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File 13035846784.jpg - (566.19KB, 900x627, 2a60bdf0e980f905525d22156cf560fc.jpg) [iqdb]
6626No. 6626
It's the dawn of a new day. The morning sunshine leaks in, filtered mainly by your curtains. Your room is that of a highly victorian style, looking like it came straight from england.

Oh, right. England...you only just recently learned of the existence of the outside world. Yet you're already quite used to the idea. Gensokyo is only but so big. The world outside must be even bigger. Supposedly they're much more technologically advanced too. Gensokyo went through it's industrial revolution a while ago. Factories, clockworks and steel run the majority of the land now. Youkai are still as prominent as ever though, despite the fact that they used to be against this kind of revolution.

The central city, the capital Risou, is where everything happens. All the work, circulation, everything. You just happen to live in one of the upper quarter areas with your parents and little brother. Your house is actually several stories tall, but it's divided into three separate living quarters, other people happen live in the other two. You live in the quarter highest up, not to mention your room is on the top floor, so your balcony gets quite the view. Your parents are but ordinary workers, your father is an engineer, much like your grandfather, and your mother is a stay at home mom for the most part. You yourself are but 14 years old, with your little brother coming in at half that, 7. Your parents are somewhat young for having children such as you and your brother, but it was something of a wish of your grandfather.

You choose to think about your grandfather a little later. You need to get up. You hop out of bed and open the curtains. Another beautiful morning. The sun is still rising. The people in the lower quarters must still be living without direct sunlight. The streets, though small, are empty. Transportation in the capital is limited strictly to small steam powered trains, mainly used for mass transport. Any other method of getting around has to be done on foot without any help from wheeled mobiles and such, so the streets are fairly thin. As a result, a lot of buildings are often packed and knit closely together. You could probably throw something into the window of an opposing building very easily if it were level with you.

After letting the sun shine in, you head over to your dresser. First thing's first, you grab your brush and straighten out your hair, looking at yourself in the mirror. Your long, crimson hair is reminiscent of your grandmother's, the color not unlike blood. It sickens you, quite honestly, but you always admired your grandmother, so you let it slide. Due to this though, your hair is often rather frizzy and hard to keep in line, much like your grandmother's. It's the main reason why you despise water so much, as your hair seems very adverse to it, though you're fine with taking showers and such. You gotta keep yourself clean after all.

You pick out some appropriate clothing for the day from your dresser and stand before your full body mirror. The nightgown you wore to bed is wrinkled. How unbecoming. You do away with it and make a note to iron it later today. You now stand before your mirror wearing just panties. Your chest is too minuscule to really warrant the need for a bra. You like to just put on a camisole for an undershirt and be done with it. You think today you'll go without though, for once. Your grandmother often wore a camisole for an undershirt too, however, she was much more buxom. Your mother believes you'll grow up to be just as beautiful as she was, but you wonder at what rate. It certainly couldn't come fast enough.

A sigh escapes your mouth as you just take your clothes to get done with getting ready. You were never very patient. You also didn't pretty yourself up so much like most girls do. You got up, straightened out your hair, got dressed, and that was it. You enjoyed taking showers late night before bed. You always felt more comfortable keeping your hygiene in check during the night before you go to bed. It keeps your bed very clean and makes waking up a bit less of a catastrophe. Your impatience happens to be the usual suspect in making waking up a pain, but today is just horrible. You want to get it done and over with, breakfast sounds like a very good plan right now.

Your clothing for today consists of a knee length pleated skirt, colored a deep green color, with a black long sleeved blouse, a bit loose in style, but it fits you guess. You quickly put the clothes on, needing some sort of escape from this dreadful thing known as waking up. There's no digging out a proper camisole that will fit this blouse, so you spend a few less seconds finding it and putting it on as well. Along with your loose fitting socks and black mary janes, you're ready to take on the day. You'll feel much better once you can get food in that tiny stomach of yours. Around this time is where your grandmother would likely braid her hair up into two tails on the sides of her head. But your hair is far too long for such an action to be trivial. You like wearing your hair down anyways.

You walk down the long hall towards the stairs at the other end. It's almost as if you were in a castle. The hallway is decorated with fancy upholstery everywhere. The sun still shines in brightly, welcoming in the morning. As you walk down the hall, your thoughts turn to your grandfather again, who probably made all of this possible. He helped teach your father to be the successful engineer that he is, and is partly responsible for helping making the revolution go so smoothly, mainly with the youkai. He's a bit famous you could say. He himself is very much human, just like you are, but he extended his lifespan using various techniques to stay together longer with his wife, your grandmother, who is a youkai. She lives a rather long time compared to a human. Still though, you wonder how they're doing, you don't believe you've ever met them in person...

You actually find it a little ironic that despite one being youkai and the other on the verge of becoming one, both their children, your father and your aunt, both ended up being human...yet you share many similarities with your grandmother, despite being human yourself. Funny how genetics work like that.

As you descend the stairs to the main living quarters, containing the kitchen, dining room and living room, you hear your name being called out to you. It's the name your grandfather wanted to give his second female child, but he ended up having just a boy and a girl with his wife instead. So he told his son, your father, to name you after that wish. The name your grandfather wanted to give you...

>Satoko
>Miyra
>Charlotte
>Kamura
>Alice
>Something else?

>_
Expand all images
>>No. 6627
A 14 year old girl as a protagonist? This ought to be good.
And by good I mean laughable. No offense to the author, of course, I'm considering the voters.

[x]Miyra
I rolled a die.
>>No. 6628
[x] Alice

Heh, I know who her grandparents are.
>>No. 6629
[x] Charlotte

A story with "clockwork" in the title, featuring a little girl as the main protagonist? Remind me something.


Charlotte because I want a little girl fond of cheese.
>>No. 6630
[x]Satoko

I simply think it would be fitting that her grandfather would like her to be named similar to him.
>>No. 6631
[X] Alice

Maximum confusion and embarrassment potental.
>>No. 6632
[X] Alice
>>No. 6633
[X]Satoko

What >>6630 said.

Can't wait to see how this turns out.
>>No. 6634
[x] Satoko

It just feels very fitting.
>>No. 6635
[X] Alice
Third parts are always best!
>>No. 6636
Praying for satori this time around.
>>No. 6637
[X] Satoko

Well this was quite a...time skip.
>>No. 6638
>Charlotte

>Modern/Industrial Alternate Universe

Don't know if want...
>14 years old female protagonist

I'm in.
>>No. 6639
[X]Charlotte

This will do~
>>No. 6640
File 13037103583.jpg - (77.05KB, 682x400, Training_ground_682_991340a.jpg) [iqdb]
6640
Tied votes. Just gonna roll with Satoko here.

>Satoko

"Satoko! Breakfast is ready!"

You're not really sure why your mom bothers shouting to you like that. It's not going to reach you if you're in your room, heck, it barely reaches you while you're descending the stairs. Maybe she knows you're coming down the stairs, or just has that 'sixth sense' about you. You wouldn't be surprised if it were the latter, she seems to always know when you're about to do something stupid, somehow. You walk down the rest of the stairs and head into the kitchen. There you meet your loving family in the dining room.

At one end of the table is your father, an engineer. He's lacking a bit of meat on the bones but he does his job well. He's extremely intelligent, probably an after effect of your grandfather learning so much magic. Your father also loves your grandparents very dearly, despite the fact that he was left under the care of Alice a while ago, when he was still young. Your aunt feels quite differently, rebelling against them at every chance she gets, feeling quite betrayed that her own parents couldn't spare the time for their beloved daughter. Thanks to this, she is actually a rather accomplished industrial worker, working in the factories as hard labor. She tends to be dirty and messy the large majority of the time you meet her as a consequence.

From one side of the table, walking in from the kitchen carrying several plates of food, is your loving other parent, mommy dearest. Your father met her by chance while visiting the school where one of your grandfather's friends teaches, your mother used to be a teacher herself, however she retired soon after giving birth to you. She seems to enjoy taking care of the two of you, you and your brother, Kouhei, who happens to be sitting opposite from where your mother is coming in. He's the spitting image of your grandfather, you father often says. You guess he's got high hopes for him but you can't necessarily be too sure...

"Satoko slept in again!"

"Cut it out." You don't really bother putting much effort into your retort as you sit down, while your mother lays the plates down.

"He's right though, you need to start getting up earlier." Ugh. You hate mornings.

"I don't want to. I hate waking up." Your father chuckles a bit in response.

"Well, sooner or later you might have to start getting used to it, especially when you have children of your own." Normally he'd add on something akin to 'you know, just like your grandmother' or something like that. He loves likening you to your grandmother. He doesn't really do it anymore, probably because you recently told him that you didn't like being compared to someone you've never met before. Your father is an incredibly benevolent and kind person, full of love for his children, so he's very submissive towards you and Kouhei, always giving you what you want. What keeps you from being spoiled is your much tougher mother, who you appreciate for doing so.

"Yeah, like that will ever happen." Your words probably sting the way you say them, but you're not much in the mood to care. You know it'll probably happen. One day. But you'll be damned if you're seriously going to just let it happen on it's own, without you trying to stop it first.

After a fairly uneventful breakfast, you're ready to set off for today. It's a weekend, so there's no school, though your father has work as always. It feels like he never gets a day off, and yet he seems to enjoy this fact. He really must love what he does, you don't think you could spend every living day in school all the time...

"I'm heading out! I'll be over at Raimu's!"

"Be careful, Satoko!"

"Okay!"

Your mother bids you farewell from a distant room. So begins another boring day...

---

"Hey! Get up! It's almost breakfast time!"

It's the dawn of a new day...

"I said...get the fuck UP!"

"Gagh!"

Yep...a new day.

Your ribs were just on the receiving end of a steel-toed boot from your instructor. He's quite the kicker, he could probably kick a ball a good quarter of a mile. You're pretty sure a few bones just shattered like glass.

"For buddah's sake you lazy child, this is the last damn day I catch you sleeping in!"

"Gurgh...b-but it's a day off..." You mutter to your instructor, writhing about on the floor on your futon.

That's when he kicks you. Again. Even harder.

"Agh!!!"

He literally sends you flying out of the futon and back onto the floor a couple yards away. Normally the sleeping area you inhabit would be pretty packed full of others like you, but since you slept in, everyone's gone, their futons all packed away, yours is the lone one sitting middle of a massive empty floor. Your instructor doesn't look pleased, but it's hard to tell, your senses don't work particularly well when your entire rib cage is in tatters.

"What the hell did I teach you?! You never sleep in, on any day! Got it? The tengu ain't got room for wolves who can't obey every order they're given, so if you can't do something so simple as wake up at the designated time, you'll be put to sleep! Is that clear?!"

"Y-...Yes sir."

You are a budding white wolf tengu, working your way up amongst the ranks. You're 28 years old, though you currently look half that age at the moment. It's particularly weird how the wolves tend to grow, but you haven't bothered wrapping your head around it yet. You're actually the son to a very famous white wolf tengu, the first to betray her heritage and follow in the footsteps of an ordinary human, one who held the key to freeing the white wolves from their eternal grief from a shortage of population, and taking it away from them ever so greedily as if it didn't even matter.

Though, with that said, she would be more...infamous then famous, wouldn't she?

Still though, you can't hate your mom. You like to consider yourself a rather thoughtful person, so you've always wanted to give her a chance. Besides, one of the old crow tengu you used to talk to, always spoke so highly of her, like she was some hero. Not much of the other tengu feel the same though, especially that of your own race. Your race has grown to have a brutal hatred of her because her actions led to the other flavors of tengu treating the wolves even lower then they used to, your race means nothing more then a petty dog to them now. A dog that couldn't even be trusted, so you have to be disciplined and punished, all the time. It's sickening the way you're looked down upon.

But...you still can't hate her. You've never even met her, you had to be taken away under special care soon after your birth, and you apparently never got to see her again after that. You're not even sure why. You don't even know who your father is. Apparently it was someone within the white wolf race but it would seem they didn't care enough about you for you to really know who it was. No one else seems to know either, making you think that it was a private, arranged meeting between your parents that conceived you.

Since you were 20, you've been through lots of rigorous training and discipline to make you the tengu's ideal slave. You along with about 50 other white wolf children about your age. You haven't given into it much, despite the kind of abuse you usually go through. You're still laid back, down to earth and a little emotive at times too. Not like this training hasn't done you any good either. No more then twenty minutes after being kicked in the chest hard enough to nearly kill a human, you can feel your ribs mending and restoring themselves to their proper shape. The tengu are often shocked at your insane level of regeneration, some believing that you inherited it from your mother, who possessed abilities that many considered far beyond what a white wolf is normally capable of.

After having the slop the tengu call a breakfast together with your loud, obnoxious peers, you head outside the camp and decide to spend the rest of the day wandering about. It's a day off, meaning no training today. You only get these once every two weeks, so most wolves in training tend to cherish it. You tend to wallow about during it, awfully bored. There is of course a curfew, if you're not back by 6PM, really, really bad things happen. Like, really bad. Some wolves have nearly died violated this rule, so you dare not be tardy for curfew. You're free to come back for lunch later on, but it's not entirely mandatory, many wolves have skipped lunch before and the instructors don't seem to give a shit. Though that just means you're missing out on free food. Well...if you could call it that anyways.

You stand at the entrance to the main camp building, which, to the side, on the wall, hangs a large deposit of dog tags. When going out, you are required to take the ones with your identification on them and return them to this deposit when you're settling in for the night. The consequences for not following this rule are similar to that of missing curfew, particularly since the instructors use this deposit to tell when people have missed it. So it's highly important that you find yours and take it with you as you wander about the capital. Now then, your name, from what that crow tengu told you, it was a name given to you by your mother and the human she abandoned the tengu for. Your name would be...

>Souya
>Skye
>Vox
>Jun
>Ion
>Something Else?

>_
>>No. 6641
Dude. Show, don't tell.
[x] Vox
>>No. 6642
[x] Souya
>>No. 6643
[x] Souya

It always made me wonder why Satoshi and Rin never seemed to have time for their own kids. If one couldn't have time to raise them, then one shouldn't go about having them.
>>No. 6644
>>6641
See, what I meant was: Instead of describing everything as such,

>He's extremely intelligent
>Your father is an incredibly benevolent and kind person, full of love for his children, so he's very submissive towards you and Kouhei, always giving you what you want.
>and yet he seems to enjoy this fact. He really must love what he does

You should let it shine through actions and dialogue. It's not a big deal because you haven't had the time to do that yet, and I imagine that you won't get the time to elaborate on the family characters (I may be wrong), but I said it, you know, just in case.

There are lots of lurkers in IRC
>>No. 6645
[x]Vox

A nice outlandish name for a shunned miscast.
>>No. 6646
>>6644

I'm only but a poor, uncreative writer who merely writes to have fun and be praised. Forgetting that mantra is unforgivable as a true writer and probably ensures my position in the bottom tiers of the site.

Having said that, I'm content with that because I feel if I tried putting any further effort into it, I'd probably worry myself out of health over it. I'm really not fit to be a good writer and just do it for fun really. Don't get me wrong, I am trying to improve; I just ask that you forgive me for not following even the most basic of writer guidelines at times because I have to constantly remind myself that this probably isn't something I can just do and then slap in a thread and expect responses.
>>No. 6652
[x]Vox
>>No. 6656
[x] Souya

Vox reminds me too much of 40K comms, which are called "vox".
>>No. 6657
>>6644
I agree, on both things: yes, they should have more exposition "He was a good man" doesn't really work in text: we're not gonna take your word for it, show us just how good he is.

The reason for that is probably A-Lack of time B-They won't really matter in the long run C-They're going to be picked off like after eight mints.

[x]Vox
>>No. 6662
[x] Souya

Boy, I really should read Momizi's visit. Why did I stop at thread one, even though I loved Rin's visit?

And now I have finally put 2 and 2 together and realised who Satoko's grandparents are, and snhould probably avoid reading this story to avoid more possible spoilers of Momizi's visit (Kinda bit late for that, since the last update had something possible major there...)
>>No. 6663
>>6662
My opinion is that you're overthinking it.
It's not really a bad thing, but I don't think it's useful with Sukima, since his stories are quite simple.
>>No. 6664
>>6663
Forgot to add: I didn't mean that as an insult.
>>No. 6678
Tied votes...again. Just going to pick the top one...again.

---

Ah yes, here it is...'Souya Inubashiri.' An interesting name, huh?

You head out of the camp and on your journey to the capital, Risou. It's sure to be a boring jaunt out, but you got nothing else to do during your day off today, and you'd rather not hang out at camp all day. No sense staying at camp when every other day of the two weeks you're slaving your ass off there. Just as well, all your 'friends' are probably off doing retarded things as usual. They're more acquaintances then anything else. You can't really call them friends for some reason, though that's not to say you're a total loner, hate company, or just really lonely or anything like that. They just don't connect to you the same way you feel a real friend would...if that makes sense.

Oh well, may as well get the day over with. You'll probably spend the next few hours wandering the busy streets of Risou's market absent mindedly...

---

You're in middle of the most bustling place of downtown Risou at the moment. You've bought a package of blueberry muffins to bring to your friend's place. Raimu Hakurei is great grand daughter of a personal friend of your grandfather's. The story apparently was that this friend saved the life of your grandmother in a very important time of need, and things might not be the way they are now without her intervention. So you guess you could say you wouldn't be here now without that friend of your grandfather's? Either way, it doesn't matter too much, Raimu is a cool girl to hang out with, someone that helps cheer you up when you need it and keeps your life from being overly dull. She's home schooled, such is the way of her life, being one of the potential future shrine maidens for the ever present Hakurei clan.

Raimu herself is but 12 years old, two years younger then you. She is to join the ranks of the Hakurei shrine maidens before her once she turns 16. Even today, the Hakurei clan is still as strong as ever, primarily because they're still the key people holding up the Great Hakurei Barrier separating Gensokyo from the rest of the outside world. You learned this in school, mostly. While you knew the Hakurei clan was important to Gensokyo all the time, it was only about a year ago that you were told about the outside world and the Hakurei clan's influence on the separation between Gensokyo and what lies outside the barrier. It surprises you that Raimu is to inherit the honor of being the primary shrine maiden for the family, she herself is a very bubbly and effervescent. It's her constant hyperactivity and happiness that often cheers you up, and you appreciate that. While sometimes it seems like she can't sit still, it also seems like she could never be sad, that there isn't an ounce of sorrow in her life. It's very commendable, being able to act like that all the time. You couldn't do it. Takes too much effort.

Bag of muffins in hand, you're on your way to the Hakurei shrine. It's moved somewhere closer to the middle of Gensokyo since it's inception, apparently. It's one of the most popular sites of visit in the deepest downtown of Risou, and due to it's nature, much of the business around it is kept in tip top shape. All the best places are close to the shrine. The lampposts that line the smooth stone laden streets are even rather fancy compared to the rest of the city. Most of all, you can certainly tell that this area is the busiest in all the land, as it's streets are probably the widest seen in Risou, enough to fit another building in middle of the road, almost. People walk to and fro constantly on this stretch, human and youkai alike, all with their own agenda. You're very much the same. Everyone is the same, you included, when walking on this street. To you, everyone else is just a faceless doll...

...or, well, so you thought.

Someone walks by you. They catch your eye, briefly, momentarily if you will. It feels as if the world grinds to a halt as they pass by you. Who is it? Who is this individual that stands out amongst the faceless residents of this city? Before you know it though, time resumes it's regular speed and you accidentally bump into someone. Before you can apologize though, you're met with a gruff, arrogant tone.

"Hey! Watch where the hell you're going!"

"Ah, so-"

Everything. Stops. Your bag lands on the ground. Your feet are no longer with said object. You're held up into the air by your collar.

Looks like you bumped into the worst youkai you possibly could.

"I've had it up to here with you stupid humans." Ugh...it looks like some sort of bull youkai? Posing as a human, no doubt, he looks the part, with his gruff demeanor and fat body he could pass as someone you'd not want to meet in a dark alley. What gives it away are the two horns protruding from his head. You heard they were aggressive...you'd call for the police, but you're too afraid of being pounded into the dirt before they come to your aid. Just then...

shink

"Let her go. She did nothing wrong."

You were scared before. Now you're quite frightened. The broad side of a long sword is mere inches from your cheek, it's cold, reflective steel intimidating your hot skin. The tip of the sword is pointed at the nose of the bull, who looks equally shocked that the weapon came at him so suddenly. He then scoffs a bit, trying to shrug it off as he puts you back down a bit defeated.

"Whatever. Pathetic humans." With that...he walks off. You guess he didn't really want a messy situation in the first place. Perhaps his kind are just easy to taunt.

After getting over your initial shock, you pick your bag back up and look behind you at your mysterious hero. He's got short silvery hair, wears a white shirt with detached sleeves, and black fitting pants with a scarlet hem lining the bottom of the pant legs. Most of all, is his tokin hat though, together with the tell-tale ears. Is he a white wolf tengu?

"Ah...thanks. I thought I was a goner back there." You decide to give the tengu your thanks for saving your hide while he sheathes his sword. He then looks at you a bit bemused.

"Eh? Oh, no, don't worry about it. It...just kinda happened." Just...kinda happened? Eh, you're not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

"No, really, I'd hate to think of what would've happened to me if you hadn't intervened...oh." You remembered suddenly. You got quite a few muffins. Your father always told you about equivalent exchange, how something that is gained must be repaid in equal value. While you don't necessarily apply it to everything, it does make a good note to you that you should always repay your debts. It's probably not a whole lot, but it's something to show your gratitude.

"...eh? What..." You're a little speechless for a moment. When you hand the boy one of the muffins from your bag, he looks terribly confused. You hope you didn't give him something he hated.

"It's uh, a gift. For saving me. I know it's not much, but take it as compensation for helping me." The boy then looks back up at you, he really looks stunned for some reason.

"Uhh...er, Souya..." Souya? Is that his name? Well, when in rome...

"Oh. I'm Satoko. Nice to meet you, Souya." Suddenly, you realize that you should get going. Raimu is waiting for you. "Oh, jeez. I gotta go. Thanks again, Souya!" You turn around and leave the tengu in your wake. You hope he's not too offended...

It's not too far of a walk to the Hakurei shrine. You find yourself in front of the long, seemingly endless stairs up to the gate of Hakurei. The shrine itself is massive, a lot bigger then what it used to be, apparently. The walk up and down the staircase is always quite a workout, but it's worth every step. Lining the sides are colorful maple trees, red with the coming of autumn. The stairs are rather clean of fallen leaves, so they were probably swept recently. Raimu is an only child, but only a part of the main branch of the Hakurei family. Since older times, the family had a few branching points, and the people who live at the shrine are quite plentiful. Along with Raimu's parents and grandfather, her two cousins and her aunt stay there as well. She is to succeed her mother as the primary shrine maiden once she comes of age.

"Heeey! Raimu!" You shout out as you ascend the final few stairs, in the distance you can see Raimu and her mother by the entrance. Raimu's in her casual clothes playing about as usual, while her mom is in the shrine maiden uniform traditional to the shrine, sweeping the stone path leading in.

"Satoko!!" The moment your good friend is notified of your arrival, she instantly comes running to your side. You have a few friends around Risou, but few are as good as Raimu. You might even say that she's your best friend. Her presence just always tends to cheer you up.

"Raimu~! Hehe, how have you been?"

"I've been good!" The little girl adores you, even as she clings to you with a bright, cheery look on her face. It makes you happy really.

"Good morning, Satoko." Raimu's mother says to you, as you approach her with Raimu in tow.

"Good morning, Mrs. Hakurei. I brought some blueberry muffins." Raimu's face, as usual, lights up at this notice, like it usually does whenever you mention sweets of some sort.

"You did?! Gimmegimmegimme!" The spectacle gets a light chuckle from the mature mother of this hyperactive girl.

"Don't eat too much to where it makes you sick now. You can go ahead and let yourself in though."

"We won't Mrs. Hakurei, thank you!"

...

A good few hours pass. It's sometime just before noon. You let the Hakurei family have their lunch while you return home yourself. You guess you could just get lunch elsewhere, maybe on the way back home, and kill some time elsewhere beforehand. There's a few places you'd personally like to go...

>Go see your Aunt at the industrial complex
>Alice's shop should be open by now
>Maybe window shop at the Kourindou for a while
>Take a stop by the cemetery

Action? >_
>>No. 6679
[X] Alice's shop should be open by now

Speaking of magicians and shops, I wonder if Marisa chose the path of the youkai over that of the human.
>>No. 6680
[x]Take a stop by the cemetery

A perfectly morbid option, as befitting Rin's granddaughter. Besides, I wish to know who she would visit, as the narrative makes no mention of a dead relative.
>>No. 6681
[x] Go see your Aunt at the industrial complex

I want to see who the Aunt is. More family time, yaaay!
>>No. 6682
[x]Take a stop by the cemetery
This sounds like the most interesting one by far.

Raimu is a pretty silly-sounding name.
>>No. 6683
[x]Take a stop by the cemetery
>>No. 6691
[X] Alice's shop should be open by now

Does she sell dolls, clothes, or both?
>>No. 6692
[x] Go see your Aunt at the industrial complex
>>No. 6695
[x]Take a stop by the cemetery
>>No. 6702
File 130396377015.jpg - (57.30KB, 1024x768, cemetery_overview1.jpg) [iqdb]
6702
>Take a stop by the cemetery

Ah yes...the cemetery.

You stand amidst the many gravestones strewn about, almost as far as the eye can see. Sure enough, Risou's burial grounds is a wide and vast one.

It's empty. Lonely. Deprived of life. It...it feels as if it perfectly exemplifies your very being. With countless gravestones surrounding you from every side and no sign of mortal being in any direction, you feel most free out here. Like you can let go of the binding shackles of life and allow your very spirit to roam free from your body, taking a journey across the afterlife before coming back again. It's an uplifting experience you like to delve yourself into once in a while. The thick stench of death fills the air and is breathed into your lungs, allowing you to briefly feel the cold comfort of death's grip without actually dying.

You're worried someday this temporal slip into eternal rest may indeed become eternal one day when you least expect it.

But enough about your creepy ways of relaxing, you cut into more serious business here. Concerning your grandmother. A while ago, you used to frequent this graveyard everyday, waiting for her to come by. After all, she is a kasha, her proper job being that she carries off the bodies of dead sinners to hell. Every day you would wait around and hope that she would come off to perform her duties, and finally get to see her up front and person with your own two eyes. However, this never came to be and feels like that might hold true today too.

You had always dreamed of seeing your grandparents. You have a lot of questions to ask them. Why did they leave? What compelled them to be together? How did they help Gensokyo, and in turn, Risou, turn into what it is today? You can't say you hate them, but without having actually met them, you're not entirely sure how you feel about them either. Though having seen pictures of your grandmother and being told of what she was like, you kind of wanted to look up to her like a role model. It's odd for you to think that however, especially given the fact that your grandparents practically abandoned their children at a young age. Despite this though, your father never speaks ill of them under any circumstance, so you suppose that influence helps keep you from thinking bad of them yourself.

