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File 128685507661.jpg - (80.09KB, 400x574, a86c4ad6b5df3d6c8a5982d7f95525f1.jpg) [iqdb]
17655 No. 17655
Is it time for an anon CYOA crappily done on the spot? YES.

----

You trek up the grassy hills filled with lumbering trees lined up the ascending path. Eager to go do something manly like chopping up some wood, you brandish your trusty hatchet and clean it with a cloth. Ah, manual labor, how manly and strong!

Just then...a blur flashes through your eyes. Okay, maybe you shouldn't have emphasized how manly you were. Your eyes dart back and forth, wary of danger. A youkai...?

Showing no effort to be afraid, you raise up your hatchet. However, your knees don't feel the same way. "I-I'm not afraid, you know! I can take on any youkai? Ha!"

"Oh, really? Maybe you should take me on?" a voice calls out. The blur (well, not a blur now, obviously), steps out of the brush adjacent to you.

"Heh...you up for a challenge, then?" you try to bluff. She pauses, seriously contemplating it. You meant it as a joke...please don't take it seriously. You take this moment to observe her. The only striking details you catch is that she wears a tokin hat, and has a camera tied around her neck. Her fan is also clearly visible.

"Okay!" she says, snapping you out of your observations. "And stop staring, that's rude." Oops. Were you really that obvious? Hah- wait, she said yes? Ah...crap. You're not getting out of this one. She wears a solemn face. Then smiles. “Just kidding. You can't match me, you can't even fly!” You were about to point out that humans can fly...but didn't say anything because you yourself can't. Now...if that certain shrine maiden taught you.

Hah...wait huh? Is that girl writing on a notepad? “Hey, what are you doing?” you say. She's oblivious to your comment, partaking in her writing. You motion towards her, trying to get her attention.

“Oh. Taking notes, why? Also, stop swing that axe around me!” she says, ducking from your hatchet. Why does this sound so much like an interview...? You sigh, but chose to leave it out (but not your hatchet, thankfully).

“A-anyways...” you say, still weirded out that she seems to be writing about you, or whatever. “Your name? I haven't met someone...interesting like this for a while. Or at all, minus the youkai. Usually, the youkai I find usually want to eat me, or wreck havoc of some sort.”

“Aya Shameimaru, humble tengu reporter. I run the Bunbunmaru newspaper! Now, yours.” It takes you a few seconds to figure out what she meant.

“Why do you need my name?” you ask.

“It's easier to incriminate someone when you know their name.” she states with an all too serious expression. You don't know whether to laugh, or to run away.

[ ] Whatever you want. Name may have significance? No clue, I'm writing on the spot.
Expand all images
>> No. 17656
We're the axe guy? Sweet.

[x] "Jack, humble human lumberjack."
-[x] Get back to work while you talk. "These logs will be used to make shoes for orphans; the longer felling them takes, the longer they will go shoeless. If you want to tarry here, don't be offended if I can't pay you my full attention."
-[x] "I've never heard of your paper, which is odd since newspaper printing tends to use a lot of paper, which likewise takes a lot of wood. Is the circulation very limited?"

I think 'Jack' is a fairly plausible pseudonym. If it should be Japanese, the given name 'Somao' (樵夫) uses the same characters as 'woodcutter' (pronounced 'kikori').
>> No. 17657
>You sigh, but chose to leave it out (but not your hatchet, thankfully).
I don't understand this sentence.
>> No. 17670
[x] "Jack, humble human lumberjack."
>> No. 17675
>>17657

What it means is that he chose to leave out his comment, but not his hatchet.
Yeah. it was worded weird.

[x] "Jack, humble human lumberjack."
--[x] "I've never heard of your paper, which is odd since newspaper printing tends to use a lot of paper, which likewise takes a lot of wood. Is the circulation very limited?"

hm, Somao doesn't sound too bad.
>> No. 17682
[X] Tarou Yamada
>> No. 17688
File 128693055578.jpg - (22.40KB, 280x367, lumberjack.jpg) [iqdb]
17688
[x] "They call me Jack. Lumber Jack."
>> No. 17696
Somao it is. Jack would've been awesome, but in contrast to other names in Gensokyo, it's too...unfitting. Which is weird, since it is Gensokyo. Err... so yeah.
Makoto (誠) is sincerity in Japanese. Or I think it is.
--------

[x] "Jack, humble human lumberjack."

“Somao Makoto, humble human lumberjack. I cut trees, obviously.” you state. You grin, proud of your profession. “The Bunbunmaru, huh...” you say to yourself. Where have you heard that name before? A picture of Reimu pops up.

'Here have this, it's junk anyways.'

'How rude, Reimu! It looks like they put their heart into i- wait, why is there so much about you? Look at the title: Evil Shrine maiden Infiltrates the Moriya Shrine!?'

You suddenly had a bad feeling about her character...

“Oh, have you heard of it? I can even write an article about you!” she says, delighted. Yes, you have, and you would like to never hear of it anywhere near you or your village again.

You shrug it off. “Nah. I'm too uninteresting anyways. Who would want to hear about a lumberjack, and a human one, at that?”

“Yeah, I guess so. You are boring and uninteresting.” Well gee, thanks for your appreciative comments. With that said, you head more into the woods, searching for some victims to chop. hehehehe

You stop and admire one, sturdy tree. It's roots are firmly planted into the ground, and a strong base holds the rest of the trunk thickly into place. Your hatchet rises slowly. “Wait!” a familiar voice says, cutting you off (hahaha, you're so funny) from slicing the tree into places.

“I haven't finished talking to you yet! It's no good just to walk off axing off the place!” Aya states, walking towards you. And she returns. Will she ever stop?

“It's my job. I need some money today, and this here tree will get me it. I'm free to listen. What's the matter, you have a problem or something?”

“Well...yes.”

“Then find someone else to talk to. You're asking a lumberjack for advice.”

“That's mean.” You look to grin at her, but her eyes are averted and her usual annoying smile is replaced with a small frown. You don't know why, but her sad face hurts a little.

“Hey...don't look so down. You look much prettier with your smile.” you say.

She smiles a little wistfully. “How charming. Reminds me of a tengu I know.” her mood drops a little. “Nobody really appreciates me, really. I defend the mountain faithfully, and I get scolded because I lost. Momiji gets away free. Lord Tenma always gets pissed at me, the other crow tengu, and even Momiji seems stern all the time.” It seems like she's talking to herself, as you don't have a faint clue who Tenma, or Momiji is.

“I...see. But then why are you talking to me about this, someone you don't know at all?”

“Because...you seemed nice. I don't really have...anybody else to talk to. People tend to stay away from me.” She smiles, looking fatigued. What a bother. But you stop to listen anyways. In a way, she reminds you of something nostalgically sad. But what...you don't really know. You place your hatchet down and pat her head. A small sound is heard from Aya.. You take a look at her face...small tears are streaming down her face. “I...I have feelings too. People think I'm sneaky and tricky, but does that mean they can put me in a position of hate?”

...Why does this remind you so much of something?

'Hey Somao, when's Mom and Dad coming back?'

'…'

'I...I want to know, Somao.'

'Sis...'


You clench your fists.

[ ] Say something to comfort her”
[ ] Try to lighten the mood
[ ] Write in
>> No. 17697
[x] Say something to comfort her
>> No. 17698
[x] Say something to comfort her
>> No. 17699
[x] >>17697

Aya CYOA? I can live with this.
>> No. 17700
[x] Say something to comfort her
>> No. 17701
[x] Say something to comfort her
>>17699
No. This is all about lumberjacking and trees. Deep in the forest cutting down trees.
>> No. 17702
[x] Say something to comfort her
"You never wanted to be a tengu anyway. You wanted to be... A LUMBERJACK"
>> No. 17703
[x] Say something to comfort her
>> No. 17707
Seeing how the bamboo forest is just in the opposite direction of the mountain. Mokou in, story out.

-----

[x] Say something to comfort her

“Hey. I appreciate you. You're someone that I can talk to.” Even though you just met her. “So that's that! If you want, I'll always be here every day. And that's a promise!” You say, a light smile creeping up your face.

She smirks a little and wipes her eyes. “All that for just me? And you know...I never wanted to be born a tengu anyways.” She takes a stand and genuinely beams. “...Thanks, by the way.”

“Don't get too cocky, Miss Shameimaru. I'll be here because of my job, not because of you. But I'm always open for discussion.” You pick up your hatchet, ready to resume your KILLKILLKILL chopping. “Maybe you can be a lumberjack too! Haha, just kidding.”

You take your beautiful axe and slice it down the tree. The base of the trunk topples easily, and so does the rest of the tree. One shot. Ace. “Heh, I've never seen a human cut it down in one hit before! It's not a big scoop, but I can see it now: Village Lumberjack – Strength Matches None!

“...Please don't write anything that'll get me into trouble.” you say wearily. “Besides, I thought this kind of strength was normal of lumberjacks.” You tie a rope across the breadth of the cut log, yanking it a few times to make sure it doesn't snap.

“Well, yes it is normal.” she says. “...For a youkai.”

You say nothing. Then laugh. “All the better! I've always liked being strong too!” To emphasize your point, you drag the tree base back down the mountain path. All part of the routine.

Flash

...Wait, what just happened? Disoriented, you fall down, landing on some shrubs. Luckily, the log didn-

Thump

“O-ow...” You groan out. Your head just made contact with Planet Tree, and it's in for some rough landings. You dust yourself off. Nothing more than just a small hit..er, wait, you lost your balance again.

“H-heh....Sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you...the flash just went off of my camera.” S'okay, you wanted to say. But all that came out was an incoherent mumble. Ten seconds pass by...or was it ten minutes? Anyways, you slowly get up, shaking the twigs stuck to your garments. You look around you. Next to you, is Aya looking a little guilty. “You should be looking a little more concerned, there. It's your fault I'm in a daze right now.”

“I'm not concerned...” She says. “I would look bad if my next interviewee died shortly after I got to them.” Haha. Very funny. You give her a glare, and Aya just sends you a sheepish smile. When you turn back to reposition your lumber, a small sigh of relief is given.

“You sure you're not a youkai? Any human I know would've gotten knocked out by that hit.” You rub your foreheard. Heh, happens all the time. But you don't want Aya to get the wrong impression, so you leave that out.

“Shouldn't you be going anyways? I think you got enough to write about me.” you say bluntly. You've been hurt and heard enough to tell that sticking around Aya means bad business for you. It's nothing personal, just survival instincts kicking in!

“I've decided to come down and see your village!” Erk. The villagers seem to hate you as it is already. Seeing you and that tengu reporter will be the end of you. But an idea is brewing in the corner of your mind.

“Eh..hehe. If that's the case, why don't we take the detour!” You take weird pathways, zig-zagging down the mountain. You take a downward slope across the mountain to your village.

Slideeeeee

Only a few meters away from your home! “Hello, Somao. Taking the scenic route, are we?” Damn it. You look up to see who called you out.

“Y-yo...” Baggy pants with red talismans poke out from you. White, flowing hair pokes a little under the pants. “Hey Mokou...” Of course, with your phenomenal luck, it has to be that phoenix-woman. You started off with bad terms, with a chance encounter with two immortals one day. Immediately, you sided with the princess, and all hell (fire included) broke loose. Well, those two would've fought to the death anyways.

“Whatcha up to?” Fortunately, it seems like she has no intention of harassing you.

“N-nothing much, just hanging out.” you blurt out.

Mokou eyes your log. “And what's with the tree...?”

“To put it simply, work.”

She looked like she was going to say more, but was interrupted.

“Oh, Makoto. How nice of you to bring me the supplies.” Both you and Mokou shift your gaze to Keine. School teacher or not, her headbutts have engraved a form of respect onto her. School did that to you. “A pleasure.” You say. You've always wondered if she has a use for the logs, like manufacturing them into scrolls, but whatever. “Also, I have a favor to ask of you. You need to send some wood to the kappa. I've made the plans, and a representative will give you the money. They'll be near the waterfalls in the mountain.”

Wait...the way she worded it, it doesn't seem you had a choice.



A scribble is heard. Actually, it's been there for a long time. Oh, yeah. Aya. You discreetly turn around. Aya gives you a wink and flies off, a blur...

You turn back around, and Keine is expectantly waiting.

[ ] Work, like manly men.
-[ ] Go home first, then work.
[ ] Gotta sleep
[ ] CAVED
>> No. 17708
[x] Work, like manly men.

I'm a lumberjack, and that's okay~
>> No. 17709
[x] Work, like manly men.
>> No. 17712
[x] Work, like manly men.
>> No. 17716
[x] Work, like manly men.
>> No. 17718
[x] Work, like manly men.
>> No. 17720
[X] Work, like manly men.

So we may be a human that became a youkai without knowing it? Or maybe we were born a half-youkai? Anyway, keep up the good work.
>> No. 17721
[x] Work, like manly men.
-[x] Go home first, then work.

A pit stop never hurts.
>> No. 17730
OP here, decided to hop the on writer's bandwagon and adopted a tripcode.
Also, write ins are oh so appreciated. Give this character some personality!
-------

[x] Work, like manly men.

...Right then. “Sure. I could use the extra money.” Keine bows and gives you a small smile. You grin back widely. You take the hunk of the log, and hoist the thick rope over your shoulder, turning the log on one side. The mounds of gravel you sifted through via the slope provides you ample footing on the half-steep hill. You flash a thumbs up towards Keine and Mokou and head on throughout the woods. With the lengthy tree zig-zagging through the forest, you make sure not to stumble, like last time. Though it was partly to blame on Aya... partly? It was all her fault. That's not important right now, but you keep that in mind the next time you see her.

Past the surplus of trees that you'll all cut down some day, a rushing waterfall is seen, along with a small girl with a blue dress and even bluer hair and eyes. A small, green hat compliments her...blueness. She is seen expectantly waiting for something...probably you and your faithful companion, the log. “Hey!” You shout out excitedly. The girl jumps up, a little scared, a meek squeal coming out. What is she so scared about? It's not like anything was going to hurt he-

thk

...Was that a conveniently placed rock at the top of the hill? You feel yourself tumble onto the flat surface of the land near the waterfall. You're safe, it seems.

crash

...Oh, hey tree. Almost forgot about you. With the sudden “tug” you did earlier while tripping, the log slammed right in front of you, merely centimeters away from the girl. It didn't hurt her at all – but it didn't help the fact that she seemed to be scared out of her mind.

