrine, all you have to do is go down the step and take the dirt road northwards. Eventually, you'll hit the Human Village of Kabukichou, after passing through the outlying community of rice farms and the like. I don't mind if you decide to have a look around for a bit, knowing what a curious little baby god you are."

"Will do, Mo~m."

"Hmph!" O-Reimu scoffs coloring yet again, as she upturns her chin at you in an imperious manner, hands akimbo on her hips. Score another point for you. "And don't go parading yourself around like you're some god who owns the place. You're an unknown and even if you transform they won't be able to tell the difference. At this point, there's only a handful of exceptions who would be able to see your nature as a god."

"Hnnn," you make sure to file that latter information away for reference, "So where to after that, Hakurei-sama?"

"To the west of the Sleepless Town is the Forest of Magic. Don't actually go in or you're going to waste a whole lot of your time, since you're going to be covering all this ground on foot."

Ouch. Score one for the lucky Red and White.

"What you need to do is follow one of the trails that skirts around the edge of the forest. They were there when I last went through. The one you'll be looking for follows a creek, travel upstream along the bank, and you'll hit Misty Lake soon enough. The gaijin house is just across the lake's waters on an island of sorts, and whatever you do, don't fall into the water. It's ice cold all year round and the last I want is for you to test out that godly constitution of yours and you end up biting the big one from hypothermia, 'kay?"

Now, it was your turn to blush. Score another for her. Sure, she was giving with one hand and taking way with the other, but caring was caring in your book, and you figure this was just O-Reimu's own awkward personal way of expressing herself.

"Any questions?" the Hakurei favors you with her eagle-eyed look, tilting her head aside in that characteristic manner.


"Then, repeat what I just said."

You manage well enough in your own fashion, though far from word for word.

"Hnn, it could be better, but it'll do. You can find your way from my notes, too. Otherwise..."

She turns her attention upward at the blue sky.
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"I heard from Kaze no Megumi this morning. Looks like we can't have the feast tonight, even if we wanted to..."

A heavy forlorn look shadows her young, pretty face that just---did not look right on her. You saw it before the other night, and now...well, it sucks but you don't know what to do about it. Just what did it mean?

"Thunderstorm and rain with a chance of heavy fog this evening, so she told me," her expression darkens, aging suddenly several years you swear right before your eyes. That black look. It definitely does not look right on Reimu's face. "My family's ancient texts say that the wind spirit-children are god-like at reading the weather on a day to day basis, so safe to say, if they call it, it's going to happen."

You do not even realize you have been holding your breath, painfully, but when she looks down upon you at last, that terrible contortion of her face gone to be replaced with a wry smile, do you breathe, releasing an inward sigh of relief.

"Youkai are naturally more energetic at night, especially when the full moon's out, but bad weather makes them even more adventurous, and that just makes life harder for ordinary people going about their lives. Youkai, fairies, what have you---they become extra nasty, so I have heard, at times like these, thinking like they can take on the whole world, eat whatever they want, kill whoever they want, and some more stupid nonsense."

She wriggles her nose in apparent disdain of these bellicose creatures that revel in the night.

"...Of course, all of this mainly applies to the supposedly dumb, young youkai, but I've heard rumors from the town that even the older, more stable, intelligent youkai have started to act---funny, too. No exact cause yet, but it's usually on bad nights like this."

This is a lot to take in, so just where was O-Reimu going with this?

"Come home before dinner, you understand?" she says, poking you roughly on the chest.

"Ow! Hey, that kinda hurt," you grouse back impulsively with a childish scowl.

"Good, it'll remind to come back on time. Trust me, Gintoki, you really, really, really don't want me to come find you, got it?"

There she goes giving you that eagle eyed look, her eyes shifting to a shade of almost luminescent blue. Yeesh, can't exactly say no to her could you? Besides, the Shrine Maiden has been living in Gensokyo much longer than you have, so she would not be telling you these things without a reason, good will and all.

"Got it."

So does the lucky Red and White gift you with a hint of a smile, those mysterious eyes fading back to their more familiar auburn chestnut.

"Have a good adventure, Yorozuya no Gintoki."

Geez, saw right through you, did she not?


System MSG: Hnn, it appears you are growing closer with Hakurei no Reimu. In time and with the right push, the both of you may achieve the beginnings of a bond beyond this odd professional alliance of sorts.


It is not long after that you depart, catching a glimpse for a brief moment of something white and wolfen, but when you blink again, that which you perceived is gone, like an apparition. Funny too, since you spotted the thing not too far from an old walled entrance being fixed up by another gang of the elemental kami children, whom greeted you as you passed through, down the long stone paths and flights of stairs. The forested hill where the sacred land of Hakurei resides is alive, with a rambunctious energy that your spiritual senses can clearly grasp, a rhythm not so unlike the beat of two hearts in tune. Somehow, you get the feeling this is the way it always should have been.

Soon do you arrive at the bottom of the stairs carried effortlessly here by a brisk jog. The dirt road is as you remember it, and mercifully shaded by trees on the roadside, keeping the worst of the heat away from travelers braving the Lady Sun's exuberant love. Your direction is set, but now that you have come this far, you come to realize the huge enormity of what you are about to undertake.

You are about to travel alone and see exactly what the realm of Gensokyo has to offer. Not only that, you are free to effectively do as you please with little more stipulations than staying out of trouble and coming back home at a reasonable hour. This empowering sense of freedom, a wanderlust you have not tasted in so long; it is powerful and intoxicating, but what are you to do? There is so much you can do now and so much to see, that it is rather overwhelming.

Plenty on your mind. Plenty you could be doing. You could take it slow. You could run it fast. It was all up to you!

So, what should you do?


[] Follow the road and head towards the Human Village
[] How about a little trail blazing?

And / or...

[] An expedient Run
[] A brisk Jog
[] Take it easy, ze!

And / or....

If Jogging or Take it easy:
[] Let's meditate on your thoughts a bit on the walk
[] Enjoy the scenery
[] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Specify who to Call)
[] Read O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots"

[x] Follow the road and head towards the Human Village
[x] Take it easy, ze!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Machi-nee)
[x] Read O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots"
[~] Follow the road and head towards the Human Village
[~] Take it easy, ze!
[~] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Machi-nee)
[~] Read O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots"
Changing vote:

[x] Follow the road and head towards the Human Village
[x] Take it easy, ze!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Machi-nee)
[x] Read O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots"
[x] Enjoy the scenery while you're at it.
[x] Follow the road and head towards the Human Village
[x] Take it easy, ze!
[x] Bust out the "Cellphone"! (Machi-nee)
[x] Read O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots"
A'ight, we got consensus. Commencin' with writin'. Could be up tonight but it'll probably be tomorrow mornin'. Peace out.
File 124717101991.jpg - (97.87KB, 350x914 , 9180b69552a6824daafb0afca2d6bdc4.jpg) [iqdb]

[X] Follow ze road, take it easy, cellphone, readin', and the scenery! Okay~!

"Take it easy, ze~!"

Current Phase: Morning - Sunny - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Joy", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 OST


They say, it takes all kinds of people to make life interesting. Some folks live it fast and hard, taking the less traveled roads. You? You are a little bit different; what they call a "My Pace" kind of guy. Sure, as tempting as it might be to go gallivanting through the woods at break neck speeds, blazing your own trail through the land---you really weren't in the mood for it. Goodness gracious, it was summer, you know? Hot and humid? You would be working up a sweat in no time, and god or not, it would still suck to be sweaty, thirsty, and hungry.

So guess what? Today: you were gonna take it easy and follow the path of least resistance. There was still plenty of the land you could take in, and sooner or later, these green rolling hills should give way to relative flatlands or some open valley, ideal locales for human habitation by any stretch of common sense. Besides, you had things on your mind and plenty to distract you.

First order of business? It was high time to phone, so the expression arises from your memories, a dear friend.

Procuring a lacquered protective case, featuring a rather fitting Death's head emblazoned on its face, you flip it open to reveal your gift from Higan, the Mystic Mirror, safely sitting in the hollowed back of the case. Once again, you cannot help but marvel at the foresight of your friends in the nether realm. In its present configuraton, the mirror would pass easily for an ordinary hand mirror a man might rely upon to groom himself, and recalling what Onozuka Komachi told you, it is not long before you bring its true purpose to light.

The surface of the mirror ripples with the faintest shimmer; it is like watching a drop of water disturb a once still pool of water, except this one is transmitting sound and emotions across almost incomprehensible images. A voice, at least you think it is, answers in a garbled mess; it figures the transmission has some issues, though you wonder if this is a result of yourself calling during the day time? The ferry woman did say these mirrors work better at night.

"Ah...focusing...there!" says the voice, and sure enough, the static clears at last giving you a picture perfect view of a rather healthy naked bosom that gradually retreats into a beauteous face. Oh, and don't forget the apparent bedroom she was in, a Western-style affair with lots of incense burning all around. Hmm.

The lighting was dark, so did it mean..."

"Oop, I did not mean to waltz into your beauty sleep, Machi-nee," you pause, wriggling your brow suggestively, "unless you were expecting company?"

Your ever vivacious surrogate elder sister of sorts laughs heartily at the innuendo, though it is not beneath your notice that you spot her arm coming to protect her compromised ample chastity. It appears she does adhere to some tenants of propriety, or is it more of a whimsical thing for her? You cannot say but that twinkle in her eyes is intriguing certainly.

"Wa ha ha ha, well, don't ya got the best timin' ever, 'hun?"

"You know what they say, Machi-nee, when you put out the welcoming mat, expect the unexpected."

"Mmm~ yes~, but don't ya think it's a bad idea to walk and talk, while showering me with your full attention, at the same-"

Whoa! Stupid pot hole. You could have sprained your godly ankle in that damn thing!

"Wa ha ha ha ha! Don't say Big Sis Machi Machi didn't tell ya so~," Komachi cries with glee.

Well, at least, she had her revenge for the little free peep show while her guard was down and in partial undress. Fair was fair though, and you would not mind another brush with danger for another glimpse to be remembered.

"Now, I knew ya couldn't resist stayin' away from me for long, so why don't ya tell Machi-nee what you've been up to, tiger?"

Suffice to say, you recount your adventures to the shinigami with great flair, embellishing for posterity, and downplaying a few things for the privacy of those involved particularly. It did not take a genius to know that O-Reimu and Mima would not want word of their darker moments slipping out. If they had more personal contact with Komachi, an actual relationship, they might not have minded, but as it was, it would have been a gross indiscretion on your part.

As for your surrogate elder sister, she seemed to be thoroughly entertained and pleased by your exploits, complete with a whole bunch of golden musical notes chiming over her head to be replaced with a trail of hearts. You wonder if these things you can see are just delusions on your part, or the genuine manifestation of the raw emotion from those you have encountered, unbeknownst to themselves. Hmmm.

"Wa ha ha ha, that's my Gin-chan!" Komachi is evidently quite pleased with your new name, too. "See? I knew Gensokyo wasn't ready for you, period! Consider yourself spared, for now, because the next time I see you, 'hun, you're getting the Deluxe Super Lovin' Special Machi Machi Hug from me~, hu hu hu hu."

Note to self: practice exercises to increase your lung endurance pronto, if you don't want to be partially suffocated when that happens, and knowing that vivacious streak of your friend, she was not kidding around.

"I look forward to it," you smile sheepishly, a little unnerved by the blazing fires of "PASSION" now lit in her red eyes. Yup, it was time to change the subject. "Say, how are things in Higan? I know it has only been over a day or so since I---M-Machi-nee?"

Well...it appears your change of topics worked a little too well. Like a faucet being opened, Komachi's good cheer evaporates instantly into almost comical doom and despair, her body quivers, her eyes water with huge crocodile tears, and her lips upturn into an awfully cute upside down "V".


You sweatdrop.

"Uuhh, M-Machi-nee, is-"

"KYAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa~! It's, sniff, TEAR-BLE~! WAAAAAAAaaaaaa~!"

Ebisu - 1. You - 0.

"Wh-What happened?" you splutter, almost tripping again yourself on the path. You were rather unprepared for such a spectacular outburst this early in the morning, especially from the last person you expected to be bawling like a baby.

"I'm, hic, being, sniff, SWAMPED. WITH WORK. My nap time has, hic, been cut, sniff, a full one-hundred, sniff, PERCENT. DAMN YOU, OUGI-SAMA!"

Oh great, now she is angry. Not just angry-angry, but rampaging hawk fury-angry, uttering a string of curses and invective that is virtually unintelligible to you.


"Uh, no?" you reply unhelpfully.


And with that fateful battlecry, her ample heaving bosom revealed yet again, was Onozuka Komachi's thunderous raging fury sated...for now. Who knew she could be so polarized?

"Sooo...that bad, huh?"

"Gintoki," the redhead addresses you with uncommon, deadpanned seriousness, "when you have stable job some day, ya'll understand your Big Sis's despair."

It figures being a grown settled in adult was not all fun and games.
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"I take it this is Ougi and his cronies revenge on you all for shanghai-ing me out of Higan?"

"Yup. We're getting attacked on all fronts," Komachi snorts in a rather unladylike fashion.

In fact, her entire body language now is very "thuggish", sitting on her bed with one knee cocked up, as she leaned over aggressively, showing off even more of that nullible flesh. All she was missing was a smoking pipe or a fan, maybe some dragon tattoos, and your Big Sis really would look the part of a hard-boiled yakuza woman. Could she have been a delinquent in her previous life? Hmm.

"Not a good thing, right?" you hazard a guess where all of this was leading up to...and it did not bode well for your future.

"Nope. Judge Ougi's turning up the heat on us fast, and like it or not, we're gonna have to put you to work soon, tiger."

Ah, that's right; you were a provisional shinigami, which was part of the grounds giving you legal protection in Higan at present. Lose that and you'd have agents from Hell coming to deport you back in no time, so you can imagine.

"How soon, Machi-nee?"

"Coupla days, tops. You'll need to ask either Koenma-sama or Sikieiki-sama for the details."

Tsk, guess it was too much to hope you could take your time to get used to your new life in Gensokyo, but if the fates will not wait for mere mortals, then they were not obligated to play nice with gods, either.

"Hey-hey, what's with that? Turn that long face of yours up into a smile, sunshine~."

Eh? What was she smiling for like a big idiot? This was serious business here!

"C'mon, Gin-chan, what happened to that fire you had goin' just a moment ago?"