You continue looking around the grave site as your thoughts keep wandering about, thinking of your grandmother. You wonder what she's like now? Experienced and mature? Full of life and energy? Sultry, elegant, cute? There are so many visions of her that you have that you almost think you would be okay with any way she could suddenly appear before you. You're not sure why you're quite so obsessed with your grandmother...probably because you've been told you look a lot like her. If she's as great as they say, you kind of want to keep on that path of being like her.

Although, one thing starts to strike you as certain. She probably didn't wait around rather creepily in an empty cemetery. It's been an hour an a half now since you arrived. You're starting to get cold. It's time to head home. However, even as you leave the cemetery you can't help but feel like you're missing out. One more hour. Then she would come. Just one more and you're sure you will see her walking into view. Each time you leave the cemetery you keep thinking you might miss her. It's this kind of paranoia that really gets to your mind and eats away at your very soul. As you walk back through the gates of the cemetery, you can't help but look back over your shoulder and hope that she would be there...

---

"Bleh, am I doing it wrong...?"

This is what you ask yourself after a good few hours of failing to capture that feeling. That...whatever it was you felt.

That girl...Satoko...she said that was her name, after you inadvertently gave her yours. You didn't even mean to help her honestly. It just...happened. Like it was instinct. Your chivalry just took over at a random moment. It was weird, when she passed you, some sort of sixth sense went off in your mind that sounded alarms, like something was gonna happen. It was right too...weird that. Normally your senses don't work that way, you tend to be quite oblivious to danger at times. The strangest thing transpired afterwards though...the girl gave you...a muffin. A blueberry muffin, probably from the bakery. You rarely get to enjoy food from outside your training camp, so it was delicious as always, but there was something else about it...

That feeling you got when you were handed the muffin...was that...the feeling of being rewarded...?

You felt you could most certainly get used to that feeling.

So for the past few hours you've been trying to 'help' other people around town, doing good deeds such as helping them carry things or clearing paths for the elderly.

...they all just give you strange looks though. Even when it goes smoothly, it doesn't give you same feeling that girl did. Probably because all they do is just say thank you and walk off. They don't act humble or even give you a treat for your work. Today has been nothing but a waste of time.

You've gotta do something...anything. Get your mind off this awful feeling of failure.

>Go find that girl...
>Pay your respects to the Moriya shrine
>Get yourself lost at the bamboo forest
>Head over to the cemetery
>>No. 6709
[x] Go find that girl...

Stalking route is a go.
>>No. 6712
[x] Go find that girl...
Creepily stalking people is romantic, you know.
>>No. 6713
[x] Head over to the cemetery
>>No. 6715
>>6712
Only if the stalker is attractive.

[x] Head over to the cemetery
>>No. 6716
The question is: Will Satoko be there by the time Souya reaches the cemetery?

But I know one thing for sure: This will not be easy for the both of them for various reasons. They might have to actually have to resolve the whole Wolf Tengu relationship matter along the way as Momiji's actions only worsened things.
>>No. 6718
>>6716

Think about it. Satoko stayed at the cemetary for an hour and a half. Souya wandered around for a "few" hours, which is probably a lot longer then an hour and a half.
>>No. 6720
>>6718
But Satoko always has a feeling that she is just about to meet Rin at the cemetary.

Plot conventions now dictate that if we go to the cemetary after Satoko leaves, we will meet Rin.
>>No. 6808
Dead already?
>>No. 6809
>>6808
Unlikely, might just be a downtime.

>>6718
You are forgetting that Satoko went to Raimu's first.

[x] Head over to the cemetery
>>No. 6810
>>6809

Downtime would be correct. If this story were dead, I'd still be updating my border story.

Although I won't lie, a subtle lack of interest has caused me to think this story might not be worth it.

Either way, downtime is ending soon, hopefully today.
>>No. 6811
>>6810
Well, I'm interested, and I'm not ever interested in bad stories, so...
I'm not very good at compliments, so take this as one.
>>No. 6812
>>6810
sure it's not mega hit reception, but for /underground/ it's pretty good for a story just starting out. I doubt your "update whenever I feel like it" schedule helps things much.
>>No. 6813
>>6812

You don't want me to just force an update out. Then you really would get a terrible story.
>>No. 6814
[x] Head over to the cemetery

Yeah...the cemetery. That's right, you forgot to pay your respects, you were so caught up in what that girl introduced you to. You have to do it every day you get a day off, otherwise, you just wouldn't feel right...

Here lies Momiji Inubashiri

That's all the gravestone says. You were never told what happened. Nor does anyone bother to tell you now. No one knows, apparently. You're not even sure when she kicked the bucket. The gravestone doesn't bother saying. All you know is that it had been here for as long as you can remember, and the gravestone shares the name of your infamous mother.

Admittedly, you don't remember very far back. The first time you saw this gravestone was only five years ago. But ever since you noticed that it carried your mother's name, you would always come here on any day you were allowed to and pay your respects to her. No one would ever tell you if this was your mother or not, or what had happened. But if this really is your mother laying beneath this six feet of earth, then this is the least you could do.

What happened...? That question rings through your head every time you think about it. Why did she die? Was she killed? Was it a disease? All you know is that this gravestone is what tells you that whoever your mother was, you'll never be able experience her warmth or person.

Ugh...you told yourself you wouldn't cry in front of your mother. You're stronger then that. But here you are, tears are starting to escape your eyes and roll down your cheeks. For some reason, for just today, you can't control it. Why? Is it because of your earlier failure today? You can't stop the intense pain from surging across your heart though...you wish she were here. She would be able to tell you that it's alright. That you tried your best. That you'll be able to succeed another day, so long as you kept working hard for what you wanted.

What you want...is to just be acknowledged. For someone to recognize your hard work. That is all you want...

You don't know how long you've spent here, but by the time you do stop crying, you see that the sky has started turning orange. It's almost sunset. That means curfew is about to begin...and that's bad. You quickly wipe your eyes and make hasty tracks out of there, being late now is the last thing you want happening to you...

---

Another day, another struggle to wake up. This will never change, you feel.

You open the curtains to let the morning sun in, as usual. But instead of going to get dressed, you just simply lean on the window sill and stare out into the sky for a while. You're not entirely sure why. After yesterday, you just felt weird after coming back home. Maybe it was that near death experience you had on the way to Raimu's. Though it's not like it's the first time you've been threatened by a strong youkai like that. Maybe never quite so close to having your face punched in but...

Maybe...maybe it was the one that saved you that scared you more deep down. You've never been so close to a real sword before...you could swear you could feel the cold steel on your cheek, even though it wasn't physically touching you. You've heard of the tengu before but you honestly never have actually met one in person before...you believe anyways. The wolf that saved you looked really young...about your age, you guess. He was probably much, much older then you are at the moment, but watching someone who looked so young so expertly swing around a heavy sword like that...it was almost surreal. You figure though that this is common amongst most youkai but honestly, it wasn't until now that you really felt intrigued by one. Sure, there are youkai at your school, but you never really paid any attention to them. You have no youkai friends and you hardly ever thought about them.

All this is weird because...your father was born from a youkai, and what is most likely a human turned youkai. Despite this, he came out human, about every bit as human as you are, which is even weirder, since you are the spitting image of your grandmother, who is one hundred percent youkai herself. You're not sure why it never bothered you up until now. But all logic dictates that...you and your family should most definitely be youkai, right? But every way you look at it, you are human, skin and bones. A human down to your very soul...born from youkai. You've always wondered how that worked but you never really acted upon it because you really had no reason or way to. Thinking about it now though, that still holds true, so you decide not to humor the thought any further then it has to be.

It's Sunday. You haven't decided what you wanted to do for today. You kind of want to go back to the cemetery again and hopefully lay eyes upon your grandmother finally, but you know how much of a magnificent waste of time this is, ultimately. Rather, today might be well spent catching up on things you missed out the day before. It's alright, you did your homework back on Friday, so you have all day today to do as you please.

>Your Aunt probably misses you
>Maybe Alice has a treat for you
>Go swing by Kourindou's and see what they got
>Wander about town aimlessly
>Just stay home

Action? >_
>>No. 6815
[x] Wander about town aimlessly.

Always a fun option~
>>No. 6816
[x]Maybe Alice has a treat for you
>>No. 6819
>Here lies Momiji Inubashiri
Not sure whether to be supprised or expect that given her mother.
I'm somewhat wondering if this was set in stone or a result of our choice (somehow that makes sense to me at the moment)

[x]Maybe Alice has a treat for you
nothing wrong with visiting the doll maker
>>No. 6820
[x]Wander about town aimlessly
Roll the dice for random encounter.
>>No. 6822
[x]Maybe Alice has a treat for you

>>6819
Yeah, I'm getting a feeling that our half-assed actions in the Momiji story caused things to be so crapsackastic for the wolf tengu.
>>No. 6825
[x]Maybe Alice has a treat for you
>>No. 6826
>>6819
I don't think she's dead. Of course, I have no proof and there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Until I see definitive proof, I'll hold out.
>>No. 6827
>>6826
(6819 here)
Looking back on he ending of Momji's stay (satoshi's side of the epilogue) you might be right as he says 'you three' when talking about satoshi, and he just finished telling a story to his son (who's 7 here).

...oh lord conspiricies -_-
>>No. 6828
>>6827

You also have to consider that they haven't heard from them in a while. The news of Momiji's death might have slipped past them.
>>No. 6829
[x] Go swing by Kourindou's and see what they got

Sometimes I feel like the only person on this site who loves Rinnosuke. It's a sad thing, as I always vote for him to no avail.
>>No. 6830
>>6828
True, but a grave stone (and assumed acompanying funeral) is a bit of a tell
>>No. 6831
>>6830
They might have missed it due to whatever it was that had them dumping their kids off at Alice's.
>>No. 6836
>Maybe Alice has a treat for you

It's been a while since you've seen Alice. You really should pay a visit to her. It's odd, Alice feels more like an aunt then your actual Aunt does. Maybe like a grandmother more though...but you hate using that comparison. You don't believe Alice could ever compare to your real grandmother, despite never having met her. It sounds almost hypocritical of you, but bias is just a natural part of the human mind that you've come to accept about yourself and not make a big fuss about. After going ahead and getting ready, you head down, get a quick breakfast and leave out the door. Your little brother slept in today and your father left for work before you went to have breakfast, as is usual for sunday, so your breakfast was nice and quiet. You don't tend to exchange much words with your mother, for some reason. Probably because she's just as much in the dark about your grandparents as you are, but doesn't look up to them nearly as much as you do. You wouldn't say you're on bad terms with your mother though...but you hope it doesn't eventually turn out like that, even though it likely will.

The crisp, autumn air scrapes your cheeks as you walk out into the morning. With a visit to Alice's you thought more uplifting clothing might be in store, so you're now wearing a red and white but primarily blue long sleeved shirt, with a pink skirt that just barely reaches covers your thighs. You're not too worried about your modesty for some reason. It's not as if you're anything to look at for anyone that isn't a pedophile. You think any lolicons out there would be too scared to really do anything to you anyways. Either that or they just simply have youkai mistresses with the bodies of children. You don't like to think about it too much, but with the onset of the industrial revolution and the integration of youkai into society, prostitution has been a heavy problem for the government. It's a very quick way for any youkai to make cash however, among other things...such as taking human lives. Such a dirty business, but that comes with a growing civilization, you suppose.

gling-ling-ling

"Aliiice...!" You call out for the doll maker as you walk into the shop, the bell hung above the door playing it's relaxing chime.

Dolls and plushes line the walls, everywhere you look. Ranging from small to large, tall to short, stout to lanky, and everything in between. It is a virtual heaven for many girls, and after getting to know Alice, it's become something like a sanctuary to you. Alice tended to play with you when you were very small, getting you interested in dolls at an early age. Although now you keep thinking you want to grow out of liking dolls and plushes so much, it's very hard to every time you come to see the doll maker.

"Satoko? Is that you?" You see the long blonde haired woman step out of the back room, presumably getting some sewing work done previously. Her hair is tied up in a long ponytail and she's wearing her green work clothes, so it must be work time for her still.

"Alice! Making some more dolls again?"

"I'm actually designing some clothes, for once. It's not something I've done recently, so I'm still a bit rusty. Since I'm so busy with it though, I'm sorry to say I can't read you a story today."

Since you've been growing older, Alice has been telling you stories more then actually playing with you as of late. A lot of them are often stories of fantasy, involving a lot of made up scenarios, such as those with knights in shining armor. They're no fairy tales by any means, but they certainly have an intriguing charm to them that somehow makes them sound even better and fantastical then even the Gensokyo of old that you're often taught about in history class. It would seem though that today, Alice is busy, which is unusual for a sunday. Oh well, you can find something else to fill in the day with.

"Oh, that's alright. I just came to see if I could thief another plush off you."

"Again? Jeez Satoko, at this rate you're going to put me out of business, you know" Alice says, with a warm, gentle smile on her face.

Your father told you that Alice was downright the best mother figure he could have asked for in the stead of your grandmother. He did remember his time with his grandmother vividly though, saying that your grandmother was the most caring mother one could ever see, and somehow that kind of influence seemed to have made it's way down to Alice. Alice apparently used to be a little cold and sarcastic, but admittedly, you've never really seen this side of her, as she's always been one of the most kind hearted youkai you've ever met. This might be another one of the numerous reasons why you look up to your grandmother so; if she were truly the cause of turning a youkai into such a sweet, gentle being, then surely she herself must be an angel.

"Oh come on, you're making these almost every day, you hardly ever take a break, so I'm sure missing one won't hurt."

"It's because of you that I have to keep working, but if it's for you Satoko, I'll gladly keep on making these dolls."

You can't help it. Alice just warms your frozen heart so. An incandescent smile forms upon your face as you happily look across the shelves for something you want.

"You're so good at making dolls, Alice...I wish I could make my own like this."

"Well maybe someday I can teach you all I know. It's something I've been meaning to pass down onto someone, so if you're interested, I would be very happy to show you."

"You really mean it Alice...?"

"Of course, for now though, you're still growing. I do have some work to attend to, so pick a doll and I'll bag it up for you."

"Alright...uhh, how about...that one!"

...

You find yourself walking down the streets of Risou again, with the plush you picked out safely tucked away in the bag you're holding. You're not sure why you picked it...it just felt...fitting. Maybe it's a part of influence from something. But that's something to think about later, what you need to think about now is the next activity on your agenda...

---

Today is an unusual day. You're out on the road again, for some reason. It's a day the wolf pups like to call 'fetch day.' Basically, once every thirty days, one of the trainees is sent out to perform some grocery shopping. The tengu, being the resourceful bunch that they are, only get the exact amounts that they feel they need to carry on for the next 30 days. Typically, these demands are constantly changing, so every 30 days someone has to go out to all the providers of such like food, expendable supplies and all that junk and make the proper orders with all the providers. At least...that's what they tell you. It's really just an excuse for the trainers to get kids like you to do errands and such for them. The actual placement of orders in person is really unnecessary with the advent of telephoning and such. The trainers themselves aren't allowed much free time so of course, any chance they get, they like to steal that free time from the trainees. It's an odd situation today though, as the day somehow managed to land on a day right after one of the days off for the month. What's more, you were selected for going out to 'fetch' today. So you had the possibly once in a lifetime chance of going out into town unattended for the day twice in a row. Your colleagues were jealous, to say the least. Which is to say, you're probably going to get beaten up when you come back, complete with a shiner. You better make the most of your time out here.

Barely having even started your errands though, you're already stopping at a shocking sight. A sight that froze you in your tracks, despite the subtle differences you just knew what it was, instantly, like some sixth sense suddenly cried out to you and demanded that you halt everything. You didn't think you would see it again. After what had happened, you figured you would just go on with your life and continue living it as it always was. But no, you stumbled across the same feeling today again. Sure enough, the feeling was there, the feeling was true, as your eyes did not lie to you in telling you that across the street, walking in the opposite direction of you, was her.

That girl. First time you passed by her you had an odd sensation that told you something bad was going to happen. You were right too. Which was unusual for you. You always tended to get caught whenever you were doing something against the rules at camp, for instance. But this time, something just clicked, something told you that trouble was rearing it's ugly head and despite all previous experience, this time turned out to be correct. You feel it now too...you don't know why, there's obviously nothing out of the ordinary around. The girl should be fine...but you can't shake the feeling of wanting to at least talk to the girl more. Argh, that residual feeling from after that meeting has come back now! The awful feeling of torment knowing that no one would treat you as kindly as she did that day. Would it be creepy if you asked her to give you that feeling more? Ugh, no, it definitely would be...

You think...her name was Satoko? It's unusual for you to have any acquaintances outside of the context of camp. In fact, it almost feels against the rules. But for some reason, you feel like starting to have one. Maybe it's that small rebellious side of you that always disliked the way things went at camp. How you wanted to change things. Lead a revolution. Maybe this would be the start of something like that. Then again, maybe it could also be the start of you losing your head, literally. You may have awesome regenerative powers but being beheaded would probably do a permanent number on you. The feeling of anxiety starts setting in...

>Go ahead and greet the girl
>Follow her and see what she's up to first
>Shake it off and get back to work

Action? >_
>>No. 6837
[X] IGNORE THE OBVIOUS PLOT HOOK COMPLETELY LOL

Just kidding. But seriously, why even have this option?

[x]Follow her and see what she's up to first.
>>No. 6839
[x]Go ahead and greet the girl

This feeling... it must be lust.
>>No. 6840
>>6837

You do have the option of being forward with it or just simply stalking her first. Whichever plays out more favourably is a ~ m y s t e r y ~
>>No. 6841
[x]Go ahead and greet the girl

Stalking never makes a good second impression
>>No. 6843
[x]Go ahead and greet the girl

This does sound better, not sure if she'd believe our intuition or not.
>>No. 6844
[x]Follow her and see what she's up to first.

>>6840
You guys do realize he's using reverse psychology on you, right? This is obviously the better choice.
>>No. 6845
>>6844
I voted for it because since MC senses are never wrong, something bad will happen to her and we can gallantly rush in to rescue the dame.
>>No. 6846
[x]Go ahead and greet the girl
>>No. 6847
[X]Follow her and see what she's up to first.

Nothing beats a little bit of DRAMA.
>>No. 6848
[x]Go ahead and greet the girl

Atleast this is safer that her turning her head around and thinking he is a stalker. oh wait.
>>No. 6850
[X]Follow her and see what she's up to first.
>>No. 6888
>Go ahead and greet the girl

Ugh, you can't ignore the feeling, no matter how hard you try. You should be waiting until you have a real day off to be approaching someone like this. But who's to say you'll see her during your next day off?

This is a once in a life time chance, potentially. Even should it end up being what kills you, you only live once.

"Heeey!" You shout at the girl, jogging over to her to approach her. She doesn't take notice though. You guess because she didn't hear you? You keep shouting for her but it isn't until you're practically next to her that she finally stops and turns around to you.

"Uhh...huh?" You take a brief moment to catch your breath from all the screaming to properly talk to the girl.

"Ah, uhm...h-hi. Do you remember me?"

The girl just tilts her head, giving you a puzzled look.

"Do I know you?"

Wow...this deep, painful sinking feeling in your chest. You think you might know what it means but you don't want to continue feeling it to find out.

"Guh...y-yeah! Remember? I was the one that uh...saved you from that big ugly guy. Your name...it was Satoko, right?" After blinking for a bit, the girl seems to gasp lightly, apparently remembering the scene finally.

"Oh, that's right! Your name was...uhh..."

"Souya."

"That's right, Souya."

The two of you then just...stand there. Oh, you hadn't thought your clever plan all the way through, had you? Maybe you should've thought of a reason to actually stop her first. The awkward silence between you continues until Satoko gets bored of it, which happens rather quickly.

"So...what is it that you wanted?"

"Huh? Me? Well, uh..."

You're starting to regret stopping her now. Come to think of it, you really had no reason to get her attention at all, did you? Maybe you wanted to thank her for her kindness yesterday, but then maybe that would come off as a little...out there? Not that you haven't already succeeded in doing that. To make things worse, you just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind barring that.

"W-W-Where were you going?" The girl ends up tilting her again, this time in the other direction, seemingly a little suspicious now.

"Er...I hadn't decided yet...why do you ask?" You decide to use some more of your quick wit and fast thinking to get you out of it, but it only seems to drag you in further. Thankfully, it at least seems convincing.

"O-Oh, I was just wondering if you could take me around town for a bit, s-since I'm kinda new around here..." Seems, that is. If not for your obvious tells, anyways.

"New? Aren't you with the tengu?" Yeah, that's right, you're still wearing the hat aren't you?

"Oh, well...yeah. But I'm uhh...a part of the tengu that doesn't get out much, really. I um, kinda hole myself in and only recently did I decide to go out and explore for once..."

You almost went and decided to be totally honest with her, but after all, you could only spew out half truths, because as terribly as the tengu treat you, you can't say anything bad about them. Some would say it's because they'd murder you if they caught you ratting out on them, and they might be right, but it's also because you're just too damn kind to really freely admit the shortcomings of anyone around you. You personally find it hard to say anything bad about anyone without really getting to know them first. Your trainers are slave drivers, sure, but the rest of the tengu couldn't be that bad.

"Eh, well...I suppose then. I guess I'm not doing much." Wow, she bought it. You didn't think she would. It must be your lucky day.

"R-Really? Thank you so much!"

---

Ugh...you weren't intending on this to happen. Seriously, who's this douchebag? You barely remembered his face even when he talked about where you saw it.

Okay, sure, maybe he did kind of save you from a terrible fate, but he's...pretty nervous to be swinging around a sword like that, you guess. Maybe when you first saw it, you could've seen it as very cool, if you weren't still downright frightened by it. But afterwards, he just came off as very...unstable. Someone you wouldn't trust with a sword, no matter how cool he may have looked while wielding it. Even now, it feels like something's fishy, that there's something very suspicious about this bloke. He definitely has an ulterior motive, but you couldn't find yourself turning him down because...well, to be honest, you're a bit of a guilty person at heart. With how nervous this guy is, he'd probably pull off a very good depression act. That'd really get to you. You'd rather just skip him trying to convince you through emotion and just get on with the chase while you still have your wits about you. He's definitely thinking of something though...

"So, any place in particular you wanted to see?"

"Huh? Uh...i-it's up to you really. I wouldn't mind seeing anything you might think looks interesting." Oh, so he thinks he can pull something on you from anywhere, huh? Such a bold claim. It's his first mistake, that's for sure.

"Hmm...anywhere, you say?"

"Of course! I haven't really seen much of the town outside the uhh...outside my home, so I'm sure all of it would be exciting."

"Even the sewers?" Suddenly the boy lets out a bit of a laugh.

"Well, maybe not all of it." He gives off a fairly convincing smile. He must be a lot better at fooling people then you gave him credit for. You'll admit that his act feels pretty legitimate thus far.

...

Maybe you're jumping to conclusions and he really is just sheltered. True to your heart, you feel a bit of guilt overshadowing your judgement the more you think badly of this poor boy. You find it hard to trust people right away, and maybe it's because of that people tend to avoid you. You really didn't notice him calling out to you earlier, even though you heard him. You just thought he was calling out to someone else. Why would anyone call out to you, after all? It's a world full of faceless people who give no second thought to everyone else in the world, walking about the streets, caring only of themselves and carrying on with their daily, routine lives as if they were robots. So it just strikes you as odd that anyone would ever consider you to have any sort of influence on their life. Even to people such as Raimu.

Still though, you can't let your guard down. After all, you always liked to keep in mind what your parents told you about strangers...

>Lead him to the industrial district
>Show him the political streets
>Take him to the recreational parts of town
>bring him around the residential areas

Action? >_
>>No. 6889
[x]Take him to the recreational parts of town
Don't see how anything else in this list could possibly be interesting to a pair of kids.
>>No. 6890
[x]Take him to the recreational parts of town

Makes sense to me.
>>No. 6892
[x] Bring him around the residential areas

Stranger danger you guys! We need to be in heavily populated areas where everyone can see us if he tries something. Didn't your parents every teach you these things?
>>No. 6894
[x]Take him to the recreational parts of town
>>No. 6895
[x]Take him to the recreational parts of town.
>>No. 6898
[x]Take him to the recreational parts of town
>>No. 6900
FINALLY finished reading OLV and MLV. Great stories, Sukima!

[►]Take him to the recreational parts of town.
>>No. 6984
File 130761955498.jpg - (106.97KB, 800x531, not-very-accurate-actually.jpg) [iqdb]
6984
>Take him to the recreational parts of town

You decide to ignore the gut feeling that this boy is out to rape you and rob you blind and take him somewhere that actually matters in the city. Like a tourist attraction...you'd think that for a city that supposedly contains the whole majority of Gensokyo's population, a land closed in from the outside world, wouldn't have a need for a tourist attraction. But lo and behold, with every passing year, new youkai and even human alike find their way into Gensokyo and see it. Yes, the legendary street that houses all it's main recreational attractions. A street that more resembles a small carnival then an actual street, with games and group activities everywhere on both sides, even a couple rides.

"Wow...what's this place?"

"This? It's Myouren Street."

You know a great deal about the street in random tidbits and in school, since it's a fun place to be. It started with a temple constructed by one Saint Hijiri. It was very popular among human and youkai alike, and eventually served as the setting for bringing both factions together, one led by the legendary Reimu Hakurei, and the other by a mysterious Yukari Yakumo. You know plenty about Reimu, being friends with the descendant. Yukari seems to evade your curiosity every time however, as the Hakurei family knows very little about the woman herself, for some reason. At least, this is the idea they give you. A large part of the youkai faction today is led by one of Yukari's ascended retainers, Chen Yakumo. However, you've never met this woman face to face before, or even know what she looks like, so you've never had the chance to ask her.

In any case, after the revolution started, the temple gained more and more popularity. It was actually St. Hijiri's request to transform the temple into a place of fun recreation, to celebrate the unition of human and youkai, one of her long standing dreams. Of course, after she came to pass, things sort of went down hill from there. While a subordinate of her's supposedly still runs everything true to her dream, it wouldn't be too far from the truth to say that greed and overpopulation rule the street now, in a heavily veiled tourist trap. As the city grew, so did the Myouren Temple, which then became Myouren Park. Finally, the street itself built around the former temple in it's entirety became known for the fun activities that you would normally do at the temple. More often then not, the street is packed with people on vacation, exploring, or just out to have a fun time.

At the very least, this Souya boy can't do anything to you so long as you remain out in the open. There's far too many people here. Then again, most people might not care enough either...

"Wooow! Hey, is this a shooting gallery?"

Er, then again the boy himself seems to be more interested in everything but you...now you're almost kind of feeling left out.

"Uhh...yeah, it is..." You approach the tengu looking at the many prizes at a side street shooting gallery, as if he's never laid eyes on such things. You find this awfully hard to believe, and it makes you more suspicious of him by the moment, but you can't help but feel that if he is being legit then...wow, the tengu are a lot worse off then you thought.

