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File 144632778849.jpg - (377.51KB, 1200x1200, 9cd753e999f483d43ba1eedb8d734c78.jpg) [iqdb]
14411 No. 14411
Infiltrator has reached the third milestone! Thanks for reading, people. Update will be up within the next hour.

Thread #1: >>5934
Thread #2: >>13575

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>> No. 14413
File 144632875234.jpg - (884.96KB, 1500x2099, 606129307552fc5134726fec57dc1258.jpg) [iqdb]
14413
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Ask Remilia if she or Flandre is available. Better if both does. (Night Raid) (3 Votes)

---

"Wait, wait, wait. Air superiority? You have jets too?" Hafizi interrupts as you try to make up your mind. "What about that MD 500 heli from the other day?"

Rei waves his hand dismissively. "Eh, we're not THAT equipped, Hafizi. It's just that sometimes we have to make do with organic analogues to things that are clearly out of our fundings. The Scarlet Devils as our air superiority asset, for example." Rei then resumes after that long explanation. "That Little Bird isn't ours; I borrowed it from the Kappas."

"Speaking of the Scarlet Devils as an air superiority asset, I think I need to ask the director if she is available for this mission." You state.

"I am always available at the right conditions, Fujisaki. All you need to do is say 'please'." Remilia's voice crackled through your radio, surprising everyone except Rei. In fact, the SDMGD's director's voice came through Rei's radio instead of yours. "Rei put the radio on open mic so I can hear the battle plan, if that's what you are thinking."

"I guess I know where Sarge's surprise call habit comes from now… I mean, will you and Miss Flandre be available as our air superiority fighters, Miss Remilia?"

"Long answer short; yes." She says. "Though, how did you get the idea of choosing me and Flan as air support?"

"I once dreamed about you and Flandre actually providing air support before… so I had a small thought about it."

Remilia becomes intrigued, judging by the tone in her voice. "Oh? So you're seeing if both of us can do the same?"

"Yeeeeeah. Pretty much." You reply.

Rei cuts in. "So we're gonna have the Scarlet Devils as jets instead of a nuke raven as a gunship. Fair enough for me I guess."

"Well, since both of us obviously can't go on daytime operations you boys will have to do our demolition job at night."

"That's going to be dangerous, with night youkai roaming around at night around the forest. Even more if they are under that thing's possession." Kazuma voices out his concerns.

"Kazuma, don't worry. We have equipments that can allow all of us to see in the dark. Nightvision goggles, FLIR scopes and IR beacons are a few things that we have at our disposal but if you are still feeling cautious we can camp close to the castle with someone warding off the youkai."

"I like both suggestions. It's far easier for us and my team to camp close to the target area. Should we tell Reimu about it, Rei?"

Rei nods at Kazuma. "I suppose so. She can sit back and watch or help us if you want to."

"Sweet, more FLIR fun. But Sarge, what about area surveillance?" Alex says.

"That would be Shirayuki's work. She's our designated aerial drone as usual, so she can inform us if anything is going on from above."

As you continue to discuss with your team around the table, you notice that Kaede and Hiiragi stay quiet, only observing the conversation going on with the look of confusion on the former's face.

"Anything you want to add, Kaede?"

He shakes his head. "I have no idea what you guys are saying."

"Relax, Kaede. It's all tactical talk."

Hiiragi however has other ideas. "Would it be possible for us to join this operation, Rei?"

"That wouldn't be me to give you permission to join; you should ask your superiors instead of me. I can't give either or both of you orders unless you are on the SDMGD or if they allow you to be loaned to our team, just like last time with Seo." Your CO answers after a brief delay when Hiiragi finishes her question.

Hiiragi nods and leans back while crossing her arms. She seems to be thinking about joining it, perhaps she thinks she and Kaede needs more experiences in battle. "I'll see what Lord Tenma and Momiji say about this."

"Sure thing."

"At least that co-op the other day was fun. It feels different than the usual patrolling." Kaede states.

"That aside, time for role allocation. Hafizi, I want you to patrol around that palace when we're breaching in. When Seo gives the Okay, you follow him inside. Kazuma, you can do the same. If you're allowed, Hiiragi, Kaede, you will be our eyes outside. Erin can be a medic. I'll be on the overwatch, which means I'll be the sniper outside. As I said earlier, Shirayuki is our drone."

"What about me?" Alex asks,

"I'll assign your spot at the AO."

"Alright then."

"Anything else?" Everyone else shook their head as a sign of no, while Rei nods. "Right, meeting adjourned."

--- (( Hitomi Fujisaki )) ---

While the rest of the men are having a conversation among themselves, you gather the girls out to stroll around in the gardens, with Satori and her two pets soon joining your group under the garden's gazebo. She even brought tea and snack, even though your group just had breakfast.

""You all sounded so happy yesterday, not that I mind, however~ has something good happened in the past few days?"

"Absolutely~" Merlin replies. Judging on how some of them were blushing, you think they had a good night together in their room.

"I would like to ask you girls… are you happy with your partners, by any chance?"

"I'm absolutely happy with Yuki with all the things we've been through in the past. I believe Akyuu and Shinobu think the same too."

"Yes, I do." Akyuu quickly reply. "I have known him for a long time, and I see him growing well and maturing with Wriggle's help. In fact, there are a few things that I owe her, mainly the matters about sharing~"

At the same time, Shinobu lowers her head embarrassedly as she answers, "Yes, he appreciates me even with the scars you saw last night."

"Hatate and I share Kazuma together, so he has a companion if either one of us are away for our business. I have performances with my sisters, while Hatate is busy with her parts in the mountain."

"Ahh, young love. Lucky ones, nonetheless. I can tell my own son is among the lucky ones too."

"So Seo has more than two lovers? How do you know that, Miss Hitomi?" Akyuu asks. She's clearly interested with this.

"Call it a hunch, but I have already seen how they all act around him, and it's pretty obvious. I have to be honest, girls. I can't wait for my youngest child to have grandchildren for me to dote around~"

"Pretty sure I have heard that line from Yuki's mother before…" Wriggle says.

"Well, I can't blame Kasumi, Wriggle. When parents like me and their children grew older, they want to see their grandkids before their time comes."

"So… who are his other lovers?"

You put a finger on your cheek as you go down your mental list. "Well, aside from the cat and the raven, I have a strong suspicion that our host here is his lover too~"

"Eh? Satori too?"

"That's surprising."

Satori chuckles as she nods to your words. "There's nothing to hide from me, you did your research well, Madam Hitomi."

"Well, the only thing I would ask you is that you take good care of him."

Satori nods at your request. "I promise."

"And you girls, please take care of your boys as well. This is a long-term investment after all~”

"Will do!"

--- (( Alex Sanderson )) ---

Before night falls, you and a few more left for the surface. As much as Satori wants your group to stay for dinner, there are other pressing matters for you and Sarge to deal with at the surface.

When next morning arrives, you get up and get prepared for the usual Guardian work. Only this time, instead of going to work you have other things to do with Sarge. He describes it as a 'business proposal' as you meet up with him at the tower. You then meet up with Kazuma, who leads you to a workshop. Of course, a part of you gets giddy, thinking that you would finally get to use an Abrams.

…only for you to be sorely disappointed with the outcome.

"It's a tank alright, but it's not what I was thinking." you tell Sarge as you reach the workshop.

"Well, you can't expect a really modern tank to show up in Gensokyo unless if it's a really youkai tank."

"Beggars can't be choosers I guess."

You let Sarge to do the talking to the owner of the tank, discussing lots of things with her. From what you heard, the tank was christened as the "Flower Tank". It looks quite old, but as experience tells you, old armor can still be a valuable asset in a battle.

"Reactive armor? On this tank? Sounds as if we are preparing to go to war."

"Because we are." Sarge says with a deadpan. Naturally, Rika is confused.

"How?"

"We're offering a test bed for your Flower Tank, Rika. We have a demolition job to do, and we lack some… oomph, to say the least." Sarge says. "Just our C4 isn't going to cut it."

"We'll take it. Though… Wouldn't we kill anyone while testing it?"

"No. The plan is you destroy a building. We'll make sure nobody is in it."

"Can you at least tell me what the deal is with you and the castle, Rei? I think that you're not telling me what I am supposed to know." Rika asks.

"It's a long story…"

---

"…oh. I see that castle was the cause of the… disappearing villagers from the other day?"

"Yes."

She shrugs her shoulders. "Okay then. Though, what makes you so sure nobody is in it?"

"I am completely sure there are people inside that building. So what the Guardians and I will do is make sure nobody - be it youkai or humans or both - is inside. We chase them out, we give a signal and you blast it. We'll blow it up to high heaven."

"Interesting."

Instead of following in the conversation, you notice that Ginji had already lead Kazuma away, and you quickly follow him. There, you see a gun of a weird design, probably for magic use.

"What do you have for me, Ginji?"

"I have a magic gun for you - in short a magun - Kazuma, seeing that you're going to be a part of an operation, I figure this is a perfect stuff for you to use. I call it the TNO."

Kazuma picks it up off its case and examines it. "What does TNO stand for?"

"Totally Not Overcompensating." Ginji replies with a smirk on his face.

This earns a snicker from you, but Kazuma is completely confused. He only replies with a "What?"

"The thing between your legs, Kaz." You explain the joke to him.

"Oh." A few seconds of silence follows and Kazuma let out another. "OH! You cheeky bugger, Ginji!"

This soon follows with an outburst of laughter from the man who made it. "Well… jokes aside, I prepared a range outside." This doesn't stop Kazuma from glaring at Ginji and his joke however.

The inventor leads you and Kazuma outside, a bit away from the workshop. There, you see lots of stuff lined up as targets, ranging from pottery to walls with a target marked on them. Some of them have charred marks on them, which meant they were used before. The lack of bullet holes does confirm the nature of weapons being tested here. In fact, being here makes it hard to resist yourself from pulling out your M9 and shooting some of the small targets while Ginji explains about handling the weapon to Kazuma.

"Is it really powerful?" Kazuma asks.

"The only way for us to know is to test it. Try that at the wall over there."

Kazuma takes his stance and aims the gun. He pulls the trigger an-

A massive bright magic bolt exits the TNO's barrel and slams into the target. The noise alone is incredible and once the smoke clears, its visual effects on its target are even more impressive. That totally dented the steel plating on the wall! If it hadn't been for Ginji's precautions, the wall would probably have been in scattered pieces.

"Holy shit."

"It's good, Ginji."

Kazuma lets out a few more shots down range, and it seems like he's handling it very nicely. Ginji on the other hand is sporting an obviously huge grin beside you.

"Let me hold it." You then turn to Ginji as pass him your M14 EBR. "Hold this for me." Kazuma then hands you over the magun, which you try to aim it. Obviously, sights are not like what you used to. "Totally feels like a space gun. It could use some optional sights." Though, the person you're supposed to talk to is gone with your rifle. You shrug and make shooting noises as you play around with it. "Pew pew!"

"Stop being silly, Alex."

"I can't help it. It looks like we have our breacher role already filled. This is super perfect, Kaz."

"By the way, where's Ginji?" Kazuma asks.

"Oh, he ran off with my M14."

---

Two days later…

"Overlord, this is Bravo Zero-One. I'm reporting semi-heavy activity around the castle. No sign of anyone that we can mark as a HVT."

"Who are we up against?"

"Humans, some humanoid youkai. They are armed and most of them are male. None of them looked like they are in a trance like what we saw before."

"Exercise extreme caution. Make sure there are zero casualties on anyone unless they mean absolute malice.

"Wilco."

"Overlord copies all, out."

You peer around with the binoculars, with everyone else is in their position. "Sarge, I didn't expect that there would a lot of opposition around the area. Why?"

"If you ask me, they are probably charmed. I can see a few of our now-regular offenders down there."

"The bandits, eh? This should be easy."

"Bravo Zero One to Hunter One, how copy?"

"Loud and clear. Taking time to get used to the equipment."

"Good. Zero One out." Sarge then turns to you. "Alex, I don't think Erin could hold up well inside the castle. Do you want to swap places with him or not?"

"If I don't?"

"Then you can be my spotter, just like last time." Sarge then gets his AWSM with FLIR scope prepared, planting the bipod and monopod adjusted until he's satisfied with the positioning, before loading a round into the chamber. "It's your call."

What would you do?
[ ] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.
[ ] Stay behind and snipe with Sarge.
>> No. 14414
[X] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.

Sarge knows Erin probably better than us so.
>> No. 14415
[x] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.

Eirn's still kind of new isn't he? This might be better.
>> No. 14416
[X] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.
>> No. 14417
[X] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.
>> No. 14418
File 144634720489.jpg - (309.38KB, 920x720, storm-fairy.jpg) [iqdb]
14418
>Flower Tank.

I rejoiced.

[c] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner.
>> No. 14428
File 144669792984.png - (2.25MB, 1047x1461, aa8faed704dc34591468bec6d8b22a70.png) [iqdb]
14428
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Stick with Seo as a fireteam partner. (5 Votes)

---

"I think I would stick with Seo. I don't really think Erin would be able to handle a situation if something goes south."

"I'll replace you with Erin as the spotter then. Bravo Zero Actual to Zero-Three, Actual to Zero-Three, come in, over."

"Zero Actual, this is Zero-Three reporting in."

"Zero-Three, I need you to regroup on me.”

"I thought the original order is that I was supposed to stay with Spectre in the first place?" He asks.

"Judgment overruled. You're to replace Roach's position as a spotter for me, effective immediately. Report back to me when you and Roach finish swapping places."

"Roger."

"Bravo Zero Actual out." Sarge then turns to you. "Okay, you're good to run."

---

When you reach Erin's position, he looks like he's still a little confused about the position swap.

"What's up with the swap?"

"For your safety I think. Sarge might have a few things to teach you too." You tell Erin. "Don't worry, you get to sit back and spot targets for Sarge to snipe."

He pouts, very unbecoming for an operator. "But that's not what I signed up for..."

"Don't worry; you'll get your fix soon. Run along now."

--- (( Seo Fujisaki)) ---

When Erin leaves your spot for your CO's position, Alex kneels down beside you.

"By the way, sir, what happened to our armor?"

"Our loaned mechanized infantry division is on their way. ETA one hour."

"Can't call it a division if there are just three of them and a vehicle.

"Correction, ten people. Three in a tank and two in the other, two in the heli, two of them are fast movers and one drone.”

"A second armor? Really?"

"That’s the kappa's tank, much larger than Rika's and also possibly on the way."

"We'll go with any help we can get then."

Rei then issues an order. "All units, all units. This is Bravo Zero Actual. I'll brief you people again on what we have to do - breach into the castle and plant those C4 charges on the main structures of the building. I need this place in splinters before midday. For the groups who don’t have explosives or the Hunters, get every non-combatant out of this building as soon as possible."

The radio is then flooded with various forms of acknowledging reply.

"Roach, begin the breaching."

"Roger wilco."

Alex then assumes control as Kazuma approaches the team with his hunters in tow for a breaching procedure. The Marine takes out a spray paint can from his back pouch and marks a wall with an X.

"This is a little different than the usual breaching. Stack up on me close to my back." Alex commands, crouching beside Kazuma. "Ready, Kazuma?"

"Just give me the signal."

"Hit it."

At Alex's signal, Kazuma takes out his magun from his holster and aim it roughly at the mark before pulling the trigger. The TNO'S bolt utterly destroys the wall as it makes contact. Immediately as the wall goes down, both you and Alex shoot a smoke grenade into the hole from your EGLM and Alex's M320.

"Okay, let's move out!"

As soon as you enter the breached wall, you aim down your SCAR-H's red dot sight and shoot anyone you see that has a weapon in their hand. Those who you can't shoot down in time are shot by the Hunters with loaned rifles. The other Hunters who are armed with close-range weapons move in to secure the downed thugs.

"You guys linger around this area. Seo, move up with me. Guys with guns, remember to shoot ONLY the armed ones."

"Got it." Kazuma replies.

You and Alex move up the stairs you see, getting ready to breach another door. You take up positions and swap to your Nova shotgun before both of you kick down the sliding door.

"FREEZE! ON YOUR KNEES, MOTHERFUCKERS!"

There are a few people inside the room, jumping in surprise as Alex yells into the room; two of them are armed with AKs with polymer furniture. Both of you quickly take cover behind a pillar, but instead of hearing gunshots, you hear a click.

You stare at Alex as the group gets confused on why their rifles aren't firing. Without a word Alex pops out of his cover and blasts them off their feet with a close range shotgun, and after they are sent sprawling on the ground you quickly zip tie their limbs.

"Hey Sarge, looks like they have those 74s from the previous incident with Hafizi."

"Huh, so we did miss a few crates then. Did any of them discharge?" Rei asks through the comms.

"Apparently those idiots forgot the basic firearm operation - the fucking safety is still on."

"Ha, jokes on them. Keep an eye up though, they might figure that one out soon. Those things have bullets still in them, and they are red-tape."

"Got it." Alex responds as he drops a flare. He then pulls out a string of paracord, and tying them to the ends of the sling point. "Leaving breadcrumbs for the Hunters. I'll take this with us. You want one, Spectre?"

"What are you doing with that?"

"Making a sling."

"Give me one."

Alex makes a quick sling on the other AK and he passes the other one to you. You let the one he gave to you hang from your chest. You then move to the next hallway. Before you can even open the door on the next room, you hear gunshots.

"Contact!" Alex yells, quickly pulling you aside as they opened fire at you. That was a close call.

"Looks like they wizened up and learned about the safety." You point out.

"Yeah, no shit."

You stay behind your cover as they keep the trigger down. Alex in the meantime looks at his watch, as if wondering how long the rifle can go before it goes click.

The answer is four seconds.

Then, you hear a tell-tale click of dry fire, which means he's out of ammo.

"Damn! Useless piece of junk!"

"He's out of rounds. Seo?"

You pull out a flashbang and pull the pin, before throwing the grenade through the paper walls from your cover, hearing their panicked cries as the grenade goes off and blinding them.

"Smoke them!"

Immediately, you and Alex kick the door down and quickly gun them down into submission. The same procedure follows, and you only shoot the armed ones. There are three more extra AKs in here, and you confiscate the loaded magazines, all while throwing the rifles out of the window and onto the compound below.

"This is Spectre to Hunter One - more evacuations waiting for you."

"Leave it to us."

There is a balcony outside that leads to other rooms. Under the night sky, you can see Shirayuki's IR beacon blinking under the FLIR's sights. Soon, Kaede and Hiiragi's IR beacon joins the fairy's.

"This is Maple Actual. We got you covered. Mark your targets."

Alex throws a smoke grenade on the room next door, and Kaede stops to hover in the air. To your surprise, Kaede pulls out a grenade launcher and starts firing explosive grenades to that room. Screams of pain can be expected as he finishes, ejecting the spent shells and reloading it two grenades at a time.

"Thanks for the assist."

"We'll circle around the area. Good luck."

"Wow, I can't believe Sarge didn't tell me that we have the M32A1."

"Maybe it's from the Marine's inventory?"

"If that's the case, I pity the bastard manning the armory. Then again maybe I shouldn't."

You shake your head and report in. "Area is secured. This pillar looks important, should I, sir?"

"Plant it."

You and Alex pick out the C4s from the demo pack and rig them around the large pillar as Kazuma and his team drags away the detained humans. By the time you're done with the mess of wires and plastic explosives, you move on to more rooms around the castle, finding more empty rooms and such. More pillars meant more explosive to be rigged, and once in a while, you ran into a few Hunters doing their things. All seems good so far.

You hear someone talk as you walk past a room, and then you signal Alex to stop. "How come just the two of them can cause this?"

"The hunters are with them!"

You nod to Alex as you switch to your shotgun and break your way in through the door. This catches them in surprise as they drop their weapons immediately. Of course, there's that old man from before.

"You... last time you hurt my daughter... and then you killed my friend!"

Instead of responding to him, you decide to talk at the other groups while pointing your shotgun threateningly at the group, who raises their hands in the air in surrender. "None of you here are actually charmed, you're trying to regroup and reorganize again. Who's your leader this time?"

"Face me, bastard!"

You roll your eyes away and you nonchalantly point your Nova at him and immediately blast him off his feet without reservations. He gets sent flying onto his back with great force and you calmly top of the shells into your shotgun as nobody answers you. It's a good thing they all surrendered without much trouble. Alex goes ahead to cuff them all with the zip ties, and while the old man tried to resist, Alex fixes it with a boot to the face for him.

"Resistance is futile. Anyone who resists will be shot repeatedly." You see another familiar face in the group, but you ignore him as Alex cuffs him as well.