“What is going on?” a voice yelled in the distance. You take your time getting up – slowly. You don't want to frighten the girl more out of her wits. You laugh, albeit a little nervously, and wave to the green-hat girl, and to whoever is nearby.

No need to get into unnecessary trouble... your subconscious says. Your brain sides with your subconscious. Okay, okay, two versus one. You give into your inner will.

A soft gust of wind blows by, and out lands a dog white wolf tengu. Her defensive stance in front of the kappa suggests wariness. “Have you been causing this ruckus...?” The sword stays down, but is facing your direction.

“Ahaha....if you meant falling face first into the ground, and accidentally toppling my resources, sure. And by resources, I mean my giant tree, there. Keine-sensei requested it for the kappa..?” The last statement you said sounded like a question.

“Momiji Inubashiri. Please do not cause any more disturbances.” She sheathes her scimitar. However, a still-shaking kappa feebly pokes her head out from behind Momiji.

“...N-nitori.” she says.

“...Eh?” You quizzically look back at her.

“...Nitori Kawashiro.” That must be her name. You mentally smack yourself on the head. No duh, captain obvious.

Offering a friendly smile, you pull out your hand. “Somao Makoto.” Cautiously, Nitori takes slow motions, but still moves towards your hand. She pulls out her own, and shakes it. You feel like something stupid, yet triumphant has happened. With nothing more to say, you carefully drag the log back in it's place. “So...where should I put this thing?”

Nitori, now less shaken, beams. “Just put it into the river!”

“...Just chuck it in?” She nods, vigorously. You think about something to say, but you kept silent. Whatever, it's her money. With some effort, you heave it into the river. The water currents slow down, now nothing more than a small push of the river now gently guiding the tree.

“Thanks! Now I can get to work on my new inventions!” She hops on it, and off the current goes. You smirk, thinking of how ridiculous the situation is. But something tugs at the edge of your brain, like something long forgotten.

“Oh.” You say aloud. With all this happening, you forgot to ask her for the money you needed!

Plop.

A small sack of money is handed into your hands. Momiji, with a particularly neutral expression, seems to have given you it. She motions to shoo you off. “Wait.”

“...Yes?”

“You said your name was Momiji, was it?” You recall back to your 'inteview' with Aya. “By any chance, do you know a tengu named Aya?”

“I suppose I do. I actually work under her. But nothing really more. I guess you can barely even call us close. Why?”

“Actually, she met and interviewed me. She mentions me being in the next article.” But something is off. Momiji's face falters, for a second, showing genuine curiosity.

“I work under Aya, yet I've never seen a published article over you. And I finalize the newspapers.” Wait, if she didn't make an article, or even mentioned an interview to her subjugate, why'd she take a picture of me? And why go through all the extra trouble? You decide to let it slide.

“Hah, oh well. I guess it means less publicity. I never really liked being in the spotlight.”

She chuckles. “You should be. Have people mentioned your unnatural strength?”

“Only once. Aya had commented on it, but I don't think anybody found it strange.” You say with a serious tone. “Well, it's been nice to chat. Maybe we'll meet again”

“Hope so. You could be a formidable ally, if you honed your skills.”

And so, the white wolf tengu bids farewell and flies off.

...crack

Whistling a small tune to yourself, you leisurely trek down the rest of the mountain woods. Your vision is a little obscured by the night tim- it's not night.

crack.

Something is approaching; you can sense it. Dropping into a combative stance, you hold your position.

[ ] Now's not the time to be scared – fight!
[ ] Spellcard
[ ] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.
[ ] Gotta know when to run.
>> No. 17733
[x] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.

C'mon, Lumberjack Youkai, no need for hostilities. Just talk it out until they attack, and then kick their ass.
>> No. 17734
[x] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.
>> No. 17735
> Your vision is a little obscured by the night tim- it's not night.

Either Mystia or Rumia, but probably Rumia, as we haven't heard anything except for those cracks.

[X] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.
-[X] If not then now's not the time to be scared – fight!
>> No. 17736
[x] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.
-[x] But prepare to wrestle.

It's turning into 'night' and something is approaching you while making a lot of noise but not singing? Gotta be Rumia.

You're not going to get much out of talking at her except giving away your exact position, but who cares? You both has massive strength, and neither of you can see in the dark, so it looks like an even match if you're both prepared. You grapple tree trunks all day, so a fracas with a darkness youkai should be doable. If not, it shows exactly how much you're lacking. Cleaving trees in twain is really cool, but when you opponent is already inside your reach and trying to tear your innards out, it's less useful.
>> No. 17739
[x] Maybe a peaceful negotiation can be the best.
>> No. 17757
[x] >>17735

In daylight Rumia's pretty easy to see coming.
>> No. 17780
Slowly, you reach out for your hatchet, but emptiness fills your grasp. Damn it, you forgot to keep it during your return to the village! Your legs tense up, feeling an ominous vibe. A deep snarl emanates from the vicinity of the area. “Hey...let's not get too aggressive. I think we can work out whatever you're harboring against me.” No response. A swift swipe to the stomach tears your flesh. Your mind hazes up for a little, and your stomach churns. Not anxious to fight, you keep pressing on. “Any reason why you want to fight me? I think we can do this with words!” The ending rustling stops for a second.

“Why I want to fight you? hahaha do I need a reason? Because you look like fun to play around with. You look so tempting....maybe I should just tear you apart, let you live, and kill your family after.”

You smile weakly. “I have no family anyways. Please, I don't want to fight you.”

“Well I do. Don't disappoint me, okay?” Even without seeing, you feel the youkai smile a vicious smile.

“...I won't.”

The constant rustling of leaves and branches comes back, and the youkai slides into view. A blur so fast your eyes can't even register, he scrapes his nails through your gut, further wounding your previous cuts. You clench your fists. You punch wildly around you to no avail. How can you fight something you can't fucking see?

So you're gonna give up that fast? That's no good. Don't think you can just justify your sins by dying. People care about you. The greatest sin now is to allow yourself to die. Fucking fight.

...Right. You know it's right. Clenching your teeth, you close your eyes. Then open them again. You strain your eyes to attempt to see the youkai. You feel a bloodthirsty grimace, eyes slitted with feral desire, just waiting to feast on you. Coming closer...and closer. To the right.

A swing connects to your target, sending the youkai flying towards a tree. The tree bark cracks, the youkai slumping down. Then it stands back up. “Not bad...in fact, greaaaaat.” The youkai's already slim form of sanity and consciousness seems to drop to zero. “EhehehHEHEE. I want you sosososSOSOSO badbadbadly. Your flesh CALLS.” He babbles incoherently, but fades back to the darkness. A blur flies by, but your body doesn't react fast enough. Blood-tipped claws flay at you. A bone-chilling rip through flesh rings out everywhere.

But you don't hurt. A pair of wings are spread out, a crimson tear in the dark void of the forest. A tokin hat pokes out from underneath them. “...Aya?” A voice of surprise fills your throat. For a split-second, your brain just tries to comprehend what just happened. Aya. Blood. Youkai. Claws.

...And suddenly everything clicks. “Hah...” she pants hard, breathing slowly. “...How stupid...of me. It hurts, Makoto. But it would've... would've...ah, I can't really concentrate right now.” Her wings fold, and her body slinks slowly to the ground.

You feel a sting from the inside. Like everything from the past just happened all over again. Like the corpses of your parents, something you really wanted to forget and stuff into the back of your mind. Losing everything that you cared about. Aya...has been a friend to you. Not the longest bond you had, but nevertheless someone you could trust...and possibly the only one. She confided in you, and you felt like you could do the same with her.

'Are you...trying to atone for your sins?' Nobody believed you anyways. Sometimes not even you could believe yourself.

But Aya did. And trusted you enough to tell you about her problems.

The youkai devilishly smirks. You smirk too – and plant a well targeted punch to its gut. The impact of the blow cracks the air, and blows him away, shattering a tree and every other tree after that in a line. “Enough of words.” You ball your fingers up. You walk a slow pace to the youkai. Not able to stand up, he doesn't plead for mercy; not at all. He laughs. He laughs like it's all a game. Like nobody cared. Like nobody was hurt. Your anger boils up. “ Shut up.” You raise your fist, and punch his face.

The sound of an explosion crackles through his head, then travels through the body. Its body quivers at the force, then stays still. The darkness slowly fades from the forest.

You don't even check the youkai's body, as you rush up to Aya. “Aya! Aya, are you awake!?” A sort of desperate voice creeps out of your tone. She doesn't respond, but her unsteady breathing is enough to tell that she's not dead. You pick her up, her front resting against your back, and carry Aya up the mountain. Hopefully, you can still reach some tengu patrolling their grounds.

While you're running with the weight of Aya, she stirs. “...I did something really stupid, right?” She winces, but smiles at you.

“What were you doing?” you say in an exasperated tone. “Risking your life for-”

“Somebody I just met, yeah yeah. Details...” she stops to cough. “don't matter. When the forest faded to black, I was really worried. I thought something might've happened to you.”

“...You were that worried for me?” You chuckle a little.

“Yes.” She says, with no hint of amusement. “...You're my first real friend. You gave me an opportunity to talk and express when I normally can't at all. For that I'm grateful.” As she finished her sentence, Aya's coughing grows more forceful.

“...Stop talking Aya. You're hurting yourself.” She doesn't seem to listen to you, as she goes on to say more.

“Before I felt myself slip out of consciousness, I said it hurts, Makoto.” She pauses a little. “But I wanted to say it would've hurt more if I let yourself get killed.”

“...You're so helpless, Aya.”

“All in a day's work, Makoto.” A silence breaks the conversation. You now feel a trickle of blood wetting the back of your shirt. You peer behind you, glancing at the scratch on Aya's wings. It really cut deep. You wanted to ask Aya if she'll be able to fly again, but decided to drop the subject.

“Aya...”

“...Mmm?”

“Remember when you opened up to me so suddenly? I felt really happy when I was able to comfort you.”

“Why?”

“Because it was the first time for a while since somebody put their personal trust in me. For that, I am grateful to you too. I haven't felt a sense of trust for a while. You've given me what was necessary for me to push on.”

“...” A warm tinge of pink crept up her face. Though you didn't turn around, it was evident.

“Don't say something so embarrassing, Makoto.”

“Haha. Alright.”

“And also...” She faintly laughs. “You called me Aya instead of Miss Shameimaru~” You would've allowed yourself to say something, but she quickly drifted to sleep. Was it to avoid hearing your response?

You arrive at the edge of the tengu mountain camp. You wave over to the nearby patrol guard. Startled, he quickly rushes to you, and takes Aya away. No words were exchanged, but you followed the guard into the camp. You try to clearly state what had happened to Aya and you, but you really felt tired and sleepy. You ask one of the tengus for the infirmary, and one points it out for you. At this point, you feel the world faze around you, and you lay down on the infirmary bed, not caring about staining the sheets with blood.



You wake up some time after the whole incident. The old shirt you had worn was removed, bandages in place of the scratch marks near your stomach. It felt a little damp, but otherwise okay, so you get up from the infirmary and...ow.

Your muscles are a little sore. Okay, maybe an understatement. Maybe like your muscles were ripped out of your body and used as a jump rope. You mutter a groan of pain. A tapping of feet is heard.

And Momiji enters the room. “Stop moving. You'll open up the wounds and everything else we've treated."

You laugh softly, ignoring the pain. "Hello to you too, Miss Inubashiri.

[ ] Ask to see Aya.
[ ] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.
[ ] Allow yourself to rest and recuperate.
>> No. 17781
I was really not impressed with what came out. I thought it was quite lacking, but I don't know. I still like the fact that I can toy with how Aya is represented canonically. Any suggestions?
>> No. 17787
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.

I say ask as isn't moving highly ill-advised?

>>17781
Interesting look... it's different than the ever infamous "Paparazzi whore" that seems to be popular as of late. It's a glance at a rather lonely woman underneath her facade of perky confidence.
>> No. 17789
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.
>> No. 17799
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.

LUMBERJACK PUNCH!
>> No. 17803
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.

Interesting start, looking forward to seeing more.
>> No. 17806
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident

So far, I really like the way you write Aya. Keep it up.
>> No. 17814
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident.
>> No. 17831
[x] Ask how Aya's doing.
[x] Talk with Momiji about what happened after the incident

Sure.
>> No. 17840
She greets you with a sigh, but her lips move a tiny bit up. “You seem to be a magnet for disaster. The kappa incident, fighting a feral youkai and dragging Aya into it.”

“...That's not making me feel better.”

“...But I see that Aya has been in better terms, emotionally, as of late. Possibly your doing. I don't know what your relationship with her is, but I would have to thank you for that.” Her eyes lightening up, she adds, “No matter how much I need to scold her, she never learns. Really, a subordinate trying to teach a higher-up. It's ridiculous. Be sure to guide her well.” Your heart feels like it's been a little less weighed down. It's good to see that Momiji actually cares for you, Aya! Speaking of her...

“I see...but how's Aya now?” The wolf tengu carefully shifts her eyes towards the door.

“She's been better. Nothing rest and time can't fix.” Her tone level seems even, but the fact that she can't face you seems to betray that she's 'been better.' You look eye-level towards Momiji, waiting for her to look back at you. When she does, you press on the issue.

“How exactly is her condition right now?”

“...”

“I need to know, Miss Inubashiri. I feel like it's my responsibility to know what had exactly happened to her. I got her into all of this trouble.” You plead with your eyes, but her eyes stare past you – like looking at something beyond your vision range.

“Aya has lost something. Maybe something she'll never get back. It probably won't ever be the same.” You were never a man of subtlety nor cryptic messages. Damn it, this is making you even more confused about what happened.

What happened.

...What happened. What exactly happened after?

“...If you're not going to tell me what happened with Aya, could you at least tell me what went on after my 'sleep'?”