"You like what you see little guy?" You hear the dealer behind the counter lean over, talking to your acquaintance. "Only a hundred yen a shot, what do you say?"

"Really? Lemme ju-" You see the wolf boy freeze part way into reaching into his pocket, suddenly sulking afterwards. "I...I don't have any money..."

"Oh, really? That's too bad then."

...ugh...

"Here."

"Oh, five shots for you Miss?"

"No, for him."

"Huh?"

The boy seems truthfully shocked that you just paid him some rounds out of your own pocket. Maybe this is what the guy was after, taking advantage of your kindness to buy him some treats and food when he himself is broke. But you just can't help it...he really does look like the kind of guy who would frequently be down on his luck. You really hope he doesn't try and pry anymore money out of you though, so you're not exactly made of the stuff. In middle of the tengu's confusion, the dealer hands a small toy gun to him.

"Alright little guy, here you go, five shots, make 'em count!"

"Oh...s-so I just..."

"You shoot whatever ya want as a prize! 'Course, the more expensive stuff's harder to shoot down. Just pick yer poison, 'right?"

"Uh, right..."

Then, suddenly, he displays a very keen accuracy with the gun, shooting down three prizes, a softball, a small stand with a bracelet on it, and a large stuffed white rabbit.

"Wow! Good shootin' there! You earned your prizes, so here ya go..." The dealer lugs the large plush onto the counter and then places the other two prizes upon it, which Souya takes handily.

"Man, that was fun~"

"Er, was it? I'm uh...glad."

You're kinda stunned yourself. The stand must've taken an extremely keen eye and steady hand to bag, and yet he quickly shot it down like he had done it a hundred times before. What's more, hardly anyone's ever knocked down a large stuffed animal like this. It's about almost half the size of your torso in girth, which you find out when the tengu hands you the doll.

"I don't really have a place for it, so...I hope you like it. It was kinda your money after all..."

"No...I like dolls. So I guess it was worth it." You kinda wanna package it with the doll you got from Alice, but it definitely would not fit in the small, petite bag. With both your hands tied, the wolf boy even offers you to put the bracelet on your wrist for you, which you almost absent-mindedly let him do, still kind of stunned from all this.

"And...there. That actually looks kinda nice."

"Uhh...really." You take a look at the bracelet Souya affixed to your right wrist. It's a very simple beaded one, with five white ivory cubes with letters on them. It spells out 'UNITY' and is adorned across the top of your wrist. How...quaint.

"Hey, can we try the strength test now?" Oh boy, being a wolf tengu, he'll probably ace it, thereby stunning you again. Just what are his true intentions anyways?

"Ah...sure thing."

---

Man, it's hard work acting so excited like this.

Satoko brought you to Myouren Street. Typical, it's a tourist attraction with lots of cool stuff to do, is usually the first place to visit for anyone unfamiliar with Risou. That said, you've been here countless times. You and your 'entourage' of tengu buddies have often come here to play games, hang out and generally cause mischief, but today you're here with a human girl...certainly different, but you can't say you're enjoying yourself yet, since you have to act like it's all so fresh and new. You wish you could be casual, but not only do you not know this girl all that well yet, you have to keep up the facade that you've introduced to her as being unfamiliar with the city.

You almost made your first mistake with the shooting gallery, realizing that you almost took out the 'orders' placed by your superiors instead of actual cash. It's sad, but you have to make Satoko pay for everything here. You aren't intent on letting it go unrewarded however, as you put extra strength and effort into everything you do, from shooting, to throwing, even the strength test, you give it your absolute all. You barely manage to ring the bell on the 'mid-sized youkai' test. That one took a lot of guts to pull off, so much that you had to rest for a short moment before the two of you continued down your stroll of the recreational street.

You were shocked though, that the girl, despite having just met you, would be willing to pay for so much. You hope you're not overwhelming her with prizes, and soon you end up carrying more loot then she is, even though most of it is intended to go to her. Although, the same could be said for you. But to be honest, you've been down here so much, there really wasn't anything you wanted. Really, the softball at the shooting gallery you first arrived at was the only thing that even remotely caught your eye. You do take every chance you can get to spoil the girl, but it's mainly come down to just finding what she might like, since there's very little that interests you here anymore. Odd though, coming from a lowly tengu such as yourself. You hope she doesn't take notice...

"So, where next?" You ask the human girl, turning to her after what feels like veritable hours, though judging from the sky, it's barely been a single one, and you've already accrued most of the street's prizes. Maybe you went a little overboard?

"Uhh...I'm not too sure. If you give me a moment, I can think of something here we could do..."

She seems kind of out of it...like she's distracted by something. You hope you aren't boring her, has she been here that often? Is she like you, feeling all the gifts are just unnecessary weight? Maybe this would be a good time to interject, actually, since you're getting kind of tired of acting yourself, even though it would be rude to stop her now.

>Ask her if there's anymore places in town that are interesting
>Suggest to her that they go grab a bite to eat now
>Let her continue, she must have a good idea
>You need to go, you have a job to do

Action? >_
>>No. 6986
[x] Ask her if there's anymore places in town that are interesting
>>No. 6988
[x]You need to go, you have a job to do

If this was his idea of proving he isn't creepy, I'm afraid he has fallen flat.

>A large part of the youkai faction today is led by one of Yukari's ascended retainers, Chen Yakumo.

Oh no, Don Chen is coming true all over again. ;_;
>>No. 6997
[X]Let her continue, she must have a good idea

Suggesting to go and have a bite to eat while we have no money? How err... rude?
>>No. 6999
[►]You need to go, you have a job to do.

We need a job that PAYS, not an inherited job given to our race.
>>No. 7003
[x]You need to go, you have a job to do
>>No. 7009
>Let her continue, she must have a good idea
>"Is something the matter?"
>>No. 7221
>You need to go, you have a job to do.

"Oh, actually..." You start off saying, looking up at the sky and noticing the sun is beginning to hang a little low. "I should probably get home sometime soon...but uh, since we're carrying so much stuff, how about I walk you home?" The girl seems to blink a bit, almost as if she thought it odd, but accepts your generosity nonetheless.

"Alright then. I'll lead the way in that case" the girl says, turning around heading towards the exit of Myouren Street where you came in.

It's not too far of a walk. Seems the girl lives on the outskirts of the residential area, though far in enough to have something of a high rise, nonetheless. You feel mesmerized by the tall houses, unbelieving that people could live in such large quarters, particularly when yours are utterly tiny with no privacy to begin with. As you're walking along, Satoko almost seems to catch onto your thoughts and points out to you that each house is actually two or three different living quarters, and that she lives in the highest one in the house she lives in. It's really kind of neat, how they've compacted so many people living in one place like that. It also occurs to you just how big the world outside your camp is...so many houses, and anywhere between one and as many as ten different people live in just one quarter of each house? The number of people that would make up to be is absolutely staggering, and greatly outnumbers the amount of people you see walking around town by far.

"Well, this is where I live. Thanks for carrying this stuff back for me, uhh..."

"Souya." You go ahead and hand her the items you've been carrying for her up until now while you remind her of your name. She looks almost ridiculous carrying everything like that, maybe you shouldn't have went overboard...

"Ah, you know you didn't have to get me so much stuff."

"Uhh...I-I'm sorry."

"...it's okay. You said you needed to get home right? Don't let me hold you back, I'm sure I'll see you again sometime, right?"

"...yeah. Definitely."

You had to hesitate for a moment. You wondered if you really would see her again.

"Alright, good night then, Souya."

"G-Good night, Satoko."

The girl disappears into the large condo before you, leaving you alone. Looking up at the sky, you see that an orange tint is about to take it over. It took a while to get here, carrying all that stuff. What's worse is that you still haven't done your job...but thankfully, since you ended that trip early, you should be able to sprint to all the places you need to go to and get to all of them in time, and then get back before curfew. It'll take some energy, that's for sure, but you're positive you can do it.

Before you take off though, you take one last look at the softball that you won back at Myouren Street. You never took much fancy to material possessions...mainly because camp never really let you keep much. But...you feel you've learned something today.

The possession of something immaterial between yourself and another person far greatly out weights any possession you could hold in your hand.

---

"I'm home!"

You're hoping one of your parents hears you announcing your return when you finally heave all the crap you got from Souya upstairs. This is ludicrous! Who would honestly monopolize everything in such a greedy manner? Well, maybe it's not the boy's fault...he did look like he was having a fun time. An oddly fun time, given that most of what he was doing was, truthfully, rather mundane. Still though, you guess he sounded pretty sincere...you still think there's something odd about him though. To just come up to you so suddenly like that...you almost hope he doesn't make a habit out of it, as he's honestly just a little creepy. Although you'd be lying if you said you weren't at least a tiny bit interested in him...for some reason, it intrigues you that a youkai could pull off such human-like behavior.

"Welcome home Sato-...where have you been?" Your father stops mid-way into his welcome when he sees you carrying much more then you can handle.

"I-I'll tell you as soon as you help me!"

A few minutes later, you're done sorting through all the gifts Souya got you and have arranged them throughout your room accordingly. Your father had a helping hand in that. He's so helpful and kind, he'd probably help you even if you asked for in a derogatory way. He would even ignore the condescending attitude and still give you a cheerful smile, happy to be of assistance regardless. It's probably things like that, that end up causing you lots of guilt anytime you do refer to him in such a way.

"This sure is a lot of stuff, Satoko." You almost can feel the pain of how obvious your father's statement was. Though you know he's just curious as to where you got it all.

"Yeah...I met a boy earlier today and we went to Myouren Street. He got me all this junk..."

"Oh? Did he?" Your father, being a typical parental type, is suddenly quite interested now. "What was he like?"

"His name was Souya, he was a white wolf tengu. You know about them, right?"

"..."

You expected a quick answer while you were looking around your room at all the stuff you got. However, when you don't receive such a reply, you get worried and look over at your father. He seems a bit stunned. His expression hasn't changed, much. But you get this feeling you said something you weren't supposed to.

"Uh, Dad?"

"Oh. Yeah, I do. Your grandfather traveled with a white wolf tengu himself." Your father tears his gaze away from you and does what you were just doing, looking across the room at all the prizes you were gifted. Something doesn't seem right about it though.

"Er...did I say something bad?" Your father just chuckles and pets your head softly with that kind smile of his.

"No, not at all, Satoko. Don't worry about it though, okay?"

Well, obviously, he's not going to tell you anything about why he was stunned like that. It's typical of him, always trying to bear the brunt of his own problems on his own shoulders, never telling anyone else about them. It's one of the things that you recall your mother feeling heartbroken about on a few occasions, where you father would go through a terrible burden, and try to bear all by himself. You wish you could help, but as you're just a mere child, it's probably beyond your comprehension anyways. You can't wait to grow up. Although, while he's here, you may as well ask him something else that's been on your mind since today. This thing happens to be...

>The relationship between human and youkai
>Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo
>The industrial revolution and it's effect on youkai
>Your grandmother's youkai genes

Action?
>>No. 7223
>The industrial revolution and it's effect on youkai
I'm kinda tempted to go with >>Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo
but given the way Satoko's dad reacted when she told him about Souya...
So I guess I'll just go with this option instead.
>>No. 7224
[x]Your grandmother's youkai genes

Seems like poor Satoko is a bit fixated on her grandmother.
>>No. 7225
[x]The relationship between human and youkai
>>No. 7228
[x]Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo
>>No. 7229
[x]Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo
>>No. 7231
[x]The relationship between human and youkai

This is a major plot point you know.
>>No. 7244
[X]Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo

Exposition time.
>>No. 7247
[x] Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo
Hopefully a good oportunity to learn about him
>>No. 7249
>Your grandfather's influence on Gensokyo

"...say, Dad."

"Yeah, Satoko?"

"Grandfather...he was one of the leaders that brought the human and youkai together during the industrial revolution, right?"

"Mm, well, I wouldn't say leader..." You turn and look up at your daddy dearest. You finally feel the need to know.

"Yeah, of course, because he never appears in any of the history books at school or at the library. In fact, Gensokyo on a whole doesn't even recognize his existance, does it?"

"Oh come now, that isn't true-"

"Then where is his remembrance? Who in Gensokyo knows him for what he did? Is it just us, Dad...?" Having been backed into a corner, your father seems to realize he isn't getting out of this easily, and finds a chair to sit down in.

"What your grandfather did, my father, was very important to Gensokyo's unification. He was one of the living proofs that human and youkai could love one another would any serious consequences." You're still giving him a stern look. Something in the back of your head tells you that isn't necessarily the whole truth.

"Does such an ideal world exist?" Your father seems a bit stunned for a moment, hesitating a little to continue.

"...he wanted to believe so. He tried to make it happen. In a way, he did."

"Then...why is it that I hardly ever see any youkai at my school?" Your father chuckles a bit, seemingly amused by this observation.

"Think about it, Satoko. If he hadn't did what he had done, then would you see any at all?"

"Well...maybe..." You don't like showing signs of backing down. Because your father likes to take any chance he gets to evade any less then happy situation and immediately put away such conversation. This time, however, he keeps to it. Probably because it's about your grandfather.

"He doesn't appear in any textbooks or stuff like that because he simply didn't want to recognized. Sure, he worked hard to bring human and youkai together, but seeing the results without being known for it was good enough for him."

"But...who doesn't want to be recognized? If I had done something so important, I would want to be recognized for it!" Your father chuckles again and this time, rubs your head a little playfully, getting up out of the chair.

"Hahaha, you know Satoko, you're pretty mature for your age, but you still have a lot to learn. I'll tell you more when you get older, how's that?" You can practically hear your own teeth gritting from the outside. You really don't want to hear that kind of stupid talk.

"Why can't you tell me now?! I have a lot to learn but can't you just teach me that now and get it over with?!"

"There's a time and place for everything, Satoko. The way your grandparents met taught me this. Like Alice always said, there are no coincidences in this world, only necessities."

"Wh-...What's that supposed to mean? What does that have to do with anything?" Your father gives you a smile, that you know means well, but you can't help but view it as sly, smug and all around punchable, even if he is your dad.

"It means that when it's necessary, I'll tell you more. But don't worry, none of what I've already told you about him was a lie. You have my honest word on that."

"..." You feel you can believe it. Yet, you feel unsatisfied with just that. You stand there in silence as your father approaches the door.

"You have a good night, alright Satoko? I have to wake up early, so-"

"Grandfather." You interrupt your father briefly, lost in your own thoughts. You look back up at him, trying to make sense of the swirling emotions in your chest. "He became youkai for grandmother and ended up helping the revolution...but what if grandmother became human? Would he have lived long enough for it? Who would have taken his place? What would Gensokyo be like if he weren't there...?" Your father stares at you for a few moments. He then looks down at the floor in front of himself, thinking. It's a rare sight to behold, for your father to be deep in thought. He does, however, come up with an answer eventually.

"I can't tell you the answer to those questions, Satoko. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't live in that world. I know the kind of influence he's had on the land, but not enough to know what kind of world we'd be living in if not for him." He then chuckles, and goes back to his happy, smiling demeanor. "Although, we wouldn't even be living if not for him~ Have sweet dreams, okay Satoko?"

"Y-...Yeah."

For some reason, you just didn't have the heart to stop him and ask him further. You think you kinda blew it at mentioning your grandfather's potential death. Yeah, of course, if he stayed human...he wouldn't still be alive right now. Hell, you might not be alive. Your father might not be alive. If he were, it would be in a much different time. Meaning that even if you were born, you would be born under a different mother. As your father exits the room, you continue thinking of these things, how much influence your grandfather had, not only on Gensokyo, but on the timeline in whole...if he had stayed human, what would have happened? Maybe it's a prospect too scary to think about at such a young age...

---

Sirens are blaring.

Tengu run to and fro in a wild frenzy.

The sound of panting.

A tall fence.

A frantic scramble, searching for an escaped prisoner.

A futile search, as you've already landed on the other side of the fence.

It's in middle of the night, and after being beaten by your superiors, made fun of by your peers and ultimately reminded of your mother's death, you had enough. You couldn't sleep. Only one thing was on your mind.

Freedom.

You rush through the dark streets of Risou, uncaring of any danger that might be lurking. Certainly no more danger then what you just escaped from. You had to bust a few heads, take a few close shaves and abandon quite a lot, but you don't care anymore...anything if better then this. You're done. You're through. It's over. You've had enough. You know they are still right on your tail though, so you keep your mad sprint up. Even if they don't know where you are, the eyes of the tengu are fast and wide, all it would take is a single moment of stillness for them to be all over you like a crude dog pile. You don't lower your speed, not even for a split second, despite the time being during the deadest of night. Dark corners everywhere, and yet your enhanced vision allows you to deftly maneuver around all obstacles and avoid any danger.

You know where it is you must go. Before now, one of the major reasons why you never escaped was because you had nowhere to run. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. It's different now. Although you don't want to burden anyone, although you don't want to get anyone mixed up in this, although you don't want to get punished...you have to do it. Just this once. You don't want to be a tengu anymore. You don't want to be a youkai anymore. You don't want to be different, just...normal. You want to be among the crowds and enjoy a normal life with normal people. You don't want to be some mindless soldier trained for excellence. You don't care about that anymore...the feeling of socializing was just too great for you and now you've cracked.

You have successfully escaped the White Wolf Tengu Boot Camp.

You give yourself some time to catch your breath upon reaching the residential area. You ran a long ways. Easily a few miles, nonstop. In such a short time, too. You think you might've lost them, however. Between all the tightly knit buildings and darkness, you think you have a good chance of hiding out here. Not that you'd want to live out on the streets. You'd definitely be caught in no time then. But you have a plan. It's not a very reliable one, but...you've come this far now. You can't go back now. Looking back is not an option after what you just did. If they caught you now, it'd be execution for sure. Your life rides on this now...you, of course, deeply regret making such a foolish decision, but there's nothing you can do about it now. This should be the spot.

You look up after finding your way around a couple blocks. Just in time to see a light turn off in one of the upper floors through the window. Shoot, are you too late? No matter, this must be the place...you remember it so vividly, despite the waning lighting at the time. You can't just walk in though...not like you know the layout of the building very well anyways. You don't have much of a choice. You approach the wall, and start swiftly climbing it. Stepping on a few window sills, gripping onto a few holds, trying your best not to make a sound, and you succeed for the most part. After an adventurous climb, you're right in front of the window to the room whose lights were turned off recently. She must still be awake...it was only less then a minute ago. However, you're losing your grip and if the window isn't opened soon, you're gonna take a very painful three story fall, if not more. So, quickly getting over your nervousness and fear, you knock gently on the window.

...and sure enough, in due time, it opens. Only just in time though, as you practically fall into the window and scare the poor girl inside by nearly tumbling onto her.

"Ugh! Ergh..." you sound as you try to reorient yourself. You can't see very well until you do, but you only barely catch a glimpse of your assailant as she proceeds to smother you with a pillow.

"You...!"

Well, you want to believe she recognizes you, even in the darkness, since otherwise, she wouldn't be so quiet about trying to suffocate you.

"Mmm! Mmmphhgghhh!!" You try your best to get through to her, but sound doesn't appear to work, so you just take the brute force approach and quite simply toss her off yourself. "Guh! C-Calm down, I--"

You find yourself frozen suddenly. Probably because you just laid eyes on your unfortunate display of not knowing your own strength. The poor girl's lower half is on her bed, with her upper half upside down hanging off it. Her frilly nightgown has ridden up and makes you briefly curse and yet priase your amazing sense of sight in the darkness, as it quite clearly reveals the tight fitting underwear hugging her hi-

Wait, this is absolutely despicable to think about! More importantly, there's something worse to worry about, as your attention quickly gravitates towards her face, slowly looking over at you with the mightiest killing intent you had ever felt.

Suddenly...

"Satoko? Are you okay?"

Uh oh. An unknown voice calls out from outside the room. It's from a distance, so you're not in any immediate danger, but not for very long. It was an adult voice, making things even worse. Her parents? Oh man, what sort of retarded mess have you gotten yourself into this time? Quick! Do something!

>Back out the window!
>Scurry under the bed
>Into the closet
>Pray

Action?
>>No. 7250
>Into the closet

Let the innocent little girl takes the blame for this. Because you're an evil tengu.
Mwahahahahaha!
>>No. 7251
[x]Scurry under the bed
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hope for the best, I guess.
Also, nice, fast updates for a change.
>>No. 7252
[x]Scurry under the bed

What closet?
>>No. 7253
>Into the closet

oh shi-
>>No. 7254
[x] Pray
>>No. 7255
[x]Scurry under the bed
>>No. 7256
[x] You're boxed in! Jump out of the window
>>No. 7257
[x] Pray

Our unshakeable, unwavering faith that everything will turn out fine will make it so. Also, creepy.
>>No. 7258
[x]Scurry under the bed

DIVE
>>No. 7259
>Scurry under the bed

After hearing the adult voice from outside the door, you notice Satoko's poised herself up on the bed, possibly trying to think of what to do herself. What this means is that you now have a clear bee line towards the underside of her bed, and thanks to your quick thinking, this is the very first thing you do right after noticing it. You can hear the footsteps arriving very soon, so you waste no time in making an epic leap for the girl's bed. Thankfully, you don't misjudge your strength this time and successfully slide right under her bed, barely missing her hands trying to grab at you to possibly prevent any stupidity you might be attempting. But you feel this is the smartest thing to do, so under the bed you go. It's only a couple seconds after you're out of sight that the door is opened and the light is turned on.

"Satoko?" You hear the voice of an adult woman. Must be her mother. "Is everything okay in here?"

"Yes, mother. Just a spider that I saw."

"Those again? You need to learn to not be afraid, Satoko."

"I know, I know. Just go to bed, mom."

"Alright, good night Satoko."

"Good night, mom."

...

You see the light turning off. The door closes. Peace returns. That was close! Seems your hiding spot was all around perfect. No muss, no fuss.

Well, not until you see Satoko's demon-like eyes piercing your skull from outside the bed.

"Souya! So it [b]is[/i] you!" Satoko's raspy, loud whisper almost catches you off guard while you're trying to relax your already frayed nerves from the earlier scare. You briefly wonder how she could see you under the intensely dark bed but that should honestly be the least of your worries right now.

"I-I-I-I-I'm sorry!" You try to whisper back, but you're nearly hyperventilating at the pure fear you feel right now. It feels even worse then when you were back at boot camp. Women are frightening.

"Get out from under there!" Satoko demands that you relieve yourself from your hiding spot as she stands back. You suppose you don't have much of a choice now. You crawl out from under the bed, only to end up right on top of it soon after, with Satoko on top of you and strangling your throat like it was some tube of toothpaste she was trying to empty. This girl sure is forward and doesn't let the grass grow from under her feet!

"Ghhhkkkaaagghh--" You're not able to make much of a sound this time, unlike with the pillow. This girl is strong, you can quickly feel all oxygen leaving your body in a quick hurry as your throat is veritably crushed. You know this won't kill you, but given long enough, it just might.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you right now..." The demon child on top of you has so much killing intent that it's driving you bonkers. Grasping at the sheets, all you can do is mouth some panicky words that don't really make any sense. You're starting to think that this might really be it until your eyes start releasing tears from the sheer amount of pain and agony you're beginning to feel from your body giving up. It's only then that Satoko finally releases her grip on your throat and stands back, allowing you to land onto the floor before her on your knees, coughing, gasping, wheezing in a very deathly manner. You could swear you really were about to kick the bucket there suddenly. You throat hurts like hell now. But, despite this, you need to get your word out. You need to explain. You downright deserve any sort of punishment this little girl has for you, but based on the fact that she didn't tell her mother about you, it can't be as bad as what the tengu has in store for you.

"Gh... gugh, ergh, mrrmmgghh..." You try to speak, but no words come out. Your throat doesn't comply. The small hands of Satoko really laid into it. After a few seconds though, you manage something. "T-Tengu... running... please..."

"Running? That's not good enough..." You feel the killing intent welling up again and intercept Satoko's hands reaching for your wounded neck once more, forcing your back into the side of the bed with your hands pushing on the little girl's wrists in a desperate plea to keep her from ending your life rather prematurely.

"N-No! Please... geghk... hurk..." Your throat's still recovering. But you know you can't keep Satoko at bay for a while longer while it does so. But how long she intends on staying like this is another matter. You gotta get some words out. "I'm running... aegh... tengu... no more, please..."

Gradually, you feel the force Satoko is pressing onto you fade away. You hope you finally did it. You're still concentrating on your miserable throat, so you can't really see well. But Satoko seems to get off you.

"Fine. I'll let you get yourself back together. After that, you tell me everything, got it?"

You give a quick nod, and start finally getting your bearings back together. What a rough night...

---

You're sitting down on a chair. Souya, before you, is sitting on his knees on the floor. You're certain this is compromising for you, somewhat. But you don't care. The way you have your legs and arms crossed looking down at the boy condescendingly. It's almost surreal, you were afraid this boy might try and take advantage of you. Oh how the tables have turned.

His story though, you can't help but believe it. It's very weird. You have a hard time imagining the tengu being as slave driven as he describes it to be, and yet... the thought of him escaping the tengu camp to be with someone... it's oddly familiar. For some strange reason, you can relate to it. You can't necessarily put your finger on how, but it must have something to do with your grandparents. They were the ones involved with youkai, such as this boy here. You feel the need to help him now though, even though you honestly really don't want to. The urge to give him a hand is too great for you, however, particularly since, by being a youkai, he already nips at the heels of one of your many weaknesses. Weaknesses you don't like to show, so you'll have to get him back for this someday.

"So now you're running away and need a place to stay," you tell him at the end of his lengthy explanation. He certainly liked emphasizing just how brutal his superiors were, which makes you doubt the veritability of his claims.

"Y-Yes... I know it's sudden and too much to ask for, but... I can't do it, I just can't stand them anymore." You give a great big sigh, what are you to do with this boy? He can't stay here. But you also can't leave him. Even in the dark, you can see him looking up, into your eyes with the utmost plea for help. Like this boy will die if you don't help him. He probably will too, if his claims about the tengu are to be believed.

"Well you can't stay here. What would my parents think?"

"Isn't there someplace? Please, I beg of you, I will do anything, anything you want..."

"...anything?"

My oh my, the tables have turned in such a spectacular fashion that you have to resist taking advantage of the poor boy yourself.

"Yes! Absolutely anything your heart could desire, I will get it for you, so long as you help me escape the tengu!"

Actually, you think you will.

"Hmm... alright then. You have yourself a deal. If being a slave to the tengu is bad enough that you'd rather become a slave to a little girl like me, then I'll just have to do my part then, huh?" You uncross your legs and stand up out of the chair, walking towards your dresser. "Still though, you can't stay here. But I know a few places that you could..."

"Really?" The boy almost excited exclaims when you mention this. You're afraid he might wake up your parents if he were even a touch louder. "Thank you, thank you so, so, so very much, you really don't know how much this means t-"

"Shut up and turn around," you tell the boy after picking out some dark clothes. The wolf seems to actually blush a bit and does so quite nervously. You think you can trust him...well, trust him to bend over backwards for you, for all this. Which is all you could ever ask for.

