-  [Settings] [Home
[Show or hide post box]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Bottom]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (Reply to 3671)
Message
File
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • First time posting? See our frontpage for site rules and FAQ
  • Further overview of board culture in this thread.
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, WEBM, WEBP
  • Maximum file size allowed is 4096 KB.
  • Images greater than 200x200 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • View catalog

File 125957639364.jpg - (400.70KB , 1060x1268 , 62.jpg ) [iqdb]
3671 No. 3671
Sorry for the wait; being with family makes getting an uninterrupted block of time to write difficult. This one fought me kicking and screaming even when I was writing it, too, and I'm still not particularly satisfied with it; remember, my request for constructive criticism is always open.

---

[X] You've got this down for the time being; time to fly!

Well, you are a little tired after your danmaku practice, and you still aren't sure how taxing your duties during the search are going to be, so heading back home and taking some time to relax would probably be safest.

But...

"You... think I could fly?" you ask, unable to keep the smile off your face.

"If you take to it like you did danmaku, we could have you up in the air before the day's out," Yuugi says, her grin matching yours. "'Sides, you've done it once already, right?" She gets a thoughtful look on her face for a moment, then turns to face Yamame. "S'matter of fact, Yamame, you wanna--"

"Yeah!" She doesn't have to finish her thought before Yamame jumps forward, grabbing you around the shoulders in a hug that toes the line between pleasant and painful. Before you can even move, let alone return it, she spins around you, twisting your shoulders as she moves her body behind yours.

"Woah, wait just a--" you shout, taken by surprise at the sudden movement, but it's too late; Yamame's arms catch under your shoulders, and the breath is forced from your lungs as you shoot upward, dragged into the air. You're moving at least as fast as you did when you flew with Yamame the 'fun' way, and you close your eyes involuntarily as the wind whips past, trying to ignore the feeling like the bottom of your stomach falling into your feet.

After spending far longer than you would prefer continuing to ascend, the wind slows around you, and you feel Yamame lean over your shoulder, her chin resting on your neck.

"You can open your eyes now, Mr. Taizou," she says cheerfully, her voice right in your ear. You take her advice, then immediately regret it; the lake is easily a hundred feet below you, and Yuugi is little more than a dot on the cave floor. Your muscles all tense at once, and you squeeze your eyes shut again, taking a few deep breaths as you remind yourself that Yamame has isn't going to drop you, and she could catch you even if she did.

"Yamame, h-how is this going to help me learn to fly?" you ask, keeping your voice meticulously calm.

"Ah!" Her familiar little gasp sounds much louder when she's right next you, and you can practically hear her blush. "I... I guess I was just thinking that if we flew a little bit then you would get an idea of what it felt like and I kind of forgot that I've already carried you lots of times so you know what it's like already and that this isn't the same thing as helping you fly so--"

"It's fine, it's fine," you interrupt. "Let's just get back down and get started, okay?"

As you say that, though, you feel the horrifying sensation of Yamame's arms slipping out from under you as she wiggles at your back. "Ah, I can still help you fly, even if we're up--"

"Nonono! No! Down!" ...Er, maybe that was a little blunt. "I mean, I think I'd rather--"

"No, I understand if you don't want to because you're worried about falling and stuff and I guess it would hurt you more than it hurts me and--"

"No, it's not like I'm worried that you're going to..." you begin, struggling to find a way to express your absolute confidence in Yamame while convincing her that experiments in superhuman abilities at hundreds of feet up are a bad idea. "Well, I mean, it's not like I'm not a little worried, but I'm sure you wouldn't ever actually -- I mean, it's not like you're trying to dr-- er, and Yuugi's down there even if--" ...Trying and failing. Now you're sounding like Yamame. "Y-yeah, let's go down," you finish weakly.

"R-right!" Yamame says, gripping you a little tighter than before, and you studiously avoid looking down at the ground as the two of you begin your descent.

"Yeah, right there!" You're met on the way down by Yuugi on the way up, though, and you hover to a halt on level with her, still well above what you would consider a comfortable height.

"Yuugi, isn't this still a little high?" you ask, casting another ill-advised glance at the ground; you moved sideways at some point, putting you over the lake, but you're still high enough up that there wouldn't be any difference between water and rock if you fell.

"Nah, higher's better to start with, as long as you're close enough to the ground to feel it. Gives you more time to catch yourself if you fall, too," she says, her grin turning a little unpleasant.

"Don't joke like that," you snap, taking another look at the ground and grabbing tighter at Yamame's arms around you.

"Ah, don't be like that," she says, holding a hand out to you. "Here, grab on." She waits patiently as you slowly unwrap your fingers from around Yamame's wrist, slowly reaching out to her.

"Oh, come on!" You make it about halfway before Yuugi loses her patience, covering the remaining distance and snatching your hand in hers. "I got him, spider girl. You can let go."

"Wait, sto--" The words die on your tongue, your throat squeezing shut in terror as Yamame's arms slip out from under your shoulders. You squeeze Yuugi's hand, grabbing for dear life as you fall--

Or not. The same feeling as before, the one you felt with Yamame on the roof of Yuugi's house, returns in full force, like a hook in the pit of your chest pulling you back up to Yuugi's level. Your muscles seize, your extremities tingling with fear, and you barely resist the urge to flail your arms like a drowning man, keeping your eyes locked on Yuugi's hand, the only connection keeping you from plummeting to the ground.

"This is real magic, so it's gonna be a little trickier than danmaku, but the idea's the same." Yuugi's voice is perfectly calm, neither indulging nor mocking your fear, and you switch your focus to her face. "You feel that, there in your stomach? Focus on that, keep it in your mind, and it'll stick with you even after I let go. All right?"

Let go? ...Well, you have to eventually if you're going to learn how, right? "Don't... just give me a second, okay?" you say, biting back another wave of panic.

"Yeah, yeah," Yuugi says dutifully, putting her other hand on top of yours, and the feeling inside you grows stronger, buoying you against the force of gravity. Slowly, you relax your grip on Yuugi's palm until you're doing little more than resting your hand on hers, devoting all your concentration to cementing the feeling of flying in your mind.

...Okay. "I'm ready," you say resolutely.

"You sure?" Yuugi asks.

"Y--"

And you drop. Instantly, your neck snaps up, looking back towards Yuugi and Yamame's rapidly shrinking figures, and you're consumed by raw panic for a moment before Yuugi's instructions return to your mind. Closing your eyes, you try to calm your mind, recalling the feeling you had when Yuugi was helping you fly. Almost immediately, you feel it return, but it's... different, almost painful, like you're hanging from a wire tied around your internal organs. You try to focus past the pain, biting your lip in concentration, when you realize that even with the feeling, nothing's changed; you haven't stopped falling! You open your eyes, reorienting yourself as you tumble and looking towards the ground and holy shit you're about to--

"Hup!" The wind is knocked out of you as a pair of arms abruptly break your fall, and you feel a bump a second later as Yuugi's feet touch the ground lightly below you. Your stomach does another little flip at the sudden loss of momentum, and you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, then a few more deep breaths as the head rush hits.

"Goin' up, okay?" Yuugi says after about a minute of neither movement nor speech, and you open your eyes again as the two of you gently rise into the air. As you do, Yuugi's look of light concern disappears, replaced by the same calming neutrality as before. You take the hand she wordlessly extends to you, and the flying feeling returns again, pain-free, as you turn yourself upright, 'standing' next to her in mid-air.

"Wasn't concentrating hard enough, I guess," you say with a shrug, casting another brief glance towards the ground below.

"Nah, you're gettin' it, you're gettin' it," Yuugi says encouragingly. "You moved yourself though the air plenty, didn't ya?"

"Rea-- oh, I did." That's right; Yuugi caught you on land, but you were over the lake when you started to fall, weren't you? "So should I just think more 'up', then?"

"Actually, I'm guessin' that's part of the problem. Well, I guess more thinkin' 'not down' than 'up'." She frowns for a moment, looking away. "Hate to say it, but I think it's kinda a human thing. Your brain worryin' about the ground below, gettin' in the way of instinct, somethin' like that. Oni kids usually don't start pickin' up on flyin' 'til they're old enough to take a few falls."

"Oh." Well, it's not like you could expect to pick this up as well as someone who's been doing it their entire life, let alone a youkai as many times stronger than you as Yuugi. At least it doesn't look like it's entirely out of your reach. "It hurt my stomach a little, too. Is that just because humans aren't as strong as oni?" you ask.

"Nah, everyone gets that," she says, waving her free hand dismissively. "Think of it like stretchin' a muscle you've never used before. All you can do is keep doin' it 'til it gets easier. Speaking of which..." The two of you float to a slow halt, still a few meters below where Yamame's still waiting for you. You look up to her as she flies down to meet you, confusion on her face, then look back down at Yuugi grinning an all-too-familiar grin.

"Think fast!"

---

"Hah..." You collapse onto the earth, chest heaving, and spread your arms wide, resting your aching muscles.

"That last one was pretty good, Mr. Taizou!" Yamame says, landing gently at your feet.

"Not bad for day one," Yuugi says, landing next to you and crouching at your side. "You'll get there."

"Not if I die of exhaustion," you quip, turning onto your side to relieve the pressure of gravity on your diaphragm. If flying is like stretching a muscle, then you just got a full workout for the first time in your life, and you feel it. On the other hand, you did get better, but not fast enough to actually manage anything that you would call real flight; the best you can consistently achieve is stopping yourself from falling, and even that power needs plenty of space between you and the ground to work in time.

After a while of practicing from up in the air, though, you moved down to land to practice horizontal movement and taking off, both of which proved significantly easier than trying to start in midair. Before long, you managed to work out a sort of cross between a long jump and a sprint; faster than you could run, but kind of hard to pull off consistently, and you can't change directions. "Could be good in a fight," Yuugi said, "so long as you know where you're goin' before you jump."

If you have your way, though, that won't be something you'll need to worry about for quite a while; right here and now, you're content to lay back and--

"Geez. Go far enough out of my way?"

That's... Aoki? You force yourself up into a sitting position, looking towards the top of the hill overlooking the lake. It's him, all right, looking a lot better than he did earlier today; he's still squinting through bloodshot eyes, even in the dim light of the underground, but his stride seems more confident than before, and the fact that he's up and outside must count for something.

He also looks like he's about to lay siege to a castle. The style looks the same as the council head's, with weapons hanging off his body at every angle to the point that it looks uncomfortable to move in.

"Look at you, dressed up like you're movin' out," Yuugi calls out, a laugh in her voice. "You gonna go slay a dragon or what?"

"Give you three guesses who made me pull all this out," he says, raising his arms and gesturing unhappily at himself. "But why talk about my outfit, babe? Yours is much more appealing," he says with a leer, staring unabashedly at Yuugi's legs, still visible beneath the shirt she slipped on over her bathing suit.

"Hands where I can see 'em, casanova," Yuugi shoots back, smirking. "You couldn't beg off with your hangover?"

Aoki shakes his head. "It was either this or get the council head's foot up my ass. Figured I'd go with less pain. Lucky I knew which way you went, too," he continues, pointing a finger at you. "He's about to blow a damn gasket."

...Great. "So the search has started already?" you ask.

"Can't start without the man of the hour. C'mon, let's get going," he says, motioning for you to follow as he turns and walks back up the hill.

"I'll head back with you too, Taizou," Yuugi says. "Yamame?"

"Coming!" she says, slipping on her own clothes and gathering up towels as the four of you set off back towards the city.

Even as Yuugi and Aoki make small talk, though, you find yourself troubled by the idea of the council head even more angry than usual. "So how bad is it at the palace now?" you ask, trying not to show your nerves.

"Eh, could be worse. He wasn't waving his swords around when I left," Aoki says in a tone that does little to reassure you. "There's a... well, it's not a fight yet, but... ah, screw it. You can see when you get there."

You don't have to get more than halfway down the path to the palace, though, before you can form a pretty good guess as to what the problem is: crowded around the foot of the stairs into the mansion are nine other oni, armed at least as heavily as Aoki. You can barely hear their shouts over the sound of metal rattling against metal as they move, and what you do hear is... well, Satori's implication that the search party would be little more than a raiding party is looking more and more accurate. You don't recognize many of the oni in the group (Rasetsu is mercifully absent), and none of them are people you would count as friends; one of the guys you arm-wrestled with and the one that stormed out when you got inducted into the council are the only two familiar faces, and you have only the vaguest recollections of either of their names.

And, of course, the council head, wearing the most weapons of the bunch and engaged in a conversation with Satori that's only a few decibels shy of being an outright shouting match.

This is... you really don't want to deal with this right now. Before you get too deep into worrying, though, a slap on the back jolts you back into the present.

"We're gonna head home, Taizou." At least Yuugi doesn't seem too worried, casting an lazy glance over the scene before the palace. "Good luck takin' care of that bunch."

"B-Bye, Mr. Taizou." Yamame, on the other hand, looks more like she's trying to hide her concern for you; her eyes keep sneaking back towards the group of oni, and her smile seems a little forced.

"See you two," you reply, concealing a little concern of your own as you turn away and catch up with Aoki to continue the walk to the palace. As you approach, the noise from the crowd grows, and it takes lots of shouting from Aoki to get you through to the front of the pack, standing at the foot of the stairs next to the council head.

"It seems that the entirety of your... search party... is here." Satori is a picture of restrained fury, positively glaring down at the council head from her position atop of the stairs leading into the mansion and somehow managing to apply a heavy dose of sarcasm to the phrase 'search party' despite the fact that she's practically shouting at the top of her lungs. "Perhaps now you can explain why you have chosen not to honor your agreement with me."

"This is the last time that I will warn you against accusing me of reneging on our agreement, Lady Komeiji." The council head, on the other hand, looks like he's about to burst a blood vessel, and his hands are gripping his weapons as though he would like nothing more than to leap up the stairs and cut the person hindering him in half. "The agreement, if you will recall, which stipulates that both the council and the palace would agree to be subject to a neutral party. It has already been decided that a complete search cannot be performed without additional investigators. Attempts to circumvent this decision will not be tolerated."

"I... see." Satori's eyes shift to meet yours for a moment. "And if I dispute the neutrality of this third party?"

"Then you will have proven yourself unwilling to honor your agreements," the council head says, taking a single step forward onto the lowest step of the stairs, "and there will be repercussions."

"Quite the one-track mind you have. Rest assured, I will honor your agreement." Satori's gaze shifts onto you again, lingering this time, and you can't help but turn away under the weight of her anger. "At the time, I didn't think it necessary to ask you not to attempt to manipulate the neutral third party into little more than a mouthpiece for your own foolish plans, but I see I was mistaken."

"How dare you imply--"

"Be silent. Your contribution to this conversation is no longer necessary." You can practically feel the council head swell with anger at Satori's blunt command, but, astoundingly, he obeys, falling silent and taking a step back.

"Taizou." Satori's anger is gone now, pushed back under the surface deep enough that you can barely detect it. "You understand the situation." She casts a glance at the band of oni surrounding you, and her expression flickers for an instant before turning back to you. "Give your commands as you see fit."

What... are you supposed to do here? You took the council oath, or whatever that was, and told the council head that you would lead this search group. It wasn't an ironclad promise, but you know how the oni feel about about deception, and you're not too fond of the idea yourself. On the other hand, you told Satori just as clearly that you wanted to make sure that her home wasn't invaded, something that you're not sure you can accomplish if you take this group into the palace.

[ ] An oath is an oath, no matter how informal. Take everyone in, and follow the council head's direction when directing their search.
[ ] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
[ ] You agreed to give orders to a group of ten men, but that leaves you some room for... interpretation. Find a random bush outside the palace and order everyone except the council head to search it for the next few hours.
[ ] You can't agree to invading Satori's home like this. Send everyone else home and conduct the search with the council head alone.

Optional: [ ] Write-in orders. Applicable to any of the above choices. Especially recommended for choice 2.

---

Just to let you know, there is absolutely zero chance of me being able to even work on the next update before December 3rd (unless one of you wants to pay my tuition after I fail my classes and go on academic probation for next semester), but the period between then and Christmas break should be wildly productive if everything (or anything) goes according to plan. No promises (I'm not good with them), but I'd really like to thank you all for sticking with me through the slow times, and I'm working to give you the gesture of appreciation you all deserve: me speeding the fuck up already.
Expand all images
>> No. 3673
I'm all ready to vote for
>[ ] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
...but more write-in-osity is needed, it seems.
>> No. 3676
>[ ] You agreed to give orders to a group of ten men, but that leaves you some room for... interpretation. Find a random bush outside the palace and order everyone except the council head to search it for the next few hours.
This one made me laugh quite a bit, but I'm not certain it's very wise considering it'd be very... human thing to do, and considering how most oni still harbour some resentment. Well, it wouldn't exactly endear us to them, and we desperately need to lower tensions. As for the options of siding definitely with either side, I doubt they'll end well, so I'll go with:
[x] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
With some reservations for future write-ins.
>> No. 3678
[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-(x)Have the men fan out in pairs with the head council being paired with Taizou. to keep an eye on regardless of him "keeping his word" But hear out the head councils thoughts.
--(x)Two search the perimeter outside the manse avoiding to do any structural damage as possible; request for permission for removal of any "lawn ornaments" if necessary. If denied they ought to take note.
--(x)Have two oni explore the main floor, two on the mid floor, and two on the upper floors, request permission upon removal of furniture or artwork applying to all of them, they must request for tools (unless the group already have them/able to adapt their weaponry to use as tools?) to remove anything to avoid needless destruction without hindering the search.
--(x)Have the last two oni join Taizou & HC exploring the basement floor.

the last bit may be metaknowledge, not to mention it's vaguely familiar with the last search that ended with Koishi essentially warping the memories of Taizou and possibly the HC as well but it's the best I can think of atm. any suggestions drastic or not are welcomed.

I had the count of 10 oni not including Taizou and the chief, if the two are counted then forgive me of my mistake please.

You could always just reverse it and have the Taizou/HCC/2xoni group search the mid/upper floors instead...
>> No. 3684
>>3678

I take it that it doesn't settle with any one?
that's okay.

Need coffee before I make another try.
>> No. 3686
>>3684
Taizou's party should be the one searching the main floor. If he's paired with two nobodies, he can hinder their search so that they don't find the basement.
Obviously enough, the remaining two should search the mid floors.
>> No. 3688
OP of the first write-in here

>>3686
I see what you're saying, as I posted the earlier suggestion due to the assumption that Koishi didn't warp the memories of the chief but just Taizou. I recall the event where It seemed as if both the chief and Taizou with Koishi in tow were just discovering Okuu only to suddenly see Taizou regaining his breath as the chief was closing a door saying he'd make another attempt to search.

If his memories were blurred then the idea of having Taizou's main group stay in the main/upper levels would work without too much of a bother from the chief. However wouldn't this be metaknowledge? They could very well have gone to the basement without remembering a thing about their first search.

Nonetheless:

[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-(x)Have the men fan out in pairs with the head council being paired with Taizou. to keep an eye on regardless of him "keeping his word" But hear out the head councils thoughts.
--(x)Two search the perimeter outside the manse avoiding to do any structural damage as possible; request for permission for removal of any "lawn ornaments" if necessary. If denied they ought to take note.
--(x)Have two oni explore the basement floor, and two on the upper floors request permission upon removal of furniture or artwork applying to all of them, they must request for tools (unless the group already have them/able to adapt their weaponry to use as tools?) to remove anything to avoid needless destruction without hindering the search.
--(x)Have the last two oni join Taizou & HC exploring the main and mid floors.

I also thought the Palace had three floors, then again I've see it done as having well over 30+ on another cyoa so...
>> No. 3697
>Just to let you know, there is absolutely zero chance of me being able to even work on the next update before December 3rd

Given that the Writer is going to be busy and that there will be a few days time until he can get back to work, I am going to wait some more and give people the time to come up with something.
>> No. 3700
File 125963600650.jpg - (86.93KB , 560x640 , thinkin yama.jpg ) [iqdb]
3700
>he can hinder their search so that they don't find the basement

This goes against the whole impartial and part of the council thing
>> No. 3702
Just to consolidate information buried in earlier updates and make things perfectly clear, the palace has four floors and a basement, and the search party consists of twelve humanoid beings, two of whom are Taizou and the council head.

>metaknowledge
As things stand, Taizou has two clear memories of the events of the first search: one ending with him about two seconds from getting incinerated by a fireball after the council head finds a secret passage, and one ending with the council head storming out angrily after finding nothing. How he interprets and chooses to act on these conflicting memories is entirely up to you.
>> No. 3703
>>3702
Ah I see now... With that in mind Taizou could easily put the incinerating moments as a sort of a bad-dream event and accept the moment where the HC storming out essentially means they can "ignore" the basement as the previous search "revealed nothing" as far as both Taizou and the HC is concerned.

I have more questions but I feel they will be answered in the next update depending on the write-in...
>> No. 3707
>>3700
Yes. And?
>> No. 3709
>>3707
Wouldn't Satori notice this and wonder if Taizou would do the same thing again except in the Head Council's favor in the future if Taizou haven't thought of that just yet?

Keeping things neutral is the best thing that Taizou can do for now.
>> No. 3713
>HC
>> No. 3715
>>3713
?
>> No. 3716
>>3709
>Wouldn't Satori notice this and wonder if Taizou would do the same thing again except in the Head Council's favor in the future if Taizou haven't thought of that just yet?
You lost me. I can't imagine what would Satori think, but seeing as we're screwing the rules for her sake, I can't imagine her being mad about it.
>> No. 3717
>>3716
She would had been expecting a neutral party rather than a lopsided one. Sure I wouldn't doubt she'd rather have things in her favor, however I wouldn't put it past her to wonder what for assuming she does not find anything to answer that question in Taizou's mind at the time.

Heck she already first thought about questioning the neutrality of the "third party" when it had been discovered that Taizou had joined the Council, of course her concerns were dispelled at first possibly after reading his mind.

Satori is most likely expecting Taizou to stay neutral regardless of the situation for the time being. On another note I wouldn't pin the Head Council to be foolish enough to not notice any small signs of Taizou possibly siding with Satori on the issue.

Taizou's best bet would simply be playing the neutral role to the best of his abilities.
>> No. 3718
>>3717
Yeah despite attempts to sway his favor, he shoudl be neutral, that'd be the most respectful way to Satori.
>> No. 3720
>>3718
Another thing to note, the original reason behind the council even searching through the earth palace had been wanting to find out the cause of destruction of their crops and land. Heck right at the very beginning of the cyoa a huge cavern just up and form where Taizou decided to go spelunking only for it to close up on itself with no rhyme or reason.