“We underwent extensive medical care, as well as tending your wounds. The gash near your chest seems to have been infected, so we took care of that.” Momiji has a look of scrupulous doubt plastered on her face. All you do is manage a disappointed sounding “Oh.”

“...What are you really?” This question caught you off guard. An abrupt topic change isn't healthy for a conversation. You think about it, but not too hard.

“A human lumberjack with great strength.” Simple and to the point, but you're not too sure on how Momiji meant on her question. Philosophical or other?

“I see.” She says it with an unfinished tone, like she's going to say something else. Her mouth opens to say something, but she pauses.

Seeing how an awkward atmosphere is creeping into the room, you urge her to say something. “Miss Inubashiri, is something on your mind?” You sit up slowly.

“I have a question, and a very simple one...What do you want to be?”

“...If I knew the answer to that, I would tell you.” You smirk at Momiji, and she chuckles a little. You make the effort to stand up, but fail as you wince painfully when you do.

“Stop that. You're going to make it worse and start bleeding all over the place again.” Her voice is stern, but she thumps her palm to your head playfully. Even as she jokes, it feels morbid just to hear that.

tap tap tap

Footsteps are heard through the hall. It seems a little unsteady, but at a fast pace. Momiji moves towards the door and-

“W-waugh!” ...Did she just bark? “What are you doing here right now, Aya? Go and rest immediately!”

“But where's the fun in that?” You picture Aya, fake-pouting outside the door. “Stop blocking the door and let me in already.”

Reluctantly, the white wolf tengu moves aside to let a crow tengu in. When she spots you, Aya grins. “Crazy stuff yesterday. Perfect writing material for the next scoop.” She puts the back of her hand on top of her forehead dramatically. “But alas! The tengu chief advised, er, ordered me to not publish it at all. Sad day for this reporter!” Momiji looks a little miffed, but you played along.

“But my apologies! My deepest concern for you, humble newspaper writer. Your deep compassion chose to help me in my darkest time of need! And for that, I am eternally indebted!” You don't know what you got yourself into, but it's fun.

“No worries! It is all in good favor!” Not too sure if this is how Aya really feels, you try to adopt a more serious tone.

“Hey, Aya. I'm really sorry for not being able to help you. If I was stronger, maybe it wouldn't have been necessary.” She looks at you with small disdain.

“Don't be sorry. What I did is what I would've done regardless. So don't go starting on that crap like becoming stronger. You're you and that's what counts.” Her cheery attitude soon replaces her somber state. “I can't have you dead and all. Who else would I talk to?”

“...I wish you could be profound all the time, Aya. It would save me a lot of work.” Oh. For a moment, you forgot Momiji was in the room.

“But I like teasing you, Momiji~”

“Your teasing stresses me out sometimes.” She turns to you. “Please excuse me. I need to check up on somebody.” She leaves through the door, leaving you and Aya alone.

While Aya is turned to say bye to Momiji, you take a good look at her wounds. Most of it is covered by bandages, tightly woven around her wings, but a red-orangish tinged cut (with cut being a large understatement) streaks diagonally across. It pains you to even look at it. It looks too much like...like...like...

Ugh, your head hurts.

“Yo, Makoto, what's wrong?” Your head swirls for a second, but the feeling disappears as soon as it came. You think you should tell her.

“Want to hear a story, Aya?” She nods. “In a village, there was a son. He was raised with the best of intentions. Though he would always squabble with his sister, both of them got along. However, one day, his mother soon turned ill, and quickly sought her way to the dead. As a result, his father stopped working, grieving and wasting money. The son got fed up with it. He spoke back to his father about not caring enough for his sister and him. The father said nothing. The boy wished his father would die.”

You decide to drop the whole story facade. “I...had started worked in my father's place, as a lumberjack. But the hatchet was gone once. Figuring I probably left it near the forest grounds, I searched for it. I found it. With my father's body. He had killed himself with the axe. Shocked, I came back with the bloody thing. People looked at me strangely, and nobody was able to trust me anymore. Not even my little sister.”

“Are you okay now?”

“I am well over it. After looking at it in a different perspective, it's not wrong to think that way. It made sense for the villagers to think that way.”

“...How could you say that if you accepted a lie that you once knew was not true?” You have no answer to that.

“I...don't know. But I feel like I could trust this story to you.”

“You're a bad storyteller.” You smile.

“...Shut up, Aya. And you're bad at following directions. Go back to rest.”

“Nah, I think we'll go drinking right now.” She placed a big emphasis on the we. You don't like the sound of that. But you stand up anyways, not caring about how much it hurt...actually it didn't really hurt. Huh. Tengu healthcare. Good stuff.

“...Should we even be drinking in this condition?”

“No.” She winks at you.

The two of you walk out of the infirmary. She leads you over to a bar of some sort. No sooner than you sit, a large bottle of sake looms over the table. Aya open the bottle and pours the two of you some drinks.

Must be funny. An injured man and tengu walk into a bar....

You take a sip. A shuffling is heard to the left of you – it's Momiji, holding a sleeping kid on her back. Judging by the tint of red on his face, he appears to have been...err, drinking? You look at Momiji questionably, but she just sighs.

“Ah, it's that boy.” Aya states, seeming to know everything.

“Yes. He out-drank all of the tengu – and almost the chief.” Aya smiles widely, but the wolf tengu just shakes her head.

“I just know he's going to be a good one by the way he drinks.”

You want to know what's going on. “...And who is the boy?”

Aya smirks. “Tengu business only. Secret secret!” She takes her sake and drinks the cup fully. You finish yours too, and she pours for the both of you.

“No fair...Miss Inubashiri, tell me!”

“No.” How blunt. She leaves the bar and takes the boy with her.



It is the seventh bottle, and you feel your thought process shutting down. Whatever that means...wait, what were you saying to Aya?

“Nonono. I swear Momiji secretly likes to be scratched behind her ears.” Whaaat. That sounds interesting. You'll have to test it after. If you remember.

“Thaaat's funny. And real cute.”

“Hey. Don't you find me cute too?”

“Nopee. I think I'm cuter than you.” You laugh, because it was reaal funny.

“Because lumberjacks are the epitome of cuteness. Waait. You're strong aren't you? You successfully brought down a youkai. That's so strong! I think you can be a youkai.” She says this with such seriousness, you start to believe she's sobered up. But then again, you can't really tell left from right. “But what do you really want to be? A human, or a youkai?”

You want to be a....oh, the world's going dark. You think about it before you pass out.

[ ] Human
[ ] Youkai
[ ] …
[ ] Too drunk to think straight!
[ ] Write in

----
Yes, it is a reference to FoM. One time only, I swear.
>> No. 17841
[x] Too drunk to think straight!

Nah, too common for an excuse.

[x] Dragon

It shows that Makoto respects the gods. So much that it was his childhood dream to become one. When he was little anyway..
>> No. 17842
[x] …

Boring option for me.
>> No. 17843
[X] Dragon
>> No. 17844
>“Aya has lost something. Maybe something she'll never get back. It probably won't ever be the same.” You were never a man of subtlety nor cryptic messages. Damn it, this is making you even more confused about what happened.

This is going to be bugging me, more so as it never got answered...

I'll think on this.
>> No. 17847
>>17846

Bit slow there.

[x] Dragon. Only become the most powerful thing in Gensokyo (more so then Yukari ain't he?)? What the hell, even if we aren't it sounds cool.
>> No. 17848
[•••] ...

Let's not get greedy, now. This isn't Joe or Business, this feels a bit more serious...
>> No. 17850
[ ] Youkai
>> No. 17852
[x] ...

Dunno but dragon doesn't call to me
>> No. 17853
[x] ...

I really don't support the idea of a human with such a short lifespan so far and no truly inhuman capabilities could "ascend" to youkai status so quickly. The youkai that weren't born as youkai had existed for a prolonged period of time before they gained something resembling sentience, like Tewi and Medicine, and it seems to be too much of an evolutionary leap for someone to suddenly achieve actual superhuman strength and whatever else without first shedding away everything that makes the person a human.

If he had devoted what remains of his body and soul to a single driven purpose that consumes his very being (ie. Tenmoku Ikko), or achieved a sort of enlightenment that enables him to transcend the normal bounds of man, then I can see it happening within such a short lifespan. But as it is, this isn't a natural progression of age and experience for someone who is ready to depart from his human shell.
>> No. 17855
>>17853

Keep in mind it's only a "want" meaning this isn't going to be a "oh yeah I'm a youkai/dragon/whatever now"

Plus Makoto already caved a youkai's face in.
>> No. 17856
[x] Oni.

Such an honest life must be nice. Lot of booze too.
>> No. 17857
>>17853

PLease consider: Woodcutting. His NAME is basically Lumberjack. And...who says he's only been around a little while? Youkai have been shown to miss the passage of time entirely, after all, and since he has no human connections, who's to say he simply hasn't noticed?

But anyway, I like the reasoning behind
[V] Oni.

Plus, it seems as though we've started along the Oni-like path anyway. Super-strength, and all that.
>> No. 17859
>>17847
Here.

You know what? Im switching to

(x) Oni

I just like the sound of it better.
>> No. 17860
(x) Oni
>> No. 17861
[x] Oni
>> No. 17862
[x] Oni
>> No. 17872
Today was not a good day. Head throbbing, and aches everywhere, Yachi was having a hard time running for his life. “Fuck fuck fuck. Why is it always me? How unfortunate.” A human had caught Yachi at a bad time; he was tending to his wounds with an ice youkai, when this man just came straight up to him and chopped him with an axe. God damned ice youkai; never letting earth youkai a break. God damned human. Never ceasing this chase.

“Where's the decency in all this?” Yachi asks himself. He would've replied back to his words, but his breathing turns ragged and short. The dignity of it all – a youkai being chased down by a human. All he wanted was to heal up and go off, but no. Instead, here's a human chasing him down for no apparent reason. He attempts to reason with the axe crazy man. “Look, what did I do to you? Let's settle this with something less than chopping me down to bits!”

No answer. Not like Yachi really expected one. He stopped in his tracks...the constant pitter-patter of feet was gone. He instinctively crouched down. And a second later, a hatchet swings in the direction of where his head was. He finds no time to think; just claws upon flesh. The man screams and drops his weapon. “Goodness. Can we stop playing now? It's not fun anymore, and I'm really irritated.” The man slowly pulls a knife out of his robe. You grab the hatchet. And the two of you swing.

A bloody corpse is laid down near a thicket of trees, a clean line on the brim of the neck. “Killing was...fucking horrible. I don't see why it's so good.” He sighs and lays down, nearby the corpse. “Just you and me now. I don't like killing, and you. Well, you can't kill anymore, can you?”

Yachi's body aches, and he feels so terrible. And...sleepy. Before he notices, he's nodded off.



A crack is heard. Twigs snapping and branches crackling. “Ah. Shit.” In a low voice, Yachi murmurs to the body. “Don't want to be caught and burned at the stake or something. See you later. Or not~” With all the muscles in his body screaming at him for moving too quick, he staggers slowly out of the way, covering himself with branches and leaves. Thank the heaven for fall season!

The boy cries out in surprise, but no tears are shed. No lamenting words, or any other sentimental feelings. Just a crushed, but innocent face on the boy. He numbly lifts the hatchet, and treads off towards the human village. Yachi sighs, and feels a little guilty. Then again, the very same body did try to kill him...

This didn't stop the earth youkai from saying something. “If I did something bad to you, I am sorry little boy. Truly, I am. However, I feel nothing from killing your father. So don't judge me for it.” He says these words, but the wind gently blows it away, carrying it far off. Yachi remains still no more, and limps back to a (hopefully) more safe location.

He sits down near a river. And passing by are tiny little dolls floating about. Yachi smiles and waves. He waits. Something else from the corner of his vision waves back. It was a woman with green hair and a frilly dress. “Hello.”

“Hello, young one.” She smiles sweetly. Yachi keeps on grinning and staring at the dolls. But there is work to be done. Digging under chunks of dirt, the earth youkai pats it directly onto the cuts and gashes. It'll heal, but only time and rest will heal the bruising and sore muscles.

“So...what're these things for? They look pretty cute.”

“They are here to take away ones misfortunes. I place all of the humans' misfortunes on these dolls to atone for sins and misgivings.”

“Wow! Humans must love you for what you do!”

“No, child. They rather despise me, as I am a curse god. Misfortune seems to draw around me. However, I do my best to take it away as well.” That Yachi thinking. About that boy...

“...Can you do a favor for me then? I would like you to take away misfortunes from a human boy. He seems to be a lumberjack's son down the village. Not too sure on the specifics.” The youkai asking a curse god to bless a human, Yachi thought that sounds awfully suspicious and weird. But the curse god is (thankfully) not asking any questions. She just nods.

“I will do it as soon as possible. I already know the human boy.” She puts a little stress when she said human. Yachi cheers on the inside, not even knowing why he asked to bless the human boy in the first place. But it felt like the right thing to do.

He gives his thanks, and excuses himself to leave. “A-ah...” Then, he falls on his butt. His legs gave way to pain, and pain was not something Yachi really enjoyed.

“Do you need a place to stay to heal?” It's like an angel came to help the earth youkai! Or, a god.

“Y-yes...If you please.” The curse god picks him up with ease, and drifts out, away from the river. “Oh, I never got to ask you your name. But my name is Yachi!”

“You could call me Hina. Hina Kagiyama.”


-----
I was going to continue on, but shit happened and my girlfriend left me. 'Tis okay, because I'm not lonely at all! ;_;

I'm half finished with the second half of this. I just don't think my writing will progress well when I'm ohgodwhydidthishappennoooooo.

No choices.
>> No. 17888
Wait, what was the question again? And why does your head hurt so much? Agh, you can't concentrate on whatever was...being talked about. Or something. You open your eyes. And up comes Momiji's stern face glaring at you an- “You take care of your wounds, then go drinking? With Aya? Really, I thought you'd be smarter than this.” She shakes her head, sighing with contempt.

“A drink never hurt anyone! Okay, that's a lie, but it was necessary.” Your eyes start to focus, images sharpening up the more you blink. Aya is sitting next to the bed, on a reclining chair.