The second Hunter group would move in to extract the detained hostilities, while the old man needs three people to drag him off all while screaming obscenities at you. Alex is quite amused and he can't help but throw a middle finger at him.

"I can't believe he's still kicking after that boot to the balls from the other day."

"Well, some people are quite stubborn. Let's carry on."

"Yeah."

More Hunters can be seen rigging the explosives on the structure, and you continue to sweep up the top floor for more hostilities. Of course, with them facing Rei’s sniping spot, they are going to get picked out easily while you and Alex distract them with suppressing fire.

"I can see you two in that room. Covering fire." Rei speaks on your comms. "Two short, one AK."

PTOOM

Alex tries to see what is happening behind cover, but the thug hides behind a pillar.

"Don't peek, Roach!"

BTOOM

That gunshot noise coming from the distance would soon be followed by the crushing sound of something penetrating the thick pillar, with a scream sounding immediately afterwards. You and Alex peek from your pillar cover to see the aftermath, the first thing you see is a hole blown through the thick pillar, which is totally not the caliber used for the AWSM.

"Did you just shoot him through that wall, Sarge?"

"Yes. With the M95, of course."

"So, can I get a yearly subscription to that aimbot, please? Honestly..." Alex grumbles.

"No."

---

Soon enough the whole perimeter is under lockdown before midnight falls. It's easy for you to distinguish who is actually charmed and those who are not, judging on who resisted and who didn't The majority of the humanoid youkai you encounter are charmed, as they did not resisting arrest The humans however mostly consists of the bandits you fought before, apparently trying to regroup. The question that remains is that who the real culprit behind their appearance here is.

The hunters cover the rest of the area, apprehending the humans and lesser youkai who're resisting arrest. The attack is swift and the Scarlets even provided precision strikes to scare some of the bandits into running away, only to be detained by the Hunter units around the forest. That leaves this one place that you have not checked yet - a hallway that goes straight to the middle of the castle. There is no lighting in the area, and the atmosphere is absurdly spooky.

"Looks like its all downhill from here. You ready?"

"Yup."*

"All callsigns, this is Roach. We are going underground; I need the confirmation of any backup availability. "

"This is Hunter One - we'll cover you up. Drop some bread crumbs, will you?"

"Roger wilco."

Your descent continues down the castle, with signs of life besides yours and Alex's slowly becoming non-existent. The walkway deeper into the lower depths seems to stretch into the unknown, and both you and Alex lower your NVGs so that you can see more in the lack of light. Even though it's a straight walkway, Alex drops behind activated glow sticks so both of you won't lose your way and Kazuma can follow your tracks.

"It's so dark in here. Watch your six."

"Roger."

A few minutes down the line, Alex stops in his tracks. "Hey... I see someone. Cover me, Seo." he whispers to you.

"Alex?"

"Are you two lost too?"

"We're about to ask you the same thing. Come on; let's get you out of here."

Just as you follow Alex from behind, you suddenly stop in your tracks. All of a sudden, this girl is emanating such malicious mana, that it makes you feel ill.

"Alex, stop. She's an enemy."

"What are you talking about?"

"Don't get any closer to her! She has a malicious aura!" You call out to Alex.

Fortunately, Alex heeds your warning and stops mid-way, before quickly pulling his shotgun into view. Though, by the time you warned Alex, the mana is suddenly gone-

-no, it-

Behind you!

Before you can react and turned around, you feel an arm suddenly wrap around your neck. You can hear your M9 being tossed away from your thigh holster, followed by your knife and the clattering of your SCAR-H hitting the ground as she cut your slings. With such force being applied on you, you know she must be quite a strong person.

"Impressive. You can actually see my mana, and yet you look so human." She remarks, her mana is quite suffocating in such close range.

Alex is training his shotgun at you, but soon swaps to his sidearm. He's exuding the same calmness that you had when encountering the same situation in the past. He slowly steps forward as this girl backtracks and pulls you along.

"And you have some of your own in you too. It makes me want to bite it all out."

You still have your hands free as you try to pry her arm so that you can breathe. "In your dreams."

"How defiant. You are quite a trained soldier. You over there; if you take another step and I will choke your friend to death."

Alex takes a step forward. "Go ahead, try it."

The grip tightens a little. But instead of that, she holds a sharp claw against your throat. "Tough talk for a human without mana. You wouldn't dare shoot a girl, right?"

"You're a threat, and I'd shoot you even if had to shoot my partner."

Seems like Alex is trying to stall her. Maybe he sees an opening for you or him to exploit.

What would you do?
[ ] Let Alex do his thing.
[ ] Do a counter against her.
>> No. 14429
[X] Do a counter against her.

Possibly unexpected by her
>> No. 14430
[x] Do a counter against her.

Sounds like a good plan
>> No. 14431
[X] Let Alex do his thing.
Believe in our fireteam, men.
>> No. 14444
File 144732775890.jpg - (134.33KB, 596x511, bb37a745872a14b660c6148f07a25cd9.jpg) [iqdb]
14444
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Do a counter against her. (2 Votes)

---

She isn't exactly holding your limbs down, which is a good thing. Alex is still standing ground with his handgun ready.

You step hard on her bare foot, making her scream and loosening her grip around your neck, with the brief window of opportunity you grab her by the arm and then slam her to the wall beside you before dive towards your pistol. At the same time, Alex promptly shoots at her direction with his pistol while you start squeezing the trigger at her from your lying position.

She recovers pretty quickly and instead of returning fire she eventually gives up trying to fight both of you and decides to fly off back to where she came from.

"You alright?" Alex asks as he offers you a hand.

You take his offer and get back on to your feet. "A little choked up, but I'm up."

"Good. I guess the only way forward is to go ahead then. I hope there's no crossroads or ambushes or something like that."

"I wonder what she hides at the end…" You mutter as Alex gives you your AK and SCAR, the latter with a paracord sling as replacement to the one that girl just cut off.

"There's only one way to find out I guess."

Alex continues to throw glow sticks, this time throwing it in front of him. As you slowly advance, you finally reach the end. You stop when you see the glow stick fall out of your sight, and for that he holds onto your shoulder to stop you.

"Looks like a long drop."

Alex then hands you a stick. "Flares. Those glow sticks aren't going to let us see much. By the way, put your IRNV up, Seo."

"Why?"

"You're gonna get blinded when this thing goes off."

"Oh, alright." You then push your IRNV goggles upwards.

You and Alex pop flares and throw them down the chasm. To your surprise, the floor is covered with roots instead of solid dirt. They seem to congregate to the middle of the of the underground room Then, both of you shoot a flare round towards the center of the huge underground room, which soon illuminate the monstrosity in the middle of it all.

"What… the… hell…?"

"…Isn't that a cocoon?"

"Yes it is." Alex then reaches for his radio. "Sarge?"

"What is it?"

"We found a cocoon down here – a really huge one. Should we go down lay the charges in here too?"

"Negative, negative, judgment overruled. Both of you, just dump whatever explosives you have fast, we need everyone out of the buildin-"

BOOM

The castle starts shaking after that explosion. Both of you freeze in shock at that.

"What's going on up there?"

"Uh… someone detonated the charge at the top floor area." Shirayuki replies.

"Get the hell outta there, you two. Looks like our plans are being shot ahead of time. Better make it quick."

You and Alex then dump every explosive you have, and then make a mad dash for the exit. It is a one-way trip towards the other end of the tunnel, and the presence of glow sticks Alex threw down earlier on double-confirms it. You are about to leave via the window, but Alex denies your decision. With all the debris falling down from above, you and Alex head for the room where you breached in earlier.

Your escape however got cut off with a fallen pillar separating you from Alex.

The last thing you hear is him yelling out your name.

Then everything suddenly turned black.

--- (( Wriggle Nightbug )) ---

I felt restless since the last few hours, even since I saw Rika's tank roll out of the workshop, with some new addition to it. Hafizi can be seen at the top of the tank, manning the machine gun at the hatch. Immediately, I know that this is the operation the Guardians were talking about at the palace a while ago, but something definitely felt off. I had to convince Yuki to follow them, out of worry.

Just to be sure, we went to the Hakurei Shrine to get Reimu's help - and since Marisa is there, she decides to ride along.

When Yuki and I reached the castle, Rika's tank and the Kappas had started firing upon it. Little by little, top floors of the castle are being shot off to reveal a cocoon. The explosions surrounding it even make the reveal even faster for us to see in whole. The cocoon then breaks off, slowly showing off a huge wasp inside of it and the eyes starting to glow.

"Rei! Permission to fire?"

"Give it all you got! Erin! Get the SOFLAM down ASAP! Shirayuki! Get down here! I need you armed with missiles! Tank Bravo, you're cleared to shoot as well! The rest of you, fire at that motherfucker ALL COSTS!"

"Yes! Hafizi, get in the tank! Everyone else, brace yourselves and cover your ears!"

"Got it!"

Hafizi then closes the top hatch while Rika does the same with hers. "I call this the Super 1-Shot Sure-Kill! Ready! Aim! FIRE!"

Just as the huge wasp unfurls its wings, Rika's tank's main gun is ready to fire. With a loud boom, a surge of magical energy exits the muzzle and as a result she annihilated it before it can even take off. It's a shot clean through the thorax, and that was pretty anticlimactic if I say so myself. Rika wasn't kidding with that name. The rest of the giant wasp starts to disintegrate into dust, and everyone seems to be holding their breath until it completely fades away.

“Zero Two, Zero Actual, what's your twenty?" Rei starts calling out. I assume that he's calling for Seo.

"I'm still up, goddamn it, stop yelling in my ear. Help me out of the rubble." Or not. It's Alex.

"Thank god."

I help Rei and Erin locate Alex, as he's digging himself out of the rubble. He looks a little bloodied and battered up, but something is off. Someone else is missing. "Wait, where is Seo?" I ask.

"He got trapped behind me; I can't get him out on time…"

"No, he might still be alive. Zero Four, Zero Actual, what's your twenty?" Based on Rei's frown, I could assume that there's no response from Seo. "Zero Four, Zero Actual, what's your twenty?!" Still no response. "Damn it!"

Though, despite the fact that Seo didn't respond, I can feel his mana, slowly rising as if he's coming to. I was about to break the news to Rei but…

"Zero Actual, be advised, I am sensing two mana and vitality signatures in the rubble." One of the kappas in the second tank announces. "It could belong to one of your operators, sir."

"Yuki? Signatures? If that’s what I think it is, then that could mean he's with someone else there…"

"Yeah, the problem is that it's mingling with bad mana." He responds.

"Uh, Sarge? Look over there…"

"Where?"

From where I am standing, Alex is pointing at the girl that ascending from the thick smoke, and slowly, she reveals that she's holding Seo by the ankle, before stopping at a few hundred feet off the ground. I tense up on how toxic her mana is. I hope things will end well.

"For fuck's sake…" Rei mutters, and with me being close to him, I know his fear is substantiated.

--- (( Seo Fujisaki )) ---

When you finally come to, the first thing you see is the world upside down. It's still dark but there are lights from the tanks and flashlights below you. The question is why are you airborne and upside down in the first place?

"I see you mongrels trying to disrupt my mealtime, huh… and have someone tying little explody things around MY castle like it's nobody's business…"

"That's the main reason why we're trying to blow up the damn place in the first place!" Alex yells. Though, to be honest you weren’t really expecting that was to be the case.

"You just killed my daddy too… and in return, I'm going to kill your friend here. I hope he can fly~"

You bet that you can pretend flying, since she didn't remove your emergency chute, but with blood rushing down your head with gravity, you have to make a quick decision. Hopefully this height would be enough for the chute to deploy properly.

Time is running out, you should so something.
[ ] Free yourself
[ ] Pray
>> No. 14445
[x] Free yourself

yolo
>> No. 14446
[x] Free yourself

Seems more productive.
>> No. 14447
[x] Free yourself
>> No. 14448
[X] Pray

In a land with half a dozen literal gods, this is more useful than it seems.
>> No. 14449
[X] Pray

This feels like an obvious trap, which leads me to believe that it will turn into something cool or useful.
>> No. 14450
[X] Free Yourself
>> No. 14451
[X] Pray
If it's good enough against Giygas, it's good enough against anything.
>> No. 14452
[X] Pray

There are gods here that can answer us
>> No. 14456
[X] Pray

>Can I get a yearly subscription to that aimbot, please?

I just got caught up on the last couple updates, and I couldn't help but poke fun at the writer a little bit. Here's what came out of it within 30 minutes.

Sexy egg story from the last thread:

"I used to go out with a psycho." Alex begins, his tone reflective. "She was great fun, but she was a fucking lunatic."

Everyone's eyes and ears are on Alex as the uniqueness of the situation becomes apparent to them. Alex, undeterred, continues.

"I-i'd basically woke up in the middle of the night to feel...Something fucking ice-cold on my chest." He shivers, whether it be from disgust or anxiety from the memory.

"What she'd decided in the middle of the night was that she felt horny. So she got an egg out of the fridge and... broke it on my chest-"

The sounds of laughter echos throughout the spa as everyone shares their mirth at Alex's misfortune. The seriousness of the mood entirely broken as the man in question takes it in stride with a smile as he continues his shenanigan induced story.

"-thinkin' we were gonna have some...Sexy times." Alex says over the noise.

The laughter slowly rises in level and pitch.

"It was fucking ice-cold I tell you." Alex says, trying his hardest to keep a serious face on, "and I was allll tucked up, all warm and just, snoozing away. I was in bliss."

The laughter slowly dies down as everyone tries to catch their breath, their ears and minds still listening as Alex goes on.

"I can confirm. I can confirm guys." Alex starts, "It is not sexy."

A couple 'snrrrks' are heard nearby as those who aren't able to keep their composure turn their backs to save face. Alex, showing no mercy, moves on.

"She got really pissed at me as well. Because of course I went...'What the fuck are you doing you fucking lunatic?!'"

With Alex pantomiming his emotions from back then, everyone can't help but begin laughing again.

"She didn't like that 'cause of course she was in, 'horny mode', and was expecting me to go, " 'eyyy baby..."

"..."

"...Sexy egg."

Some of the listeners fell into the water from laughing too hard.

----------
I'm not a writer here... yet. But since I saw multiple references to a certain youtube channel I just had to fill in the gap. Sorry if I made any errors.

I guess I took... the AWP'itunity
>> No. 14457
>>14456

I see someone caught that, and yes, it has been stuck in my head for weeks that I can't help but throwing it in.

Nice fix by the way.

>Spoiler
"Rei is not amused."
>> No. 14458
Vote's called!

Prepare 4 War.
>> No. 14472
File 144812705199.jpg - (833.71KB, 1402x2000, 767a168791c0291c5d9c756a83942b59.jpg) [iqdb]
14472
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Pray. (5 Votes)

---

The height is simply too high for you to act on your own and yet too low for the chute to deploy safely, while your team falls back a bit further more, in fear of your safety. Reimu is visibly tense; Marisa can only blink at such display.

Wriggle on the other hand floats forwards, facing the girl. She is noticeably nervous as if something is not natural.

"And what's your deal? Are you a friend of his? You look quite pathetic."

"Listen - you don't have to do this."

"Ahh… a firefly… but where's the fun in that? All I can see is just some boys and their toys, running around and strapping explosives to this place."

"That's because we thought this place was the bandits' hideout." Rei called out from the ground.

"This place is empty, and now it's mine. The bandits? They should have become my food instead and you didn't let me."

"Priority switch. You just told the Guardians about making a meal on both humans and youkai you gathered." Reimu steps in. "You know that is not acceptable."

"Bah, who cares…?”

As they keep on talking, you're almost on the verge of blacking out from the entire blood running down to your head, and all you can do right now is pray. Hopefully the gods of Gensokyo can answer it and get you out of this situation now, one way or another.

--- (( Hisagi Fujisaki )) ---

In the interest of time…

"How's the situation, Momiji?" You ask her.

"Still tense, so to say. I can see Kaede, Hiiragi and Seo there. He's not looking so good."

"What do you mean not looking good?"

"He's been hanging upside down by the ankle. The Scarlet Devil Guardians and the village's Hunters are there too." Momiji reports. "From the looks of it, that bug girl is trying to negotiate to make her let him down."

Kanako decided to join your observation group with Suwako and Sanae present as well. Both of them looking sleepy and just waking up. The higher ups like Lord Tenma, Dai-Tengu and his wife are also present after hearing that explosion from a few minutes ago.

"What should we do? Should we go and help?" One of the wolf tengu from your squad asks.

"No. You don't have to."

Kanako on the other hand falls silent, as if she's concentrating on something. "It looks like one of them down there is praying for help, specifically, that one who is hanging. I believe he has been a huge help the last time he was here, yes?"

"Seo? Oh yes he was."

"Any volunteers?" Dai-Tengu asks. Every wolf tengu present, including yourself, raises your hand. Well, even Lord Tenma herself has her hand raised. "You too, Tenma?"

"Yes."

"Do what you can, Tenma." Kanako says. "You have what it takes."

She nods at the goddess and then disappears in a flash.

---

"Look, just put him down, will you?"

"Put him down? Sure… if you can catch him in the first place!" She cackles as she finally throws you down. And since your consciousness is fading, you just can't concentrate on pulling your chute's cords… only for someone to catch you mid-drop!

"Gotcha!" Every Guardian personnel quickly gathers around you when your savior lands on the ground, and you're half awake by then. Only then do you realize that it was Lord Tenma. "Stay with me, Seo! Stay with me!"

"Oh? That's a shame. I thought I'd kill someone before dawn." She says.

"You should know that by doing that, our deal on playing nice is over." Reimu says with a deadpan, pointing her gohei menacingly at the wasp girl. "You just threw away your insurance."

"Come and fight me if you dare!"

"Wriggle, I advise that you sit out from the fight. This is going to be a messy one." Reimu advises.

She nods and backs off from the scene, joining you as you recuperate from the hanging. Lord Tenma is present as well, trying to heal you up. Only then do you finally return to normal, and more conscious.

"There you go. Feeling better, Seo?" Tenma asks as she puts her palm on your forehead.

Your breathing rate returns to normal, as you grasp Tenma's hand. "Yeah, I can see better now."

"Sarge, we should abort the mission and let Reimu and Marisa handle it." Alex suggests

"No." You protest as you stand up, only to falter for a moment. "We started it; we'll finish it with her. I've got a beef to settle with her."

Rei stares at you as if he's thinking you're going crazy. "Are you even sure that you're up to the task?"

"I am."

Before Rei could deny your judgment, Tenma backs you up. "Rei, have faith in him. He needs to do this."

"It's not that I don't have any faith in him, it's that our HVT has put him at risk more than once." Rei sighs before he relents. "If you're going to do it, just make sure you don't put yourself in harm's way."

"Much appreciated, sir."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever." He waves you off, before switching to all frequencies. "This is Bravo Zero One. Be advised, our mission objectives changed. Right now we need to provide cover fire for Reimu and Remilia. Listen carefully for the next directive. Roach, break out the heavy stuff. Make sure the IFF interrogator is operational. We're gonna need some SAMs."

"Roger wilco."

Rei then stuffs a gun into your chest holster, and stuffs a few darts into your pouches.

"What are these for?" You ask.

"Tracer dart gun and the ammo for it. Only use them when I tell you to use it." Rei then turn to the radio and starts issuing an ultimatum. "Hunters, thanks for your assist. If anyone wants to return to the village, you may do so and don't forget the captives. If you wanna join us, you're more than welcome to. All callsigns Bravo, we're mission launch. Repeat, we're mission launch."

At Rei's signal, Hafizi is the first to open fire at the wasp girl, firing off the M2HB at the wasp girl. She tries to swoop in to attack him, but Rika's main gun fire deters her from getting closer.

"Nice save. Rika, if you can remote-control the hatch gunner, you better show him." Rei has already gone off elsewhere, carrying his M95 behind his back. Erin is trailing behind, his short frame just barely handling the AS50 strapped to his back.

"Got it!" Rika radios back.

Presumably, the lesson went on smoothly as Hafizi soon goes back with the M2HB blazing, this time in complete cover. Rika and Ginji continue to fire with their main gun.

This is when Reimu decides to go completely physical with her attacks, as she stops throwing her needles and amulets. Instead, you can see her exchange quick punches, kicks and gohei strikes. The wasp girl is overflowing with confidence as she blocks and punches back, seeming to be a lot faster than Reimu.

"Hafizi! Hafizi! Hold your fire! Hold your fire! Friendlies at close range!" Rei warns. He immediately stops firing while Rika moves around the melee to get a better view.

In the meantime, the kappa tank steals some shots when Reimu breaks off from the physical engagement. Those guided shells however do nothing to faze the HVT at all.