We may assume it's Utsuho but chances are Taizou and council will not realize it, or it could very well be something entirely different. Like that god damn catfish-though that's probably a huge stretch

Nonetheless if the council "fail" in finding anything that gives an answer to the destruction of their crops and land this time around, they can't consistently accuse Satori or its residents of foul play without sufficient proof.

Assuming the council (read chief) can accept that, it could free Taizou just enough for him to make an investigation on his own, perhaps with the aid of course of Yuugi and Satori.

Yes I'm perhaps thinking too far ahead but nonetheless for now it's a good time to show that Taizou can not only assume charge of the 10 oni allocated to him as a council member but also maintain the neutrality as per agreed upon both parties.
>> No. 3771
[x] You agreed to give orders to a group of ten men, but that leaves you some room for... interpretation. Find a random bush outside the palace and order everyone except the council head to search it for the next few hours.

No good write in, going with the standard before not voting.
>> No. 3772
>>3771

That's the last thing we want to do as it just squanders Taizou's current powers as council member and co-leader of the "investigating party". Nonetheless we ought to wait for another night before settling imo for a write-in.
>> No. 3775
>>3772

Not to mention it reeks of being biased towards Satori. (Our role is to be NEUTRAL); the reason why Taizo was objecting before was that the onis were about to wreck things in the process.

And Satori would prefer that we'd be neutral ourselves.
>> No. 3776
>>3772
I waited for two days for someone to come up with something. Nothing happend in a day or so, so i vote for something instead of just doing nothing.

And if a good write in pops up i can always delete and revote.
>> No. 3779
>>3671
[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-{X} Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-{X} Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-{X} Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-{X} Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.

Oni don't lie, so if they fuck something up with the search process, the right line of questioning will bear them out, so I'm not too worried about letting them search unsupervised. Furthermore, they're under our command, and part of that is the ability to dismiss them for disobeying our orders. I think Satori and the Council Head will be equally upset with this line of reasoning: Satori doesn't want a horde of oni looking through every nook and cranny, and the Council Head won't like being hamstrung and being threatened with particularly nasty sanctions for doing in-depth searching without discretion. Ultimately though, I think this preserves the neutrality of our position while providing the essence of what we initially sought for with this proposition: letting the oni search while keeping them from ransacking the joint.
>> No. 3780
[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-{X} Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-{X} Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-{X} Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-{X} Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.

Works for me~!
>> No. 3781
[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-{X} Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-{X} Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-{X} Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-{X} Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.
>> No. 3786
[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-{X} Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-{X} Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-{X} Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-{X} Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.
>> No. 3793
[x] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-[x] Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-[x] Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-[x] Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-[x] Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.
>> No. 3795
[x] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-[x] Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-[x] Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-[x] Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-[x] Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.
>> No. 3799
>>3673 here.

[x] >>3779
>> No. 3810
>>3671
Way back when, I thought I was the shit for coming up with that '2 delegates, 1 neutral party' party thing. Seems like we've been paying for that ever since by trying to walk the fine line between royally pissing off Satori and working up the oni into a full on riot. Sorry everyone.

Sage for shame and despair.
>> No. 3814
[x] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-[x] Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-[x] Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-[x] Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-[x] Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.

>>3810
wat
>> No. 3826
>>3814
I'm guessing he was the one who came up with the write-in where Taizou comes up with the idea of being a neutral party.

Eventually it lead up to this shit-puddle.
>> No. 3833
>>3826
Ah I see, why not improve it then or provide an insight as to what would make it better..?
>> No. 3837
>but the period between then and Christmas break should be wildly productive if everything (or anything) goes according to plan.

OH MAN I AM SO FUCKING PSYCHED FOR MORE UPDATES! It has been a long time coming, but I am seriously looking forward to some genuine progression. Thank god we're finally going to be getting somewhere with...

>No promises (I'm not good with them)
>09/11/30(Mon)10:19

... fuck.
>> No. 3838
>>3837
>glasnost

He still has 4 months left to get a regular out.
>> No. 3902
File 126041887046.jpg - (64.86KB , 700x420 , some assembly required.jpg ) [iqdb]
3902
Sill alive, still drowning in work, still not finished with the update, still a horrible liar that deserves your scorn and contempt. Have some Yuugi horn.
>> No. 3946
File 126058573181.jpg - (289.77KB , 919x800 , have_a_beer.jpg ) [iqdb]
3946
>>3902
I feel your pain...
they ask for special meeting documents but don't do a damn thing with them for three months... those bastards
Nonetheless have a beer, we'll be waiting.
Also I didn't want to waste a good yuugi image for this post so please accept shrine-maidenxwitch
>> No. 3950
File 126061007440.jpg - (145.73KB , 500x937 , 63.jpg ) [iqdb]
3950
Back to writing; hopefully it sticks this time.

---

[X] If this is how it's going to be, you need to take control of the situation. Take everyone in, but give your own orders as to how and where they should search.
-[X] Five teams of two oni (Taizou and the Council Head will remain with Satori, these three composing the supervisory team); each team is assigned to the investigation one of the four floors and the basement.
-[X] Each team will examine a floor, but will only make note things that merit further investigation. No physical searching will be allowed; if there's any evidence that a team touches anything at this stage, they will be summarily dismissed. Should tampering be particularly grievous, their floor will be off limits to further investigation.
-[X] Each team will report back to the supervisory team with what they noted as needing a more in-depth investigation.
-[X] Starting from the top floor and working their way down, the entire oni team will search the aforementioned areas under the watch of the supervisory team, who will in turn direct them in what can and cannot be done.

You... have to do this. You're too far in now; you've made too many promises to do anything but make your way across the narrow tightrope you've laid out for yourself between these two conflicting interests.

"Can I get everyone's attention?" you call out to the crowd around you, stepping onto the first step of the stairs before you and turning to face the other oni. "This is how we're going to..."

No reaction at all from the crowd. A few heads turn to look at you for a moment, but your voice barely reaches above the din of the other oni talking excitedly amongst themselves, and you let yourself trail off into silence as your call to action is completely ignored.

So not only are you supposed to reconcile the irreconcilable, but you have to do it with a group of men who aren't going to listen to you? This entire mission is looking more and more like it's doomed to fail.

...And then what? It's not like anyone is going to punish you if it does, and considering how the council head and Satori were getting along before you arrived, you doubt things would go any better if you weren't here. You've got complete freedom of action; why not be bold and use it?

No, if this fails, it's not going to be because you didn't try hard enough. To your left, you see the council head mirroring your action, turning towards his men and opening his mouth to speak, probably to stop the chatter so you can speak.

"Okay, shut the hell up and listen!" But you beat him to it, literally screaming at the top of your lungs over the noise of conversation.

That got them. Eleven heads turn in your direction, each face showing some combination of surprise and anger. Not exactly the start of the kind of relationship you want to build, but you're going to have to assert yourself if anyone's going to respect you. Now you just have to tell them what the plan is for... wait, one of them still isn't listening, turning back to one of the others and continuing to talk. It's not one of the oni you already know; this one's got short blond hair, cut in a style that hangs over his face, similar to Rasetsu's. He looks pretty young, too, at least by the standard of judgment you use for humans, though you have no idea how old that makes him in actual years.

You could just let him talk and continue with your explanation; his conversation partner seems to be more or less focused on you, and he seems to be the only one who still isn't listening. If you pair everyone up like you're thinking, he can probably pick up your instructions from the other person.

But...

"You! There in the back! Yeah, you!" you say, pointing at him as he glances back at you again. "What's your name?" you snap at him, trying to affect as terse a manner as you can.

"...Yoshio." He looks completely unimpressed by your bravado, though, crossing his arms over his chest and smirking at you.

"Well, Yoshio, I guess you didn't hear me, 'cause I told you to shut the hell up and listen." That knocks the smirk off his face, and he uncrosses his arms, turning a shoulder towards you and eying you like someone a man squaring off for a fight. "You think you can do that?" you ask before he has a chance to respond, looking him in the eye without stepping down from your position on the step.

He doesn't respond for a long moment, and the crowd seems to part before you, leaving nothing between the two of you as you glare at each other. Your fists are clenched tight at your side, nails digging into your palms, and your muscles tense as pure, animal instinct tells you that you should be running away now, that you've started a real fight, one that you won't win.

...Have you?

"Heh." Yoshio looks away first, the smirk returning to his face as he looks back at his friend, rolling his eyes and tilting his head in a gesture of 'can you believe this?'. "Yes, sir, Mr. Human, sir," he says, snapping to attention and giving you a phony salute, which sends the crowd into hysterics that take a few seconds to pass.

"Good." This is probably the best you're going to get; he may not respect you, but he'll listen to what you're going to say. You try not to let out an audible sigh of relief as the tension of the confrontation fades, and take another step up on the stairs to address the group.

"You will split into five groups of two, with each group performing a preliminary search of one floor. This preliminary search is to be hands-off. Your purpose will be to document any abnormalities and report to me after your search has completed." You cast a quick glance back at Satori to make sure she's following along before continuing. "Even though you will be unsupervised during these preliminary searches, there will be no need for the residents of this household to be concerned, because you will touch nothing. Do you understand?"

Ten voices groan back at you with some variation of 'yes', so you continue. "After all the preliminary searches are complete, a final search will begin, starting from the top floor and continuing down, focusing on abnormalities reported in your preliminary searches. This search will be supervised by myself, the council head, and Satori, and will be as complete as possible. However, there will be no action undertaken without my approval." You pause for a moment, surveying the listless expressions before you. "If I find that these rules are not obeyed, rest assured that there will be consequences. Do I make myself clear?"

The response you get back is weaker than you had hoped, considering that ensuring that the oni honor your commands is all you can really do to make Satori happy in this arrangement. In truth, you're really not sure what the 'consequences' would be, other than ordering them out of the palace; slim consolation for Satori, were something to actually happen.

Before you start thinking seriously about yelling at them some more to drill the point home, though, the council head picks up where you left off, taking a single step towards the crowd and speaking in a grave baritone. "Understand that I have sworn an oath that anyone who enters the mansion under the auspices of the council will yield to Mr. Hori's instructions." He pauses for a moment, eyes sweeping over the men before him. "I will not be made a liar."

He doesn't acknowledge the chorus of urgent "Yes, sir"s that follow his words, instead turning back to the palace and looking up the stairs at Satori. "Are the terms clear to you, Lady Komeiji?" he asks evenly.

She hesitates a moment before responding, and when she does, it's clearly to you and not the council head. "I... suppose it would be useless, at this juncture, to ask that you temporarily limit your search?"

Limit your... is she really trying to hide something? "Unless you have a very compelling reason to do otherwise, the search will proceed according to the plan I just described," you say resolutely. She doesn't reply, or even shift her pose, continuing to look down on you as though waiting for you to say more.

...She's reading your mind, isn't she? Looking for signs of bias towards the oni, or something she could say to change your opinion? You don't know either way. "Nobody will be satisfied with going halfway by this point, Satori," you say earnestly, putting the thoughts that went into your refusal to words. "I'd rather not do this a second time."

"And you think this will--" She cuts herself off with a wry smirk, looking towards the ground for a long moment before turning back to the palace and walking away from the stairs. "You may begin when ready," she calls back to you without turning around, pulling open one of the huge double doors and slipping inside.

The twelve of you left outside make your way up the stairs and into the house in short order, and Satori directs the other oni to the stairs as the council head divides them into groups of two. It doesn't escape your notice that he hangs onto a few of them a few seconds longer, whispering something to them too quietly for you to hear, but you let it pass; there's not really much you could do about it anyway, and based on what he said outside, he's as committed to making sure everyone follows the rules as you are. After the entire search party has disappeared to their respective locations, Satori leads you and the council head into a side room; a lounge, from the looks of it, with a fire already going in the fireplace (did the palace even have a chimney?) and heavily stuffed furniture scattered around the room. The council head eschews the chairs, choosing to sit cross-legged on the bare wood floor, and you and Satori take a pair, sit down by the fire...

...and wait. The silence is an unpleasant mix of boring and uncomfortable, but you don't really have any means with which to break it; the council head isn't really one for small talk, and while Satori isn't actively glaring at you anymore, she still doesn't seem entirely pleased with how things have developed. In the end, you decide to just leave it be, staring into the fire and pretending to relax while you worry about what 'your men' might be doing around the palace while you're not there to see.

You don't have to suffer more than a few minutes of that, though, before the door to the lounge opens again and two oni step inside hesitantly. The first floor group, coming to search this room? No, these two went to the basement; you guess they must be finished already. It was pretty small -- if you don't count the gigantic cavern hidden down there, which you don't, considering that you're still not sure if it actually exists or is just a product of some kind of brain damage you--

"You're finished?" The council head speaks up from his position on the floor, eyes now closed in what seems to be either meditation or an abortive attempt at a nap. "Report."

"The whole damn thing's abnormal, sir!" One of the oni says as the pair crosses the room to stand before the council head. "She's got plants growing and--"

"I am aware." The council head's voice is just a little more terse than usual as he interrupts the other oni. "Beyond your subjective impressions of the room, in the context of an underground garden, did you discover any abnormalities?"

"Beyond..." That sure slowed him down. "I'm... not sure what sort of things you mean, sir." So you're not the only one who doesn't know what everyone's actually supposed to be searching for? Good to know.

"Something that appears to be out of place or hidden, machinery or technology whose purpose you cannot determine, unusual markings or writing in a conspicuous place, signs of magic which interferes with the senses -- is the word 'abnormal' really so difficult to define?" the council head asks, eyes still closed as he lectures the other two oni.

"I..." The spokesperson of the little group looks like he's starting to regret his position, looking back towards his partner for help.

"I will ask again. Did you discover any abnormalities?"

"N... no, I... by that definition, I guess we didn't."

"Really?" Finally, the council head opens his eyes, staring up at the searchers with a look that could curdle milk. "Very well. Wait here as the other preliminary searches are completed."

The oni are struck silent, and both of them shoot a glance back at you, as though asking if this is really okay. You can't do much but give them a shrug and a sympathetic look, and they trudge away to the far side of the room muttering to themselves (presumably about what constitutes 'abnormal' if an underground garden doesn't fit the bill).

You've learned something, though. They didn't find anything downstairs, after all? What does that make of your memories, then? Maybe finding that secret passage was just a delusion of some sort, after all; that would certainly make your life a little less complicated, you think idly, closing your eyes and stretching your arms over your head. Of course, they could have just overlooked it, too; it wouldn't be much of a secret if it was easy to--

Your train of thought is broken as you lower your arms and open your eyes to find Satori... staring at you. With all three eyes, too; the two on her face and the one...

"E-excuse my rudeness." There's a small stutter in her voice as she turns her head away, color draining from her face. "I hadn't intended to stare."

Oh, shit! She heard what you just thought about the basement? Does that mean she knows -- but wait, she was there after you finished the first search, too! If she's surprised about it now, then that must mean she really didn't see it in your thoughts that time. But how...

Koishi? You've been suspicious that she was responsible for whatever happened to your memories for a while now, but that was little more than circumstantial, based on what little you can tell about the nature of her powers; this, on the other hand... Could she have stopped Satori from reading your mind? Is that even possible? Why would she want to do that? Besides, if she was responsible, wouldn't she have showed up today too, to make sure her sister couldn't--

Fuck! You realize your mistake too late, looking back at Satori to find her looking at you again, your attempts at reasoning laid bare before her. This time, though, she doesn't meet your eyes for long before rising to her feet abruptly, turning to face the other oni.

"I'm going to make some tea," she says, voice just a little cheerier than it should be. "Would anyone else care for a cup?" she asks, turning her head and meeting your eyes with a bizarre, squinting glare for an instant before looking away again. The two oni from the basement, now parked over on a couch by the far wall, wave her away with indifferent grunts, and the council head gives her a long stare before replying with a quiet "No, thank you." You shake your head silently, still unsure of what you were supposed to make of that look.

"Very well. Perhaps I'll bring out enough cups for the other searchers, in case they would like some," she says, shooting you another odd look as she walks past you to the door. Is she trying to intimidate you or something? ...Because it's kind of work--

Oh. Ohh. This is supposed to be one of those subtle cues, isn't it? Like before, when you were talking with her and Yuugi.

...So this means she wants to talk to you alone? That's... okay, right? What you hear could end up affecting the search, and going behind the council head's back like this feels a little strange. On the other hand, if this is about what you think it's about, she may not be willing to talk about it in front of him, and you don't want to go on not knowing just what happened to you for any longer than you have to.

[ ] Follow after Satori.
[ ] Stay where you are.
>> No. 3952
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3953
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.

Update!
>> No. 3954
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
I wonder if she can speak directly to the mind in addition to read them. It'd be hard to eavesdrop such a conversation.
>> No. 3956
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3957
>>3950
[X] Follow after Satori.

Would a line about helping Satori find some "more potent" beverages for our men be out of line? Loosen up the oni, try to get on their good side a little? Regardless of good intention, though, Satori probably wouldn't appreciate a drunken group of oni searching the place. Ah well, Satori seems happy-ish with the plan so far. Council Head (what the hell is his name again?)... doesn't seem angry, which is about as good as it can get, considering he would only really be happy if we gave the oni permission to tear the place apart. Still don't think we're going to get out of this unscathed, but a good start so far.
>> No. 3958
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3959
[x] Follow after Satori.

I'm sure we'll state that we're showing no favortism, though we should try to ask Satori her view on that's going on with those fields being ruined.
>> No. 3960
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3961
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3962
>>3957
I don't know about getting them drunk, but Satori should have some high-grade liquor somewhere, or at least wine. Everything in moderation, though, else she'd run out.
>> No. 3963
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.

Save the liquor for later~!
>> No. 3964
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.

I can't even remember what the oni are trying to blame her for.
>> No. 3965
>>3964

As I recall it's the weird earthquakes that had been destroying the farmlands and crops. Heck that's how Taizou entered the underground, via earthquake opening a hole to the surface, only it collapsed after a while.
>> No. 3966
File 126065395750.png - (7.76KB , 224x288 , digdug2-1.png ) [iqdb]
3966
>>3965
>Taizou
>earthquakes
Huh.
>> No. 3967
[x] Follow after Satori.
-[x] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.
>> No. 3983
[ℤℯ] Pursue Satori.
>> No. 4010
File 126101758115.png - (340.14KB , 924x1000 , 1261004268272.png ) [iqdb]
4010
Updates?
>> No. 4011
>>4010
It's barely been a week, just wait till next year for another update considering his pace. To be fair though it's the holidays and new year's coming in soon...
>> No. 4012
>>4011
>Next update in 2010

Fuck yeah, best way to start a new decade!
>> No. 4014
>>4012
Given that 2010 will be the last year for this site.
>> No. 4015
>>4014
Hey now what makes you say that this time?

I heard the same thing about THP last year before 09 started and yet it's still here...
>> No. 4026
File 12613714826.jpg - (194.90KB , 566x800 , 7542161.jpg ) [iqdb]
4026
>>3950
UPDATE!
>> No. 4069
A few days left in this year, think you can get us one update?
>> No. 4099
>>4069
maybe next year...
>> No. 4100
>>4069
Come on, we've already had an update in december, you want to burn out the writefag or something?
>> No. 4102
>>4100
He's got to be pretty damn frail for that to happen, nonetheless he did update his sdm-related story so there's hope of him becoming more consistent.

I'm guessing the problem he had been facing on that one probably overlaps here as well?
>> No. 4105
Last chance for an 09 update...
>> No. 4106
>>4105
It's not over yet! There's still a chance!
>> No. 4108
>>4106
ಠ_ಠ
>10/01/01(Fri)00:27
>> No. 4109
Well, I was hoping to at least have an update up before people woke up on the 1st, but it's 2:15 AM where I am, it's not done, and I don't think staying awake any longer will do anybody any good, what with my having stayed up until 4:30 AM yesterday to finish the MoaV update.

Let's aim for this time tomorrow. (Fun fact: 2000 words in 6 hours is less than 6 words per minute. This shit should not be nearly as time-consuming as I seem to make it.)
>> No. 4111
>>4109
Hooray!
>> No. 4128
>glasnost!YuZx.HoN.U 10/01/01(Fri)08:29 No. 4109
>Let's aim for this time tomorrow.

>Anonymous 10/01/03(Sun)06:57 No. 4128
Never change, glasnost.
>> No. 4133
File 126251748757.jpg - (372.15KB , 1000x803 , 64.jpg ) [iqdb]
4133
>>4128
~

---

[X] Follow after Satori.
-[X] Tea... Tea sounds good. I wonder if she has any cookies, too? Maybe you'll help her.

"Actually, I think I'd like some after all." This is what she wants, right? "Here, let me help you bring everything out."

"Ah, thank you. If it's not too much trouble..." she says, turning away from the council head and towards you; her expression is cold, lacking any semblance of the concern you hear in her voice, and she nods once, almost imperceptibly, before turning away again. "Follow me, please."

The two of you cross the room to the door, and you shoot a quick glance back at the council head before you leave. He's still sitting in the same meditative pose, eyes now closed again, and he doesn't seem to pay you any mind as you slip through the door after Satori, shutting it quietly behind you.

"This way," Satori says quietly, setting off at a brisk pace down the hall, opposite the direction of the main entrance to the palace. Once you're a good distance away from where you started, you cast another glance behind you and speak out.

"D--"

"Not now." Satori's voice doesn't sound angry, but it is authoritative, and you close your mouth without even having managed a complete word. The two of you wind your way through the hallways of the palace in silence, and after another minute or so of walking, you find yourself a fairly nondescript kitchen; the same kitchen that Orin led you to yesterday, you think, though you don't remember well enough to be sure.

"Take down thirteen cups and two serving trays, please," Satori directs, pointing you towards a high cupboard. "The cups on the lower shelf," she clarifies, as you open the cupboard and hesitate at its contents. "I'd rather not serve my present company with anything I would be too saddened to have destroyed."

Cold... but you have to admit she has a point. You quickly follow her directions, arranging the cups on a pair of silvered trays small enough to carry with one hand and carrying them over to her.

As you come closer, you realize that this kitchen isn't as nondescript as you first thought. The counter Satori's standing in front of isn't actually a counter at all, but a machine from outside the border; nothing you recognize, but the smoothly curved edges and unnatural little plastic things attached to it everywhere clearly marks it as not from Gensokyo. You watch as Satori fills a large kettle with water and sets it on a square metal grate set into the metal of the machine.