Well, that was before you dropped the whole weight of the big bad world on my conscience, Machi-nee.

"Wa ha ha ha! Don't mind; don't mind, ya silly tiger. Don't you know? A handsome tough guy like you isn't supposed ta worry about what happened YES-terday."


"Don't worry about where you've been; you need to look at where you're goin'~, Gin-chan. And if you don't like where you're going, then change it, fight it with all you got! That's a Man's way of doing things."

An awful straightforward philosophy coming from her, but you would not have expected any less of your surrogate elder sister.

"I think I've given ya enough to think about for today. Don't forget to give a holler to Koenma-sama or Sikieiki-sama, you hear? They'll be awful lone~ly, if you don't~, wa ha ha ha!"


System MSG: Hnn, it appears you are growing closer with Onozuka Komachi. In time and some effort, the both of you may realize a new understanding of the bond that ties your fates together.

Oh, and congratulations, you have just earned yourself... + 2 pts of Courage!

File 124717127179.gif - (42.29KB, 250x350 , 4101654.gif) [iqdb]
Machi-nee was not kidding. She had given you quite a bit to think about, adding another matter to an increasing backlog of things to consider, but with the pleasant enough weather and still many more miles to go on your trip, you decide to cool your head for now with a distraction. O-Reimu's "Surviving Gensokyo for Idiots" seems like a good source as any for some mild amusement, knowing her capricious manner, so do you decide to give it a go.


You are shocked to discover a literal wealth of information dictated in a severe, professional manner. Why this little book could pass for a full blown textbook! There are diagrams, charts, detailed drawings, and even definitions on the side margins. Gods, how long had Hakurei no Reimu labored to scribble down all of this "data" into a remotely digestible form at all?


Ugh. There is so much to learn...but you feel kinda smarter for giving it a go.

System MSG: Congrats! U. IZ. SMARTER. + 3 pts of Knowledge! Yes, reading books can improve your stats~.

Reading her book was not such a bad idea, though you feel a faint hint of motion sickness from trying to read as you walk. You make a note to attempt reading in a more relaxed environment another time, but for now, well, it was not all bad. You managed to learn some interesting information about the Human Village.

Kabukichou is actually quite prosperous and is divided into two districts: "The Entertainers", a low to middle class area, and "The Performers", home to the wealthy and influential members of the community. This "village" was all that stood between the lawless wilderness and human civilization as we know it. But make no mistake, there is a reason Kabukichou, the Human Village, is also referred to as "The Sleepless Town", for this is a paradise for vice and pleasure.

Yes, it was not exactly the model example of what human society could be, but when driven to extremes, the people may discover "funny" ways of coping with the grim reality of their situation. For the citizens of Kabukichou, instead of fearing the lonely terrible night, they decided to embrace it fully, reveling beneath the lunatic moon alongside their "alien" neighbors who could devour them all in a flash. Of course, the latter is not going to happen because the leaders of the youkai community realize they are very much mutually dependent on the existence of the human community.

So the youkai largely keep the peace and the humans keep the good times rolling! Indeed, the words of that beautiful ethereal woman from the rain the other day, concerning the clientele of her tea house, begins to make a whole lot more sense. According to O-Reimu's research, life in the Human Village is quite progressive, going as far as to elect a half-human, half-youkai individual as the Town Mayor, the top liaison effectively between both worlds melting into one another.

Kabukichou was very much a metasocial experiment on a scale unprecedented. It still has its growing pains, obviously, but the peoples of both worlds are learning to get along, more or less, and may some day discard the "Human" moniker from the village's name entirely. If there was such a place as a safe haven to start life over in Gensokyo, than Kabukichou was just about anyone's last and best hope.

That said, respectable work can be found in Kabukichou beyond the glamor and depravity. There are a number of messageboards scattered around town constantly filtering odd jobs, news, and requests, not to mention commercial businesses and "Mom and Pop" shops doing their thing. Gensokyo may be a sealed realm, officially, but there seems to be a youkai plus a human or three, making sure the economic bubble is growing at steady healthy rate. Of course, there are also more dangerous and lucrative ventures available, such as The Sweepers Association and those daredevils crazy enough to make a living in the subsidized fields.

Yes, the farming communities around the Human Village are all subsidized by the townspeople. It's dangerous and potentially backbreaking work, but mouths need to be fed, and someone has to go out there and run those fields. Otherwise, Kabukichou would starve to death, effectively. Money was not in short supply. Time, manpower, and that uncommon pioneering spirit (or almost foolish courage): these were the real bottlenecks to the Sleepless Town's continuing growth and prosperity.

After that, there was not much more to say. Everyone had a chance to make a name, a good life, or just about anything they wanted here, including yourself, as long as you obeyed common sense reasonably enough. For someone like Hakurei no Reimu, though, it was amazing to think she did not abandon Hakurei Shrine when such an alluring exit had been sitting no less than a few hours tops away from her home.

Truly, it was a testament to her character.


Ack! Now, you are thinking even more deeply than you were before. Damnation, must find a way to distract yourself... Ah, yes! Of course. Look at the sky, so blue and free! Hey, there, Amaterasu; lookin' good as always. Don't ever change you hear? Trees, brown and green, big and tough. The cicadas are "cryin'". Mother Nature is out in a pre-parade. Truly, you were in the swing of summer and...

Hey, now, is that...a white wolf, poking its head out from the brush?


Uh, it sees you, all right, and its stepped openly into view on the dirt road. Are those flowers blooming above its head? Hmm. Awfully happy-looking fella. It is wagging its tail high up in the air and letting its tongue roll out of its panting mouth. Could it be happy to see you? Ah, it's barking at you again. Funny, you swear it almost sounds female. Could it be trying to beckon you over?

What shall you do?


[] Approach the White Wolf
[] Beckon over the White Wolf
[] Refuse the White Wolf
[] ?????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

>[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)

>Commune - Rank B - An ability once common, though quite rare in more recent times, you possess the ability to converse and call upon the spirits of the realm. The kami are everywhere, for example be it in fire, earth, air, water, and void. Naturally, this also grants you some other unexpected talents, such as the ability to perceive the souls of the deceased.


[x] Beckon over the White Wolf
[x] Beckon over the White Wolf
File 124717678564.jpg - (354.77KB, 1280x960 , 26ed194f56c3aca2b713b318ee4c064d.jpg) [iqdb]

Anon. I ORZ to you. You are a friggin' GENIUS.
[x] Beckon over the White Wolf
[x] Beckon over the White Wolf
[x] Beckon over the White Wolf
Okay, folks, we got consensus. I'll try to get this schding done before I leave for the weekend. Hopefully, I do get to fire some HMGs this weekend or it's going to be long and boring as hell.
File 124719994673.jpg - (402.87KB, 1000x1200 , 4143729.jpg) [iqdb]

[X] Beckon + Commune

Current Phase: Morning - Sunny - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Like a Dream Come True", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 OST


For a fleeting moment, you consider approaching the White Wolf in the hopes putting yourself in the noble beast's paws to achieve some miraculous rapport of understanding. This idea holds water for all but two seconds before you machinegun the idea with all the scorn and disdain you can muster. Goodness, you were a god, a capricious, sentient man with wants and needs far more complex than any wolf would ever care to understand. It would never work out!

Besides, this particular wolf's behavior did not border on anything that remotely resembling the instincts honed by thousands of years of evolution you would observe in the prototypical apex predators. They knew better than to approach humans, much less alone! You had a hunch that this kind of behavior could only speak of intelligence far greater than that of its lesser cousins, and to prove your point, you had just the plan.

You beckon the wild hunter over, with no more than a "come hither" curl of your hand. A question mark actually pops over the White Wolf's head, as it cocks its head to the side with an whine, a rather human expression you have to say. You are not deterred, if anything the experiment is just beginning. Giving a good slap to your thigh, now you bend down and repeat your entreaty once more.

The wolf is evidently pleased by your intention, a chorus of musical notes chiming over its head, and gives a happy yowl before scampering over to your side. You, of course, have not been idle. In fact, you have been concentrating your spiritual sense on the White Wolf solely, honing you focus into a singular needle meant to thread its way through whatever mystic veil that hid the wolf's true nature and slip that deception right off it. If you were lucky, your guest would not even realize it.

Closer. Closer. And. Now!


A perfect cast, and sure enough, a fantastic transformation begins to unfold right before your naked eyes. Such is its majesty that your jaw drops in open awe as you cannot believe you did not sense this earlier. Truly, faith in the gods is not as it once was, if you could not even perceive your savior and cousin of sorts.

"Gin-chan~!" Amaterasu no Kagura calls out to you, "C'mon, scratch! Scratchy-scratchy! Scratch Kagura right under the chin, please~."

Aye, you comply dumbly at a total loss for words. The wolf goddess moans with the sort of pleasure that makes you consider the validity of your sanity. Yes, it was a pleasant surprise to see that one of your cousins was in the neighborhood, but the unpleasant surprise also entailed that they were in the neighborhood in the first place.

Just what manner of conspiracy was afoot here?

"Uhhh, Amaterasu no Kagura-san," you begin the conversation somewhat uneasily.

"Mm~mm~---yes---ahhhnnn~ that's the spot-aru---Gin-chan~?"

Okay, awk~ward! You are going to stop scratching her chin, now.

"Wha? Stopping already-aru?" Kagura yips in surprise. "But it was just starting to get good~ though...awww."

Wow, she looks positively bummed out for a wolf, ears drooping forwards and all complete with a pathetic whine. You actually feel bad for stopping, but if she can affect you like this in her wolf form, you would hate to see what manner influence she could dish out on you, if she had a human form. ...yikes, better not go there! Dangerous ground in that direction.

"Ahem, erm, what brings you out here, Amaterasu no Kagura-san?" you cough mightily in order to hide your growing blush.

Your line of questioning gets her attention, suffice to say; out goes her childish disappointment and the blazing discus upon her back burns with renewed passion, as she favors with a droll wolf's smile. It is remarkably human-like.

"Awww~, Gin-chan, you didn't know-aru? Kagura-chan's territory is right here in Gensokyo!"

Oh, great, she lives here. Now, you wonder if it is a good time to be paranoid because who knows if more of your cousins will decide to just drop by, say hello, and oh, by the way, they are moving in or were already living here in the first place!



Calm down. There was no reason to work yourself up into a frenzy over this. Kagura here saved your life. Yes, she was obeying the summons of your celestial sister, but if she had not answered, who knows what would have happened to you.

"Nice to know a familiar face in the neighborhood," you relax your suspicions with an easy smile, as you stand up.

Alas, it might have been too late. The wolf goddess is eying you with a look of her own, an unusual, keen intelligence flickers across those golden eyes so suddenly that you wonder if it was just a delusion on your part. Once more she favors you with that radiant, carefree "glow", but you wonder if you have done a foolish thing just now.


"So what brings you out here?" you try to move on nevertheless.

"Ah...oh, no! This is bad~; this is really, really bad~. Kagura-chan can't believe Kagura forgot-aru!"

As cute as it looks for Kagura to be chasing her own rather fluffy tail in a panic, you get the feeling it ought to be pretty serious if she is kicking this big of a fuss over the matter, at least you think so. It was time to take charge, kick butt, and maybe return a piece of the big favor you owe her.

"OI! Cool your head, spacecase!" you shout, and sure enough, it does the trick.

"Wha~? S-Space-case?!" she looks at you downright wounded you would say such a thing to her. "Y-You don't really mean that do you~, G-Gin-chan?"

"It got your attention, didn't it?"


Ho Gods, she really is one, isn't she?

"Just kidding. Promise. Now, why don't you show me, what's bothering you, huh?"

The white wolf goddess, immediately, beams at your amendment and is more than happy to comply.

"Okay~! Follow the alpha-aru!"

Hopefully, you were not too late to solve this brewing crisis.
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"...ze~," resounds the pitiable cry of humanity.

You wish it was not so, but now, you were regretting taking this detour with Amaterasu no Kagura. The location was not too far away from the roadside in a pseudo depression of sorts where the rays of Lady Sun penetrate through the canopy readily. Lo, do you behold the scene of this "ghastly" crime: the victim, a young girl about O-Reimu's age clad in black and white, her flaxen sunkissed hair a dead give away of her foreign heritage if the cut of her clothes was not enough.

And the culprit? A mushroom. It did not take a professional crime scene investigator to figure out what happened, judging by the prominent bite marks featuring into the discarded remains.

"Hey, hey, Gin-chan, is she dead-aru?" Kagura whines to you, obviously concerned.

"Why you ask?" you reply naturally, feeling an incredulous tic worming its way into your brow the longer you survey this scene of---stupidity.

"Well~, I don't wanna eat her and get sick-aru!"

Okay, correction: concerned for the "wrong" reasons.

"Our little idiot isn't dead, yet. Let's try to keep it that way, shall we, for both of our sake's?"

"Okay~, Kagura-chan'll leave it you then, Gin-chan."

Yup, definitely concerned for the "wrong" reasons; now, you are really kicking yourself for getting involved with this black comedy.

"W-Wa-dda, z-ze..." the poisoned girl whimpers in a pathetic delirium.

Oh, thank you, you unlucky Black and White. She has just effectively put you on the spot complete with an audience. Yes, you have water, but you are starting to feel a bit parched in the throat yourself. Kabukichou is still nowhere near in sight; your closest hope of resupply with clean, potable water. It is a risk, all right. Who knows how much this reckless runt is going to drink? ...though, it is a miracle in itself that she had not departed to meet her ancestors yet in the afterlife...from food poisoning no less. Maybe her case was not that severe?

Ugh, whatever shall you do?


[] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White
[] Take her with you to town, ASAP.
[] Why the hell were you obligated to help her in the first place?
[] There is a discarded basket nearby and a satchel on her person...Search?
[] You know what? Screw you, Ebisu. I am not playing this game!
[] ?????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[X] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White

Lay it on thick, and Marisa will eat it right up.
File 124721491093.jpg - (72.82KB, 811x900 , b1af0ec5aa999962151fb529987f1291.jpg) [iqdb]
The last updates made me smile really brightly today. I really like the scene between Anon and Kagura prior to meeting Marisa.

[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] There is a discarded basket nearby and a satchel on her person...Search?
[x] Take her with you to town if need be. You might not be able to help her if it's serious.
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
She's just having a bad trip. We should try to fix that. Even if the only memory about it remains as a hallucination, she'll remember a certain god's kindness.