"So...where are we going?" Souya asks you as finish up getting ready to go out. It's the dead of night and you want to be as unnoticeable as possible. Walking around Risou under such darkness as a human is quite possibly the most dangerous thing you could ever do. Death by grue is one of the most common night time deaths in the city, so you need to prepare accordingly.

"Well, we're going out first of all. You have to protect me in case anything bad happens, okay?" Souya then gives you a goofy salute, even though you're positive he means it seriously.

"You have my word! Not a thing will touch you, Satoko!" How admirable.

"Great. Now then, as for a place for you to stay..."

>You Aunt lives alone and is quite understanding
>Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow
>Maybe you can reason with Keine in someway

Action? >_
>>No. 7260
>You Aunt lives alone and is quite understanding
>>No. 7261
[x]Your Aunt lives alone and is quite understanding
Why not?
>>No. 7262
[x]You Aunt lives alone and is quite understanding

I think Keine would be out as they'd go about asking her if she seen him. But Alice would be a decent alternative if this fails.

But I wonder what the truth is behind Satoshi and Rin's disappearance and Momiji's death. At least with the latter, I smell foul play.
>>No. 7263
[X]Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow
>>No. 7264
[x] Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow
>>No. 7265
God I just noticed the typo in the choices god I hate myself god god god

It figures that all the proof readers in the world wouldn't stop me from making a stupid mistake in the choices of all things.
>>No. 7266
[x] Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow
>>No. 7267
[x] Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow
>>No. 7268
[x]You Aunt lives alone and is quite understanding

Her aunt could probably help Souya blend in more.
>>No. 7274
[x]Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow

Not sure your aunt would take it too well to be honest
>>No. 7277
>>7274
I think she might as she's a particularly free spirit compared to Satoko's parents. She might also know more about underlying situation.
>>No. 7456
File 131146713223.jpg - (526.44KB, 2000x1956, 57e128a92516eb81a5639a566ca6dee0.jpg) [iqdb]
7456
>Surely, Alice could relate to this somehow

"Alright. I think I have a good idea."

"Really? Where?" You put up a finger to the wolf boy.

"Patience, grasshopper. You'll see when we arrive." In an almost adorable fashion, the tengu's ears droop in a submissive manner.

"A-Alright then...I'll wait."

This is one of the reasons why humanoids should never be allowed to have animal ears and tails like this. It's a crime to make someone this cute. You almost want to vomit.

The two of you make out of the apartment building with little fuss. For all his nervousness, Souya appears to be very decent at stealth. Luckily, so are you.

"Where do we go?" Souya asks you in a whisper as you try to look around. Ugh...the street lamps are all dead here. You never noticed before, but it truly is dark on the street you live in right now. Like, really, really dark. You can still see in your room with the lights off but this is something else.

"Uhh...you know the way to the street the Hakurei Shrine is on, right? It's somewhere along there." Despite the teeming darkness, you can see Souya's smile trying to give you confidence.

"Of course. I'll get you there safe and sound, don't worry. You can count on me." With that, he takes your hand and starts leading you through the darkness. For you, it's more like stumbling, but it quickly becomes apparent that this pup knows his way around. He's definitely not new, like he said...was the whole time you spent at Myouren Street an act? He's surely been around there more then once if he's so familiar with even the residential area of the city.

...if he's that good an actor, then maybe it would do you some good to still stay on your toes around him. You're suddenly not too sure of yourself once more.

Shockingly, even at this time of night, the lights in Alice's shop are still on and running. The street lamps on this street at least are still working properly, so you've had proper time to calm down and not worry about stealthiness...and worry more about keeping your hands from Souya's. You couldn't tell how many times your heart jumped each time he pulled your hand into an alleyway. You're just a human, you're not ready to be dominated by a youkai just yet! At least this way you have some vague chance of fending him off. At least with a fight.

Either way, the two of you stand before Alice's door. It's do or die time now, you guess. If Alice's lights are still on, then she herself must still be awake. With a bit of a gulp, you knock on the door. You can't see Alice from the windows, so she must be in the back room, probably sewing up some dolls or dresses. Boy you can just imagine the look on her face when you explain this to her...

---

"...and that's the story, Alice."

Satoko had so many problems properly explaining things to this...Alice woman. You don't blame her. She's intimidating. This is who you'll be staying with...?

You were somewhat mesmerized by her simple beauty when she opened the door in surprise to see Satoko there. After letting the two of you inside, Satoko begun telling the tale of what happened this night. The two of you have been standing in the backroom since, both taking turns more or less. You're not sure how Satoko feels about all this, but one thing's clear; Alice is not amused.

"Do you realize how reckless and irresponsible this is?"

"Yeah, but..."

"But? Satoko, as much as I would like to help, this isn't any of our business. I don't want to be in danger from the tengu myself, and I definitely don't want you to be in danger either."

"It'll be fine! As long as we're careful about it, right?" Satoko looks towards you, shooting a stern glare, causing you to nearly jump and look back at Alice.

"Y-Yes! I'll do whatever it takes to keep the tengu from noticing me!" You shake your head a bit, and try to gather back your bearings from being with two highly intimidating females. Man, you thought you the guys back at camp were scary. "Even if I'm caught, I'll plead that you were innocent, that is a promise." Alice seems to study you with her eyes briefly, as if to assure that you're telling the truth, before looking back at Satoko.

"So then Satoko, what does he mean to you?" You look over to the girl beside you just in time to witness her blinking a bit, seemingly caught off guard.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"You wouldn't go to such great lengths for some stranger you didn't know, especially a youkai." Satoko seems to look away from you after hearing this. You can't gauge her expression, but she seems almost embarrassed.

"...he's just the first youkai my age that really paid attention to me." Satoko looks back over at Alice, struggling a bit to keep a straight face. "You're really the only youkai I'm friends with and..."

"You want to learn more about them now, is that it?" Satoko silently nods, looking up at her friend with a bit of a determined look on her face.

You were never really sure what Satoko thought about you up until now. It really relieves you to know that she does actually think of you that way.

"...alright. You're so much like your grandfather, Satoko. I think even if I said no, you'd find some way to get what you want anyway." Alice stands up, she has a light smile on her face now...it's much more comforting then the stern look she was giving earlier. "Do you need help back home?" You quickly interject in hopes of appealing to your new caretaker.

"I'll walk her back! Since I know my way here now, I can come back by myself."

"I see, well, at least you're loyal, just like the rest of the wolf tengu."

A while later, you're walking beside Satoko through the streets of Risou again. Satoko kept her goodbyes short and her thanks you long, while you're certain you're going to be doing more then enough of the latter when you get back. While walking Satoko back though, you can't help but ask...

"Say...Satoko?"

"Yeah?"

"Am...am I really your friend?" Even in the darkness, you can tell the girl is rolling her eyes.

"Don't be silly, you're my slave. I just said that to convince Alice to let you stay with her."

"R-...Right. Sorry I asked."

Well, at least she doesn't kick you in the ribs...not yet anyways.

>Ask what she intends on doing with you
>Ask about what Alice is like
>Ask more about herself
>Stay silent

Action? >_
>>No. 7457
[x]Ask what she intends on doing with you
Said in the right way, this will be perfect.
>>No. 7458
[x]Ask what she intends on doing with you

I can see it unfolding now, and i'm not sure if I want it or not.
>>No. 7459
[x]Ask what she intends on doing with you
>>No. 7460
[x]Ask what she intends on doing with you
...S&M?
>>No. 7461
[x]Stay silent

Slaves shouldn't speak without permission.
>>No. 7463
>Ask what she intends on doing with you

"So uh...I'm gonna be your...slave now, right?" Your attempt at conversation is a little odd by normal standards, but given the circumstances, this is the best you could come up with. Besides, you're curious about something.

"Yes, that's right." You breathe out a bit as Satoko confirms your situation. You don't like admitting being a slave to some girl, but it's bound to be better then the abuse you take at camp.

"So then...what kinda stuff are you gonna make me do?" Satoko suddenly stops and looks at you a bit curiously.

"What kinda stuff? What do you mean?"

"Well I mean...what kind of slave things will I be doing?"

"Wh-...What kind of question is that?" Satoko seriously seems baffled by your query, she looks at you like you're either crazy, or dumb. Possibly both.

"W-Well there's all kinds of slave things to do, like cooking food, tidying up, even...even washing you if you really wanted..." You're avoiding her gaze as you say that, but you don't have to look at her to know that she's glaring at you with an unamused look on her face as she scoffs.

"Pff, you got a good enough look at me when you barged into my room while I was trying to sleep. That's about all you're getting."

You'll admit to not knowing much about girls, at all. They didn't teach you anything in camp, and females of your race were always completely separated from the males, for some reason. All you really knew was random things that other tengu, particularly Aya, knew. Which wasn't much, unfortunately. You would be lying, however, if you said you weren't attracted to Satoko at least a little. You guess this is just natural however, Satoko being the first female that you've ever actually interacted with for longer then 5 minutes.

Oh mother, why couldn't you be there to help?

"I-I'm sorry, it wasn't really a suggestion, just an example..."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'll tell you when I actually need you though, how's that?"

"I guess...I mean, if I'm not living with you, then obviously I'm only your slave when you're around, right?" Satoko shoves a finger in your face with a stern expression.

"Wrong! Since you're living with Alice, you still gotta do your part. She wouldn't normally let just anyone room with her for free, you know." Satoko then crosses her arms looking at you. "So while I'm not around and you're at Alice's, you will follow her every command. That's my first order to you, slave. Got it?"

"...y-yeah, of course."

You won't argue with her. You wouldn't, it only makes sense. You would do it even if she didn't ask. You owe a lot to Alice for helping you escape from the tengu and stay undercover from them. But you kinda wish she didn't have to be condescending about it. What about this talk being her only youkai friend and all? You guess it really was a bunch of phony lies...

"In any case, whenever I come for you, you have to do absolutely everything I say. I don't know what I'm gonna have you do but I will when I need you to do something, okay?"

"Yeah, alright. It has to be anything too...right?"

"Right! If you're really good I might reward you..."

Your ears perk up. Your tail starts wagging. Your expression lifts and lightens. You can't help it. This all began with that muffin she gave you. The feeling you had at being 'rewarded' like that...it was unreal, an experience unlike anything you ever felt before. The tengu superiors at camp were brutal and merciless, never rewarding anyone, even those of absolutely exceptional quality. The thought that Satoko might reward you again like last time...it's a pull that you simply cannot resist.

"...I-I'll do my best! Wolf's honor!" Satoko gives you a slight smile from your eager response.

"Then we won't run into any problems. Let's go."

That smile she gave you when she saw your absolute loyalty...that's a sign, a good sign, you feel. Things could be looking up...

---

Ugh...another morning, another struggle to get up. It never changes.

The day starts out as normal. Normal for any school day recently, anyways. The school that you go to introduced a dress code about seven years ago, along the same time they split the school into two different buildings. Risou Elementary and Risou High. When you graduated into High at the age of 13, you started wearing the uniforms that High was enforcing. Supposedly they take inspiration from the dress code of the outside world, thanks to a couple tailors that originated from there. The deep, navy blue outfit with knee length skirts and red neck cloth is certainly something else though. It reminds you of sailors...

After getting dressed and heading downstairs, you see your family has already started breakfast without you. The nerve! Well, you know exactly what's coming the moment you sit down...

"Satoko slept in again~!" Yep, your baby brother just has to point it out every single time.

"Shut up Kouhei." Your father points out your behavior, despite talking with his mouth full.

"That's not a nice thing to say to your brother, Satoko." Right on cue though, your mother retaliates.

"Nor is talking with your mouth full, honey."

"Oh come on, I was almost done."

Yep, this is your family. A family that you love. A family that you...are honestly afraid of losing. You don't want your parents to end up like your grandparents...who knows where they are. But unlike your grandmother, your own mother isn't a youkai, so maybe you're worrying incessantly about trivial things.

You still can't take your mind off it though. The subject of youkai. Souya has brought to your attention that youkai are like humans in many ways, and yet, they try to separate themselves from humans at every chance they get. You wonder how Risou even survives as a city where humans and youkai coexist now...you don't even see all that many youkai in school, for one. You wonder just what the truth behind this city really is now, if Souya's words about the tengu are to be believed.

There's one way to start though.

"Hey, Kouhei." You look over to your little brother and briefly interrupt his breakfast to ask an important question.

"Huh? Yeah sis?"

"Are there any youkai in your class?" Your brother blinks a bit, curious as to why you'd ask something like that. You'd be curious too, you guess.

"Yeah, I guess...only two though. They're both fairies too so they're always being bad."

"What about the rest of the school?"

"There's a lot...why?"

"Just wondering..."

You resume eating after it becomes apparent that Kouhei isn't gonna say anymore. Maybe you'd be better off asking Raimu. One thing's for sure though, you're a lot more interested then you were a week ago...

After heading out and bidding farewell to your family, you start on your way to school. It's actually quite a pleasant day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the clouds aren't numerous but they also aren't nonexistent. The breeze feels good and the temperature feels just right. Today's a wonderful day!

...that just means something's going to go disastrously wrong later though.

The more you walk the more worried you get. Something's gonna happen. You're going to get pulled down an alley by some big youkai and raped inside out, you bet. Or brutally run over in a huge machine accident. Or something huge and heavy will fall from the sky and crush you. Ugh! This is nerve wracking! Something's going to happen!

...maybe, not to you. You stop yourself as you look down the street Alice's shop is on. It's a good walk down. But...

No. It couldn't be. Souya's fine. So is Alice. You're certain. Nothing could go wrong, right?

...

Ugh. You already woke up late. If you don't hurry to school now, you'll miss the bell. You've been tardy enough times. Another mark would just send the teachers into a fit. You don't need bad grades after getting this far, simply because you worried too much. Checking up on Souya would take too much time. And yet...

>Something happened. You need to check on them.
>They should be fine. School is more important.

Action? >_
>>No. 7464
[x]They should be fine. School is more important.

Don't they have a word for when a girl falls in love with her creepy stalker? Anyways, let's avoid that.
>>No. 7465
[x] Something happened. You need to check on them.

Unless our teacher is Keine, we can miss one day for something urgent.
>>No. 7466
[x]They should be fine. School is more important.
>>No. 7467
[x]Something happened. You need to check on them.

Ignoring the almighty MC-SENSE has never lead to anything good.
>>No. 7468
[X] They should be fine. School is more important.

She's just being paranoid. And really, if something has happened that Alice can't handle, what could Satoko possibly do?
>>No. 7469
[x]Something happened. You need to check on them.

My plot senses are tingling.
>>No. 7471
[x]Something happened. You need to check on them.

No harm in checking
>>No. 7473
[x] Something happened. You need to check on them.

A lack of youkai in school? Starting to sound like the great steps forward might have fallen short.
>>No. 7476
>Something happened. You need to check on them.

Gah! You can't shake this feeling! It's hopeless, you need to check on the boy. He can't be trusted alone. I mean, clearly the tengu couldn't trust him to be alone, so why would you...?

You make a little detour off to the side and head towards Alice's shop in a hasty hurry. You don't even bother jogging; you downright sprint towards her place. You can really feel your skirt flapping in the wind as you dodge various people walking up and down the street trying to get to the shop as quickly as possible. You can't spend a single moment not tending to this idiot and his shenanigans. You know something's up!

When you get there, you stop after opening the door and rushing inside quickly. Looking around, nothing appears to be wrong. Seems your fears were unfounded. Yep, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary here...except for the fact that PART OF THE STORE IS ON FIRE.

"S-Satoko! Thi-"

"What the fuck are you doing?!"

You made sure everyone within a five mile radius could hear one of the wonderful words you learned from the particularly bad bunch at school. You couldn't help it. You just needed to let it out. Just how utterly angry you are right now. The world couldn't hope to contain the frothing rage that you are displaying as of this very moment.

...

It's over. With Souya's help, you put out the fire. Only a few dolls were lost. Well...half a shelf worth. Oh, Alice won't be pleased...

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

The little wolf boy at your feet is grovelling pretty hard. Genuflecting like his life depends on it. Although, given the circumstances, it probably does.

Apparently Alice had to leave for a bit and let Souya tend to the store. She also left a magic stone...that he had the misfortune of picking up off it's metal stand and fumbling about with it when he realized it was extremely hot. Of course, this meant it slipped out of his fingers and onto the very flammable fabric of Alice's poor dolls. All this work...you wonder how he's going to get out of this. Surely, not without your help. Which probably explains why he's apologizing so fervently. You hope he's really sorry anyways. He's gonna need all the sorry in the world to make up for this blunder.

"You realize what you've done, right?"

"Yes! Of course! Please forgive me my master for I have sinned! I will never do anything so stupid ever again! That is a heartfelt promise I will stake my life on! Just please forgive me just this once for such a hideous mistake! Please! Please!!"

...you gotta admit, being called master has a nice ring to it. You might get addicted.

"Well, as much as I would like to help...a certain slave of mine caused very irreparable damage..."

"Ahh! No! Please! The tengu will kill me! They'll slaughter me! I will never know what it means to not be in pain if they get a hold of me!"

"Really? Well, sad as it might sound, I doubt Alice will hide you from the tengu after this..." As you're looking about the damage caused, you feel two hands laid upon your shoulders suddenly. You're about to look at Souya in pure fright that he's totally lost it and decided everything's screwed anyway. But instead, he's looking at you with an absolutely decisive look.

"If I can't be saved, then I want you to kill me before the tengu do."

...okay, no, that's just creepy.

"G-Get off. Alright, alright, I'll help, okay? Just...don't do that again."

---

Whew. What a way to start the day. You spent last night getting no sleep because you were too nervous to catch a single wink, then you spent most of the morning that Alice was awake trying to get to know her better. Alice was surprisingly open and interested in your story. A lot different from how she was last night. You particularly caught her interest with your mother, apparently. But she wouldn't tell you why, nor did she allow you to speak of her to anyone else, not even Satoko. It's just as well, your mother was probably some evil criminal or something. What the hell is wrong with this world?

Although, for how caring and open Alice seemed earlier, you doubt she would resume being so understanding after learning you nearly burned her shop down...

"How much longer until Alice gets back?" You've been trying to think of a way to hide this from Alice together with Satoko for a while now, but...you're coming up with nothing. But at least you stopped panicking.

"Uhm...I think a half an hour from now."

"Well...we threw away all the crispy dolls...but what are you going to tell her when she gets back?"

"I don't know..." You're really worried about this. You went through all the trouble of escaping the camp, appealing to Satoko and warming up to Alice, and for what? She's probably going to turn you in if you don't think of something. "Can't we just say all the dolls sold out?"

"You stupid. She's going to check for the money that she would've got from them. Those dolls were worth a fortune."

"Nngh..." You're...really worried. You need a way out of this, stat.

>Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?
>Blame it on someone else, always works.
>You're just gonna have to run away again...
>Plead with Satoko for her help
>>No. 7477
[x] Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?

It's time to beat ass and play dolls. And we're all out of dolls.
>>No. 7478
[x]Plead with Satoko for her help
I admit I have less than pure reasons for choosing this option. I'm very sorry.
>>No. 7479
>>7478

I admit having less then pure thoughts about the two protagonists in this very story myself, so you're excused.
>>No. 7480
[x] You're just gonna have to run away again...
>>No. 7481
[x] Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?
[x]Plead with Satoko for her help.

...Why not both?
>>No. 7482
[x]Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?
[x]Plead with Satoko for her help.
>>No. 7483
[X] Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?

They say it's the best policy.

>She also left a magic stone...that he had the misfortune of picking up off it's metal stand and fumbling about with it when he realized it was extremely hot. Of course, this meant it slipped out of his fingers and onto the very flammable fabric of Alice's poor dolls.
Souya, why are you a complete klutz? What happened to the tengu that kept a bull youkai from beating the crap out of Satoko? Was that a fluke?
>>No. 7484
[x] Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?
[x] Plead with Satoko for her help.
>>No. 7485
>Be honest with her...maybe she'll understand?

"..."

"Souya?"

"I...I don't have a choice. I have to tell her the truth...that I did it." Even with your head hung low in disappointment over yourself, you can see Satoko trying to look at you like you're crazy.

"What?! She'll kill you! There's no way-"

"No. S-She'll understand. I know I've only known her for a day but...she was so...understanding of me. I'm sure she can understand that this was a mistake..."

"..."

Satoko seems to withdraw after realizing you're dead set on this. It's your only path really. You just hope it isn't laced with what you fear it might be...

...

"So...that's what happened, is it?"

You're on your knees, head hung low, a position you seem to find yourself in very often now. Satoko is behind you. You're a little hurt, she hasn't helped you the least bit. She's done absolutely nothing to really defend you. It almost feels as if she wants you to be kicked out and found by the tengu. You guess you can't blame her...it was nice while it lasted you guess...

"Yes Ma'am...I know I could never be forgiven for such a stupid mistake..."

"You're right. Those dolls were not only really expensive but they took me years to make too. Do you know how much I've lost?" You can't help but wince even thinking about it. It churns your stomach so much that you feel like you're going to vomit just knowing you've destroy such priceless items so moronically. But then, Satoko's voice coming from behind you surprises you suddenly.

"Just forgive him, please..." You're too stunned that Satoko would say such a thing to actually look and watch the conversation between her and Alice unfold.

"Oh? Why should I?"

"Just please! I mean, he's already resigned himself to death if he can't stay here, I just...I can't..."

"You can't what? What does he mean to you, Satoko?" What's said next by the girl behind you shocks you most of all, you feel.

"Absolutely nothing." You can really feel a deep, sinking feeling in your heart after hearing that. You're really nothing but a waste of space, aren't you? "But if he died, then it'd feel like it was my fault. Because I couldn't save him."

"Even though it was his fault that he ran away in the first place?" Arrow after arrow seems intent on piercing your heart throughout this conversation. Maybe you should have stayed with the tengu.

"It's not right what they're doing there though. What if the schools were teaching me and the others that way?"

"There's a difference between you and this boy, Satoko. You're a human. He's a youkai."

"..."

That difference. That difference is what separates you from Satoko.

It's the key reason why you should have never come to her in the first place.

---

The school bell rings.

Class is over.

You can't tear yourself away from your desk though.

This ongoing war between humans and youkai...just how long has it really been going on? Can they not truly coexist in peace? Isn't...isn't that what your grandparents did?

You don't understand anymore. It was because of your grandparents that made you think...everything in this world was just fine. Peachy keen. That humans and youkai were the same. But now that you're growing older, now that you have Souya to worry about...it isn't as fine and dandy as you once thought it was. You knew your grandparents had many hardships to come together but...you thought those hardships were over. But no, they're still going...

Maybe...maybe that's why they had to leave your father and his sister. There was just too much controversy behind their love...

Souya was forgiven by Alice. Your spur of the moment outburst towards her was actually unnecessary, as she was going to let it slide regardless. You were so embarrassed to say something like that. But it did teach you something. That humans and youkai in this world today are still as different as they were ages ago. So why? Why is the world so different? Why does it teach you that they are coexisting properly when, deep down, they really aren't? This world is a lot more frightening then you took it for...you want to get to the bottom of this. What happened to your grandparents? What does Alice know that your parents don't? How much of what you're being told is really the truth?

You feel you're old enough now to know these kinds of things, dammit. You may be fourteen, but you refuse to believe you're 'just a kid' anymore. That needs to end. Right now.

You walk out of the modest school gates and onto the street. Risou High is still small and in development, but it has many students already. The population is bustling, Risou is truly a paradise...at first glance. Just how many of this city's population is made up of humans? What about youkai? You see many on the streets, but...is it all a ruse? Just an illusion? You...you need to find out now. If only...if only because...you feel it leads to what happened to your grandparents. Your grandparents are behind all of Risou's ongoing struggle between humans and youkai, you feel. There can only be one solution. You need to find it. It's not going to be easy...first, you need a place to start your investigation. The search for truth begins now.

>The Hakurei Clan knows something
>You'll find answers at the Youkai Faction Headquarters
>Alice is obviously hiding things from you
>Question the source; Saint Hijiri

Action? >_
>>No. 7486
>Question the source; Saint Hijiri
>>No. 7487
[X] Question the source; Saint Hijiri

If Satoshi and Orin really did work to bring humans and youkai together, then Byakuren would likely know what they did. She's a first-hand source, while the Hakureis and the Youkai Faction would be second-hand. Alice is the only other first-hand source, but she may decide Satoko is not ready to learn about this yet.
>>No. 7488
[x]Alice is obviously hiding things from you
I'm cheating.
>>No. 7489
>The Hakurei Clan knows something
They always do.

>You'll find answers at the Youkai Faction Headquarters
And get a rant on how Youkai are better then humans? No thanks.

>Alice is obviously hiding things from you
We're 'not ready' yet.

>Question the source; Saint Hijiri
I dont understand this one, so excuse me if I seem idiotic, but i'm assuming somewhere off-camera between this story and Momizi's Visit, Byakuren helped out? It would make sense, and we can safely infer that, but the author didnt explicitly state it...

[x]The Hakurei Clan knows something

I'd rather not take the risk with Byakuren.
>>No. 7490
[x]You'll find answers at the Youkai Faction Headquarters

There is much to be gleamed from the ranting of a spurned faction. If everything isn't as peachy as would seem in this city, than a organization like this would be the first to rage about it.

This all seems like it could be in Satoko's head, so we should get confirmation before shooting our mouth off to loved ones. We're fourteen, so let's do our fucking homework before presenting our worries to others.
>>No. 7491
[x]You'll find answers at the Youkai Faction Headquarters.

I have the feeling whatever stuff is going on, it's being covered up from Hakurei and Byakuren's eyes.
>>No. 7560
File 131258792852.png - (628.27KB, 1000x885, 7eae32b613a5630410809c793912308f.png) [iqdb]
7560
>Question the source; Saint Hijiri

Yeah, that really does seem like the most logical place to start. Going off of school teachings alone, a certain Saint Hijiri is noted as being the one behind the human/youkai relationship as it stands now. At least, as it appears. You and possibly others know better then that. She wasn't the only one that lead the coexistence revolution, but even you can't deny that she was a major factor in it. So obviously, she would know everything about how it came to be, what kind of problems arose, and why this coexistence is far from perfect at this point. It's through Saint Hijiri that you would find out everything that happened that the schools won't teach you.

Unfortunately, Saint Hijiri transcended quite a while ago. The most communication you could do with her is sending up a prayer in front of her statue at Myouren Temple. However, she had an abundant amount of followers, including those that served close to her during her time constructing the bond between humans and youkai. If nothing else, they would know second best about Saint Hijiri's troubles in turning Risou into the supposed paradise that it is now. It might not be easy, but you think if you explained your situation to them, they would understand and tell you. This is important after all...you can't just sit by idly like your father and aunt do. You need to find out just what happened to your grandparents.