"Now." Satori turns a small wheel attached to the edge of the device, and with a sound like someone blowing out a match, flames ignite underneath the grate, seeming to emerge from nowhere and curl up around the edges of the kettle. "What do you know about my garden?"

Finally, a chance to tell someone about this. "When we--"

"There's no need for you to speak," Satori says sharply, not pausing as she retrieves a large teapot from another cupboard. "Recount the events of your previous search."

"Wha... oh." There really isn't any need to speak, is there? Plus, this way makes it less obvious that you're telling Satori anything, were someone to stumble upon you. You take a slow, deep breath, trying to call forth your second set of memories in as much detail as you can: the council head finding a secret door in the underground garden, traveling deeper into the caverns, your near-death experience, and the strange period of cognitive dissonance immediately after the event.

"I... see." Satori's hands freeze for a moment over the teapot as you recollect, and her third eye swivels on its stalks to stare at you. "And your thoughts on Koishi?" she continues, resealing the tea leaves she had been pouring and replacing them in yet another cupboard.

Your thoughts? That's the problem; you don't really know what to think. Nonetheless, you try to remember just what it was that led you believe Koishi had anything to do with your memory problems. The fact that Satori apparently didn't read your mind back then, for one, and Koishi's little demonstration of her power over the subconscious, but those are circumstantial pieces of evidence at best, not grounds for serious suspicion. You search your memory of the events immediately after the search for something else, an odd comment or an out-of-place expression, but your memory is too hazy, and you can't come up with anything.

"That's fine." Satori turns around to face you, leaning back against the counter and bringing a hand to her chin in thought. "That..." She holds that pose for several seconds, not focusing on anything in particular, and when she speaks next, it sounds more like she's talking to herself than to you.

"This much is true: what you saw was real."

"There actually is a secr--"

"Be quiet!" Satori hisses, eyes darting back and forth like she's worried somebody's going to come bursting through the walls. "Yes, there is. Your conjecture about the source of your memory problems is probably correct, as well."

So even Satori thinks Koishi's responsible? Why would she do it, though?

"I..." Satori looks away, her impassive mask flickering into a faraway sort of sadness. "Understanding my younger sister has been beyond me for... quite some time." And then it's gone, and she looks back at you once before bringing her hands to her sides and bowing deeply. "On her behalf and the behalf of the Komeiji family, I apologize for her actions and any inconvenience you may have suffered as a result. I will do everything in my power to ensure that such a thing does not happen a second time."

"Ah, y-you don't have to apologize like that," you stammer, caught off-guard by her sudden sincerity. "Just knowing what's real and what's not is enough for me."

"On that topic." She pauses and glances over your shoulder towards the door, and when she speaks next, it's so quiet that you have to lean in to hear her. "I've... made some changes since your previous search. Nobody will find anything in the garden..." She stops for a moment, meeting your eyes. "...unless they had reason to believe something was there."

...She wants you to lie to the oni.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"...I cannot say. I'm sorry." She doesn't look away as she says it. "I have nothing to offer to gain your trust, other than the trust that I've already invested in you by telling you the truth. I can't threaten or coerce you to follow my commands by force, at this point."

That's... comforting, you guess, though the way she says it makes it sound like she would be threatening you instead, if the option were available.

"I would," she says flatly. "If you weren't protected by the oni now, a simple threat would guarantee your compliance."

...Why--

"I am telling you this so that you understand how important this is to me. Whether or not you can trust me after this is your concern and yours alone, but it is essential that you trust me now." She takes a step closer, still not breaking eye contact. "This is something bigger than petty grudges and pol-- aah!"

You jump with surprise as she cuts herself off with a small scream, staggering backwards and clutching a hand to her stomach.

"Satori! Are you--"

"Shut up!" she says, waving you back with her free hand, eyes scrunched shut in pain. You take a cautious step backwards, scanning the room in a panic for the source of her distress. Is this some sort of medical problem? Where are you supposed to find a doctor down here? Maybe if you could find Orin or Koishi, they would know what--

"Shut up!" she shouts again, gritting her teeth and glaring up at you. You were wrong before, you realize; her hand wasn't on her stomach, it was covering her third eye, and you watch as she pulls it away, bunching it up into a fist and--

WHAM! Your mind goes blank for a moment as Satori's fist hits you square in the forehead, and you barely catch yourself against the counter, blinking and shaking your hear to clear the white spots from your vision. Before you can right yourself and figure out what's going on, though, Satori is in front of you, looking up at you in concern with her palm pressed against your forehead.

"I'm sorry!" she says, face no more than a few inches from yours. "Your thoughts were too loud, I couldn't..." She bites her lip, averting her eyes for a moment, before simply pulling back and turning away from you. "They're on the second floor! Come with me!" she yells, sprinting to the door, and after a second to steady yourself, you follow her; you haven't the slightest idea what's going on, but you can sense her urgency well enough.

Satori runs at what must be full speed for her, weaving through tight hallways and in and out of rooms, and you nearly lose sight of her a few times before the two of you make it to the staircase up to the second floor. It isn't until you're past her and halfway up to the second floor, though, that you hear the first signs of what Satori must be running towards: a bestial roar, loud enough to shake your bones free of their joints, and a pair of screams, quiet in comparison. Your blood turns cold, and you take the remaining stairs three at a time, readying yourself to fight even as your momentum takes you around the corner into the main hallway of the second floor--

A tiger. That's the first thing your mind registers; even as far away as it is, the sight of the beast, something you've only ever seen in pictures before, stops you in your tracks. As you stand, stunned, it lets out another full roar, and you have to fight against your instincts to stop yourself from just turning and running in abject terror.

Things only get worse as you take in the rest of the hallway and its occupants: the pair of oni sent to search the second floor. The one nearest to you is injured, two long gashes that could only be from the tiger's claws running down his arm, and they've both drawn one of their weapons.

Suddenly, the oni further from you raises the sword in his hand, belting out a roar to match the tiger's as he swings in a downward arc, narrowly missing his target. The motion brings the group further down the hall towards you; closer, but still a few dozen yards away from you.

"Stop..." You hear Satori from behind you, still coming up the stairs. "Stop them...!"

The tiger growls again, and the injured oni raises his sword.

[ ] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [ ] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [ ] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[ ] ...and stop them...
- [ ] ...by shooting danmaku. (Write-in target[s].)
- [ ] ...by trying to distract the tiger however you can.
- [ ] ...by ordering the oni to stand down.
[ ] All you could do by getting near them is get yourself hurt. Try to stop the fight, but stay back...
- [ ] ...and try to hit them with danmaku. (Write-in target[s].)
- [ ] ...and try to shout them down.

---

Tried to cover the available options as completely as I could, but this is obviously a pretty complex situation, and write-ins are, as always, welcome.
>> No. 4134
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (tiger and the injured oni)

That surely will get their attention, better be prepared to for what is coming next. We need to be sure to beat them all up and then we can talk sense into them.
>> No. 4135
x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (tiger and the injured oni)
>> No. 4141
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (tiger and the injured oni)
--[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
Probably best if the oni's injuries are not just superficial but serious; not to mention Satori's insistence on stopping the oni from attacking the 'tiger'.

Taizou will also be showing responsibility on his command over his own men if he can take charge of a relatively lethal situation. May look bad when he does attack them with danmaku but hey it's supposedly non-lethal so...
>> No. 4142
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (Target: Tiger)
- [x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
>> No. 4145
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (tiger and the injured oni)
--[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
>> No. 4147
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (Tiger and Injured Oni, just to disrupt the fighting)
- [x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
-[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
>> No. 4148
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (Tiger and Injured Oni, just to disrupt the fighting)
- [x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
-[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
>> No. 4149
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shooting danmaku. (Tiger and Injured Oni, just to disrupt the fighting)
- [x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
-[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
>> No. 4151
anyone else wondering why a simple tiger could hurt oni? Its certainly more than it seems if it can do that. Shooting at it might not be the best idea. or at the oni for that matter.
>> No. 4152
>- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
>- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
Hold on.
Flying ...on foot?

What?
>> No. 4153
>>4152
Yeah, those two were meant to be mutually exclusive choices.
>> No. 4154
>>4151

you forget that Satori keeps various youkai as pets and I'd figure a Tiger Youkai would be pretty strong, and that injured Oni is just a typical Oni, not Suika or Yuugi grade. (I'd imagine the Council Chief could hold his own in a fight against one of them decently)
>> No. 4155
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
-[x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
-[x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
-[x] ...by shooting danmaku. (Tiger and Injured Oni, just to disrupt the fighting)
-[x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
-[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.
>> No. 4156
[x] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [x] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [x] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[x] ...and stop them...
- [x] ...by shouting at the Oni to stop, and tackling the tiger to the ground, then quickly retreating.
- [x] 'That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again'
-[x] Order the injured oni to fall back but stay close to him.

>>4153
I think the train of thought here is to get there as quickly as possible and try to pull of the trick without majorly screwing up.

We take off gracefully and gradually; like an airplane.
>> No. 4157
>>4156
What he said. But if it's too much trouble, just skip the 'on foot' subchoice.
>> No. 4158
Well, I don't see why many of her pets wouldn't have Orin-tier power, or perhaps more... And if Orin can stand up after fighting with Reimu or Marisa several times, I imagine fighting oni isn't unrealistic.
>> No. 4159
File 126266511865.jpg - (790.35KB , 1000x966 , is that so~.jpg ) [iqdb]
4159
>We take off gracefully and gradually; like an airplane.
>> No. 4188
File 126320591387.jpg - (253.87KB , 460x600 , 65.jpg ) [iqdb]
4188
>>4159
You are now imagining Rumia making airplane noises with her mouth while flying.

---

[X] You're not going to be able to stop them from here, so you'll have to charge them...
- [X] ...using the flying trick you learned earlier today to close the distance...
- [X] ...on foot as fast as you can...
[X] ...and stop them...
- [X] ...by shooting danmaku at the tiger and the injured oni.
- [X] "That tiger counts as her property! Do not harm it under any circumstances! Use the goddamn flat part of the sword if you have to, unless you wanna explain the council head why the search had to be canceled. Again!"

"Stop! Stand down!" You're off and running before you even know for sure what you plan to do. You're supposed to be the one in charge here, and you don't know if you could forgive yourself if someone got hurt while you stood by and did nothing.

As you begin to run, the injured oni brings his weapon down in a strike hard enough to knock a hole in the floor, and the tiger barely manages to jump away in time. The oni's off-balance now, and before he can right himself, the tiger pounces, launching itself at the oni's now-exposed flank. Before it reaches its destination, though, the other oni meets it in midair, literally body-slamming the beast off-course, smashing the two of them into a wall with what feels like enough force to shake the entire building. The two bodies fall to the floor, a mess of flailing limbs and glinting steel, and you hear another scream as the two of them separate, the oni sporting a deep cut in his right shoulder and the tiger's left side matted with blood.

"Stop, damn it!" And you're still too far away to do anything! Damn it, you need to move! How--

That. Slowing your run for a moment, you think back, focusing your mind on your flying lesson, looking ahead to your landing place just outside the radius of the battle, and--

--jump. Instantly, you feel that now-familiar sensation of a hook in the pit your stomach, pulling you towards where you need to go, and the air whips past you as you fly in a long, flat arc towards the combatants.

"Stand down!" you scream again, and this time, someone notices; each of the oni cast a brief glance your way, then their glances becomes stares, eyes widening in recognition as they realize just what it is they're seeing.

Unfortunately for them, the tiger's attention doesn't waver. With another roar that nearly shakes your concentration on flight, it leaps high, aiming for the throat of the nearest oni. This time, there's nobody there to intercept it, and the oni barely manages to raise an arm to block its path before its teeth hit.

"Rraaaagh!" The oni howls in pain, delivering a wild punch with his other arm to the tiger's head, but it stays latched on, tearing into the oni's flesh. It's only as the oni spins his body around in a circle, literally waving the tiger around like a rag doll in midair, that it finally lets go, trying awkwardly to regain its balance on all four legs and sliding to a stop on the smooth wood floor.

Right in your landing spot.

"Shit!" You're too close, now, and you can't change your momentum that quickly; you try desperately to pull up, but all you can manage is turning your entire body in midair before you hit the animal broadside with your legs. The impact flips you head over heels, and you skid to a stop on your back, the last of your momentum forcing you into a reverse somersault that leaves you lying prone in a heap.

"Grrrrrraarrrr!" Not where you want to be. You scramble to your hands and knees, trying to move yourself away from the source of that terrifying roar as fast as you can, but it's too late; by the time you look up, your vision is filled with orange and black and wide-open jaws, and you fall back onto your butt, holding your hands out in front of you in a futile gesture of self-defense.

As you make that gesture, though, your body remembers what your mind doesn't, and the moment that you feel your hands start to tingle with energy, you release it, shooting a salvo of bright white danmaku bullets at the tiger.

The beast lets out another roar, flailing wildly in midair, but it's useless; the bullets hit it right in the head, and its roar is abruptly muffled, limbs going limp as it careens through the air--

--straight at you. You realize your mistake, throwing yourself out of the way, but you're too slow, and something hits you in the left shoulder with the force of a cannonball, sending you to the floor fast enough that your head bounces back as you hit the ground. White splotches explode in your vision, and through the sound of bells in your ears, you hear something 'pop' in your back as burning pain shoots down your whole left side. Gritting your teeth, you try to move away, pushing yourself off the ground with your opposite hand, but the pain only gets worse, and it's all you can to do keep yourself from fainting.

"Rrrrrraaaaahh!" At least, that's all you can do until you hear the next roar, coming from where the tiger landed. Focusing around the white spots in your vision, you somehow manage to get on your feet, staggering away from the source of the noise without turning your back to it. You don't get too far, though, before you feel something brush past you from behind, nearly knocking you to the ground again.

"Die!" One of the oni, you realize as your vision clears further, charging at the unsteady-looking tiger with sword in hand. He swings the sword straight down from above his head, swinging for the tiger's neck again, and, just like before, the tiger jumps away. This time, though, the sword connects with something, and dark red blood splatters over the walls as the tiger takes a wound to its back leg. You raise your uninjured arm, preparing to fire another round of danmaku, but it's already over; the tiger collapses in a heap as it lands, unable to support itself on three legs, and it doesn't look like it can stand back up. Breathing heavily, you clutch your injured arm, taking a look around for any other threats as you and the other two oni stand down.

Except the other two oni aren't standing down. The oni that delivered the last blow keeps moving, slowly and deliberately this time, not stopping even as the tiger tries and fails again to stand.

"Hey!" you shout, taking a tentative step forward as your pain spikes again. "Get back! That's an order!"

He doesn't even turn to look back at you, flipping the sword in his hand around in a single motion, turning the point down into what you can only describe as a stabbing position.

You aren't going to be able to stop him like this. You scan the hallway frantically, searching for someone, anyone who can back you up here. The other oni is leaning against the wall, eyes closed and hands pressed over the wound on his chest, and nobody else is in sight. Where the hell is Satori?! You've got no way to stop him if--

But you do have something. You raise your uninjured arm again, hands shaking as you take aim.

"Last warning! Stop or I shoot!"

No response. Taking a final deep breath in, you concentrate, feeling the energy rush through you, and let loose another burst of danmaku.

It hits him square in the middle of his back, and he staggers as though punched, dropping his sword. Before it even hits the ground, though, he maneuvers out of the way, muscles tensing as he turns back towards his new attacker. The look on his face betrays his rage, and for a terrifying second, he looks like he could just pick up his sword and come after you, instead.

"I said stop!" you shout, cutting off your danmaku, but keeping your arm raised. "You wanna be the one responsible for getting the council head's search called off again?!"

The oni still doesn't say a word, and, without taking his eyes off you, he slowly bends down, retrieving his sword with his right hand.

"That's an order! Got it?!" You're desperate now, saying anything you can think of to keep him from turning back around and slaughtering the defenseless animal. It doesn't seem to be getting through to him, though, that or he just doesn't care, and as he turns away, you prepare to fire another shot and--

"Just give it up, man." Both of you stop as the other oni, the injured one leaning against the wall, finally speaks. "You heard the human. S'not worth it."

The first oni lowers his sword again, and turns towards the injured oni this time, giving him the same silent, angry stare he just gave you.

"Go get the council head." The injured oni reacts much more calmly than you did, speaking as quietly and resolutely as if he were the one giving the orders. "He's gonna want to see this."

Silence.

And then the oni turns away without a word, taking off down the hallway at a run, opposite the direction you came from, and you let out a breath you hadn't realized you were holding in. As he leaves, the events of the past few minutes seem to return to you all at once, hitting your body with a wave of pain and fatigue unlike anything you've ever felt before. The muscle fatigue from all the flying practice you did earlier today is only worse now that you tried it again, and you're pretty sure your shoulder is broken, though you really don't want to look down at it to be sure. Taking a deep breath and another glance over at the now-disabled tiger, you stagger over to the wall that the injured oni is leaning against and slump against it, sliding down until you're sitting on the floor.

"You gonna fix that?"

"Fix what?"

The oni nods toward your shoulder, keeping his own hands over the wound on his upper body. "It's just out of the socket. It'll hurt less if you pop it back in."

So it's not broken? For the first time since the injury, you glance down at your shoulder, pulling your shirt back for a clearer look; sure enough, you don't see any bones sticking out or anything, but you're pretty sure it shouldn't be shaped like it is now. "How?" you ask.

"Make a fist, then grab it with your good arm and pull it over your lap." You follow his instructions, hissing as the motion in your joint reignites your pain anew. "Not too far over, there's fine. Now keep your elbow where it is and push your wrist 'til your hand points towards me. Go slow."

You nod once, then begin, letting your wrist trace a half-circle around your upper arm. It hurts like hell, and it gets harder to do the farther along you go, but you bear with the pain, and just as the back of your hand touches the wall you're resting against, you feel a spike of pain and a sound like bone grinding against bone... and then nothing. Before you even realize it, the pain from your shoulder is almost completely gone, as though it had never even been there in the first place.

"Wow," you say, hesitantly moving your arm back and forth a few times. "Thanks."

"No problem."

"No, I mean it," you say earnestly, standing and facing the oni properly. "Thanks for, uh, back then, too," you say, gesturing vaguely towards the fallen tiger. "I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't spoken up and stopped him."

"I mean it, too," he replies with a shrug. "You're the boss, apparently. What you say goes."

"Thanks." He doesn't sound that enthusiastic about it, but anyone who's not outright hostile to you is good news in your books. "Hey, I don't think I ever got your name."

"Hajime. I'd shake your hand, but..." He looks down at his hands, still clasped over his chest and covered in blood from his wound. "Yeah."

Now that you're not focused on your own pain, it occurs to you that he's been sporting that wound for quite a while now. If it's still bleeding that heavily... "Are you al--" you begin, then cut yourself short as you realize how stupid the question you were just about to ask is. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Nah, I'm good. It's not bleeding fast enough for me to pass out, so it's just waitin' for the wound to close up now." Tilting his hands away from his body slightly, he looks down at his own wound, then hurriedly covers it again. "'Sides, you're gonna have worse things than me to worry about real qui--"

"Fafnir!" He's interrupted by a high-pitched scream from your right, the direction you arrived from, and you look to see two figures rushing down the hall towards you; Satori's pink hair is easy enough to distinguish, but the other one is...

"Fafnir!" ...Orin? The red-headed catgirl rushes past without so much as a glance, racing to the tiger's side and kneeling next to it. "Are you all right?!" Her hands are shaking as she drops the bag she was carrying, pulling out a roll of bandages and fumbling it about nervously, trying to figure out where to start.

Before you can try to get over there and help her, though, Satori is in front of you and Hajime, face flushed bright red with anger and breathing heavily.

"What did you do?" she snaps, gesturing towards the fallen tiger as she squares off with Hajime.

"Why ask?" Hajime spits back, voice bitterly calm. "You already know, right?"

"Yes, I do!" Satori is practically screaming in his face now, close enough that they could literally butt heads. "What made you think you had the right to attack my pet without provocation after you entered--"

"Without provocation?!" Now it's Hajime's turn to get mad, towering over Satori as he draws himself up to his full height. "I don't know what you think went on up here, but--"

"You didn't even see the original attack! What makes you think you know--"

"I know Ayuto wouldn't have attacked unless--"

"You know nothing! You--"

"What is the meaning of this?!"

Oh, shit.

Hajime and Satori's argument squeals to an abrupt halt as the council head's voice comes booming down the corridor, practically drowning out the other two, even from as far away as he is. Looking down the hall at him only makes you feel worse; he's brought the two oni that searched the basement up with him, and all three of them have weapons drawn in both hands, looking as if they're prepared to fight a dragon.

"You!" As bone-chilling a sight as the three of them make, Satori seems undeterred, turning on them and shouting at the top of her lungs as they draw closer. "Did you order this massacre from the beginning, you--"

"You've broken your agreement and attacked my men in cold blood! I should raze this entire--"

"You barbarians attacked my pet, unprovoked! I will not allow any of you to remain in this palace for another--"

"My men defended themselves against a preemptive strike by the guardian of whatever secrets you hide! I will not stand idly by as you attempt to murder my--"

"And now you've brought your shock troops up here to continue the attacks! If I have to force you out, don't think that I--"

This is bad. You've got to step in, take control of the situation before this argument goes beyond just words, but when you do, it's going to have to be definite, something you won't go back on. Is it even safe to continue the search anymore, with tensions as high as they are? Could something like this be happening somewhere else in the palace right now? Could Satori actually have [i]planned[i] this to try to goad you into ordering everyone out of the mansion? Did the council head plan it just to antagonize Satori?

What should you do?

[ ] You can't risk either side getting hurt any more than they have. Get everyone out, schedule some other time.
[ ] It's because of the lack of supervision that this could happen. Keep everyone inside, but change the search plan.
- [ ] Optional: Write-in for a new search plan.
[ ] This was a tragic accident, but that's all it was. Keep going, as planned.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 4189
[x] You can't risk either side getting hurt any more than they have. Get everyone out, schedule some other time.
-[x] Try to tell Satori to have her pets elsewhere, at least the dangerous ones, for everyone's sake.

Since It could have been a simple accident for all we know. (We weren't in the room when it happened) So who knows, but I think it would be better to leave and let everyone's heads cool off since if we continue now, tempers will flare up again with disastrous results.