As Reimu backs off, Remilia tags in and joins the fray. This time, Remilia is the faster one, exchanging claw attacks, kicks and spear jabs

Rei in the meantime is repositioning and awaiting the best moment to shoot off his M95. Erin has even prepared your CO his AS50, though he does less spotting for now. Remilia of course sees Rei waiting from over her shoulder.

"Mind if you move away, Miss Remilia?"

"Give me a moment." She does a few more strikes to dazzle her opponent before taking her distance. Remilia then has a surge of red energy forming on her outstretched palm.

"Here it comes."

"Divine Spear!" She announces. "Spear the Gungnir!"

With a mighty throw, she tosses the Gungnir to the wasp girl causing her to reel back from the impact, before swiftly getting out of the way by swerving left and allowing Rei to take aim. The report of his M95 going off soon resorts in a grunt coming from the target. A quick observation shows that Rei just shot through her right wing. Despite the damage, however, she is still airborne.

Five more shots followed, dealing more damage to her wings, and more to her body. The bruises on her limbs and torso are a sign that the .50cal bullets strike true.

"You think that's enough to stop me?!"

Of course, that taunt is followed by a barrage from the AS50 courtesy of Erin, hitting her right on the belly until it goes click.

"You're wasting your ammo, mongrel!"

Erin then pulls out a PLD to laser designate the wasp girl and blinding her at the same time. Rei stands up from his spot and picks up the HVM-II, firing it to her after successful lock-on.

Despite the direct hit from the Starstreak, the damage is abysmal, but that is to be expected from danmaku-blessed weapons. Before she can recover, Rei and Erin pick up the anti-materiel rifles and move away from their sniping spot.

While they are out there fighting, you finally manage to recover from almost blacking out. You pat your vest for the sling of your SCAR-H, but it is not there anymore, and as a result you mutter a silent curse. You remember that you lost most of your weapons when the building collapsed on top of you and all you have left right now is the tracer dart gun Rei handed to you earlier on.

"Seo?"

"What is it, Tenma-sama?"

"Remember, Seo. Channel your anger elsewhere so that you can concentrate with your mana." The elder tengu advises. "Just concentrate, and then you can spread your wings." Lord Tenma spreads hers as an emphasis. "If you have what it takes, then join me with your friends in battle. Perhaps you need a running start?"

"Running start… I'll take that option."

Tenma watches as you straighten yourself up. You gather up all the mana that's been growing inside you - if this is the right time to turn, it would probably be so. You then sprint through the clearing for a good distance, hearing the tell-tale fluttering noises of wings. It would help for you to pray once again, which you do before the jump. Not even stopping to look, you jump for the skies.

Instead of landing back on the ground you're actually gaining altitude.

You're finally airborne.

In the meantime, Reimu is engaging the wasp girl with her mix of danmaku and physical attacks, before she pulls out a spellcard.

"Fantasy Seal!" She announces.

The homing energy balls explode on her opponent, and the pain is further exacerbated with Lord Tenma rushing over to strike and jab at the girl with her halberd in quick succession.

"You said something about not holding back, Hakurei?"

"We're still holding back. If Yukari gets the words out, the Guardians would be dropping the danmaku-refit weapons for heavy artillery."

"You're holding back?! You people are a bunch of weaklings!"

"I can't stand this girl, Hakurei."

"So do me, Tenma."

What follows later is a combination attack from both Reimu and Lord Tenma. The former gets even more aggressive with her melee, now delivering punches and kicks at blinding speeds. When Reimu kicks the wasp girl upwards, Tenma swoops in to deal more damage. She starts by giving the wasp girl strikes from the blunt side of her halberd, before jabbing her with the pointy end several times.

Both of them then deliver a kick to her stomach at the same time, allowing Alex to continue by doing a burst fire on the ground against the girl.

"Eat some lead, baby!" Alex yells, as he fires his Mk. 48 from the hip at her.

He dives out of the way as the wasp blasts him with a stream of fast danmaku. The wasp girl turns around for another pass, but is still unsuccessful as Yuki uses leaf danmaku as a defensive shield for Alex.

"Thanks, Yuki! I owe you one." He then picks himself up and dives behind a tree to reload his light machine gun.

"You're welcome!"

While everyone else is distracting and deterring her from getting close from the ground forces, you circle around the battlefield, getting a hang on flying - which is much, much easier than you thought. In the meantime, you scan the area for the HVT.

There!

As soon as you spot her, you swoop down towards her direction and focus your mana to your palm, as if charging what mana you have to a desired point. Since there's no use holding back, you shoot the fastest stream you can muster from your altitude.

BBRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT

Given how strong the energy shot stream is, it kicks your line of flight back to the air. Never had you thought that a stream of danmaku could have that kind of recoil.

The energy bullets you shoot kick up quite a storm of dirt and smoke around the wasp girl, and the ones that hit her seems to be making her reel back in pain from being caught off-guard.

She immediately abandons her fight with Alex, Reimu and Tenma and soon is focusing solely on you despite the anti-air attempts the ground forces are throwing at her. It's only natural that you start making evasive maneuvers as she fires her danmaku at you.

"…did you just pull off an A-10, Seo?" Hafizi asks.

"That sounds like one, man!"

"A what? Can you ask that later - I've got a goddamned wasp bitch on my tail?!"

"Speed up! She'll try to catch up with you, and when that happens, bleed your speed and take the lead!" Rei instructs over the comms.

"Got it!"

You as you was told, speeding up at your best and letting her follow your lead, the occasional danmaku notwithstanding. Then, you apply your invisible brakes in the air and let her fly past you, before resuming your flight and chasing her instead. You take this chance to fire at her from behind. In the meantime, you notice Alex signaling for you to pick up a weapon. You snatch the SRAW from the ground and sling it over your back, but by doing so, she now takes her lead back in chasing.

"She's really not giving up, isn't she?"

"Get creative with your maneuver, Seo! Trying to lock on to her with the SRAW while she's chasing you is suicidal!"

"I'll figure out a way!"

You and the wasp girl continue to engage and return fire.

"Up! Up! Go up!"

And suddenly from her point of view, you make a direct ascent to the clouds, with her quickly following suit. You hold the SRAW in your hands and turn around, pushing yourself away from her flight path before dismissing your wings.

With your wings being dismissed, you start to plummet from the skies. She notices your feint but is going too fast to correct her pursuit path, and her flight upwards actually only sends her closer to your SRAW range, close enough for you to fire the launcher without the aid of sights and keeping you away from the blast range.

You pull the trigger and let the HEDP round strike true.

BOOM

You recall your wings and dive down as the smoke dissipates, which shows the wasp girl still intact, much to Alex's disappointment.

"That's a goddamn direct hit with the SRAW and she's still standing?!" Alex yells over the comms.

"We are using the yellow band anyways that's why they aren't doing jack!" Rei replies in frustration.

In the meantime, Marisa is chasing up on you and the wasp girl; right after you throw reload your SRAW with a second rocket you pick off Erin's hand. Reloading in mid-air sure proves to be quite cumbersome. Marisa stops ahead of you and raises her Hakkero, which you quickly bank up and over her. You can see her grin as you flew over her just as she says 'Love Sign'.

"MASTER SPAAAAAAAAARK!"

You hover behind Marisa and waits until her laser cannon dissipates, but the wasp girl is still there, tanking more damage.

"She's resilient!"

"Told you so!"

You concentrate your mana and try to do another gun run at her, and she expectantly fires back.

"You're too slow! Too weak!" She taunts.

It's almost dawn, and the wasp girl is not going down at all. Everyone seemed to be holding back, until you hear your radio crackle to life.

"All Guardians and Hunters, this is Deep Purple." A feminine voice rings in your comms. From the looks of it, Reimu and the rest also heard it. "Looks like you people need some help with your menace. How about… you people try something with a bit more force? I guess if danmaku isn't even deterring her, maybe you should move on to the big guns."

"What's she's saying?" Alex asks.

"The use of deadly forces is authorized." Yukari drops her ultimatum.

Rei is quick to act as Yukari goes silent on the radio. "Alright, that's the thing we need - enough with the danmaku compliant launchers. Alex, get the Stingers!"

"Which one?"

"The ones with red bands!" This is when Rei decides to allow you to use the darts. "Use the darts, Seo! Make sure to stab as many as you can on her - if she takes one off, there'd be too many for her to pluck it off!"

"Roger wilco. What if she takes off her clothes?"

"Don't give her ideas!"

Figuring that at distances like this she would be more likely to dodge your darts, you make a sudden turn and head towards her, bringing up the sights of your dart gun and shoot her head she as you're close.

She reels back as she tries to remove the darts, but you circle around her to jab more darts around her body.

"Alex! Arm quickly! IFF tone should be up!" You yell to everyone in the radio.

From the corner of your sight, you can see Alex unfolding the antenna for the Stinger and aligning up the sights with your chaser. Rei instructs the Hunters to do the same and lock onto her. As you circle around a little longer, you can see Hafizi popping out of the Flower Tank with your CO handing him a unit and an IFF interrogator unit. He checks for the back blast as instructed and then locks on to the struggling wasp girl.

BE-BE-BE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP

Since Alex is in open mic, you can hear the locking tone assaulting your ears. "I've got a solid tone! Ready to fire!"

"All airborne units, be advised – you are to clear the airspace immediately! Seo! Ditch your LBV and land NOW! Everyone else, FIRE!"

Once you hear the missile being launched, you quickly strip off your load-bearing vest, letting it hit the ground as you dive for the ground.

She notices the Stinger missile, but did not expect the barrage of more coming from ground level. Naturally, her first reaction was to fly backwards and try to shoot them all down. That however invites more Stingers from the ground forces, and Rei even adds the Starstreak to the mix. She tries to do a swerve to avoid the triple HVM-II rockets, but it was all too late - one of the Stinger missiles that she failed to take out in time strikes her mid-air, complete with a loud report and a cloud of smoke from the detonation.

She is sent careening o the ground and stays still. There's some blood but no body parts on the point of initial impact.

"Is she dead?" Alex asks over the radio.

"Negative, vital signs are present. Approach with extreme caution." The Kappa Tank's commander informs.

Alex passes you his AK-74M to you, and together with the rest of the Guardians, you approach the downed wasp, who is in quite a bloody mess.

"There you were, so full of yourself. Then, briefly surprised, then dying." Yukari appears, walking out of her gap. Truth be told this is the first time you ever see her in person. "Guess that an insect like you can't really handle the powers you absorbed. I was going to just take you out, but then again…"

"Why the hell didn't you do it yourself?" Reimu asks.

"Because I prefer having people do it over me, and you're all gathered up for war~" Yukari cheekily answers Reimu before turning around to face the wasp girl. "Unfortunately, letting you live is a little too much. I am afraid that if you live any longer that would be a liability to other people. You're simply too dangerous, especially when you take 'doing what a youkai does' way overboard."

"They are destroying my home!"

"Not when you're trying to feed your big daddy with humans so that he can grow stronger, as well as absorbing the mana off youkai. If left unchecked, there might be no more humans that fears us youkai, and no youkai for them to fear on. Besides… the castle is not yours." She hides her smirk behind her folding fan. "I hand the responsibility to you, Seo. Terminate with extreme prejudice." Her words echo in your mind.

Yukari leaves the scene via her gaps, and then something drops on your boots, you soon realize it's the same MP412 REX that she gave to you to execute the bandit leader the other day. You inspect the revolver's chambers - this time instead of a half-full cylinder, the cylinder is in full capacity. You close the frame and point the gun at her.

"Any last words?" You ask her.

"Murderer… a youkai killing youkai…"

"Mmmm. Says the hypocrite who tried to kill me first." You retort back at her.

You pull the trigger and double-tap her twice.

After that, the chaos is over.
>> No. 14473
File 144812738857.png - (1.97MB, 1600x1200, d67e3ac2c038bbb649ba2f65f4af492a.png) [iqdb]
14473
A few days after the operation, Rei and Alex went over to the site with some people. The kappas acting as liquidators found your weapons - your AK-74M, SCAR-H and M9. Unfortunately, with the exception of your pistol and AK, your SCAR-H was crushed by the rubble beyond repair. As a result, Rei decided to issue you an HK 417 instead temporarily. The other two weapons are to be repaired.

The castle is only partially destroyed, and with some of the planned explosives not going off as planned earlier, the liquidators decided to lay down thermite in hopes that they could manage to destroy the castle's foundations and the orphaned C4. You in the meantime watch the remains of the castle burn from the Youkai Mountain.

"There it goes. Finally up in flames. Glad that it's over yeah?" Kaede asks as he and the rest of the tengu Fujisaki family watches on from the same cliff you saved Hiiragi.

"Definitely glad."

There's a reason why you are up at the Youkai Mountain. Earlier on, Tenma and her two subordinates showed up at your shop as you check up on your father.

What you didn't expect was the inauguration into the tengu society, seeing that you are practically a tengu now. It's a rather small ceremony, where Lord Tenma hands over a crow tengu uniform for you, along with spares. She says that with this on, you can visit the Tengu Fortress anytime you please. She however did mention to change clothes before going underground, because the possibility of Onis inviting you over for a drink is more than you can handle.

Reasonable enough.

Well, you needed quite a break from everything. This would do very nicely.

On your third day at the mountain before you leave the premises and back to your base, Nitori asked you to come over to her workshop. Alex was there to pick you up even though you can fly by now, but then again, you couldn't resist riding on his dirt bike despite its noisiness.

"That's a lot of Stingers wasted on a single flying object, you know. Then again, when I asked Sarge about it, he said he has more, and the ones we used are going to expire soon."

"His reasoning never gets old." You comment.

"I know, right? Oh, we're here."

Alex stops his dirt bike next to the river, close to where Nitori's workshop is.

"Heeeey! Nitori! We're here~!"

"Come in!" She calls from inside.

You and Alex then walk into her workshop area, where she is waiting for you.

"So what do you want me to have here?"

"Glad you asked!" Nitori then picks up a pair of clear goggles from the table next to her. "I just finished making a few adjustments on these flight goggles I made especially for you."

"Ah, goggles? I could ask my CO for one you know."

"No, his are the ones that do nothing. Mine on the other hand are a bit more than just goggles. C'mon, put it on!"

"Well, if you insist…"

As soon as you put the goggles on, the display on it lights up. Everything seems to be in IRNV mode at the moment and a bit of tinkering later, the vision turns normal.

"There's a lot of stuff in my screen that I have no idea what is for."

"Give it to me; I want to see it too." Alex asks.

"Here you go." You hand the goggles over to him.

As he puts it on, he seems to be mesmerized with what he sees. "Wow. Nice HUD."

"What's HUD?" You ask.

"Heads-up Display. If you played videogames when you had some downtime like me back at the Marine's camp, those things would tell your health, armor, objective etc." Alex explains as he passes your new goggles back to you. "In your case, it more a mix of that and a bit of a fighter jet's avionics display. You have rangefinder, altitude marker, crosshairs and… uh, what weapon do you have right now. It also comes with FLIR and IRNV as well."

"Whoa, Nitori. How'd you cram all this stuff in there?" You ask her.

"It's a trade secret~"

Not those words again… "…no. Please don't say those words again."

The kappa only chuckles at your reaction, and by then Kaede appears at Nitori's workshop. Nitori gives Kaede a running hug, before letting him go. Kaede and Alex later share a fist bump and a high five. You never thought they'd be quite close as friends.

"You guys sure get along well, eh?"

"We're bros; we're cool, right, Kaede?" Alex says.

"Of course!

"Right." You reply. "Well, I think that's it for our visit. Thanks for the goggles, Nitori; we'll see ya next time."

"Oh, you're not staying around? I just got here." Kaede asks.

"Well, we're here only because Nitori wanted me to have this." You tap the goggles resting on your forehead. "Other than that, I'm heading to the village for other things before getting back to my base."

"Well… see you later then!"

With a wave at Kaede and Nitori, you run out with Alex outside of her workshop, and then you take ride back to the Human Village with Alex.

---

While on the way to the village, Rei called Alex via the radio, and after the call Alex rides his bike with you towards the Scarlet Devil Mansion. He's waiting at the gates with Meiling just to make sure this exchange is quick. Once Alex stops his dirt bike at the gates, Rei hands over a brand new SCAR-H to you, complete with a sling.

It seems that Rei had gone for lengths to get you a new SCAR-H, to replace the one that got destroyed few days ago. The SCAR is now two-tone tan, instead of your previous battle rifle's full one-tone tan. The accessories remain the same - you have the red dot sight and the EGLM attached on the underbarrel rails.

"Thanks for the rifle, sir, but what about the 417?"

"You can keep that."

"Thanks sir."

Alex then speeds off to the village, and once there, you and Alex part ways so that you can proceed to visit your family.

Once you reach your father's shop, your older siblings seem thrilled to see you in your tengu uniform, complete with your wings out. Of course, with your geta, you're as tall as them now.

"Where's dad?"

Daisuke points to your father's general direction. "Over there. He's been watching the guys working on cleaning the area for construction soon."

You nod to Daisuke and walk towards your father. The clacking coming from your single-toothed geta attracts his attention. Instead of saying anything, he lets you sit down beside you.

"Your outfit… it really brings me back." He starts. "Back when I was a teenager, my family had a group of crow tengu visiting me, asking my hand in a marriage. And here I am, my own son turned into a youkai."

"Are you mad at me?"

"For all the things that happened in the past few months… not at all, Seo."

"I see."

There's a silence that follows as you watch the construction workers tear down what's left of your old house.

"Akyuu came by the other day, asking me if it was fine to build a new house on our land." Your father breaks the silence. "I was not sure what it was for, and at first I thought it was a land takeover. So I asked if the house was hers, and she said it was for me. After that, we and her assistant discussed on the floor plan. I was worried about the cost but then, she said…"

"She said it's on her, didn't she."

"Yes, she did. What did you do?"

"Basically I didn't just save mom that day, I saved Akyuu and her maid first before mom. So it's pretty much a token of appreciation for me from her."

Your father just nods. "What about the person responsible?"

"He's probably being judged by Shikieiki by now." You can't help but relish the thought of you personally putting him down. "Did mom say anything about the house?"

He smiles. "She says, 'you deal with the layout, I deal with the decorations."

From what you learned from your father in your conversation, ever since she can walk again, your mother forbids anyone from doing housework. She does everything more efficiently than your father can remember before her sudden illness. When you meet her later, it seems like she had formed a pact with the spirit so that her body would accept the latter better. Since the spirit did not have a name, your mother names her 'Hanako'.

---

Fast forward to summer, you are back to your old bored self.

You liked the tengu uniform, but you like your usual ones better for guarding work. As things that happened so far, you learned that during your five months of non-action, there was a major incident happening on the surface, regarding the Taoists. It was eventually solved by the usual suspects, while the Guardian radio was filled with nothing but reports on what's going on so far, sometimes idle chatter and bets. You can tell that everyone was bored by their tone, since this incident had its own heroines this time.

"No incidents for the last five months, that's a new record so far." Satori says as she enters the guard tower. You turn around to face her.

"Impressive, yes."

"It's not always that I see my guard looking so bored. But then again, incidents like that one last time take out a lot of you." She then sets down a tray of tea and biscuits, inviting you for a snack.

"At least I don't end up in a heap when it's all over, unlike last time."

Satori giggles, handing you a cup of tea as you sit down. "How does being a crow youkai doing to you?"

"Everything feels so light, to be honest. I can't even feel the burden of a full gear at all. Then there's flying too." You tell her.

"I see, I see. By the way… the summer festival is coming soon. I asked anyone if they want to attend it, but only Okuu is interested. Orin on the other hand would be busy."

"What about you?"

"I'm afraid that I have to pass the chance. Without everyone around, I can't distract myself from the public."

"Ah… bummer."

"Perhaps you can go, you can think one as a date with her, or maybe a honeymoon~"

You nearly spit out your drink. "I… uh… all game for that, but-"

"You must go." She says suddenly. "Five months of staying underground without anything fun is not fun at all~"

"Fine, fine…"

"Good! Think it as free leave days off, Seo."

"Well, if you say so…"

What would you do now?
[ ] Look for Okuu, see if her old ones fit her.
[ ] Let's go shopping with her instead.

----

And so we enter a new arc!
>> No. 14474
[ ] Let's go shopping with her instead.
>> No. 14475
[X] Look for Okuu, see if her old ones fit her.

We can't just suddenly buy new clothes! We have to see if her old ones fit her still. Lots of measuring of growth in particular places and so on...
>> No. 14476
[x] Look for Okuu, see if her old ones fit her.