“Yeah.” You agree with Aya. “We've had some insightful wisdom!”

“Like what...?” Momiji asks, a little skeptical. Or maybe a lot skeptical. You struggle to think of what enlightening discussion you were talking about.

...That's it! You motion for Momiji to come closer. She's close enough to touch her. And you do. She squeals, and her face becomes red. “S-stop it...” You continue scratching behind her ears. Hah, she really does like it! Aya slaps your hand away. “Bad Makoto.” You drop your head in mock shame. You sneak a look at Momiji, though. Her eyes are stern, but a slight pout protrudes out of her otherwise tense expression.

It was worth it. No wait, there was something else other than that.. You struggle to remember something important.

”Somao, you're adopted.”

“I knew that, Mommy! Otherwise I wouldn't have light brown hair!”

“Yes, it's unbelievab- what?”

“Daddy told me!”


...That sounds relevant, but you can't really pinpoint what caused you to remember this. Shouldn't have drank so much...or maybe it came up because you were drunk?

Something...a question? Oh, yeah. What do you want to be...you can't really answer that. What are you...? You can't really answer that either.

...Who cares? Being human is what you are. And what you're best at.

And you notice both Aya and Momiji staring. “...What?” you casually ask.

“You seemed to be deep in thought there, Makoto.” Aya smirks. “You had this kind of...frowning face. Like you were trying to squint at something far away.” She plays with her camera.

“I was just trying to think about something I forgot. It's annoying.” You take a look at the camera. “Is that a different camera? The lenses look different, as well as the structure.”

Momiji smiles. “How sharp of you, Makoto. That is Aya's per- mpmpfff” Aya slaps her hand on top of the wolf tengu's mouth.

“It's nothing. Isn't that right Momiji?” She nods her head.

“I know that's not the case. Let me see the camera, Aya!”

A faint shutter clicking sound occurs. You're surprised. Aya looks even more surprised. Then, her face becomes distraught. It had seemed to come from outside.

[x] Go on an adventure check out what it was.
[x] No thanks, you're perfectly fine without any more surprises. The last one almost killed you.
[x] Something's been bothering you..

----

I just wasn't that into it today. I felt like I could've expanded, but argh. Guess I'm not really in the mood.
>> No. 17889
[x] Something's been bothering you.. .

...but what? Let's find out!
>> No. 17893
[x] Go on an adventure check out what it was.
>> No. 17894
[x] Go on an adventure check out what it was.

Maintain the jovial mood, save the serious for later.
>> No. 17896
[x] Go check out what it was.
>> No. 17897
[X] Go check out what it was.

Hello Hayate.
>> No. 17900
>>17897

>Hayate

uh...
>> No. 17902
[x] Something's been bothering you...

I'm curious. Where does this lead?
>> No. 17905
[X] Something's been bothering you..

Mystery option.
>> No. 17907
[X] Something's been bothering you...
>> No. 17909
[x] Something's been bothering you...
>> No. 17911
[x] Go check out what it was.

Go away Hatate, you're ruining the mood.
>> No. 17914
[x]Go check out what it was
>> No. 17915
> Go away Hatate, you're ruining the mood.
I like this Hatate.
>> No. 17918
[X] Something's been bothering you...
>> No. 17919
[x]>>17918
>> No. 17920
[x] Go check out what it was.
>> No. 17922
I think the "something been bothering you" choice refers to something about the situation, not so much Hatate. I'd think it'd lead to more insight than chasing futilely after a Tengu brat.
>> No. 17925
Decisions, decisions. I'll start writing when the votes aren't so evenly matched.
>> No. 17926
[X] Something's been bothering you...
>> No. 17929
[x] Something's been bothering you...
I don't particularly care about Hatate right now.
>> No. 17930
[x] Something's been bothering you...

Calling it, because I'm itching to write.
...tomorrow.
>> No. 17931
[x] Go check out what it was.
>> No. 17932
Saving this as "CYOAyayayaya."
>> No. 17933
“...Was that a-”

“Never mind that, Momiji!” Aya blurts out. The wolf tengu seems a little annoyed by the fact that she was cut off (twice), but she lets it go. You can see her getting ready to leave.

Huh...you feel a little off. In fact, the floor seems to be a little slanted. You attempt to stand up, but your legs wobble around a little. At least there's no major headach- owouchouch, hurt. Okay, a skull-cracking headache just spouted out of nowhere. You lean against the wall for support, touching the top of your head. Weird...aren't headaches supposed to be near the forehead? Aya and Momiji are staring at you again...

“You okay Makoto...?” Aya seems a little concerned for your well being.

You decide not to lie. “N-no...My head hurts quite a bit for some reason. Like somebody bashed it in with a hammer.” Her face shows a frown, and she presses her palm against your forehead. She judges the temperature of your forehead.

“No signs of a fever. Or anything.”

“It could just be a little headache, doubled by the fact that you've been drinking.” Momiji adds in.

You shake your head no. “That's not it. It feels a little bit different from the usual hangover! And- wait, it's gone.” The unfamiliar pulsing in your head has subsided, and the floor seems to have shifted straight back up. However, you still feel a little bit dizzy. “Yeah, I think it's better now!”

“With that taken care of, I have to go. I need to patrol the mountains today.” Grabbing her sword and shield, she takes off into the wilderness. You rub your head.

...A tiny speck of red is visible on the tip of your finger. Small enough for Aya not to notice, but you sure do. All you do is stare at it.

“Makoto. Why are you staring at your finger?” You quickly wipe your hand on your pants.

“No reason.” You dismiss it quickly.

“Well then. You ready to go outside? I think we need the fresh air.” You think it's true. You've been staying in this infirmary for far too long.

“Sure!” You feel all better now, but you trip anyways. Aya reflexively catches you. You latch onto her, instinctively preventing yourself from falling. But you hear the click of a shutter. It sounds a little different than usual cameras.

“That damned...!” Aya curses. You regain your footing, while she goes out for a second to yell obscene words at whatever made the noise. You see her re-enter the room. “Sorry for that! I had to talk to a colleague. You okay now?” You nod.

“...Who or what was that?”

“Hatate. Some rival newspaper reporter. She's always trying to steal my scoops. And my subscribers.” She mumbles on and on.

“In any case, let's go out now. I feel a little cramped inside this place.” You step out of the infirmary (at last!), with Aya trailing behind you. You casually walk to the outskirts of the forest. An axe next to a tree stump lays leisurely on the ground. It seems to be taunting you. “Damn it, you! I needed you the most, and you left me!” You sit on the stump and grasp the axe , hugging it.

“A touching reunion.” Aya snickers. But she looks a little reminiscent. “Doesn't this bring back memories?”

“Yeah. It feels so nostalgic an- hey, wait. These 'memories' are all recent! That's not nostalgic at all.”

“But it's poetic!” She points to the stump you're sitting on. “The tree has been cut down in its prime. A lonely little thing amidst all these other trees. Besides, this place holds a significant place in my memories.

...You stand up, take your axe and swing at a nearby tree. Its base topples over easily. “There. Now it won't be lonely anymore. It has a partner!”

Aya sits down on the fallen base. “You're so stupid, you know that?”

You sit down on the (newer) stump. “Haha, yep.” A small silence grows between the two of you. But it's not an awkward silence. A whistling of the wind flows throughout the forest. You wanted to ask her something.

[ ]
>> No. 17938
I'm tempted to ask what Momiji meant by "What she lost she'll never gain back" but not sure if this is the right time.

I'll try to think of some other questions. But I must say this was an unexpected surprise.
>> No. 17939
>>17938

I personally think that it's her heart. d'awww...

But yeah, no idea for the write-in. Something a little too sappy or cheesy? I'm just taking a swing in the dark, here, but...

[x"You said this place has a significant place in your memories. What about me?"
>> No. 17941
>>17939
Dunno, she spoke with a solem tone when she said that, not a remotely joyous or forlorn one.
>> No. 17944
>>17941

Serious tones have their place in these circumstances. "You take good care of little Aya, now, boy. If you hurt her..." etc.
>> No. 17945
[x] "You said this place has a significant place in your memories. What about me?"

It's the only write, in and I firmly support cheesiness and sappy dialogue.
>> No. 17977
[x] Ask to see the camera from before.
Why not?
>> No. 18001
>>17977 here, changing vote to
>>17939
>> No. 18008
>>17938
Bandages around the wings...Sounds like losing the ability to fly, wich would be quite a blow to a tengu...

[x] "You said this place has a significant place in your memories. What about me?"
>> No. 18009
>>18008
What kind of Touhou needs wings to fly?
I don't think so.
>> No. 18010
>>18009
it's not so much flying but a matter of pride; though... not every flies via magic/special ability.... But that answers the question.

[x] "You said this place has a significant place in your memories. What about me?"
>> No. 18013
I was thinking about a title, but nothing will come out. Any takes on what it should be?

---------------

Your voice breaks the even silence. “Aya, I got to ask something.” You feel that it needs to be said.

“Hm, what is it?” She seems to be basking in the sight of the woods and atmosphere of the scenery.

“You said this place has a significant place in your memories, right?”

“Yeah. A place where someone actually listened to my problems.” And that somebody would be you. Which is why you want to say more.

“...What about me?” She seems puzzled for a moment, trying to register what was said. Then, she turns her face away, towards the fallen log.

“Why do you always say such embarrassing things? But...you hold a special place in my memories too. You're that stupid lumberjack.” She turns back around to face you, but her blush paints a hint of red on her cheeks. She moves around to touch your cheek. “But thanks. At least you're a stupid lumberjack that listens to me.” Aya smiles warmly. “You're blushing!” You take a hold of her hand. The color on her face reappears.

“But you're blushing too. I just like being complimented, that's all.” You move your hand out of the way, and Aya retreats back to her own stump.

“S-so....” The way she's curled up into a small ball makes you laugh, which makes her laugh.

“...Will memories like these fade into the forgotten past, or do you think you'll still remember me long after I die?” Aya looks at you, then thumps you on the forehead. “...Ack. What was that for?”

“Dwelling on the sad stuff will make you a sad person. Living in the present, but thinking about the future is no good.” She pats your head and wraps her arm around your shoulder. “Don't make me think that way. I feel odd talking so solemn.”

Click.

You turn your head over towards the sound. A girl with brown hair and a purple and black checkered skirt is seen sitting on top of a branch of a nearby tree. In her hand, is a yellow...thing with a red heart on it.

She jumps off and in between you and the other crow tengu. Aya's face seems a little...dissatisfied. “What'cha guys doing here?”

“Nothing, really. We were just leaving, Hatate.”

“Not so fast, Aya.” She pulls up your chin, her eyes directly fixed at you. You feel like you're being examined... “Quite an interesting person you got here. He's obviously the Makoto, right? I need to talk to him for a bit. Alone, if you please.” She playfully places her arms around you.

“Why?”

“Important stuff.” Glancing at her suspiciously, Aya doesn't move. Hatate gives the motion to shoo her away. Sighing, she gives in and walks back towards the mountains.

“Alright then. See ya later, Makoto.” Once she leaves, Hatate gives you a weird stare.

“I see you've been hanging out a lot with Shameimaru. I even have pictures of it.”

“...I know you have a newspaper, but can you keep those out of them?”

“You're implying that I would use these picture to tarnish her reputation. I'm not that evil!” She fishes out the pictures from her pockets, then throws it to you. “I'm not here for that. I'm here because of Shameimaru.”

“...Huh?”

“You seem pretty close to her. And it's been a long time since she got close to anybody, really.” Hatate points a finger at you. “Don't do anything stupid to her.” She snaps her camera-thing closed and quickly flies away. Leaving you with more questions than answers, you set off back towards your home...you haven't seen it for a while.

A figure waves towards your direction. Moving closer, you see that it's Keine, but she looks worried. “Makoto! Where have you been? It's been a while since I saw you.” Squinting, she looks over the bandages you got from the tengu infirmary. “And in bad condition too. What happened?”

“A youkai attacked me. I'd rather not go into the specifics, but Aya and I got hurt. I managed to finish it off, but it was odd. It enveloped the forest in darkness.” Keine creases her eyebrows.

“I see. Good thing you didn't get hurt too badly.”

“...By the way, Keine-sensei, what are you doing here right now?”

“It's nothing.” It was obviously not nothing, but her stern expression urges you not to press on. So you don't.

“Um, okay, bye!” You awkwardly end the conversation. She dismisses you with a goodbye and sets off somewhere else.

As you draw nearer to your home, a small headache resurfaces. But you don't care, walking closer and closer. You finally enter the room, and drop yourself on the bed. You feel tired...like always. What you want is some sleep, and you'll get it. All these events made you feel weary. Your eyelids close, and you venture off into your dreams.

[ ] 'Did you drop this rusty one, or that gold one?'
[ ] And back into the soil
>> No. 18015
[x] And back into the soil

About the title, I'll leave that to other anons. I can't really think of any title suited for this story. But I'll see to it.
>> No. 18017
[ ] 'Did you drop this rusty one, or that gold one?'

Kappa choice?
>> No. 18019
[x] 'Did you drop this rusty one, or that gold one?,

I interpreted this as Makoto, as it refers to honest axe; His name means sincere lumberjack...so if you put two and two together = his side or plot?

So the soil must mean the earth youkai. (Or I can be totally wrong and it ends up not being them at all)
>> No. 18020
[x] 'Did you drop this rusty one, or that gold one?,

I guess. Sorely tempted to go for soil, but...
>> No. 18086
Title still up for ideas. Also, big epiphany. I just put in the reference of honest axe for kicks, but I realized that Somao Makoto means “sincere lumberjack” which is very close to “honest axe.” I'm such a subtle genius, I amaze myself! [/ego]

And, is this story good enough to continue on? I could just cut it short into one thread, or expand into a real story with a chance of more threads. Sorry for rushing this whole story, I keep on finding constant flaws, but I think it's just be being nit-picky. And sometimes I get too caught up reading and voting on other threads.

----

Aya walks towards you, waving frantically and smiling widely. You walk closer to her, and wave back. A gigantic ring protrudes out on her finger. You suppress your questions. But it gets answered anyways.

“Makoto! Makoto! I got married!”