That's just my opinion though.
>> No. 4190
>>4189
Agreed, we need distance between the parties to let the emotions cool down.
[x] You can't risk either side getting hurt any more than they have. Get everyone out, schedule some other time.
-[x] Try to tell Satori to have her pets elsewhere, at least the dangerous ones, for everyone's sake.
>> No. 4192
File 12632153388.jpg - (1.10MB , 1000x1427 , tigahtigahtigah.jpg ) [iqdb]
4192
>>4189
>>4190
As much as I'd like to postpone it I have a bad feeling about it this time, namely what suspicions will sit and stew in each party. This may be the time for impartial mediation.

[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.

Just my thoughts on how to handle this by doing our job as an impartial mediator. Feel free to add or remove anything, or disregard it as complete and utter bullshit,
>> No. 4193
[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.

Probably best for now considering the provocation probably had been unintentional to begin with. Territorial issues and such are not so uncommon for pets, however if that had been the case Satori surely would have thought of that possibility; Then again this all may seem too much for her to handle all at once. On the other hand if one of the Oni men did start it then that'll be another issue to deal with. The sooner the issue is resolved the better later searchs, if they ever occur, can go.

Seriously after all this Taizou probably ought to offer taking up the investigation alone with perhaps someone at his side to help with the investigation as he may have better progress than the basic raid tactics the HC been using up till now.
>> No. 4194
[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.

This seems a good way to go on ahead. Although unnecessary if SATORI WOULD JUST READ THE MIND OF THE OTHER ONI Seriously, what the fuck, has she forgotten her own goddamn power?
>> No. 4195
>>4194
>This seems a good way to go on ahead. Although unnecessary if SATORI WOULD JUST READ THE MIND OF THE OTHER ONI Seriously, what the fuck, has she forgotten her own goddamn power?

She very well may be blocking it all out if she can be easily overwhelmed by Taizou's rampant thoughts shouting in his mind, remember when she struck Taizou just because she couldn't hear another's thoughts?

>Your mind goes blank for a moment as Satori's fist hits you square in the forehead, and you barely catch yourself against the counter, blinking and shaking your hear to clear the white spots from your vision. Before you can right yourself and figure out what's going on, though, Satori is in front of you, looking up at you in concern with her palm pressed against your forehead.

"I'm sorry!" she says, face no more than a few inches from yours. "Your thoughts were too loud, I couldn't..."

Considering what just happened she must be trying her best to block out all the shouting while at the same time deal with the situation.
>> No. 4196
>>4188
Nope, we're getting shit done today. Hajime is just going to have to rub some dirt on it, Satori and the Council guy are going to have to soak their heads, and we need to serious the fuck up about this. No amount of supervision is going to account for lions, tigers, and bears or BATS lingering around every corner. Oversight on our part, yeah, but I think Satori neglected to mention (honestly or otherwise) that there are some very dangerous animals currently housed here. Regardless of how nice they are to her, from a human/oni perspective, this is a lethal situation.

[X] It's because of the lack of supervision that this could happen. Keep everyone inside, but change the search plan.
- [X] Call off the search for now; don't want another incident like this one.
- [X] Find out what happened from Ayuto and maybe from "Fafnir"
- [X] Ask Satori about the other residents of the mansion and if they have the ability to be as dangerous as a Fafnir was "when provoked."
- [X] Warn the oni to be prepared to encounter very dangerous animals in their search and to take proper caution when searching. If they do find something like that, don't engage, leave, and report back to us. We'll take Satori along to pacify the animals while the oni search.
- [X] Teams that finish their floors will be re-dispatched to teams still searching. Furthermore, Council Head, Satori, and yourself will be traveling between floors getting updates from the teams.

No use having everyone sitting idle the entire time. I want to get this over and get back to Yuugi already, but I don't wanna half ass it either. Going as a big group would probably be safer, but it kills efficiency, which is a "Just as planned" moment for Satori. I'm thinking of using the garden secret as a bargaining chip with Satori. Our job is to make sure the oni have a fair opportunity to search the mansion and that the oni don't tear it to pieces in the process. I'm hard pressed to think about what part of our obligation includes informing the council head about the garden. The oni searched the basement, they didn't find it, and that's their problem. But if Satori is going to try to bullshit/sabotage this endeavor by withholding important information, we're going to propose taking a closer look around the basement again with the whole team. I don't mind thinking as much when we re-brief the oni on the revised search plan.

>>4192
I agree with the spirit of this vote, I'm just writing this one for me.
>> No. 4197
[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4198
[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4206
File 126324104847.jpg - (14.37KB , 250x334 , judge joe taizo.jpg ) [iqdb]
4206
>>4196
OP of the write-in here, forgot to work in the "make the idle searchers meet up with the ones continuing on other floors." part kudos good sir.
But yeah, Judge Joe Taizo, getting shit done and getting it done now.
In the next episode of The Oni's Court plaintiff Yuugi Hoshiguma claims that Generic Oni #5 dropped three cases of her finest liquor during a delivery. He claims she overloaded him when he offered to help. He's accused of: "Letting her sake drop."
>> No. 4208
[x] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[x]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[x]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[x]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[x]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[x]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[x]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[x] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[x] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the witch tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[x]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[x] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.

>>4206
I groanedand loled
>> No. 4209
[X] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[X]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[X]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[X]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[X]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[X]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[X]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[X] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[X] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[X]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[X] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.


>>4206
I hear it in the announcers voice
>> No. 4212
[X] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[X]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[X]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[X]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[X]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[X]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[X]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[X] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[X] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[X]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[X] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4214
>>4196

I'm picturing the scene going along something like this: The oni open a door, and find a tiger. Naturally, they are startled, and one reaches reflexively for a weapon (but does not draw it outright). The tiger perceives this motion as a threat by an unknown intruder, and attacks.

If this is how it went, both sides are telling the truth (Oni don't lie, so we know at least their half is truth). However, such a situation would only be possible if Satori not only forgot to mention the pets' existence to the search teams, but also neglected to mention that there was going to be a search at all to the pets themselves (A tiger sitting in a corner is not something to ignore, but if it made no hostile moves, the oni would have to be lying about self defense).

If this is indeed the case, then this is a massive (and uncharacteristic) oversight on Satori's part. Perhaps I'm clinging too strongle to the "Oni never lie" maxim, but this is looking more and more like some sort of setup.

[X] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[X]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[X]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[X]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[X]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[X]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[X]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[X] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[X] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[X]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[X] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4215
>>4214

There are ways around that, though an Oni cunning enough to do that is a scary thing (Brains and brawn)

It's hard to tell at this point really.
>> No. 4247
[x] This is bullshit. You're done listening to them squabble; it's giving you a headache. You've just been through hell and their petty differences have gotten to a point where they could care less about anybody else.
[x] Let off the brightest burst of danmaku you can manage and shout at the top of your lungs.
[x] "If you two would stop behaving like children for a goddamned minute, I believe you both have injured friends that need attending to. We'll get the details after you've both cooled your overinflated egos. For the love of me, if I hear one more word out of either of you, I will tear this place apart myself and get Yuugi down here to finish you all off!"

Good lord, so annoying. I think getting them to shut up, take care of things, and cool down for awhile is better than trying to resolve it all right here in the hallway with tempers flaring.

As for the outrage... Kind of hard to be threatening down here. Feel free to come up with something better (though I'd be terrified of a pissy Yuugi, myself).
>> No. 4252
>>4247

I think the Chief of the Oni Council could stand a chance against her. (I think if Yuugi wanted the position she would have had it, considering the matter of strength among Oni); that and he's most likely among the smartest Oni as well.

That and we're supposed to be neutral, threatening to sick an Oni doesn't sound neutral at all.

That and I doubt Yuugi herself wants to get too mixed up in the mess unless she absolutely has to.
>> No. 4254
>>4252
Threatening to sick a rather neutral Oni on both the Oni and the Satori? Sounds pretty neutral to me. I'm sure they'd have some inkling that Yuugi wouldn't be too pleased with the current state that we're in.

It was a funny declaration, at least. Like I said, if anybody can come up with a better threat, be my guest. Just because we're supposed to be a neutral party doesn't mean we can't get pissed off at these two acting like spoiled brats.

A better idea may be just to ignore them and tend to the wounded. Try and round up everybody present to the waiting room save for Satori and the chief. When those two are done arguing, they'll take a look around and realize everybody's left.
>> No. 4255
>A better idea may be just to ignore them and tend to the wounded. Try and round up everybody present to the waiting room save for Satori and the chief. When those two are done arguing, they'll take a look around and realize everybody's left.

This would be hilarious.
>> No. 4259
>>4255
DO IT
>> No. 4261
[x] This is bullshit. You're done listening to them squabble; it's giving you a headache. You've just been through hell and their petty differences have gotten to a point where they could care less about anybody else.
[x] Let off the brightest burst of danmaku you can manage and shout at the top of your lungs.
[x] "If you two would stop behaving like children for a goddamned minute, I believe you both have injured friends that need attending to. We'll get the details after you've both cooled your overinflated egos. For the love of me, if I hear one more word out of either of you, I will tear this place apart myself and get Yuugi down here to finish you all off!"

I have doubts of it winning, but when you have to make a write-in that looks just like any wall of text, whether it's good or bad, sometimes simple things get shit down at a much better pace.

Besides it can't possibly go wrong!
>> No. 4262
>I will tear this place apart myself and get Yuugi down here to finish you all off!

This is stupid. I picture a child throwing a tantrum because things aren't going his way at his friends house and threatening to tell his mom on everyone.
>> No. 4264
>>4262

I tried to tell these folks that, but they won't listen. They must want to muck up this story very badly. And I thought they respected Glasnost more than that.

>>4261
No it WILL go wrong, especially when you say "It can't possibly go wrong" Do I need to cite a few cases of where someone said that with a winning vote which resulted in shit happening?
The wall of Text you spoke of is a rational, reasonable way of doing things.
>> No. 4265
>>4206
Dundun-dun
chickachicka chickachicka chickachicka chickachicka
>> No. 4266
[X] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[X]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[X]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[X]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[X]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[X]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[X]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[X] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[X] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[X]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[X] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4267
>>4264
Whine whine. Go back to GH if you want to spew that shit.
>> No. 4272
[X] Find a way to stop the arguing, if shouting to get their attention does not work a burst of danmaku in the air might.
-[X]"We need to find out what really happened here" Don't let them interrupt you and cite both wanting to get this search done today and not wanting jump to conclusions.
--[X]Mention what you came in on and what you saw/did.
----[X]The small altercation after the tiger was unconscious is not particularly important and may cause another outburst, so it may be mentioned as "ordering the non-wounded searcher back to get the council head."
--[X]Have Hajime, our wounded oni friend, and the other calmly tell what they saw happen in their own words. Emphasis on CALMLY.
--[X]Ask Satori if the cat can be revived and if she can both calm it and act as a translator for what its side of the story is.
----[X]Should the Council Head object on the grounds of an impartial translator ask who else is going to do it and that if the stories are wildly different then someone is lying and onis don't lie.
[X] As to what to do. (may be thinking too far ahead but...)
-[X] If it is a case of the Oni has startled the tiger. Ask Satori if there are any more potentially deadly pets and if she can contain them and keep them out of the way while the search continues as it has.
-[X]If it is a case of the onis provoking the tiger then suggest a new plan of having more direct supervision searching the remaining portions of the house as a full group as opposed to pairs.
-[X] Should the initial attempts to start up this little inquisitorial session fail or if the two stories are wildly different to the point another shouting match starts up suggest postponing the search until another day so that the respective parties can cool off.
>> No. 4380
File 126431447742.jpg - (733.72KB , 1000x870 , 8338699.jpg ) [iqdb]
4380
Just because you don't have the capacity to update every five weeks doesn't absolve you from the simple obligation courtesy of telling us why you only post once a month. Enough is enough; why are you so fucking slow?
>> No. 4382
>>4380
Dude chill, he's glasnost. Besides, he's already updated twice this month.
>> No. 4384
>>4382
No.

Fuck that. It's that attitude that has perpetuated the mentality that it is okay to stop writing if you can tease an update. Fuck. That. Shit.

It has been more than a year since the first thread. The current pace is inexcusable without any justification. Point to any reason we get one fucking update a month. I FUCKING TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU.

Prove me wrong.
>> No. 4385
>>4382
No I have to agree with him. It's a rather amazing phenomena how this cyoa feels so incredibly stagnant, as if frozen in time, where as everything else seems to move on swiftly.

At the very least if glasnost has writers block, a death in the family, or even total loss of interest, the least he could do is say so; because total silence will cause some one to explode in rage and annoyance.

I actually had something much harsher to post but went against it out of the fact that, in the end, he's only human not a machine.
>> No. 4390
>>4380
Short answer: I'm a graduate student in an interdisciplinary computer science/biology program. I work 11-12 hour days during the week, usually end up working weekends, balance that around taking my own classes and teaching assistant duties, and I'm getting off easy compared to some of the other guys in my program. Now, most of that time is spent in front of a computer, so it's not like I don't slack off on occasion, and most of what I do involves coding, so it's not like I spend all day hauling coal or something, but my point is that my job is pretty fucking hard, and doesn't always leave me with a lot of free time. (If you want the long answer, come find me on IRC; I'm usually on for a little while after posting an update, and I love bitching about my job.)

That said, what's written above is a bullshit excuse. I don't get a lot of time, but I do get some time, and if I used it effectively, writing at top speed, I could probably update once every four days (two days for MoaV, two days for ULA). What usually happens instead, though, is that I sit down in front of my laptop, write the first 150 words that come out of my head as fast as I can type them, then hit a line that doesn't immediately pop into my head... and stop. I sit and think on it for a few minutes, maybe try to skip past it and write another part of the update, but it sticks in the back of my head, and, without fail, I find myself alt-tabbing away, telling myself I'll take my mind off it and the answer will pop into my head, and that I'll just take a fifteen-minute break, and then a fifteen-minute break becomes a half-hour break, and then I decide that maybe if I go to bed a little earlier today, I'll actually wake up tomorrow feeling like I got some sleep, and then I wake up and go to work and the cycle begins anew.

I guess you could call it writer's block, but I've never cared much for that phrase; besides that, I've always had a similar problem in real life, putting off hard work to do easy work, and putting off easy work to do easier work. I know that if I could summon some fucking willpower and focus on just writing for a block of time, I would blow past this sort of thing like it was nothing, but... I don't. It pisses me off too, really, because I know it makes it impossible for you guys to get into the story when every choice comes after a multi-week long wait, and I'm honestly amazed at how well you readers manage to follow along as things are.

I'd ask for advice, but I've known for a while now that the only solution is to man up, set a schedule, and fucking follow it; that or admit that I'm incapable of even that much concerted effort and hire a life coach to do it for me. Every once in a while, posts like >>4384 (and, in real life, people like >>4384) bring the problem to my attention, and I decide to do something about it once and for all, but, go fucking figure, I never seem to have the resolve to follow through on my decision, and my plans fall apart like an obese man's New Year's resolutions. I've been feeling shitty about this for a while, so it looks like I'll be trying to fix myself again fairly soon; wish me luck, I guess, but by now, you all know better than to expect anything.

Sage for so much fucking blogging. I wish I could write a fucking update the same way I spewed out this fucking diary entry.
>> No. 4398
>>4390
I'd almost say you wrote the anonymous insult yourself just to come on and cry under your trip. Your reasoning would certainly explain the ...takes me two hours to write more than one paragraph, even if it's just to complain... Which you could have used to write the update, I'm sure. Whether this was made simply to have anon pat you on the back and tell you it's alright to continue as you are - as most writers do - I don't know.

If that's not the case, the dude's an arrogant prick. I probably sound no better myself, but you're not the only one with little sleep around here.

I've always believed even if you've started something, you have no obligation what-so-fucking-ever to finish it, especially if it's not required of you or voluntarily out of the good of your own heart. You don't have to write for us or even tell us what you told us just now. Granted, it would certainly be a nice gesture if you did.

If that isn't a bullshit excuse in itself, then I understand. Long hours and little free time are fucking miserable. You're either constantly trying to get enough sleep or constantly trying to maintain a social life while settling for less in terms of relaxation such as a goddamned, twenty-minute television show to look forward to at the end of each fucking day, which is then constantly interrupted by whatever the world can throw at you within that small time frame. Or even coming on here to post a long-winded reply. [/shamelessraging]

As bad for you as it is to say this, I don't really mind the update speed. It's hard enough trying to keep up with some of the faster paced writing around here (though obviously once every week or so would be just as easy as once every month or so). It's a pleasant surprise when it comes along, a gigantic update so there's plenty to read, and it encourages anon to make just-as-gigantic votes to get the biggest bang for their buck. Soon Taizou will become a master of the thought and turn into a Satori himself.

No one is forcing you. It's still a good story, regardless. I'd rather you keep going as you are, than put this on hiatus, which will inevitably become permanent.
>> No. 4399
>>4398
>Message too long. Click here to view the full text.
I love it when that happens
>> No. 4409
>>4399
But then you realize it is no update.
>> No. 4410
File 126437289989.png - (451.26KB , 600x932 , cbcca521695ce497f4d30ac8dd4e44b1.png ) [iqdb]
4410
>> No. 4415
>>4398
Arrogant prick here. No, I am not glasnost either. I posted angry, which is something I hate to do, but all in all, I think it was merited in this situation.

Being the retard that started the 'glasnost only updates once a month so don't stress' meme, that he might have actually been taking that shit seriously as an excuse to only write once every 30 days was distressing. I've watched a lot of stories die. I think a lot of us have, and I think we'll all agree that the ones that die with no warning, the ones where the author doesn't declare an indefinite hiatus or that they just won't be writing anymore, are the absolute worst ones (I'm still really depressed CUTMAS died so suddenly and without any reason). I also hold writefags to ridiculously high standards. If you start here, plan to finish, even if it's shit. A shit end is better than no end.

All that said, but I guess it just boils down to the fact that I really like this story, and I'm really sad that there's not more to it.
>> No. 4438
Huh, some people actually took the "glasnost updates once a month" joke seriously? I thought it was more of an in-joke encouragement to the writer if anything.
>> No. 4444
>>4390

It's usually better to do the hard stuff first, that way the easy stuff will seem easier and you won't risk being worn out by all the easy stuff before the hard stuff.
>> No. 4445
>>4444

In other words, "Pace your self"?
>> No. 4452
>>4438
True. Before I read that 'meme' I've waited for more than three months for an update so...
>> No. 4459
File 126471526286.jpg - (319.56KB , 1074x1517 , 6480662.jpg ) [iqdb]
4459
We'll see her again someday, right?
>> No. 4467
File 126475896525.jpg - (487.69KB , 700x800 , 66.jpg ) [iqdb]
4467
>>4390
Man, this is why I should not post while upset. Just to reassure everyone, I'm more optimistic about my ability to speed myself up than that post lets on, and I don't usually spend my free time trying to drown myself in a kiddie pool full of self-pity.

>>4459
No later than two updates from now. Believe me, I'm looking forward to it as much as you are, if ont more.

>>4264
Do you not understand the concept of "differing opinions", Wiseman? I'm genuinely curious here.

---

[X] >>4192

The only way this is going to stop without someone getting hurt is if you take charge and figure out what happened. "Enough," you say quietly, a plan of action slowly forming in your head.

"Any further aggression against my men will be nothing lest than a declaration of war, and I will--"

"You say it as though that's not what you want in the first place, you disgusting--"

Well, that didn't work. For a moment, you consider raising your own voice to match theirs, but with the way the two of them are going at it, you're not sure if even that would work; besides that, more raised tempers is the last thing this situation needs.

No, you'll have to do something a bit more dramatic. Raising your hands toward the ceiling, you focus your energy, recalling Yuugi's instructions on how to change the properties of your danmaku, increasing the brightness of the energy within you, and let loose a pair of shots into the air.

The flash that follows is bright enough to hurt your eyes, even positioned under the bullets as you are, and the argument before you stops instantly, both its participants shielding their eyes and crying out in surprise.

"Enough," you say, more forcefully this time, but still quietly and calmly. You will yourself to keep hold of that calm even as the council head raises his sword in your direction menacingly, clearly still stunned and confused by the blast. "If you two want to argue, do it through me."

No sooner do you say it than the council head lowers his sword again, turning towards you and staring you down with a familiar anger on his face. "Mr. Hori, you must--"

"After I decide for myself what happened here." You can see the vein bulge on the council head's forehead as you cut him off, and his sword arm twitches again, hand gripping the hilt so hard that it looks like it could snap in two. "Put your weapons away. And you two, you can go back downstairs," you add, trying to keep a note of authority in your voice as you nervously eye the other two oni and their blades.

"Taizou, our agreement was--"

"Satori." She doesn't look any happier about being interrupted than the council head, though she hides it better, abruptly falling silent. "By the time I got up the stairs, the fight had already started. How are you so sure that the oni are the aggressors here?"

"How do you think?" she spits. "I saw it!" She points over your shoulder to where the tiger still lays unmoving, its body now wrapped in a layer of bandages by Orin.

"You expect us to believe th--"

"What exactly did you see, Satori?" you interrupt, not even looking at the council head this time.

"They attacked from behind." Letting Satori speak seems to have a positive effect on her mood, but you can still hear the edge in her voice. "The one that's not here drew his sword before Fafnir even saw him. There'll be a wound on his underside between his front legs, if you want proof that I'm not simply making that up," she adds sourly, shooting a nasty glance at the council head.

"Proof?! You could easily have your servant over there apply such a wound!" The council head may have put away his weapons, but his anger is still as strong as ever as he bellows back a rebuttal. "How--"

"You think I would stoop to such--"

"Enough!" You shout a little louder this time, drawing their attention away from each other before they can start fighting again in earnest. "Council head, what reason do you have to believe that Satori is at fault here?"

"My men swore that they would not harm this palace or anything in it," he says plainly. "My honor, as well as theirs, rests on that oath. Nothing short of the threat of death would cause any one of them to break it."

"Your honor isn't enough to--"

"Satori." She falls silent at the sound of her own name, letting out a small 'hmph'. "Council head, do you have any evidence that--"

"An oni's word is evidence enough." This time it's his turn to interrupt you, his voice heavy as he coldly stares you down. Resisting the urge to sigh audibly, you try not to break eye contact as you think of a way to word your next question that might get an actual response out of him.