After walking down Myouren Street, you come to the center of it, that houses the immeasurable Myouren Temple. The temple has ballooned in size since it's inception, though it was already big to begin with, you hear, as it was first constructed out of a large ship. The building easily spans an entire block and takes up a decent portion of Myouren Street, being the central attraction. It almost looks like an old fashioned shrine at first glance, similar to the Hakurei or Moriya Shrines, but upon closer inspection, a lot of the same recreational stands and so forth plague the temple just as much as it does the rest of the street, making the temple itself more like the business area of the street itself, which, from what you've heard, is actually not too far from the truth.

It's things like this that make you think that maybe this isn't the most reliable resource anymore, but surely, someone who was with Saint Hijiri must still be here...

As you walk in, you notice that the interior does not match the exterior much. While this isn't your first time going into the temple, it's your first time trying to find someone alone within it. You would imagine that a close follower of Saint Hijiri would wear holy robes or something of that sort...but all you can see are people primarily primed for business, or those who are working like the people out on the street, for recreation. You wonder how many of these people actually follow Saint Hijiri's original goal...or how many of them actually know what Saint Hijiri is famous for. You guess a good a start as any is the help desk, though you have a personal vendetta against these kinds of kiosks for one good reason...

"Oh, hello there. Are you lost?"

"No, I'm looking for someone..."

"Don't worry, just tell me what your mommy and daddy look like and we'll try our best to find them right away, okay?"

Your diminutive size has foiled you yet again.

"I'm not looking for my parents! I need someone who knows about Saint Hijiri!" The representative behind the counter just looks at you a bit confused.

"Well there's plenty of people who know about Saint Hijiri, what did you want to know?"

"I wanna know what she did to make Risou what it is today."

"Hmm...well I'm sure rather then explaining it to you, it'd be easier if you went to local library and read up on it." You shake your head at the rep, this isn't what you want.

"No, I mean, I wanna know exactly what happened...anything that isn't recorded in the public books. Don't you know someone who was with her when this all happened?" The representative seems even more confused by this. But you've resigned yourself to thinking that they don't really know anything at this point.

"I'm afraid everyone who originally started with Myouren Temple is no longer around, it has been a long time. I'm sorry."

"I see...alright. Thanks anyway."

Walking out the temple, you feel a little stupid in thinking this would work. You know people that would know would be secretive about it...if they weren't, it wouldn't look all that good for Myouren Street's business, would it? You're starting to see the world for what it really is...while you've always felt that a lot of people working here were money grubbers, the whole street feels like nothing but a big corporate pyramid bent on sucking the money out of those who enter. It's a fun tourist attraction, but it's also a trap. No one here would really be able to relate to Saint Hijiri in any way, not when they're just cashing in on her popularity.

Still though, someone who was with her must still be around somewhere...a youkai or two, anyone. Youkai live a long time, right? It may have been decades and decades since she transcended, but surely, someone must still be around...you'll just have to continue combing the street on your own until you find someone.

---

"So you sew it like this?"

"Yes, precisely. You're a quick learner, Souya."

"Hahaha~ ...I try."

You're helping Alice recoup the losses from the sudden fire by taking up sewing and tailoring. It isn't as bad as you thought it would be. Being able to take up a hobby in general though after so long in the camp is probably why it feels so enlightening and fun. It's something you're doing on your own, to pass the time, or to have fun with, not something you're doing simply because you were told to do it. It's a choice you made on your own...something you rarely get to experience. You could get used to this 'freedom' thing. Maybe even addicted to it.

"How's this, Miss Alice?" Alice looks over at the dress you've just finished sewing onto one of the many dolls Alice has been producing herself right in front of you. She offers you a kind smile befitting a mature woman such as herself.

"That's very impressive. You've learned so much faster then all the people I've taught this to. You're very willing to learn too..."

"Thanks...Miss Aya told me that I got that from my mom. Apparently she was really adaptive too..."

"Was she? I don't know much about your mother but from what you've told me, she sounds nothing like the villain she's made out to be."

"I want to believe that too, but..."

"It's alright. It's the same way with Satoko and her grandparents, so you can relate to her to some extent. You two should look out for each other."

Something has struck you as odd at this moment. Alice told you never to mention your mother to anyone. Mainly because your mother, for all it's worth, is seen as a terrorist that attempted to break the social ground the tengu had built for themselves. You just can't bring yourself to believe that your mother would be so evil, but the hard truth is there; she had betrayed her own heritage to side together with a lowly human who opposed the tengu's way of life and threatened their standing. A crime amongst the tengu if there ever were one, that ultimately resulted in your current situation with them, being abused so heavily in camp all the time.

So what makes you any different from her? Here you are, betraying the tengu to run away with some little human girl who has low enough morals to make you her slave...

What strikes you as odd is that Alice seems completely fine with it. No, not just fine, it's almost as if she condones it. Is it because of Satoko? Does she actually know your mother and is just hiding it from you? You want answers...but you don't think you'll get any from her in particular. Still though, maybe you can get a bit of a start, and take advantage of this conversation to get that start.

"...her grandparents, huh? What were they like?"

"They were a human and a youkai. They fell in love with each other long before Risou came to be and it was during a time where such a love would be abolished by human and youkai alike. Sometime when Risou came to be, they had to leave, leaving their son and daughter behind. They were abandoned at such a young age...they still got somewhere though, otherwise Satoko wouldn't be here. But I don't think they will ever know why they had to abandon them." You blink a bit, watching Alice intently as you listen to her story.

"Do you know why?" Alice just closes her eyes, seemingly thinking back on it.

"I promised them I would never tell a living soul. I don't like going back on promises like that. Still though, the daughter feels very dejected about being abandoned, and I don't blame her. I feel a little betrayed myself...but Satoko, she and her father still believe so highly in them, despite what it looks like. I wish I could have that amount of optimism these days." You kind of feel bad now. Alice looks genuinely depressed about this. She knew Satoko's grandparents, but they betrayed her, very much how you and your mother betrayed the tengu...you wonder what happened, but it's none of your business. You probably shouldn't pry like this anymore. The answers you want are yours alone to find, and you shouldn't be bothering anyone else about them.

"Well...I'm sure you're just fine, Miss Alice. A-After all, if you weren't completely optimistic about me, I wouldn't still be here, right?" Alice just gives a quiet nod.

"You're right. Thank you, but I still have a long road ahead of me. A much longer one awaits you though, Souya, so don't stop worrying about yourself. You won't have it easy being on the run from the tengu all the time."

"Y-Yeah, I know..."

A couple hours later, you decide to risk it and step outside for a while. You have your ears and tail hidden by a hat and a special pair of pants Alice made for you. It's quite comfy actually, and it surprises you just how well Alice can tailor. You don't feel right being cooped up in the shop all the time though, and you need some air to breathe. Even in camp they let you outside for your daily exercise, even if it was a lot of slave driving. You think that as long as you're careful, you should be fine. Just in case though, you've brought your trusty sword given to you by Aya; a small falchion that your mother used to train with when she was young. Being a part of the guard service, the tengu let you keep and train with it, as all white wolves are expected to be skilled with weaponry anyhow.

You're certain that with this sword, you'll be safe, even if worst should come to worst. Your mother's protection is with you now.

>Time to visit Satoko
>The graveyard is waiting for you
>You should pay your respects to the Moriya Shrine
>Just wander about

Action? >_
>>No. 7562
[x] The graveyard is waiting for you
I really like this story, although its a bit slow and I dont see how its 'underground'. Unless, you know, PLOT TWIST EVERYTHING IS UNDERGROUND APETURE SCIENCE HURR.
>>No. 7564
[x] Time to visit Satoko

Now sure if we'd miss her or not if we choose this choice, but it's certainly suspicious that Shou or Murasa aren't around the temple.
>>No. 7565
[x] The graveyard is waiting for you
>>No. 7568
[x] The graveyard is waiting for you
>>No. 7581
File 131289568296.jpg - (8.98KB, 240x180, 14526366_240X180.jpg) [iqdb]
7581
>The graveyard is waiting for you

Yes. Of course. You don't get many chances to pay respects to your dearly departed mother so often. Being free now, you can do it as much as you want. Maybe it'll help make up for whatever crime it was that killed your mother, as you have a vague feeling it was related to you in some way. You decide not to dwell upon it so much however and get straight towards the graveyard. You're sure your mother would be delighted to see you so soon after your last visit. You also gotta tell her about your recent situation, and plead for some good luck. It could never hurt, right?

Well, that's what you would do. But upon arriving at her gravestone, you're met with an absolutely mortifying sight.

The grave is open. Her body is missing. She was robbed.

"U-Uh, e-e-excuse me," you try to say as you approach one of the working undertakers inside the management building. You're still shaken up, quite a lot, in fact you feel very unstable. "W-W-W-What h-happened to o-one of the g-g-graves?" The mortician looks rather confused before he suddenly realizes what's going on.

"Oh, cripes, is one of them empty?" You attempt to nod with as much composure as you can muster, although admittedly, it isn't very much. The undertaker however, just sighs. He looks like is a trivial matter to him. "Not again...it must be the work of some kasha at it again. I swear, we stopped puttin' stones on the coffins when Risou got it's name but after recently I'm afraid we might have to start doin' it again."

"W-...W-What?" You're not quite sure you understand. You're also not quite sure you're in the right stability to understand, however the mortician before you tries to reassure you.

"Hey, it's alright kid. Kasha are just these punks who steal the corpses of sinners and bring them to hell or whatever. I ain't saying whoever loved one's body that got thiefed is a sinner but they're in a better place now, eh?"

You're not sure you could honestly, whole heartedly agree with that statement.

You're not sure about a lot of things right now, to be quite frank.

After breaking away from the official and running back to your mother's looted grave, you can't help but stare into it's emptiness and start crying again. It's not because of sadness though. This time, it's anger that's welling up inside you. You don't know what your mother did, but even if she had sinned, she didn't deserve this. More over, you didn't deserve this. You may have escaped the tengu camp, but what is it worth without even the company of your mother's resting place? The more and more you think about it, the more angry you get, and more tears start to escape your eyes.

You swear, whoever took her, is going to suffer a horrible fate by your blade.

You swear by this on your honor as a white wolf.

---

Ugh. Morning. Again.

Ugh. School. Again.

Ugh. Emptiness. Again.

After returning home feeling discouraged, the rest of the next day passes by like a blur. You barely even remember all that had happened. You remember seeing Raimu on your way to school, but you kind of blew her off. You weren't feeling most spectacular. You still aren't, admittedly. Your head is a little light, your joints ache a little, and even though it's no where near that time of the month, your stomach is a little cramped. It's only a little. But it has the potential to be so much worse. You can really feel that potential welling up inside you. You need to do something about it.

As you leave the school grounds after classes end, you can feel the weight of this apparent illness starting to wear you down. What...ugh, what to do...

>It's because you keep worrying about Souya
>You might have neglected your aunt for too long
>Raimu could easily cheer you up, for sure
>Your lack of progress for the truth is the reason
>Ugh. Need. Bed. Nap. Now.

Action? >_
>>No. 7583
[x] Your lack of progress for the truth is the reason
>>No. 7585
[x]Ugh. Need. Bed. Nap. Now.

Sleeping is a magical cure-all. It fixes everything.
>>No. 7586
[x] Raimu could easily cheer you up, for sure

I think we shouldn't have gone to the graveyard as it might have set a tragic course of events into motion.
>>No. 7587
[x] Your lack of progress for the truth is the reason
That's enough bumbling around, eh?
>>No. 7588
[X] You might have neglected your aunt for too long

>Not again...it must be the work of some kasha at it again.
>You barely even remember all that had happened. [...] You weren't feeling most spectacular. You still aren't, admittedly.
Wild Ass Guess time: Satoko's now a werewolfkasha.
>>No. 7589
>>7588
That'd involve some genetic quirks as she's only 1/4 Kasha as her mother seems human.
>>No. 7590
File 131306707434.png - (180.42KB, 354x246, Untitled.png) [iqdb]
7590
>>7589
>>No. 7594
File 131323791683.jpg - (70.49KB, 400x300, bamboo-forest-sagano-kyoto-japan.jpg) [iqdb]
7594
>Your lack of progress for the truth is the reason

Yeah. Of course. That's what it is, yeah. That has to be it.

Right?

You keep telling yourself this as you attempt to shake off the intense illness that's onsetting. First thing's first, where you left off...that's right, searching for someone who knew Saint Hijiri. You heard most of her followers were originally youkai, because she preached human and youkai equality believing that youkai were oppressed, when it was humans who were actually oppressed at the time. It's a popular history lesson...but you can turn this to your advantage. If her original followers were youkai, then obviously, you could find them at...

"Youkai Faction Headquarters..."

You whisper softly to yourself as you stare the big central tower down. Mainly because you have a blinding headache. The more you think about it the worse it gets, so you needs to step forward with all your might. As you enter the massively tall building, the first thing you do is make a bee line for the reception desk. Really, you can't even pay much attention to your surroundings at the moment, so you don't feel like you have any choice.

"Hello, may I help you?" You think the girl behind the counter is...a canine youkai? You can't be bothered to check fully. You just need to get through this.

"Yeah, is there anyone that personally knew Saint Hijiri...?" You can't even keep your eyes open. It hurts to have light flood into them. So the most of the receptionist's reaction you can only gauge from her unsure voice.

"Saint Hijiri...not that I think is available right at this moment, I'm sorry." Ugh...dammit, this is going no where fast. "Ah, excuse me, but are you okay?"

"Yeah...I just...wish someone knew Saint Hijiri..."

"What's this about Lady Hijiri?"

Your eyes shoot open. The pain no longer matters. You just turn around to see the bearer of the voice you heard behind you. It's a tall woman with a military style hair cut and exercise clothes...as extremely short as her hair is however, you can tell there are stripes across it.

"W-Who're you...?"

"Shou Toramaru, head of the exercise and physical training youkai military, at your service." You think the woman makes a gesture that resembles a salute but...you can barely tell anymore. "What did you need ma'am?"

"I need...I...ugh..."

"Ma'am? Ma'am?!"

Your senses dim before shutting down completely. Everything becomes blank. You lose yourself in the cold darkness of whatever freak illness came over you. Before you know it, you've lost consciousness.

...

"Uhh...nngh..." These are the first noises you make upon regaining consciousness. It's not easy, but thankfully it still proves easier then waking up in the morning. The first sight to greet you is Shou's worried face.

"Oh, thank goodness...you're awake. I was about to call the hospital."

"Hos...pital...?" You try to grasp your surroundings. You haven't gone far. You're still in the tower. In fact, you've never even left the lobby apparently. You're sitting in one of the corners of the lobby in one of the awfully comfy chairs, with a glass table separating you and Shou. The youkai woman before you breathes a sigh of relief.

"Yes, I thought maybe you were ill but I guess you only fainted briefly. You weren't out for very long."

Your heart is racing. A thousand beats per minute, it feels like. Your body feels like it's vibrating violently, it's shaking so much. Although on closer inspection, you're not actually shaking. It just seems that way with your rampant heart. Oddly enough however, despite your heart feeling the absolute need to leap out of your chest, you feel fine otherwise. In fact you feel so much better then you did before. You can actually think clearly, for one. Your pain seems to have subsided. What a strange illness that befell you...came and left as sudden as a summer shower. You can't explain it, but that's not important right now you feel. You remember what the official before you told you before you went out like a light.

"Oh. Do you know Saint Hijiri?" With an unchanging face, Shou answers you quite simply.

"Yes, I do."

"Were you there when she actually around?" Shou gives you a short nod.

"Yes, I was."

"Could you tell me what happened with her?"

"No, I can't."

Ghhnn. The intense disappointment welling up inside you couldn't possibly be more vocal right now. But before you start thinking of ritual suicide, Shou holds up a hand.

"It's not that I wouldn't. I believe the whole world has a right to know...but it's such a long story that I don't have the time to really reproduce it. Nor would it be responsible of me...not everyone can handle the truth." You look up at Shou a bit confused.

"The truth? So the history books really are a lie..." Shou once again denies your assumption, shaking her head.

"That isn't entirely true either. The history books do indeed record Lady Hijiri's efforts quite accurately, they just don't tell the whole story...I'm unsure if they ever will."

Not everyone can handle the truth...but you feel you can. You know you can. You wouldn't be searching for it otherwise. You have to know. If she doesn't have the free time though, then maybe you can at least get some leads...

"Then...can you just tell me a few simple things? Like the relationship between human and youkai...it isn't all rainbows and sprinkles like the history books and fairy tales make it out to be, right?"

"Yes, you're right. That isn't any big secret however. Humans and youkai have been waging a political war for the past 50 years and shows no signs of dying down. The coexistance between the two is a fragile balance that Lady Chen and the Hakurei clan have been managing for a long time now. You do appear to be a smart child however, so I will tell you this; while none of this would have been possible without Lady Hijiri, she suffered much oppression during her trials and eventually folded under it...she died leaving her life long goal ultimately incomplete, and we've been trying to finish it for her."

"D-...Died?" Shou sighs a bit, closing her eyes.

"Yes, many text books will tell you that she ascended for her marvelous deeds, but the truth is that none of us really know for sure. We just merely believed that in death, she rose to a higher plane. As long as we have faith in her however, I believe that is indeed the truth." Well, you were right about humans and youkai. But there's more to it then what you've just been told however. After all, if this is common knowledge, then something most sinister is happening behind the scenes, for sure. That just leaves one question.

"Do you know of anyone named Satoshi?" Shou looks at you suddenly, blinking a bit.

"Satoshi? Not that I know of."

Your fists tighten. Your heart clenches. Your lips unfurl in an unpleasant manner. This isn't what you wanted to hear.

"N-No? He helped to bring humans and youkai together didn't he? Wasn't he one of the revolutionists along side Saint Hijiri and Lady Kanako?" Shou seems to stare at you a bit dumbfounded for a moment before shaking her head.

"I haven't any idea what you're talking about to be honest. Who told you this?"

"...no one. It's alright. You're busy, aren't you? I have to go somewhere. I'm sorry for bothering you."

Without letting Shou so much as stop you, you hop out of the chair and make tracks out of there. The last thing you want to do in the youkai faction headquarters is make a scene of yourself. You have a difficult time composing yourself as you leave the building, with your world seemingly crumbling beneath your feet.

Your...grandparents weren't involved at all. Not in the least. What have they been doing then? More then that...

Why were you lied to? Just...just who are your grandparents?!

---

"I'm going out Miss Alice! I'll be back before dinner!"

"Be careful out there."

You've been settling in with Alice quite nicely. It's a good breather after the shock of yesterday, finding out that your mother's corpse was looted from her own grave. You hid this fact from Alice very well, of course, it helped that Alice was very accepting of your return to begin with. She seems to really enjoy your company for some reason, though you can't quite put your finger on why. You guess someone who's alone all the time and does nothing but make dolls would be kind of lonely. But it's not just her of course, you've been trying your absolute hardest to appeal to her and work for the roof over your head. It must be working, at the very least. Another few days and your relationship with Alice might even become casual.

You didn't have time yesterday, due to the shock, but since then you've wanted to visit the Moriya shrine again. The shrine faces a lot of stiff competition from the Hakurei shrine, being shunned out into the outskirts of Risou and often going completely unnoticed. It still carries a lot of faith however, particularly from the kappa and the tengu, such as yourself. The closer to the shrine you get, the less urban the area appears the more like the original Gensokyo that you hear about so much it starts to look like. Wildly growing trees, natural habitat, a general lack of people, it would be a perfect place to hide out if not for the fact that the shrine means lots of tengu and kappa come by this road. You'd have a very good chance of being seen here. Luckily, you're undercover, so as long as you don't idle here too long, you should be fine.

The shrine is large and expansive still, as you can see upon arriving at the gate. It's not nearly as gloriously huge as the Hakurei shrine, but even amongst competition you can see the Moriya shrine is still expanding too, due in part to the influx of population in Risou. It looks pretty desolate at the moment. Which is good, it means you can go in without being suspected. You guess even most of the shrine's keepers are out at the moment though, as when you walk through the gate and towards the shrine itself, you still see no one. You don't think there's any activity in the shrine either. It feels pretty empty. You guess you came at a wrong time. You're about to head back until you spy a tall woman upon turning around, nearly scaring the living daylights out of you.

"Gah!"

"Oh!" You nearly fall backwards until you realize who it is you're standing before now.

"...Miss Kochiya?"

"Oh, is that you Souya?"

This is Amaya Kochiya, the current head shrine maiden of the Moriya shrine. With short green hair tied into a bun, a tall lanky frame and a soft, kind face you'd never mistake, you briefly wonder why you were scared in the first place. Well, probably because you don't want to get caught by any tengu that swung by here...you have your sword, but if a crow caught sight of you, you'd have no where to hide, as there's no way you could overpower that kind of raw speed. After recollecting your bearings you look up at the shrine maiden and give your greetings.

"Yes, it is. It's nice to see you again, Miss Kochiya."

"Likewise," the tall woman says with a heart warming smile. "So what brings you by today? It's been a couple months. On another errand?" You shake your head. You guess it's time to spill the beans...

"No, it's a bit of a long story actually..."

...

"So there has been a grave robber at the Risou graveyard..."

"Yeah...the undertaker says it's the work of a kasha."

"It probably is. Oh, how troublesome, I thought we were past those kinds of youkai traditions."

"I thought we were too..."

You gave the whole story to Amaya, starting from the very beginning with your fateful meeting with Satoko, going onto the escape from the tengu camp all the way up to your discovery of your mother's corpse pilfering. You didn't spare any details, as you trust Amaya with all your heart, though you know you will never have a place here, as it's a very popular hotspot for tengu, thus making it a bad idea to hide here. It would have been nice, living with Amaya...though you know the rest of her family probably would have taken the chance to report you, as the lot of them are frequently worried about the shrine's status and reputation. If the tengu found out they were hiding a traitor, it would sink faith down faster then a boulder into deep water. You know Amaya would never tell anyone though.

"I'm sorry to hear that your mother was kidnapped, Souya. I wish there was something I could do about it." You shake your head briefly.

"No, it's okay. Just getting it off my chest is enough..."

"Well I am here for you just like I am for everyone else, so don't hesitate to ask for my help. Anything that I could do for you, if you know, please say it."

That's Amaya. So mature. So wise. So admirable...you wish you could be as confident as she always is. That said though, a shoulder to lean on is always nice...

>See what she knows about youkai, like kashas
>Ask how the tengu have been doing
>Wish for some of her inherent good luck
>You shouldn't bring her down, just ask how she's doing

Action? >_
>>No. 7595
[x] You shouldn't bring her down, just ask how she's doing
>>No. 7596
[x]You shouldn't bring her down, just ask how she's doing

It's best not to involve this girl. Even this brief contact it too much.
>>No. 7597
[x]Wish for some of her inherent good luck
>>No. 7601
[x]You shouldn't bring her down, just ask how she's doing.

It's for the best we don't drag her into things. Though it really makes me wonder just what the hell happened back then.
>>No. 7602
>Ask how the tengu have been doing

Intel intel intel
>>No. 7926
sukima
sukima come back
sukima i love you
come back
>>No. 8111
>You shouldn't bring her down, just ask how she's doing.

"It's fine. I just need something to keep my mind off things for now, I guess."

"Is that so?" You nod your head slightly next to the woman. You want to tell her more, even get help from her but...no, that wouldn't be wise. You can't. Amaya means too much to you. Involving her would only result in heartbreak.

"Yeah. How have things been going here?" Amaya takes the time to look up at the sky and contemplate such.

"Mmm...nothing much. We still get occasional visitors, it's peaceful, and even Lady Kanako has been rather calm lately."

"That's good. What about Lady Suwako?"

"She's still staying at the mountain with the kappa elders that live there. Even though it makes her seem old~" Well, she kind of...is. Although you suppose hanging out with retired kappa wouldn't help.

"I see, well it's really good that things are so peaceful here, still."

"Mmm..." You notice a bit of uneasiness in Amaya's tone, as if she just remembered something heart wrenching.

"What is it...?"

"I'm not sure how long that will last. Next month is a global meeting between all the factions of Risou. It's over the capital's future...the Hakurei clan are most certainly planning a forceful move to claim the highest position of power."

"And...Lady Kanako is calm about this?" Amaya closes her eyes, filled with worry and regret.

"That is what worries me most...normally she is so adamant about fighting against them, but this time...something big may change."

"...I see."

There's really not much else you can say on the matter. You want to help, but there's little you can do about it. Especially in your current state. This situation is likely going to shake the very foundation Risou is sitting on, if this is to be believed. The only thing keeping the Hakurei clan from usurping total control were the other factions founded to oppose them, but if Lady Kanako isn't going to oppose them anymore, then who will...?

"Uhm...Miss Kochiya." Amaya looks over in your direction after you get her attention.

"Yes, Souya?"

"If things turn sour...you'll still be here, right?" Amaya blinks a couple times before smiling softly.

"Of course. I want to stay with the Moriya shrine forever, just like my ancestors before me did. I won't let something like this stop me."

"Thank you."

---

"...so, that's how it is then?"

"Yes, we're very confident in getting this bill passed so next year, you and Raimu won't have to be bullied by anymore youkai in school."

"Isn't it great Satoko?"

This is the first you've heard of this. Such a bold move, but Raimu's mother seems very sure of herself. As her last act as a Hakurei shrine maiden, she intends on finally giving the clan the control they apparently deserve and splitting the capital into two, one side for humans and one for youkai.

...this isn't what you want. But you can't show it. The Hakurei clan, after so many decades, are still as allergic to youkai as they ever have been. Is it because Saint Hijiri is no longer around? Her influence is slowly fading and now the Hakurei clan is taking control and banishing youkai like they originally wanted to...

"Ah...y-yeah, it is. I'm really happy for you." Raimu's mother seems to smile, happy that you're...at least, faking support for this.

"Risou has had a lot of problems since it's inception, but once we can separate the humans and the youkai from each other like it should be, this period of unrest will finally be at an end."

Will it...really? Wouldn't this make it worse? You want to say something...in the end, you just can't.

...

"Thanks for letting me stay, I should get going though."

"Are you sure you don't want to spend the night? Raimu's been looking forward to seeing you all day."

"Yeah, I gotta get back to my parents for something important anyways. I'm sorry I can't stay."

Truth be told, you just want to leave as soon as possible. You avoided seeming like you wanted to get the hell out of there, as these people have accepted you so willingly...but isn't that merely because you're human? Once you've gotten yourself ready at their door, you say your last goodbyes to the two of Hakurei and make haste out the door. Your heart is too tense to stick around any longer. The upcoming changes scare you. More over...

What if you were a youkai? Raimu is the only one of them that knows about your grandparents...she's too young to judge so personally, but the rest of them--

"Satoko." You stop right at the gate. Looking over your shoulder, you see Raimu tugging at your sleeve gently, a bit of a...stern look on her face. She's sharper then she looks. "You're not with the youkai...are you?" You almost hesitate, but after an admittedly nervous laugh, you reassure Raimu.