“E-eh!?” You take a staggering step backwards. You'd never imagine someone like Aya to get married. “To whom?”

“Look!” She turns around and whistles. Momiji comes running on all fours, panting wildly. Aya takes ahold of her by the collar and pats the wolf tengu on the head.

“W-what...is going on?” If you were spectating this from another point of view, you probably would've laughed. “I don't understand...” An ear-shattering explosion bursts out from behind the two. “No! This will not do!”

...Hatate emerges from the debris cloud, wearing a suit. Okay, you lost your sense of sanity. Nothing much. “You cannot marry my Aya! She is my precious little daughter!”

“!?” Words cannot express how confused you are.

“Hey Ma-ko-to! Wake up.” A hand tugs at your wrist. You look behind to see the person, expecting something utterly insane. But Nitori looks up at you with expectant eyes. “Wake up.”

“Wake up! Makoto!” You jolt out of your deep slumber, waking up to feel a jolt of pain coming up from your head.

“...Niiitori, is this a nightmare?” Not fully awake, you moan as your body rolls down onto the floor. Keine looks over you with two giant brown eyes filled with worry.

“You've bled. Quite a lot.” Blinking a few times, your eyes grow accustomed to the light of afternoon. And on your bed and pillow is a fresh pool of blood. But all you can think about is the problem of washing the sheets after it dries.

“Makoto.” Keine says this urgently. “You're still bleeding.” You examine your bandages to see if anything reopened. However, nothing seems to be fresh. You scratch your head...and the familiar damp sensation touches the fingers of your hand.

“Oh.” you say dumbly. At least it isn't spurting out. You unwrap the bandages around your chest an- Keine smacks them out of your grasp.

“...Don't you know it's bad to reuse bandages?” Without giving you a second glance, she moves around your cabinets. A long roll comes out of them. She gingerly places the roll across, zig-zagging throughout your head. “It'll do. It doesn't seem like you're dying or anything, but the blood coming out was substantial. I think you'll just be dizzy-headed at most. Are you sure you're okay?”

“I'm fine.” is all you can say. You'd expect her to press on and ask non-stop questions. However, Keine just sighs and sits down on a nearby chair next to a table. Eager to change the subject, you divert it away from your incessant bleeding. “Miss Keine, if I can ask, why were you here to see me?”

“Why, I was worried. Call it a teacher's intuition, but I sensed something was wrong.” You relax a bit more, recalling several memories of her “teacher's intuition.”

“...Like the last time, where you thought that Rei-”

“Be quiet, you.” She chides you with a carefree expression. “Oh, and that reminds me. You still have homework to make up from.”

...You feel a bit shaky. “H-how many years overdue has it been...?”

“A long time.”

“Maybe later...” Keine stares at you with the familiar expression. The you-never-do-your-homework, and the I'm-disappointed-in-you look mixed into one. One that you have seen all the time.

“I'll be off then.” She bows once before leaving the small house. But all the while, her expression did not change, no matter how polite she sounded.

“I'd thought she never leave.”

...What was that? You spin around to loo- you hit your forehead on the shoulder of someone. Falling back on the floor, you rub your head. Hatate looms over your with an amused expression. “Sneaking in through the windows, my specialty!” You thought you'd locked those....

She sits on top of you and brushes her hand against your cheek. “...That's nice, but could you please get off of me, Miss Hatate?”

Frowning, she gets off and brushes her skirt. “Drop the 'miss' – it sounds so informal!” She pretends to pout. “You know, you're no fun. I expected a 'Waah! What are you doing?' and furious blushing.”

You stifle a laugh. “Do I really look like that kind of person?”

“No, you're right. You look like a lazy bum who should be working right now.”

“...” You know, she has a point. You stare at the axe laying slanted on the wall, as well as patting the small pouch of money absently in your pocket. You quickly shift the conversation. “Why are you here?” Lately, it seems people come here for no reason.

“What? An acquaintance can't just drop in?” You stand up, staring at her blankly.

“An acquaintance 'dropping in' does not use the windows.”

“Oops.” She sits down on your chair and leans back on it. “If you really want to know, I'll tell you.” She drops next to your ear and whispers. “I've been watching you for quite a while. Back in this village, I saw you flirting with other girls.”

Seeing an opportunity, you play along. “...Okay, you got me, but you have to promise not to tell anything about when they came into my house.”

“W-what? You really did that? You dirty-”

“I was just kidding. Do you think I'd really do that? Actually, wait. Don't answer that.”

She laughs loudly. “I'm just here for a private interview.” After a short pause, she adds, “It won't be on any newspaper, I promise.”

“...Is it going to be as questionable as last time?”

“Every interview is questionable at best.” She asks the first question, jumping into interview-mode. “What is your occupation?”

“Human lumberjack.” She just nods, and pulls out a notepad...just like Aya.

“Do you provide for your family, seeing you live alone?”

“They're dead.” Not saying anything else, you keep it terse. Hatate doesn't press on.

“Judging by the hard manual labor you do, can't you buy a more luxurious house?”

“I like simple things.”

“What do you think of Aya?” Why does that question seem so out of place? Well, you decide to answer as truthfully as possible.

[ ] “She's somebody I can trust.”
-[ ] “She's somebody I can depend on.”
--[ ] “And....uh.”
[ ] “A person I know well.”
-[ ] “A person that I think I can empathize my feelings with.”
[ ] Write in
>> No. 18087
[ ] “She's a hard worker. Both stronger and more fragile then the world knows. Doesn't deserve half the things said about her. Also shes cute as hell. I know theres something between you two, so just remember there are lines."
>> No. 18088
[x] “She's somebody I can trust.”
-[x] “She's somebody I can depend on.”
--[x] “And....uh.”
>> No. 18090
[ ] “She's a hard worker. Both stronger and more fragile then the world knows. Doesn't deserve half the things said about her. Also shes cute as hell. I know theres something between you two, so just remember there are lines."

This write-in. It was made for me.

Keep this going, Moral. I really like this story, and the way you write. Sure, there's the occaisional mistake, but as a fellow writefag, I really have to say that you should keep this going for as long as you are interested. If the story is no good for you, then there's no reason for you to keep working on it.

You're good. This story is good. You should feel good about it.
>> No. 18092
[x] >>18087

Do continue the story; it's going pretty well so far.
>> No. 18093
[X] “She's a hard worker. Both stronger and more fragile then the world knows. Doesn't deserve half the things said about her. Also shes cute as hell. I know theres something between you two, so just remember there are lines."

Your writing a good story, and allot of people like it! So yeah, i wouldnt mind seeing this story grow beyond the '1 thread' border!
>> No. 18096
[x] >>18093
I like this vote.
>> No. 18099
Thanks guys, for supporting me in this story! A writefag's only as good as the anons. Maybe I should just label this story “Honest Axe.” Short and sweet. And I changed a word or two in the write-in. Not that you guys would mind.
----

“...She's a hard worker. Both stronger and more fragile then the world knows. She doesn't deserve half the things said about her.” You pause to think for a moment. “Also, she's cute.” You feel your cheeks burning a soft red. Hatate smiles wryly, touching your cheeks. Giving her a look of disappointment, you put her hand down. “Look, I know there's something between you two, but just remember, there are lines you can't cross.”

Hatate looks like she's been hit across the face. “You really think I did this just to spite Aya? You really like to think low of me, huh? But that's not what I'm aiming for. You're missing something here. Something subtle, but here nonetheless.” But what? Piquing your curiosity, you ask about it.

“...Are you going to tell me what it is?”

“No; it's my interview. I'll abstain from answering that.” That's no fair...why are you even putting up with this?

“Then I think I'll end the interview. It's getting too out of hand here.” You stop to look at her notes. “You did say this isn't going out in public, right?”

“Of course. I stay true to my word. But...” she winks at you. “...on one condition.” You groan loudly. This wasn't part of your plan today.

“What is it?”

“Go on a walk with me.”

“What is it with you and all these odd requests?” But you agree to it anyways (or she forced you). Same thing she says. Before she drags you out of your house... “Hold up a second. Let me change into some real clothes.” You examine yourself. torn pants and bandages...stylish. You move towards your drawer. A light shirt with worn-down pants now replace the old rags. You throw the pants down next to your bed....which still has the blood on it. “Crap...” You'll do something about it later. You move back outside, where Hatate is waiting.

“...Ready, Makoto?” You nod. Whatever this “walk” is, it'll probably be something stupid or humiliating. Or any variation of bad things. She leads you through the trees, weaving in and out. The sound of flowing water fills your ears....upon closer inspection, it seems to be the very same river where you met that kappa.

“Oh, you! I remember you!” ...And speak of the devil. An excited kappa waves at you. Wasn't she deathly scared of you the last time she saw you?

“Hello, Nitori. What are you doing here?”

“Just feeling the fresh air. Today's a good day!” She looks behind you and stares at Hatate.

“Oh, you're that crow tengu that ordered the phone!”

“A pleasure seeing you again.” Hatate puts her hand forward, and Nitori shakes it.

“And why're you here, lumberjack guy?” Her eyes widen. “Could it be? O-oh! I forgot to pay you! I'm so sorry!” She looks like she's about to break into tears.

“Ah, no. Miss Momiji already paid for me. I'm here for no reason.” Intentionally not facing Hatate, you emphasize 'no reason.' You add in, “And my name's Makoto, if you forgot.”

“Oh, okay, Makoto!” Instantly, her face brightens up...does she take anything seriously?

Having nothing else to do, you head back towards your home. You didn't even bring your axe.

“Wait, where are you going?” Hatate runs over to you.

“Home. I walked, so now I can go home.”

“Alright.” She throws something at you. You catch it instinctively; it's her camera...or something. “It's my cellphone. Keep it for now.”

“Why?”

“Just because. And one more thing: tell Aya that I was first.” She speeds off, leaving you to yourself, alone. You start walking the same path you took while going to the river. What was the point of all that?

...A body lay in front of you. You scream out a little loudly and jump back, but you quickly regain your senses. It seems to be the daughter of the baker in the village. First, you check if she's breathing. Check. Second, see if she's well. Check. Nothing really seems to be wrong with her. Except the fact that she's unconscious. Quickly, you hoist her onto your shoulder and walk briskly back to the village.

Tired and panting, you make it back in minutes. You hurry across to the bakery and open the door. Not having time for explanations, you burst open into the room and put her into the hands of her father. An unpleasant scene at best. You're busy trying to tell him what's going on, while he's screaming at you. You find it hard to believe that the girl's still unconscious after all the screaming took place. As you excuse yourself, you hear him mutter, “Damn..” You didn't hear the rest of the word after.

Slowly moving back to your house, you encounter Mokou. Just your luck. It seems like everyone has something to do with you. “Heya kid. Heard ya got in a nasty fight or something.” She shoots out fire out of her hand. You swiftly dodge, barely moving in time. You feel a small scorch singe your hand...why today? Did you do something wrong? “Now, I'm here to teach you the power of spellcards!”

[ ] Sure, why not?
-[ ] Name at least 2-4 spellcards; I'm picking based on preference if it's too widespread on votes. Descriptions optional.
[ ] I'll pass...
[ ] Spellcards aren't needed – battles can be avoided.
[ ] What good is spellcards, when you can just break all of them with strength?
>> No. 18101
We might have to keep an eye on the daughter... just in case that situation wasn't an accident.
>> No. 18102
[ ] Spellcards aren't needed – battles can be avoided.

Eh this wont work..but eh
>> No. 18104
[x] I'll pass...

Kinda want to see what happens with this action. He'll probably end up being 'taught' one way or the other, but it seems Makoto doesn't want any more troublesome stuff happening to him right now.
>> No. 18105
[x] I'll pass...

Time for some psychological counseling with Mouko.
>> No. 18106
[x] I'll pass...
>> No. 18107
[x] I'll pass...

Chill~
>> No. 18108
[X] I'll pass...

Maybe in the next few hundred years Mokou. Or thousand.
>> No. 18109
[x] Maybe some other time.
>> No. 18127
[x] Maybe some other time
Damn it Mokou! Not now!
>> No. 18128
Spellcard idea
[Axe sign] Here's JOHNNY!
A wall of danmaku. Launch an axe-shaped danmaku at the wall. The wall will then break into small shards of danmaku
and fly towards your opponent.
>> No. 18129
Spellcard idea
[Axe sign] Here's JOHNNY!
First, bring up a wall of danmaku. Launch an axe-shaped danmaku at the wall. The wall will then break into small shards of danmaku and fly towards your opponent.
>> No. 18131
“Err...” You look over at Mokou, whose hands are burning with fire and passion (heh). “I'll pass...” Today's been so cumbersome, you don't want any more of these episodes for the moment.

“I said I was here to teach you the power of spellcards.” A magic circle bursts out around her. A red aura in the shape of phoenix wings glows with power. “Never said you had a choice to decline or not!” Heat smacks you in the face, you just barely dodging a fireball. Is this fair? No, you think to yourself as you dodge another wave of fire. But slowly, the free space around you fills with red orbs, leaving you less and less space to dodge. It's only a matter of time until yo-

“A-ah!” You scream out in panic, the flames locking you in place. A giant red ball shoots to your position. You drop down and-

Cha-chik

...The bullets are gone. “Huh?” You mutter out loud. Mokou looks just as confused. Her eyebrows are arched up in question. Hatate's cellphone is pressed firmly in your hand. In the screen is Mokou, and surrounding danmaku between her and you. Realizing what had happened, you smirk and use this to your advantage. You raise it up in front of you and click the button.

...And barely miss the flame orbs. You dumbly stare at the camera-phone. The screen says '35%' and steadily increases the number. Right. So it charges... or something. How did you miss that? You ask yourself that question as danmaku edges right past your body. “Just how long do I have to last out, Mokou?”

“For an eternity! Just kidding.” She laughs, and flicks more danmaku. You wince through some bullets that hit you, and take another photo of the streaming bullets. Aya would be proud.

Mokou's magic circle begins to shatter, and her spellcard breaks. “Quite a handy thing ya got there, Somao. Let'see if you can dodge this.” Not giving you time to rest, she declares another one. “Hourai 「Fujiyama Volcano」!”