Yeah taking notes from the old ones is important among other things.
>> No. 14477
[x] Look for Okuu, see if her old ones fit her.
>> No. 14478
[X] Let's go shopping with her instead.
>> No. 14479
[X] Let's go shopping with her instead.

yes please.
>> No. 14481
>>14479
That would imply shopping wouldn't happen anyways. It's very likely that she's outgrown them in all the right ways.
>> No. 14482
>>14481
By that I mean her boobs
>> No. 14484
DRAW! Vote fusion it is then.
>> No. 14492
Ran into some severe technical problems with my machine, update should be up before this weekend.
>> No. 14500
File 144973325383.jpg - (238.79KB, 708x1000, 56b00ed5f8c7972d2d99a14665d5a270.jpg) [iqdb]
14500
VOTE RESULTS

[x] Look for Okuu; see if her old ones fit her. + Let's go shopping with her instead. (3+3 votes)

Apologies for the delay, my computer decided to throw up a hard disk failure in my face last week.

---

"Any idea where's Okuu right now?" You ask Satori.

"She might be in her room."

"Okay, I'll go and see her."

"Good! I'll hold the fort for you then."

You go down your post's stairs as Satori gives her permission, slinging your rifle across your back. As you head to her room, it turns out that she has been laying down her various yukata on her bed. You knock on her door to attract her attention. "Am I here at the wrong time, Okuu?" You ask

Her attention quickly turns towards you, and her face brightens up a bit more. "Ah! Seo! I'm just getting my old clothes out to test them out. Can you come in and close the door, please?"

You do exactly as she asks, closing the door behind you. Lined on the bed are various colorful sky-themed yukata. The first few on the left side looks a little small for her and the ones at the other end seem to be rather new. You then point at the rightmost yukata on the bed. "How old is this one exactly?"

"I think its last year's."

"Well, test this one then. If it's last year's it should still fit you."

Okuu nods and you step back just as she takes off her top. You can see her drop her bra onto the bed, and then fish out a roll of sarashi off her lingerie drawer.

"Seo, a little help with the sarashi, please?"

"Sure."

She raises her arms as you start rolling the chest wrap around her chest with the occasional chest grab, intentional or not. To be honest this is the first time you've ever put on something for a girl, but it's always nice to learn. As far as you know it should be worn after wringing them dry but this is after all a practice run.

Once you finish up the knot, Okuu turns around and shows off your work. The wrap looks fine, and she doesn't seem to be too uncomfortable in it. Just as she is about to say anything about it, your wrap fails and her sarashi unravels itself.

Ah.

Oh dear.

You find yourself staring at her bare breasts, just as your wrap job failed her. Okuu seems to notice this, and only smiles at you. You immediately gather the sarashi pooling around her ankles, and then wrap it again.

This time the wrap holds up nicely, as it doesn't go awry even a few minutes after the knot. She then takes the latest yukata she has and drapes it on her, slipping her arms into the sleeves.

"Tie this one up for me too?"

"Okay."

She turns around and holds the sash for you, which you take and start wrapping it around her waist. If you remember correctly, the wrap should end with a ribbon wrap, which you exactly do to finish your clothing test.

"How is it?" You ask.

"Okay, but I don't think it's fitting me anymore."

"How so? It looks perfect for me."

Just as you ask that, you notice her chest area expanding up little by little. That means your sarashi knot is a failure. Again.

"I think I should get you a yukata that you don't have to wear a sarashi underneath, Okuu."

"Oooh, the guard is being naughty again~" The hell raven teases. "But, your sarashi wrapping needs some work too!"

"I know, I know."

As soon as Okuu sits down next to you, you sigh and press your face between her breasts. She seems surprised at first, but then she puts her hands on your shoulders and pats your head.

"Something wrong, Seo?"

"Mmm... nothing. I just wanted to have something comfy for my face."

Okuu just wraps her arms loosely around your neck, patting your head in the process. You stay there for a few moments before looking up at her.

"Say, Okuu."

"Yes?"

"None of your old kimonos are fitting you anymore, right?"

"Well, you know the reason, right?" She presses her chest against your face for emphasis. "Then again, the sleeves are showing my arms more too."

"Wanna go out shopping for clothes?"

Okuu chuckles at your proposal, before she pulls away and kisses your forehead. "Go take a bath first, silly~ in my bathroom, that is."

"Will do." There's a hint of disappointment in your voice as you lose your cushions.

You strip your patrol gear down and leave them behind on the bed. Unlike you from earlier on, Okuu decides to watch you strip, but she mercifully hands you a towel when you're reaching for the trousers.

Okuu on the other hand casually slips off her yukata top, skirt and panties and pushes you inside her bathroom. She then follows in and closes the door.

"You don't mind taking a bath with me again, right?" She asks.

"It's okay, I suppose."

Unlike before, she seems to settle in for a shower instead of soaking in the bath. You watch her back as she gets the shower at the right temperature, before gently pulling you over close to her side.

For a moment, you hug Okuu close as she does the same, standing under the shower at the same time. She hums as you rest your face against her cheek while her wings and yours fluttering at the same time. A little while later, you look up to her before starting to kiss her. Okuu returns the kiss as she presses you close to her chest before she stop the kiss to enjoy the moment in silence.

Of course, after a moment of silence she decides to chime in.

"...Seo?"

"Mmm?"

"Aren't we supposed to do something?"

"Oh... right... I forgot."

Still you and Okuu stay under the shower for a bit more, this time with body soap applied and then washing it all off. As you dry yourself up, Okuu got out of the bathroom to fetch a fresh set of UBACS to wear after drying yourself up. She even brought along your dropleg holster as well, just in case. You quickly put on your clothes as Okuu does the same but takes her time.

---

Later on, you and Okuu leave the palace for the Ancient city on Satori's errand. You buy things Satori listed while Okuu waits for you. Of course, while you're at it you think of getting new yukata for both of you.

"There are a lot of shops to go, which one are we going to?" She asks as soon as you hover above the textile district.

"Well, let's choose one that I am more familiar with." You then point to a familiar old woman drinking tea outside of her shop. "You see that? It’s that one over there."

"Alrighty!"

Both of you then continue the flight until you reach your destination, where you descend slowly. Kagura notices you and she puts down her tea cup. She smiles at both of you; apparently she even notices your wings.

"Hello, Seo. Did you just got off your work?"

"We're shopping around, and I thought I could pay a visit to your shop while we're at it."

"You really do love my shop, don't you, Seo? Come in, come in, dears." Kagura says as she leads both of you into the shop. "So, what do you need today, dear?"

"I'm thinking on getting a yukata for both of us."

"Oh, both of you are going for the summer festival at the surface next weekend?"

You nod to Kagura in confirmation."Yeah."

"So it's the usual then. Good thing you two came around early."

"Other stores getting packed with orders too?"

"Yes, they do. For my case, usually it's shop-and-go since my patterns are good enough for them."

"Ah, I see."

"Now, come with me, dear. I need to take your measurements. You first, dear." Kagura beckons Okuu to follow her. Okuu then follows Kagura to her desk, where the latter takes out a notebook, a pencil and a measuring tape.

Kagura jots down notes after measuring Okuu's body. One particular thing you noticed is how squishy Okuu is around the chest, especially when Kagura is measuring her there. She must have forgotten to wear her bra after the bath. Kagura however did not say a word about it as she finishes jotting down notes.

"Any kind of patterns you want, dear?" She asks after taking Okuu's body measurement.

"Something with skies and clouds! I want to make this festival a special one for him~"

"You sure have lots of plans."

"Yes, I do."

You overhear the ladies talking as they choose a patterned fabric suitable for Okuu. You on the meantime sit down outside, having people greet you while you wait. After a while, Okuu finally decides on one, and Kagura calls you over for your turn to get the measurements for your own yukata. When it's done, you even choose the same pattern as Okuu's to make a good match.

"Alright, you two. That's the most of the work done." Kagura says as she sits down on her chair. "I'll work on your clothes soon, so come back in four days. It should be done within a couple of days before the festival if time permits.”

You nod to Kagura and pay her for the clothes, and then she hands you "Got it."

You and Okuu then say your farewells to Kagura, before leaving. Since you have nothing planned after your visit to Kagura's place, you and Okuu return to the palace with the goods Satori asked you to buy. Okuu is obviously happy with the outcome nonetheless.

Four days is a lot of hang time, and you don't have any other things to do since Satori just let you off your duty until the festival rolls in.

What should you do tomorrow? Pick a choice.
[ ] Visit the village with her tomorrow.
[ ] Stick around at the palace of hang out with Okuu at the Underground Capital.
[ ] Let time pass. (Time skip option)
>> No. 14501
[X] Visit the village with her tomorrow.

Maybe we can run into someone
>> No. 14502
[x] Visit the village with her tomorrow.
>> No. 14506
[x] Visit the village with her tomorrow.
>> No. 14508
[x] Visit the village with her tomorrow.

Time to show Okuu the village.
>> No. 14510
File 14506700778.png - (0.96MB, 826x1169, 6cdf3f3915fa4300295ffa5e63868620.png) [iqdb]
14510
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Visit the village with her tomorrow. (4 votes)

Yeah, this arc is all about spending time with the girls, one at a time before HM starts.

---

As soon as you arrive at the palace, you've made up your mind on where to bring Okuu tomorrow morning.

You get a breather as Satori calls Okuu to help her prepare dinner, and this pretty much allows you to drop your service pistol back in your room. You then decide to stick around the dining room as soon as you catch the scent of Satori making fried rice wafting in the air. Orin is already waiting at the table, waiting in anticipation for dinner. In the meantime, Koishi is nowhere to be seen.

For today's dinner, Satori cooks some simple fried rice for everyone present on the table. It was enough for all four of you to get a second helping, and this time, you help Satori with the dirty dishes, while Orin scampers off with Okuu. It doesn't take you long to finish cleaning, and since you don't have other things to do you decide to return to your room and have an early rest. Though, just as you get into your room, you're promptly tackled into your room from behind.

Of course, you know who it is by the noise she makes.

"Seo~ can I sleep with you again tonight~?"

"Uh... sure?"

Rather forward, that's her style lately. Okuu lets you go and you stand up - and you see Orin snickering before she leaves the scene. You have no idea what she is planning, but before you can think more about it, Okuu closes the door and locks it. By then you know what she wants, not that you would complain about it.

One thing for sure, you can confirm that Okuu isn't wearing any bra when she pounces you to your bed.

---

When you wake up the following morning, Okuu is soundly sleeping with you in her arms. She is as naked as you are, and you greatly enjoy the feeling of her chest being lightly squished against your own. You shake her lightly to wake her up, and a little while later her eyes flutter open. A good morning kisses from her later, she sits up on the bed and stretches her arms. With her chest in full view, you lean to her to give Okuu a healthy grope there, and she squirms and giggles about in response.

You both later take a bath together, this time with more body contact plus lots of soap and shampoo. While in the bath, Okuu instructs you on how to take care of your wings, and she even massages them for you.

It definitely felt good.

You both take a while in the bathroom, and you take more time to dry up, but with Okuu since you can just hide yours.

Once you're all dressed up, it's time to do what you planned yesterday. Like yesterday, you dress up in your UBACS and trousers instead of in full guard gear.

"Hmmm... shall we visit the village again, Okuu?" You ask.

"Sure! Last time we just stopped by your house, so we can hang around at the village some more!"

How energetic, you thought. But then again, she might be happy on lots of things, like your mother for instance.

You take off for the village later with Okuu after you inform Satori about your journey.

---

When you reach the village, you land close to your father's shop and walk the rest of the short walk there with Okuu following right behind you.

You soon arrive at the shop. From where you are standing, you can see your siblings’ handling their customers at a relaxed pace – it’s after all just a sundry shop. You can even see your father is taking his usual time sitting outside and watching the construction that's still underway. When she catches up with you, Okuu is visibly confused when she sees the construction site instead of the house she visited before, when you brought her along to ask your mother about turning youkai.

"Seo...? What happened to your house?" She asks.

Ah nuts, it seems that you forgot to tell her about it. "Well, things happened a while back. Long story short, somebody burned my house down. Don't worry, though. I got sorted out myself and Akyuu is paying for compensation and getting it rebuilt for me." You explain to her.

"Ah, I see..."

While you were talking to Okuu, you didn't realize that your older siblings saw you standing outside, and they called your mother, telling her that you're around. As soon as Okuu sees your mother walking out of the store, she smiles and hugs her. She is apparently happy to see your mother, and she even gets her head patted as she lets go of the hug.

"So nice to see you again, Seo, Okuu. Having some free time off work?"

"Apparently so. Satori just let me off in a few days until the summer festival."

"Good! Come in then, let's have some tea since everyone's here~"

As soon as you enter the shop, you can see Daisuke staring at you and Okuu. You can feel the look of contempt coming from his gaze, but you ignore him as your mother gathers everyone in the household for tea. Break time, she says.

And so, everyone including their spouses gathers about in the room in the back. As usual, your mother made tea and brought out some delicious dango as well. Almost immediately, the ladies in the room shower you and Okuu questions. Topics range from how things have changed after the house incident and how beautiful Okuu is.

"Seo, I don't remember your eyes being red. Are you wearing those outside contact lenses or something?" Daisuke's wife points out.

"No? Red how, bloodshot?"

"Well, not bloodshot, but they are red like hers." She points to Okuu and the latter tilts her head a little.

"Oh. I suppose I should break out the big news don't I?" You ask your mother, and she only replies with a nod. She even takes her distance and Okuu follows her.

With deep breaths, you reveal your jet-black crow wings to everyone present. Your mother knew about it already, but your siblings and father haven't. The look of shock on your father's face is temporary, as he lets out a small smile.

To your surprise, your older sisters and sisters-in-law scoot forward to touch your wings. They're amazed that it looks and feels real, and not too long later, they start preening your wings. Daisuke's mouth is agape in shock, as if not believing what he's seeing.

"So... that's what I am going to tell you people. No thanks to that demolition job at the Forest of Magic, I think that's the final push I needed to turn."

"Why?" Daisuke asks.

"Because I wanted to." You reply simply.

The ladies continue to feel up your wings until your mother decides to tell them to stop. Once they do that, you recall your wings much to their disappointment.

Of course, you know that Daisuke didn't like your change in the slightest though instead of arguing it any further, he gets up and immediately leaves the shop. Takato too follows his lead after Daisuke calls him to follow.

"He's going to take a smoke, he'll be right back." His wife says.

"I'll talk some sense to him later." Your father adds.

"Do you think he's jealous, Seo?" Okuu whispers.

"Not in the slightest." You then turn to your father, hoping for a change in topics. "So... about the house..." You begin.

Your father answers after a moment. "They are going to hold off the construction from tomorrow until the festival is over."

"No, not that."

"If that's what you're thinking, you'll get your own room for sure."

You can't help but feel excited, and fist pumps. "At last!"

"What are you going to do next, Seo?" Your father asks.

"I'm going to take her around the village." You motion to Okuu. "Just checking out how things are going before the summer festival."

"You're asking if you can stay with her in here, aren't you." Your father says.

You scratch the back of your head. "Err... yes."

"I don't think there's room for more, Seo." He starts. "There's limited living area with... seven or so of us sleeping on the top floor, nine with you two. Basically every room's filled with your brother and sister's family. There's no space for you and your friend to say the least, son."

You look a little dejected. "Dangit."

"Try asking a space at Hikakin's inn. You know where it is."

Ah yes, the inn! You almost forgot that place exists, where Yuki and Wriggle sometimes hang out with Kamui and his company. "Got it, dad."

"Ah, Seo? Do you mind if you ask your friend Kamui about the music competition? Me, Kaede and Hiiragi had been practicing for that lately."

"I'll do that but..."

"Hmm?"

"I didn't know you could play a musical instrument."

"Practice makes perfect!" She exclaims happily. A little glance to the wall close to her, you can see a koto leaning against the wall, and also the visage of Hanako smiling at you.

---

After waving your parents and sisters goodbye, you decide to drop by at Alex's post before heading to the inn. You see him talking with the red-haired villager again, and instead of interrupting them with your presence, you and Okuu climb the stairs to the village's watchtower instead of flying up so that she would not be alarmed. Alex takes a few more minutes to talk to her before she nods and leaves, and Alex soon joins you and Okuu at the top.

"Kept ya waiting, huh?"

"Nah, you didn't take too long. I am here on a leave visit anyway." You then noticed that something's missing from the place itself. "So where's Erin?"

"Kid got posted at Eientei, not just as a guard, but a medic in training apparently." Alex explains. "I think he's going to be okay - the rabbits will take care of him. They are a friendly bunch so he'll blend in just fine."

You nod in acknowledgement at Alex's words. Well, he did prove himself that he can do things as an operator, but there are things that you need to ask him. "So who asked for the transfer, him or Eientei?"

"Sarge told me that Erin got transferred at Eirin's request, and since there's nobody else that's free and didn't have a post, Erin's transfer got approved. I heard Eirin might be training Erin to be a field medic."

"Awesome. So I might have someone to patch me up." You exclaim.

"It's all still first aid, mind you. If anything happens, getting anyone to Eientei is a high priority." Alex then changes topic. "So you're going for the festival, right?"

"Yeah." Of course, you might ask Alex about staying at his place, but then again you decide to go against it.

"You're not staying at my place for the festival?"

"I don't think you like the idea of a crow and a raven together in the same room."

"Right, forget that I asked." He says. "Oh dude, are you going to hang around the village at night?"

"Yeah, why?" You reply.

"Let's hang out at Tex's place. Have something to eat before you fly home."

"Mind if I bring Kamui and his friends?"

"The more the merrier, as long as they are self-sponsored."

---

When it's almost evening, you decide to say your goodbyes to Alex and stop by at the inn where Wriggle and Yuki sometimes hang out. Though, by the time you get there, there are no signs of them both around the area. Instead, Kamui, Elis and Kurumi are there. They notice your approach and wave at you. You and Okuu wave back, before approaching them.

And before you can say a word, Okuu promptly hugs Kurumi and Elis to her chest as soon as they both are in range, all the while squealing. Kamui laughs nervously as you plant a palm to your face as Okuu displays her affection. After some groans of protests coming from both girls, Okuu finally lets them go.

"Err, sorry about that, you two, she's in quite a huggy mood today."

"You mean she's usually this huggy, didn't you? Wriggle told me about her before." Elis says before she takes a sigh of relief.

Kamui takes the talking position. "It's been a while, hasn't it, Seo? I see you even brought a beauty along too." He says as he takes your hand into a handshake.

"Well, it is."

"She's his girlfriend, Kamui." Elis informs.

"Right. Why don't you two run along or something so that the boys can have a man to man talk?" Of course, they both run off with Okuu in tow, leaving you with Kamui alone, sitting at the nearby table. "Anyways, with those out of the way, what brings you around the village? I thought you got posted underground."

"I did, In fact I was up here because Satori gave me a few days off in advance for the festival."

"Yeah, the festival is in three days time, people are already getting their spots up for the food and game stalls."

"What about you?" You ask.

"Well... Mystia has her own stall to keep an eye on, while I am somewhat practicing for the musical competition. I'm pretty sure the competition will be very tight." He says. "So we have my team, the Prismrivers, the newbie from the temple... which for all I know is a screamer."

"I see...”

You say your thanks as the inn's matron shows up and serves both you and Kamui a drink, a tea and some rice crackers for snacks.

"But that's enough about me, though. I hear a lot about you lately, ever since you kicked that old man Harasaaki's ass few months back."

"Oh, that? I caught his daughter and her buddies stealing stuff underground. Basically he tried to fight me, and I fought back."

"You sound like you've been through a lot. Might be worth writing a story about itself."

"Yeah... for that moment, until recently, it seemed that whenever I got to the surface, trouble always knew where to find me. I managed to get through them and usually the methods to solve them get even ballistic."

Kamui is intrigued. "How so?"

"Well, I was once invited to the mountain for a family reason; the same bandits who that old man's daughter banded with tried to steal something. One of them tried to rape my half-sister that I just had found out about not even two days, which failed and then attempted to kill her by throwing her off the cliff. That same guy then burned my house down, kidnapped my mother, and also attempted murder on her."

"Did he get away or arrested?" You simply put your Beretta M9 on the table. He quickly gets the hint. "Ah. And then?"

"The latest one was that palace in the middle of the forest thing. I and my team swept out everyone, including the old man from the palace, and then we destroyed it."

"I'm surprised you didn't just blow it up from a distance. It sounds safer and easier unless there were some other factors."

"Well, the Guardians don't murder people willy-nilly. I only killed two and-"

"Two? That means that one guy..."

"Yes. And that was under the explicit order of Yukari."

"Let me get this straight, you took out two people as part of the guardians and yet it's also under Lady Yakumo's command?"