Before you can think of anything, though, he looks away first, past Satori to the wall of the corridor.

"Hajime."

"...Yes, sir." It takes him a moment to respond, pushing himself away from the wall he was leaning against, and the look on his face tells you he would have been happier without being dragged into this mess.

Well, that makes two of you. "Tell me what happened, starting from the moment you left the ground floor," you say, taking over the questions before the council head has a chance to speak again.

Sighing, he takes another step away from the wall, drawing himself up to his full height and standing with his feet about shoulder-width apart, like a soldier standing at ease. The wound on his shoulder has already closed up, you realize, with nothing but a bloody hole in his shirt and a chunk of scar tissue left to show that he had been wounded at all.

"We came up the same stairs that you guys did. Split up and started going through all these rooms. He took the ones on the left, I took the ones on the right." Hajime gestures past you at the rows of open doors lining the halls. "Ayuto was the one who found it. I heard him yell, and..." He pauses for a moment, biting his lip and casting a long glance at the fallen tiger. "He drew his sword, but the thing was on him before he could swing." He sighs lightly. "The fight came out into the hall, and you flew in pretty soon after that."

"So you saw the tiger attack first?"

"He saw no such--"

"Satori!" She turns on you sharply as you call out to silence her, face bright red with anger, but restrains herself from saying anything further. "You saw the tiger attack first, Hajime?" you ask again.

"Yeah."

"Y..." Satori is literally shaking with rage now, and when she finally gathers herself to speak, the words come slow and heavy, like a parent trying to hide their anger from a small child. "You saw Fafnir attack first? You're certain?"

"Y... yeah," Hajime replies, his voice anything but certain.

"There's no possibility whatsoever that your friend was the first to attack?" As Satori speaks, her third eye hovers around her chest, opening itself wider and wider until you can see veins around the edges of its eyelid. "You were watching him the entire time?"

"I told you, he grabbed his sword, and then it attacked! What are you--"

"And you had him in your sight from the moment he touched his sword?" The corner of Satori's mouth turns upward, somewhere between a scowl and a sneer; an ugly expression that doesn't fit her face. "The whole time?"

"...Not the whole time," Hajime says, gritting his teeth. "But there wasn't enough time for him to--"

"Because there's a blind corner in the bedrooms, right?" The sneer becomes an outright grin, and Satori takes a step closer to Hajime. "And you saw him reach for his sword and step behind it, then you saw Fafnir attack. But he could have attacked while you couldn't see him and provoked Fafnir's attack!"

"How do you--"

"He wouldn't have--"

"And you wouldn't have any way of knowing! Isn't that right?!" Satori talks over the two oni as though they weren't there, punctuating her question with a cold laugh. "So when you said you were sure that Fafnir attacked first, that was a lie, wasn't--"

"Hey! That's--"

"Satori, shut up!" you shout, putting yourself between Satori and Hajime as the latter reaches for one of his weapons with a look in his eyes that tells you he's thinking about using it. "Everybody just cool down!" You take a deep breath yourself, raising your hands and trying to think of some way to move the situation off of the dangerous track it's on. "Why don't we hear what Ayuto himself has to say before we make any accusations?" you ask aloud. "Where is he now?"

"No longer here," the council head replies.

"What?" It's not you who speaks first, but Hajime, frowning with concern as he steps closer to the three of you.

"He had lost a great deal of blood by the time he made it to me," the council head says gravely. "I ensured that his wounds were closing, then ordered him home."

"I'm going." Hajime barely waits to hear the end of the sentence before turning and walking away, anger towards Satori apparently forgotten as he takes off towards the stairs at a near-run, and you let him go without trying to stop him.

You've got bigger problems, after all. What are you supposed to do now? From what little evidence you have, either party could have attacked first! True, Satori's testimony (the tiger's testimony?) is the only definitive one, but there's no way of proving that it's accurate, and after what Satori said to you in the kitchen, you wouldn't put it past her to flat-out lie in order to stop the search. If this Ayuto were still here, at least he would be able to give his side of the story... Maybe the council head sent him away in order to prevent that? Then that would mean--

"Council head, go find the searchers on the third floor and bring them back down to the first floor," you say, pulling yourself away from your thoughts. No matter who's to blame for this, you certainly aren't going let the search continue as planned. "I'm changing the search strategy." Surprisingly, he assents to your command without any theatrics, turning away from you and Satori abruptly and setting off up the stairs without another word.

"Satori, I'm going up to the fourth floor to stop the searchers there. Are there going to be any other surprises like this?" You can't stop a bit of anger from creeping into your voice with that last question. After the way Satori acted just now with Hajime, you're not sure what to think of her; besides, all this could have been avoided if she had just kept better track of her pets.

"I didn't intend for this to happen any more than you did!" Satori snaps at you. After a moment, though, she looks away, biting her lip, and her next words are much softer. "I'm... sorry, Taizou. I thought everyone had been accounted for."

You sigh. "I just don't want it to happen again, Satori. Make sure there aren't any more animals hiding themselves on this floor," you say before heading for the stairs yourself, making your way up to the fourth floor.

It's another twenty before you can gather all the oni back down on the first floor and in one place to give them their new marching orders: a sweep of the palace as a single group, with you, the council head, and Satori overseeing at all times. Naturally, a few of them ask about the change (and where two of their number went), but you're spared having to tell them what exactly happened on the second floor; the council head describes it as "an incident," without going into any more detail, in a tone that forestalls any further questions.

Apart from that, they seem to absorb these new instructions without little complaint, and, after a bit of confusion over who was following who, the twelve of you set off into the maze of hallways that is the first floor, picking up where the two oni that had been searching this floor previously left off. Fortunately, with everyone in the search party back together, the solemn atmosphere that had built itself up doesn't hold for long, and by the time you finish searching the first floor, the group is as raucous as they were outside the palace, talking noisily to one another about topics completely unrelated to the matter at hand. It feels like a bizarre parody of a elementary school field trip; three beleaguered authority figures, outnumbered by the remainder of their unruly group.

You doubt a headbutt would have much effect on any of these 'kids', though.

Unsurprisingly, the search takes much longer with twelve people than it did with three, and it feels like days before you finally make it through all four floors. With everyone under constant supervision, you manage to avoid any more major incidents, though there are a few tense moments (the rest of Satori's pets, it turns out, were crammed into her bedroom upstairs, and you keep a very close eye on your men as Satori leads the animals away so the room can be searched). Luckily (at least, from your point of view), nobody actually finds anything on the search; thankfully, Satori yields to all of the council head's requests without much complaint, even going as far as to tear back a portion of the canvas on that painting from before to reveal an empty wall behind it.

That leaves you with just one more problem, you think to yourself, as the group descends from the fourth floor towards its final search location: the basement. You weren't entirely comfortable with hiding the truth about what's hidden in the basement from the oni even before the incident on the second floor; after it, you can't help but wonder what it is that Satori's hiding, and whether it's in your best interest to let her keep hiding it.

[ ] Tell them about the secret entrance.
[ ] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

---

Next update within a week. You all have no real compelling reason to believe me anymore, of course, but I'm trying.
>> No. 4469
[x] Try to gain Satori's attention by making eye contact or very subtle hand gestures. Once you have it, think at her.
[x] [There's a reason this search is being held. A specific reason. I do not want to spill your secret, but I have to know. Does it have anything to do with the destruction of the crops? Can you tell me in all honesty that whatever is down here should not be the worry of the council? Can I absolutely trust your word on this?]
[x] [This could put countless lives in danger if it continues, Satori. I doubt you'd do this out of spite, just to hurt others. But I need to know, and I don't want this on my conscience, or on that of yours. Please tell me the truth, I'm trusting you to do that much; I'm trusting you to be a good person. Are you, or whatever is down here, responsible?]
[x] [Just nod or shake your head. Or blink once for yes, twice for no.] Decide depending on her answer. You can't be sure whether she would lie to you or not, but you have no other choice in the matter. What's important now is the survival of the people, and the responsibility placed on your shoulders to protect them.
>> No. 4470
[x] Try to gain Satori's attention by making eye contact or very subtle hand gestures. Once you have it, think at her.
[x] [There's a reason this search is being held. A specific reason. I do not want to spill your secret, but I have to know. Does it have anything to do with the destruction of the crops? Can you tell me in all honesty that whatever is down here should not be the worry of the council? Can I absolutely trust your word on this?]
[x] [This could put countless lives in danger if it continues, Satori. I doubt you'd do this out of spite, just to hurt others. But I need to know, and I don't want this on my conscience, or on that of yours. Please tell me the truth, I'm trusting you to do that much; I'm trusting you to be a good person. Are you, or whatever is down here, responsible?]
[x] [Just nod or shake your head. Or blink once for yes, twice for no.] Decide depending on her answer. You can't be sure whether she would lie to you or not, but you have no other choice in the matter. What's important now is the survival of the people, and the responsibility placed on your shoulders to protect them.

Works for me~!
>> No. 4471
[x] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.
It was a 'dream' nothing else.
>> No. 4472
[x] Try to gain Satori's attention by making eye contact or very subtle hand gestures. Once you have it, think at her.
[x] [There's a reason this search is being held. A specific reason. I do not want to spill your secret, but I have to know. Does it have anything to do with the destruction of the crops? Can you tell me in all honesty that whatever is down here should not be the worry of the council? Can I absolutely trust your word on this?]
[x] [This could put countless lives in danger if it continues, Satori. I doubt you'd do this out of spite, just to hurt others. But I need to know, and I don't want this on my conscience, or on that of yours. Please tell me the truth, I'm trusting you to do that much; I'm trusting you to be a good person. Are you, or whatever is down here, responsible?]
[x] [Just nod or shake your head. Or blink once for yes, twice for no.] Decide depending on her answer. You can't be sure whether she would lie to you or not, but you have no other choice in the matter. What's important now is the survival of the people, and the responsibility placed on your shoulders to protect them.
>> No. 4478
File 126479268676.jpg - (259.09KB , 474x700 , 6296209.jpg ) [iqdb]
4478
>>4467
[X] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

Way back when, this was all about letting the oni vent about not being in control of the underground city. The crop destruction was a convenient excuse to come and raze Satori's palace, at least according to Yuugi:

>>\others\15894 (I hope this works this time)
>"So you think..." Your eyes dart towards the door as you speak; you haven't known Satori for more than a few minutes, but it still feels strange to talk behind her back like this. "...that she's destroying the crops intentionally? Why would she do that?"

>"Nah, nothin' like that." Yuugi leans back and puts her feet up again. "I don't think she'd do it on purpose, if she's behind it at all."

>Now you're completely confused. If she's behind it? "Then why--"

>"Politics." Yuugi spits the word, like a curse. "Mostly just a pissin' contest for the Council now. The old bastards are bitter about not gettin' to rule over Hell with an iron fist, and they're takin' it out on her by pullin' these kind of stunts, sayin' they wanna inspect the palace to figure out what's going on. They ain't gonna do much more than turn all the furniture upside down and go home happy."

The Council Head seemed pretty excited to find the secret passage, but probably because it was an excuse to usurp Satori, not to find an answer to the disappearing crops. Also, rereading when we actually found the secret entrance and started to explore it... I still have no idea what happened exactly to get us out of there without being burnt alive, and I don't know if we can count on a repeat performance.
Hard to imagine anything other than what she has hidden away down there causing all these crop problems, though. But, between what we know about the oni and Satori, and their respective reasons for revealing and keeping it a secret, Satori's ambition is less loathsome than the oni's harassment. Everything we've seen has pointed towards Satori taking her responsibilities as the caretaker of the underground very seriously. While quite meta, Satori and her palace wouldn't survive a full-blown revolt. She has nothing to gain from making the general population nervous and angry.

A lot of other things factor into the decision, but I trust Satori. I hope I'm not wrong.

That said, she needs to tone down the total bitch routine. It's no surprise the oni hate her if she's going to behave like that.

Finally, while I was reading back, I found the Council Head's name: Kisaburou Oosenri
>> No. 4479
>>4478
A compelling argument. Very well, you have my Rexona.

[x] Don't tell them about the entrance'
>> No. 4480
[X]Don't tell them about the entrance.
>> No. 4481
[X]Don't tell them about the entrance.
>> No. 4482
[X] Don't tell them about the entrance.

Though, as a mediator, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
>> No. 4483
[X]Don't tell them about the entrance.
>> No. 4484
[x] Don't tell them about the entrance

>>4482

Not necessarily so long as the HC does not directly ask Taizou about his thoughts on the basement. If the chief does not directly ask Taizou about it then technically it's fine for now right? Besides I still say he can make it his own private investigation; may even have to propose it during their council meetings and no doubt Yuugi would agree/put her vote for it.

Thinking some what ahead of myself here perhaps but...

With that said, he'll have to make some effort in convincing the other members on allowing him to do such an investigation on his own as well as the head councilman.
>> No. 4485
[x] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

What secret entrance?
>> No. 4487
[X] Don't tell them about the entrance.
Nearly missed this because i never check /underground/ for updates.
>> No. 4488
[X] Don't tell them about the entrance.

May as well do so for now.
>> No. 4490
>>4482
If we were an actual mediator, I'd agree, but ever since the beginning of this ordeal, we've been everything but. Mediations try to get the parties to sit down and reach a mutual understanding or agreement, with the mediator prodding things along. In the course of the investigation, I've felt more like a referee or judge than anything in this: constantly making sure both sides are playing by the rules and keeping everyone on task/not killing each other.

Worth noting, though, is that professional mediators can't reveal any secrets told to them in confidence. They need the person's permission to tell the other party. The purpose is to (ironically enough in this situation) preserve the confidence that a mediator will not betray his or her neutrality.
>> No. 4491
>>4478
And from the looks of things it's beyond just the matter of crops, but the very balance between non-onis and onis (just look at that post bad end)
>>4490
Yeah our job is to seem as neutral as possible while preventing a war from breaking out. Not easy, hopefully this will end soon so Taizo can spend some time off with Yuugi.

[x] >>4469
[x] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

Just mentioning the secret entrance would cast suspicion on us. And depending on Satori's answer either we indirectly look harder for it or less harder.
>> No. 4493
>>4478

Nice backslashes bro

>>/others/15894
>> No. 4495
[x] Try to gain Satori's attention by making eye contact or very subtle hand gestures. Once you have it, think at her.
[x] [There's a reason this search is being held. A specific reason. I do not want to spill your secret, but I have to know. Does it have anything to do with the destruction of the crops? Can you tell me in all honesty that whatever is down here should not be the worry of the council? Can I absolutely trust your word on this?]
[x] [This could put countless lives in danger if it continues, Satori. I doubt you'd do this out of spite, just to hurt others. But I need to know, and I don't want this on my conscience, or on that of yours. Please tell me the truth, I'm trusting you to do that much; I'm trusting you to be a good person. Are you, or whatever is down here, responsible?]
[x] [Just nod or shake your head. Or blink once for yes, twice for no.] Decide depending on her answer. You can't be sure whether she would lie to you or not, but you have no other choice in the matter. What's important now is the survival of the people, and the responsibility placed on your shoulders to protect them.
>> No. 4496
[x] >>4469
[x] ...Along with some mention of And before you answer: If you feel you absolutely MUST lie to even me, then please, at the very least, do everyone a favor and get whatever it is down there the hell out of there, or protected or covered better, or something. Maybe I don't have to know about it, but the loss of crops cannot continue.

Some questions you just don't feel comfortable answering either way, which is why I thought of adding this.
>> No. 4497
[x] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

We aren't here to uncover the truth behind their conflict, we aren't here to determine who's right and who's wrong, we're here to keep things under control between the two parties while they resolve things to their satisfaction. Don't lose sight of that.
>> No. 4499
>>4497
Technically not, but once we discover the truth, we might find a way to stop it regardless of who's right or wrong. Perhaps if we were on say another route we might not have deal with the issue. We still don't know if the Yuugi route will have us preventing or ensuring the SA scenario (Glas did say early on that depending route, we might have to prevent it)
>> No. 4501
>>4478
>"Except this season, we damn well near didn't get by at all. Come harvest time, nearly a quarter of our fields were gone. And just what do you figure had happened?"
It may very well be nothing more than a battle of politics; but just because they don't care, doesn't mean we shouldn't.
>> No. 4503
File 126487044987.jpg - (64.65KB , 450x600 , cosp1148406.jpg ) [iqdb]
4503
>>4478
>Hard to imagine anything other than what she has hidden away down there causing all these crop problems, though.
The crop problems are due to cave-ins. This is soon before SA on the timeline. You can't think of anything else that could be causing it?
>> No. 4505
>>4503
...point made.
>> No. 4507
>>4505
With this possibility made...

Celestial versus Human/Oni/Satori who would win?!

That's gonna be one hell of an excursion; unless of course Taizou ends up being forced to go alone.
>> No. 4508
>>4503
Radiation from Utsuho's stoking the furnaces of hell? That's what I thought it was.

Of course, I'd forgotten about the crop thing entirely. Did they say the fields were just literally GONE, or that the plants were dying, or what?
>> No. 4510
>>4507
Interesting, but I doubt Yuugi would let Taizo head off alone towards such a battle.
>>4508
It was said the cave ins/openings were ruining part of the croplands that the underground used. I wonder how no one noticed strange farmland before, since you'd think that'd stick out like a sore thumb.
>> No. 4511
>>4510
I think it would be kind of fantastic if the of timeline and story of SA got tweaked enough that instead of Reimu and Marisa heading to the underground to figure out why there were a bunch of earth spirits spewing from geysers and investigating whatever crazy power Kanako was helping create, and instead they have to prevent an all out war between the underground and the heavens
>> No. 4515
>>4511

Let's not get ahead of ourselves as there's still the matter of the Oni Council raiding Satori's home as well as finding the exact thing or being that is causing the destruction of the crops; politically fueled or not.

Speaking of politics there's also the matter of the two possible conspirators that Taizou overheard during the last celebration. For one thing Taizou does not know who were involved and oddly enough it doesn't seem to even involve our dear friend Rasetsu; or at least as far as Taizou(read us) knows.

okay so I'm now getting ahead of myself with the followinglol

Finally there's the matter of Utsuho attaining her abilities considering the timeline. How much will that particularly affect amongst the various issues that in hindsight could easily overwhelm Taizou if he is not careful..?
>> No. 4517
[x] Try to gain Satori's attention by making eye contact or very subtle hand gestures. Once you have it, think at her.
[x] [There's a reason this search is being held. A specific reason. I do not want to spill your secret, but I have to know. Does it have anything to do with the destruction of the crops? Can you tell me in all honesty that whatever is down here should not be the worry of the council? Can I absolutely trust your word on this?]
[x] [This could put countless lives in danger if it continues, Satori. I doubt you'd do this out of spite, just to hurt others. But I need to know, and I don't want this on my conscience, or on that of yours. Please tell me the truth, I'm trusting you to do that much; I'm trusting you to be a good person. Are you, or whatever is down here, responsible?]
[x] [Just nod or shake your head. Or blink once for yes, twice for no.] Decide depending on her answer. You can't be sure whether she would lie to you or not, but you have no other choice in the matter. What's important now is the survival of the people, and the responsibility placed on your shoulders to protect them.

I can't in good conscience let it simply slide, when we can easily excuse doing so now by mentally questioning Satori.

Even we agree that the council head wants to use this as a political stepping stone doesn't mean we should turn ourselves in liars and person easily manipulated. It would be nice to stride down the city streets one day and not have a brickbat hurled at us.
>> No. 4528
Votes and substantiative discussion after such a long break? I don't deserve you guys.

No picture because it is 2:41 AM and anything requiring more effort than a Danbooru search is beyond me right now.

---

[X] Don't tell them about the secret entrance.

...No. Even if keeping Satori's secret may turn out badly for everyone in the end, you can't imagine a way that telling everyone about the secret entrance won't turn out worse. If the council head found out that his paranoid suspicions about some sort of plot against the oni were justified... You suppress a little shudder, gripping the railing of the stairs a little tighter as you descend into the basement.

The near-perfect darkness of the staircase, coupled with the tension of the fruitless search, seems to deaden the atmosphere around the search party, and the group of oni stays quieter than you would have believed them capable of, following Satori and the council head without even the slightest whisper of chatter among them. The situation is almost frightening, and you're glad when you can finally see the light of the underground garden shining below you.

"I would ask that everyone take care so as to avoid damaging the plants," Satori says firmly as she reaches the bottom step, turning to face the rest of the group. In the dim light cast from the ceiling, you can see that the oni are as amazed as you were when you first set eyes on the garden. Murmuring among themselves restlessly, they follow you and the council head into the small space, fanning out to begin their search.

At first, you try to keep yourself in the middle of the room to keep an eye on everyone, but there really isn't enough space down here, and after a few bumped elbows and mumbled apologies, you move off to the side, planting yourself against the far wall near its middle, opposite the room's entrance. In fact... yep; looking around, you realize you must be more or less right in front of the hidden door.

Well, so much the better. Sighing, you rest your head in your hand for a moment, running your fingers through your hair, and peek behind you at the wall you're leaning against. You don't know what you're looking for, of course, but you don't see it; even knowing what you know, you have a hard time believing that something like that could be built into solid rock and still hidden so convincingly. Your mind set at ease, you raise your head, taking a quick look around the room, then rest it against the wall, yawning loudly.

Man, how long have you been at this now? The last meal you had, Yuugi's hangover cure, seems like it was ages ago, and you feel your eyelids droop as you lean heavily against the rocky wall of the garden. Some of it is just fatigue; you did spend a lot of time practicing with Yuugi and Yamame, and that fight couldn't have helped matters. Even so, though, you feel mentally tired, too; worn out from trying to make sense a situation that's seems like it's turning into one of those tales of palace intrigue that all the old ladies in the village go for. The aloof feudal lord with a dark secret; the young upstart general who tries to rebuild the kingdom in his own image; the mad jester with his own hidden agenda...

...So who does that make you?

Geez, now you're doing it. You take a deep breath in and hold it for a moment, forcing the tension out of your muscles as you exhale slowly through your teeth. From the looks of things, the search has already come to a close. Not really that surprising; with ten people in a space this size, it's hard to find a space for everyone to stand without running into one another, and one person alone could probably search the entire room in no more than a few minutes.

Even as the other oni slowly cease their efforts, though, milling around restlessly, the council head continues moving, shoving his way past his subordinates, intent on scouring every inch of the room. Your breath catches in your throat as he motions you aside to examine the portion of wall that you're leaning against, but after a nerve-wracking couple of seconds, he moves on without having found anything. Whatever Satori did to hide that secret passage, it must have worked.