[x] LORE (MODERN): Totally legal 'magic mushrooms' that can be mail ordered over the internet.
[x] Pocket the mushroom. Who knows when you might need it?
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.

Full divine glory. You're trying to gain an awesome disciple here, so just try to look your awesomest.
[x] LORE (MODERN): Totally legal 'magic mushrooms' that can be mail ordered over the internet.
[x] Pocket the mushroom. Who knows when you might need it?
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.


I like the way you think
[x] LORE (MODERN): Totally legal 'magic mushrooms' that can be mail ordered over the internet.
[x] Pocket the mushroom. Who knows when you might need it?
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] LORE (MODERN): Totally legal 'magic mushrooms' that can be mail ordered over the internet.
[x] Pocket the mushroom. Who knows when you might need it?
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
[x] LORE (MODERN): Totally legal 'magic mushrooms' that can be mail ordered over the internet.
[x] Pocket the mushroom. Who knows when you might need it?
[x] Nurse the Unlucky Black and White.
I'm-ma back, meaner and saltier than ever... We did not get to shoot shit...sure, did sweat and PT a lot instead. Not to mention the epic butt chewing.

But I digress. Anyways, uhh, damn, this is a tough call. As your semi-neutral GM, I know I should pick the first "choice", coming in at 6 votes roughly, but the second "permutation" is just...AWESOME.

Legal MAGIG 'SHROOMS!" Hmmmmmmmmmmm!

Okay, Modern Anons. You win that one, and expect a little reward out of that.
File 124758456634.png - (846.60KB, 900x900 , 47c3894320afb7629867ec4cfe8a4e23.png) [iqdb]



Current Phase: Morning - Sunny - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Ah Kimochi Warii, Futsukayoi da na Korya", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST



Well, all things considered, you do have an "Upstanding Guy with a Natural Perm" image to keep up, meaning ignoring the Unlucky Black and White was all but impossible now that the situation had been brought to your attention. The loss of your water was a small price to pay compared to the blow it would cause to your ego should anything unsavory have happened on your watch.

...wait a second? Unsavory? Something is---off---about this situation.

Gently, you roll the girl over onto her back, the motion dislodging her strange wide-brimmed hat to reveal, in fact, a rather impressive mane of barely tamed flaxen hair. If it were not for the Black and White's expression, you imagine you would have been very---very---distracted by her hair alone. There was just this wild beauty about it that sharply contrasted with O-Reimu's own "straight and properness", and, well, you wonder what it felt like...

Erm! But, yes! Her face.


Her friggin' face! W-WHAT in the Fortunes was going on here? This girl did NOT look ill in the slightest. Maybe uncomfortable at times, but by any stretch of the imagination, she was experiencing a complete psychedelic freak---HO MY SHOUNEN JUMP! KAKAROT SUPER SAIYAN LEVEL-

"DIDJA SAY SUM-THUN' A-MINE 'SHROOMS?!" the "Awesome" Black and White says in the biggest wheeze you have ever heard.

Fear of a kind you would care not to experience a second time grips your bowels in an instant, under fire from her mighty gorilla eyebrows, "Nonononononononononono---AND NO, GO~KU~!"

Thankfully, your platitudes are processed correctly, calming her down into a new phase of delirium. Yes, this was definitely an out of body psychedelic freakout of epic proportions. In fact, the symptoms appear to be quite textbook, actually, in accord to your oft-dreaming pool of prior knowledge, which now cedes you a most peculiar anecdote. See, in a world similar yet dissimilar to this one there is something called the "Internet", a tool for "communication" on a scale almost impossible to comprehend.

There was much potential here, and as is the nature of the beast, people found ways to make profit and merry on this 'Net. It became possible to buy and sell things, like in any farmer's market, including such "sketchy" products as totally legal "magic mushrooms". Oh, they sure had a "magic" to 'em, just not quite what ordinary people might think, and upon closer inspection... Why THIS mushroom DOES look quite familiar!

Hmmm, better confiscate it! Y'know, for public safety? Yeah, public safety! Besides, who knows when you might need it? It could be quite---useful.

As for the girl, thank goodness Amaterasu no Kagura had infinite patience, but it was better not to wear out your welcome. Trying not to pay too much heed to the Unlucky Black and White's incoherent rambling, some times lucid and other times hogwash, you handle her onto your propped up knee, like a wounded comrade. She is---light, for the lack of a better term. Then again, with your more than competent physique, it should not have been a terrible surprise, but you cannot help but marvel at the feat just a little.

You wonder how much more you can be? What you could achieve, if you set your mind to a goal? Hmmm.

Procuring your bamboo flask, which is still cool to the tough, fascinatingly enough, you pop the stopper and prepare to make the girl drink, when you feel eyes focus, intensely, on you. Golden eyes that were not Amaterasu no Kagura's, though that latter person seemed to be quite happy just frolicking around with a butterfly that just caught her attention. Buddha, you wonder just what kind of an attention span she really had...

Anyways, to the point...well, the Unlucky Black and White was looking at---you. She was seeing you for the first time, truly, so you thought, and that made things a little awkward.

"Uhhh, look, Little Missy," you manage to mumble out unconvincingly "cool", as your face reddens at the gravity of the situation. "This, definitely, totally, ab-so-lute-ly! Is. NOT. what you think it is!"

Fortunes, you were lead here! This little "happy" crisis was not any of your doing. You were an innocent Good Samaritan! Innocent! Really! S-Sure, it was an awfully dumb thing she did, but you can imagine that she was hungry and this sort of thing, that is gathering mushrooms was normal for her. Therefore, eating what she foraged for was not suicidal nor was it a dumb thing to do; it just so happened that the one she chomped on today happened to be another less than palatable species contrary to what the girl had expected.

You were not in any position to be criticizing her actions, considering you only knew a little common sense, that is do not go around eating things you do not understand-

"Ze he he he," chuckles the Unlucky Black and White, "D-doofy Kou~rin, Ma-Marisa ain't a kid no more...z-ze he he he!"



What the HELL!" She was not seeing you. She was seeing you for someone else! WHAT. THE. HELL, MAN?!
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A terrible vein pops visibly upon your handsome brow, an unusual anger throbs within, sending barely contained waves of indignation through every muscle and sinew of your being. Had you been just any ordinary joe-schmoe Watanabe---you might have been able to let a case of delirious mistaken identity slide. But guess what? You are not ordinary.

You are Yorozuya no Gintoki, a fragment of Izanagi no Mikoto, now the God of Hakurei, Jack of Jacks, God of All Trades, and the last thing a damsel in distress ought to be doing is comparing you to her favorite hubby (read: first crush or love), damn it! Yes, it speaks highly of this fellow's character, if they're the first ones who come to mind, when she is out of it completely. But you are YOU, and darn proud of it, too!

You were not going to stand for some innocent case of mistaken identity. Hell no! This airheaded mushroom girl needed to be corrected, with all the grandoise, epic, bombastic pomp you can muster: NOW.

(O-Reimu, please, forgive me, but I've got to---HEN~SHIN~!)

In a sudden blast of wind, an awesome spectacle ensues as your otherself answers the call, your thoughts the catalyst for action. This entire body whitens, not from color draining from you, but a rapid metabolism, all spent in one instant ignition, a spark, and the "shell" was shed, molting away into a shower of white glittering motes of raw power. Your augustness has arrived, a man more than a man, towering over mere men, larger than life, and the girl cradled in your presence was reduced to but a minor babe.

A look of jaw dropping bewilderment blooms on the Unlucky Black and White's face, for in a stupor or not, you were not a presence to be ignored so easily at point blank. But even as she gazes up at your glorious visage from within the comfort of your shadow, your vanity would not be satisfied yet. There was one more performance to be done and a deed to be finished.

Bringing up your arm, as if to flourish a fan open across your face, you begin another transformation. Your war clad augustness molts once more, but this time into "pink", dispersing into a fragrant, beautiful shower of sweet cherry blossoms to deposit yourself as the man god. A devil's smile, blessed by Benten no doubt and powered with all the sanguine charm you can muster, graces your noble countenance, cunning and inviting. Suffice to say, some country girl in a barely sober state had not the faculties to fight off such an overwhelming assault: a glittering, pink maidenly atmosphere blossoms at once, complete with stars and hearts.

The Unlucky Black and White struggles against the spell, trying to find her voice, and so do you strike, her lips parted, inserting with surgical precision the waters of life into that foul, naughty mouth!

"Oh, baby. Just. You~. Shut yo' mouth."

And for the coup de grace, your best David Bowie impression (whoever the hell that is, but, man, does that guy have a manly, sexy voice. ...not that you were GAR for him, you know?).

The result: complete and total swooning. The "Lucky" Black and White promptly passes the hell out, with a nosebleed?!

"AGH! These are my whitest whites, you know? AAaa! Don't bleed all over me, GAH!"

It seems she still had the last laugh in the end, all the while Amaterasu no Kagura was watching with a big yawn on her wolfen face.

"Aaa~-ah, you're so silly~, Gin-chan. Wakey, wake me up, when you're done, mmm-kay-aru?""


System MSG: Well...that was an...interesting encounter. Maybe you will have another chance to meet such a wild bunch? Hmm. Congrats! Gain: + 2 pts of Knowledge! + 1 pts of Understanding. + 2 pts of Expression.


After some haranguing, you manage to convince the wolf sun goddess to take the offending Unlucky Black and White to, well, wherever the heck she belongs. Your bamboo flask is, alas, contaminated with the latter's saliva, and you really do not fancy sharing an indirect kiss and all sorts of---cooties---with someone who managed to embarrass you, when she was out of it. Chock another face you do to your growing list of people you need to get even with one of these days.

In the meantime, your journey continues without further distractions, so do you arrive in the bustling heart of the Human Village---and damn, are you thirsty! Who turned up the heat? It is so blooming hot. In fact, it is so hot that you really do not take the time to account the many sights and sounds of everything around you. You are miserable: sweaty and starting to kick up a bit of a stink. Ew. Maybe sparing that water was not such a good idea, after all.

What ever shall you do?


[] Man up and tough it out...
[] Find some shade...ASAP.
[] Oh what the hell? DRINK.
[] ?????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[x] Find some shade...ASAP.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[x] Find some shade...ASAP.
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[X]Find some shade...ASAP.
[X]Body Language
[X]Skills (Commune)

Holy shit J to the E.
That update left me grinning like a fool the whole time.

Glad to hear it, R.I.M. This entire experience is just my way of setting myself apart from the pack by bringing you all a "For Reals with Heart, United States Marine Corps, Gintama, Persona, No Punches Pulled, Shounen-Everything", much like the real Gintama animu-manga sitcom. Our beginnings seemed pretty dubious and serious business, and there will be times for that, too, but trust me, we're here to have fun. Kick ass. And look good doing it.

And hey, even if we get lost, at least we still look good getting lost, right?

Anyways, looks this will do for consensus, so off I go to write. Hope you all enjoy what's coming around the bend next, and just think, we're not even at the SDM yet. Imagine how much more mayhem and tomfoolery we shall unleash in short order?
>>This entire experience is just my way of setting myself apart from the pack by bringing you all a "For Reals with Heart, United States Marine Corps, Gintama, Persona, No Punches Pulled, Shounen-Everything", much like the real Gintama animu-manga sitcom. Our beginnings seemed pretty dubious and serious business, and there will be times for that, too, but trust me, we're here to have fun. Kick ass. And look good doing it.

File 124761548998.gif - (77.50KB, 550x400 , 1715632.gif) [iqdb]

[X] ZE Shade + Charmingly + Manliness + ...Commune?

Current Phase: Morning - Super Sunny? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Ah, Yaccattanaa", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST 2


Kicking all reason to the curb, your body responds to a simple need for survival: shelter, and you want it, now. With a whooping cry at the top of your lungs, which likely drew a crap ton of attention, wanted or otherwise, you stick your hand straight out into the air. Like a hapless man groping his way through darkness, for your vision frankly was rather impaired and blurry (never a good sign), you proceed forwards in a stumbling off-kilter gait, hollering loudly to the shapes arrayed before you.

"Oiiiiiii~! Comin'~ through~! Beep-beep! M~ove it or lose it! Get outta mah wa~ay~!"

Suffice to say, you perceive the atmosphere turn disgruntled quite quickly. Not a good way to make a first impression, disturbing the public peace on your debut in Kabukichou, but this was a dag gone emergency. You swear you can feel your brain melting! Need. Shade. Now. And if someone lost their mind and tries to stop ya, hell, you're gonna beat the sense back into 'em, with interest!

That said, just fumbling around blindly was asking for trouble; you could not distinguish much beyond vague shapes, a whole lot of angry noise, a smattering of color, and light 'n' shadow, a sure sign you were in bad shape. But, hey, the shapes were staying away and you were far from being as blind as a bat. See, this is where you decide to fire up your good old spiritual senses, barking off "spirit waves" of that stuff in an arc right in front of you.

Yeah, you'd transmit and it would bounce back to you, painting ripples of artsy, out of this world shapes as burning out "echoes" into your vision. It helped to sharpen things up and... Wow, there is sure a lot of funny things you be seeing. The people, at least you thought they were just plain humans since they were the most numerous-


Whoa, there. What is this...feeling on your outstretched palm and fingers? Feels awful solid.

"Hey. Fool. That hurt," grouses a dangerous voice, disinterestedly.

What the? Hey, what's this...disgusting smell? Ugh. Bleh. Hard to breathe. S-Smoke?! Is there smoke coming out of this thing you're in contact with? Well, shoot, then you had better squeeze it all out, with great. FORCE!


Ha ha ha, we got ya now, Smo-

Suddenly, your world comes to sharp, painful focus as red explodes across your vision. Clarity and definition sears through the haze of your daze, much like the piercing burns you feel to either side of your throat that send you reeling, gasping for air, as you reach up for-

"I said, 'THAT HURT. YA DUMB BASTARD'!" interjects the voice---a man clad in black---vehemently.

The realization does not dawn upon you of your grave mistake, until a shattering impact, your world right side up, right side wrong, and then right side up again in a flash. Ouch! Did...did you just get thrown to the ground, like a judo throw? Crap, your whole body feels like broken glass, the sun beating down, your vision playing the funny blinking lights game, as you struggle to breathe at all. And oh, is there a lot of comprehensible noise coming to your ears now in a rapidfire torrent:

"Hey, did you see that?"


"It's Hijikata!"

"Who's that poor thing?"

"@#$%! The Demon of the Shinsengumi!"