"Yes." The topic gets dark really fast, no thanks to you blurting it out.

"So who exactly did you kill...? I mean besides that bastard?"

"The second was a hostile wasp youkai girl that tried to kill me, and we took almost two hours trying to shoot her down with danmaku. Basically my team gave up and started to use red-band anti-air launchers against her. It worked. Yukari told me to shoot her since she was going to use the bandits and some youkai as food. I did."

There's a long pause as Kamui let it sink into him. "Understandable, Yuki's made it clear that his policy has little tolerance towards such actions. That and I think he told me about that incident with the castle."

You need to get out of this topic quickly. What was the thing you're going to ask or tell Kamui again? Pick two.
[ ] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition.
[ ] Ask him how things have changed since you last met.
[ ] Maybe tell him how things are going so far on your side.
[ ] Tell him how you saved Hiiragi.
>> No. 14514
[X] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition.
[X] Ask him how things have changed since you last met.
Should ask about less-combat related stuff to switch the subject.
>> No. 14515
[X] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition.
[X] Maybe tell him how things are going so far on your side.
>> No. 14516
[X] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition.
[X] Ask him how things have changed since you last met.
>> No. 14523
[c] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition.
[c] Ask him how things have changed since you last met.

Wonder who's going to win Battle of the Band.
>> No. 14524
[x] Ask him how things have changed since you last met.
[x] Tell him how you saved Hiiragi.
>> No. 14527
File 145153082432.png - (169.33KB, 500x500, 06fb96c551668468a4066ff6e58dd3e7.png) [iqdb]
14527
VOTE RESULTS

[x] Ask him more about the summer festival's music competition. (4 Votes)
[x] Ask him how things have changed since you last met. (4 Votes)

---

Well, you might as well ask him about non-combat things. The first thing that crosses your mind is your mother's request to inquire Kamui about the summer festival's music competition. You quickly ask him that.

"So... Kamui... my mother is interested in the music competition for the summer festival..."

"Oh? She wanted to participate in it?"

"She told me to ask you for more details about it. I guess she wants to join since she already has her own koto and all." You see Kamui smirking at you. "What?

"I do know for a fact that your mother is good with traditional music. You're not joining?"

"I don't know if I can in the first place."

"Come on, you know you can do it. She might need a hand or two."

Another topic you want to get out of. "I'll tell you if I am going as well. But that's enough of me."

"You sound as if it's a troublesome thing."

"Well, not really. I have exactly no idea of what I could play, let alone practice in such short order."

"Right, what were you going to say again?"

Topic change successful. "So what you were up to since the last time we met?"

"Oh, that. Long story short, I've been hanging out and getting along with the girls, plus some of the same-old music training."

There is some pause as you wait for him to elaborate, but that's pretty much it coming out of his mouth. "That's it?"

"That's pretty much it." He says with a shrug. "Compared to you, I don't really have interesting things happening often."

"Eh, you're right at that department."

"On the other hand, I'm surprised, Seo."

"About what?"

"Yuki and Wriggle told me about that you have been dating quite the wonderful people lately, that hell raven over there, a satori... and a few more that she didn't tell me. Your charm is quite the something, eh?"

"Not really, I've been nice to them, and it's only natural that they return the favor."

"How do you get by Satori and her mindreading thing?"

"Just be honest, I suppose, it's not like I have to hide anything from her."

Kamui nods. "True. If anything, try not to neglect anyone."

"Gotcha."

"You guys seem to be having quite a topic going on."

You feel a jolt of surprise as the feminine voice suddenly speaks, but it all goes away as soon as you realize that it's Mystia.

"Oh... Mystia... you surprised me there." Kamui speaks, and then he realizes that she's not in her usual outfit. "You're not in business today?"

"I need a break once in a while. Where are the girls?"

Kamui was about to say that they ran off while you and him conversed, but then the girls return, waving at the three of you. Okuu quickly returns to your side.

"Kamui, I'll be right back, gonna speak to Mrs. Hikakin about room availability."

"There'd be plenty, but go ahead and reserve one just in case."

---

Inside the inn, you see the elderly Hikakin waiting at her desk. You and Okuu approach her, and she quickly notices you.

"So, you need a place to stay during the festival? Well, I could reserve a room for you if you want." She asks as soon as you get close, before you can ask her about it.

You nod to her. "Err, sure. I would have stayed at my father's shop, but there's not enough space for me and Okuu, plus my family."

"Ah, yes. That incident the other day. Sorry about your loss, Seo."

"Oh, don't worry. I got that problem all sorted out."

"Good! That aside, just you and your friend here, yes?"

"A room for two, yes."

She seems to pick up on your idea, since you can see the inn matron's smile forming on her lips.

"Just come over during the event and I'll pass you your keys."

"Got it."

Once your business with Hikakin is done, you walk outside and see Yuki and Wriggle already waiting for you outside, all while talking to Kamui and company. Speaking of company, you also see Alex jogging towards the inn.

"Alright! Who wants to eat at Tex's? My treat!" You ask aloud.

Everyone present quickly raises their hands.

"Let's roll!"

---

As soon as Alex sees you running past him, he quickly breaks off to a sprint for Tex's place. Since you're not flying, you and Alex are tied with speed before stopping with a skid close to Tex's shop.

"Hey, are you boys having a running competition or something?"

"Whoever gets first gets the best seat!"

"Right, there's plenty of seat for you two."

"We got seven more right behind us."

"That's a lot of people. You guys got your bonus already?"

Alex points at you. "He's paying."

"Well then, grab a seat! I'll be with you people in a moment."

And so, you and your group take a seat. You sit next to Yuki like next time, and give him the chance for him to relay something to you.

"So... Seo. Are you free tomorrow morning?"

"Yeah, I am."

"What's up?"

"Akyuu wants you to be at her house for an interview, and Ginji wants you to come over to his workshop to test out something."

"So, what time does Akyuu want me to come over?"

"Around afternoon or so. Ginji wants you to come over his place around morning."

"Ah, brilliant. I can come over to Ginji's place first, then Akyuu's."

"I'll tell them both later."

By the time your conversation ends, Tex arrives to take everyone's order. Everyone takes their choices after some convincing on your side that you can afford the whole thing. Alex is quick to order the best set, and some for take away.

After the dinner, you paid as promised, but it still didn't put a dent on your wallet, no thanks to Akyuu's gift.

---

Next morning...

For today's occasion, you decide to have a change from the usual outfit so instead of the usual UBACS and trousers, you put on the tengu outfit Lord Tenma handed to you the other day. Thankfully it's a nice fit, and despite how complicated they all look when not worn you manage to put it all on by yourself. Satori, Orin and Okuu compliment you on how you look in that outfit - it's pretty rare for you to be seen outside a military garb, night wear aside.

As much as you want to bring Okuu along, she has other plans with Orin. So for today, you travel alone.

After saying your goodbye to Satori and everyone else, you take off from the palace and towards the Human Village. Since it's rather too early in morning for most people, the oni aren't starting up their businesses yet. This means your flight is pretty much undisturbed. You can't say if it's going to be the same when you come back, though.

You reach Ginji's place, with Alex and Kazuma already waiting. Ginji shows up momentarily later, and he brings all three of you in.

"So, what do you got for us this early in the morning?" Kazuma asks as soon as he gets in.

"Something I am working on for the summer festival. Are you guys ready?" Alex lifts his EBR, but Ginji denies him. "Small arms, please, Alex."

Alex quickly swaps his rifle for his M9. "Okay, hit it, Ginji."

As soon as the target shows up, whoever shoots it down first gets a point. You and Alex point at the first target that pops up first, but Alex shoots it down faster before you can pull the trigger.

"Ya ha ha! I got it first!"

You quickly shoot the next one that pops up.

Alex seems to be leading the point count so far, he seems to be improving his aim after that last skirmish at Eientei's range. Unlike Kazuma, you and Alex have to stop shooting every 15 rounds to reload.

Eventually, once the visible targets at ground level are shot down, two last targets pop up, and they both are covered behind a fence and a makeshift balcony.

"There's a target behind the thing with the woods and a balcony thing." You point out for Alex.

"Fucking hell, explained like a pro."

"Those were my calls, fuck you!"

"Let me take care of that." Kazuma shoots his TNO at the target you spot and she manages to take it out before taking out the other.

"There we go."

"What do you gentlemen think?"

"I think the idea's splendid." You tell Ginji.

"I rate it eight out of eight, would play with it again." Alex adds.

"Yes, it's good."

"Lovely, I might be able to get a smaller version down before the festival starts."

"Then you'd better do it quick." Alex says.

Just as you remembered something, you lift your left hand and shift the sleeve away to check on the time. Your wrist however is watch less. "Say Alex, what time is it? I forgot to bring mine."

He checks his wristwatch. "It's almost 12."

"Okay, I'll be leaving now."

"Seo, have some extras, catch!"

Alex throws you a few full magazines taken from his pouch, and you load one for your M9 and storing the rest before you leave Ginji's shop for the Hieda Residence.

---

As you are en route to the Hieda Residence, you see someone waiting at the front gates. To your surprise, you find out that it's Kaede, as if he's been waiting for you.

"You're in time." He starts as you stop jogging beside him.

"She called you too?"

"Yeah, she did. Interviews, questions, etc. etc." Kaede sighs. "Well, I should be hanging out at Nitori's place at times like this, but at least she knows I am at the village for now."

“Maybe buy her things after this?”

“Good idea.”

Shinobu later walks out of the house and greets you both.

"Seo Fujisaki." She addresses you, before turning to Kaede. "Kaede Fujisaki. Lady Hieda is waiting for you inside. Follow me, please."

Shinobu then leads you to the room where Akyuu is waiting. She is sitting close to her table with her stationeries and an empty scroll waiting to be written on. You both enter as Shinobu instructs, and then sit down on the supplied cushions.

"So... I won't have to ask the basic stuff, since both of you are locals. So let's get straight to the point." Akyuu then takes a deep breath before she starts out her questions. "How did you come to know about your ancestry, Seo?"

"Immediate family story first?"

"Long story is okay."

"Well... my father was married to a wolf tengu... but she asked for a divorce since she thought she couldn't bear his child... we only knew that she was already pregnant, and rather early at that. Soooo... fast forward to the last few months, my stepfather, aka Kaede's dad, invited me to the mountain since ever since that underground incident, my stepmother, Hisagi, recognized me, and I reunited them with my dad at the Dai-Tengu's request."

"Interesting."

"So, a week later after that, me, Yuki, Wriggle and Okuu visited the tengu's archive, only then would I realize that my ancestors in the past married the crow tengus and only a few were married to the wolf tengus. My gramps and great-gramps were with the former."

"Question for you two, why do the tengu marry humans in the first place? Don't some of the elders disallow human presence in their bloodlines?" Akyuu questions.

"I understand that there is a pact that they will protect my family, and by extension, the village itself. At least that's what I gathered."

"Seo is right, the purpose is exactly that. The elders that oppose the plan are pretty much a minority. There are a few things that make Seo's dad a primary candidate." Kaede adds to your statement.

"Do tell, Kaede."

"We need to make sure that the villager himself is healthy for our heirs, so that's why Seo's dad was chosen." Kaede explains. "Physically and mentally, I mean. My father told me recently that unlike most villagers we proposed, his family is actually a clan that was very affiliated with the tengu before the split."

"'The 'split' as in the separation of Gensokyo and the Outside World, is it?"

"Yes."

"Carry on."

"Unfortunately, during the Gensokyo split, the tengus that were affiliated to Fujisaki Clan and a few families that supported them decided to leave and stay outside Gensokyo."

"I see. The fact that your family is actually a part of the tengu ancestry is quite rare. The only other family I knew of is the Yagyuus."

"Something new I learn today." You mutter.

"I'll be really surprised if they really keep records of anything pre-Gensokyo."

"Actually, they kept records about it. I went there with Yuki and Wriggle to check up on my ancestry. I figure the records are updated in a different document, since the family stopped immediately at Gensokyo being formed."

"Ah, that's pretty great. I imagine that only a select few are allowed into their archive."

Kaede raises a hand. "Actually, the archive is semi-public. You need to have permission from the top brass, say, my father for example. You cannot enter with weapons on your back."

"Right. I remember that."

"I think there are exceptions, Yukari, the Hieda family and the Hakurei family can enter if they need help with the archive."

"Incredible. I should pay a visit there someday."

---

A couple of hours later, Akyuu decide to end the interview since it's all that she needs. You know Kaede wants to hang out more at the village, being the bored fellow he is.

What would you want to do?
[ ] Stick around the village with Kaede.
[ ] Bring some lunch to your house with him.
[ ] Got nothing else to do, return to base.
>> No. 14528
[X] Stick around the village with Kaede.

Well Kaede does want to see more of the village.
>> No. 14529
[c] Stick around the village with Kaede.
>> No. 14530
[x] Stick around the village with Kaede.
>> No. 14531
>>14527
Bloody hell, I forgot my trip.
>> No. 14532
[X] Stick around the village with Kaede.
>> No. 14551
File 145229774960.jpg - (191.12KB, 1200x850, 2ff50ffc469c3042c21d6dfc2b6a1d08.jpg) [iqdb]
14551
VOTE RESULTS

[x] Stick around the village with Kaede. (4 Votes)

---

Hmm. You got some time to spare, so might as well show Kaede around the village.

"Hey, Kaede. Do you want me to show you around the village?" You ask.

"Sure! I only visited a few places if I ever get here, so that would be good.

"Great. Follow my lead then."

"Aye aye, captain!"

And so, the first thing you do is to get some lunch for yourself and your half-brother. Nanabi's restaurant is pretty much the option that you and Kaede agree on, and right off the bat you have a seat for two. Hikari shows up but as soon as she sees Kaede, she quickly scurries back to the kitchen while you look on confusedly. You then turn to Kaede, who is equally confused as you are.

"What did you do to her?"

"I have no idea myself."

Nanabi later shows up take your order instead, looking a little apologetic.

"Ahh, sorry about that, you two. My sister is scared of wolves, so she usually bolts off whenever she sees a wolf tengu and also your commanding officer, Seo."

"Ah, okay."

"Anyways! That's enough about that. What do you gentlemen want for lunch?" He asks.

Kaede is quick to order the large sized kitsune udon - two of them, in fact! You also order the kitsune udon with the same size plus the drinks as well, before Nanabi nods and jogs back to the kitchen. Hikari returns to serve the more human customers, but she steps up her pace whenever she comes close to your table. Kaede however decides not to comment on this and he waits quietly until Nanabi returns with your food and drink. Both of you say your thanks before you go down on the food.

After you finish lunch (which Kaede finishes up faster than you do, surprisingly), you pay up for Kaede, and then leave Nanabi's restaurant for your next place.

"Seo, I heard from Hiiragi that mother's planning to join the music competition."

"Yeah she is. Kamui's trying to pull me in but I haven't gotten the slightest idea on how to play one."

"Actually, Hiiragi and I wanted to join the competition as well. Hiiragi's telling me she might ask mother about it a little later, and she could sing for her."

Huh. You didn't know Hiiragi can sing. "What about you?"

"It's either I want to join them, or I'd sit out of it. If it's the former, I can play a flute or something I just learned." Kaede pulls out an instrument out of his sleeve pocket. "This is a harmonica. I found it in a box a while back, and I found out I can play it really well."

"How so?"

"Well, it comes with instructions, and I learned the basics at least... and then I come up with the rest. It's like a flute, but smaller, so it's easy for me to follow up." He says. "Here, let me show you."

Kaede stops for a moment so that he can play a short line. You find it nice to the ears and there are even little children that stop to listen as well. You only notice their presence when he stops playing his harmonica.

"What do you think, Seo?"

"Well, good enough that you have more than one listener already." You remark, before the kids gets called by their parents. "It's pretty nice."

Kaede then makes his usual grin, before he pockets his harmonica.

"So where are we going next then?"

"Wherever. I think about getting some extra parts for Nitori, maybe some cucumbers for her too."

You raise an eyebrow at the mention of cucumbers. "Very bloody mature, Kaede."

"...it's for eating, you dirty-minded crow." Kaede glares back at you.

You pause from trying to say whatever you were going to tell Kaede, and instead turn around to see if Hayato is around. "Right."

"What are you looking for? I'm talking to you." Kaede asks confusedly.

"Rule number one in the village; try not to mention that when Hayato is around, he might mistake your intention from me to Aya."

"Right, whatever."

"Next stop, Kourindou!"

---

Rinnosuke's shop is open as usual, with his shop quite empty from visitor presence. He can be seen as soon as you open the door, waiting at the counter with a book in his hands.

"Welcome." He then looks up to see his visitor. "Oh, Seo? I almost didn't recognize you in that outfit."

"Yeah, pretty much. I figure I should give it a change once in a while, can't be stuck on just my UBACS all the time."

"Pretty understandable. So, what are you looking for?"

"Nah, I'm having a look around, I'm a tour guide today for my half-brother here."

"I'm gonna look around, and see if there's anything I can get and forward to Nitori."

Just as you leave Kaede alone, you stick around the counter. Then, you hear someone else coming from the back room.

Oh, she's here too.

"I heard someone's here, I thought its Marisa." Reimu speaks

"Nah, it's just Seo and a wolf tengu."

"Momiji?"

"Nope, it's a guy." Kaede pops out of the corner to show himself to Reimu at the mention. "Yep, it's a guy."

Reimu then walks towards the shop area, taking a good look on you as you read on an outside world magazine.

"So you finally turned youkai, didn't you?" Reimu asks.

"...yes. I heard stories from Wriggle, do you actually exterminate humans who turn into youkai."

"I do, especially when there's a method that can be replicated. From what I learned from the Tengu Archives, you have your ancestor's blood readily running in you, and I doubt anyone want to marry a youkai willingly unless they are prepared." She explains. "Other than that, I only let you go because you are affiliated with the tengu because of your blood and the Guardians, for the former, Tenma backed you up. Since I saw everything, so I don't bother."

You heave a sigh of relief. "That's good to hear. What are you doing here, though?"

"I’m just paying an old friend of mine a visit."

Kaede later forwards a few items on the counter, some being multiple boxes of electronics, and one of them contains a purple rectangular device with a few buttons at the bottom.

"What's that?"

"It's an entertainment device." Rinnosuke answers. He seems to be already familiar with it.

"It even comes with instructions! I think whatever is broken in this thing; Nitori or her friends can fix it." Kaede says. "How much is everything?"

"I think I won't be selling that then."

"Man, I wonder why you're putting it on display when you're not even planning to get money from it."

Kaede attempts to pay, but Rinnosuke is a little reluctant on accepting it. Reimu decides to end the stalemate by taking the money off Kaede's hands and stuffing it in Rinnosuke's pocket.

"Yes! Mine now!" Kaede cheers.

"You need to work on your poor business sense, Kourin."

He only sighs in defeat.

---

Just so you can get the things sent back to Kaede's place, you called Arikado for courier. Again, the cat answered your call instead of the midget fox, and an address and payment later; he zooms off to Nitori's place.

In the meantime, you and Kaede went places around the village. Aside from Kourindou, you even visited Ginji for some loose spare parts he has at his workshop, at Kaede's behest. You on the other hand didn't plan for any shopping for the day, so you remain empty-handed as usual.

"Well, thanks for showing me around, Seo."

"Eh, no problem."

"That leaves one more thing. I was gonna tell you something but I forgot."

"Yeah, what were you going to say again?"

Kaede thinks hard to remember, and then he suddenly clasps his hands and rubs it with a grin on his face. You assume that he finally remembered, judging from the look on his face. "So! Are you ready for a rematch?"

"What?"

"You know, last time we sparred, I won, maybe this time you'd win? I won't hold back though, just like last time."

So, how'd you fight Kaede?
[ ] "Hang on, let me borrow some stuff." (Usual combat procedure)
[ ] "I'm all set. Let's find a place." (Minimal firearms, all danmaku & melee)
[ ] "I think I'll pass. Not really in the mood."
>> No. 14552
[X] "Hang on, let me borrow some stuff." (Usual combat procedure)

If he wanted danmaku only or hand-to-hand only, you'd agree, but that's not what he asked for.
>> No. 14554
[x] "I'm all set. Let's find a place." (Minimal firearms, all danmaku & melee)

It'd be good practice for him to get used to such things instead of relying on normal firearms all the time.
>> No. 14555
[x] "I'm all set. Let's find a place." (Minimal firearms, all danmaku & melee)

Changing my vote to this. He may need to start relying less on guns and such.
>> No. 14556
[x] "Hang on, let me borrow some stuff." (Usual combat procedure)

You don't handicap yourself before a duel with an equal. That's just insulting.
>> No. 14559
Seems like we're stuck with a tie, mates. No vote fusion this time, so we need a definite tiebreaker.