"N-No, of course not. Why would I be? I mean, I get bullied by them too."

"...youkai are bad people, Satoko. Don't be with them." After that, Raimu lets go, turns around and leaves. She was so serious, it honestly scared you quite deeply. You're so used to her being happy, cheery, full of life.

The way she acted just now. It's proof that the prejudice behind the Hakurei clan is a force to be reckoned with.

You walk through the streets of Risou again, staring up at the orange sky, the sun setting making it feel more solemn then it should. As late as it's getting though, you can't go home...not yet. It's dangerous to be walking around Risou at night, but you just can't bring yourself to face your parents after learning all that you have today. You even went to Raimu's place to stay away, but that just ended up making things worse...you need something to take your mind off all this.

>You haven't seen your Aunt in a while
>Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai
>It's time for another trip to the graveyard

Action? >_
>>No. 8112
[X]Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai.

You're back in /underground/, too! You are my hero, sir.
>>No. 8113
File 131993068435.jpg - (310.05KB, 1600x1085, Sharpeville_Massacre__1960.jpg) [iqdb]
8113
[x]It's time for another trip to the graveyard

Segregation is a great idea and never leads to anything bad, right?
>>No. 8114
[x]It's time for another trip to the graveyard
>>No. 8115
[X]Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai.
>>No. 8116
[X]Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai.
>>No. 8126
[X]Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai.

Boy the more I heard the more this sounds like "Nice job breaking it, Satoshi"
>>No. 8175
>Seeing Alice and Souya would remind you what's good about youkai

Yeah, that's right. No matter what the circumstances were, Alice has never let you down, ever. She always somehow found a way to make you smile. Maybe ordering Souya around will cheer you up too. You could use someone to put under your foot after so long of beating it. You could actually really use a foot massage in fact...

With the ringing of the bell signalling your entrance, you walk into Alice's shop after a brief walk. The sun has deeply set and it's starting to get a little dark out...you wonder how you'll get home safely, but if need be, you can just rely on Souya, your reliable pet. You don't see either of them upon walking in though, up until Alice comes out of the back room, apparently having been working on something.

"Oh, hello Satoko. It's a little late, isn't it?"

"Yeah, I just needed to take my mind off something is all...where's Souya?"

"He came back not too long ago. He's taking a bath no-"

"I'm sorry!" The next thing you see is a little wolf boy rushing down the stairs completely naked, wearing nothing but a towel he can barely keep on, mainly because he's still sopping wet.

"PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!"

---

"So, what's troubling you, Satoko?"

"This whole business between humans and youkai...have you heard about the Hakurei clan's new plans?"

"That I have...they've been toting it around like a trump card."

"And I went this long without knowing...are you sure my grandparents did their job?"

"I couldn't tell you, Satoko, but I can tell you one thing..." Alice stops what she's doing suddenly, which is casually ignoring the fact that you are on your knees before Satoko, massaging her feet. "That is most certainly unnecessary."

"Of course it's necessary, in return for hiding him from the tengu, Souya is to be my loyal slave." She then looks down at you, you can just barely see the mischievous and satisfied smile on her face as you can barely look up at her. "Isn't that right?"

"Th-That's right...b-besides, this is my rightful punishment for coming down so improper." Alice doesn't seem to care, leaning her head on her hand.

"I don't think it's something to really be punished so heavily over..."

"It's not that heavy of a punishment, Alice." Satoko reassures her colleague as you move onto the other foot. At the very least...this girl takes very good care of herself. Even these. You know that were it any of the male crow tengu's feet, you'd be vomiting right about now. "Besides, Souya said he would be more then happy to do absolutely anything I say, right?"

"Y-Yes...that's true. I owe you my life, so..."

"Jeez. Satoko, I think you're being a little too sadistic towards the poor child."

"Child? He's a youkai, right?"

"That kind of thinking is what's causing all the problems we're having right now."

"..." You look up at Satoko again. She looks like she just got an arrow through the heart. It must have hit a tender nerve...

"...you know," you start talking, feeling the need to join in on the earlier conversation, "I visited the Moriya shrine earlier today...the shrine maiden there mentioned something about the Hakurei clan making a fearful move soon...what is it exactly?" Alice goes ahead with the somewhat canned explanation, as Satoko appears to be too hurt to say much right now.

"They're going to forcefully separate youkai from humans and try to restrict what youkai can do and where they can go. Making 'human safe areas' essentially. The capital would more or less be split into two, although given how the Hakurei clan is, they're of course going to favor humans, and youkai like me will get the short end of the stick." Despite all this, Alice somehow doesn't seem all that bothered by it. Satoko, on the other hand, does.

"...you can stop now, Souya." You look back up at her. She has this utterly hurt look on her face...it seriously pains you to look at it. It grabs your heart and squeezes it in agony, you want it to go away. Being the loyal dog you are, there's only one way you know of that can fix this.

"S-Satoko...is there anything else I can do for you? Please...name anything."

Satoko however doesn't respond. She continues looking away, thinking of what you know could only be bad things...in your panic, you notice Alice isn't going to do anything by herself. She's just sort of staring a bit longingly, possibly wishing there was something she could do too.

But there has to be something you can do. Anything. Something. Anything at all. You just...ugh, you can't bear to see that face! It hurts!

>Offer to make her some food
>Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done
>Pledge your heart into stopping the evil scheme the Hakurei clan is cooking up
>Start directly asking Alice for some help here
>Maybe she just wants you to be quiet

Action? >_
>>No. 8176
[x]Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done
Getting her mind off it is probably the best we can do right now.
>>No. 8182
[x] Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done
>>No. 8185
[x]Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done.

This is basically why she's here, after all.
>>No. 8188
[X] Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done

Why did Souya think rushing down wet and naked was a good idea? I get that he's acting more like a dog than a wolf, but shouldn't he have a little sense?

>Despite all this, Alice somehow doesn't seem all that bothered by it.
I wish you'd drop the stoic act, Alice. You're probably going to be forcefully moved, since your shop is down the street from the Hakurei Shrine.
>>No. 8189
[X] Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done.

Well that was some insight, though the whole situation is rather ironic as isn't Reimu infamous for befriending various youkai. And now her descendents are basically stirring up unrest.
>>No. 8193
[x]Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done.

Wow.
>>No. 8196
This story reminds me of Chrono Cross: It takes the happy ending of the game before it and SHITS ALL OVER IT.
>>No. 8223
>Show her some of the good work that you and Alice have done

Ah! That's right! You worked on quite a few dolls while spending your time with Alice! Yeah, that has to work. She would surely cheer up upon noticing that you were helping Alice like she wanted you to.

"A-Ah, Satoko, wait right here!" You say this to her as you quickly get up and rush over to the back room to fetch a few of the dolls that you made with Alice's help, although you don't think that Satoko really responded the least bit, even as you hastily disappear. With arms full of dolls, you come back and let them spill onto the table next to her. "Look! These are the dolls we've been making!" You still feel panic setting in, as you find yourself unable to calm down, bringing one of the dolls to Satoko's face anxiously. "S-See? E-Even Miss Alice has said that with me here, she's been able to make more dolls faster, and... and..."

It's no good. Satoko looks as if she hasn't even acknowledged your presence. It's extremely disheartening, to say the least. You're almost about to break down and cry from the pain in your heart, until Alice comes forward with her own suggestion.

"The Hakurei clan has been blinded by prejudice and the honor and pride of their ancestry. They think all youkai are aggressive, emotionless monsters who couldn't possibly relate to humans." Alice picks up one of the dolls, almost carefully as she continues. "They had no idea of the kinds of experiences Reimu had here in Gensokyo, as she of all people knew best that something like that couldn't possibly be true..." As if in a gesture of heart and emotion, Alice brings the doll to her chest, closing her eyes, possibly reminiscing of an old friend long past. "Maybe her downfall was that despite that, she stayed true to her clan's pride, and believed in it to the bitter end... so that her offspring could carry on the tradition, a tradition that should have been buried along with this strife." After a brief sigh, Alice returns to her normal demeanor, walking over and handing a confused Satoko the doll she was just hugging. "Satoko, the proof is all around you that what they believe in will eventually crumble underneath their feet. Sooner or later, they will understand what their two toned vision will bring forth, for better or for worse. Let that doll be a reminder to you that Souya, me, and even you are undeniable proof that humans and youkai are a lot more alike then they think."

"... me?" Satoko seems to ask meekly, still vulnerable from her earlier depression.

"Yes, after all, if it were not true, your grandparents wouldn't have come together, and you wouldn't be here right now."

You thought that maybe that would be the finisher, that it would be the one thing that anyone could say to her to lift her spirits, but when you look at her, they only seem to have gone down further... she looks... pained. Why? How could that not have... no, something else is on her mind now. Something that...you don't think she would talk about openly. That means the only option left is to get her mind off it. You've gotta keep trying. This pain in your heart...it in itself is veritable proof that Alice is right. This emotion called sadness brings you terrible pain and it hurts more to think that Satoko is going through something even more agonizing then what you're feeling.

---

"Satoko. S-Satoko...?"

You believe that's your slave trying to catch your attention. You can't say however that he's doing a good job at it.

You can't help it... things are crashing down around you piece by little piece and it feels like you'll be buried underneath the very history your grandparents were supposed to make. You can't take it. You feel numb. Very numb. Nothing is having any effect on your heart, your torn, broken heart. Your grandparents... did they really love each other? What problems did they encounter? Wasn't their love one of a kind? You suppose nothing could truly turn out like a real fairy tale, but one after another you're finding that not only did things go wrong, they went spectacularly wrong. Everything fell apart, and you've quickly come to wonder why you're here, what you've been doing, and just who your grandparents really are. It really does feel as if your life up until this point has been one extravagant lie.

"I... I made this, for you, Satoko..."

Your attention is caught, finally. After much struggling, Souya has successfully fished your attention away from your shattered feelings and caused you to look at... another doll. It looks a like it was made a little haphazardly, and someone who clearly had little actual skill seems to have made it. In reality, it was a creation of Souya's.

"Wha... for me?" Souya nods, handing the doll to you.

Looking it over, it certainly feels genuine. Genuinely made without Alice's help, that's for sure. Although it is a little ragged, it does seem to be built tough. It could last quite a while. Who knows how long, a few years? Decades? Maybe even centuries. That's quite a stretch, but you've heard Alice's dolls have the perseverance to last virtually forever, as even her very first dolls still look brand new. You're not quite sure what kind of message Souya is sending here though... the doll definitely appears to be a black cat of some sort. An anthropomorphic one, at that, since it doesn't look like it was made to go quadrupedal, the way it's head is put on. It's very simplistic in design, owing to Souya's possible lack of creativity. Typical of a guy you guess, but... how many guys these days would make a doll for someone?

You feel...

>Like he's wasting his time. He should be doing better things.
>That he's just being a bother. You didn't ask for this.
>Grateful, you suppose. It's the least you can do.
>Even more upset that this kind of exchange will stop happening soon.
>You're not actually sure how you feel right now.

Action? >_
>>No. 8224
[x]Even more upset that this kind of exchange will stop happening soon.
>>No. 8226
[x]... like you want to give him a hug.

Because of reasons.
>>No. 8227
[x] Grateful, you suppose. It's the least you can do.
>>No. 8229
[x]Even more upset that this kind of exchange will stop happening soon.
>>No. 8242
[X]Even more upset that this kind of exchange will stop happening soon.
>>No. 8243
>Even more upset that this kind of exchange will stop happening soon.

...

"Satoko...?"

"Stop..."

"H-Huh? Stop wha--"

"Just stop talking to me!"

You shout this as you slap the doll cleanly from Souya's hands and across the room, rushing off the chair.

"Satoko! Wait!"

"No! Let go of me!"

You can feel Souya grabbing your arm in a desperate plea to stop you, but you don't care. You successfully whip your arm away just before Alice realizes the danger of the scene and goes to stop you as well.

"Satoko!"

"If you two are so passive about all this then I don't want to see you anymore! It'll hurt too much!"

Without thinking, you quickly storm out the shop. No one gives chase though. You couldn't care any less however. You're just too upset.

You didn't mean to lash out like that. It was rather uncharacteristic of you, actually. You felt really upset to begin with, but when Souya gave you the doll, it made you realize that after the Hakurei clan gets what they want, it could potentially be the very last time you'd ever get a present from him. This thought... it pained you more, but out of nowhere, you went out of control. When you first felt the pain, you just thought it was more disappointment. No, rather it was an amplifier. Through your mess with your grandparents you forgot one important detail. While you were upset with your grandparents never succeeding in what you first believed, you failed to realize that what that means is that your friendship with Souya will end.

When Souya gave you the doll, it finally struck you just how valuable he's been to you.

Raimu was always your best friend. But thinking about it, you never really had all that many friends in school. Youkai typically outnumbered humans in each class you've been to thus far, and they never got along with you for some reason. While you got along with the humans in your group, you only really considered them... acquaintances, at best. The only real friend you had was Raimu. Outside of school, you knew Alice very well, but mainly as a caretaker more then an actual friend. She was like the alternate grandmother to step in for your real one. Except, you know, she's not an old hag. Really, everyone apart from Raimu, they have more or less avoided getting deeply involved with you... Souya was the first person you took out somewhere in Risou, without parental guidance. He was the first person that actually called out your name... the only one that truly paid attention to you... the only one that honestly relied on you merely because he felt you were worthy enough to do so with. He even pledged his life to you.

It's not something that happens to you everyday. Someone out of the blue swearing their undying loyalty to you. After today, you whole heartedly believe it. Souya is dedicated to making up for all the trouble he's brought to you. So why... why is it that you can't see him anymore? Why does he have to be separated from you and the rest of the human populace? Why do things like this have to happen?!

Ugh, you can't stand it. Someone who truly stood out of the crowd of featureless people and you don't get the pleasure of seeing where it would turn out. Both Alice and Souya will be taken away from you. The only two people outside your family that truly mattered to you... apart... from...

"Raimu...?"

You can't believe you're doing this. But it's likely far too late for you to be wandering around the streets of Risou. The Hakurei shrine was just down the street. You figure that while these guys are your enemies for now, leeching a night's stay with them before you officially declare such would be a good idea. Raimu still cares about you. You hope...

"Sorry for intruding! Excuse me! Is anyone here...?!"

You hate to wake anyone up as you enter the shrine grounds, but sneaking around would be a bad idea right now. You don't want to be seen as some sort of burglar or anything.

Something is weird, though. You hear thunder. Did the forecast call for rain? The air is eerily stagnant though. As is the nature of it... it feels dead.

That's strange. Very strange. Most particularly, you never knew you were rather attuned to the smell of death until now. It's probably come from being in the graveyard for so long. But you recognize it. The scent of death.

Anywhere else, it might have given you comfort. But here...

You have never felt so frightened in your entire life. Whatever death is here, is looming right over your shoulder. You will see it on the next lightning flash.

That flash might just carry your entire life along side it, too.

---

The silence hangs thick. You're in the back room with Alice, fixing up more dolls. The doll you tried to give Satoko has been set aside. You can't believe she got so angry. Why? You don't understand. Human emotions are... beyond you, in it's entirety. Sure, you feel them, but you get this feeling that you understand them far less then humans do, which certainly puts you at a disadvantage. You suppose this is the price you pay for being a youkai. The lack of human conscience has crippled you when it comes to communicating with humans on an emotional level, that's for sure.

"... Alice. Why did Satoko leave like that?" You gathered up the courage to ask after a while. Alice told you why you shouldn't chase after her. What you didn't get was why she did it in the first place, arising the need to chase her. The feeling that you needed to, anyways.

"I suppose... Satoko felt that the longer she were around us, the more painful it would be to have to say good bye."

"But... wouldn't it have been better to spend as much time with us as she could then, before that happened? Wouldn't that make it less regretful and easier to do then? I don't understand..."

"It isn't our place to understand. Human emotions are a complicated, fickle thing that humans themselves can't even comprehend. For demons like us to try and understand is ludicrous."

Alice says this in such a stern and cold way... it hurts, just thinking about it. Like a sharp spear of ice was sent through your heart.

"... what if then... what if I were human, would I understand then?" Alice stops suddenly in middle of her sewing, as if caught off guard by the notion suddenly. You're not sure why. You just sort of threw it out there. But it suddenly turns serious when Alice puts down her equipment.

"You realize what you're saying, right? For a youkai to become human... why would you want to atrophy yourself in such a way?"

"It's not atrophy!" You can feel the anger rising up in you when you hear that rather quickly, for some reason. For Alice to be so dismissive so brashly, it's kind of unlike her, you believe. "I just want to understand humans more!"

"Being human won't aid you in that goal. Believing in such is a remarkable waste of-"

"Stop it!" Alice is somewhat surprised that you interrupted her in your sudden burst of rage, that quite literally came out of nowhere. You can't put much energy behind it, because you really don't want to be angry with Alice, but your heart just simply cannot hold it in. "You're being just like them... no, you're playing into their hands! Looking down on humans like they're so below us, that's what's caused all of this in the first place! If they force us out of the city, isn't that just proving that maybe it's us that's really beneath them?!" Alice seems even more taken back by the sudden possible realization that you're right, before looking off to the side bitterly.

"Maybe I've been in their hands all along..."

You can't believe this.

"... I'm going to bed."

You quickly leave the vicinity and head upstairs. You can't bear Alice's presence any longer. You're afraid of doing something you can't take back. You don't want that to happen. Not while your emotions are out of control like this.

Hah... a youkai, succumbing to human emotions. Such a thought would put a vast majority of youkai in stitches, and yet here you are...

You calm down somewhat once you arrive in the simple little room Alice laid out for you. It has a small desk with a little lamp, and a comfy, if low bed. There's a sewing kit in here with some materials for sewing too, as you've been practicing it in your free time so that you can help Alice better with making dolls. The pain you feel from her though runs deep still. You need to get your mind off this...

>Sharpen your sword - you might need it later
>Stare out the window, maybe howl at the moon if it's there
>Make another doll for Satoko, better this time
>Just try going to sleep, save the energy for tomorrow

Action? >_
>>No. 8244
[x]Sharpen your sword - you might need it later

Later, more then likely being /very soon/.
>>No. 8247
[x]Sharpen your sword - you might need it later

I wanna see this kid kick some ass already.
>>No. 8248
[x] Make another doll for Satoko, better this time
We gonna make this work or what
>>No. 8250
[x] Sharpen your sword - you might need it later
>>No. 8251
[x]Sharpen your sword - you might need it later

Boy Alice really has lost her "act like a human" mindset of the past.
>>No. 8256
[x] Sharpen your sword - you might need it later
>>No. 8283
File 132127636460.jpg - (1.03MB, 1500x1084, 20eac894b4dfff419736ebd6a87342b7.jpg) [iqdb]
8283
>Sharpen your sword - you might need it later

Yeah... maybe reminding yourself of your training will expend some of this awful angry energy pent up inside you.

As you grind your standard issue sword against the rough material you brought with you along side your side for sharpening, you think back on how difficult your training was, but deep down, you enjoyed it. Well, most of it. While you were never very handy with words, your expertise with the sword was exceptional. While you were prized for your extreme ability to recover, your sword mastery was nothing to scoff at, as you were often on top of your whole class in swordplay exercises. You had the amazing potential to not just be as great and strong as the best white wolves, but to even exceed those expectations and go on to be absolutely legendary in your own right. Your excellent genes and your keen sense of diligence and dexterity was a combination unheard of in the white wolves and you could have very well been a hero of your time when you grew up.

Of course, despite all this, you were still treated lesser then a sack of potatoes by the higher ranked tengu, which was precisely why you left. You couldn't take that anymore. You often feel lacking in self esteem but... you know you're doing better then what they tend to think of you. The sword you're sharpening isn't even special. It's an ordinary sword they give all white wolf trainees. You had heard that the sword your mother wielded was legendary in it's own right, though that may be simply because it was attached to your mother. Who knows where the sword is now. Possibly looted, much like the body of your deceased mother.

Ugh... that kind of thinking is only making your anger worse. you're going to damage your sword if you keep this up. Maybe you should just go to sleep...

You swear though, by the end of your fiasco with the tengu, this blade will taste their blood. You've had it with them. One day, you'll have your revenge for their piss poor treatment of not just you, but your mother as well.

---

"... w-... wha..."

No...

It... it can't be.

"... Miss Hakurei?"

Another flash of the lightning confirms it. In front of you is the dead body of Raimu's mother, the current shrine maiden of paradise. You only saw it briefly, but she's laying in a pool of her own blood, gushing forth from an ornate dagger lodged in the back of her neck.

What truly confirmed her death for you was the utterly gruesome way her neck was twisted... it made you want to vomit out everything, even stuff that should stay in your body. You just felt so sickened by it. The only solace you have right now is the darkness of night enveloping you and the death before you.

Thinking about it, this is an assassination, isn't it? It has to be. Someone must have caught wind of the plot the Hakurei clan was cooking, and took... precautionary measures. To ensure something like that doesn't happen. Maybe this is a sign. A warning. Something telling the Hakurei clan that if they dare think that humans have any control over this city...

No. No! You can't think like that! No... this is wrong. This is bad. If news of this assassination spreads, then the relationship between youkai and humans... they truly will be shattered forever. This could be the start of an awful civil war. There's no way in hell you're going to let something like that happen. Not now. Not yet. Not while you're alive, still trying to believe that your grandparents did something for this town.

First thing's first. You need to take out the dagger. Maybe hide it somewhere. Maybe they won't see it as a murder if the murder tool isn't there. Despite wanting to remove it permanently from your memory, the vision of the dead shrine maiden and the blade in her neck is still fresh in your mind, and you think you can reach for the weapon. With utmost caution and speed, you carefully approach the body and lean your hand in. When you feel the cold metal of the dagger on your finger tips, you quickly wrap your fingers around the handle and gently pull it out of it's resting spot. The urge to evacuate your stomach of all that's in it returns as you feel first hand what it's like to have a blade stuck into the soft flesh of someone else, and pull it out. Eventually though, your arm shoots back as you finally free the blade from it's fleshy prison.

Your hand holding the filthy weapon feels slimy and disgusting, even though you haven't even touched this woman's blood yet. You want to rid yourself of this trash right away. You can't stand holding it. You'll think of what to do with the body later, for now, you turn around and get ready to toss this blade--

"Satoko."

As you turn around, another flash of lightning appears. You could have sworn you saw someone deftly leaping from one of the rooftops, but your attention was too averted elsewhere to get a good look. There was someone else that caught your eyes. In front of you now is a shocked, broken little girl, whose mother you just took a knife out of.

"R-Raimu, I..."

"... you're with them, aren't you?"

"H-... Huh?"

You stop yourself as you reach towards Raimu to comfort her. You couldn't tell because of the blackness of night, but Raimu was actually a rather different kind of upset.

"Why... why did you kill Mama?"

"N-No, Raimu, this isn't--"

"Shut up!!!"

You take a brief step back as Raimu screams at you. You're a little frightened at first, but you realize there's nothing she can do to really harm you. At least, up until you notice there are lights gathering around her. You suddenly realize this when you can firmly see Raimu's visage, without thinking that it's your mind filling it in for you. It becomes more apparent the brighter the lights gets, and the more obvious their multi-colored nature becomes. You can soon tell that Raimu is looking at you with such a murderous intent that you'd honestly never believe such a small girl could look so intimidating and frightening.

"I knew you were with them... with the bad youkai... why Satoko?! I hate you... I hate you I hate you I hate you I HATE YOU!!!"

You barely have time to escape, the colorful orbs of light around Raimu become aggressive suddenly and you dive out of the way in the nick of time. You feel a tough wind blow across your back signifying your close graze with death and alerting you to the danger of the situation right now. All you can do is scramble back on your feet as the lights come back around and start charging at you from all sides. You nearly lose your feet as well, not to mention the everything else you would've lost if you had, when you notice Raimu is pulling out all the stops. Countless needles little the ground as you desperately try to keep yourself from becoming a human pincushion, along with making sure the lights don't knock you into submission.

You're not sure where you suddenly got all this expert agility from. Maybe with the inherent jeopardy of the situation, your body has reacted in such a way that it's striving it's absolute best for survival. Your insane heart rate certainly makes it feel like a race for survival, a race that you will lose on the very slightest mishap. A veritable storm of danger is gunning at you, from the orbs of light, to needles, to amulets, you're even starting to notice large yin yang spheres laying around. Did she toss these at you too? Suffice it to say, if you were an actual youkai, you'd hardly be threatened right now, but as an ordinary human, one small mistake could cost you your life. You haven't even had time to plead to Raimu, beg for mercy, as even a single split second where you're not trying to catch your breath would mean game over. It doesn't help that throughout all this, you can still hear Raimu crying, sheding so many tears of anguish.

"Why?! I hate you Satoko! Just die! Go away, never come back! Die die die DIE DIE!!!"

As you hear the last shriek coming from Raimu, you realize she's had enough of playing around, and has charged you full body. You couldn't possibly dodge all that flying crap coming at you from point blank. It's over. You need to think of some sort of last resort action. But... you don't know what. Is it over? Are you going to die? Is it going to end here and now? It... it can't! There must be something! Anything! You don't want to die! You want to live! You want to see your grandmother! Alice! Souya! You... you...!

>Kill her
>Kill her
>Kill her
>KILL HER
>KILL HER

Action?



>Kill her

...

All it took was one motion. One opportune chance the moment you felt her presence looming down upon you, zooming in on you, about to take your life.

Instead, you took her's. Who knew someone so powerful could be so fragile?

With a flash of lightning after all the lights have dimmed, you've confirmed your sinful deed. The ornate dagger lodged in Raimu's chest. Her dead body laying on the ground, next to her now cold mother. Her small body probably couldn't take such a terminal shock so suddenly, and she likely died almost instantaneously. It was a swift murder, brought about by your own two hands.

As the image of Raimu and her mother laying in their own pools of blood seeps further into your mind, even in the pitch blackness, you feel your sanity starting to slip away. This is understandable, of course. You just slaughtered your best friend, your only real human friend, after she mistook you for her mother's murderer. What were you thinking? Why did this happen? You feel your body tremble as the urge to cry out rises. You want to shed so many tears right now. You want to scream. But you think the shock might be too much for even that. How can you live with this burden on your shoulders? For all eternity, this sin will continue to weigh you down as an action that you will eternally regret. You're not even sure if you will be able to live it down. What if people know you murdered her? Won't you be tried? Isn't this a crime surely punishable by death? Death actually sounds quite good right now...

You resist the temptation to pick the blade out of Raimu's chest long enough to think about something though. What about the city? What of Risou? Weren't you going to try and cover this up so that there wouldn't be political unrest? This is still an assassination... you most certainly wouldn't be found out in that case, since the first blame will be put on the youkai, then the Moriya shrine. You're just an innocent bystander. But this is a catastrophe by all measures for the town. Civil wars will start, fights will erupt, chaos will break loose. You're even more unsure about sticking around until you realize that your family would be mixed into this as well... not to mention Alice and Souya. You just can't risk that... even if you were to die yourself, you would never want your family to suffer because you weren't there to protect them.