"Ha, sucks to be him!"

"Looks like Toshi-chan's 'bout ta get his-self a new chew toy, fu fu fu..."

Any further contemplations are put on hold promptly by a leather-clad foot landing on your guts, making life very, very uncomfortable. A strangled cry escapes your lips but admirably you manage not to make any sudden moves that would cause you to have an unappreciated and totally premature visit to Higan, the reason for being plenty obvious: your field of view catches the glint of something---shiny. Traveling up a pair of impeccable matching black pants, part of some uniform to a smoke cloud up above, you ears hear it before your eyes see it; a katana sings through the air and its fang point whips about, hovering just centimeters from your face.

And as for its owner, still standing with a cold look of apathy, he stares down at you from an upturned chin, as if inspecting a mere insect!

"Hnnnhh, a new face, huh? Good: you have the right to remain silent, fool. Anything you say can---and---will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney be present during questioning. If you can't afford one, one'll be appointed for you. Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth, Mister Wave Man?"




"WHAT?!" you blurt out in disbelieving outrage, ignoring the deadly weapon all too uncomfortably close. Sheesh, hasn't this guy ever heard of the phrase---"Not in the face"? How inhospitable some people can be.

"Basically, ya dumb bastard? One, shut the fuck up. Two, I don't give a damn if you got not a single zenny to your name. Do you understand me, dirtbag?"

Holy Zen, was this guy serious? Y-you...you were being arrested?!

"For what?!"

"Aa~a, getting right to the point, huh? Simple. Disturbing the peace. Battery. Assault. Assaultin' a police officer. And, I don't like your silly fake perm face, O-Ronin-san."

Wh-WHAT THE HELL!" Th-This can't be happening. Y-You just got here, dammit!

"Oh, and by the way, I'm Captain Hijikata Toshirou, Vice-Commander of Kabukichou Police Department's Special Taskforce Shinsengumi. Understand?"

Holy Sweet Buddha, what are you going to do?


[] Resist Arrest...NOW
[] Bide your time...a chance will come?
[] I want a LAWYER...NOW.
[] Distraction <Write-in>?
[] ?????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[X] Resist Arrest... NOW.

[X] LORE (HISTORY) - Abuses of police power
[X] LORE (MODERN) - Abuses of police power
[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens

Assholes like this aren't going to be intimidated, and we don't want to start busting out lethal force around here. The alternative, therefore, is to publicly shame him by calling him on his bullshit while at the same time casually avoiding anything he throws at us. Defeat the enemy without raising your hand, you see?

I suppose it could work, but it's more than likely that he commands more fear than we can counter with our natural charms on such short notice. We're still an unknown here.

...But, being as though I can't think of anything better at the moment other than running (which would be boring and cowardly)...

[X] Resist Arrest... NOW.

[X] LORE (HISTORY) - Abuses of police power
[X] LORE (MODERN) - Abuses of police power
[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens
[X] Resist Arrest... NOW.

[X] LORE (HISTORY) - Abuses of police power
[X] LORE (MODERN) - Abuses of police power
[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens

What the fuck just happened?
Hnnn, well that's three for three. Y'all really sure about this? I expected a little bit more initiative here, considering this rather "happy" ambiguous situation I have created.

Eh, I think, I'll wait for one more or so.

Oh, as for the WTF?! Anon...trust me, you do funny things when you are dehydrated, which you guys are doing now, definitely. If you don't like stuff like this happening, consider the choices I give you, think it over and the consequences that could happen, man up, and let your voice be heard. We are here at present time because we followed Serial ATA's lead.

I await, eagerly, your decisions~.
[X] Distraction: Offer him the mushroom we just picked up.


Seems a little high-strung, hm? Let's have some fun with him. I bet he doesn't know that mushroom you're carrying is "special".
Changing vote from >>90499 to:

[X] Distraction: Offer him the mushroom we just picked up.

[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens

As a policeman, he might know a psycho-shroom when he sees one, but based on the writer's input...

>>Oh, as for the WTF?! Anon...trust me, you do funny things when you are dehydrated, which you guys are doing now, definitely.

...We're probably not in adequate condition to be eloquent, let alone physical. This might just be our best bet; it doesn't take much to convince (or evade) a man high off his ass.
[X] Distraction: Offer him the mushroom we just picked up.

[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens

In fairness, this might have something to do with your voting threshold. This board moves slowly, and the first few votes after an update in almost any story are generally less insightful than later votes - those who like to think over the situation before voting aren't as impulsive as those who don't. A three vote threshold gives the advantage to less thought out votes. Don't get me wrong, it works great for fun little stories that (at one point, Gensokyo Man) update(d) quickly, and are mainly for fun, like YWUiG, but if you're hoping for well reasoned responses, I recommend increasing your vote threshold to five, maybe even seven votes.
[X] Distraction: Offer him the mushroom we just picked up.

[X] If necessary...
- [X] KATA: Thundering the Heavens

Hopefully, he's stronger than he is smarter...and will mistake the 'shroom as a peace offering.
File 124769189861.jpg - (473.53KB, 700x887 , 4847283.jpg) [iqdb]


[X] Distraction + Mushroom + CUSTOM

Current Phase: Morning - Super Sunny! - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Dorobou wa Dorobou Demo Koi Dorobou sa!!", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST 2


The idiom "between a rock and a hard place" seems to be quite fitting for your present situation. You were thirsty, hot, sweaty, and a bit delirious quite frankly, so having a katana hovering in your face was not really having a salutary effect on your health. In fact, you did not appreciate the bedside manner of this officer of the law, either. That said, he was the guy with the "loaded gun" per say, as it would only take a half breath stroke for all that Nihon steel to ruin your day, permanently.

Resisting arrest in a conventional manner does not seem particularly productive, considering Officer Hijikata just made it crystal clear he did not like you. But hey, you could not expect everyone you meet in the long escalator of life to be taken by your presence, eh? Yeah. It was a tough situation, and desperate times call for an unusual genius.

...A wicked idea has just come to fruition in your mind.

"Whoa! Whoa, there, Cap'n-dono. Aren't we getting a little hasty here, Hijikata-kun~?" you begin your counterattack with the faintest hint of patronizing disdain.

For a sharp dog of the law like Hijikata Toshirou, the slight did not go unnoticed. As if waking from a stupor, his eyes flash like steel, and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, a palpable cool fear creeps up your spine, like hands crawl their way up to muscle a grip on the back of your skull. Yup, this guy was dangerous all right, and not someone you should be thinking of tackling at less than a 100-percent. Still, it was do or die time and you were not about to hesitate now, when you already have one foot into the bear trap, waiting to spring.

The building crowd of curious by-standers does not help, either.

"Huuuuuhhh? Wha' was that, dirtbag?" the Shinsengumi Captain drawls languidly at you.

"Look, I think there's been a misunderstandin' here, you under-stahnd me, Officer?"

"A mis-understandin', you say, Ronin?"

You flash a predatory smile and begin to subtly sign in the malleable dirt as you speak. Let's hope this dog in black was a bit smarter than he looked; just a bit...

"Yup, a big~ mis-under-stanhnding." Hey, dumbass! You're blowing my cover!

By some luck, the dark-haired man definitely picks up on your unspoken, his eyes hardening even more.

"Oh, for real now?"

"Officer, don't you know fellow's with natural perms are Nice Guy's by birth? C'mon, I wouldn't be playing with you." Look. I work for you, and I am deep, deep, deepass undercover. Do not screw this up understand?

"And what kind of a nice guy goes around groping people, huh?"

"Pfffffttt! Hey, it's exactly that kind of talk that starts mis-under-stahndings, you know?" I've got the goods. Cold, hard evidence. Right on me. It's the raw stuff, though, but best I can do for now.

"So you're a pervert, too, huh, you nasty thing?"

You cannot help but redden at that scandalizing statement; still, you carry on without missing.

"Whoa, there, Dono. Aren't we gettin' a little intimate here at sword point? Tell you what, lem'me refer you to my attorney-at-law; I got her card right here." Don't stab me in the face, ya hear? I'm reaching into my satchel now to get it.

The Demon of the Shinsengumi simply waits and watches, puffing away at his cigarette, as you reach into your satchel. For a moment, you consider trying to grind up the "magic mushroom" and throwing the stuff at him, Ninja-style, but considering how his cold eyes are inspecting very minutely---that plan does not last long, sliced to shreds. Still, retrieving the item carefully, you reach out to hand off the shroom to Hijikata.

The policeman takes the bait and his eyes widen in disbelief, as he holds the little psychedelic surprise up for closer inspection. "What. The?!" he mouths, forgetting his cigarette altogether, the white cancer stick slipping from his gaping mouth to bounce dangerously close to your face on the dirt. Disbelief that blossoms quickly into rage, an uncontrollable fury that needs an outlet, an expression.

Hijikata Toshirou seethes with unspeakable red-faced anger, the wind blows causing his jacket to billow theatrically, as he crushes the magic shroom whole in his palm. All just as planned; you smile gleefully for a visible mist of particles bursts out from the crushed shroom, a property you were aware of well in advance, but---unfortunately---failed to mention to the good officer. And, oh! did he just take a whole breath full of the stuff?

Ex~cellent, fuu fuu fuu.

"GURGH!" the Demon of the Shinsengumi coughs violently, stumbling off of you in a daze. He swings his sword wildly, causing the nearby spectators to back away or outright scatter in a big hurry, like a flock of birds dispersing into the air. It does not take long for the uptight bastard to be brought low to his knees, his proud katana clattering emptily to the dirt, while you stand up, absolved and free at last.

You consider for a moment just waking up and pinching him in the cheeks, giving them a good like a shake before going off on your merry way. Seriously, Hijikata Toshirou looked completely vacant and dumb.


Still, a parting shot was in order before you made good your escape, for someone was bound to have reported this incident already.

"Sweet delusions, Hijikata-kun~. That was my best stuff, so you sure as hell owe me---four ryou the next time we meet. Toodles, dawg~!"

Time to disappear...

File 124769198437.jpg - (181.96KB, 567x800 , ae8f35a2d16e523bd90a997b5c2dcefb.jpg) [iqdb]

System MSG: Well, that was a pretty slick escape. Guess your pack rat instincts paid off. That said, expect there to be consequences in the future...heh. You did have plenty of witnesses there. In the meantime...

Congrats! Gain: + 1 Courage. + 1 Expression.

Hmm! Interesting! It appears you are very close to achieving a new level of Expression!


...that said, you do not manage to get terribly far before collapsing yourself; the adrenaline rush from your close call with the Demon of the Shinsengumi having worn off. Mercifully, you bungle into a secluded alleyway and there appear to be no efforts to follow you, but who knows where furtive eyes may be lurking and watching your flight? Bottom line, yeah, your dehydration was hitting you hard, now. If someone happened across you, why you would be quite ineffective at stopping them from doing whatever the hell they want to you.

O-Reimu was right. A god you were but this mortal manifestation of yourself had basic fundamental limitations just like any mere man. Blast, you do not even have the strength to bring out your bamboo flask at this point.

How miser-


"OW! THAT HURT!" you cry out at the sudden numbing pain in your side, forcing you awake from the veil of lethargy that threatened to put you under into unconsciousness. Fortunes! Don't people know of a nicer way to wake a body up? Like, how about a bucket of ice cold water, huh? HUH!"

"Ah, how jolly convenient," says a man's voice with a hint of bemusement in an usually cultured accent, "looks like you're still here with us, Mister Silver Perm."

Of course, you crane your head towards the owner, who thankfully made your job a little bit easier since he was kneeling right beside you. Damn. When did this guy get here? Glasses. Silver hair but not as awesome as yours. Tall; should be about your height, though. Kinda exaggerated traditional clothes and...boots?! Then again, you wear boots, and that Hijikata fella back there was wearing decidedly Western fashion, too, so maybe the Human Village was not as backward as you expected. Hell, it would explain O-Reimu's choice in footwear, as well. ...though you have to wonder who is supplying all of this modernist fashion to folks around here.

"By the way, smashing good work you did with that son of a git, Toshirou. He is a solid bobby but a bit highstrung and lacking in the niceties department, if you know what I mean, chap."

Well, it is nice to see you have a fan of sorts here, but could not he be doing something better than shooting the breeze? How about...duh. Doing the Good Samaritan thing, eh!" EH?! How about that?

Alas, you do not have the strength to voice your incredulous anger, so you settle for groaning grumpily.

"Ah! Where are my manners? Morichika Rinnosuke, a humble merchant of some eccentricity, and goodness! do I have an excellent offer for you, my man."

A merchant, huh? Well, get on with the sales pitch then before you pass the hell out by Bishamonten's mercy.

"I will aid you free of charge, for you are a man desperately in need of water and shelter, clearly to my discerning eye. All you have to say is 'yay' or 'nay'. Using body language is permissible, and fear not, there are no strings attached!"

Damn... You swear, you can feel tears coming to your eyes. This snazzy bastard. He is a real pal! Isn't he? Isn't he, yeah?

"So what do you say? ...I could bugger off and abandon you here to the Dibbles---that would hardly be a gentlemanly thing to do between new acquaintances, mind you---but a choice is a choice, even if you chose nothing at all."

CAUTION: What shall you do?

[] Accept
[] Refuse
[] ?????"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[x] Accept
[x] SKILLS (Commune)
[x] Accept
[x] SKILLS (Commune)

Why not?
[x] Accept
[x] SKILLS (Commune)

Since he's half-youkai, maybe commune'll do something?

Machi = Texan
Kourin = British?
>[x] SKILLS (Commune)

Use you skills more judiciously, Anon.

Second, we should probably introduce ourselves between we make our decision, since he introduced himself already.

[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, inheritor of the divinity of the Izanagi no Mikoto, and now resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, inheritor of the divinity of the Izanagi no Mikoto, and now resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] ?????"
[x] ????"

Mystery option!
Otherwise good, but consider the following:

>>"Yorozuya no Gintoki, Jack of Jacks, the God-of-All-Trades. There is no job our Gin-san can't do. His real name? Fu fu fu, that's a secret only His miko-sama will ever know."