Vote's closing at 9am 14th, +8GMT.
>> No. 14560
[x] "I'm all set. Let's find a place." (Minimal firearms, all danmaku & melee)

When in Rome. It's probably going to go worse, but better to get used to it now then when the world is at stake or something.
>> No. 14561
Alright, it's 12pm already, and I'm closing down the votes.
>> No. 14580
File 14540256952.jpg - (544.06KB, 1200x1600, 8802f2268cc2c025e709d836ce66a997.jpg) [iqdb]
14580
VOTE RESULTS

[X] "I'm all set. Let's find a place." (Minimal firearms, all danmaku & melee) (3 votes)

---

"I think, I'm good, Kaede. Let's have a match."

"Without your stuff? Are you sure you wanna do this?"

"Well, I can't be too dependent on my gear, that's to be certain."

Kaede relents and nods. "That's a good change of tactics I say!"

"Let's find a place to spar as well then."

"Good idea."

Kaede then leads you off to find a good place to spar. There is an empty field just outside of the village, and you both soon put your things down to prepare for the friendly fight. Kaede has his shield and sword ready, while you just simply stretch your arms and legs.

"Are you sure fighting on your own, Seo?"

"I guess? It's a good way to get used to danmaku and all."

"True, but I think this fight is going to be easy." Kaede taunts and grins smugly.

"We'll see. Are you ready, Kaede?"

"Whenever you are." The tengu replies with a smug grin on his face.

"On the count of three..."

"Three! Two! One!"

"Let's go!"

Kaede is quick on his feet, and soon enough you see your opponent charging headlong towards you.

Once he's close enough, Kaede is really isn't holding back with his swings and sword thrusts. You sometimes have to sidestep his sword thrusts - and you quickly find an opening that way, and try to counter with a kick.

Right on the spot, you find the geta is a bit unwieldy in kicking, unless if you find the way to plant the tooth somewhere on the target. Your missed opportunity means that Kaede makes a swift turn and bashes you with his shield to push you away.

Of course, you still have your M9, so as soon as you have a good range, you whip out your sidearm and shoot at Kaede. Predictably, He puts up a shield in front of him and by the time you are about half of your magazine's capacity, Kaede activates his reflect shield... only for it to go to waste just as you stop firing and replace your magazine.

When his barrier fizzles out, you dash towards him and sweep him off his legs, before shooting a few rounds at him while he's stunned. Kaede recovers and lands on his feet and he retaliates with an overhead swing.

The next swipe is a horizontal slash and you were caught off-guard since you did not expect the energy bullets the attack generated, causing you to tumble backwards from the impact.

Kaede then charges ahead to follow up with more strikes, but instead you grab a used magazine and threw it at him.

"Frag out!" You yell.

Of course, Kaede was fooled by the trick, which makes him dodge left. This allows you to sweep him to the air with a small squall. You jump towards him just as he recovers to hover in midair. He flies towards you, while you unfurl your wings and take off right at him. Just then you gather your mana and fires at Kaede when you have him in range.

"Checkmate!" You exclaim as you release the familiar burst of danmaku at him.

BRRRRRRRRRT

Since you pull your burst at such close range, Kaede didn't have time to pull out his reflect barrier. Just like before the recoil from the burst kicks your flight path higher - just enough to evade Kaede from crashing into you.

The wolf tengu attempts to control his path and manages to do so, landing on the ground on his feet. "You did that again." He says.

"The sound is quite addicting."

Kaede shrugs his shoulders. "I can tell."

Both of you assume your stances to resume your sparring session, and once again Kaede strikes first but to your surprise he ditches his sword and shield, lunging at you with empty hands instead. Of course, this is just to show you that Kaede can danmaku despite that he doesn't have his equipment, as shown by his bullet patterns.

You dodge his pattern, before firing back at Kaede with your own spreadshot pattern. While he was dodging, you fire your familiar burst of danmaku in his general direction, alternating between the spreadshot and the burst shot. Your half-brother continues to weave through the patterns and despite being hit squarely in the chest with the burst, he manages to get through your pattern and tackle you into the ground.

"Gotcha!" He exclaims as he pins you down.

"No, got you."

You kick Kaede off you, before jumping back onto your feet. There, you get your wings out and blew him off his feet again just as he lands before you follow it by snatching his sword and striking him with the sheath still on.

Kaede lands on his back and remains there.

"Kaede, are you alright?"

He raises a thumb up while remaining in his lying position. "Yeah, I'm good."

You walk towards Kaede and pull him back to his feet. You then hand him his sword back, before he fixes it back to his sash and resuming his relaxed pose. "Do you want to call it a day?" You ask.

"That's enough for this session, yes." He replies."Man, your danmaku control is getting quite better."

"Really?"

Kaede nods. "How'd you work on your moves?"

"I dunno, I tried thing that comes to my mind." You notice that Kaede is staring towards the bushes not too far from the place too far from the place you are. "Something wrong, Kaede?"

"I think we were being watched while we are having a sparring just now, Seo."

"Someone was here?"

"It's definitely a human. Whatever it is, it's gone now."

---

After that small skirmish, you and Kaede part ways - he returns to the Youkai Mountain, presumably to Nitori's place, while you on the other hand head back to Ancient City.

While you're there, you land somewhere before the bridge and stop by Yamame's Poison House. Figures that you could at least stop by her place once in a while, now that you have some free time and you're on the way back.

As soon as you enter, Yamame looks up from her table and greets you. "Welcome- oh, hello, Seo. Having your leave today?"

"Kind of like that." You say as you approach her bar and sit down on the stool facing her.

"Nice clothes too. I don't think I ever seen you outside of your patrol uniform before."

"Neat isn't it? I got it from the tengu after I turned."

Yamame chuckles and turns around. "That aside, how may I tempt my favorite guard today? Something light, heavy or foods?"

"Maybe something light, Yams."

The spider lady giggles and gets a shot glass before pouring a small amount of alcohol and then serves it for you. Just then, some of the familiar faces show up, entering the bar. One of them notices you at the bar's counter and greets you.

"Hey, kiddo! I didn't remember you becoming a tengu."

"Was it just the clothes or you turned youkai recently?" His friend asks.

"It's not the clothes, but yes, I did turn into a youkai."

"Shall we get a toast for a newly-born youkai then?" One of them suggests.

Yamame intervenes. "Don't bug him too much, boys. The last thing I want to do is explain to Satori about her comatose guard."

"Well, I wouldn't turn down that offer exactly, so I'll go with something light."

"A light one it is then! It'll be on me. Yamame, the usual one for us, alright?"

"I'll be with you guys in a moment." Yamame then picks up a bottle of sake and a few sake dishes before serving them to the guys waiting at the table, before she goes back to you and gets a much milder one, complete with a pair of small sake dishes. "So! I hear that you're going out with Okuu for the summer festival at the surface?"

"Yep."

"Ah, that's nice."

"I wanted to bring you along too, though."

Yamame laughs a little, waving her hand at you dismissively. "One girl at a time, Seo. You're having a date with Okuu, so focus on her first, and then you can think about bringing me to a date. Take your time, yes?"

"Yeah."

"To be frank, I don't really think I ever explored the surface further than what I managed last time, so when there’s a chance, you need to bring me along for the ride."

"Sure thing."

Yamame chuckles as she ruffles your hair affectionately at your response. She then pours some sake for you and herself, as you drink your free time away.

---

After a bottle and lots of discussion later, you return to the palace, where Satori and Okuu greets you. Since you had nothing better to do, you helped Satori out with her study after a good bath, to arrange books and such. After that, Satori makes you help her with dinner, this time she decides to cook chili lobsters.

When bedtime approaches, Okuu is quick to follow you, and as such, accompany you on your bed for tonight as well.

You got to admit, it beats having someone in your embrace than nothing at all.


With you having intentions to meet Ageha and Tateha, you soon drift off to sleep with Okuu in your embrace.

Soon, you woke up in the familiar garden, with Ageha and Tateha crouching beside you.

"Good evening, Seo."

"G'evening!" Tateha chimes.

You hold an arm out to Ageha. “Good evening, you two.”

"Long time no see. I see that there are a lot of things that changed when you last summoned me. Up you go.” Ageha then pulls you back to your feet, and you dust yourself off.

"And I see you now can fly like us too!"

You glance over your shoulder and see your jet black crow wings fluttering behind you. “Ah, yes…”

“So! That little reunion aside, what can we do for you tonight?” Ageha asks.

"I could perhaps use more training from both of you, since it's been a while."

"I don't think you need much for the basic defensive, since you seem to be doing well on your own, but we still need to train you to fully master the gem.”

Something clicks in you as Ageha ends his sentence. "If I do master the gem, do I get to see you guys again?"

"Yes. You can meet us in your dreams anytime." Ageha then produces three scrolls like before. "Now then... to further your mastery of the gem, you need more training. I have three ways to do that, and these will come handy. Of course, you can only pick one at a time."

"So I have to do errands when I wake up like just time?"

"No, only one of them needs you to do that. The rest can be performed here." Tateha adds. "It may take some time, but practice is perfect after all."

"I understand."

What will you do this time around?
[ ] Training: Quick Swap (One Man Army) - Learn a class swap.
[ ] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up.
[ ] Training: Spray Control (Steady Aim) - Target practice on the fields.
>> No. 14581
[X] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up.

I've always liked stealth as a tactic.
>> No. 14582
[c] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up.

Tactical Subconscious Action.
>> No. 14583
[x] Training: Spray Control (Steady Aim) - Target practice on the fields.

Just felt like this; a koishi stealth lesson is fine too.
>> No. 14584
[X] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up.

Ambush (sex) could be fun.
>> No. 14585
>>14584
Well, it won't be that easy or early.
>> No. 14586
[x] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up.
>> No. 14606
File 145529297181.png - (721.86KB, 1023x502, fdb85ea15c43a9f634c7fc403213c8ee.png) [iqdb]
14606
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Assignment: Sneaky Beaky (Assassin) - Find Koishi when you wake up. (4 votes)

---

You take your pick of the scrolls, and it dissipates as soon as you finish reading it. Now that the image of your objective briefly flashes through your mind moments later, you have a good idea on what to do next. Right now the question is how do you find something that usually is so hard to find when you need it?

"One moment, Seo." Ageha stops from your thoughts for a moment, just before you're about to choose to wake up from the dream world.

"What is it?"

"Regarding what happened these last few months, do you think your adventure so far has been worth it?"

You sigh before you begin your reply. "Well... it has had all sorts of up and downs. New friends, old friends, helping others, saving my family... it's all worth it."

"Even though you're not human anymore?" Tateha butts in.

"Yes. I have told the people who are important to me of my choices and there is no opposition from them. My mother knows first. My father didn't say a thing about it when he saw me and my wings."

"I see, I see." Ageha nods. "I wish you luck on your future, but for now, you have morning activities to do."

"That fast?"

"Time flies by as you are distracted."

You can agree with that for once. Slowly you lose focus of your surroundings, and later drop onto the ground as everything fades to black.

---

When you wake up from the dream world, you can feel arms wrapped around you, which you assume belong to your beloved hell raven. As much as you want to cuddle with Okuu some more, you hear knocks on the door, with Satori calling you and Okuu for breakfast. Waking up, you stretch your tired limbs out before waking the hell raven up and leading her off to the bathroom for a morning bath with her. Afterwards, you put on your casual clothes, while giving Okuu your spare pair - minus her bra of course. That's something you didn't have the chest required for one. Both of you then head downstairs for a simple bacon-and-egg breakfast this time.

As you have breakfast, you notice that Koishi is at the table, sleepily. Guess you can ask her things later.

Once you're done with breakfast, however, Koishi is already gone from her seat, with no one else noticing her disappearance until you point it out.

Since you have to do the little assignment you chose earlier on, you decide to find her right after you are done doing the dishes with Okuu.

Not much later however, you soon realize that looking for her is harder than it sounds. A trip around the palace's living quarters turns out with nothing at all.

"Need a hand, Seo?" Ageha asks, making you jump a little. You notice that the pendant is blinking white, a detail you didn’t notice when Ageha talked to you outside of the dream world before.

"Yeah, Looking for her isn't really easy, if only I have a heartbeat sensor something..."

As if granting your wish, Ageha makes the emerald pendant glow. You then take the pendant off your neck and hold it. Peering closely, you notice a white dot in the middle of it.

"That white is you; anyone else in the area would be blue." He says.

"Oh, are you looking for her for me?"

"Yes."

"Neat. Next time I don't have to yell her name out whenever dinnertime comes."

Another lap of the palace still shows up nothing on your heartbeat sensor, and you decide to head outside. This time, you manage to get some results... only for her to run away every time you try to get close to her. This repeats several times, and it seems like Koishi really wants to play hide and seek with you right now.

"Seo, let's have a little challenge. How about you spot her without having to use the pendant?"

"Maybe?" You loop the pendant back around your neck. "So how do I catch something that I can't see?"

"You should try finding that out by yourself. You don’t really need to rely on your sense of vision."

Ageha leaves you to think for yourself, and you retrace your steps, wondering if you have done something similar before. Eventually you recall the time where you used the wind to locate the bandit's camp.

"So I basically do this then..."

You concentrate your mana, allowing you to listen to the wind once again until you spot Koishi's giggles. With her position locked on, you decide to go the long way and sneak up on her.

"Got you!" You exclaim as you catch Koishi by her waist and hoist her up. She squeals as you pull her close and nuzzle into her nape. You let her go after that.

"You found me~ how did you do that?" She asks excitedly.

You think that this is the best time to say that phrase. "It's a trade secret~"

"Aww." Koishi then procures something from her skirt pocket, before putting it into your hand. "And for finding me, I think I should give you this!"

In your hand now is a pointy red crystal. You examine the crystal, and it looks like it's very valuable. Though, what can you do with it?

"Stab it into the pendant, Seo."[/b] Ageha instructs.

You remove the pendant off your neck and with it resting on top of your palm; you stab the pendant with the crystal. Instead of the telltale clink of gems being smashed together, the green gem catches the red crystal.

Slowly, the crystal sinks into the emerald pendant until nothing is left behind.

[i]RED ABILITY GEM ACQUIRED - ASSASSIN NOW AVAILABLE


"Whoa, did you see that, Koishi?"

"I did!" She doesn't seem to be surprised like you are, just happy.

"So, Ageha... what does this do?"

"This is going to sound silly, but try running around the stone path and do it as noisy as you can."

You do what you are told, and lo and behold, despite your boots stomping on the hard surface you can barely hear the sound of your footsteps.

"Koishi, dear? Now walk the same path Seo just did."

"'kay!"

She does an exaggerated walk, which more or less looks like a march. Disorienting as it seems, your newfound power seems to amplify the sounds of her steps. You may need to adjust yourself to this.

"I have a question, is this sound thing always on or something?"

"Oh, not really. Like your other powers, it'll be available as you wish, just like how you can run without getting tired."

"Fair enough."

"Well then... that's enough for now. You know where to look for me."

"Okay."

The gem stops blinking when Ageha's speech ceases, and returns to its original emerald green color.

You sit down under the gazebo to take a rest, and soon afterwards Koishi joins you by jumping and sitting on your lap. You make a small grunt as she lands, before you feel her leaning against you.

"Not running off elsewhere today?"

"Nah, not right now. Big sis and my pets kept hogging you for themselves, and I barely had time to actually hang out with you alone." She removes her hat to expose her green hair, which you pet moments later.

"There, there. You know that you can talk to me anytime, you know."

"Well, I rarely see you alone myself."

You nod. "Say, when I had that injured arm the other day, what was with you and Alex?"

She tilts her head a little, before realizing who you meant. "Oh, him! It's nothing, I just found a friend to tease and talk to~"

"Oh, is that so?"

"It is so~" She giggles when you wrap your wings over her as well. "It's weird to see you with those wings, Seo... but yours are as beautiful as Okuu's though~"

"Thank you."

She nestles in comfortably, almost snoozing off. Before she can really fall asleep in your arms, she shakes herself awake and stays awake for a little while longer before she jumps off your lap. Koishi then pecks your cheek as her goodbye before heading off elsewhere with her usual merry cheer. You just hope she's not going to sample other people's food while she's at it.

---

The rest of the days leading up to the summer festival are pretty much uneventful. On the fourth day for the clothes' deadline, you return to Kagura's shop to retrieve your ordered items. They were quite beautiful with the sky theme going on for the both of you. You thank Kagura and promise her that you'll come again next time, should the need for new threads arise.

You've recently been making frequent trips to the tengu fortress, for your regular sparring with Kaede - and occasionally against Hiiragi as well. Of course, Hisagi has been wondering about when she can have Hitomi come to visit them again, and for that - just to be sure, you ask Lord Tenma if you can bring your mother into the fortress. It turns out that she already had given your mother that permission earlier on, when Hisagi had invited your mother and Hafizi for a dinner. As a result, you regularly transport your mother where she mingles with the youkai side of her family more.

While you're having her at Kyou's house, Hiiragi's younger stepsisters certainly like your mother's presence, and they all get along with her with relative ease. In this case, they all flock and laze around her like a bunch of big dogs resting against their master. It's only natural that Hiiragi feels really jealous.

That is when they discuss the musical competition, with the result being you registering your family's team, consisting of Kaede, Hiiragi, your mother and Hisagi. You can't really do anything with your lack of vocal or instrumental talent since your attempts at musical performance fall far short of your combat experiences.

As a result of that, you have to admit to Kamui that you're not joining. Kamui seems to be mildly disappointed, but he says that you're still able to learn if you have the time.

While you're conversing with Kamui, Kaede adds in a remark that you can make girls sing pretty well, earning him an elbow to the face courtesy of Hiiragi.

---

A day before the festival starts, you and Okuu pack up some clothes for the three-day leave for the event.

You meet up at Mrs. Hikakin's inn to claim your booked room, and she hands over a key for your room. With a bow of thanks, you and Okuu then put down your bags in the room. Since its still day outside, perhaps you could visit various places to spend some time until dusk.

Where should you go first?
[ ] Hang out at Kosuzu's place
[ ] Visit Kamui's show
[ ] Look for dad with Okuu
>> No. 14607
[X] Look for dad with Okuu
>> No. 14609
[x] Hang out at Kosuzu's place
>> No. 14610
[X] Hang out at Kosuzu's place
>> No. 14611
That's a cute Koishi piocture.

[c] Look for dad with Okuu.

Let's introduce our father to his future daughter-in-law.
>> No. 14615
[ ] Look for dad with Okuu
>> No. 14616
Vote's closed.
>> No. 14624
File 145626986523.jpg - (796.17KB, 1920x1328, b490b730d40b6d619322e66ed205cf76.jpg) [iqdb]
14624
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Look for dad with Okuu (3 votes)

---

You make up your mind about meeting your father. He and Okuu have been introduced before, so it would be easier to tell something in your mind.

"Come on, Okuu. Let's go see dad."

"Okay!"

She follows you out of the inn after you lock the door to your room. Instead of flying, you take a small walk to your family's shop. As expected, your father is sitting outside of the shop, a bench under a shady tree overlooking the construction site where your house used to be. The construction site seems to have activities halted for the time being, save for a few villagers tiding up the materials.

As soon as you and Okuu get close, he shifts a bit to the left so you and Okuu can sit down on the bench.

"Dropping by before the festival?" He asks as soon as both of you are seated.

"Yeah." You reply. "How's the house?"

"Looking great. They are going to resume construction after the festival, something along the lines of finishing it all before winter."

"Ah, I see." There's a bit of silence as you gather up your words for the thing you wanted to tell him. "I got a thing to confess with you, dad. The reason why we need a talk is because I want to..."

"Tell me you want to marry your girlfriend here? I wouldn't mind that." This is one of the rare moments you can see your father smile, which is quite unexpected. "Well, doesn't matter if she a youkai, since you're already one... from what I can see, she's looks quite fine for a lady."

"Well... okay then..." You then tell him something else. "What if I want to tell you that I have a few more girls wanting to marry me after her turn?"

"Polygamy, eh? I don't think that's a rare thing nowadays, now that a friend of yours is arranged for the same thing too."

You didn't expect that reaction from him , but you have a good guess that the friend he mentioned is Yuki. "Ah, I see."

"Your mother would be happy to have your kids for her to tend to."

"Yeah."

"So where the rest of your girlfriends live?"

"Underground Capital. Palace of the Earth Spirits, specifically." You reply simply.

"Ah, that's where I hear the Satori sister leave. So I suppose I can meet them someday."

"I can bring you there!" Okuu chirps in happily, which your father responds with a pat to her head.