He continues moving past it, examining the rest of the wall, but as he reaches the end, he simply... stops in place, frozen like an wind-up doll that's out of energy. You wait for a few seconds, but he doesn't make any moves, still facing the wall as though examining it in excruciating detail.

So you're finally done? All that's left is to get everyone out of here, then. "Well, I think--"

"Back upstairs to the third floor," the council head interrupts, breaking out of his reverie and stalking over to the door. His tone of voice makes it clear it was an order, and some of the oni follow after him without question, but others hesitate, glancing back and forth between one another uncertainly, looking to you for confirmation.

But you've had enough of this. "No," you say, shaking your head. "We're done for today."

At the sound of your voice, the council head stops, turning away from the door, and slowly walks back over to you, coming closer and closer until you find yourself reminded of exactly how much taller he is than you, and how frightening it is to be on the receiving end of one of his death glares.

"The search is not yet finished."

"We've been through every room in the palace, some multiple times," you say resolutely. "What part of the search isn't finished?"

"The land surrounding the palace and its exterior, including the roof and windows. The ceilings of several of the large rooms on the first, second, and third floors. The contents of several drawers in the cooking--"

"Fine," you say sharply, cutting him off. "Let's blame it on my inferior human physiology, okay? I'm done for the day. I can't effectively supervise any more." As if to emphasize your point, you feel a yawn building in the back of your throat, and you bite it back before continuing. "If the search hasn't been completed to your satisfaction, come get me tomorrow and tell me what still needs to be done."

No response.

"I want this done as much as you do, and I want it done right, so it doesn't have to be done over again," you continue, voice going a little faster as you try to justify yourself to the frowning statue before you, "but I just cannot do any more now, okay?"

He doesn't make a move to acknowledge you, face still creased with some mix of anger and indifference, and you look away, unable to bear the weight of his gaze.

"That's it, everyone," you say, looking around at the crowd of oni. "You can leave now. We're done here for today."

Nobody moves. All eyes are on the council head as he continues to stare at you without responding, still not having moved an inch. You turn back to him, swallowing as you meet his gaze once again and counting down the seconds until you're going to try saying something to him again.

"If that is your decision." Before you get that far, though, he abruptly yields, speaking once before turning away, walking back through the open doors out of the room and back up the stairs. Slowly, as if shocked by this development, the other oni follow him, talking quietly amongst themselves as they wander out in groups of two and three. Some of them give you a sympathetic look and a nod as they go, and others pointedly avoid looking at you; you wait for all of them to start up the stairs before you leave the room. Satori shuts the doors behind her after she leaves behind you, and you think you see her give you a nod and a ghost of a smile before the light from the garden is gone, leaving you in darkness again.

As your hand finds the railing and you continue up to ground level, you let out a breath you hadn't realized you were holding, feeling your knees go a little weak. You were pretty sure that the council head wasn't going to actively go against your order, but that doesn't make it any easier to stand up to him. At least you won't have to press your luck again until tomorrow, you think happily as you reach the top of the stairs, stepping out into the main foyer of the palace.

You stop your sigh of relief short, though, as another memory returns to your mind: the conversation you overheard at the council house last night. You still don't know what exactly they were talking about, but it definitely wasn't good, and you heard enough to know that at least one of them was in your search party, and that they planned to meet again after the search. The council head's already out the front door and gone, but you can still see most of the oni lazily making their way across the room to the exit; if there was anyone you wanted to follow, now would be the time.

On the other hand... is it really worth it? You don't really know who you would follow, or what you'd even be doing, other than sneaking around hoping you find something out. You have your suspicions about... the guy you called out before the search started (Yoshio, was it?), but that's all they are, and they're flimsy ones at that. Besides, you're tired, and at this point, you would like nothing better than to go back to Yuugi's house, have a drink with her (if she's even still awake at whatever ungodly hour it must be), and go to bed.

[ ] If it gives you a chance to figure out what that conversation was about, it's worth it. Follow Yoshio to wherever he ends up going.
[ ] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4529
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4530
[X] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.

Had he been in a much better condition, I would have voted for spying. Unfortunately being physically and mentally exhausted all the while avoiding the rather violent Youkai in such a state would be unwise. Taizou could talk to Yuugi about it later on as well to get a second opinion.
>> No. 4532
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.

Yuugi time.
>> No. 4533
[x] If it gives you a chance to figure out what that conversation was about, it's worth it. Follow Yoshio to wherever he ends up going.
Ignoring rumos won't make them go away and it seems to be a certain way to get a bad end.
>> No. 4534
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4535
>>4533

I wouldn't say Taizou would be ignoring the rumors since he himself heard it from probable conspirators, however trying to spy on them when the relations between Oni and Youkai are very seemingly tense could be very bad.

Whoe's to say someone wouldn't call Taizou out as he's spying considering he's the only human currently known to be living in the underground city.

Worse yet what if Yamame's out looking for him and catches him at a bad time?

All speculation I suppose but unless Taizou can handle large groups by himself while exhausted physically and mentally, I'd say it's best he went home for now.
>> No. 4536
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4537
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4538
>>4528
[x] If it gives you a chance to figure out what that conversation was about, it's worth it. Follow Yoshio to wherever he ends up going.

Against my better judgment and desire to find respite with our single-horned goddess, the threat posed is too great to ignore.
>> No. 4539
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.

Time to rest and unwind, spying while so worn out and stressed wouldn't amount to much good.
>> No. 4540
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>Yuugi time.
Fuck yes. What we all have been waiting for.
>> No. 4541
>>4540
>Fuck yes. What we all have been waiting for

Even if it amounts to nothing more than a simple greeting and some talking, it sure as hell beats having to face the council head or deal with Satori's mind-prodding among other things.

This is but a brief reprieve to the pain the next day will bring if the "committee" has anything to say about it. I'm sure Yuugi though can think of some way to relieve him of that tension some how.
>> No. 4542
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4543
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.

What we've all been waiting for.
>> No. 4544
>>4541
Well, if we had frequent/daily/twice a week updates i would say let's deal with them but because it is monthly or so i don't want to waste any more on them.
It's like if you have a limited number of moves, better use them for something useful instead of wasting them away.
>> No. 4545
>>4544

Even if there were frequent updates you're missing the point of Taizou condition. In fact the speed of the updates have nothing to do with the probability of Taizou either getting bad end, swerve the story to an undesirable direction, or simply another important point of progress.

Yes glasnost is slow we get it, at the very least make it a joke that's funny.

Just saying bro
>> No. 4546
>>4545
Not complaining because he is slow, just saying that we gotta squeeze as much as possible into each update.
>> No. 4547
>>4546

You act as if he doesn't have meaty updates; he does. That's part of why it takes him so long. Now go read something else in the meanwhile to kill the time.
>> No. 4555
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
>> No. 4556
[x] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.
[x] When you're back here, next, bring up >>4469 or something close enough to it.
[x] Also, see if you can get her help on picking out who the possible conspirators are, tomorrow, by listening to their thoughts.

Something like this. I dunno, it probably needs refinement, but the main point is asking for her help on finding out who's after you. Ain't no better way of finding out, is there?
>> No. 4565
File 126561811212.jpg - (330.35KB , 866x642 , 67.jpg ) [iqdb]
4565
>>4544
Yeah, I anticipated that some people might think this way, and you're well within your rights to do so; with luck, I'll be able to get on a schedule that minimizes that factor of the decision before we get to the endgame and any really hard decisions.

---

[X] Screw this; you're in no condition to try to spy on anyone. Go back home to Yuugi.

In the end, you decide against trying to follow anyone, instead waiting by the door to the basement as the oni slowly filter out the front door and into the night. As they go, you find yourself idly glancing over at Satori; it seems as though with each oni that leaves, another piece of the neutral expression she had been wearing for the duration of the latter portion of the search falls away, revealing a displeased scowl underneath that matches the one she wore while arguing with the council head. By the time the two of you are alone, she looks like she's ready to give someone a serious talking-to, and you decide to take your leave before your prediction comes true.

"Well, I'll be going now, Satori," you say, giving her a slight bow. "By the looks of things, I'll probably be seeing you tomorrow, too, so--"

"You need to stop the search, Taizou."

Too late. You can't say you weren't expecting a request like this, though, especially after what the shrewd, secretive side to Satori's personality you saw today in the kitchen. You weren't expecting her to be so blunt, but you had been preparing for this sort of thing. "You know I can't do that, Satori," you say firmly, moving towards the front door. "Not in any official way, and not as a reasonable person, either. Whatever you've got hidden down there can stay hidden for another day."

"'Another day'?" Satori laughs aloud, a cold, unpleasant sound. "You really think his search will end tomorrow?" Her frown gets deeper, and she walks past you, standing between you and the door and looking you in the eye. "After he fails to find anything tomorrow, he will tell you that he needs another day, and give you a list of new places to search. And when he fails the next day, he will tell you that he needs another day, and give you another list, and he will do it again, and again, and again, and he will not stop until the day you give him permission of tear down my palace with his bare hands. And If you try to deny him the right to do so," she continues, taking the words from your mind before you can say them, "he will rid himself of you and return to slowly convincing the oni of the underground that I am a menace to their way of life, just as he was trying to do before you arrived. Your attempts at impartiality and moderation will be little more than a minor hindrance." She laughs again, taking a step backwards and leaning her back against the door. "Of course, he has inducted you into his little club, hasn't he? I'm sure he won't have to worry about you trying to go against him."

"Yeah, sure, I'm in his pocket, all right. That explains why I just got done hiding your secrets!" You've had enough. Getting stared down, shouted over, and outright ignored are one thing, but being laughed at and insulted by someone you've gone this far for? Where is this even anger coming from? "You're the one who started this search, not me! If I'm such a liability to you, why don't you just call your sister to come and erase my memory again? While you're at it, why don't you tell her to have the council head just forget how to breathe? That should solve all your problems, shouldn't it?!"

Satori's mouth drops open, and she reels as though you had just slapped her. "I didn't--"

"And for what? Just what is it you're keeping down there, what are you so desperate to protect? Or am I supposed to lie for you without even that much knowledge?!" you shout. "How am I supposed to know that the council head isn't right to suspect you?!"

You stop yourself there, your words echoing through the room. Satori doesn't say anything at first, staring silently at the ground before her feet, and for a while, the only sound you hear is your own breathing, a little heavier than usual after that rant.

"Amazing." When Satori finally speaks, her tone is light and airy, as though she were talking to herself, and when she looks at you again, her expression has returned to the same neutral stare she usually wears. "It seems the grass really is always greener on the other side."

"What is that supposed to mean?" you ask levelly, trying to keep the snarl out of your voice.

"You think this whole dilemma centers around whether or not I'm trustworthy. Whether or not I deserve my secrets. If I am and I do, then it's okay for you to protect me like you did today, and you'll continue to do so. If not, you'll stop, and let him have at me. That's what you're thinking. In short..." She smiles; a more genuine one than before, but it still doesn't reach her eyes. "...everything would be solved, if only you could see into my mind and tell what I'm really thinking." She turns away for a moment, towards the door, and sets a hand on the knob. "But you're wrong. I'll tell you this: if you saw what I see, you would beg to have your old problems back."

The pleasantly cool night air hits your face as she swings the door open, propping it against her back to keep it open. "It was a mistake to rely on someone else to fix my problems for me. If nothing else, I'm sorry that I've dragged you into this." Still standing to keep the door held open, she gives you a full bow, expression somber.

You don't say anything. What else is there to say? You barely understand the latter half of what she just said, and you're not sure you were meant to understand any of it at all. After another long moment of silence, you step out the open door, shivering slightly at the sudden change in temperature, and prepare yourself for the walk back to Yuugi's house.

...But...

"So..." You can't leave things like this between Satori and you. Whatever the reason behind her sudden anger and her secrecy, you can't shake the feeling that she is concerned for you, somehow. "...I'll be seeing you tomorrow?" you say tentatively, pushing your residual anger to the side and smiling at her.

It's not much, but it's enough; Satori blinks, and her depressed frown is replaced by a look of surprise, followed by a lopsided, barely-there smile. "...Yes, I suppose so. Good night, Taizou."

"Good night, Satori." You hear the door click shut behind you as you turn away, and you walk down the stairs and onto the path back home with a little bit of lightness back in your step.

Unfortunately, as much as you want to just shut your brain off and walk home in peace, you can't seem to let yourself just ignore what Satori said to you. You had already guessed that Satori's secret really was, at least on some level, bigger than this search and whatever politics surrounded it, and your little conversation just now more or less confirms it. Unfortunately, with Satori apparently unwilling to tell you anything about it, you can't say whether it has anything to do with the crop destruction that you're supposed to be dealing with, and consequently, you can't say for certain that it's your place to butt in.

Although, really, can you honestly say this is about crops anymore? You certainly haven't heard anyone mention it in a while. If nothing else, Yuugi seemed to think that was what it was about, and you trust her not to be anything but honest with you, but even the council head hasn't really gone to any effort to make it clear what he thinks Satori could be hiding that could destroy crop fields like that. But it's not like there's anything else he could be searching for, right? He's an oni, too; is it even possible for him to lie about what he's searching for? Is--

Enough! You slap yourself on the cheeks lightly, willing yourself to put it out of your mind. As tired as you are, if you don't force yourself to stop thinking for a while, you're going to burn yourself out, and that doesn't help anyone, least of all yourself. Tilting your head back and looking up at the sky -- er, ceiling -- you take a deep breath and let it out, turning your thoughts to something else, anything else, that can distract you from going in circles in your head.

In the end, you make it all the way up to 157 before getting to Yuugi's door, slipping your shoes off and stepping inside. Without thinking about it, you find yourself tiptoeing your way down the hall, being careful not to make any loud noises; after all, there's no way anyone's still awake at--

"Taizou!"

Of course, you could be wrong about that.

"Hey, Yuugi," you say, squinting against the dim light as you turn the corner into the living room and...

Wow. The living room table, big enough for three people to eat breakfast on it yesterday, is completely covered with bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors, most of them opened and in some state of emptiness.

"Yeah, brought some home with me," she says, catching your stare. "Have a drink?"

Did she drink all this tonight? That has to be gallons of alcohol! It's not as though you haven't seen her drink before; as a matter of fact, you're not sure that you've ever seen her without some sort of alcohol at hand. This, though...

Well, maybe this much is normal for oni? "So what's the occasion?" you say jokingly, gesturing toward the table as you sit down near Yuugi.

"Why, celebratin' your return, 'natch," she says with a smirk, grabbing a bottle and miming a toast. "You kept me waitin' so long, figured you went and joined the circus or somethin'."

"And miss out on free booze? No way," you say with a grin, and Yuugi cracks a smile, shoving you lightly from across the table. "Sorry to keep you waiting."

"I'm just guessin' t'wasn't your fault," she says wryly, snatching a bottle from the middle of the table and refilling her cup. "Things go bad?"

"Worse than bad," you reply, taking the cup she offers you and holding it as she pours you a drink. "I almost wish I could've just left with you and Yamame and skipped the whole damn thing."

"Eh, the way home wasn't so hot either." Yuugi's smile slowly fades away into nothing, and she turns to look at the mess of bottles strewn over the table. "Same old shit. Big argument over nothin', coupla guys got hurt. Nothin' I coulda done." She sighs and shakes her head, and then her smile returns, a bit more uneasy than before. "So I figured, hey, deliveries're done, s'been a while since I went an' got myself good'n blitzed, why not now?" she says with a low chuckle.

"Sorry to hear that," you say awkwardly. So this much alcohol isn't normal for her. You thought you noticed that her hand was a little unsteady when she was pouring the drinks. "Sounds like your night went about as well as mine. You alright?" you ask, unsure whether you're asking about her health or her feelings even as you ask it.

"Eh, s'over now, s'not worth talkin' 'bout," she says shortly, waving her hand as though to brush away your concerns. "Don' wanna weigh ya down." She leans in unsteadily, close enough that you can smell the alcohol on her breath, examining your concerned face with a curious expression. "You already got enough on your plate, sounds like. How bad was it over there?"

You hesitate. As much as you'd like to talk about it with someone, you know you can't tell Yuugi about Satori's secret; not and expect her not to tell the council head. The fight between the oni and that tiger should be safe, though; if gossip flows down here the same way it does above ground, then the whole city probably already knows about it anyway.

On the other hand, do you really want to talk about it? It might make you feel a little better to get it off your chest, but Yuugi's clearly dealing with her own stuff now; you don't want to make her feel worse, especially if whatever happened after you two split up was enough to make her feel like getting this drunk. Or maybe commiserating with her will make her feel better?

[ ] Tell her about the fight in the palace.
[ ] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
[ ] Just sit and drink with her.

---

Next update within the week, because maybe if I keep telling myself that, it'll come true. I should probably stop stalling and update MoaV sometime in there, too.
>> No. 4566
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.

I doubt she's had many chances to vent, so she needs this.
>> No. 4567
{X} Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
>> No. 4568
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
>> No. 4570
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
>> No. 4571
[X] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
-[x]"It couldn't hurt to have a human's thoughts on it could it?"Besides what kind of husband would I be if I didn't help out the missus with her troubles eh?

Despite all the BS that occurred with Taizou it'd never occurred to him to consider finding an escape from it all; rather just deal with it little by little at a time. Yuugi though, may have partially given that up and is simply trying to cope with her feelings unable to do a thing to prevent the mess from happening again.
>> No. 4573
[X] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
-[x]"It couldn't hurt to have a human's thoughts on it could it?
>> No. 4576
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
>before we get to the endgame
Not before the end of this year i hope.
>> No. 4578
[X] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
-[x]"It couldn't hurt to have a human's thoughts on it could it?
If she really wants to know what happened, we'd tell her then.
>> No. 4580
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
>> No. 4584
[X] Describe, in brief, your horrible experience at the Palace. (We should probably at least partially answer the question Yuugi just asked us, it's only polite, even if we tell the main story later)

Yuugi is an Oni. Could she probably get down and talk serious business right now if she had to? Probably. Would she want to? Another matter. I picture this as describing what happened, and Taizou's reactions/responses, but perhaps not focusing on the more grimdark elements, for now. There will be a time to discuss strategy soon, but doing so with a highly inebriated Oni does not seem a good use of time, especially since both parties need to unwind, badly.

[X] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.

Sounds like she had a bad day too. Interesting to learn who exactly was fighting whom. Could be relevant later on.

[X] Sit and drink with her. Perhaps hold off on getting completely shitfaced, as we do have to return to the Palace tomorrow.

Since I envision this happening anyways. Logical conclusion to Taizou's day.


If the writer prefers not to combine votes like this, I'll understand. The way I see it,though, is that these options fit together quite nicely, and with the generous size of recent updates, do not seem to be incompatible with one another.
>> No. 4586
>>4584

I actually would hold off even telling her about what occurred at the "search", if only because unlike Taizou, Yuugi's been trudging through the same shit over and over again for seemingly much longer than Taizou had; even perhaps before his birth.

Another note*

>>So this much alcohol isn't normal for her. You thought you noticed that her hand was a little unsteady when she was pouring the drinks.

>>Yuugi's clearly dealing with her own stuff now.

Considering Taizou had just entered a rather bleak world that for Yuugi, just seems impossible to escape or change. The least that Taizou can do is show support or rather, some how find her a solution that may solve their problems at once. Another perspective or insight.

Binge drinking is but a brief reprieve to the hell Yuugi must face in the coming hours once again; Perhaps Taizou can provide a more long lasting one if he finds an answer.

For now I say just help her through it...
>> No. 4587
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
-[x]"It couldn't hurt to have a human's thoughts on it, could it?"
>> No. 4591
[x] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.
-[x]"It couldn't hurt to have a human's thoughts on it, could it?"
>> No. 4604
File 126618257635.jpg - (233.00KB , 1000x1000 , 8803501.jpg ) [iqdb]
4604
Getting real close to a week: can glasnost pull if out?
>> No. 4610
File 126623021282.jpg - (826.77KB , 1024x768 , 68.jpg ) [iqdb]
4610
>>4576
Yes before the end of the year. This run is at least half finished.

>>4604
A few hours late, but I think this counts.

---

[X] Encourage her to talk about what happened in the city.

"Could've been worse," you reply noncommittally. "Nobody died, nobody's going to die. Seriously, are you alright?" you repeat, leaning over the table and looking into Yuugi's eyes. You may be prying now, but this is a question you want an answer to.

"M'fine, s'not like anyone's gonna try to take a swing at me. 'Sides, I got there after-- Ah." She stops herself short at the look in your eyes, casting another glance over the crowded table before looking back at you. "You ain't talkin' 'bout physically."

"I'm talking about altogether," you reply, trying not to let your gaze follow hers back over the forest of bottles. "Are you sure you don't want to talk about it or something?"

Yuugi doesn't reply for a long moment, looking you over with an expression that's not quite a frown on her face.

"First off, you got the wrong idea," she finally says, a hint of annoyance in her voice. "I could do this--" She gestures to the table and its alcoholic contents once again. "--every other day and not crawl into a bottle like a human would."

"I wasn't trying to say--"

"I know, I know, ,jus' sayin'. You had that look on your face like you were thinkin' I get blasted and cry myself to sleep every time a coupla idiots try to kill each other." She looks away for a moment, smirking to herself. "Save your pity for people who need it."

Pity? "That wasn't why I--"

"I said I know, geez, chill," she says with a smile, reaching across the table and giving you a slight shove again. "I'm drunk, lemme have my fun."

"...'Kay. My bad." You return her smile weakly, taking a sip of your own drink, and silence reigns for another minute or two as you wait for her to speak.

"S'just when it's kids that it pisses me off, y'know?" When she does finally begin, you're caught a little off guard; she stares across the table at nothing as she speaks, as though talking to herself. "If grown men wanna beat the shit outta each other for whatever dumbass reason, that's their business. S'just..." She stops herself with a sigh, taking a long drink. "I'll start at the beginning."

"The whole thing went down in Kisaragi's store, down on the south side of the city, y'kn-- well, I guess ya don't know. Anyway, s'not important, point is he had his kid watchin' the place while he was out, and this one youkai kid comes in." Yuugi sets her cup on the table and leans forward, gesturing with her hands as she continues the story. "Now, this kid ain't a good kid, and I ain't sayin' that just 'cause he ain't an oni. Kid's got a reputation as a thief, vandal, any crime that doesn't get you killed, he's done it. Oni and youkai victims both, so it's not like that's got anythin' to do with it." She frowns for a moment. "Y'ask me, his parents shoulda beat it out of him 'fore it came down to this, but that ain't any of my business."