What Reimu said pretty much implies that we should keep this whole Izanagi thing under wraps. Wouldn't want to upset the red-white after all. Therefore, we should amend the write-in slightly:

[ODIN] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[ODIN] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[ODIN] Accept
- [ODIN] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"

Good point.
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
[x] "You are eccentric. I don't dislike that."
[x] "My name is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new resident deity of the Hakurei shrine. You can call me 'Susan' for all I care, just so long as I can get a glass of water as quickly as possible."
[x] Accept
[x] SKILL: LORE (Modern)
- [x] Comment on his contemporary clothing: "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing Timberlands round here. Where did you get them?"
File 124778982861.jpg - (120.27KB, 326x443 , 3525344.jpg) [iqdb]

[X] Accept + Lore: Modern + CUSTOM

Current Phase: Morning - Super Sunny! - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Dura Janai Katsura daaa!!", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintama OST


To meet such a fellow, truly, the fates of men are bound together in strange ways, and oddly enough, an equally quirky strength begins to flow in your august helplessness. Speaking is not impossible, though you probably only had a few moments of good air time left in you. Yeah, it was starting to get really dark and heavy...

"H-Hey. For the record? You are eccentric," you rasp dryly at the bespectacled man. "I don't dislike that. For starters, at least it shows you were raised right, unlike---some people---I could name."

"Jolly, though I wonder about that sometimes," the bemusement is evident in his chuckle.

"My name, man, is Yorozuya no Gintoki, new---friggin'---resident deity of the Hakurei Shrine. Ugh... You can call me 'Kintama', for all I care, just so long as I can get...a glass of water, as quickly. As. ...possible."

You did not quite catch his witticism after that though, since the "screen" just blacked out---along with you.

Translations: Kintama - "Gold Balls", "Golden Balls", "Gold Soul", "Golden Soul", and of course, "Scrotum", "Ballsack", and "Balls".


A learned, wise man once said, "When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered: the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory." Smell conjures the most vivid and powerful of memories from our pasts, with such ease as to be magic. For you, this is true as well.

Green tea---tamaryokucha, a fine Nihon green tea blend. Tangy, berry-like and with an extra after kick of almonds. Cold or hot. Always appreciated regardless of the season. Smells like life in the wild: citrus, grass, and berries.

Yes, it takes you back. You can just imagine yourself, like it was yesterday, sitting on the porch of in the shade of summer day and enjoying the passing clouds in that blue yonder. You were not alone, of course. Hell, you seemed to be the type who was surrounded by people, whether invited or uninvited, regardless of the hour, but today, it was just you and---her. She-!

A sharp pain in your sinuses returns you to wakeful alertness in a hurry, sitting upright abruptly, with an empathic oath. Naturally, you reach to favor the bridge of the your nose, closing your eyes shut, which defeated the purpose of your well-meaning reflex entirely. Had you been in an inhospitable situation, the consequences could have been---unpleasant.

Present company though seemed to be delighted to see you had come around at last.

"Cheerio, ol' chap, nice of you to join me at last. Tissues are on the table, by and by, so I entreat you, humbly, not to bleed all over my floor, please?"

That snazzy accent and that cool, cultured voice; it must mean only one person.

"Morichika Rinnosuke?" you say aloud, taking in all present before you.

You are in a cozy room, seated in a worn but comfy recliner (definitely a Western innovation) by a low coffee table, windows closed, blinds are down, and---your feet are wet and cold(?!). Looking down to confirm, sure enough, your feet is resting in a bucket of water with some ice, while your black boots sit off to the side, much like their opposite number in a grayish-white cut. You note a peculiar insignia on the leather finish before popping up to meet your host's poised gaze. Oh, and let's not forget the two cooling cups of green tea sitting on the table with a side dish of rice crackers, too.

"I will say, it is I, Yorozuya no Gintoki-san. A-mazing, no?"

Man, this guy pulls out all the stops. He really must have been raised right. That said, encouraged by the atmosphere, you feel the need to strut your stuff too, and what better way to begin than with another witticism? Indeed, something is already coming to mind, aided by a tip off from the vast seas of your memories, thanks to that little insignia just now.

"Hmm, and I'll say this, man," you begin with an upraised eyebrow, "Nice kicks. I haven't seen many people wearing---Timberlands---round here. Where did you get them?"

Rinnosuke brightens, immediately, with an flabbergasted expression. Shock that soon transforms into a different emotion altogether; he seems to be on the verge of leaping out of his chair in an incredible high of jubilation, his shoulders trembling, the words tumbling out of his mouth in excitement.

"B-Blazing cool! Y-You. H-How did you know, chap? Are you for sure an Outsider? Or a Visitor?"

An Outsider? Visitor? What does he mean by that?

The silver-haired merchant is no dunce in the finer points of mano-a-mano talk and catches onto your confusion quick. "Ah bugger! Forgive me. Of course, you are newly arrived and would not know of such terms in the local lexicon. Allow me to elucidate: simply. Outsiders are from beyond the Hakurei Border, but---are from our World! Visitors are a different matter altogether."

A different matter? Why?

"They are---extraordinary individuals to say the least, some who fit the definition of a youkai while some are something else entirely, like my foster parent and soul father, Sir Mad Jack Churchill. He is still legendary around these parts, for example he still holds the record of the only flesh and blood man to ever wrestle an Oni and choke out the super fit bird with his bare hands!"

...Uhhh. Damn. That IS a pretty impressive feat. A mortal wrestling an Oni into unconsciousness? That is no easy feat. Speaking of which, hey, you are feeling a lot better, now! Where the hell are your manners?!

"Ehhh, Morichika-san?" you interject sheepishly. Thankfully, you interrupt before Rinnosuke has a chance to ramble on about something awesome. You would hate it if you missed out on more arsekicking stories about his soul father because you got wrapped up in your own thoughts. This Mad Jack guy just sounds---EPIC. In fact, you get the feeling you should know him from somewhere too.

Mad Jack Churchill. Agh. You'll try to figure out the details later.

"Yes?" replies the bespectacled man, cooling off in a flash. Wow, he seems to have an iron handle on his emotions. "Oh, please, do help yourself! And there is no need for such formalities in my home and office; you may use my first name."
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R~ight, the tea and the snacks! How could you forget that too? And...dang, he is pretty laidback about propriety.

"Th-Thanks and thanks."

"Two words of thanks, Gintoki-san?"

"I am feeling better, Rinnosuke-san, and---err---I'm amazed these buckets of ice water are actually doing the trick."

"You pick up a few knick-knacks when you are as old as I am. Towels are underneath our chairs, by the way."

Ehhhhhhh? Why is he assuming he is older than you? Well...technically, he is---but you have got crap tons of experiences too! ...You just need some stimuli to remember them...

"Speaking of which, do you mind keeping myself company for a tad bit? Worry not---you are safe here in the interim, chap, though I would not recommend showing your face in Kabukichou for a few days, give Toshi-chan some time to cool his flaming head off, see?"

Well, you have an errand to run, but you do not see why you should not at least return this man's good will in kind. He did save you and seems like a pretty interesting character to know. Besides, you just recovered from a fainting spell. You sure as hell are entitled to take a breather and enjoy the hospitality while the going is good, if Ebisu is going to keep dicking around with you like this for the rest of the day. That snarky bastard.


"Ace!" he cheers, bringing a fist to his chin. "Hmm, how about this? We were but strangers moments ago and now partners in crime, effectively, so why not get to know each other a bit? Give and take?"

Sounds reasonable enough...you think.

"I will be frank, Gintoki-san. I am, particularly, interested in the statement you made and the knowledge you displayed but a moment's ago that no Local, save close friends of yours truly, would know. An Outsider may know the latter, but the former... Gin-san, my most humble apologies, but I find it hard to believe that there is new resident deity at Hakurei Shrine, for is that place not the land of the God of Hakurei, hmm?"

...Oh @$#%! You just screwed the pooch there, didn't you? And...holy crap. Creepy. REALLY CRAP. Did the lighting in here just change or something because last you checked it was not this dim and moody. And when did Rinnosuke's glasses become backlit?! GAH. IS THAT THE GENDO POSE?!

"Please, take your time, Yorozuya. Remember: this is not an interrogation. Only give and take. ...Do refrain from being a manky pillock, commerce and appraisals may be my profession, but I was seen to quite right and proper to be more than just an ordinary merchantman. Try'n me to the point where you vex me. Would not be. Terribly. Smart, you get me?"

What are you going to do?

CAUTION: Choose...

[] Let's go fishing~!
[] Nope; not going to play Ebisu's game!
[] Leave...NOW.
[] ???"


[] Honest Abe
[] Hey, I got "special" circumstances, you understand?
[] Shall I string you along?
[] ???"

And / or (OPTIONAL)

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[x] Nope; not going to play Ebisu's game!
[x] Honest Abe

Uhhhh, Anon, you're kinda contradicting yourself there. My bad if it's unclear what the "Not gonna play this game" option means, but suffice to say, you're NOT going to play 20 Questions with Kourin if you choose this.
[x] Stand up. Chastise this wayward--and somewhat uppity--soul: "Do not pretend to intimidate me, mortal: I may be 'new', around these parts, and to existence in general, but I've met beings on orders of magnitude more dangerous than yourself, not the least of which includes, my friends, the yama Sikieiki Yamaxanadu and her shikigami Komachi Onizuka, grilled in court by the son of the great High Enma, fought the guardian spirits of the bed of the Hakurei Land God, a moment ago, an incarnation of Amaterasu herself. And of course there is also O-Reimu-san. For someone who trades in information, as I presume you do, you should know that browbeating and insinuations make for poor currency--not even worth the cost of a glass of water. And as far the majority of Gensokyo is concerned, does it really matter? Let them form their own ideas."
[x] Sit back down and resume your normal form. Excusing him if he apologize. "Your suspicions are not entirely inaccurate. I have 'outsider' knowledge because for eons I slept beneath the Sanzu river, and wile the circumstances are unclear to me I started to tap into the memories around me. I was cohering with other lost souls at the bottom of the muck, so much so that we fused into a single entity possessing a multitude of individual souls. When the Court heard of this, they were appalled such a thing could happen, summarily executed 'me' after running a kangaroo court, by rending my spirits apart. Quite luckily my own soul in particular was of divine stock, which allowed to go back into existence immediately rather than await reincarnation. That's really all I can say without endangering my help and the employment of some certain friends."
[x] You will not tell him your about your name change.
[x] "So in the spirit of disclosure, who are you Morichika Rinnosuke? And I don't mean your height, blood type,or your occupation: What are you?"

Want to hear about half-youkai from a half-youkai.
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Going for this, since we need to have some stuffs clear to avoid being interrogated further. And is it just me or is the thought if Kourin going GENDO at you is as scary as it is?
Shit I forgot my password to delete this.

After reading through the posts, I just realized that this isn't the regular Kourin we're dealing with. This is Morichika Rinnosuke whose foster father is a certain Churchill who had singlehandedly wrestled an Oni (and won). Certainly we don' want to see our baby God defeated by this half-youkai? So we may not want to resort to transform & intimidation for now.

In that case:
[x] Nope; not going to play Ebisu's game!
[x] Hey, I got "special" circumstances, you understand?
[x] SKILLS (Diplomacy)

Not exactly my best shot, but eh...
>This is Morichika Rinnosuke whose foster father is a certain Churchill who had singlehandedly wrestled an Oni (and won). Certainly we don' want to see our baby God defeated by this half-youkai?

Roa-level FABULOUS as the hero and the rival engage in Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling? That would be an awesome fight and you know it.

Besides, this Kourin seems to have a paternal attitude toward Reimu. He should be wanting to beat the shit out of us. It is only after the groom proves he's willing to fight to protect his bride that the father will relinquish her hand in marriage.
Anon, please, don't make me cry. I need votes so I can write~! T_T I needs to write~!

You really need to learn how to act before posting here. Quit it with the smilies and the tildes.
[x] Nope; not going to play Ebisu's game!
[x] SKILLS (Diplomacy)
>>90735 And you my anonymous friend are a douchebag of craptacular proportions. Who died and made you the Etiquette Nazi Police? Last I checked there was not a big sign posted somewhere on THP that has a list of do's and do not's, unless you are insinuating this does exist somewhere on IRC. I obviously don't visit the IRC, so I wouldn't know.

Still, at least I got your attention didn't I? Just as planned.

...All right, folks, looks everyone had an off day today. Ugh. This ain't going to be pretty but---votes locked! It is going to be an epic frankenstein. Brace yourselves, now.

First of all, you're being a real douchebag there. That anon was trying to tell you about how people act across (almost) all *chans, or generally all imageboards.

Secondly, stop trying to make the IRC look bad. It's an incredibly childish move and you should feel ashamed.

Third, you're really overreacting to what that one Anon said. Please try to improve your behavior before trying to speak to someone.
It pains me to say this, but Anonymous is right. There are unspoken rules of etiquette here, as there are with many internet communities. I'm not condoning the way >>90735 brought your attention to that, but what did you expect? As the writer, it's up to you to be the bigger man and roll with this sort of thing. Otherwise, your threads will suffer for it.

Also, you may actually want to consider giving the IRC a try, as many of the more experienced writers frequent it. Just throwing it out there.
Okay, ladies and gents, after a big discussion in IRC. I realize I was ignorant and wrong. I apologize for the disturbance and my bigoted behavior.

Now, continuing with writing.


SYSTEM ADMIN: Incoming wall, and don't sweat we'll probably start a new thread soon.
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[X] Nope; not gonna + Circumstances + Reason + Charm

"I would intimidate you, Kokuujin-san, but your father wrestled an Oni...I think shall reconsider."

Current Phase: Morning - Super Sunny! - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Drebin 893", Metal Gear Solid 4 OST

P.S. For future reference, folks, do not attempt to use Skills / Feats you don't have. It does not help you other than as a panacea, and your GM isn't as scatterbrain'd as he appears to be, seriously.


For a moment, you imagine that the normal knee-jerk reaction in this sort of crisis was to bluff your way out by virtue of intimidation, maybe ceding a few truths here and there, but the main goal would be to take control of the situation in your favor. If you were that hot-blooded and bellicose, you would have done what was the run of the mill. However, you are far more insightful and cool under pressure than some might believe, and so do you see the plain and simple ruse behind Morichika Rinnosuke's words.

But in good taste, you were not going to call him out for it for this was the court of gentlemen; did not mean you were not to going to verbally harangue him a little bit. That sharp, posh jerk.

"I have to say, Rinnosuke-han," your composure shifts lazily to that familiar devil-may-care demeanor, "isn't that an aw-fully intimate question to ask? Just. Awful."

The merchantman's expression is unfazed but the faint coloration of his cheeks is damning evidence as any of his scandalized embarrassment. Your brazen choice of words seemed to have hit a spot.