She sprays you with a flurry of red bullets, while throwing a giant hollow ball. It seems easy enough to dodge, wait-

The orb explodes into smaller fragments, knocking you into the ground. Luckily, it wasn't a direct hit. As you wait for the camera to charge, you dodge left and right, struggling to avoid the ever increasing explosions coming your way. You wait until you are trapped, then click the button of the phone. The spell circle shimmers, then fades. “Yes! I did i-” Then you feel pain, something smacking you on the back.

You look up at Mokou walking towards you. She smirks smugly. “Good thing I went easy on ya, else you'd be dead!” With a tired expression, you stand back up and face the immortal. “Thanks, but can I go home now?”

“There'll be a lesson two later!” She calls out before you take off. You take that as the notion to avoid meeting up with her again. 'When playing with fire...'

Upon approaching your house, you take a deep sigh. Finally, some alone time with just you and nobody else. Warily, you open the door.

...And nobody seems to be inside. Well good, because that's how it should be. You look over inside the cabinets to look for something to eat. A sandwich would be nice right now. The packaged meat and vegetables sit next to each other, but the bread is nowhere in sight. You could always just go back to the baker- okay, no, you can't.

In the end, you just take the meat and eat it with some rice. Simple life! After a few minutes, you've finished the whole bowl of rice and the package of meat. You'll have to buy the groceries sometime later...the bread will have to wait though. You don't want to go through round two of screaming and yelling. You feel tired, although the sun hasn't set yet. Seeing Hatate's phone filled with your danmaku dilemma, you have the urge to look deeper inside it.

[ ] Maybe just a peek!
[ ] No, that's immoral and stupid.
[ ] Check into it later; doesn't really matter.
-[ ] Ask Hatate directly if you have a chance to.

Then
[ ] Sleep
[ ] Go to the bakery
[ ] Cut some trees.
[ ] Write in
>> No. 18132
[x] No, that's immoral and stupid.

Then
[x] Go to the bakery
>> No. 18133
-[ ] Ask Hatate directly if you have a chance to.
>> No. 18141
[x] Check into it later; doesn't really matter.

Then:
[x] Cut some trees.
>> No. 18148
[X] Check into it later; doesn't really matter.
-[X] Ask Hatate directly if you have a chance to.

Then
[X] Go to the bakery
>> No. 18168
[x] Check into it later; doesn't really matter.

Then:
[x] Go to the bakery.

Quite the gentleman we are.
>> No. 18172
-[X] Ask Hatate directly if you have a chance to.

[X] Go to the bakery
>> No. 18225
You snap the phone shut. It's not that important, anyways...other than the fact that it practically saved your life.

After much consideration, you decide to ask Hatate later if you get the chance. You sigh and walk around the room. The bakery pops into your mind. You particularly don't like being yelled at, but you feel like some closure is needed to this conflict. You open the door and walk towards the bakery. With each step, your legs feel a little heavier. You finally stop right in front of the door. Now that you're in such close proximity, you feel indecisive. But you go in anyways. As you walk inside, the man seems wary and somber. At least he isn't yelling at you. “...Hello.”

“...Hey.” The distant silence between you and the baker feels unnerving. “So, um, about your daughter...” He frowns a little, his wrinkles on his forehead creasing. “I found her unconscious when I was around the vicinity. It seemed like she was fine but...”

“But...what?” He seems to be taking this in very well. “...But what was strange was the fact that she was fine in the first place. What reason would be have for being unconscious?” He nods, deep in thought. So far, so good. The baker seems calmer than before, thankfully. “W-well...” You find yourself out of place here. “I think it's time for me to go.”

“No, it's fine. You can stay here. You did help my daughter, after all.” You sit down next to the nearest table. As you look around the room, you see the girl's face poking out of another room. As her father comes to bring the tea, she sits down next to him. As you take a sip, you begin the talk. “So tell me...why were you found unconscious in the forest? That's a dangerous situation.”

“I...I don't remember. I was going along to get some herbs from the forest....and then I woke up here. I'm not really sure what really happened. The last clear moment I had was when I was walking along the trail back to the village.”

“Hm, that's really strange. Maybe it was caused by the herbs?”

She pours herself some more tea. “I doubt it. I'm an expert at distinguishing and picking herbs. So that couldn't have been it.”

“Well, you're lucky I found you before then. The evening gets really noisy with the feral youkai prowling about.”

Her face turns into a sick pale. “T-thanks for saving me then...”

“You, lumberjack. You should marry my daughter.” …Wha? That was unexpected. You stare at the baker for the moment, dumbfounded. Apparently, her daughter seems just as surprised.

“D-d-daaad! I don't even really know that guy! Don't just set me up for marriage! He just saved me, that's all. It was just by chance he recognized me and brought me here!”

“Sorry, I'm just a traditional man. You should really get married soon.” She sighs, obviously embarrassed. She turns to you and pushes her dark brown hair off her shoulder. She unties her necklace and presents it to you.

“Here. It's my good luck charm. I think you deserve it, after you saved me.” It seems to be an oddly shaped crest, with a hole in the center. You take it and put it on right away. She flashes a smile at you.

“Thank you. What's your name by the way? Mine's Somao Makoto.”

“Junko Kichirou. At least for now. My father's been trying to get me to marry ever since I was born.” The baker stares at her with a sheepish grin. Everything feels more comfortable, now that the problem's been resolved. “I've seen you around a few times, but how come I never got the chance to meet you?”

“Aha, I've been keeping a low profile...I would just work to making a living all the time. Not much else.”

“Yeah, my dad mentioned you were a lumberjack. But how come you never had the time for anything else? Or are you supporting a family?”

“I live alone. My family's not here anymore.”

“I see. They left you alone here?”

“...You can say that.” On the subject of your family, you can see the baker looks a little tense. You take that as a sign for you to leave. “I should get going now. Maybe I'll see you later, Junko!”

“Okay, bye~” A dull throbbing hits your head. The chronic headache strikes again. You clutch your head, and make your way back towards your own home. You feel an odd sensation in your pocket. The phone screen shines up and says that there's a new message from Aya. Weird...you never knew she even had a phone. Oh well. You look out the window. The sun shines a bright red on the horizon, but you feel dead tired after today. Even despite the head-splitting pulse, you manage to climb into bed and sleep.

[ ] Rocks
[ ] Axes
[ ] Sake
>> No. 18226
[x] Sake

Well considering it seems like we're going for being an Oni this seems to be the best choice. Don't need to explain why now do I?
>> No. 18227
[#] axes

Let's stay true to our origins.
>> No. 18229
[x] Sake
>> No. 18230
[x] Axe for Sake on the Rocks.
>> No. 18231
[x] Axes

as if there are any other options!
>> No. 18246
[x] Sake
>> No. 18258
[X] Sake
>> No. 18264
[x] Sake

Why the hell not.
>> No. 18271
“Nnf.” A small sound wakes you up. The headache from last night seems a little milder, but remains irritatingly pounding at you. Yawning a little, you rub your eyes and pull yourself in a sitting position. But something heavy rests on your lap. You squint a little, and it focuses into your view. Aya is laying down on top of your blanket, sprawled out on top of your legs. Not wanting to wake her up, you edge out of the position, and flop down on the floor. You change your clothes, and move on over to the kitchen. Hatate's cellphone lays on the counter, so you pocket it. To your right, a bag of baker's goods are lying in a bag. That baker...did he do this? You give thanks anyways, and start cooking.

It's up until you're almost finished with your eggs and your loaf of bread, when a slight stir goes up around your room. Aya comes into the kitchen, still looking drowsy. “Good mooorning...”

You finish up, putting the plates back into the sink. “You're up late. Were you doing something last night?” Oh, you forgot to ask the most important question. “And why are you in my house, sleeping on my furniture?”

“I was late last night, because I couldn't get anything interesting for my newspaper article. I've been lacking in scoop material lately. And I've come to give you your first subscription!” Funny, you don't remember subscribing. But you take it anyways.

“...And you had to come over and crash on top of my bed to do this?” You peer over the article sections. 'Miko Struggles to Live in Poverty – Root of all Donations!?' You should check up once in a while to see what Reimu's doing nowadays. And maybe donate to help her out. By the time you finish reading up on the 'news,' you find that Aya's nowhere in sight. In a few moments, she brings out a bottle of sake. Which is yours.

“Come, now. Let's drink, Makoto!”

“Is drinking all you want to do?”

She feigns a thinking pose. “Yes.” Then she immediately picks up the bottle and brings two cups. You take the cup, and pour yourself one.

“I'm surprised you can find my cups and sake, which you're going to pay for. I never have sake like this on normal days.”

She brings herself to pour another cup. Was that her third already? “Nonsense, today's your first subscription. It's a special day!”

“And it's worth the price of a bottle of sake?” She shakes her head yes, reaching for the bottle again. You sigh. She's the one drinking most of it anyways...

Then she stops. “You forgot your promise.”

This catches you off guard. “Eh––?”

“You said you'll be working in the forest every day. But yesterday, you didn't come!”

“Yesterday was kinda...hectic. Everybody needed something outta me.”

“I needed something out of you too yesterday.” When you turn to look, she's staring at her sake cup intensely. You're not sure if she's blushing or if that's the alcohol taking effect. You take hold of the bottle to refill your cup, but it's empty. You've only had two cups...

“We should probably get you to Miss Inubashiri. You just downed almost the whole bottle of sake right now.”

“I gueesss so. Let's go then. I feel a little tipsy anywaays.” You take her hand and guide her through the village. She staggers around a bit, then regains balance, holding onto your hand for dear life.

“Flying is not an option. Let's not take any chances, especially when you're drunk and still raw from injuries.” She gives a frown to say that she's fine, but almost loses her balance again. You soon feel your occupation slipping from lumberjack to caretaker. But to take her up the whole mountain... You suppose bringing her to Momiji will be good enough. You move up the hill, on the pathway through to the river. Slowly, you feel her grasp on you slipping, she almost falls face first onto the ground, but you catch her. She appears to have fallen asleep. Gently, you take her on your back. “You keep on troubling me so.” You smirk while saying this.

“Sorry.” She mumbles it out so faint, you barely caught it. When you check up on her, she's still sound asleep. You chuckle softly, not wanting to wake Aya up. You walk up the hills steadily, keeping a firm grip on her. Times like this really make you want to learn to fly. The next thing you'll do is to talk to Reimu about it. You pass the river, and go to the outskirts of it. Momiji is seen, guarding the opening to the tengu village. You would wave to her, but your hands are full at the moment, so you yell out. “Hey, Miss Inubashiri!” She spots you, and quickly floats over.

She greets you. “Hello, Makoto. Did Aya bring you trouble?”

You shrug. “The usual amount. She came into my house, slept on top of me, drank my sake, and passed out.” Momiji guides the way to the camp. Out of courtesy, she walks for you instead of flying. This whole 'not flying' thing is getting on your nerves. Upon entering the place, she leads you over to one house. Inside, a jumbled mess of notes, articles, and copied newspapers lay over the whole room. You suppress a smile.

“Does she work this hard for her subscribers?”

Momiji nods. “She gets into her work very much. You can say she's determined in a way. It's one of the things I admire about Aya.” For once, Momiji complimented her! Too bad she wasn't awake to hear it.

You set her down on the bed (after you cleaned out all the sheets of paper), and stroke her hair once. “Aya looks so calm and serene when sleeping. Her face seems so pure...”

“If only she could remain that way when awake...” She groans a little.

“Energetic, isn't she?”

“Hah, that's an understatement.” You look over all the notes she took. After a couple of glances throughout the place, you notice two cameras sitting next to each other. One of them is the same camera Aya had before. You remember the phone in your pocket, so you decide not to peek at it either.

“If you are done here, I'll be back to guarding my post.”

“Okay, I'll be out in a second.” The door closes from behind. You take a slip of paper on top of a desk, and begin writing on it with Aya's pen. Scrawling a few words on it, you pin it on top of the rest of her notes. 'Keep up the good work! - Somao.” You felt like Aya needs some appreciation for her hard work, so you gave it to her. You look back to Aya one more time before leaving. “Sweet dreams~”

[ ] Rocks
[ ] Axes
[ ] Sake
>> No. 18272
[%] Axes

Let's cut us some trees, already!
>> No. 18273
[X] Axes
>> No. 18274
[X] Axes

Good for cutting down trees and looking damn manly while doing it.
>> No. 18275
[X] Axes
>> No. 18379
Upon returning from the mountains, you stare at the axe idly. It looks so lonely just sitting next to a few urns. It needs some action. Something manly to do! But preparations first. “Just you and me now, pal.” You grab it by the handle and get some cloth to polish it. After a few shines, the dulled edge of the blade looks a little bit more refined. To finish it up, you scrape it a little against a sharpening knife. There – all set and ready to go. Though, you don't have any body to really give the supplies to, but it's better to be prepared anyways. You need to cut some trees once in a while...

You take a piece of some pan bread from the house, and walked towards the forest. Upon the trail, you look upon the places you had been to. The place where you fought Mokou, the site where your father was, the girl that had fainted here and the youkai encounter there – this trail has been through all of them. “You've been through a lot.” You stop a second to grin at the road, before walking again. You feel silly. “But then again...so have I. The path here has been worn down, where everybody has been on. But it's not a bad thing. You've shared some good experiences and bad experiences. And that's what makes you your own special trail.”

“Heart-warming and touching.” The voice doesn't surprise you. You've grown used to this 'sneaking up' thing. “Feeling sentimental today?”

“Hardly. I just needed to talk to this old trail. It's been a part of my memories. I just thought it needed some consolation.”

“You...or the trail?”

“The trail.” You keep walking up, axe resting on your shoulder. “Trails can get sad too. One needs to talk to them once in a while, or else they'll get lonely.”

“More than just trails.”

“...Is that why you're here?”

“Nope. I've just been thinking about the interview from before. I guess I should heed your warnings. There are some places even a reporter like me can't cross.”

“I see.”

“Even trails have morals.”