You feel your sanity gradually return to you as you realize how dire this situation is. one thing's for sure... you can't stick around here. You need to go back... wash your hands of this filth. While you may never cleanse your soul of this sin, you can at least clean the blood off your hands...

---

"Souya?"

...

"Souya...?"

...

"Souya!"

"Nuh?!"

You're brought out of your dead gaze outside your window as you realize Alice had come into your room without you knowing.

"I knocked several times. You must have been really enthralled with whatever is out there." Wow, you must be really out of it...

"Uhh... n-not really. Just thinking."

"About what?"

"..."

You still can't bear to say it. Of course, Alice knows what you're probably thinking, since your head hanging and the thick silence quite proves it on it's own.

"... Souya. I have a question." You bring your attention back to Alice after hearing that.

"Huh? What is it?"

"What do you think of Satoko, as a person?"

"As a person?"

"Yes, ignoring the fact that she's a human. In fact, tell me, what if she were a youkai, like you?"

"A youkai..."

Huh... what is Alice getting at? You want to know, but knowing Alice, it'd be more prudent to answer her first before asking any further questions.

>It'd be great if Satoko were a youkai, you'd be able to relate to her better then
>You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that
>You think she's best as she is right now, she wouldn't be who she is otherwise

Action? >_
>>No. 8284
[x] You think she's best as she is right now, she wouldn't be who she is otherwise.

Oh wow, shit just hit the fan. Can't wait for the next update.
>>No. 8285
I can't decide on a vote, but I felt the need to inform you that I cannot quite describe the amount of FUCK YES I am experiencing.
>>No. 8286
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.
Whether a youkai or a human, Satoko is still the same being.
>>No. 8287
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.

Aw snap son!
>>No. 8288
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that

The most significant answer
>>No. 8289
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.
>>No. 8290
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.

We like her as a living being, not as a youkai or a human.
>>No. 8293
[x]You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.

Sukima, are you by chance depressed at all?
>>No. 8295
wut
>>No. 8300
That was.. sudden.
>>No. 8301
File 132152999590.jpg - (63.76KB, 400x400, old-radio.jpg) [iqdb]
8301
>You're not sure, but if she wanted to be a youkai, you'd help her work towards that.

"Uhm... I don't know really. I don't think I'd see her any differently. But... I guess if she wanted to be a youkai, I'd wanna help her with that."

"Really?" Alice seems intrigued by your decision, for some reason. "How come?"

"Uhh... I guess because she's my friend. I don't really judge her based on whether or not she's human or youkai, but I know things for her much be a lot different..."

"... a certain someone, that I knew... they felt the same way." You watch Alice approach the window you were just at and look outside it. "They wanted to be a youkai, because their lover was one. Their lover didn't care though, otherwise they wouldn't have fallen in love in the first place. Although, time went on and that quickly changed. However, the circumstances for that decision were very different for the both of them, even though the end result was the same." For some weird reason, you feel rather interested now.

"How so?"

"He wanted to be youkai so that he could live longer, stay with his beloved and not have to leave her so early in her life. She always said that was the same reason she wanted it too, but the truth was that she was afraid of what might happen should he go down that route."

"Afraid?" Alice looks down suddenly, with a very... solemn, pained look on her face, as if remembering the ashes of a lost loved one.

"Afraid that he would lose the humanity in him that she fell so dearly in love with."

You take a moment to think about it. You wonder... what kind of change would Satoko go through if she became a youkai, and therefore lost her human conscience? Would you be able to deal with it? It dawns upon you suddenly that even if Satoko wanted to be a youkai, knowing that it would change her, you're not quite sure if you could go through with it. How would she act? What would change? Would it be for better, or for worse? All these thoughts come rushing to you at such a fast pace, that it's a little overwhelming at first. Though, before you get too far into your own thoughts, Alice ends up continuing, quickly getting over what she was just talking about.

"But, despite that, she continued on helping him without ever saying a word about her fear. He never once knew of it. She never told him, because she knew that his feelings were far more different than her own. She was well aware that she couldn't compare her own heart to his."

"... even though she couldn't judge him based on his humanity, he had to, right?" Alice just nods silently, confirming it. After thinking about it for a moment, you just have to ask. "What happened to them?"

"He eventually became a youkai. After that, I don't know." What Alice just told you throws you for a bit of a loop. Why wouldn't she?

"W-Why not?" Alice just sighs, parting from the window.

"They left. I haven't really heard from them since." She then turns around upon reaching the door. "Come on, breakfast will get cold." You guess you don't have much of a choice.

"Ah, alright then..."

If Satoko wanted to be a youkai, then you...

---

"The murder has been confirmed to have happened around midnight last night, the perpetrator is still unknown."

That would be the radio, that your father has.

"The current suspects are plenty, and an all around political crisis has started with the news of these deaths."

It drones on and on...

"While there are many motives behind this, one thing is clear; the Hakurei clan has lost it's former power among the parties of Risou, and now factions left and right are vying for the position of power."

You can't believe it, you killed her...

"Wow, what kind of world are we living in..."

"Satoko, honey? Are you okay?"

"She's prolly just upset that Raimu's dead."

"Kouhei, don't be so heartless!"

You came home silently last night. Went to bed silently after a shower. You came down for breakfast silently. You told your family that you heard about the news of the Hakurei murders upstairs in your room, allowing you to have an alibi for why you're so depressed before this news reached them. The radio has been going on about the murders for a half an hour now. Though, even if it weren't going on and on about it, it'd never leave your mind anyways. Raimu is dead... the only true human friend you ever knew. More then ever, there will be further political unrest too. You vowed to protect your family from this oncoming crisis but... truth be told, you're not sure if you can even protect yourself in this dreadful state that you're in. The eternal sin of manslaughter will forever stain your hands and will never wash away, more over the manslaughter of a loved one.

You're a monster.

Your parents urged you to stay home, but you wanted to gather up the courage to still attend school. You feel the utmost emotional distress right now, but you feel as if the only way you'll get over it is if you try and put it behind you like this. If you want to help with this potential catastrophe, you'll need to get over it as soon as possible.

Certainly easier said then done however... half way in to walking to school, you realize that your pace has slowed to such a crawl that you're barely even moving. You're probably going to be late for class at this rate. Part of you doesn't care though. You just... you want solace. You want freedom. You want... you really want a hug, right about now.

>Your Aunt would understand your pain right now
>The graveyard will help you calm down
>You should go back home and listen to your parents
>No sense worrying about it, just go to school

Action? >_
>>No. 8302
[x] Your Aunt would understand your pain right now

woah.
>>No. 8303
[x] Your Aunt would understand your pain right now

Well, it was technically self-defense. Raimu was enraged beyond the point of reason. The sooner Satoko can talk to someone about it, the better.
>>No. 8304
[x]The graveyard will help you calm down

Random encounter
>>No. 8305
[x] Your Aunt would understand your pain right now

inb4 Satoshi and Orin were hunted down by anti-human elements

Seriously, instead of taking a chance at the graveyard, Alice's rather sound voice of reason would be nice.

Though if both hakureis are dead, then what's going to happen next to Gensokyo?
>>No. 8307
>Your Aunt would understand your pain right now

Ugh, you haven't seen your aunt in a good while now. Would she welcome you? Well, of course, but maybe not in the way you would want her to. She'd also probably feel a little bitter about you not visiting until you needed a hug or something...

Eh, what're you talking about, it's your aunt. She may oppose them, but she's still a daughter of the grandparents that raised kind hearted children. Besides, there's one thing about your aunt that would most certainly keep her from displaying too much bitterness.

"Aunt Sango...! I'm coming in!"

"Oh, Satoko, good timing!"

In to the living room your aunt comes in, dressed in a white work force t-shirt with ridiculously filthy overalls over top of it. Despite her equally filthy face and hands, her bright orange hair shines as brightly as it ever does, very much like her goofy grin.

"Ugh, you're filthy..."

"Yeah, I know. I had to work with tons of oil today. It was a long day."

"Long day? Isn't it still morning?"

"You forget what kind of hours I work sometimes, Satoko." Ah yes, industrial work. While not quite white collar, the consistency of shifts is rather absolute, and yet despite this, your aunt changes shifts every so often. You guess to suit her needs. You thought you would be arriving sometime before she had to go to work, but it seems she pulled you the slip on this one. Maybe it's because you haven't visited her in a while, but you swear you can't keep up with her at times. "Anyways, I was about to go take a nice relaxing bath and sleep 'til the moon rises, you wanna join me?"

"Huh? Sure, I guess..."

Aunt Sango always enjoyed spending time with you. You guess because while you looked up to your grandparents, she still related to you most, someone who wanted to be free and break the stereotypes of society. Much like how you wished for equality between humans and youkai, Sango wanted to prove that a female could pull her weight just as well as any male could. She does her job very well too, you feel. She never complains about how tough work is, how that she's out of shape. You even remember her commenting sometimes on how her superiors felt she was doing a magnificent job. You used to think that this was because she inherited the strong will of her parents, despite how much she despised them. Now, you maybe think that it might be because she didn't want to fail like they did...

Still though, Sango's quite the tomboy, because of her stature on gender equality. Her inviting you to the bath is a little unusual... well, maybe there's a first time for everything. She is covered in oil, after all. She could use it.

---

Kagome kagome, the bird in the cage,

when, when will you come out?

In the evening of the dawn,

the crane and turtle slipped.

Who stands right behind you now...?

"Souya?"

...

"Souya!"

"H-Huhn?"

You're awoken again after apparently having fallen asleep at the table. You finished your breakfast but... you guess you rested your head shortly thereafter and just went straight to sleep as a result. You look up at Alice who, shockingly enough, appears to be a little worried about you.

"Did you get enough sleep last night?"

"Ah... yeah. I did. I just haven't woken up yet I guess. I think I'm gonna head out and get some of my energy together, is that okay Miss Alice?"

"Of course, just be careful out there, okay? A lack of concentration out there would be dangerous."

"I know."

You take your first step outside into the sunlight after getting yourself ready. That was weird though... you were dreaming about your early childhood. Back when you were still fifteen years old. It was a golden time in a white wolf's age where they were old enough to understand some complex patterns but still too young to be introduced into the difficult training that they put them through. Yeah, you remember... Kagome Kagome was a popular game with you when you were a child. You were always the oni, though. It wasn't because you were always pushed into being it, but rather, anytime you ended up behind someone, they would always consistently guess that it was you. You don't believe you have a very noticeable voice, and even if so, that doesn't change the fact that you were behind someone very often. Too often for it to be coincidental at times. The other children would always say that the whole circle may as well be made up of doppelgangers of you whenever you weren't the oni.

You can't help but feel a little shaken by the dream though. You never dream about your childhood. Why did you dream of that so suddenly...?

>Well, time to visit the Moriya shrine again
>Stop by the Youkai Faction Headquarters and see what they think about what's going with the Hakurei clan
>Maybe a trip to the graveyard will clear your mind
>You'll just wander about aimlessly for now you suppose

Action? >_
>>No. 8308
[x] Stop by the Youkai Faction Headquarters and see what they think about what's going with the Hakurei clan.

Opps I misread previous vote but oh well. I do think they may be more on to the truth of things than anyone else, at least with Shou as odds are she'd know something as she's A) no longer with the temple and B) working with youkai.

I can't help but to wonder how Byakuren died exactly, magician types aren't really known for dying of old age.
>>No. 8309
[x]Stop by the Youkai Faction Headquarters and see what they think about what's going with the Hakurei clan
>>No. 8310
Wouldn't the youkai faction headquarters have some tengu in it? Since they're a big group of youkai and all. Doesn't seem safe.

[x]You'll just wander about aimlessly for now you suppose

I'd have voted for staying inside with Alice, but no such luck.
>>No. 8313
>>8310
not likely as Tengu would do their own thing, not so much mingle with common youkai. If anything he'd find a couple more deserters in its ranks.
>>No. 8314
>Kagome kagome
Am I looking to deep into this or is it Flandre?

[x] Stop by the Youkai Faction Headquarters and see what they think about what's going with the Hakurei clan.
>>No. 8315
[x]You'll just wander about aimlessly for now you suppose
>>No. 8382
>Stop by the Youkai Faction Headquarters and see what they think about what's going with the Hakurei clan.

You nod to yourself as you decide to go to the headquarters of the Youkai Faction. You run a decent risk of being seen by a tengu there, but honestly, despite being tengu, you don't think they have any real business with the Youkai Faction. They got themselves to worry about.

Amidst the general populace of the city of Risou are several political organizations that run the place. The most prominent of these are the Hakurei Clan and the Youkai Faction, both of whom often go head to head with one another, believing in different things. One could say that these two are the only organizations that run the town, as every other political power are usually too small to do anything on their own and merely side with either the Hakurei Clan or the Youkai Faction, but to say that they own all of the rest of them would be a mistake. You know this better then anyone, being a former tengu supporter. While the tengu are often supportive of the Youkai Faction, they are far from subordinate, and sometimes it feels as if they are just using the Faction to further their own goals and potentially supersede them one day. The Moriya Shrine are their own organization as well, but they are commonly found in arms with the tengu and the Faction anyways, particularly since they oppose the Hakurei Clan so strongly.

On the Hakurei Clan's side is the Myouren Corp, who run Myouren Street. It's almost ironic that the very group that attempted peace between humans and youkai would end up siding with the Hakurei Clan, but you suppose that explains why most of the founders of the Corp had all but left for their own reasons. You heard the Supreme Commander of the Corp left to join the Youkai Faction, being upset with how Myouren Temple was being run. As well, the human nobles of the city back up the Hakurei Clan as well with their own finances, who most people commonly refer to as the Rouge Company. It's all spearheaded by a highly vindictive woman who many people have trouble calling human, particularly since she's been around for a lot longer then a human should be able to live, but she claims it's merely a benefit of time on her part. Whatever that means.

There are many others as well, but you can't be bothered to think about them at the moment. They're far too small and not influential enough to really weigh in on the situation. One thing's for sure, the tengu and Moriya will greatly oppose the Clan on this move, and will very likely try to back the Faction up in appealing it, but based on how Amaya was acting, you're not too sure... they have something up their sleeve. It can't just be Myouren and Rouge, there's something else. If anything though, the Youkai Faction would know. Maybe it's a problem they're having? It could be that they've lost some power, or that the Clan has something that would weaken them. One thing's for sure, you will find out by going here.

You walk into massive tower and notice it's a tad crowded. There must be some big news going on here. Well, no matter, as long as you keep a low profile and make it quick, you should be able to get by without being noticed. You quickly head towards one of the reception clerks and make your statement.

"E-Excuse me, I'm Tengu Officer Sou-...uhh...Sou...ta. Yeah." Whew, that was close. You wouldn't want to use your real name here. Not when someone could overhear you. Besides, you're not an officer anyways but there's (hopefully) one named Souta. "Can I see a head representative please?"

"Officer Souta, was it?" The girl asks for confirmation, you nod a bit nervously though. You're not too comfortable being here. You hope you can get out as soon as possible. "Alright, do you want to schedule an appointment or is this an emergency?"

"It's an emergency, ma'am. I would like to see one right away."

"I will try my best then." The clerk says this as she goes over to a typewriter style machine and starts typing into it, looking at a piece of paper that prints out on occasion. It looks like she's checking your records to make sure you're telling the truth first. You hope to god there's an officer named Souta. Man, how does thing even work?

"Wait! Miss Yakumo, please, there are still unresolved issues!"

You hear a young secretary plead to her superior to your side, distracting you from your current worries. What you see distract you even more though. Out of the large hallway in the middle steps out a tall, slender beauty of a youkai, with a slick red dress that is almost chinese in style, and long, flowing brunette hair complimenting her black cat ears. On each ear are several different earrings signifying her success and conquests. Her long, blood red claws match the sharp, intimidating look her face carries, and yet hides underneath it a gentle complexion and intelligent maturity unlike anything you've ever seen. Her intense allure catches the gaze of every youkai around her, you included, and all the males instantly fall in love with her lavish elegance. You almost fall prey to it as well, if not for the most dreaded thing you were afraid to hear coming from behind you.

"Hey, it's the kid who escaped!"

"Get him!"

Shit.

---

"Ohh yeah, that hits the spot~"

You hear your Aunt Sango practically moan in satisfaction as she rests into the tub full of hot water, while you're still busy washing yourself in front of the mirror nearby, sitting on a stool. You don't know how that woman cleans herself up so quickly, especially with how dirty she often gets. Maybe she's used to it, or maybe you're just really anal about being clean yourself.

"How's the water, Aunt Sango?"

"It's great, you should come on in, Satoko."

"I'll pass. I'm not done yet."

"Slowpoke." You go ahead and ignore your aunt's teasing as you continue about your soapy routine. It's not long after though that she seems to get down to business. "So then Satoko, what'd ya need?" You were afraid she was gonna ask that eventually. All the while she was washing herself along side you, she just kept talking on and one about herself and what happened since you last saw her. She sounded so happy, it kinda lifted your spirits too in a way, but now is the time for yourself it seems...

"I can't just come to see my aunt once in a while?"

"Oh come on Satoko, you hadn't been around in the longest of times, something must be up. I just wanted to get all my stuff out of the way before you got whatever it is off your chest. It looks pretty heavy." How can she tell? Were you looking that depressed? You can't help but take a while to think of what to say before your aunt gets a little impatient. "... do you still visit the cemetery?"

"Y-... Yeah." You can't help but admit it, even though you know how your aunt feels. You just can't lie to her.

"She ain't gonna come Satoko, give it up. I know it's hard to accept but she ain't all that she's made out to be."

"I know that. I... I know that more then ever now." You feel what seems like barbed wire wrap around your heart as you try to say this. It pains you to remember what you've come to realize over the past week. But you're going to have to come to terms with it eventually. "But I can't help it. I want to see her, just once. Even if it ends in disappointment, at least I'll feel more complete..." Your aunt just shrugs her shoulders, leaving it like that.

"Well, it's your time I guess. Have you been keeping up with your studies?" Your studies... you really haven't given school that much thought since Souya came around. It's going to be even more difficult with Raimu gone. Raimu... "Satoko? You still with me?"

"H-Huh? Yeah..." Your heart feels like it's about to implode in on itself. You're not sure how much more of this reminiscing you can take.

"You look really down... is there something I can do for ya?"

"... yeah, actually."

>Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents
>Ask if Sango's ever lost anyone dear to her
>Ask for Sango's opinion on the political war in Risou, and how she would fix it
>You just need a shoulder to cry on...

Action? >_
>>No. 8383
Called it.

[x]Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents
>>No. 8384
[x]Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents
[x]Ask if Sango's ever lost anyone dear to her
[x]Ask for Sango's opinion on the political war in Risou, and how she would fix it

Why not them all?
>>No. 8385
[x]Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents
[x]Ask if Sango's ever lost anyone dear to her
[x]Ask for Sango's opinion on the political war in Risou, and how she would fix it
>>No. 8386
[x]Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents
[x]Ask if Sango's ever lost anyone dear to her
[x]Ask for Sango's opinion on the political war in Risou, and how she would fix it

Wall time.
>>No. 8388
Calling Multi-vote clause. While I appreciate the effort, that destroys the point of choosing in the first place, doesn't it?

Here's a hint: Which choice you pick dictates how Satoko feels about the subject she brings up. Whether she's worried more about her grandparents, worried more about her sin of murder and her friend, or worried more about the future and Souya.
>>No. 8389
[x]Ask if Sango knows the truth about your grandparents.

I feel that this would relate to the current situation as if her grandparents are still alive, then they might actually be doing something. But I wouldn't put money on that if I were you
>>No. 8390
>>8388
Yeah, I know it does but we love your posts so we want giant walls to feed us in the time you arent here
>>No. 8391
File 132315826776.jpg - (418.37KB, 750x900, 3b78f37898896af20703b9f8c4a4bcb6.jpg) [iqdb]
8391
>>8390

Oh damn you, flattering me like that to get what you want... well... maybe this time.............

I'll write all choices but I'll use the most prominent vote for the important parts of the story in the next and upcoming updates.
>>No. 8398
File 132336391339.jpg - (254.69KB, 400x1000, 239620de14e9a95b886a8ebc33e3e484.jpg) [iqdb]
8398
There's a lot you want to ask your dear Aunt. A lot that you don't think you could ask rest of your family, or even your friends. Your Aunt has always been very level headed and wise, so you don't think you're making a mistake by asking her all this. You just hope you aren't overloading her with so many serious questions. There's just so much on your mind though, you feel that if you don't unload it all now, it'll crush you under it's weight and make progressing through this ordeal impossible. You'll just have to take it one thing at a time. First of which is an important, serious matter relating to the now and there; where this current situation is gonna go and how to deal with it.

"Well, first of all, this whole political war thing going on in the city. How the Hakurei Clan and the Youkai Faction are always at odds because of the ongoing civil war between humans and youkai... how would you go about fixing that?"

"Fixing the problem between humans and youkai? That's a toughie. Feasibly, I dunno if it's really even possible."

"But it has to be!" You try very hard not to snap at your Aunt, even though you're quite adamant about this. "I mean, we're already co-existing now, right? It can be taken farther..."

"We're co-existing in a really broken state. This might be the extent of it. While there's humans and youkai that are willing to live together peacefully, there's just too much difference between 'em to where either can fully accept the other." You give off a deep sigh as the weight of the situation bears down on you fully, making you realize how hopeless it truly seems. "... although, I guess if I were in charge... first I'd do something about the youkai."

"The youkai?" You look over to your Aunt as she continues about her plan.

"Yeah. They're the main problem. Humans like us are stubborn but are also weak and easily swayed under the right circumstances. After all, it was us that came to the sudden conclusion that gods existed long before they even introduced themselves as such. Youkai on the other hand are powerful and lack a certain understanding that would help them socialize with humans. I'd probably put all the problematic youkai elsewhere away from the city and give them special treatment as compensation so long as they didn't cause a rukus in town."

"You really think that would work?" Sango just shrugs her shoulders in the bath in response.

"Who knows? I'm just an iron worker, I prolly don't know half a rat's ass." After turning back to the mirror you give it a little though. She says she probably doesn't know anything, but you know her for being unusually wise like that. There's likely some sort of merit behind what she would do. "Is that all you wanted to ask?"

"Uh... no, not quite." There's a few other things you feel the need to ask her as well. Although your heart is heavy thinking about it, and you can't bear all of it at once very easily. There's one thing bigger on your mind right now though so you'll have to prioritize a bit, at least to save your heart the trouble, if nothing else. "Uhh... have you ever lost a friend or loved one before? You know... in death."

"Eh?" Sango suddenly expresses genuine concern after you ask that question straight out of the blue. "Why do you ask something like that?"

"Ah, well a friend of mine in school lost a friend of theirs recently, so..."

Ugh, who the hell are you kidding? You can't just segue into that kind of question so easily, nor could you get out of it. It's a really heavy topic that Sango doesn't deserve to be burdened with when you're already putting so much pressure upon her. Your own heart isn't taking it too well either, but you're trying your best to hide it from her.

"I see, sorry to hear that. Can't say I really have much experience with losin' someone like that." Your Aunt then looks up at the ceiling, contemplating something. "But as much as he drones on about our folks, I don't think I could take it if I lost my dear brother so suddenly... 'course, same goes for you, Satoko, so don't think about dyin' anytime soon, huh?" You shake your head, adamant on knowing that at least you intend on surviving, if only to try and repent for the sins that stain your hands.

"Don't worry, I won't." There's a brief moment of silence as you try to think of what else to say. There's only one thing truly left that you want to ask...

"Is that it, Satoko?"

"... Aunt Sango. Do you know about... my grandparents? Your parents... you know, the truth about them." You can't get yourself to even look at your Aunt right now, but you can tell she's having difficulty with this one too.

"Jeez Satoko, you sure like asking the hard questions, don't ya?"

"I'm sorry..."

"Nah, don't be... you're a big girl now, so I don't think my brother will mind. Just don't tell him I told ya all of this, okay?" You look over at your Aunt curiously and notice her staring up at the ceiling again. Only this time, with a much more solemn look... an expression very much unlike her. "They had a lot to do... I remember being left with Alice a whole lot, and Miss Keine too whenever I couldn't go see Alice after school 'n' all. They were always busy, so I always held a grudge against 'em for that."

"Busy trying to bring humans and youkai together?" Sango just scoffs as she closes her eyes, relaxing a bit more in the tub.

"Yeah, that's what I thought too... but yak now, what can some random guy with his bad luck girlfriend really do?"

"Bad luck...?"

"Your grandmother was a kasha. 'Course, you already know this, otherwise ya wouldn't hang out at the graveyard so much. So what do you think that means, Satoko?" You look down a bit. She does have a point. A youkai known for grave robbing would sound like a bad omen. It's a necessary evil, but not one people are ready to accept, you guess.

"... so, what happened?"

"What happened? What do ya think? They got chased out." Ouch. That really stings. Sometimes you wish your Aunt weren't so blunt at times. "Well, maybe chased out is a little too harsh. They just couldn't take the heat from their oppressors and just up and left so that it could die down. Didn't do much, obviously. Especially from the tengu..."

"Wait, the tengu?" You give it a bit of thought before Sango continues, realizing what it may mean. "Are you talking about grandfather's companion...?"

"Haha, yeah, no one likes talkin' 'bout her though... for good reason." You feel a little confused. Sango is right about one thing, no one does talk about her. You've asked about her, but the truth is that you really know nothing about her, unlike your grandparents. Well, than again, considering this conversation, you don't think you know much of your grandparents either anymore.

"Why not?"

"She was a deserter, abandoned her duties at the tengu camp to further her own goals with Dad. Tengu never forgave him for that. Though, lotta tengu are just vindictive like that. I can't stand them." Whew, it might be a good thing that you haven't told her about Souya yet... "But Aunt Momi, that's what I used to call her, she was pretty alright. I got to spend one day with her, but while my useless brother slept the day away when we were left with her, I stayed up and talked with Aunt Momi all day. I wanted to be a lot like her... rebellious, but dutiful, different, but acceptable, strong, yet kind hearted... she was like my role model. She told me all about her time training with the tengu, her companions, how much she loved Dad..."

"..." It takes a few moments to register. But something about that suddenly clicks. The wrong way. "She loved...?"

"Yup. I didn't really understand it then either. I told her to take Dad away from that woman and make him her own, but she of course refused."

"... do you hate grandmother?" Sango shakes her head as she sits back up.

"Nah... I just didn't realize how awful what I said was at the time. I was young and impressionable, gimme a break eh?" After a brief sigh, your aunt continues. "Still though, she was clearly really troubled by it. I can't help but think that the compromise they came up with wasn't the right thing to do. Or, well, maybe it was, but it still just wasn't enough."

"Did she go with them when they left a while ago?"