"See here, are not you and I: bumbling hapless fugitive and willing interested accomplice?"


"I am not saying I won't tell you, ever, but my trust is not something so cheaply given away, and so do I value the trust placed in me by others. I will NOT. Betray. That trust."

Rinnosuke's raises a brow, certainly having not missed the slight hidden and visible in your statement.

"Here's what am I going to do, man, so perk up them ears and listen up, you hear?"

You flash a feral toothy white grin.

"I'm not telling you jack squat, but I'll make an offer a gentleman like yourself possibly can't refuse~, eh!"

"Jolly. Humor me then, Gin-chan," he replies blithely, the harsh light in one of his glass lens' winking out all of a sudden to reveal an eerily cool and collected gaze.

Dang. That was cree~py, but you cannot afford to miss a beat.

"My friendship. Sounds like a reasonable trade, don't you think so? You saved me and myself being an honorable, upstanding nice guy (the natural perm gives it away by the way)---I owe you one big time, and you seem persistent enough that you are never going to let me live it down, if I just waltz my happy self out the door."

Rinnosuke reaches up to adjust his glasses, reestablishing that abnormal backlit effect in them once more. You really hope it is just a trick of the light and not some form of power that he commands at will.

"So how about it?" you offer your hand, but an odd stroke of inspiration curls it into a fist instead(?!). "This way you have the perfect excuse to learn what you want and come drag me out of the Shrine, whenever you're bored. We'll be civilized gentlemen even after the fact you put a fist into my face. ...Seriously, not the face, okay?"

You are rightly astonished when Rinnosuke replies wordlessly with the appropriate response for "The Brofist". Where the heck did he learn that, or is this another unexpectedly contemporary development in the Human Village? Either way, he seems quite pleased with himself at your obvious reaction.

"Fancy that? It appears the two of us fine blokes seem to have more in common than I expected, Yorozuya no Gin-san."

Hey, hey, who gave this guy permission to shorten your name like-!
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"Thou art I... And I am thou... Thou has established a new bond... It brings thee closer to the truth... Thou shalt be blessed with the Faith of the Heirophant Arcana."

...J-Just now. That voice! It-it couldn't be! You and this posh guy had become friends, just like that? No FRIGGIN' WAY! It was a delaying tactic. A delaying tactic!

"My, a-mazing, I say that is a sour red face if I ever saw one. Did something in-teresting come to mind, Gin-san?"

Well, it was a good thing he took you up on the offer; in fact, you should be breathing a huge sigh of relief. That feeling of deadly seriousness just moments ago has evaporated completely, like a shortlived perfume, easing you back into the genial coziness of the hour once more. But...it was embarrassing! There was no way you liked this guy and felt that bond with him just like that and he was cool with you, too. No way it can be that easy to make friends.

...but That Voice doesn't lie. Shoot, right now, you are feeling even better than when you left the Hakurei Shrine this morning. Could it mean...you actually think this eccentric passive-aggressive merchant was "cool", too? Are you turning tsundere!" NO. WAY.

Suddenly, Rinnosuke busts out laughing, which snaps you from your reverie, the gregarious rhythm drawing your ire at once.

"What're you laughing for, eh? EH!"

"Y-You...pfftt-huhuhuhu...should see---your f-face!" he breathes deeply to calm himself. "M-My apologies, but your expression was unusually honest. Something interesting---nay---amazing did happen just now, did it not?"

...H-He knows? That's crap. How could this guy you only met some thirty minutes prior see things about you that even you did not comprehend yet? Bull. Just bull.

"Che, you wish, Kourin; you wish," you growl back at him.

The man blinks, processing your statement, before beginning yet another around of laughter.

"H-Hey, four eyes! What's so damn funny this time?"

"B-Blimey goodness gracious, ah ha ha ha! You, too?"

"What are you implying by 'me too'? HUH!"

"Ah ha ha ha, that girl, how uncommonly insightful of her. 'Make friends who you can call by nicknames even when you're old men-ze.' I think this is the start of a memorable friendship, Gintoki."

WH-what!" Just "Gintoki"?! No -san or anything? What the hell! Even Machi-nee hasn't talked to you like that yet... This. This smooth posh bastard! H-how dare he steal your first "Say my name!" moment? It should have been a girl. Oh, Kourin, bro...you are going to pay for this with an epic prank---wait a second here...

Kourin. Kourindou. Morichika Rinnosuke. A "that girl". ...Could it be?!

"Hey, Rinnosuke-han," you deadpan with a dreadful sinking feeling in your guts.

"Hm?" he cocks his head aside, the gesture owl like and deepens your woe even worse.

"Would you happen to know a gaijin girl? Blonde-hair. Golden eyes. Wears black and white. Carries a broom?"

"Why, of course, I know Kirisame Marisa, The Ordinary Witch," coughs Rinnosuke, though it fails to mask the beginnings of a smile, which then transforms into a full blown frown. "...What happened?"

Curse you, Ebisu! It was all according to your plan along, huh? Just as planned. HUH?!

"Don't worry," you sigh dejectedly, "she should be safe tucked into bed at wherever she lives by now."

Like a switch being flipped, the bespectacled man is all smiles and good cheer again. Was this a sign of his trust or something else entirely?

"Fantastic. I hope she did not trouble you too much? Marisa can be a handful at times, but she is a good lass."

...What the? First name basis?! ...On second thought, you would rather not know why at this point of time; in fact, now seemed like a good time to be on your way, too.

"Fabulous," you say turning your attention away to devour a whole bunch of rice crackers before washing the knot down in a hurry with the lukewarm tea. Rude: but it sent a good enough message as any.

You are surprised though to see Rinnosuke finishing the very same feat himself when you focus to him again. Fortunes, this posh fellow was full of surprises was he not?

"Anyways, it's been real, but I've got to go."

"Been real, you say, ol' chap?" he says to you, just a touch addled by the expression. Guess he was not quite up to speed to all things "Modern" and "Hip", hmm?

"Fun. Cool. That sorta thing, you know? But yeah, unlike some divine figures, I actually work for a living. The jack of all trades in my name isn't just for show, you tracking?"

"Firing on all cylinders."


"Then, in the interest of good faith---between newly found friends, may I offer you a courtesy?"

"A courtesy?"

"Follow me, my good man."
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System MSG: Congratulations, you have established the Morichika Rinnosuke Social Link of The Hierophant Arcana - Rank 1.

***A new Quick Travel location has been added - "Kourindou ~ Kabukichou Branch".

Presently available Quick Travel locations are: The Hakurei Shrine, The Human Village of Kabukichou, and Kourindou ~ Kabukichou Branch. Please travel, wisely, as using this feature may cause the user to miss out on daily or special encounters on the road. Certain encounters, though, may only appear on this feature. One last word of warning: Special circumstances may apply, e.g. severe weather, that make this feature unavailable for use. Good day.

BGM Load: "New Days", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 OST

After taking care of a few common sense items, you follow Morichika Rinnosuke's lead into the adjoining halls, carrying on a simple conversation of no particular importance, though you do learn the location of this particular place. Funny, how he walks through his own home with his boots on and such, then again, he did say this building was also his place of work, which had a decidedly Western influence to it, e.g. there were no shoji or fusuma panels at all. Ducking through a pair of curtains, you soon arrive at a lobby area with many shelves, drawers, and of course, a counter for the store clerk where he was accompanied by a porcelain maneki neko (lit. Beckoning Cat). The Fortune Cat stares out drolly at you, though you cannot help but shiver a little at its gaze. If it had something to do with money, you bet Ebisu was hanging around.

Buddha, does that guy have it bad for you or what?

"A belated welcome," Rinnosuke begins in a grand theatrical voice, drawing your attention away from the agent of your archnemesis, "to Kourindou, Emporium of Antiques and What-Have-You's, Kabukichou branch, to which I am proud to say I am CEO, president, manager, stocker, and sales clerk. We also provide branch offices near the Forest of Magic and the Bamboo Forest of Lost, open almost all year 'round!"

Now that he has your attention, you cannot but marvel in wonder at the merchandise of his store. Antiques and What-Have-You's? Goodness, this place was an overflowing treasure trove of contemporary goods and paraphernalia! How did Rinnosuke get a hold of all this stuff?

...though something had to be said about his lack of organizational skills. His inventory was just piled up all over, pushed aside just to keep a barely polite space for curious customers or himself to move around in.

"Ah, I know what you are going to say," Rinnosuke interjects, adjusting his spectacles which give off a peculiar sparkle then. "Pardon me if my homage to your fine self is a bit off, but... 'Da~mn, man! When was the last time you cleaned up this junk hole?'"

Damn. Score another one for the eccentric merchantman.

"I might not have used those exact words, but not bad. I'll give it a three out of five."

"Trust me, ol' chap, I have tried and failed miserably all thanks to my---supplier."

Holy crap! His glasses just did that creepy backlit Gendo Effect (what the hell is the Gendo Effect?) thing for a second there.

"Uh, bad shipping?"

"You can say that, but we digress," he clears his throat and dives right back into his presentation with all pomp. "As you can see, we offer a variety of goods. I can guarantee they are of the finest manufacturing, personally, but aside from what your eyes perceive, we at Kourindou also offer---other services."

"Other services?"

"Yes. For example, we can transport you instantly to any other Kourindou branch office at sixpence chance; a courtesy for our loyal customers."

Instant travel? That could save you a boat load of time, not to mention get yourself out of town without being seen.

"Also, we are proud associates of Kabukichou's very own---The Sweepers Association, a troubleshooting organization that deals in the mundane, the occult, and the extraordinary---matters of which I also provide consultation for. I am a licensed Agent and my ears are always trained for the latest contracts and news. I can render medical assistance, provide temporary room and board, and I have a special stock set aside just for Sweepers, which with the proper clearance you can gain access to, as well."

Ah, it figures he has secondary income to support himself.

"That all said, if you are looking to earn a little petty cash, I also offer my own requests, which concerns my stock."

His stuff? What is going on here?

"Psst," Rinnosuke hisses beckoning you to come closer.

You obey for obviously he had something to say that he did not want others to hear. Man, this guy is sure working hard to ingratiate himself to you fast. Was that a bad thing or a good thing?

"Truth is, ol' chap, I know the name and purpose of everything I own...but."

"But?" you had a bad feeling about this...

"I have not the faintest bloody clue as to how they work! Ah ha ha ha, jolly good, eh?"

...the slap of your palm to your forehead is understandably of epic proportions.

"Oh, Kourin..." you groan stepping away from the foolishly grinning man. Goodness, if Ebisu needs a vassal, Rinnosuke was his go-to-guy for sure. "You know it's not good business to sell things to people like that?"

"Come now, ol' chap, I say I know how most of them work, I think. You cannot go wrong with womenfolk's frilly, lacy underthings or a sword now, can you?"

The...the nerve! Wh-what the hell!?
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"Ah ha ha ha, ahem!" the bespectacled man composes himself, fixing you with an open smile, "So, where would you like to go? Safest and quickest way to get out of town, I assure you. Better yet, this time it is free and on the house. Oh, and just for the record, since we are going to be good ol' chaps, I will give you a five-percent discount on all services I offer. I say I can even imagine increasing it as we do more business in the future, you get me? I will also be happy to refer you to the Association."

Dang. He is really trying hard to accommodate you. Guess it really was not a bad thing to get involved with this posh fella, even if you two came awful close to doing something---unpleasant. A job offer or two. A referral. A quick way to get around. A place to lay up overnight and get yourself patched up too, if necessary? A guy to talk to about the paranormal, the supernatural, and the ordinary? And...err, his friendship.

You suppose Ebisu did not shaft you, after all.

"Man, you're pretty all right, Morichika Rinnosuke. If you want answers, you might just get them one of these days."

He smiles simply.

And it is not soon after that you arrive at the front doorstep of Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic Branch, after making sure your water supply was ensured (rather not have another fiasco again). The journey was---sudden, to say the least. You would rather not describe or recall what happened just now at the moment. It will definitely take some getting used to... More importantly, your present locations puts you right at the edge to the arcane and strange woods, even without reaching out with your spiritual senses, you can tell there is something powerful and overwhelming at work here, far greater than yourself.

The wood is alive. It would not be wise to go wandering through here on foot without a sound plan. Who knows what lurks in the colorful gloom, deeper within?

As the last stop and sign of human civilization to the Forest of Magic, you praise Rinnosuke's wisdom at opening a branch of his store here, which sits on the side of the only cleared "road" leading here. A basic rudimentary thing that you can see even now the efforts of Mother Nature to reclaim the craggy stretch of dirt. Though you have to wonder how he deals with the darker denizens of the wood encroaching upon his business. You get the feeling that just telling whatever youkai, whom call this place their lair, to go away will be easier said than done. Having to fend off attacks on a regular basis and fix up his store could not be good for his wallet or his health, after all.

Anyways, recalling what the fantastic merchantman told you, if you take the road away from the wood, it would lead you back to Kabukichou in some hours time on foot. Going the other way, the road will eventually deteriorate into a rough trail where you will come upon split, just like O-Reimu said. To the left, the high road lies the den of "magic" and danger, while to the right, the low road is the way to Misty Lake and your ultimate destination.

The path to Misty Lake, of course, was not completely free of risk either, so did Rinnosuke warn you. Youkai from the forest like to visit the streams and creeks there as a watering hole per say, not to mention there were a lot of "fairies" and "sprites" about that could prove detrimental to your health. Reason for? The latter likes to swarm in groups and they think nothing particular of what they are doing, for it is like a child's game to them.

Not that they were evil or bloodthirsty by any stretch of the word. They were simply the blessed ignorant children of nature, not knowing of death or to human common sense. Fight or flight: the best tactical decision was up to you. Don't think it a blow to your pride as a warrior and a man if you decide to cut and run for quantity could be a quality of its own.

Now, what shall you do?


[] To the low path! Onward to Misty Lake and the Mansion of the Scarlet Devils!
[] To the high road? And whatever danger lies?
[] Go back inside Kourindou; Browse!
[] Back to Town?
[] ?????"

And / or...

[] Full speed with all haste!
[] Tactical Advance.
[] This is a Sneaking Mission. Sneaky-sneaky.
[] Take it easy-ze~!
[] ?????"

This was an excellent update. Superb even. I was afraid the mashup would eventually get too hokey, but you keep it fresh and seem to really know your way around dialogue and narrative.