"Anyway, so when this kid comes into the store, Kisaragi's boy tries to get rid of him, and here's where things go south. Couldn't get a straight answer about the details outta anyone, but the long and short of it is that Kisaragi's boy tried to throw him out, and the two of 'em ended up gettin' into it outside the store. No, this ain't the bad part," Yuugi says, catching the look on your face. "It's still kids we're talkin' about here, playground fightin'. If it woulda stopped there, the worst anyone woulda ended up with was a black eye and missin' baby teeth."

"But it didn't stop there." Yuugi runs a hand through her hair, sighing heavily. "Kisaragi gets back, and naturally he pulls 'em off of each other, but that ain't all." She bites her lip, looking away. "I dunno what he did to the youkai kid, but it was bad enough that one of the youkai on the street got involved, and then it was a real fight. I got there... musta been a minute or two after that, pulled 'em apart, sent everyone on their way."

She stops there, putting her chin in her hands glumly, and you wait for a good thirty seconds before it becomes clear that she's not going to continue the story on her own. "How bad did it end up?" you ask hesitantly.

"Eh. Nobody died, nobody's gonna die," she says, shooting you a brief smirk, and you flush slightly, remembering your earlier brush-off. "S'the worst part, really," she continues, frowning again. "Kisaragi lost a few fingers, I think the youkai broke his arm, nothin' too serious." You raise your eyebrows, but say nothing, trying to wrap your head around Yuugi's definition of 'serious'.

"Only one I'm worried about is the youkai kid. Dunno how it happened, but somethin' caught him in the eye. Didn't get a good look at it, but it was bleedin' somethin' fierce when they took him away." She shudders visibly and snatches her cup from the table, taking a long swig. "Wouldn't be the first popped eyeball I've seen in one of these fights."

"Popped--" You cut yourself off, wincing involuntarily at the thought. "Youkai can heal that too, can't they?"

"S'different with kids. They heal just as fast, but they're still growin', so sometimes things don't heal right." Yuugi sets her cup down untidily, voice grim. "If it's an arm that heals funny, you can just break it again and hold it in place, but with an eye..."

"But it's not like it's hopeless? He could still heal, right?"

"Could. Dunno. I ain't a doctor," she says flatly. "Tried to check up on the kid after all the other shit got taken care of, but the family didn't want any more oni gettin' near their son. Go fuckin' figure, huh?" she laughs bitterly, grabbing for a mostly-full botttle and pouring herself another drink.

Well, shit. At least your day at the palace ended without anyone being maimed for life. "Hey..." you say awkwardly, and before you can think about it, you find yourself reaching across the table, taking Yuugi's free hand in your own. "You did all you could have done, right? It's not like you can be everywhere."

"Yeah." Yuugi glances down at your hand for a moment, then her fingers close around yours as she closes her eyes and sighs again. "Yeah, I know. S'just that tellin' yourself that gets a little stale after a while."

"It's all anyone can ever tell themselves. These things--"

"'These things are gonna happen sometimes, no matter what ya do,' right?" she interrupts. "I know. Some people are just idiots, some people lose it and do stupid stuff, there's always gonna be bad things. S'just..." She falls silent again, sighing heavily once more as she collects her thoughts. "I first noticed the fight 'cause of the crowd. 'Bout a half-dozen, maybe a dozen people. Hadta push 'em outta the way to get in there and pull the two of 'em apart." She closes her eyes again, hanging her head, and you feel her grip on your hand tighten a little. "S'like that every time. A whole crowd of people, oni and youkai... just watchin'. People I know, strong people, brave people. That's the part I don't fuckin' get." Her voice cracks slightly, but she keeps talking, faster and louder, as though she's trying to get it all out at once. "How can anyone see somethin' like that and just stand there? Do they think that this sort of shit is supposed to happen between oni and youkai? Am I just the only person who gives a fuck anymore?!"

CRACK. A sound like something snapping breaks Yuugi's monologue as her grip on your hand tightens just a little too much, and her head shoots up in reply, face going pale as she yanks her hand away from yours.

"Oh, fuck, oh--"

"It's okay, I'm okay!" you say in a half-shout, raising your own hands in front of you in a calming gesture. "It was just a knuckle popping!" You wiggle your fingers for emphasis (and to make sure there really isn't anything broken), speaking as softly and soothingly as you can.

"R-really?" Yuugi asks, reaching out with both hands and pulling your hand towards her with shaking hands and a gentleness born of fear. You don't pull away, letting her see for herself, and once she's satisfied, she lets out an anxious laugh peppered with deep breaths. "T-that woulda been a shitty way to end the day," she says with an uneasy smile, and you can't help but laugh with relief along with her, thoughts of what the two of you had been talking about utterly forgotten.

You don't forget them for long, though, and as the two of you calm down, you place your hand atop Yuugi's again and open your mouth to speak. "Yuugi, about--"

"Not now," she interrupts, then blanches. "Uh, not like that. I mean, uh... thanks for listenin'. I mean that." She smiles wanly, squeezing your hand slightly. "If you've got advice or somethin', I wanna hear it, just... not now, okay?" She lets out another chuckle. "If I hafta think about any more complicated stuff today, I think my head might just explode." Her hand slides out of your grip, grabbing one of the bottles before her, and she holds it out to you. "I think what the both of us need is to have a drink and shoot the shit for a while. Sound good?"

Your mind flickers over the events of your day for an instant: all the dilemmas that plagued your mind as you walked back home, your plans to unburden your mind and tell Yuugi about everything...

...and forget about them. "Can't think of anything else I'd rather do," you say with a smile, taking the bottle from her hand and topping off her drink before pouring yourself another cup.

---

"Okay, okay, I got one, I got one! Oh, man, this one is perfect. I oughtta get two points for this one."

"Well, let's hear it."

"Okay, you ready? ...Surprise birthday parties."

"Aw, come on, that's not even--"

"No, no, hear me out here! First, ya tell your good friend that you're not--"

"--not exactly a major component of everyday life up there--"

"--ya tell your good friend that you're not doin' anything for his birthday, then ya sneak into his fuckin' house--"

"--'sneak in', s'not like anyone locks their doors anyway--"

"--and sit in the dark just waitin' there--"

"You don't just sit in--"

"--and all this just so you can scare the shit outta the guy who you're supposed t'be celebratin'!"

"Quit tryin' to make it sound all sinister! It's just like a normal birthday party! You just... don't tell the guy who's having the birthday." Yuugi's only reply is smug silence. "Ah, fine, damn it. That one counts," you grouse, finishing the rest of your drink in a single breath and pouring yourself another.

"Damn right it does," she replies with a smirk, taking a gulp of her drink. "How many is that in a row now?"

"Dunno, I lost count." Honestly, you don't remember how you even started on this topic. You were talking about the surface with Yuugi, telling her about life in the village, and somehow (the details are a little fuzzy), the conversation moved to the differences between humans and oni. Even as drunk as the two of you are, though, there's only so much conversational mileage anyone can get out of horns and super strength, and the topic switched from physical differences to cultural ones. The most obvious cultural difference, of course, was lying, but you couldn't help but object when Yuugi said that human society is 'based on lies', and a half-serious argument and a few more hazy details later, the conversation became a bizarre game (Drinking game? You can't remember anymore.) of sorts, with Yuugi giving you examples of how deeply embedded lies are in human culture and you giving her examples of situations where lying really is justified.

"Well? You got any more, or do I win by default?" Which, as it turns out, isn't particularly easy to do.

"Gimme a second, gimme a second." Fortunately, you've hit that perfect level of drunkenness where your creativity skyrockets without leaving you a stumbling mess, and it only takes you a few seconds to come up with the perfect counterattack. "Ah, got one!" you crow, leaning over the table. "'Do I look fat in this?'"

"Say what?" The mix of amusement and confusion in Yuugi's eyes tells you that she hasn't the slightest idea of what you're talking about.

Ah, right, culture gap. "Y'know, rhetorical questions where the asker's just lookin' for an ego boost. The typical example is a wife tryin' on new outfits and askin' her husband if they make her look good. It's either lie for the sake of her self-esteem or tell the truth and end up in the doghouse with hurt feelings all around."

Yuugi frowns skeptically. "Who the hell asks questions like that?"

"I dunno, everyone gets down on themselves every once in a while," you reply with a shrug. "S'a good way to fish for compliments, I guess."

"Really? Fuck that. Down here, you want a compliment, ask for one, 'cause if you ask a question, you're gonna get the answer."

"...Y'know, movin' down here is starting to sound like a real good idea," you say with a small laugh, taking a sip of your drink.

"Hey, Taizou?" Yuugi says, supporting herself with her arms as she leans back against the floor.

"Hm?"

"What're you gonna do... after all this is over?"

The question doesn't sink in, at first, and you furrow your brow in confusion. "Whaddya mean?"

"I mean, uh, you got family above ground lookin' for ya, right?"

"Uh-huh."

"I'm just thinkin', y'know, once we get all this sorted out, 'course you're gonna want to head back up there first, but, uh..." She trails off for a moment, as though distracted by her own thoughts. "I mean, someone's gonna have control over where the tunnels to the surface go by then, so if there was anyone up there who wanted to, y'know, come down... ah, shit, I dunno what I'm tryin' to say," she finishes, shrugging exaggeratedly. "Never mind. S'just the booze talkin'."

You let it drop without comment, but the question sticks in your mind: what are you going to do after this is over? You can't imagine just writing this off as a fun little adventure and going back to everyday life in the village anymore; not after all that you've done, the things that you've seen down here, the people you've met... If everything really did end tomorrow, and you could go back home, could you really just leave with a fond farewell and a firm handshake? Yuugi may not be expecting an answer anymore, but... you think you want to give her one.

[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 4613
[x] "Hmm. Now why would I want to leave a good-looking woman like you all by your lonesome?" Grin at her.
[x] Start joking "I wouldn't mind taking residence down here. The businesses are clean, the weather is comfortable, the political values are morally sound - and hell, everyone is just so nice!" Laugh.
[x] "But I'm serious; I wouldn't mind living down here. It certainly beats my old life. Adventure, excitement, partying, magic... and most of all, great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Smile at her.
>> No. 4614
[x] "I dunno, can I crash here? Find a job or somethin'?"
He has more down here than he ever had upstairs.
>> No. 4615
x] "Hmm. Now why would I want to leave a good-looking woman like you all by your lonesome?" Grin at her.
[x] Start joking "I wouldn't mind taking residence down here. The businesses are clean, the weather is comfortable, the political values are morally sound - and hell, everyone is just so nice!" Laugh.
[x] "But I'm serious; I wouldn't mind living down here. It certainly beats my old life. Adventure, excitement, partying, magic... and most of all, great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Smile at her.

I'm for this write in
>> No. 4618
[x] Yuugi, I may be drunk, but that doesn't really change what's happened recently. I spent most of my life on the surface feeling like something was missing; I felt empty, somehow. Not enough to do maybe, no excitement or sense of belonging. I don't know for sure. What I do know, is that the short time I've spent here, with you, with Yamame, and just getting to know the people, even if there are a couple somewhat hostile ones, has meant more to me than you probably realize. So, thank you, for everything. Maybe....maybe it's still too soon to say for sure, but I could see myself spending more time here. And with you. Granted, of course, that you'd be willing to put up with me for a bit longer. And that my family don't tie me down when I stop by to tell them the good news.
>> No. 4619
[x] Yuugi, I may be drunk, but that doesn't really change what's happened recently. I spent most of my life on the surface feeling like something was missing; I felt empty, somehow. Not enough to do maybe, no excitement or sense of belonging. I don't know for sure. What I do know, is that the short time I've spent here, with you, with Yamame, and just getting to know the people, even if there are a couple somewhat hostile ones, has meant more to me than you probably realize. So, thank you, for everything. Maybe....maybe it's still too soon to say for sure, but I could see myself spending more time here. And with you. Granted, of course, that you'd be willing to put up with me for a bit longer. And that my family don't tie me down when I stop by to tell them the good news.
>> No. 4622
[x] "I like being down here. It's stressful, but it's a way more fulfilling life than just about anything I'd have lead on the surface."
[x] "I mean, I've got you, after all. That alone makes it pretty worth it."
[x] "Yamame and Kisume are fun to be around, too."
[x] "I'm helping to keep order and prevent chaos, and that's a job I can take pride in."
[x] (mumbling) "...On the downside, I sort of have people wanting to kill me..."
[x] "But from what I can tell that's sort of like an occupational hazard in this line of work."
[x] (perking back up) "Still, there's you, and that outweighs most of the negatives."
[x] (And then after that, in a completely casual, conversational tone) "How are you on the whole marriage thing, by the way?" (Probably play it off as a joke. Maybe. It depends on her reaction.)
>> No. 4623
[x] Yuugi, I may be drunk, but that doesn't really change what's happened recently. I spent most of my life on the surface feeling like something was missing; I felt empty, somehow. Not enough to do maybe, no excitement or sense of belonging. I don't know for sure. What I do know, is that the short time I've spent here, with you, with Yamame, and just getting to know the people, even if there are a couple somewhat hostile ones, has meant more to me than you probably realize. So, thank you, for everything. Maybe....maybe it's still too soon to say for sure, but I could see myself spending more time here. And with you. Granted, of course, that you'd be willing to put up with me for a bit longer. And that my family don't tie me down when I stop by to tell them the good news.

works for me~!
>> No. 4624
[+]>>4622 (minus the "play it off as a joke" thing)

The other long write-in is way more wordy than a half-drunk man could come up with.

This one seems like the maximum level of coherence you could expect from someone in this situation.
>> No. 4628
[X] "Hmm. Now why would I want to leave a good-looking woman like you all by your lonesome?" Grin at her.
[X] Start joking "I wouldn't mind taking residence down here. The businesses are clean, the weather is comfortable, the political values are morally sound - and hell, everyone is just so nice!" Laugh.
[X] "But I'm serious; I wouldn't mind living down here. It certainly beats my old life. Adventure, excitement, partying, magic... and most of all, great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Smile at her.
>> No. 4629
[x] "Hmm. Now why would I want to leave a good-looking woman like you all by your lonesome?" Grin at her.
[x] Start joking "I wouldn't mind taking residence down here. The businesses are clean, the weather is comfortable, the political values are morally sound - and hell, everyone is just so nice!" Laugh.
[x] "But I'm serious; I wouldn't mind living down here. It certainly beats my old life. Adventure, excitement, partying, magic... and most of all, great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Smile at her.
>> No. 4632
>>4628
>>4629

Just seems a little cavalier. Even if it's Yuugi, and even if we're drunk. I'd think she would appreciate down-to-earth no-frills sincerity.

I don't know if the humor (even intended as disarming) is really the way to go right this second. Maybe I'm wrong, and Yuugi would appreciate the it, but I feel like a more heartfelt and sincere approach would be better. Maybe I'm nitpicking too much; all the write-ins follow the same lines. Ah, well. Opinions, opinions.
>> No. 4633
>>4632
Opinions, true. IMO, both write ins are bad.
Not all confessions have to be like an old romantic ballad. 'sides, he's fucking drunk.

Just say 'I wouldn't mind staying here' and let her assume the rest. She isn't a stupid naive virgin, she's a thousand-years-old oni.
>> No. 4634
>>4633

Hmm...

[X]"I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
>> No. 4635
>>4634
Simple, I like it.
[x] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
>> No. 4637
>>4633

>Not all confessions have to be like an old romantic ballad.

Mm, not sure exactly which you're referring to, but I think that second, longer write-in, while a bit long-winded, has some good dialogue points for the writer to pick through. If you're referring to write-in that dictates Taizou's facial expressions and reactions throughout the planned conversation, than I can kind of see that. Just remember, though: Sappy bullshit is never good, but a little romance isn't always evil.

I assume Glasnost will break up the longer write-in if it wins; as >>4624 sort of said, it's just too concentrated as it is.

>'sides, he's fucking drunk.

Never been drunk and rambled? Not saying that would be the case in this situation (though I'd be surprised if Taizou didn't stumble over his words to some degree, in his state of mind), but being drunk does not by default make one incapable of speaking at length. Especially in regards to emotions and feelings. Now, if Taizou was dropping acid with Yuugi, man, THEN I would certainly be surprised to see Taizou formulate any sort of coherent thoughts beyond simple sentences.

>Just say 'I wouldn't mind staying here' and let her assume the rest.

While she probably COULD assume where we were going with that, why not try to tell her how we feel? I mean, I assume Glasnost would improve and chop up whatever options ends up winning, but just saying that and leaving it seems a little weak. Not to mention not very assertive, a quality Taizou has been picking up more and more of late, at least when it counts. Somehow, I think we should say a little bit more than 5 words to convey our point.

>She isn't a stupid naive virgin, she's a thousand-years-old oni.

We have no idea what her sexual history is. Don't make assumptions (unless Glasnost specifically mentioned Yuugi having previous partners somewhere I missed). While it's not a stretch to imagine her having experience dating and with the opposite sex, it might not necessarily be to the extent you seem to be implying.

Just my take on things. Probably over-analyzing. Better than fumbling at a critical moment, I suppose.
>> No. 4638
Changing vote:

[X]"I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
>> No. 4639
[x] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."

Less WORDSWORDSWORDS
>> No. 4640
[x] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."

This works only because I'd imagine Yuugi appreciating the lengthier one when Taizou's actually fully sober; thus leaving out all possibilities that it's simply the alcohol doing the talking.
>> No. 4641
[x] "Hmm. Now why would I want to leave a good-looking woman like you all by your lonesome?" Grin at her.
[x] Start joking "I wouldn't mind taking residence down here. The businesses are clean, the weather is comfortable, the political values are morally sound - and hell, everyone is just so nice!" Laugh.
[x] "But I'm serious; I wouldn't mind living down here. It certainly beats my old life. Adventure, excitement, partying, magic... and most of all, great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Smile at her.
>> No. 4642
>>4622
Okay, count my vote here as the nice, short one, but with >>4622 as explanation held in reserve.
>> No. 4643
[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[X] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."

Sometimes less is more, and this is really not the time for joking around. She clearly feels strongly enough about this that it's a tough subject for her, so don't go spouting jokes, especially when they're stupid jokes.
>> No. 4644
[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[X] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."

This will work
>> No. 4645
[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[X] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."
>> No. 4646
My write in was indeed too wordy in hindsight. Changed in the interest of diplomacy.

[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[x] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."
>> No. 4647
[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[x] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."
>> No. 4648
[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[X] "I wouldn't mind staying with you.

Short and to the point probably works better on Yuugi, drunk or not.
>> No. 4649
>>4648
Indeed. She doesn't seem like the wordy type anyway. Honesty without runarounds seems to be the rule with oni.

Changing vote: [X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[x] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."
>> No. 4650
[B] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
>> No. 4651
[x] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[x] "I wouldn't mind staying with you.
>> No. 4652
[x] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
-[x] "I wouldn't mind staying with you."

Damn, this is good.
>> No. 4654
For the sake of keeping things in check, it should be noted that Taizou, assuming the shortest one wins, didn't exactly answer Yuugi's question. Even if Taizou does decided to take up residency along side with Yuugi within the underground city, what will be his next move?

Will he become more involved into politics and rather than continuing the mess that the Council Head seems to ignore (Unstable peace between Oni and Youkai), developing trade/growth with topside society (Variety of Youkai and Humans). What will he do next.

Can I assume most of us anon see Taizou suggesting the previously mentioned ideas in this post being his next big effort in regards to his stay within the city as well as position within the council?

If nothing else, I'm just throwing out some ideas for later on should Taizou be forced to give an answer to his future. of course Yuugi will no doubt be a very large part of Taizou's future if things go well for them.
>> No. 4655
>>4654
Yet it's a bit soon to say what he wants to do down here after solving the mess; since he might not even muck around in politics or he might end up taking a position in the new government. What he does know for sure is that he wants to stay down here with Yuugi.
I'm sure we can think of an answer with time, who knows Taizo might end up a liaison to other humans that might visit.
>> No. 4662
>For the sake of keeping things in check, it should be noted that Taizou, assuming the shortest one wins, didn't exactly answer Yuugi's question. Even if Taizou does decided to take up residency along side with Yuugi within the underground city, what will be his next move?

[x] "I was a farmer; not much prospects for that here. But I can wash dishes, I can wash clothes, I can cook. Guess I can do that just about anywhere, right?"

His job is being Yuugi's husbando.
>> No. 4670
File 126673104215.jpg - (197.31KB , 1024x1024 , 7630349.jpg ) [iqdb]
4670
>>4610
You didn't give yourself a time frame on this one, so I'm giving you one: you have until 10/02/23 to write the next update. As you will notice, I am being lenient and affording you an extra day. If you can't do it by then, you're late. At that point, you need to provide a reason why you took so long and an updated time frame for the next update.

People like glasnost work better with due dates and consequences. This is for the best.
>> No. 4675
>>4670
That is a delicious and beautiful picture. It is an unseen-before-now combination that seems to have worked exceptionally well.
>> No. 4676
>>4675
Second.

>>4670
Actually, I had already resolved to myself that updates will be at least weekly from here on out, but let's make it formal: updates will be at least weekly from here on out. In the event that something in real life makes this impossible, my excuses will come with dates attached.

...Which makes this the first excuse. In my defense, this update is probably going to end up >3000 words (it's got another dream scene, which makes it impossible to just stick a choice in the middle and call it a day), so you're getting your time's worth. ETA is 'before I go to sleep Monday', which probably means somewhere between 8-12 Tuesday according to server time.

In other slow writefag-related news, holy shit what the fuck Harker updated. Go check it out.
>> No. 4680
>>4676
You're on notice.
>> No. 4682
>>4680
Did you replace bears to do it?
>> No. 4684
File 126698314788.jpg - (54.60KB , 512x371 , OnNotice.jpg ) [iqdb]
4684
>>4682
>> No. 4687
File 126699478413.jpg - (156.26KB , 499x800 , 69.jpg ) [iqdb]
4687
>>4680
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Fell asleep in my chair with about 500 words to go and didn't wake up until I was already late for work. Mea culpa; feels bad, man.