"That aside, the only thing I'd advise you is that you should be patient with everything that happens. And since we're on this polygamy thing, I hope that you would be fair with everyone."

"Oh, he's pretty good at that already, dad!" Okuu says. "Everyone he loves lives under one roof~"

"Oh, really?"

That statement of hers is partially correct, since Yamame is in your list but she's not a palace resident. "Yes, really."

"Then, like your mother said, that ability of yours really came in handy when you're hitting up the ladies." He teases.

"Dad!"

---

And finally, the long-awaited day arrives.

Since you decide to attend a little later in the evening to help Utsuho dress up in her yukata, the festival grounds are already packed with humans and youkai alike of all walks of life, all dressed up for the occasion. Various food, games and souvenir stalls are set up around the grounds, and in your hand right now is the list for stalls around the area and itinerary of the festival events.

The food area has lots of the usual people selling their food and drinks. Nanabi in particular has his own open rather predictably, and Hikari was there to help the serving... and then you soon notice Yuuka and Eirin lending a hand, both of them wearing cheongsam similar to Hikari's. The surprise here is that how happy the former is, serving their customers without much fuss and another is the odd thing about Eirin - on how she has rabbit ears on top of her head.

Nevertheless, despite the crowd to handle – no thanks to the eye candies available – Nanabi and his team seems to be able to handle the flow very well.

Next on your visit list are Tex's and Mystia’s stalls. Though not having an area like Nanabi's, they both still have a decent amount of visitors setting down to have a quick meal and sake, even though it's still early for those. Mystia has Kurumi helping out with the ordering and serving, while she cooks up the lamprey orders. Kamui and Elis are nowhere to be seen, though when the two at the food stall were inquired about their whereabouts, Kurumi tells you that Kamui and Elis are on their turn to enjoy their festival, and they would swap out as soon as they both come back.

Tex on the other hand has a helper as well, though the crowd is much more relaxed there. The girl is someone unfamiliar, maybe someone he hired for temp work. While the scent of his specialty BBQ ribs is quite tempting, you think that it's better to share with a group since he serves pretty large portions.

The rest of the stalls are the usual people you saw, offering snacks, sweets and drinks of various kinds.

A little bit of scouting later on other stalls, you decide on stopping for a quick snack at Nanabi's place, the first is that you're going with something not quite heavy for dinner, and the second is to sate your curiosity. Bunny-eared Eirin then takes your order as soon as she finished serving a bowl of ramen. From what you can see from the close approach, those ears look rather... authentic... from the way they twitch and respond to Nanabi's call for ready orders.

---

Your next stop with Okuu is to check out the festival's games.

A festival can't be complete without a games and entertainment section, where the usual festival folk games are available, complete with prizes of various shapes and sizes. From the food area you can see the festival regulars for games - ranging to goldfish fishing, archery, target shooting and so much more.

Here, you meet up with Yuki and Wriggle, along with Shinobu and Akyuu while the latter is trying their luck at the dart game, which you don't greet them so that they can focus about it. Alex, Erin and Reisen can be seen hanging out together around what appears to be Ginji's stall not too far away, which offers the target shooting game you, Alex and Kazuma tried a week or so ago. Unlike most Guardians you ran across, Alex is in his full gear, maybe for patrol purposes. He doesn't seem to be upset with the matter, as he seems to be enjoying the festival regardless.

They both are trying out Ginji’s target practice with some success – with Ginji providing them a plush toy as a prize. Erin and Reisen then bid their goodbye to Alex and Ginji where you notice them both walking off hand-in-hand. This intrigues you a little.

"Those two had been going out recently, before you ask. It makes me think if being a Guardian equals becoming a chick magnet." Ginji remarks as soon as you walk closer to his stall. "I mean I see recruits going out with fairy maids lately, even."

"Well, if it's true I might already be going out with someone today." Alex responds.

"What about that lady friend of yours from the other day?" You ask, referring to the redhead you saw with him previously.

"Oh, she's going out with someone else tonight."

"Ouch." Ginji seems apologetic.

"What? She's not my girlfriend."

"I thought she is, with you going out with her and all that?"

"She's not my girlfriend, I tell you."

"Okay then." Ginji then racks his head to find a new topic. "Ah, Seo! I just reminded that I have something for you to do."

"What is it?"

"Actually, there's that hotshot right over there who thinks he can get the most profit for this section. Though I think his game is rigged."

This piqued your interest a little. “Really?”

"From what I seen, usually they would pop up on festivals, offering prizes like we do, but unfairly hard to win. I do think people like him should be taught a lesson, he's breaking the spirit of competition."

"Hmmm." You hum. "What do I get from this?"

"A clean sweep of his prizes, obviously. But I should think of something of a proper reward soon, maybe something about your trauma plates."

"Why him, though?" Alex questions Ginji.

"Well, he has the skill required, plus not in uniform like you do. He's all set for a Guardian in disguise already."

"I regret my decision on staying in uniform already."

Ginji then turns his attention back to you. "Well, it's going to be a little bit longer before they start the puppet show if you're looking forward for that, and there are a lot of other festival games to try if you don't feel like shooting things."

"I'll think about it."

"Take your time."

What would you like to do first?
[ ] Head to that target range and give it a run.
[ ] Bell ringing! Looks like a contest of strength!
[ ] Fish scooping, festival staple.
>> No. 14625
[X] Head to that target range and give it a run.

Not that I mind the other choices, but this sounds interesting.
>> No. 14626
[x] Head to that target range and give it a run.

Maybe there'll be something Okuu'll like.
>> No. 14627
[X] Head to that target range and give it a run.

Better chance of winning something.
>> No. 14628
[c] Head to that target range and give it a run.

This should be fun.
>> No. 14649
File 145743430758.jpg - (476.22KB, 800x557, ea08816a71a43d87a1bb7baeb8fa1f37.jpg) [iqdb]
14649
VOTE RESULTS

[x] Head to that target range and give it a run. (3 Votes)

Trying to scam a customer at a target range? Never again.

---

"I think I'll see what that guy is up to. It might be fun if I can shoot something down and get prizes from it." You tell Ginji and Alex.

"Alright, see you in a moment."

"I'll be watching from here." Alex says as you leave the vicinity.

You then approach said stall with Okuu in tow, and right away, you see a little girl at the counter giving the game a try. As you observe, you see the little girl's last cork bounce off the stuffed toy bear on top of the shelves behind the stall keeper.

"I hit it! I hit it!" The girl cheers as her cork bounces off her target.

"Well, you need to do more than just 'hit it', kiddo. Ya need to knock it down off the shelf."

"Aww..."

While you're talking to Okuu and asking if she wants to give this game a try, the man sees you both and beckons you over.

"Hey you lovebirds, you two've been checking out the place, wanna give it a try?"

Your eyes follow to where Okuu is looking at, and you now see her desired prize. "Okay!"

From out of nowhere, she pulls out her arm cannon, which causes the stall owner to freak out and dive down behind his counter; you however calmly pull down her arm, lightly admonishing her.

"No, Okuu. Use the cork gun on the counter."

The stall owner peeks out behind the counter. "I can't believe you're actually befriending youkai."

"Yes, yes. I assume you're pretty new here, then?"

"Aha, I'm just a guy from another village nearby, doing business."

Well that explains things. You and Okuu decide to give it a try, and pay for the projectiles for use. It is a crudely-made pump-operated air gun, whose ammo is corks, possibly taken from liquor bottles.

You pick up the gun and prepare it, just like how he instructs. There's nothing suspicious so far as you aim down the sights - or rather the lack of it - onto much smaller targets. While you manage to shoot down the small biscuit boxes and receive them, you notice that Okuu is trying to shoot down a dragon plushie off the top shelf. She runs out of ammo rather quickly, and gets frustrated as a result.

The stall keeper only laughs. "Those things wouldn't be easy to shoot down; even a Guardian can't do it!" He brags.

Aside from trying to get Okuu angry, you feel that this person is challenging you. After a quick observation on what you can use against him, you decide to buy extra ammo. He gleefully gives you your supply, smirking as if you just took the bait.

"You know, I'll take that challenge. I'll get the bear, the dragon, and the rest below it." You tell him.

"You can try, but you're going to need more than that."

"I won't take more than three shots."

For this to work, you decide to manipulate a bit of the air pressure as you cock the gun into its ready state. Rather than aiming directly at the prize - which will damage it rather than topple it down, you instead aim at the wall directly behind the shelf.

"What are you shooting at?"

"You'll see." You reply as you fire your second cork at roughly the same area and then reload it.

Your first two corks actually bounce off the wall, and then knock off those loose screws you see. Since the screws thankfully didn't bounce off the ground with a noticeable ding, you follow up with the third shot, which you fire directly on the shelf before you put down the toy gun. The owner makes a smug face as nothing happens, but as soon as he opens his mouth, the whole shelf suddenly comes crashing down to the floor, bringing along the prizes with it.

His eyes widen in shock at the display, and you grin at him.

"You were saying something?"

"Impossible!"

"You should know better than to mock a Guardian in front of one, let alone an off duty one." You tell him. "Since you didn't say how to not knock it down, I used that against you."

He grumbles and picks up everything that was on the floor and puts it on the counter.

Okuu squeals as she takes the large dragon plushie, ignoring the stuffed teddy bear. As you she cuddles the plushie, you notice that the small girl from earlier on is still there. Since you have a good amount of haul right there, you might as well be generous with your loot. It might be good to lessen your load as well, now that you have plenty of things to do.

"Do you want some of these, little miss?"

She nods and points at the teddy bear that was not chosen, and you give her the bear you bagged, smiling at her with a pat to her head. You then take along the smaller stuffed toys and other toys, which the stall owner has helpfully (perhaps begrudgingly) put in a bag. You say your thanks regardless, before leaving the scene and back towards Ginji's shop.

"You rock, man!" Alex cheers as soon as you approach Ginji's stall. "How'd you see a weak point? How's the stuff rigged by the way?"

"Simple. Underpowered air pressure guns against heavy items on an extremely stable surface... stable for the most part. I was thinking if I could shoot the shelves down by the connectors, the prizes would come and I did. "

You and Alex then share a high-five, as Ginji bends down behind his counter. He then pops up to hand you an envelope.

"What's this?" You ask.

"I made a deal with Alice stating that anyone who won at my game would get this coupon good for a custom made doll. Considering the stunt you pulled, and putting the guy in his place, I'd say it qualifies."

"Can I have one too?" Alex asks.

"Yes. That is if you can beat the current high score." Ginji points at the current scoreboard before resuming. "Though, of course you need to pay a small fee. Someone has to make profit too, you know."

"Meh, that'd be easy peasy." Alex reaches for his wallet and hands some small notes to Ginji. "Small arms okay like during the beta test?"

"If you can silence it that is. Or, just use the maguns."

"Nah, I'll stick with this puppy." Alex grins as he picks his Beretta out along with a small suppressor, which he screws on the muzzle of his service pistol. After that he opens fire on the targets as they pop up. True to his words, the suppressor muffled the shots nicely,not causing panic as a result.

---

While Alex is busy shooting at the targets at Ginji's stall, you and Okuu walk ahead to look for other things to do. A little bit of walking around at the souvenir area has its own share of attractive merchandises for you to buy, but for now you're doing some window shopping.

And while you do that, you catch a familiar figure playing his guitar and as you take a closer look, you see Hafizi with a small crowd of spectators watching him busking. Only when he stops playing does he notices your presence.

"Hello, Okuu. Hey, Seo."

Okuu nods at him in greeting. "Hey, Hafizi."

"Having fun?" You ask.

"Yeah, it’s a soothing day so far, and I have my audiences."

From what you see, it's mostly children, young ladies and some young men watching. They offer coins for his performance, before some of them leave for other things to do, with a happy expression on their face.

"I suppose that getting show money is not part of the plan?" You ask as he looks into the hat where the kids gave their coins.

"The hat isn't even mine. I just sat here and these guys started saying 'Mister Hafizi, play us a song or two!' and it sort of rolled on from there." He says. "And I suppose the next thing would be them asking me to do a gun show and such."

At the mention of gun show, the kids started to flock around him again. The front most kids start to ask about him showing them his gun prowess.

"Looks like we'll take our leave. You're starting to have your hands full again."

"Do I look like a babysitter to you guys?"

"No, but you're really popular with these kids. Keine can attest to that, too." You reply with a giggle. As you say this, you can see Keine in the distance at the corner of your sight, smiling at the sight. When Hafizi turns around to see her, Keine waves at both of you. As soon as Hafizi turns back to you, you then see Keine walking off with Rinnosuke, the latter having takoyaki for two in his hands.

"Great. Now I have to go back to school."

"Why don't you go to Ginji's stall, indulge the kids about it all over there? Alex might still be there; pretty sure he doesn't have a suppressor for your USP though."

"I'll just borrow him if he's still there. Catch you two later at the puppet show then?" He asks as he packs up his Stratocaster and stashing away the coins.

"Yeah, we're going there."

"Isn't it a bit early for that?"

"Its fine, we can get front row seats that way."

"Alright then."

Hafizi nods and excuses himself, with the kids following him as he heads towards Ginji's stall while you and Okuu go to attend the puppet show. You're pretty early despite the things you did beforehand, but it's worth it because of the available front row seats. You both take it and set the merchandize you have aside. The attendees later come trickling in as the show is about to start - and soon enough the available seats are fully occupied. People who don't have the seats however have the option to lay down a picnic mat on the ground, most of them either couples or families.

The puppet show soon starts as scheduled, as Alice comes forward to welcome the attendees on the stage.

For the first show, Alice starts off with a small love story, about an insect girl and a scholar during the warring states era.

It was the time where humans and youkai were at war, and the war was fought to assert dominance over lands to conquer. The saner minds wanted peace for both sides, but the warlords didn't want any of it. The story begins when the scholar runs upon the youkai girl, who is dancing under the moonlight. She notices him and he runs away only to be intercepted by her. Lucky for him, she is actually a friendly insect princess. Over time, the bond between the two grows, and they eventually become lovers, remaining hidden for their safety.

The local shrine maiden catches wind of this, and after a small skirmish with her and the incest princess, she is convinced that the latter is benevolent seeing how she puts her lover's safety first. However, she warns the scholar that if the local lord knows, he and his family would be in trouble. She even has suspicions about the warlord’s weird tendencies and habits as of late, and in the end she promises that she will keep their secret.

Time passes and eventually word breaks out. Despite their attempts to hide it, some of the warlord's henchmen find out and the scholar and his family go into hiding but unfortunately the scholar is caught. Just asthe execution is about to pass, the shrine maiden and the insect princess intervene, and both of them do battle against the warlord's troops and finally off the warlord. It turns out that the local lord was already dead, but his body was taken over by a power-hungry spirit who wishes destruction over everyone. Without a body, however, the spirit is completely powerless and it attempts to possess the insect princess' lover instead.

An exorcism is in short order before the spirit succeeds, and for once, peace befalls the territory, with the shrine maiden being appointed as the new ruler to replace the dead lord. For the princess and her lover, they both are allowed to be married, and by the end of the act, are blessed with a half-youkai child. Once the curtains fall, the crowd gives a round of applause.

After a short break, another story begins to play, this time about 5 brave travelling warriors, who stumble upon a village.

The village as it turns out during their stay is under constant threat of wasp demons making a hive in the abandoned castle on a hill overlooking the village

As the warriors investigate, they find this has happened for quite some time. The villagers have to offer tribute to their lord where they have to offer a healthy village man or woman - every year to the castle. Suffice to say they never come back. Requests for help to the capital were attempted, but don’t seem to get through. After a lot of deliberation later, the warriors sneak into the castle during another tribute, and from there, the raid begins. Despite the ratio of 1000 to one, they manage to outwit the wasp mooks in the castle and free as many humans as they can.

The cavalry finally arrives just in time, which bands together the Emperor's troops and various youkai that they helped along the way of their journey. They weren't messing around either - the former carries various heavy weaponries to combat the threat, ranging from muskets to cannons. Punishment is delivered swiftly, and once the hostile wasp queen goes down, the leader of the travelling warriors makes sure she stays that way. Everyone else assists in freeing the humans who are kept prisoner and they are soon led back to their village.

The rest of the castle burns in flames as the emperor's troops set it alight under the rising sun. While the brave warriors are victorious, they remain travelling the world, on search of their next adventure.

When the story ends, enthusiastic spectators give the show a thunderous applause, a sign that the story is well-received. On the other hand, you can't help but think that the story is somewhat loosely based on the Operation Angry Wasp a few weeks back, and not to mention the travelling warriors were based on the main Guardian crew, with the names changed to somewhat similar-sounding ones.

For the closure, instead of a puppet show the last performance is a weapons dance as Alice explains it over the speakers. A girl steps forward with her naginata and the musicians in the background begin their beats.

She seems to have a blank expression when she's dancing, with her mask doing the deed instead. However, her dance moves are very energetic, doing moves that are quite thrilling to watch. In the middle of the naginata dance, a few guys dressed up as bandits show up, and attack her but she fights them off without a problem. A part of you thinks that one of actors got hit squarely with the broadside of the naginata but despite that the show goes on.

Once she's done, the music stops. There is a pause before she bows at the audience, and they applause for her performance. Alice soon shows up, thanking everyone for watching until the very end. The crowd later disperses as the puppeteer announces about the music competition contestants to show up at the stage in the following hour.

---

Day One of the festival is basically over by the time the clock is about to strike midnight, which is the time where the elimination match for the music festival ended. Your family made it to the semi-finals, along with Kamui and his team, plus some taiko bands from the next village, and a duet singer. You sigh in relief at that fact.

Since you have a lot of free time, what should you do?

[ ] Go for a supper and little stargazing.
[ ] Go straight to the inn for the next day.
>> No. 14650
[X] Go for a supper and little stargazing.

Figure it's more romantic
>> No. 14651
[X] Go for a supper and little stargazing.
>> No. 14653
[x] Go straight to the inn for the next day.

>the incest princess
Damn autocorrect you freaky.
>> No. 14654
>>14653
Bloody hell, I thought I caught all of them.
>> No. 14655
[X] Go for a supper and little stargazing.

oh wow
>> No. 14657
File 145749039338.jpg - (347.01KB, 1000x1000, bad-company.jpg) [iqdb]
14657
[c] Go for a supper and little stargazing.

That puppet theatre seems to be very familiar for some reasons...
>> No. 14667
File 145864299061.jpg - (553.58KB, 1539x952, ebd8f9d77c33ff4750b06b94a259245f.jpg) [iqdb]
14667
VOTE RESULTS

[x] Go for a supper and little stargazing. (4 Votes)

In addition of mistakenly posted my update in Otherwise and missing the incest/insect thing in the text (apparently I missed exactly one), I miscounted the votes for the previous update by one. It's actually 4.

---

While most of the stalls and stores are closing up with the festival wrapping up for the day, the food stalls remain open at the festival grounds. There are a few midnight owls that show up for some supper and gathering with friends - alcohol is no stranger to visitors like those. As you approach the food area, you notice Nanabi is still there, kissing Eirin and Yuuka goodnight. They both presumably went back to the original shop with Hikari in tow, while he serves the remaining customers all by himself.

In the meantime, Mystia, Tex and a few more are also still open, with a balance of familiar faces spread between the first two stalls.

Over at Tex's, your fellow Guardians and their partners (or in Alex's case, the lack of it) are gathered around the table, eating steak merrily.

At Mystia's place, Kamui, Yuki and company are seen, having grilled lamprey.

After much deliberation, you decide to go with Mystia's stall, and choosing to have your seat at the counter facing Mystia.

"Oh hey. Good evening, lovebirds." Mystia greets you as she notices you sitting down.

"Evenin', guys, Mystia."

"Hey, Seo. I thought you're going to join the Guardians over at Tex's." Ginji asks.

"Nah, I prefer going light for supper this time, it’s not like we don't want to stay for something heavy like they do, though but maybe next time."

"Ooooh... going out tonight on a midnight walk with Okuu?" Mystia pops in.

"Something like that, yes."

"Good! That's a wise choice, indeed. So I assume the usual menu for supper, is it?"

"Yeah, the usual."

And so, Mystia nods and goes back to grill her lamprey skewers. From what you can see, she is also grilling what appear to be beef skewers. Mystia noticed you staring and she decides to explain it to you. "Those are new on the menu, grilled beef skewers with special dipping sauce. You want some?"

"Eh, might as well put a couple on my plate." You reply.

"Mine too~!" Okuu cuts in.

"Alright then, so extra skewers for both of you."