“Hey, don't make fun of me!” Two tree stumps lay next to each other, still rooted to the ground. You give a tiny smile to nobody, and pass on to where the majority of the trees is. You still feel the weight of the cellphone in your pocket. “Oh, and by the way. Thanks for letting me borrow your cellphone. It saved me from certain events.” She eyes you curiously. You laugh a little nervously, recalling what had happened. “I'm just glad it can erase danmaku...”

“Not necessarily erase; it's all in the pictures still. Go ahead; have a look. It should be in the 'Saved Files' button.” You go and look over the phone, searching for the button. “Ah, I forgot something.” She quickly snatches it away before handing it back to you. After tampering with it.

“Any reason why you suddenly removed it from my grasp?”

“Not at all!” She smiles at you genuinely, though you can never tell with her. You press a button, and some pictures pop up. One shows Mokou behind a flame wall of danmaku. The look on her face is pure amusement, and a hint of smugness. You fiddle with a few of the buttons. A small box pops up, prompting for a 'search' – so you type in Aya's name because you were curious. Pictures clutter up the small screen.

“Did you take this many pictures of Aya?”

“That is one of the special functions of my phone.” She looks over it proudly. “And of course you'd search up Aya.” She snickers.

You hand the phone to her. “Sure, why not?” You stop to examine a particular tree.

“You're no fun to tease at all!”

“Teasing people isn't rewarding.” You tap the tree with the blunt side of the blade a few times. Then you swing swiftly, clear-cutting the entire base. You lightly tap the tree again, making it collapse. Hatate looks like she's going to say something.

“Are you––“

“If it deals with anything related to strength, youkai, or not being a human, then drop it.” She crosses her arms, but otherwise doesn't say another word. You pick up the tree, but you're really not sure where to put it. There's no specific destination for it...You put it down.

Hatate looks at you. “You're just going to leave it here after cutting it? I can arrange a deal with you. Maybe the news reporters need the extra wood.”

“Eh, no thanks. I like doing small errands. But I can deliver it to you today. I'm already up here in the mountain.”

“Sure, I suppose. But it should be better pay.”

“I don't really care about the pay.” She chuckles. The two of you move up further ahead into the path.

...How many times have you been here these past few days?

[ ] Rocks
[ ] Axes
[ ] Sake

------------

So many choices: what to pick, what to pick.
I guess I'll start writing as soon as possible.
>> No. 18383
[x]Sake!
The choice is always sake
>> No. 18386
[x] Rocks

Hope we get more Aya soon.
>> No. 18388
[X] Rocks
>> No. 18413
Yachi took his time leaving Hina's residence. Taking his time, as in a few years. He still doesn't understand why it feels a little sad to leave the curse goddess all alone again. Throughout his (fairly short) life, he has come to an understanding of trust and love. Recalling the memories, he feels a little nostalgic, reminiscing of the distant ice youkai. He chuckles a little bit, exposing his teeth, and bows to the shrine of Kagiyama. “May the gods bless us all.” He adds, with finality. The shrine, now so familiar to his eyes, have to part with him. Yachi pulls his cheeks up to a smile, but a few tears betray his feelings. Now isn't the time to be sentimental. He had already done that before. So he kept on walking opposite the direction, not facing back at all.

After a few paces, Yachi started to feel silly. He floated up gently to the sky. The clouds passed by freely, and he placed his hands through them, sifting through the moisture. He felt more at ease, flying around aimlessly like this. It made him more at ease, going through the sky, where nobody could interrupt him.

“Hey, you!”

...Almost nobody. Yachi drifts around for a moment, then slows to a stop. “...Yes?” He turns around mid-air, facing a blue-eyed, blue-haired––

“Oh.” This was unexpected, and certainly not planned out. The ice youkai from Yachi's previous incident is now pointing a finger at him. “It's you.” Apparantly, she has not changed in appearance at all.

“...Errr, who are you again?” She shrugs, genuinely clueless. Yachi sighs and floats over her. “Hey, hey, heeeeey! I'm not done with you yet!” She moves back in front of him, blocking his path. “Name's Cirno, and I'm the strongest here!”

“This is eerily similar to the first incident that had happened.” Now if only if this happened near a lake. “Let's try this again. Do you remember an earth youkai by the name of Yachi a few years back?”

“Oh, the tiny pint! I remember beating him mercilessly! Why's you ask?” She puts her arms on her waist, smirking.

“...That would be me.” While Cirno's appearance hasn't changed, the case is not the same for Yachi. He has easily outgrown her (while still short) by a big margin.

“Heh...you look different. Don't matter, you ready for round two?”

“No, I am over that. I don't want to fight today. I'm finding something important. Myself.”

She stares, stupefied. “But you're right here.”

“No, I mean that I'm finding who I truly am.” She nods, but keeps the dumbfounded look. Yachi just smiles wearily and waves goodbye.

Not looking back, he continues flying into the same direction. Upon seeing land below the rising sky, Yachi floats down, his feet lightly tapping the soil. Upon walking further, there seems to be a great forest with towering trees up ahead of him.

He lays down on two stumps, adjacent to each other. Funny, it has a pair...?

Somebody else sits down on the other stump. “I think I can help you.”

“With what? And who're you?”

“You're looking for enlightenment, yes? And that I can help you find.” Her voice is soothing, a soft whisper.

“While that may be true, what's in it for you?”

“Self satisfaction, assurance, a lotta things. Mainly, it'll help me just by you helping me. You'll help me help you help me.”

“I...see. What can I do to help you then.”

“You just need'ta do a few things for me.” She says in a sing-song voice. “Just a few things~”

“And what do I have to do...exactly?”

She brings her face close up to Yachi's, making him blush a little. “Se~cret. But it's a once in a lifetime question. For you, if you say yes, you can back down anytime after, 'kay?”

[ ] “...Okay.”
[ ] “...No, it's fine.”

----
Writing this was such a chore for me.
>> No. 18419
[x] “...Okay.”
>> No. 18435
[x] "...Okay."

Hm.
>> No. 18436
[ ] “...No, it's fine.”

Sing song voice always means trouble...
>> No. 18454
You wipe the sweat off your brow. The tengu have standards. High standards. They expect you to bring 75 stacks of wood in a few hours? You're a lumberjack, not a miracle worker. But still, you did it anyways with perseverance and determination. Though, as of now, you lay still, slumped onto the infirmary bed (which you've grown accustomed to) tired as hell. The muscles over your body are sore from the labor, and so are screaming at you in pain. “Freakin' strict tengu...” you murmur to yourself. At least they paid you well. You flip yourself over on the bed, and face the large sack of money. What are you going to do with all this...?

The door squeaks as it gives way to open. Momiji bows before entering in. But as she walks in, she sways a little before catching herself. “Hello, Makoto. I've come up to check on you, because...” she pauses to contemplate for a moment. “...because Aya wanted to know.”

“I see. But where's Aya right now?”

“She's knocked out cold. No doubt she'll be all groggy when she wakes up.”

“...Eh?”

“Too much drinking with the guys in the bar. She was practically unconscious by the time she hit her liimit.”

...That sounds too much like what Aya would do. “Honestly, I fail to see how she can keep up with her work whenever she goes out to drink like this. She can be so irresponsible sometimes.” She nods her head in agreement. “Also, aren't you a little bit tipsy too?”

“No, not at all. I'm not such a light drinker.” Her voice is steady and calm when she says this, but her legs give way, and she almost stumbles onto the bed. You give her a disapproving look. “That was just an accident, purely coincidental.”

You sigh and get off, smoothing out the creases on the blanket. You stand up and head outside with your bag of money.

“Where are you going?”

“To go get a drink. If you want to, you can come with me. I'll pay.” You point to the large bag that you're holding.

“Hm, sure. I'd like that. It's nice to have a drink with a friend now and then.” The two of you laugh, like friends should. It's funny how different she was from when she initially met you. Her wary glances and formality seems so different from now. She seems more...relaxed.



You wake up. And you feel reaaaally weird. Next to you are empty bottles of sake, and your (still) quite large sack.

“Oh, so you're awake?” Momiji, red-faced, pours herself a cup. “You've only been out for a few minutes, don't worry.”

You laugh, a little too loud. “I guess you can really hold your liquor, can't you. Or wait, how many bottles have I drank recently?”

“Too much. I've only drank this one bottle. You, on the other hand, have ordered around 4. In the past thirty minutes. I'm actually surprised you're still standing.”

“Well, me too, hahah...” Despite that, you still continue to pour and pour until the bottle's empty, again. You take a short drink from the tiny cup.

A hand taps your shoulder. Aya waves before sitting down next to you. Immediately, she grabs another cup, and pours herself some sake from your bottle. “Hey. I'm ready for round two.”

Eh, what the hell.

[ ] Keep drinking
[ ] Get some fresh air for a bit
-[ ] Why not visit someone?
--[ ] Reimu?
[ ] A nap would be kinda nice.
>> No. 18456
[x] Get some fresh air for a bit

what is it with /youkai/ and sake drinking competitions?
>> No. 18459
[x] Keep drinking
-[x] Try to avoid any heavy drinking

Is it wrong for me to prefer seeing how things between the Lumberjack and Aya develop more than anything else?
>> No. 18461
>>18459

I'm with you on this one.
[x] Keep drinking
-[x] But try to avoid heavy drinking
>> No. 18462
[x] Keep drinking
-[x] Try to avoid any heavy drinking
>> No. 18463
>>18456
Here.

Changing vote to
[x] Keep drinking
-[x] Try to avoid any heavy drinking

Write-ins keep suprising me everyday!
>> No. 18604
New reader here. Awesome job.

[x] Keep drinking
-[x] Try to avoid any heavy drinking
>> No. 18648
Writefag here. I've been away from home, so I haven't been able to continue and write the story. The places I stayed in over the winter didn't have any internet, otherwise I would've continued.

Sage for no update, but possibly updating today?
>> No. 18657
“Lately, it seems like your every waking moment has to do with sake.” You frown as you refill your cup to the brim. You feel all hypocritical.

She shakes her head all-knowingly. When she looks up from her cup, she has a naive smirk on her face.

“You've got a lot to learn from me. Drinking is a way of life. Thankfully, both you and I aren't light drinkers.” She stops talking to allow yourself to pour a drink for the two of you. “And life goes on.”

“....Hey, it's not like I'm drinking a lot or anything.” A complete lie. Again, she gives you the same smirk. The bottle runs empty, and you order another bottle, standing up as you do so. You motion for Aya to stand. “Come on, let's go.”

“Where we going?” But you already start walking out of the door, so she comes stumbling out with you. The sun's already down low on the horizon. You start breaking into a run.

“Hurry, we can't catch it if we're slow!”

“I'm glad you're excited but could you just wait up?” You slow down for a moment, then resume running out into the forests, and then through the mountain road. Your muscles start to tense up, probably from the work before. Ah well. Consequences later. You lay down next to the clear waters at the end of the road. A clear waterfall runs down into the villages.

Aya comes right after you, gasping for breath. “I...I don't like running. Flying's much better, but I wanted to be closer to you.”

“Awww.”

She sits down next to you and gazes into the horizon. “On top of the mountain, there really wasn't a view like this.” You stop to look over the scenery. Underneath the waterfall are green trees surrounding the villages, with the sun poised red and low, ready to sink underneath the village's shrines. “I never really took the time to like scenery, or nature in general. But glad you're here. Otherwise I'd never do this in any chance!”

“You sure say that with an excited tone. And I'm a lumberjack. I'd have to enjoy nature, otherwise I'd hate what I'd be doing.”

“You mean cutting up trees, which is cutting down nature...?”

“Uh, haha, yeah... You got me there.” You open the bottle of sake from before. The last bottle. “Well then. Let's drink. A toast to nature!” You take a swig.

“That's great, but we only have one bottle.”

“What's your point?” You clasp the bottle in your hands and shove it into her hands. She seems to be a little flustered.

“...Right.” But she drinks anyways. The sky grows redder and redder, until it finally dissolves into a soft shade of gray and blue.

“The stars don't seem that bright today. Maybe they're fading away.”

Aya hands you back the sake bottle. You take a light drink from it. “Eventually, they all will. Kinda sad isn't it?”

“But they're still pretty to look at, aren't they? Might as well enjoy them while they're here.”

“...True.” She puts her back against yourself. “But what happens when they're gone? Or rather, what will happen when you're gone?”

“Don't worry. It's not going to happen for a long time. But be sure to happen to visit my grave once in a while.”

“T-that's not funny, Somao.”

“No, really. I... I want to get stronger. So I can live longer and enjoy this world as much as I can. For you too. I'd feel really bad if I died and let you feel sad over me.”

“So what are you trying to say?” She faces you.

[x] Write in.
>> No. 18658
[X] "I'm saying it would be a shame for someone to watch the stars fade away alone."
-[X] If she gets offended, drop the issue and blame it on the sake in the morning.

Also, title suggestion: "Blackbird." Short, simple, and a reference to a classic Beatles song about love and loss - which I've noticed seem to be growing into two big themes in this story. (Alternately, the full line "Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night" might work a little better.)
>> No. 18659
>>18658
I thought blackbird was about blacks and racism. Wikipedia agrees with me.
>> No. 18660
>>18659

Obvious troll is obvious.
>> No. 18661
I think this is a major chance to make progress with Aya. Too bad I can't muster the right words for this.
>> No. 18682
>>18658 [x]

I would input my own write in but nothing's coming to mind
>> No. 18687
[x] "I'm saying I want to protect and care for you.
[x] "You mentioned being lonely once. I know what that's like... so I don't want to make you feel lonely again"

I know this isn't that great, but hopefully it'll give some inspiration.
>> No. 18691
[x] "I'm saying I want to protect and care for you.
[x] "You mentioned being lonely once. I know what that's like... so I don't want to make you feel lonely again"

It's as generic as it gets. I like it.
>> No. 18711
[x] "I'm saying I want to protect and care for you.
[x] "You mentioned being lonely once. I know what that's like... so I don't want to make you feel lonely again"
>> No. 18712
For a 'crappily done on the spot CYOA' this is actualy quite fun and enjoyable. Also realy enjoying the dynamic between our lumberjack friend and Aya.