"Yeah, 'course. She vowed to protect him at any cost and she was the type a girl who wouldn't break a promise like that, under no circumstances." A few things run through your mind at this point. Did she hate your grandmother deep down for stealing her love? Did she even think to actually take your Aunt's advice and take him back? How did your grandparents deal with her, you wonder. Your Aunt seems to catch onto your expression though and reassures you. "Hey, if it makes ya feel any better, Aunt Momi and Mom were really great friends, despite that. I used to think that my Mom was just putting on an act for her, but now that I've grown older and thought their situation through a lot more, she couldn't have put on an act without still actually trying. She didn't like it anymore then Aunt Momi did but like her, she lived with it and didn't make a fuss over it."

"I see..." Before you're able to say any further pieces though, you notice Sango standing up in the tub and stretching, before putting her hands on her hips, standing proud...

"Ahh! What a great bath! Just what I needed."

"That's nice Aunt Sango. Now put some clothes on. Please."

---

"Don't let him escape!"

"Get back here!"

"S-Stop!"

You don't really have time to look back at your pursuers as you wildly run back and forth between all the bystanders towards the other end of the lobby. You can feel it though. The murderous intent. They're not out to capture you, they're out for blood. It becomes apparent when you accidentally trip half way and roll around just in time to dodge a fist that drives itself into the floor just inches away from your head... brutally breaking it. It's at this point you realize, not only from looking at your chaser but from the sheer strength of their hook into the floor, these are daitengu! What are they doing here?! No doubt about it, the tengu camp is absolute in killing you dead for escaping. Had you not rolled over, your head would have been instantly crushed. You would have died on the spot. You don't have much time to have your life flash before your eyes though as you quickly escape before the massive lug can grab you. It's too late though. The long reach and surly arm of the daitengu that nearly murdered you wraps it's huge fingers around your small body and slams you brutally into the wall, nearly toppling it over with the weight of your body alone. Needless to say, it's extremely painful.

"Gyuuhh--!!" You don't have time to react. You can't react. Not in this state. With the steel muscles of the daitengu about to lay waste into your as it pins you to the wall, you realize it's all over.

"Lights out, kid."

...

"GAAAGGHHH!!!"

You distinctly hear the agonizing scream of your captor's partner suddenly, causing them to hesitate clocking you into oblivion. You open your eyes back up and look over the giant's shoulder to see a sight to behold. The woman you saw before, the one who distracted you with her intense beauty... she is now looming over the subdued body of the other daitengu, having successfully twisted it's arm into a highly unusable state. After dropping the large arm and leaving the poor bastard in a twitching, pained state, she starts walking towards you and your attacker, a masterful death glare painted on her otherwise stunning face.

"Let go of him." The daitengu, who keeps his grip firmly planted around your tender frame, seems quite angered by this approach.

"And what if I don't?"

"I will make you."

"You and what army?"

"I don't need one."

In the blink of an eye, suddenly the woman vanishes. The next thing you know, you're nearly cut in half as a sudden blade almost dismembers the daitengu's arm. No, wait, that was her foot. A few explosions take place. No, those are her attacks. Wait, just what is going on here? Before you know it, just as you hit the floor from being dropped, you're watching the woman pick the daitengu up by the collar, brutally beaten and in dire need of medical attention. The woman herself isn't scratched, and just merely looks rather pissed off.

"I trust I won't find your kind disturbing my kind and destroying my property again."

"Who... who do you think you're dealing with...?!" With a single glare shot back at the rebelling daitengu, she continues.

"I know full well who I am dealing with. I think it's you that fails to realize it." Just to demonstrate the sheer power she's imposing on the daitengu, she picks their partner up and casually flings them out the door. Despite how easily she did it, the hulking beast is sent outside at an alarming speed, destroying the sheer brick wall on the other side of the street. "You can go on about your pathetic little quest for power all you want, but never forget who's truly in control here." With those parting words, the woman sends the one she was holding flying just the same, creating havoc outside the doors of the tower. Ironic given why she was punishing them in the first place... "You." You snap back to attention when you realize the woman is referring to yourself. "Come with me. There are a few words I wish to have with you."

Oh boy. Here we go.

...

"I see. You made the right choice then. Well, for yourself anyhow."

You're sitting in a highly lavish room, in a highly lavish chair, having highly lavish tea with none other then Chen Yakumo, the great and powerful leader of the Youkai Faction. You knew it was her all along, but you couldn't help but be repeatedly stunned by her sheer brilliant beauty. You heard she comes from a line of extremely powerful and exceedingly respected family of youkai, known only by their name; Yakumo. In fact, it was a legendary youkai named Yukari Yakumo that created the Hakurei Barrier, separating Gensokyo from the outside world and keeping it's youkai, gods and faith alive and well, along side an equally legendary member of the Hakurei clan. The barrier is probably why both the Youkai Faction and the Hakurei Clan share such extreme amounts of power, because if not for the ancestors of either power, Gensokyo, and Risou by extension, would not exist. Of course, true to her family name, Chen displays such a ridiculous amount of strength, power and beauty that it would be no exaggeration to call her the most influential, if not the most powerful youkai in all of Gensokyo.

You wonder what the road to this point for her must have been like.

"Who's to really say it was right... I'm causing so much trouble..."

"You say that as if they haven't caused enough of it themselves." Chen puts down her tea cup as she looks at you seriously. Despite her mature, sternful look, she's actually very kind and benevolent, very rare for a youkai with as much power as she has. "I can't guarantee you protect again like earlier, but you have my sympathy. If it were me, I would have done the same, regardless of the consequences."

"Th-Thank you, Lady Chen. I can't express my gratitude enough."

"There's no need. It was convenient for me too. You merely gave me a reason to punish those I felt in need of such."

"Ah, do you hate the tengu that much...?"

"They have changed..." With a brief sigh, the magnificent lord of youkai sits back in her chair. She truly looks like a queen. "All they are concerned about is fueling their own power and controlling all that they see fit. It would not be entirely false to say that they wish to rule Risou for themselves."

"It's because the old Lord Tenma passed away..." You can't help but hang your head down in shame and regret, knowing that your once proud race has become so power hungry. "When the new Lord Tenma was appointed, she brought about several changes... a lot of the tengu approved, but every one else outside of the tengu camp..."

"Yes, I know of the ordeals the tengu have went through. Their poor reputation earned them the spite and malice of Gensokyo and I'm positive that they wish to exact their revenge by ruling over it. I'm certain that your current Lord Tenma is someone who was bitter about the way tengu have been treated... especially by oni."

"By oni?" You ask Chen curiously, not having heard of oni in a long time. You heard they were fearful demons whose names should never be mentioned. But you never were told that they had any relations with the tengu.

"Yes, in old times long passed, the tengu were subordinate to the oni. They were often used to do embarrassing and pitiful things, until the oni were slowly wiped out. There is only one oni living in Risou now and she is under my command at the moment, but the tengu likely still hold a grudge for the time they served them." That's so typical of the lord of youkai in Risou, having not only the supreme commander of Myouren Temple under her thumb but a legendarily strong oni as well. "So then, since you have told me your story, tell me why you were here in such a dangerous place for you. It must be something important."

"Ah, that's right... the Hakurei Clan..." Chen sighs in frustration, hoping that she didn't have to hear that name again.

"It's that again... I take it that since you are here, the news about the Hakurei shrine maiden dying is true." You blink a bit, looking over at Chen surprised.

"W-Wait, what?!"

"Someone assassinated the shrine maiden and her daughter last night. I was on my way out to see if it was true personally."

"Wait, w-who did it? Why would they do something like this?"

"That was precisely why I was going. They say the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. Although, that said, that would only raise suspicion that it was my doing that caused this."

"But... you didn't, right?"

"Even with what they were planning, I was confident in my abilities to stave them off with my influence alone. I hadn't accounted for this to happen..."

"Who... who would do something like this..."

A brief silence hangs in the air. You can't help but wonder who would do such a thing. To murder the shrine maiden like this. It's not just a matter of why, but also how. They have to be very powerful to be able to assassinate someone so feared as to be the head of the Hakurei Clan as their shrine maiden. You heard that the divine powers of the shrine maiden of paradise were unparalleled and that they could detain even those of Chen's caliber. It scares you. Frightens you. Someone out there is trying to screw Risou up, big time. This was only their first move. There's no telling what sort of destruction they plan on doing next. Then, as if avoiding the subject, Chen proposes something to you.

"Souya, was it? It has been a long time since I heard of your kind defying the tengu so bravely, especially in conditions such as these. If you pledge your allegiance to me, I will tell you everything you need to know."

"Huh? R-Really? That's no problem, I've wanted to help from the very beginning. I trust you, Lady Chen." Part of you can't believe that you just submitted yourself to Chen's will so quickly and easily, especially when you already pledged your life to Satoko, but there's just some things a guy can't help in front of a beautiful woman you guess.

"Thank you, Souya. Feel free to ask me anything then. I trust that you will put it to good use."

You can ask Chen anything, but keep in mind who is questioning her.

Action? >_
>>No. 8399
This is interesting... now to think of some good questions... it'd pretty easy to try finding out about Momiji's fate (can't ask about Rin or Satoshi as he doens't know about them well enough), not sure if what happened with Byakuren's temple counts or not.

Honestly I think there's two forces out to control things from themselves: one from the human side and one from the youkai side.
>>No. 8400
[x] Ask if she knows anything about who desecrated your mothers grave
>>No. 8402
[x] Did she know your mother?
[x] Ask if she knows anything about who desecrated your mothers grave.
[x] Whom does she suspect killed the head of the Hakurei clan?
[x] What is her opinion on the state of human-youkai affairs?

Here are my questions, feel free to add anything.
>>No. 8403
>>8402
This is an important person and we're taking up her valuable time. You gotta condense.

[x] Ask if she knows anything about your mother.
>>No. 8408
>>8403
Sukima didn't say anything about limited time. Nor did Chen in story.
>>No. 8411
I'll begin writing this Wednesday. If there isn't any consensus then I'll just pick what I think is the best vote.
>>No. 8414
[x] Did she know your mother?
[x] Ask if she knows anything about who desecrated your mothers grave.
[x] Whom does she suspect killed the head of the Hakurei clan?
[x] What is her opinion on the state of human-youkai affairs?
[x] What caused the foundation of that youkai organization? Weren't some of the founders with Byakuren?
>>No. 8429
>Did she know your mother?
>Ask if she knows anything about who desecrated your mothers grave.
>Whom does she suspect killed the head of the Hakurei clan?
>What is her opinion on the state of human-youkai affairs?

"Uh, well first... did you happen to know anyone named Momiji Inubashiri?" Chen seems to look at you a bit curiously.

"Inubashiri? I don't think I have. My apologies."

"I-I see..." Well, that's a loss. She probably wouldn't know then who would have befouled your mother's grave. Unless... "Uhm. W-What about kasha. Y-You know, grave robbers?" Chen looks at you a bit bemused again, wondering what you might be getting at.

"Kasha? They're hardly grave robbers anymore. We employ a few to deal with issues that involve dead spirits and the netherworld."

"The netherworld? Don't they kidnap corpses though?"

"That was their old job. We enforce a law that prevents them from doing so now."

"O-Oh, but then what about dead spirits?" Chen closes her eyes, beginning a short lecture.

"Kasha are among one of the most familiar with death across youkai that are employed here. This is because they are very quite living and breathing, and yet so in tune with the dead that they may as well walk amongst them. It is for this reason that they are able to travel freely in areas such as the netherworld without the fear of death's cold grip, for they are unto death itself. We employ them for dealing with such matters that involve the netherworld, since they can be seen as the thin line that skirts both life and death. The boundary of it, if you will."

"Sounds like an important job..." Chen nods in agreement.

"It is. Hence why no kasha under us would dare rob a grave. Any that do would be considered rogue and executed immediately."

Yikes. The Youkai Faction work just as hard as the tengu, you guess... "D-... Do you know of any then, right now?"

"No, I'm fairly sure our records have no information on any rogue kasha at large. They are typically very rare, in any case."

Rare, huh? So whoever stole your mother's body is a rogue kasha... you'll have to be alert for them then. "Alright... what about the Hakurei Clan? Who do you think killed the shrine maiden...?"

"If I had even a suspect, I would not be here talking with you..."

"Not even a vague guess? Out of the thousands of people that you know? Someone must have a motive." Chen looks over at you seriously, a stare that could freeze time, for sure.

"You should know, it isn't just a matter of why, but how. To be able to take on the head of the Hakurei Clan, as well as her heiress. I cannot think of a single person who would be strong enough to stand up to that kind of extreme power, not even myself."

"... then, it was more then one person?" You ask Chen, returning the sharp gaze, letting her know that you aren't intimidated by her and are willing to stand tall beside her. Chen however, seems to look down a bit, towards the floor.

"Possibly..."

Something isn't right. She's avoiding you... why would she? She has no reason to. You need to make this clear. "If there is something you aren't telling me, Lady Chen, please, do not hold back." Chen seems to think about it for a moment.

"They would have to be strong, and most importantly, extremely fast and agile to assassinate someone of such high sensitivity to danger. They would need intimate knowledge of their weak points to make a clean, efficient kill, and would have to be highly skilled in the field..."

Strong, fast, skilled in assassination and knows the shrine maiden's weak points...

... no, it couldn't be.

"... you don't think the tengu did it, do you?"

"..."

The heavy silence that Chen gives you is enough confirmation for you. The sobering reality sets in, you were a part of an organization truly out to dominate, at whatever the cost. Before you truly let it sink in though, Chen offers from kind words.

"Forgive me, they would be the most reasonable culprit, but that still doesn't warrant suspecting them. They have too much to lose and too little to gain from assassinating the head of the Hakurei Clan, so it is highly doubtful that they did it." You just shake your head though, you have to come to terms with the truth of this situation.

"No, it's okay. It's as you said, they're the only ones good enough and with enough motives to do such a thing, as well they have enough control over the media to prevent themselves from being caught too..."

Another silence soon follows. It's rather disconcerting to you, realizing that the tengu could very well be behind it. Who would stand up to them though? Even the Youkai Faction would face great opposition, trying to pin the blame on them, particularly with a lack of evidence. They would just be starting a pointless civil war and fueling even greater fires then what's burning the city down now. Although, that brings up another issue...

"Lady Chen, one more question, if you don't mind. What about the on going conflict between humans and youkai? I need to know how you feel about that." Chen seems to look at you a bit strangely. Although, it definitely seems as if it isn't the first time she was asked something like that. As a result, it seems she has a response already prepared for it.

"It would be nice to have youkai and humans co-exist peacefully, though there will likely never be a perfect world like that, so all we can do is try our best to make ends meet." Hum, for some reason that opinion doesn't satisfy you.

"Lady Chen, forgive me for my impudence but... that isn't how you really feel, is it?"

"..." Chen seems to be trying to intimidate you into taking that question back after you ask it using her cold, freezing gaze. You don't faulter though, not even in front of the lord of youkai. After all, this isn't just for you, but for your friends too. After seeing your steel resolve, Chen closes her eyes, and promptly tells the truth. "... a long time ago, a master I once served led youkai as if she were queen of them. She never had a distaste for humans, but she talked as if she could do without them. However, this was before she met the Hakurei Clan and set up the Great Hakurei Barrier. Long after Gensokyo was created, she continued being steadfast friends with members of the Hakurei Clan... although she never said anything about it, I want to believe that her relationship with the Hakurei Clan was a perfect example of how Gensokyo should have been. She, as a youkai, lived peacefully as friends with the shrine maidens of the Hakurei Clan. I wanted this relationship to continue, but..."

"What happened to her?" Chen almost seems to hesitate for a brief moment, before shaking her head. For the first time throughout this conversation, she seems a little pained. It's almost jarring to see such a vexing expression on her beautiful face.

"I... don't know. Before I knew it, her shikigami was in charge, and then me. I guess the true role of me and my own master was to simply be an heir to the Yakumo family line. Neither of them said where they were going, they had just... vanished." Chen then closes her eyes regretfully, the pain even starting to effect you a little. "If she had continued to stay, things might not be so bad... I wasn't able to retain the friendship between the Yakumo family and the Hakurei Clan. Then all this happened..." After a short moment of dwelling upon it however, she takes a deep breath and returns her to her sharp, cold demeanor. "Forgive me, talking about such things is a little painful."

"No," you go on saying, shaking your head, "it's okay, Lady Chen. I should be the one asking for forgiveness, asking such a prying question." Before you can go on however, you hear a knocking at the door, followed by a voice coming from within.

"Master Chen, a meeting was called by members of the Faction and it is rather urgent that you attend it." With a displeased sigh, Chen stands up and readies herself for some more tiring work.

"It sounds like our discussion ends here. My apologies if that wasn't enough." You shake your head, standing up as well.

"No, it's okay. I think I know enough now... thank you very much."

You're actually not sure if you really know enough... but it will have to do. For now, it's time to head back to Alice's and reflect on what you've learned.

---

"Ya sure you don't want a walk back home, Satoko?"

"I'm sure, Aunt Sango. You should get some sleep. I have a few places to stop by anyway."

You've long given up going to school at this rate. You're probably going to end up failing this year. You don't care though. Even if you went it's not like you'd be paying any sort of attention. You'd fail anyways, what with the chaos going on inside your heart. You hide it well though. But you're not sure how much longer you'll be able to. You can't wait to go home to the warmth of your family, but you still have a job to do. You have to make sure that family is going to stick around.

"Well alright then, take care Satoko, don't get into any trouble okay?"

"... alright."

A little late for that, Aunt Sango...

You head out the door, dressed and ready to take on the day again. At least, you look the part. You certainly don't feel the part but you'll just have to deal with it. You start through the area your Aunt lives in and head towards the main city. Although, something leaves a bad feeling in your chest. You start slowing down, and before you know it, the silence has crept up on you. There's no one around. The residential area, an area that should be bustling with life, particularly right now during morning hours, is... empty. Fear starts taking control again. You find yourself glued to the spot you stopped in. You can't move. Your joints are frozen. When you hear footsteps very close to you beside you, you're about to scream, until you see who it is.

"Ah! S-Souya..." You soon calm yourself down as you see your friend walk towards you, and you can move again. What a relief... you thought maybe some murderer was going to--

"Die."

shink

...

You're not sure how you did it. Much like the time with Raimu, your hidden instincts just suddenly kicked in, and you somehow dodged a blade coming at you at speeds which must have been far faster then the speed of light. It certainly felt that way, as in the blink of an eye, Souya went from being yards beside you to being inches in front of you, with your back against a wall. A wall that now has his steel sword embedded in it, no more then an inch from your face. It was such a close call that you can feel a light amount of warm blood trickling down your cheek, off setting the cold, freezing blade right next to it.

But what scares you more then your close brush with death a second time is Souya's face. It's different. Unlike anything you've ever seen before. In his eyes are a massive swirling abyss of emotions. Sadness, anger, despair, rage, contempt... your fear easily jumps up to such great heights that it seems to loop around, your nerves become shot, and movement becomes unknown to you. Even your thoughts quickly grind to a halt. You're not dead, but you certainly feel such.

"You killed her, didn't you?"

"...?!" Your eyes widen as you realize who Souya's talking about. Was... was he there? That shadow, it must have been him.

Souya saw you murder your best friend.

Something so unforgivable.

So disgraceful.

So deplorable.

No redemption could save you from the fate you're about to--

"DUCK!"

Your body suddenly reacts on it's own upon hearing that word as every thought and function is interrupted by it. A loud clash suddenly sounds above you as a thrown wrench collides with the sword above you, raining sparks everywhere. You can't move though. All you can do is sit there against the wall as Souya leaps back from the next attack, somehow still holding onto his blade from the first one. He deftly dodges a massive sledge hammer pounding the ground where he once stood, wielded by none other then your trust Aunt.

"Satoko! Get out of here!"

With an impressive display of power, Sango deflects Souya's charge, knocking him an easy few yards backwards, skidding across the ground. Although, it didn't look like he was attacking her... no, he's after you. Your blood is what he wants, not this woman's. So...

"B-But--"

"Go!! Now!!!"

...

You can't do it. You can't stay here. It'll be the end of you if you do. You'll have to pray for Aunt Sango's forgiveness later, and pray even harder that Souya shows mercy on her...

You run.

You run more.

You don't stop running, not even after you've escaped into the safety of the main town. No, how could you stop? The air of danger follows you wherever you go. Chasing you down like a hungry predator, eying it's prey. You're nothing but a tasty meal to it. The moment it saw you, your fate was sealed. No matter how many tears may escape your eyes now, there is no going back. This infernal city will be your grave soon enough.

You don't remember much of your wild sprint through the city, apart from bumping into a lot of people and crying harder then you've really ever cried in your life before. You're just so scared. So frightened. Everything is out to get you. It all began with Raimu's death. The blood that eternally stains your soul. They're after it. Everything is. Your heart will be devoured by everything that sees the tainted hands you have. You can't stop crying, screaming, running away from everything. It isn't long until you frantically run into Alice's shop without even thinking.

"Satoko? Satoko, calm down!"

You can only barely make out what she's saying. You can't really even see her well, not past the infinite number of tears being forced out of your eyes at such a disgusting rate. Your violent shaking doesn't halt, even when she grabs hold of you. Why did you come here? Were you just willed to be here? Or is it because of...

"Huh? What's going on?"

"Ah, Souya, she's--"

"KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

...

You just completely lost it. Looking behind yourself and seeing Souya there, entering the shop, possibly coming back for your blood, you ended up letting out the most blood curdling scream you could muster.

Thinking back on it, now that you've calmed down, that was extremely embarrassing of you.

"Here, Satoko."

Alice sets down a warm, chocolate drink on the table you're sitting at. Souya stands beside you, looking awfully worried. You've since learned that Souya had been at the Youkai Faction this whole time. It just causes you to wonder though, who attacked you? He looked very much like Souya, but now that you've calmed down and thought about it, there was indeed something off about him. Mainly his eyes... how full of regret and sorrow they were. Even though you were standing at death's door, you couldn't help but feel as if staring into that boy's eyes was highly sobering.

You're worried yourself. Sango... you pray she survived. But there's just something about that boy. He was after you, not her. He was clearly avoiding Sango when he was trying to get to you. Something tells you he didn't want to harm her. You don't know why, but you just trust this gut feeling of yours.

Right now, you think you're still a little too shaken up about yourself though to really give much thought to anything else.

"A-A-Are you alright?" Souya asks, quite shaken up himself. You guess the scream from earlier really shot his nerves. You don't blame him. You would be too if Alice screamed like that.

"Y-Y-Y-Yeah..."

Of course, you can't offer much reassurance.

"So your attacker looked like Souya, right? He must be a white wolf tengu too."

"... th-... there was something off, th-though." You're trying yourself to calm yourself down, to explain what happened. You're trying very hard, but it's just so difficult. "His... his eyes... th-they weren't full of life like Souya's... they were so... so... dead. Like he'd been dead on the inside for a long time." You look up at Alice and then at Souya. The both of them seem rather unsettled by this notion. Souya most of all. He must understand what this means... a white wolf his age acting on his own. Was he a prisoner too?

You don't know. You can't think about it right now. All you can think about is the overwhelming sadness, despair and fear festering in your heart. It's too much. So much that you can't help but cry. Just to break the awkward silence that came about your explanation. Tears fill your eyes, you grasp your chest, and you pray that things will get better. But you know that no matter how much you pray, things could only continue going downhill from here. Nothing could save you now. Absolutely nothing.

This steadily changes when you start feeling a certain warmth. A warmth that feels much like your family. But... it isn't coming from them. Arms wrapped protectively around you, as if saying that nothing will come to harm you so long as this shield stands. Without words, it speaks to you. I would never let anything bring you pain so long as I'm here to protect you.

As coherent thought comes back to you, you realize that the arms belong to... Souya. You're not sure if he had said anything, but just suddenly started hugging you out of the blue, out of sheer worry for you. It must be painful for him to see you like this. To see his master break down into tears so quickly. You feel...

>Calm. Like you could go to sleep like this.
>Happy. You think you want to cry some more.
>Determined. Things can't continue like this.
>Annoyed. He's the last person you want hugging you right now.
>Scared. You don't think you're ready for this quite yet.

Action? >_
>>No. 8430
[x] Calm. Like you could go to sleep like this.

A most interesting turn of events.
>>No. 8431
[x] Happy. You think you want to cry some more.

I suspect that the white wolf she ran into was a "successful" case of 'training'. Boy... the Sukima gensokyo sure has turned crapsack... what is it with future gensokyo and being so crapsack?
>>No. 8432
[x]Calm. Like you could go to sleep like this.

>>8431
I hope it's Souya's long lost twin brother or something equally cheesy. Gonna be great.
>>No. 8444
Sukima, did you get your readers something for Christmas? You know, like an Orin or Momizi short?
>>No. 8453
I've been having a particularly terribad christmas myself involving a bunch of extremely depressing things no one wants to hear about.

For any consistent readers that I've had that are reading this now, go ahead and ask for just about anything you'd want from me and I'll see about getting it done, it'll be heavily belated but it'll be my christmas gift from me to you guys for sticking with such a mediocre writer for so long.
>>No. 8457
>>8453
Sorry to hear that. I'm not really sure what to ask for beyond a scene for Rin and Satoshi's first Christmas together or something.

You've kept my attention for this long, so you're doing something right. Just ease up on self-depreciation but stay humble. I pray 2012 is a better year for you.
>>No. 8458
>>8453
You know what I want for a gift? You to write a sentence along the lines of "I'm putting myself down too much". Take your time with your life, dont worry and neither will Anon. At least, this anon.
>>No. 8460
ATTN: Sukima

As a reminder, you are still notably better than me. If I'm mediocre (which is a true statement), and you're better than me (which is a true statement), it follows that you're not mediocre. You don't have to win a Nebula award or whatever to be a good writer.

So knock it off with the self deprecation already.

Also, take it easy. Burnout is bad for you; I had a nice little micro-burnout after my September updating frenzy, and it almost killed me as an author. I would hate to see you have the same happen minus the "almost".
>>No. 8461
>>8453
If you're asking shorts I'd like to see a sort of surprise pairing

Though I'd rather have you take a break until you feel better about things as it'd be a terrible thing if your mood wound up ruining a story.
>>No. 8488
File 132605926634.jpg - (140.33KB, 640x480, a54176e04c04a9e299f24d0e0c5561e8.jpg) [iqdb]
8488
As a note, I really don't like working on anything less then five votes, knowing that I have at least a couple more readers then that. I can let four slide if there's no tie but three or lower just feels really empty, as if there were no interest in it at all.

Upon saying this, anyone who looks upon this post will inevitably just bandwagon a vote just to get the story going again so I may as well start writing anyways. Next update will be in a new thread.
>>No. 8489
And I forgot my fuckin' sage. Don't post completely out of it kids.
>>No. 8490
>>8488
I tried voting. It came through with a fatal error, and it showed before and I totally forgot to put it back in again till now.

[x] Happy. You think you want to cry some more.
>>No. 8491
[x]Determined. Things can't continue like this.
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