As for the route:
[x] To the low path! Onward to Misty Lake and the Mansion of the Scarlet Devils!
[x] Take it easy-ze~!

As for preparation:
[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with the full strength of your divine aura and do not call, but announce your presence to the animals, fey, and nature spirits of the forest. Their reactions would be telling as to what kind of presence local gods have in the area, for good or worse.
[x] COMMUNE: Feel for the directions in which high concentrations of elemental kami are located, and while walking occasionally reach out to the movement of forest creatures like fey and animals. It would be prudent to know who and what is watching you.
[x] LORE (SHINTO): Tale upon tale is told of the wandering monk and the malign spirit out to trick him. Remember well the lessons passed down when dealing with the wild.
[x] LORE (SHINTO): If you are attacked, retreat to an area with a large concentration of the type of kami most likely to aid you against your foe.
[x] LORE (ZEN): Since your divine aura is as a barge leaving a wide turbulence in its wake, ir may be best to hide the pilot, but still allowing some degree of observation to changes brought. Adopt humble posture and a placid smile, while walking count prayer beads while reciting the mantra: 'Empty your boat.' If are approached by anything, do not pay it overmuch attention, smile, nod, and walk on.

This is a combination of learning the lay of the land, familiarizing ourselves with nature and familiarizing nature with us, as well testing the waters with our Zen skill.

Plus it would suck to have to be blasting fairies every time we pass; gods don't have time for that shit. Aura projection and communing may bring us to a guardian beast or a minor land god, whom if we defeat may grant us control of the territory, or if we diplomatize, give us safe passage.

As for the 'empty your boat' thing:

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.

Seconding the fuckhuge write in.
[x] To the low path! Onward to Misty Lake and the Mansion of the Scarlet Devils!
[x] Take it easy-ze~!

As for preparation:
[x] COMMUNE: Reach out with the full strength of your divine aura and do not call, but announce your presence to the animals, fey, and nature spirits of the forest. Their reactions would be telling as to what kind of presence local gods have in the area, for good or worse.
[x] COMMUNE: Feel for the directions in which high concentrations of elemental kami are located, and while walking occasionally reach out to the movement of forest creatures like fey and animals. It would be prudent to know who and what is watching you.
[x] LORE (SHINTO): Tale upon tale is told of the wandering monk and the malign spirit out to trick him. Remember well the lessons passed down when dealing with the wild.
[x] LORE (SHINTO): If you are attacked, retreat to an area with a large concentration of the type of kami most likely to aid you against your foe.
[x] LORE (ZEN): Since your divine aura is as a barge leaving a wide turbulence in its wake, ir may be best to hide the pilot, but still allowing some degree of observation to changes brought. Adopt humble posture and a placid smile, while walking count prayer beads while reciting the mantra: 'Empty your boat.' If are approached by anything, do not pay it overmuch attention, smile, nod, and walk on.
[ ] >>91008


Blessed be the anon whose inspiration crafted this monster.

[ODIN] That write-in
[x] this write-in of the gods
File 124822073776.jpg - (443.36KB, 800x600 , 5255177.jpg) [iqdb]


[X] The Low Path + Take it Easy-ze~ + Custom

"I'm on the Boat! I'm on the Boat, @#$%!."

Current Phase: Morning - Getting Sunnier! - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Shinen", Toshio Masuda - Mushishi OST


A normal person might have just trooped into the foreboding Forest of Magic, steeling but his or her will and wits. You, on the other hand, are struck by inspiration of a passing breeze, sending a chorus of rustling through the canopy of leaves. Thinking clearer, you decide to pause a moment and take shelter in the shadow afforded by the awnings around Rinnosuke's antique store.

See, a little meditation before taking a stroll into the heart of madness and intrigue was never a bad idea, not to mention it would help take your mind off this blasted humidity. True, you did not have prayer beads on your person, but if willing a bit of your divine self to produce combs and umbrellas was possible, than a little thing like this was an easy enough trifle. Black lacquered beads in hand, so do you begin, parking yourself crosslegged and leaning back against the wooden side of the building for a literal plunge into the metaphor.


There is no great surprise that there is a lot going on in the sea of your waking mind, thoughts and matters that cry out like mewling puppies and kittens. The pitiable noise would be unbearable to most laymen but you have a profound answer that no one else, who has ever practiced meditations, possesses: a universal remote. Volume down. Hear that?


And it's golden. Awww, aren't those poor little buggers so cute? Yes. Coochy-coochy-coo~! Yes, they are.

So are you able to find a little of Zen amidst a roiling sea of want and need, and reaching through the furry critters, you pierce the frigid waters to produce a wet soggy scroll. The ink is runny and the paper fragile, never mind there is a kitten batting at your ear and a puppy tugging at your trousers. You can imagine this is fairly typical of everything else that comes from your memories, even if this is your first official visit here. An optimist would think there would be something intact and wholly consumable from the get go; well, this was the best you were going to get, and it was not complete waste either.

This is indeed a rare scroll, illuminating on matters of wisdom common and uncommon. For starters, tale upon tale is told of the wandering monk and the malign spirit out to trick him. Mother Nature is not your friend. In fact, she is quite indiscriminate, so it would behoove you to remember well the lessons passed down when dealing with the wild. That said, being out in the wild was not necessarily to your disadvantage, for if attacked, you could retreat to an area with a large concentration of kami, hopefully of the helpful kind, to aid you against your foe.

Compelling them to help you though was going to be a different story altogether.

Abe no Seimei you were not, even if you were a god. Comparatively speaking, the legendary onmyoudou master would be the one compelling you to help him, and in your present humble beginnings, it would be extraordinarily difficult to refuse him. So what ought to be done then? Zen perceives an answer.

The townspeople likely did not notice your faith, for even yourself had to put forth an effort just to "see" Amaterasu no Kagura; however, there was a chance Morichika Rinnosuke noticed it. His rather intent inquiry seemed to suggest so, though he did not remark openly on the matter. ...Hnn, could he be an extraordinary human himself like O-Reimu? Or was he...something else?

Well, the point is, since your divine aura is as a barge leaving a wide turbulence in its wake, it may be best to hide the pilot, but still allow some degree of observation to changes brought and about. It is an awfully ninja-like thing to do, but the sutra written upon this scroll does not lie, so sayeth here:

"[i]If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Cross the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you."

File 124822079734.jpg - (569.29KB, 1024x768 , 5032462.jpg) [iqdb]
System MSG: Congratulations on the Epic Write-in, gents. You have gained the Sutra "Empty Your Boat" - Effects: + Stealth, - Awareness, - Speed. Essentially, you have divine "Stealth Camouflage" for a limited duration. Complex actions will reduce your "invisibility" time and make you more visible, too.

Also, gain: + 3 Knowledge!

You awaken, standing on the path once more. You know what you must do, and so adopting a humble posture and wearing a placid smile, you begin your walk, counting the prayer beads, as you recite the manta: "Empty Your Boat".

The effect is immediate and sudden. One moment you are breathing formless air, the next you are embraced in cool water. It is everywhere, soaking you to the bone, and invading every pore and orifice in your body. The shock is so great that your composure nearly breaks, your gag reflex spitting foaming bubbles of breath into the fluid. To your knees you are brought; however, your character is strong enough to push through the shock.

Count. Recite the word. If you are approached by anything, do not pay it over much attention; smile, nod, and walk on.

Many a heart wrenching moment passes, as you fill your lungs more with the waters of life that giveth and taketh away. An ordinary man would have been dead, but to one blessed as yourself, a bizarre miracle occurs: you are "breathing" water. The realization strikes you with a euphoric awe. Certainly, you are no fish or kami of water, but here you were living as they, with no detriment to your health, other than your clothes and body being utterly wet.

More fantastic, perhaps, is the transformation of the world around you. It was not so much just the Forest of Magic, but all of Gensokyo has been sunk into the vast blue realm of Ryuujin, god of the sea, and father of the mythic beauteous Otohime. Here, Lady Sun's rays diffract and reflect as if through a crystal, granting a faint shimmer to all in its light. Movement, of course, is rather difficult as it felt like literally you were swimming; in fact, a few test kicks revealed you can even begin to "soar" right off from the muddy ground.

Alas, you cannot ascend very far for the effort required is quick to tire you out. Your diligence nearly breaks but you manage to recover by the skin of your teeth. It appears complex and strenuous actions are not recommended while you continue to use this sutra. On the bright side, you would not have to worry about being thirsty or sweaty in the meantime.

The wood awaits and so do you eagerly approach.

Suffice to say, it is a long, difficult journey. The going is slow and tedious, not that the water is encumbering but it is you who is encumbering. Everything about you suggests of a being not meant to exist in water. You are weighing yourself down, but not only that---your perception has been altered for the worse. As a being made in the image of humans, you are a creature highly dependent on his sight and it has suffered greatly. Your vision waters and shortens, details are poor, causing you to catch snagging roots and misjudge steps, blunders that nearly cost you your "stealth" quite a few.

Smell was useless and your touch had become numb and lazy. The only thing that seemed to have improved greatly was your hearing, which magnified the rhythm of your bungling wake and the constant humming ambiance to annoying effect. It was frustrating to be here, but the alternative could have been much worse.

See, some harrowing hours ago, out of curiosity, you decided to test "the waters" by reaching out with the full strength of your augustness to announce your presence to all who may be inclined to listen. The effect was at first beautiful because for the first time you were able to perceive what you were: a burst of silvery light sings outward from your person, diffracting some to produce slivers of rainbows. Like a drop of water onto a still pool, it sends out ripples in all directions, bouncing off all it touches to produce even more, creating unexpectedly a resonance.

It was not long after when things got ugly, a tremor, shocking and visceral, more powerful than any earthquake you have ever experienced. Along that sheltered creek bed, shallow and sporting odd crystalline growths you had seen here and there, did they appear all at once: fairies and youkai, bounding and soaring through the water. The former were anywhere from pint-sized little things to full grown children; innocent and pretty, some clothed and some naked as the day of their inception.

If they were the beautiful, then the youkai were the fugly. Beasts, man-things, the grotesque, and all in between. They took their likeness from just about everything you could think of, including particularly terrifying amorphous clouds of hair, teeth, and eyeballs. And, to no great surprise, the two hosts upon spotting each other in force happily came upon each other in a macabre battle of annihilation that you escaped by the skin of your teeth. Many a time a colorful danmaku bullet, sizzling searing hot bubbles through the water came close to striking you or a flying severed limb, pooling violet ichor in its wake like an ink stain, almost clipped you.
File 124822083418.jpg - (49.20KB, 480x640 , 70bb5f898818ac8168cc8c53668076a1.jpg) [iqdb]
The denizens of the Forest of Magic were moving as if the sea did not even exist! Dangerous. Frightening. All you did was try to say "Hello!" and this was the kind of reception you get? Damn. Were there no gods in this place? It just did not seem possible, not that you yourself understood how sacred lands come about...but this forest, it must be one.

Why do you think so? Well, despite almost being potentially killed, your curiosity was not satisfied yet. You wanted to feel for where the elemental kami resided in this harsh wooded land resided, and well, see if there was anything "normal" that managed to eke out an existence here. It would be prudent, you know, to know who and what is watching you.

The answer was---illuminating and unpleasant. Your probe was only able to discern but a small fraction of the Forest of Magic's majesty. You admit you do not exactly understand what the word "magic" entails, but if what you were witness was "magic", you were a believer, truly. The density of energies and entities here is beyond your ability to comprehend. In fact, by stretching out to your furthest extent, the resultant resolution became next to useless, while a short ranged sweep was just as invariably defeated.

This phenomenon escapes every conceptual knowledge you understand in Shinto. Aye, the power vested here was even greater than in the sacred land of Hakurei. It would not be wrong to describe it as---unnatural, an imbalance in the Celestial Order, and you hate to imagine what manner of force or forces could be responsible for the Forest of Magic. Adding further evidence to your growing fears was an utter lack of any animals, period, and you begin to worry that these crystalline formations might not be so benign or dormant.

It is with great relief that you greet the thinning of the tree line and the wide open smile of Lady Sun, taking your growing worries away. You have arrived at the shores of Misty Lake. Such is the euphoria of the moment that you drop the masking veil of your sutra, sparking yet another bizarre transformation.

Suddenly, you are picked off your fleet, as if caught in the flow of a mighty river. Caught by surprise, you are helpless to in any way control your "flight" in the rapid, churning waters carrying you closer and closer to the shoreline. The result is predictable and unpleasant for you driven into the mud like a body board, as the water recede overhead, pressing you down deeper into the all natural muck. When all is said and done, you come to spitting and coughing violently, with a fusillade of curses directed at everything and nothing; your raging cries carrying well across into the misty gloom.

Aye, misty, like it's name sake, for Lady Sun's rays have not dispelled the veil of vapors from last evening's storm. A great sneeze from your person alerts you to your miserable state of affairs: your augustness has been reduced to a mucky, cold, shivering mud monster. The Laughing God, at least, only thought it in good sport to only "butter up" your front and not the back.


Fortunes, you had better not come down with a cold. ...Oh wait, if you were wet, then it means your precious bentou made by O-Reimu's hand was ruined, unless the lacquered box had extensive waterproofing.


"@#$% YOU, EBISU!" you cry in mournful indignant fury.

Yes, today had taken a turn for the worse, just when things were looking up finally, too, AND were those a pair of juvenile female legs you spy sticking out of the water?! WHAT!--They're twitching"--THE HELL!"
Now, what shall you do?


[] Investigate...
[] Oh, Hell No! You seen this in a Horror movie before! Moving on, NOW.
[] Politely, ignore it. Not your problem, Yes-siree! Let's go find some where to clean up and dry off.
[] Search around for the shortest crossing and a sign of the Mansion.
[] ?????"

And / or...

[] Up close and hands-on~!
[] Prod them legs with a stick! The longer the better!
[] Throw some mud at them legs.
[] Ogle them legs. H-Hey, are those BLOOMERS!"
[] ?????"

[x] Investigate...
[x] Up close and hands-on~!
[x] Ogle them legs. H-Hey, are those BLOOMERS!"

Why the hell I picked these is beyond me.
This comment is a little late, but...
[x] Investigate...
[x] Up close and hands-on~!
I can think of two possibilities:
1) Cirno got her head stuck in the mud under the water.
2) There is a giant frog just below the surface, and it has consumed Cirno's upper half.

...And, to be honest, they're both about equally likely.
[x] Investigate...
[x] ??????