>>4684
I'm above blaming IRC? Shit, I gotta get my act together.

---

[X] "I wouldn't mind staying here, that much I know."
- [X] "I wouldn't mind staying with you.

"Y'know, honestly? I meant what I said before," you say resolutely.

"Uh, which before is that?" Yuugi's the one who's slow to catch on this time, squinting in confusion at you.

"What I said about livin' down here." You take another sip of your drink, gathering your thoughts. "I mean, I can't tell the future, I dunno what things are gonna be like when everything's said and done, but... I like it down here." You smile softly at Yuugi. "I wouldn't mind stayin' down here with you at all. If you don't mind puttin' up with me, that is," you add with a little laugh.

Yuugi doesn't laugh with you, though, simply staring at you in shock without replying. For a moment, you think you've misspoken somehow, and your mind freezes, trying to figure out what you might have said wrong, but before you can speak--

"You for real?" Yuugi does, surprise evident in her voice. A little more evident that even she intended, it seems; "I mean, uh, you really mean that?" she revises in a more positive tone.

This isn't really the sort of reaction you were expecting, but it's a little late to turn back now. "Would I lie to you?" you say with another chuckle, trying to lighten the suddenly serious mood.

"No! I ain't tryin' to call you a liar at--"

"Easy, easy!" you say, holding up your hands in a calming gesture. "I didn't think you were! Just an expression, that's all." No, this isn't going as planned at all. Well, considering how oni culture is about liars, you guess it's not too surprising that she would take a joke like that seriously. "I, uh, I wasn't tryin' to impose on you either, sayin' th--"

"No, no, s'not that," Yuugi interrupts, waving your concerns away distractedly. "I mean, you really... it just seems like you've had kinda shitty luck, is all. I gotcha caught up in this politics shit, and now the council head's on your case, and I dunno..." She pauses for a moment, looking away uncertainly. "You really like it down here?"

"Yeah," you say simply without thinking twice. "I mean, yeah, that's all true, but... I dunno. It feels like I've done more living down here that I did up there." You shrug, not really sure of what you're trying to say yourself anymore. 'Sides, it's not like it's been all bad luck. I mean, I coulda ended up wanderin' around the underground until I starved to death. Ending up here with you is probably about the luckiest thing that's happened in my life."

Yuugi's eyes go wide again, and this time, they're accompanied by a light blush rising to her cheeks, one that makes its way across the table to you as you realize how what you just said could be interpreted. "Ah, y-yeah, maybe so," she says with an odd grin, eyes not quite meeting yours. "Just surprises me you'd see it that way, that's all."

"S'not that surprising, is it?" you say a little petulantly, some small part of you annoyed by the notion that Yuugi thinks you wouldn't be grateful for everything she's done.

"I guess it shouldn't be," she admits, voice turning far-away and contemplative. "S'just... I dunno. Bad habits're hard to break, I guess."

"Bad habits?"

"Judgin' people for stupid shit. Y'know, here I am on my high horse 'bout oni and youkai not gettin' along, and then just 'cause you're a human s'like part of me's expectin' you to be a--" She stops short, frowning at herself. "To not be the kinda guy you are." She smiles at you, faking bitterness. "S'your fault for bein' so easy t'get along with."

"Well, then, my bad," you joke, and Yuugi laughs along with you, giving you another shove on the shoulder.

"Anyway, I feel the same way you do, really," she says after the two of you calm down.

"Huh?"

"'Bout what you said earlier, that is." The introspective air is gone now, and she's back to her usual self, grinning widely at you. "Fact of the matter is, I like havin' you around. S'far as I'm concerned, you'll be welcome here whenever you like, as long as you like. Assumin' you don't mind puttin' up with me," she finishes, smirking at you.

So Yuugi likes having you around? That makes you feel... really good, actually. "Well, then, here's to puttin' up with each other for a while longer," you say happily, raising your glass towards her.

Yuugi's momentary confusion at your gesture gives way to amused recognition, and she snatches her cup from the table, raising it to meet yours with a light 'clink'. "I'll drink to that."

---

The two of you stay up for a little while longer, talking about nothing in particular, but it gets late quick, and before you know it, you find yourself nearly nodding off at the table. Your last surprise of the night, though, doesn't come until after the two of you decide to call it a night, when you slide open the door to your room to find a short, slight body with a mess of blonde hair occupying your futon.

"Ah." Yuugi, noticing your confusion, stops short of entering her own room and turns back to you. "Yeah, Yamame was kinda antsy 'bout leavin' you at the palace like that, and then there was the fight on the way back, so she was lookin' pretty down by the time we got back to the house," she says. "Gave her a little booze to calm her down, but she can't hold her liquor, so she went out pretty quick. I laid her down in there, ah, musta been ten or twenty minutes before you showed up."

So Yamame saw the fight in the streets, too? "You think she's okay?" you ask, glancing back through the open door at her sleeping form.

"Well, ain't you mighty concerned 'bout everyone's well-bein' tonight," Yuugi teases. "Nah, you don't have to worry too much 'bout her, really. She bounces back quick, that kid." A faint smile plays across Yuugi's face for a moment, like she's remembering a pleasant memory, before her attention returns to you.

"Anyway, I kinda forgot 'bout her bein' there. Sorry t'shuffle you around like this, but you're probably gonna have to sleep somewhere..." Halfway through her apology, Yuugi's attention seems to wander away from her words, and you think you see a slight blush on her cheeks before she snaps out of her reverie, shaking her head. "...somewhere else. Yeah. C'mon, I'll dig out an old futon for ya," she says, quickly stepping past you and into one of the storage rooms down the hall.

The room is every bit as messy as you remembered it being when Yuugi first showed it to you, with piles of junk without any apparent organization scheme lining the walls. Grumbling to herself, Yuugi sets to work on the nearest pile, grabbing items off the top and throwing them onto a different pile as she digs through to the bottom. After watching her for a moment, you (slightly more carefully) start to do the same on the opposite side of the room, searching for anything that looks like something you might be able to sleep on.

"Ah, here!" Before too long, you find a folded futon and blanket near the bottom of one of the piles; uneven and dusty, but without any holes or stains that you can see. Grabbing one of the edges, you let the fold fall open--

--and something falls out, just narrowly missing your foot as it hits the floor with a resounding clunk. You take an unsteady step backwards after the fact, your drunkenness slowing your reaction time to an amusingly bad level, and lay the futon to the side, reaching over to pick it up.

"Ah, you find some-- oh." Yuugi's voice falls slightly as she turns to see what it is you're doing, and she walks over as you lift up the object and examine it.

It's... a pyramid, dull red in color and about the size of a paperweight. It feels rough to the touch, like it's carved out of some kind of stone, and it's got a bit of heft to it; you almost need to use two hands to lift it. Attached to the bottom face of the shape is a heavy length of chain, twisted open at one end, dangling down a foot or two in length.

"It fell out of the futon," you explain as Yuugi edges her hand under yours, gently taking the object from your hands. She raises it to eye level, the chain on the pyramid clinking against the broken manacles she wears around her wrists, turning it around and examining it from multiple sides with a surprisingly serious look on her face.

"More old stuff," she says dismissively after a moment, setting it back down on the ground and moving to straighten out the futon. As she turns back to the pile of junk to find you a pillow, though, you can't help but notice her set the object gently on a high shelf rather than throwing it back on the pile like she does for everything else.

Another minute of digging, and you've got everything you need to sleep, and a big enough space cleared out of the junk around you that you don't feel like you have to worry about an untimely death in a junk avalanche. Once you're settled in, you bid Yuugi good night again, and she shuts the door behind her as she steps back out into the hall, leaving you to fall asleep almost instantly.

---

It's still dark when you wake up, and cold, too; the thin blanket covering you does nothing to stop the chill of the floor from seeping up through your bedding and straight into your bones. Groaning slightly, you roll over onto your other side, glancing over at the dying embers of the campfire and...

...Ah. Another dream, then?

As if to answer, Yuugi's body suddenly sits itself up in bed, taking your mind along for the ride with the eerie feeling you've grown to recognize as that of not being in control of the body you're in. This time, though, it feels like your senses are more tightly linked to hers than they were last time; you can feel the pain in Yuugi's shoulders as clearly as if it was your own, and there's a hint of annoyance at being awake in the back of your mind that you don't think is yours as much as it is hers. Interesting.

Yuugi has much better night vision than you, you realize as your head turns from side to side to work out the kink in her neck; the forest hides almost all the natural light of the night sky, and the glowing embers in the fire shouldn't be bright enough to see by, but you can still make out the entirety of the little clearing she's camped in. One pile of dirty cooking tools, another pile of leftover scraps from a meal... Only two more sleeping pads apart from Yuugi's, you note; does that mean that the oni from the last dream isn't here anymore? How much time passed between this dream and the last, anyway? Is--

Your thoughts break off abruptly as a spike of panic hits you from without, and you can feel Yuugi take in a sharp gasp as she scans the campsite once more. Even seeing everything that she sees, though, it's not until she throws off her blanket and stands, rushing over to the second sleeping pad, that you realize what's wrong: there's nobody on it. She shoots a quick glance over to the other pad, confirming that the smallest oni is still there, and the nameless fear within her gets stronger still as Yuugi's fingernails dig into her palms.

Just as your own mind is beginning to race to figure out what's going on, though, Yuugi's fists unclench, and as you feel her take a deep, measured breath, another surge of emotion hits you, so powerful that you can almost hear it: stay calm. She drops to one knee atop the abandoned bedding, taking another deep breath in, and as she exhales, her eyes close, and the two of you are plunged into darkness.

Almost immediately, the sounds of the forest assault you, little chirps and croaks coming from all directions; not any louder than before, but much more vivid without vision to distract you. Even more powerful than the sounds, though, is the sensation you're getting from Yuugi's mind; an insistent pulse of thought, so powerful now that you're certain that you're actually hearing it: focus. She takes another deep breath in, and the sounds around you get louder still. Focus. The flutter of a pair of wings over on the other side of the clearing sounds like it's right in your ear. Focus. The howl of some wild animal resounds inFocus. A branch snaps deep within the forest behind you--

And you're off. Yuugi's already at the tree line before her eyes are even open, and she moves through the dense forest faster than a human could run through an open field. She's getting faster by the second, too, dodging stray branches and overgrown roots by a small enough margin to make you cringe several times. Even as she moves at these ridiculous speeds, though, the sounds of the forest still echo in her ears, and underneath them, the mantra in her mind repeats, weaker, but still loud enough to hear, focus, focus, focus--

And then, as suddenly as she began to run, she stops.

"Come out, Ongyou," she says to the empty forest, turning around to face--

--a person. One of the oni from the last dream, presumably the one whose bed was empty. Where did she come from? You know you didn't see anyone while Yuugi was running.

"I didn't mean to wake you." The girl's voice is quiet and reserved, and her posture seems closed-off, arms held tight to her body and eyes never quite meeting Yuugi's.

"Yeah, I figured that out," Yuugi says coldly, with real anger behind her words. "So what is this?"

"You already know, Yuugi," Ongyou replies, still not looking Yuugi in the eye. "We talked about this when--"

"Yeah, we did talk about it, and I don't remember hearin' anything about you leaving then!" Yuugi says, voice approaching a shout.

"No," Ongyou replies, with the same reserved calmness that no longer seems to fit the situation. "But I did tell you about this." Holding her right arm out, palm up, she grabs her sleeve and pulls it up with her other hand, revealing an ugly, half-healed scar, stitched together haphazardly and flecked with scar tissue, tracing its way from her wrist all the way up to her elbow. Your mind recoils and the sight of the wound, but Yuugi doesn't, eyes passing it for a moment before locking with Ongyou's gaze again.

"It's been nearly two weeks, Yuugi," she says, bending her arm up to look at the wound herself. "It shouldn't take an oni this long to recover from anything, let alone an attack by a human with a sword."

"That doesn't prove anything," Yuugi says quickly, and you can hear the uncertainty in her voice as clearly as you feel it through your connection with her.

The other oni sees it too, sighing dismissively and shifting her posture. "Don't lie to yourself, Yuugi. This isn't right, and you know it. You must have felt the effects too, on some level." She turns her head up, staring into the space past Yuugi blankly. "'The oni that have been causing trouble for travelers around the central mountains have been bested by humans, and are growing weaker.' As more people believe it, it becomes more true, and as it becomes more true, more people come to believe it." She takes another glance at the wound on her arm before pulling her sleeve back down to cover it again. "And I'm not even sure if that's the full extent of the problem. Somebody needs to stop and try to figure out what's going on, and things could just keep getting worse."

"So we're just supposed to go our separate ways and that'll solve everything?" Yuugi's anger is gone now, replaced with a sort of quiet desperation. "That's the only option we have?"

"As the rumors fade, so should their effects."

"Why not get rid of the rumors by--"

"That's not all," Ongyou interrupts. "When was the last time we had a fair fight? The old legends of humans who could beat oni head-on, without any tricks... the humans don't tell them any more. Their new heroes aren't the dedicated fighters, skills honed through a life of hard work, they're the simple folk who stumble their way into success through luck and happenstance." She pauses, grimacing. "I can't stand it any more. Even if I could stay... I don't know if I still want to."

"So do something ab--" Yuugi cuts off her own shout midway, and you feel another complicated pang of emotion from her; anger and sadness mixed with a sort of hopelessness. "I... don't want you to go," she finally mumbles.

"You could come with me," she says plainly, pausing a moment to let the message sink in. "Leave humans behind for a while."

You can feel Yuugi's mind churn over the silence of the next few moments, and you taste blood as she clenches her teeth, biting down on her lip.

"...No." As she finally speaks, you hear her mind once more, saying a single word: Suika. "I made a promise."

"...I see." The other oni smiles ruefully, as though that was the answer she had been expecting from the beginning. "I'm going back to the mountain we went over about two weeks ago. A few miles east of the place we stopped, there was a crossing of leylines, a good place for the type of research that needs to be done. If there's anything within my power to discover about this... condition of ours, it'll be there."

"...And if there's nothing you can do?"

Another sad smile. "Then I will have someplace comfortable to wait for the end."

Yuugi has no response, and the two of them fall silent for a long while, just standing and staring at each other.

"So..." Yuugi finally ventures, so quietly that you're surprised the other oni can hear her. "I guess I won't be seeing you for a while... so..." She swallows once, and you can almost hear the 'goodbye' she doesn't say. "See you later, okay?"

"...I hope so." Ongyou smiles once more, eyes shining with tears as she raises a hand slightly in farewell. "Goodbye, Yuugi."

And then she's... gone, simply blinking out of existence on the spot, as though she had never been there in the first place. Yuugi doesn't react to the sudden disappearance, simply watching the space where the other oni had stood, a whirlwind of emotions going through her mind. After another long, silent moment, Yuugi finally turns away,

The walk back to the campsite is a slow one, made slower by Yuugi's wordless sorrow transmitted back to you. You don't know exactly what just happened, what the reasons behind it were; hell, you barely even remember the name of the person she just bid farewell to, and yet it hurts, a pain like seeing a loved one die. Was this really the way it had to be, the two of them separating like this? Did they ever meet again, or was this really their last goodbye?

You still don't know any of the answers yourself by the time Yuugi reaches the clearing you awoke in, the place this dream started. The fire is completely dead now, not even embers left in the ashes, and even with Yuugi's sight, it takes you a few seconds to see that Suika is awake now, sitting up and facing away from you, staring into the remains of the fire. You feel Yuugi's footsteps stop for a moment, and when they restart, she changes her path, walking over to sit beside her friend. For what seems like hours, neither of them say anything, and when the smaller oni finally speaks, it's so quiet that you nearly miss it.

"She left." It isn't a question.

"...Yeah."

"I t-thought..." The other oni's voice cracks almost as soon as she opens her mouth, and she stops and swallows loudly, looking down at the ground. "I thought you left too, for a second."

"...Huh-uh." Another pang of sadness hits you full-force, and you feel Yuugi's arm slowly move, draping across Suika's shoulders lightly.

She's... shaking. Not sobbing, and not shivering with cold, just... trembling, like a scared child.

"Don't worry," you say quietly, squeezing her shoulder lightly and pulling her towards you, letting her head rest against you. "I'm still here."

"Good." Her voice has the strained sound of somebody trying and failing to keep themselves calm, and you feel her shiver against you, her arm snaking its way around your back and squeezing tight. You return the gesture, pulling her in even closer to you with the arm around her shoulders, and all you can hear is her sharp, uneven breaths as she slowly, silently, turns to press her face into your shirt and begins to cry.

All you can do is hold her tighter, letting the world fade to black as you close your own eyes to hold back the tears.

---

Your eyes are still wet when you open them again back in Yuugi's house, the sensations of your own body slowly returning as you awaken from the dream. Blinking to clear your vision, you pull yourself into a sitting position, running your fingers through your hair and putting your face in your hands.

...Damn, Yuugi's past doesn't get any less depressing, does it? You can already feel the details of the dream slipping away, like all dreams do, but that inexpressible feeling of loss sticks with you in an unpleasant way, returning in full force as you try to lay back down and catch a little more sleep. After a few minutes of lying there with your eyes closed, you decide that a sleepy morning out of bed will help you put what you saw out of your mind better than a sleepless one in bed will, and you force yourself up, kicking your blanket out from around your feet as you stagger to the door.

You step out into the hall to find Yuugi already up and awake, peeking her head into the room where Yamame was sleeping. As you approach, she steps back and quietly slides the door shut before sighing heavily.

Damn. You had hoped for a little more time to get that dream out of your head before you saw her. "Morning," you say, trying not to let any uneasiness show in your greeting.

"Mornin'," Yuugi replies blearily, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and yawning loudly. "You're up early again."

"Guess so," you say with a shrug. "Yamame's still asleep?"

"Her bein' a lightweight's not so funny when it means I gotta make my own breakfast," she replies with a sigh. "...Help me out?"

"Sure thing," you say, walking along with Yuugi past the living room and into the kitchen. "Did you have anything in mind?"

"Mmm... nah, nothin', really. S'been a while since I cooked my own breakfast, actually. Go for it."

As you take stock of Yuugi's cupboards, your thoughts begin to move away from that dream, coming to rest on what lies ahead of you today. Now would probably be a good time to talk to Yuugi about some of the things you were planning to talk to her about yesterday, but... ugh. After spending last night ignoring your problems and just talking with Yuugi, it's hard to resist the urge not to do the same thing today.

[ ] What should you make for breakfast? (Write-in)

Talk to Yuugi...
[ ] ...about cooking.
[ ] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[ ] ...about her past, but without mentioning the dreams you've been having.
[ ] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[ ] ...about the fight she broke up yesterday.
[ ] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[ ] ...about your plans for the search today.
[ ] Write-in.

Write-ins for both light-hearted and serious topics are fine. Keep in mind that you should vote for options in order of priority; if you're interrupted midway, there is a possibility that not all of your conversation points will be covered.
>> No. 4691
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about cooking.
Most interested about Yuugi's reactions to the dreams, the rest is just filler.
>> No. 4692
[x] What should you make for breakfast? (Ask Yuugi what she wants and cook it for her.)
[x] ...about her past, but without mentioning the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about your plans for the search today.

ask about her first and then other things.
>His job is being Yuugi's husbando.
I approve of this.
>> No. 4694
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about cooking.
>> No. 4695
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about the fight she broke up yesterday.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about your plans for the search today.
>> No. 4696
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about the fight she broke up yesterday.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about your plans for the search today.
>> No. 4698
{X} Omelettes are always good.

{X} ...about the dreams you've been having.
{X} ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
{X} ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
{X} ...about cooking.
>> No. 4699
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about the fight she broke up yesterday.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about your plans for the search today.
>> No. 4700
{X} Omelettes are always good.

{X} ...about the dreams you've been having.
{X} ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
{X} ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
{X} ...about cooking.
>> No. 4701
>>4691
Get out of my mind, Charles.

[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about cooking.
>> No. 4702
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about cooking.
>> No. 4703
>>4684
I don't get it. What is this meant to be, and what's the joke?
>> No. 4704
>>4703
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurring_segments_on_The_Colbert_Report#The_Boards
>> No. 4705
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about cooking.
>> No. 4706
[x] Omelets are always good.

[x] ...about the fight she broke up yesterday.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] ...about your plans for the search today.
[x] ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.

>but you're probably gonna have to sleep somewhere..." Halfway through her apology, Yuugi's attention seems to wander away from her words, and you think you see a slight blush on her cheeks before she snaps out of her reverie, shaking her head. "...somewhere else. Yeah.
Oh, by all means, Yuugi: please continue thinking along those lines.
>> No. 4707
>>4706
I'm sure for an Oni, her large pillows would be quite soft, never minding the risks.
>> No. 4709
{X} Omelettes are always good.

{X} ...about the dreams you've been having.
{X} ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
{X} ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
{X} ...about cooking.

This will work.
>> No. 4710
Oh shit we hit autosage already.

New thread please.
>> No. 4711
{X} Omelets are always good.

{X} ...about the dreams you've been having.
{X} ...about her workout yesterday and what sort of training she does.
{X} ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
{X} ...about cooking.
>> No. 4722
[x] Omelets are always good.
Talk to Yuugi...
[x] ...about the dreams you've been having.
[x] ...about what happened during the search yesterday.
[x] Oh, but you shouldn't make her late for work!

Have a nice day at the the brewery dear. I'll clean the linens, tidy up the house, make sure a meal is prepared for when you gets back, et cetera.
>> No. 4733
File 126755752293.jpg - (949.65KB , 1020x1000 , 9096780.jpg ) [iqdb]
4733
>>4687
Week is almost up
>> No. 4736
Wrote about a thousand words a day this week; unfortunately, most of them went towards documents in which I try to convince people to pay me. I'll be working some more on the update tonight, but I doubt I'll be able to finish it; ETA is 24 hours from now. Sorry to do this again; I really am taking this deadline seriously, despite the fact that I keep missing it.
>> No. 4738
>>4736
Hey, at least you keep us up to date on the situation instead of just disappearing for two months without any information what so ever like many other writefags tend to do.
>> No. 4743
>>4738
You mean basically all the other writefags. Since most are prone to doing that, and it takes bitching to get them to actually give a status report. Still very nice of Glasnost to give status report.
>> No. 4748
New thread is >>4746.
[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Top]


[Delete or report post]
Delete post []
Password  
Report post
Reason  


[Switch to Mobile Page]
Thread Watcher x