Once your order arrives, you receive a plate with a pair of lamprey and beef skewers, plus sake. For the beef skewers, Mystia has a small dish filled to the brim with sauce, which tasted like black pepper. Okuu seems to like the new offering as well, as she chews down both the lamprey and beef within seconds. On your side, eating both made you feel quite full already. You then wash the black pepper aftertaste with some sake.

"So how was it?"

"It was good." You and Okuu answer at the same time, making the latter giggle.

Of course, Okuu would soon ask for seconds, which Mystia gleefully complies. You on the other hand pay for the orders you both make, but before that Okuu feeds you with her skewer. Now it's the other's turn to giggle when they see you in such romantic sight. Okuu does this for another skewer she has, before finishing the half-eaten ones on her own.

"We'll take our leave for now, thanks for the meal, Mysty."

"You're welcomed~"

"See you guys tomorrow!"

"Bye~!" Everyone chimes out their goodbyes as you and Okuu takes off for the skies.

A little bit of flight time later, you both land on the nearby hill overlooking the village. The village isn't the focus, however, as the reason you're there is to treat Okuu the sight of the night sky.

"Ah, that's good... seems like the sky is clear tonight."

You both sit on the grass, beside each other. You can tell that Okuu is mesmerized by the star-studded night sky. The near-full moon enhances the mood as well.

"Such a beautiful sky..."

Okuu says as she lies on her back, with you following suit. "I don't have much chance to go on a little stargazing at the surface by myself."

"Not even when Satori was invited elsewhere and you tagged along?"

She shakes her head. After a while, she starts up the conversation again. "I remember when I met you for the first time, Seo."

"What, the time when you held me up with the arm cannon to my face?"

"Yeah. Thought you're someone hostile, but I didn't know Miss Satori hired a guard. Not like we need it in the first place, but then again...." She then leans on your shoulder. "With how things turn out lately, I don't mind having a guard at the palace."

You chuckle at her reply, patting her head and shoulders. "Of course you do."

While you two were watching the sky, both of you notice a streak of light in the sky, it appears very briefly but it's enough for Okuu to suddenly spring to her knees, clasping her hands to her chest and muttering something you can't catch.

"What was that all about?"

"Miss Satori told me to make a wish if I see a shooting star~" Before you can ask, she follows it up. "I won't tell you what I wished for though~"

You giggle and ruffle her hair at that response. After a while, you decide that it's enough staying outside for the night. The air starts becoming chilly with the cold night air blowing. "Well then. Let's get back and catch some shuteye, shall we?"

"Sure~!"

Not even bothering to walk this time, you and Okuu flew all the way back to Hikakin's inn, not forgetting your items.

As you arrive at your room at the inn, you leave your prizes inside the wardrobe. You helped Okuu to strip from her yukata, before doing the same to yourself. You then usher Okuu to the bathroom to get her cleaned up.

Instead of a shower or a shared bathtub, you decide to give her some body scrubs, and so you instruct her to sit down on the available stool. She stays still as you begin by pouring a bucketful of water on top of her. You continue with giving her hair a nice lather of shampoo, even lightly massaging her scalp. After rinsing that off, you continue with soaping up her body. She allows your healthy gropes to her breasts and ass, getting the soap evenly around her and at the same time slightly sates your lust. Of course, you went back to scrubbing her body once you're done doing that, stopping yourself before you go overboard and do something more than just groping. You expected her to whine about it, but Okuu instead only giggles ticklishly.

It's as if she knows that you intend to save up for tomorrow, since she didn't complain about the sudden stop.

This continues for a good couple of rounds before you swap roles between the two of you. She tries to copy your actions from earlier, and as a result gets you riled up again, just as you just calmed yourself down. While she's trying to be careful with her actions, the hell raven's somewhat slow caress and her occasional breasts pressing against your back does the opposite effect. The sudden cold shower from another bucket would shock you back to your normal state, thankfully.

After that, you grab the supplied towels to get the two of you all dry. You have to use multiple towels to get her hair and her wings dry. Once she's all dried up, you get her some fresh robes and put it on her. She nuzzles you cutely as you snuggle her close.

You feel tired from the whole ordeal already, and you lead your lover to the futon fit for two. She is tired as well, and soon, the two of you cuddle under the thick blanket. You give Okuu a goodnight kiss to her forehead, before pressing your face into her chest.

"Good night, Seo."

"Good night to you too, Okuu."

---

When the next morning arrives, you wake up first. The first thing you do after you get yourself a faceful of water is to wake Okuu up for breakfast. Again, you take a bath with her, though this time it takes less time than last night. You put on your tengu uniform, and Okuu puts on her usual outfit. You then head downstairs for breakfast at the stalls that are already open for the morning - a simple chicken porridge for you and a bowlful of hot hardboiled eggs for your partner.

"What are we going to do today?" Okuu asks as you leave the area.

"I think I am going to buy a cake for my nephew. I just realized that his birthday is today."

To your relief, the bakery your mother used to frequent is already open at this hour. You decide to give it a visit.

"Welcome!" A young girl chimes as you walk into the bakery. She seems to light up as you enter the store, might be because of your clothes.

Though, she looks somewhat deflated when Okuu follows you from behind. Perhaps she somewhat looks intimidating, but to you that is hardly the case. "Don't worry about her, she's quite friendly." You assure.

"Anyways... what can I get you, Mister Tengu, sir?"

"Just Seo would be fine." You remind her. "For starters, I need a cake for 12-ish people. A birthday cake, if you will. "

"Oh, that's easy. Follow me, please."

You do not wish to burden her with a custom order, so you point at the newly-made cake, stored to cool in the refrigerated glass showcase. Once you have your item, the girl takes it some icing for decoration. You learn from her that the cake you chosen is a red velvet cake.

"What do you want me to write on the cake?"

"Happy birthday, Naoshi."

She nods and begins using the icing to make some writing on the cake. You can see how skillful she does it, and before long, she has the words down on top of the cake.

"Done!"

"It looks good, thank you." You tell her., before turning towards Okuu, who's browsing the cake slices. "Do you want some, Okuu?"

"Sure!"

The shopkeeper then tends Okuu, with the latter choosing a blueberry cake slice and you taking the cheesecake slice for yourself.

"So, do you need anything else, sir?"

"I think that's all I need for now."

You pay for the items and leave. Later, you have Okuu wait for you as you head back to the inn momentarily to retrieve your bagful of prizes from yesterday. Once you regroup with Okuu, you head towards your father's shop, where your family just opened up for today.

This time, your father is manning the counter when you head in. Daisuke is nowhere in sight, but the rest of your family is there.

"A special one for Nao today?" Your father asks.

"Yeah, hot off the bakery. Hopefully I have plenty for everyone."

"Did you buy all those toys, Seo?"

"More like I won them off yesterday at the festival."

"You're really putting those skills to the best, huh?"

"Nah, more like he challenged me, and I made sure he regrets that. Where's Nao?"

"Gathering his friends to come over. Go get your mother in the back; she's preparing the food and drinks."

You do exactly that, with Okuu bowing to your father before she follows your tail. Just like what your father told you, your mother is in the kitchen, though she is currently being helped by her in-laws. Since everyone already taken up the roles, you had to sit out from helping. By then, Naoshi's friends are gathering up, some even has their parents following along. They even have presents for him.

The small party continues with a birthday song, then Naoshi cutting the cake for everyone. While the parents are chatting with each other in the gathering, you give away the prizes you won yesterday to the attending kids, which unfortunately not enough for every attendants.

Naoshi is officially 12 now.

As the crowd disperses, some parents stick around to help with the cleaning. You and Okuu on the other hand congratulate your nephew, with Okuu giving him a nice big hug. Nao puts it nicely - auntie big bird, as he calls Okuu. Daisuke however is still not around when the party is done, and it makes you wonder where your older brother is when his son is waiting for him for the special occasion.

"Seo, do you mind if we have a word or two?" Daisuke's wife calls for you, surprising you a little.

"What is it?"

"I'm trying to get this off my chest, but Daisuke has been acting strangely ever since Hiiragi is accepted into the family. He comes home late, gets really angry really quick..."

"Why don't you tell dad about it?" You ask before she can tell it longer. "Are you sure he's not doing something... you know...?"

"I did, but I'm concerned on what he's actually doing. He never tells when I ask, and I don't think this had anything to do with a woman."

"I'll see what I can do."

"Please do something. It's so unbecoming of him to not show up on his son's own birthday party, let alone neglecting us as a family..."

You keep that in mind, something is indeed off with him.

---

When dusk finally arrives, you and Okuu return to the inn to take a quick bath and then putting on the second set of yukata before leaving for the festival grounds - earlier than yesterday, even. As a result, you and Okuu can see the steady stream of people attending the festival. As soon as the sun falls, the vibrant lights for the festival lights up and the village head announce the start of the second day of the midsummer festival.

For starters, you get Okuu and yourself some takoyaki, while pondering what to do and a little part of you thinking about what Daisuke's wife told you. You however decide to push that thought aside for the moment, and finish up your takoyaki. Once both of you finish the quick snack, you make a quick survey around the area.

The game section still has the usual stalls from yesterday, with Ginji powering up his target range. Reisen still is at the top of the scoreboard, with Alex coming in close to second, off by 5 marks. The shooting range stall from yesterday has the sign "NO GUARDIANS ALLOWED" on the counter, but that doesn't stop Alex in his yukata to win a prize without much fuss. He didn't hang around Ginji's place this time around, probably off to enjoy himself with some sightseeing. You continue to survey the area a little more and soon you run into Rei, Kagerou and their kids at the bell game. You can hear the bell ringing, which could only mean he won a prize, with Kagerou doing the same a little later... and barely hitting the bell.

Though, it takes the gamekeeper's urges and a free try that she does it again, this time with another bell ringing. As a result, they both get a plush bear for their children. Her kids saw you and waves at you without a sound, with Kagerou soon noticing you. She however didn't manage to stick around since Rei is already far ahead.

Now what should you do?
[ ] Let's check out the bell game this time.
[ ] Find your musical family team; see how they are holding up before the finals.
[ ] Hang around with Alex.
>> No. 14668
[x] Let's check out the bell game this time.

I want to see how thing play out
>> No. 14669
[X] Let's check out the bell game this time.

Youkai strength may help!
>> No. 14670
[x] Let's check out the bell game this time.
>> No. 14673
[c] Let's check out the bell game this time.

Who is Naoshi again?
>> No. 14674
>>14673
Seo's nephew.
>> No. 14688
File 145988017980.jpg - (691.71KB, 1440x900, 9439cd3c89a505653c286cc4cd34a791.jpg) [iqdb]
14688
VOTE RESULTS

[X] Let's check out the bell game this time. (4 Votes)

It's 2:15 in the bloody morning and I STILL haven't gotten my Sword of Kings yet. Come ooooon.

---

"How about that bell game over there? Looks like fun to me." You suggest.

"Okay!" Okuu chirps merrily as she drags you towards the bell game. Once she's there, she straightens you back up and taps the game owner's shoulder to get his attention. When he turns around after thanking a customer, he sees you lifting a greeting hand at him.

"Ah, you're the guy who shot the grand prizes over that stall yesterday. Welcome, by the way." The stall keeper greets you. "Wanna try out the game? 500 yen for three tries."

"Yeah, both of us." You tell the keeper as you pay the amount for both. "Why there are two bells, by the way?"

"One of those is for humans, and the other one is for the youkai folks. Had to make it separate, it makes things fair." He says as he points to the different colored exterior for the bells, red is for humans and blue for youkai.

"Right."

He apparently did not question if you're a human or otherwise, which you assume means that he might have already seen you in your tengu uniform earlier that day. Okuu however insists that you show her how it works.

By not over-exerting yourself, you show Okuu on hitting the bell, which you consistently hit for your three tries. After receiving your umpteenth plush toy for the festival, you hand the mallet over to Okuu. She holds it in one hand and her face looks quite confident. It seems as if that she wants to win, and that makes you step back a little from the hell raven.

"Here we go!"

BOOM

There are a few moments of silence as the inevitable happens.

Okuu just utterly destroys the bell with a single swing... and that was a bell made to withstand youkai strikes. While you aren't amused with that fact, the stall keeper stares at the wrecked bell with his mouth agape, in shock as well.

"...oops." Okuu says as she realizes what she just did.

Even the spectators around the area are stunned silent, so much that you decide to break the awkward silence. "Well, I suppose that happened. Does she still get a prize for that?"

The stall owner snaps back to his senses. "Why yes... there is actually a prize for doing that."

You didn't expect that answer however. "What will it be this time, more bears?" You ask.

"No, something even better." Instead of stuffed toys like yesterday, Okuu gets a voucher of sorts from the stall owner. "You can buy something from Kourindou with this coupon."

"Let me guess, a deal with Rinnosuke as a promotion?"

"More like a bet, to see if a youkai would be able to destroy that youkai-level bell. Though, apparently those who tried already were too mindful of their strength, just like that wolf lady just now."

"Where did you get this idea to separate between categories anyways?"

"There's the green-haired little lady that I coaxed to hit harder back then... and she dented the bell. Though I still think she was holding back. I did that so I would have something of a working bell if one got destroyed."

Judging from his description, that must be Wriggle he's describing. Some part of you wonders if his 'coaxing' meant egging her to do it harder, which she did, but didn't exert too much - unlike Okuu who just obliterated the whole thing single-handedly.

"Well, I suppose so."

"If you'll excuse me, I'll be getting this salvaged for a better youkai-level bell."

"Sure."

You make a note to yourself to visit Rinnosuke's shop tomorrow morning before leaving for your home base. In the meantime, you can see Okuu entertaining little children running in circles around her, apparently in awe of her strength. The adults whisper to themselves, which with your windy eavesdropping reveals how they never expected her to have that kind of power among other things.

Then again, none of these people knew that Okuu was the cause of an incident a few years back.

---

As you scoot off with Okuu from the obliterated bell, you keep on looking for any distractions for the day, with the focus on anything you've yet to try or missed yesterday Often times, you buy some snacks for yourself or Okuu insisting that you and her play a game together.

Eventually, you run into Alex, looking lively with his loot He seems to be grinning much more than usual, which may have nothing to do with his winnings.

"What's up, Alex? You got some good news to share?" You ask as you approach him.

"Oh, hey man. I got some good news indeed, and it's probably the hottest thing that I got today."

"Is it reliable?"

"Well, I wouldn't know if a certain newspaper can be trusted - just take this info with a pinch of salt, will you?"

"Just tell me, damn it."

"I'm getting there, just bear with me for a moment." Alex then takes a deep breath before exhaling. He then pulls you and Okuu closer. "Okay, so earlier today I went to Mystia's place, and she told me that he finally found his match. I didn't really pay attention to it until Aya's paper was at my doorstep when I got back from Mystia's place."

"Are you for real?"

"I have my doubts, but just in case - why don't you congratulate the guy and see if he denies it or not. His body language would be the proof; he's not really that hard to read anyway." And at the corner of your eye, you soon spot Hafizi busking on a bench.

"Speak of the devil and he will come." Okuu says she spots Hafizi as well.

"Well, go ahead and do what I said, then meet me again when you're free.

"Yeah, yeah."

You and Okuu then leave Alex behind and approach Hafizi. He sees you and greets you as well.

"Hey, Seo, Okuu."

"G' evening, Hafizi."

True to Alex's words, you can see the look of happiness on his face. Perhaps that you should continue with the experiment Alex suggested.

“I don’t want to be like the rest of the people but… Hafizi, congratulations. ”

Immediately as he hears that from you, Hafizi promptly buries his face in his palms. “Not even you, Seo?”

“Uh, sorry for that but you should know that words travel fast if you're not careful.” You answer. “You should probably blame Aya for spreading the news, though." In truth, you don't really want to tell Hafizi that Alex told you about it first.

“Unyu?” It would take a little while before she gets on what you meant. “Oh! Oh! I know! He found someone he likes and he did it with her! But with who?” she asks.

"I believe that's a good question for another time, Okuu."

“Do I have permission to weep in despair?”

"By all means, please don't." You say as you pat his back. "At least your partner is still a mystery, though."

"That wouldn't be a secret for long."

"Yeah, I am aware."

---

A couple of hours later, the music competition soon begin its course. Unlike yesterday, the crowd around the competition stage has somewhat doubled. You wonder what the cause is as you get a seating space for two.

You and Okuu watch the performance for the first two groups, with the guys giving out great performances and the audience cheering them on. Despite that, their scores were above average, with the taiko team doing better than the team that played after them. They all bowed to the crowd before retreating to the backstage.

As your family's team begins their performance, you spot a group of wolf and crow tengu among the crowd, but are unsure of how many of them are there - at least until the team gets into the exciting parts.

They are really enthusiastic with their cheering apparently, calling out the tengu in your team's names. Some girls in the group can be seen swooning for Kaede, as he puts on a cool face while belting out his excellent harmonica routine between Hiiragi's singings. They both finish off their duet with a high note, making the audience roar with their applause as everyone on stage bows to them. The judges on the other hand raise a surprisingly high score, which make your half-siblings giddy.

Finally, Kamui's team's turn is in order. Mystia and Kurumi are with him with no sign of Elis, presumably because she needs to take care of the stall while the owner is having an important activity.

And then they begin their routine.

It was heaven to the ears, so to speak.

You have to agree that despite trying hard by themselves and winning the hearts of quite a number of audiences, your family team simply didn't have enough skills to outperform Kamui's more experienced team. The judges give a near-perfect score for Kamui, higher than your family team's score. The crowd goes wild with the applause.

After the competition stage is over, the prize-giving ceremony is held. It seems that the top three winners received a hamper each, plus a trophy cup with colors relative to the rank. You and Okuu then reunite with your family team.

"We lost..." Hiiragi whimpers as soon as she sees you.

"Don't worry, you guys did well."

Everyone then gives Hiiragi a good collective hug, which Okuu initiated first. "Ah, hell. You brought along the whole fortress over, Kaede?" Hiiragi says when she points the group of tengus coming towards them.

"I didn't tell them anything, though." He retorts confusedly.

The group swarms your team with congratulations and praises, with the little ones wanting to shake hands with the playing members. You can tell that everyone is actually getting their fan boys and girls, even your mother who's not a tengu at all. Kaede spots a friend of his among the crowd, and a signature handshake later, he then asks him a question.

"How'd you know that we were playing today?"

"Aya did! She featured your performances during yesterday's round on her paper! Everyone wanted to see you, but some got stuck at work!"

"Really? That would be something Aya did that I appreciate, for once."

Once the tengu crowd disperses, the Prismrivers make an announcement about their concert beginning in sixty minutes, asking the attendees to run along and kill some time while they prepare the stage for their concert. You and your family members do exactly that, walking off from the event area to elsewhere.

"Alright! Who wants dinner? It'll be my treat!" You announce to the group.

Everyone in the group raises their hands. They even suggest that you stop at Nanabi's, though this ultimately falls short when someone decides to block your route while you're on your way to the food area.

"Halt!"

Everyone stops in their tracks, including you.

"What do you want?" Kaede gruffly questions the white-haired girl with a multi-layered karignu in front of his path.

You've definitely never met this girl before. What does she want with your group? Your internal monologue is however soon answered.

"My name is Mononobe no Futo and I saw both you and you have a sparring match a few days back." She says as she points at both you and Kaede. "I am here to challenge both of you to a danmaku duel!"

"Can't this wait until tomorrow? It's a festival, not a fight club." Hiiragi protests.

She smiles smugly as she crosses her arms together. She then dramatically points a finger at the group. "A challenge must be promptly answered! And I won't take no as an answer!"

"Right, just gimmie a second." You sigh and turn around to your team. "Group discussion, everyone."

"Alright. So, any brilliant ideas, people?" Kaede asks as soon as everyone makes a circle of discussion.

"Well, there's two ways we can do this. Since she insists on a duel regardless of postponing this to another day - we can either do it fast or we do it slow." You tell everyone. "At least that's what I think at first."

"What do you mean by that, dear?" Your mother asks.

"Hitomi, I believe that by 'doing it fast' is that instead of Kaede, he would have Okuu as his partner." Hisagi replies instead.

"Sounds nice. Have you made up your mind on who to choose though, Seo?" Hiiragi chips in.

"Let's see..."

So who should you partner with for this challenge?
[ ] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!
[ ] Have Kaede as your partner. Bro team!
[ ] How about just you and her?
>> No. 14689
[X] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!
Get it done quick like
>> No. 14692
[x] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!

Hopefully Okuu doesn't overdo things this time.
>> No. 14693
[X] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!

No need to waste time.
>> No. 14694
[c] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!
>> No. 14696
[x] Let's have Okuu fight along your side. Crow team!

Crows b4 bros.
>> No. 14700
Update's taking a while, since it's a big one.

Stay tuned.
>> No. 14703
Hooray!
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