Well, looks like the Investigate and stuff option wins. Will commence with writin'.

By the way, just putting this out there, is everyone cool with starting a new thread as soon as we hit SDM? The thread is getting awful long in the tooth, if ya know what I mean.
Better safe than sorry.

I like to see this, as well.
File 124831865471.jpg - (490.84KB, 1146x1618 , 30773d012d04e0d2e6372144e9da5b33.jpg) [iqdb]


[X] Investigate + Hands-on + Oogle / ?????"

"Doesn't this remind you of Lake Placid?"

Current Phase: Noon - Overcast - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)


You would slap a palm to your face, if it were not for the fact it would cause an unpleasant sensation compared to the usual relief of expressing your exasperation. Try as you might, you fail to convince yourself that this is a hallucination. Blink: nope, those legs are still there sticking out of the murky water, reflecting the overcast cloud above. The distance is negligible, roughly ten yards wading into the shallows from the shore, which should only leave the waters coming up to your thighs...assuming the rest of the body is intact.

@#$%! Why must you have these sobering macabre thoughts now of all times? This was not your problem! You had no obligation here other than your own stupid sense of---karma. See, if someone else were to come across your rotting carcass one of these days, you would at least like them to return the karmic favor and give your corpse its proper last rites. Not to mention, as Buddha no doubt reasoned out, it was the right thing to do for the common good.

Corpses rotting in water can poison the whole stream ecosystem. It might not be a big deal for the supernatural creatures, but animals and humans, vulnerable by association and / or dependency, could not afford such a risk. That said, it was not exactly polite to write this girl child (your best guess judging by the length of her legs) off for dead yet. You would not appreciate people doing that to you, either.

So, somewhat sheepishly, you stride into the murky water, icy to the touch just like O-Reimu warned you, and filling your boots up with all the dreadful stuff. Fortunes, you really need to take measures to dry yourself off, but what to do about clothing? What you wore on your back was all you had and calling upon your otherself to preserve your vanity did not seem like a particularly smart idea, after the pains you took to come this far undetected, relatively.

Worse comes to worst, you suppose you may have no choice but to impose upon the youkai who lived across the lake in that mansion. Hopefully, they were somewhat hospitable and civilized folk, if the Red and White saw it fit that they needed to be delivered a copy of the spell card rules and a personal letter from her. ...ugh, you hope the documents somehow miraculously survived the "drowning" you went through, because you do not fancy the proposition of another crazy trip up here so soon after today's experience.

If it was this hard to get here on foot during the day, you worry just how much harder it is going to be in the evening to return---home. Home, huh?

Ah, but you digress. This moment was hardly the time to be getting nostalgic, and sure enough, you have stepped within reach of the pair of legs. The water is thankfully as deep as you expected. Looking around, the vegetation does not seem particularly out of the ordinary: water cress and cat tails. As for the individual, you can see no signs of trauma. The hem of a blue dress and, erm, partially soaked white bloomers confirms your suspicions that it is indeed a female.

No air bubbles coming up from the water...not a good sign. Come to think of it, is it not awfully disturbing that this lake just feels so quite? You swear, the only thing adding to the stillness around here is the splashing and roiling caused by your movements, and it is downright dreadful. Keh...damn was it just you, or was the water around this corpse especially colder than normal? Even the air feels chilly.

Fortunes, those ten yards back to the shore seems a lot further than it did a few minutes ago, but it is too late to turn back now. You are committed; might as well finish the job, right?

"Ebisu, man," you breathe in surly resignation, "I swear by the slush freezing up the crack between my hindquarters that you're going to pay for this some day."

Your dissatisfaction expressed, you then set about the unsavory task, wrapping your hands around both ankles (wow, this kid's not even wearing sandals or anything) and---an unspeakable chill runs through your limbs and straight into your spine, setting off a multitude of alarm bells in your head. You have not even pulled-
File 12483188718.png - (23.08KB, 300x450 , 4145611.png) [iqdb]

BGM Load: "ZONE TIME", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4


The explosion catches you full at point blank. One second you were standing, another flash---you are airborne enveloped in blistering agony and defeaning fury, and finally in an aching heartbeat, you are driven flat to the dirt, staring up at the clouded sky. Chips of something blue and crystalline is raining around you, along with slivers of water and clumps of dirt. Grass. Mud-

Ughhh! Fortunes, your insides, your flanks, your hands, and face...! So many cuts. It feels all on fire, but the worst has to be your left side, just right where your ribs are... Hurts just to breathe... Che, it's burning like mad! And---and there is blood in your vision?

What. The. Hell. HAPPENED!"

Wait, there is another sound you are hearing. Like wet chunks of flesh, and...oh gods, what is that @#$%-ing smell!" It is terrible. And hey, did some of that meat just slide of your face? It's... It's warm, fresh. Bone? Blue-green blood. What in-

"Ah ha! Ha ha ha ha! Serves you right, stupid lago!" a girl's voice cuts through the ringing din in your ears.

Frog-lizard? A salamander? That would explain the fresh gore and crap around you. ...Holy crap, some of that stuff is frozen in ice, and---there are little icicle fragments, like shrapnel, buried in your right arm. Why is your left not responding?! Who did this to you?

"Who is Ji Strongest, huh? Cirno-chama, the Ice Fairy is, stupid frog-lizard! HA HA HA!"

Cirno. Ice Fairy. Ahhh...it all makes perfect sense now.

You sit up. Not exactly the smartest move, but the growing furious outrage within your being allows you to push through the pained protests of your wounded body. The scene around you is that of carnage, beautiful and deadly: the gore you already knew about, but now you see all the little damn icicle shards littering the place. Your side throbs, drawing your attention down to the wound, visible through your shredded clothes.

It's bad. You can see hints of bone peeking through the muscle and torn flesh. No wonder your left arm is bloody paralyzed. Ugh, a normal would have gone into shock from the blood spurting out from the wound and died a dreamless violent slumber, but you are made of tougher stock. Damn, this is what you get for being a thoughtful public servant? Some karma you have...here.

Growling angrily, you grab a fistful of your yukata and smother the bleeding wound, before fixing your cold thundering gaze on your oblivious assailant.

The little fool of an ice fairy is laughing and pirouetting about in the air without a care in the world, singing inane praises about her mighty feat. How she was swallowed nearly whole by the "lago" before tearing herself free from the inside out. Damn stupid---NINE. Someone could have been killed!

CAUTION: What shall you do?


[] Get the Nine's attention...NOW.
[] Swallow your pride and anger: a little HELP, please!
[] Limp away and nurse your wounds; there will be a reckoning...later.
[] ?????"

And / or...

[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ????"

[x] Limp away and nurse your wounds; there will be a reckoning...later.

It's unsightly getting cheapshotted by a fairy, even more unsightly raging about it.
[x] Limp away and nurse your wounds; there will be a reckoning...later.

As much as I want to see Izanon reprimanding Cirno for what she has done, the current situation forbids us from doing that, not when we sustain injuries that need to be attended.
[ ] Get the Nine's attention... NOW
[x] Wait, you're better than this.
-[x] Channel Rinnosuke. "Pardon me, gal, but I do believe your rousing exhibition has left me bleeding profusely."
-[x] Now that she is no-doubt stalled by your 'funny talk', introduce yourself, and ask for an explanation of what happened.
-[x] Ask for assistance in reaching the mansion. Remind her that the strong always take responsibility for their actions.

Cirno is obviously the strongest fairy in the area. Forming a positive relation with her would go a good way

[x] COMMUNE: She likes blowing up frogs, try to locate some from her. Offer their location to her, but keep a safe distance when observing.
[x] COMMUNE: If you have trouble getting attention from her try communing with her directly (as a nature spirit), try calling over other fairies as an audience, or finally calling over the lake kami to chill the air around her--she should appreciate that.
[x] LORE (ZEN): If she refuses anything or becomes offended, interrupt her by challenging her with a koan.
[x] If she's amenable to talking, promise you'll try to find more frogs for her every time you come by, and to help fairies against any youkai attacking them. In return you'll ask that her fairies don't interfere with your travels, and come to your aid when facing local youkai. It's a mutually beneficial alliance.
[x] If she suspects that you're weak, or it's a trap, INTIMIDATE: tell her you are the land god of the Hakurei Shrine, meaning O-Reimu is your shrine maiden.
-[x] Additionally you can sweeten the deal: You'll grant all fairies free sanctuary on the Hakurei lands, as long as they don't get in the way of your and your shrine maiden's affairs, or play tricks on the visitors (non-donating layabouts of course are free game).
-[x] Failing this frank intimidation, you should challenge her to single-round sudden death danmaku battle: No draws, no time outs, no forfeiture, KO only, final destination.
--[x] Declare your 'bomb' at the earliest possible opening, attempting to immediately overwhelm her and convince her absolutely that you're of O-Reimu's calibre: "Blazing Silver Soul 『Ougi—Zan Kou Ken』"
---[x] If necessary, TAUNT and EVADE until you can find the right opening.
--[x] If you win, she and her fairies will form a Covenent: You will be their God, and they shall be your people.
--[x] If you lose, GENUFLECT humbly, telling her that that's to be expected from having to fight 'the strongest'--but CHARM and warn her to be prepared for a rematch--then be on your way.

Transform to make us look less like a human to play tricks on, certainly less like a youkai that she'd normally attack, and putting her a bit off guard since apparently gods don't travel these lands often. And if you can't call the attention of a fairy as you are, and you can't even in the form of a god, then you're not really much of anything are you?

We know two things locally from our observations: 1. Gods are either unknown or unrespected in the area. 2. Fairies attack youkai while youkai attack fairies. I think things will go much more smoothly on this and return trips if we befriend one side. The strongest fairy is right in front of us and partially controls access to the mansion through freezing the surface. We have something to offer her that: Telling her where more frogs are through our commune skill. As for youkai, we're not going to start fetching them meat, considering it seems they've eaten all the animals in the area (which makes it no wonder nature spirits are hostile).

Now, Kanako already draws on the faith of the rank-and-file mountain youkai. Grunt youkai probably don't place their faith in anything other than Yukari, through awe, and Reimu, through fear. Reimu additionally gains faith indirectly through faith (through respect) of very powerful humans, youkai, and other beings. Yukari and Reimu's faith is probably also directly tied to the Hakurei border, meaning they can tap into pretty much everything as a source.

Except for fairies. Fairies do not fear, so they can offer no faith in Reimu or Yukari. They care nothing for the Border, so they don't contribute that om way. They're ignored by Kanako who has nothing to offer them. Only one of their own is likely possible of efficating focused and continuous faith in anyone or anything, namely Cirno, as noted by the general derision of human commentators, her faith base (and therefore intelligence and skill) is likely do to admiration from other fairies. Through Cirno, we have a real chance of tapping into a potentially massive pool of faith and power in Gensokyo.

>Blazing Silver Soul [Ougi: Zan Kou Ken] ~ The Light Slashing Sword - A powerful, though difficult to employ spell card, despite it's simplicity. Zankouken can only be declared in a dire moment when your Silver Soul blazes brightly and the spirit of the White Demon is with you. The spell card has been seen capable of cutting right through Mima, the Charming Demon's notorious Trinity Spark, which speaks volumes of its power, though it does not offer much in the of way protection in the process. If anything, it is a very conditional and risky "Bomb Card" compared to a true spell card. ~ Rating 2 out of 5 Danmaku ~

Hmm... I normally find myself agreeing with write-ins of this length, but I find this one to be pretty dubious.

The proposed methods of "befriending" her feel kind of ineffectual. I don't think -finding- frogs is a big deal, and she might even take offense if we offer our aid unsolicited. I don't see how calling her friends over would change things for the better, and, should they decide to attack, we'd have that many more to deal with. We've already established that we are the only divinity around here, so calling kami won't work, and doing so solely to "chill the air around her" seems silly. I don't think she needs much help in that department, either.

Trying to intimidate someone who views herself as "the strongest" is a bad idea, and it would be unwise to attempt to fight in our present condition, let alone if the ensuing ruckus attracts Cirno's pals. We could lose to Cirno in a duel purposely, then praise her afterward, but do you really trust her to use restraint? Even then, we're fucked up as it is, and less-than-lethal shots could still do quite a number on us if they. Besides, she might not even know what spell card rules are (which we can remedy later, but not now.)

Transforming could be a good idea. As the write in said, it would make us look less like a human (prank target). It also might negate our crippling wounds. However, if we do transform, I don't think we'd be able to suppress our aura. Again, getting swarmed now would be bad, bad, bad. This is a closer choice than the rest, but I would still say that it isn't a risk worth taking.
Thread is autosaged, just to inform everyone.

Well, since we're in a deadlock until we get some more votes in, I'm gonna go ahead and offer my two cents here.

But first. Hats off to you, Anon, for your wisdom and insight, because it touches on something I've begun to try and get across here.

Folks, A New World Fool's Gensokyo is not the typical Paper Tiger Dating-Sim Gensokyo, I assure you. This world is not going to just roll over and let you do as you darn please. There is a risk and reward to just about everything.

Obviously, you are much safer in the Shrine. Worse thing you have to deal with there is Reimu herself, but the moment you stepped off from Hakurei Shrine, you became fair game to just about anything.

The lady you met the other day? She carries a protection charm with her, so she is invisible to the senses of the lesser youkai. Traveling alone on foot is serious business in the wild, and there is a definite method to the madness in this fantastic land.

Hence, the advantages of flight.

People don't wanna take high risks? People stay in the civilized walls of the Human Village. Though if you think about it, that community is pretty much a farm for the more intelligent youkai, who need that fear and belief to sustain themselves. Hence, they don't take kindly to the lesser youkai showing up and making a mess of things.

I admit I am taking an extreme realism stance on what little there exists about Gensokyo's lore. ...but I am trying to make it believable and challenging. I don't want to feed you all a Dating-Sim Romance autopilot snorefest, where you just build your stats, pick the right dialogue choices, etc. (Most Romance CYOAs don't even care about Stats admittedly and it's straight actions.)

Not to knock on the folks who enjoy that stuff, and I admit I like reading 'em too from time to time, but it isn't what I want to write and put my time into putting together an entertaining show on a daily basis for everyone. This is a full blown Adventure, and there is the potential for paramours here certainly, but you're going to earn it---and it's going to be worth your time and effort. Trust me.

That's all I got. Semper fi; carry on.
[x] Limp away and nurse your wounds; there will be a reckoning...later.

Thread Watcher x