[x] "I'm saying I want to protect and care for you.
[x] "You mentioned being lonely once. I know what that's like... so I don't want to make you feel lonely again"
>> No. 18725
>>18712 [X]

Seems like the majority has been decided. I shall await your writeing.
>> No. 18751
You look up at the stars. “I'm saying I want to protect and care for you.” Aya uncharacteristically grows cold.

“But how's a human like you going to help me?”

“You know very well that I have a fighting chance against most youkai you know.”

She drops her pretense of being distant. “Well...” she pauses to look up at the stars too. “Maybe I don't want to be protected.” She shifts around, fidgeting for a bit. Her charade doesn't fool you one bit.

“...Aya.” You wait for her to establish eye contact with you. You say her name again, in a serious manner. “Aya.”

She looks over to you nervously. “Y-yes?”

“You're lonely, aren't you...?” She raises her arms up towards her body. Hit the bulls-eye. “You mentioned being lonely once before. I know what that's like...” You strengthen your resolve. “So I don't want to make you feel lonely again. I'll be here for you. Promise.” You flash her a reassuring smile.

“For a stupid lumberjack, you sure know your way with words.” The corner of Aya's lips move up into a smirk, but it shows no trace of discontent. “But you need to keep your promises, okay?” She showed no form of embarrassment, but her face is flushed with pink. You put down the bottle in your hand and pat her lightly on the head.

“Okay.”

“By the way, you said you wanted to protect me, but didn't I protect you from that one youkai?”

“...Low blow. I wasn't prepared.”

She mock-frowns in displeasure. “What good is an enemy that doesn't try to catch you unprepared? Stupid.” Aya thumps you on the forehead. “For compensation, you must do something for me.”

“It's not related to your newspaper, is it?”

“Nope, not at all.” She waits for your full attention. “Now, sit with your legs folded.”

“..Wha–“

“Just do it!” Still unsure of the situation, you do as she says. After you do, she takes the bottle of sake on the ground and lays down, her back pressing onto your chest. “There.” She says simply.

“And in the end, I was used as a lap pillow.” You sigh melodramatically.

“Shh, lap pillows don't talk.” She laughs jokingly, with her hand swaying the bottle. But she doesn't drink any more out of it. With the moon shimmering slowly into view, the night grows back from the dim blue to lighter shades.

“Still, I'd rather share this moment with somebody than looking out to the horizon alone. While looking at it by myself, I feel a little nostalgic and melancholic. But I feel serene right now with you.” She doesn't object to your talking.

“...I'm all sentimental to your talking. Jeez. Why do you have to be so embarrassing all the times we talk like this?” But she warms up to the thought. “...Regardless, I wouldn't trade this moment for anything else I did alone. So I guess you're right.”

“...Yeah.”

“Hey, you're not supposed to say that outright to my face...”

“Heheh. But you said that I was right. So I'd have to agree with it. Right?”

“...Yeah.” Her voice slowly drifts off.

“Well, that settles it. We should probably go now. It's getting late...err, early if you count it as morning.” Aya refused to budge. A few seconds later, a soft snoring is heard on top of you. As expected of Aya...how annoying.

You lift her up slowly to prevent her from waking up. As you snatch the sake bottle away from her, it feels unusually empty. Huh, when did that happen? But, you take it and send it down the river. “Here's to today: a celebration to you, nature.” You do an imaginary toast to the sky and watch it float down the water...into the falls. You peer over the steep drop to see. The bottle still remains upright, bobbing in the river. Must've survived. Is this a good omen?

You chuckle a bit before hoisting Aya (slowly) up to your back. Just how many times have you done this...? In the light of the night/morning, you head down the track.

[ ] Take her home! Go to your house.
[ ] Bring her over to Momiji.
[ ] Drop her off to her home.
>> No. 18752
[x] Go to your house.
Nothing wrong with this right?
>> No. 18753
[X] Take her home!

Oni choice is the only choice.
>> No. 18754
[x]Go to your house.
Kinda already committed to not leaving her alone. Plus, I imagine your house is closer than Aya's or Momiji's home.
>> No. 18755
[x] Go to your house.

I'm sure Momiji will cover for us if anything comes up.
>> No. 18758
[X] Go to the house.
>> No. 18778
[x] Go to your house.
>> No. 18798
So you arrive at your home. You figured that the most convenient thing for you was to just drop her off in your humble abode. For her...well, it doesn't matter. She's out like a light anyways. You casually walk in through the door and plop her down on your bed. Aya's hands cling onto your shoulders for a bit before dropping back down onto the mattress. You feel the tips of your ears burn. “That's really cute of you Aya. Hahah... I like this side of you too. The serene face that I normally don't see whenever you're awake. Kinda brings the feeling of a still painting, heh.”

She stirs for a while, and you freeze. But she moves around and rolls over to the other side of the bed. You sigh quietly...It would've been quite awkward if she woke up during that soliloquy of yours. However you can't help but blush about it. But you're just glad you're the only one awake in this house. You hop on over to the bed and––

Wait. Suddenly the connection clicks within your mind. If you're sleeping on the same bed with Aya...ergh. The burning feeling you get is now emanating all over your face. But it's the dark of night and nobody's around to see. You take a second glance at Aya. Not that you would mind...but fate would probably catch that other crow tengu or Momiji around here if you even attempted it. Plus that, and everybody seems to magnetize around you lately. But you can't shake that strange feeling that somebody's viewing you as some protagonist of a story.

Great, now you're too worked up to sleep. So you go bounding off into the night. You walk a few times around the (now) quiet village, then go to that certain shrine. The miko might be sleeping, but you relied on your intuition to go anyways. Towards the shrine, there's always the steep hill of stairs that you always need to climb. You sigh.

After a few minutes of trudging over them, you stop to rest nearby the porch. You sit nearby the donation box. “You're looking lonely there.” You check inside. “That's why. You don't have anything inside of you. Don't you feel sad, box?” So you grab some of your surplus money and stuff some in.

“I bestow upon thee a good divination from the ones that watch over us.” A familiar voice heads your way. You smile at her. Reimu comes from inside the shrine holding stacks of paper.

“So are you going to invite me in?”

“You're welcome to come inside if you want.” You don't ask twice. She leads you to inside the rooms. A table and a few chairs are laid neatly in the center of one. You sit on the chair that looks the most comfortable and wait. Reimu brings some tea and sets it on the table. She sits adjacent to you and then skims over the papers she was holding.

You sip some tea slowly. A change from alcohol isn't that bad either. You laugh on the inside. “So, what're you working on?”

“Some stuff. It's full of peace agreements and promises of all kinds. I'm probably not going to sign any of these though. Keeping the peace here is my job. I can't let a little thing as cooperation hold me back from doing it.”

“You know, most people think you're just lazy.” She grins. “But I know better. You're just simplistic. If you did sign those, you'd most likely be stuck in loopholes for the rest of your life...But I still don't understand why nobody donates to you.”

“Because I don't act as nice as I do towards others. I guess people think of me as a cheapskate. Sucks for me, I guess. Not that I need a lot of money.” She pauses. “It's still appreciated though. Money's always welcome.” She hints at me, emphasizing the word 'appreciated.'

“Well, you have one faithful man here. I'll donate whenever I come.”

“You remember the first time I appeared before you?”

“...Hahahah. I'd rather not.”

“No, your face was priceless. You accidentally broke the donation box by sitting on it. So you came crying to me saying 'I'm so sorry Miss Miko waauuuahh!' I was trying my best not to laugh at the time.”

“So you calmly asked me to donate every once in a while. Heh, fair trade off, I guess?” You finish your tea and stand up, getting ready to leave. “I'm still sorry about that, by the way. But I'm glad you never asked about anything else.”

“You mean you did something else that day?” Her eyes widen.

“Just kidding.” You smile and leave.

After traveling from here to there, you feel thoroughly exhausted when you enter the door to your home. A pounding pain comes from nowhere. It racks your head, making your thoughts spin. Why won't this headache leave you alone? You feel a little nauseous, so you lie down on the couch.

….

….

Ergh....


You wake up. Right. But, uh...what's going on? Where? Who? Wait, who am I? You stumble out of bed, and go to the bathroom. Or try. You had to find it wherever it was. You look in the mirror inside. The face is unfamiliar. “But it's me.” Or so you say to your reflection. You go back to the bed. A girl was next to you with a content look. And you have money. A lot of it. Huh. Talk about specific amnesia. At least your body didn't forget it had to breathe.

The girl, previously sleeping, is not sleeping. So that means she is awake, or not sleeping. Yes. “Mmrm...Somao...?” Err...

[ ] “Yes?”
[ ] “Yeah.”
[ ] “Who?”
[ ] “Not sure who I am at the moment, so probably.”
[ ] “I didn't see when he left, but tt appears he took his memory with him.”
>> No. 18800
When you have amnesia, it's better to come out with it than acting like you're fine and have someone notice your slip-ups.

[X] “Not sure who I am at the moment, so probably.”

Wait a minute, he went from the couch to the bed overnight? Was that his doing, or Aya's?
>> No. 18802
[x] “Not sure who I am at the moment, so probably.”

I wonder if something happened with Somao in the past such as a sort of fusion...
>> No. 18811
[ ] “Not sure who I am at the moment, so probably.”
>> No. 18812
I'm getting a bit worried that our choice might not be the best one... I hope I'm wrong with this worry.
>> No. 18813
[X] “Not sure who I am at the moment, so probably.”

We can still pass it of as a joke if stuff gets serious.
>> No. 18822
Is it possession? Or just dissociative identity disorder? My money says it's Yachi, but I could be wrong.

[X] “Who?”

Whoever is in Somao's head is probably too disoriented to really be thinking straight.

>>But you can't shake that strange feeling that somebody's viewing you as some protagonist of a story.

Is that you playing with the fourth wall, Yukari?
>> No. 18833
You took the initiative to respond. “Not sure who I am at the moment, so....probably?” You're not sure if the answer was truly correct. She eyes you warily. Then she laughs.

“That's funny, but you're not him. Are you suffering from amnesia or something?” She passed it off as a joke. But yes. Yes you are. And it's very confusing.

“Uh...yes, I am. I don't know who I am, where I came from, or whatever happened to all of my waking memories.” She seemed to be taking this in very well.

“Then where's Somao?” You raise her a questioning look. “The lumberjack who owns this house.” You don't even know how he looks like, so you just give her a shrug. She sighs and gets out of her sitting position on the bed.

“But if I wasn't this 'Somao' why did you call out his name?” Most confusing indeed.

“Well...that is, um,” she scratches her head. Then she seems to have realized something, suddenly looking down. “Er, I don't have to say it right?”

“No, you do. I was about to mistake myself for a human lumberjack.”

“It was the first thing that came up to my mind when I woke up...” She laughs a little. Probably hiding her embarrassment. “Wait, you said 'human lumberjack' right? So that must imply that you're probably a youkai of sorts.”

Oh. You failed to catch that. Thanks subconscious! “I guess..? I have no clue what I am at the moment.” You rack your head, trying to remember something. You could feel something rise up from your thoughts. A girl...and a deal. Enlightment? Something else arises, but you can't clearly establish the memory, as it's hazy.

“Well, I'm going to find Somao, wherever he is. So long!” She heads out the door with something in her hand.

“Wait!” You call out to her. “Uh, what do I do now? Should I just stay here?”

“If you want. Do whatever you want to do.” She flew off, giving you a vague answer.

So, what do you do...? You wander around the house, going in and out of the rooms. You don't know how long you have to wait here, and you'd much rather prefer to move around the outdoors, but something's compelling you to stay here. Something...

[ ] Stay
[ ] Go
>> No. 18834
File 129622496670.jpg - (318.02KB, 724x1023, ce061930d9d2463f801f55a1c4cc171e.jpg) [iqdb]
18834
[0] Stay

An Aya CYOA. I like it.
>> No. 18836
[x] Stay

Makes the possible reversion easier if we're at home.
>> No. 18837
[X] Go

If he leaves, he might be able to find someone who knows him (and therefore who can tell him who he is).
>> No. 18838
>>18837
that'd risk the current personality overpowering the Somao one.
>> No. 18842
[x] Stay
>> No. 18843
[x] Stay
"Should I stay or should I go?"
>> No. 18869
Your gut is telling you to stay put inside the house, and so you do. You rub your temples in contemplation, trying to bring about the memories that you might have suppressed. Nope, everything's a blank slate. Thirty minutes pass by like this, and you give up solely because you're just too bored out of your mind. You fall on the couch, and kick your legs up.

Jeez, whoever this Somao guy is, he should just hurry up and come back so you'd have something to do.

...But thinking about it, trying to explain and engage in a conversation with him would be quite difficult to do. 'Hello, I woke up on the same bed with a crow woman in your house with all my memories wiped clean.' You chuckle a little. Yeah, you don't think you can quite get him to believe you.

The door creaks open. You go to the front of the room, expecting the lumberjack, but the familiar face of the flying girl pops up from the outside. “Oh, you're actually still here.” She says incredulously.

“What else am I supposed to do? I have no clue where to go, or even who I am. So I guess staying here was the best option for now.”

She just nods. “I suppose not remembering anything and waking up in someone else's house must be a confusing experience.” But she looks up. “Then again...I had the same thing once. But it turned out it was just a regular hangover. But Momiji was probably more confused than I was.” She smiles and closes her eyes, probably thinking about the memory.

“Right. And who's Momiji again? And who are you exactly?”

“Momiji's just my assistant. I'm Aya Shameimaru, tengu news reporter. I'd sign you up for a subscription, but you have no idea who you are, so things like local news must be trivial right now.”

“Right. And I am...” You let that slip out of your tongue. It came naturally, but you stopped in the middle, trying to figure out your name. “I forgot. But I'll get back to you on that eventually.”

“I would call you up on that over something to eat, but I need to be elsewhere right now. Good luck on your self-search?”

You guess you can call it that. But the way she left with a smirk on her face while holding her camera was unnerving.

...How long has it been since she left? Hours? Upon checking on clock, it appears to have been 12 minutes. Damn, you just can't sit still right now.

You fiddle around most of the stuff in the house, and go through things. You wonder if you were usually this energetic when you still had your memories. But suddenly, you turn your head not of your own will. “..Eh?” The feeling of a limb moving on its own felt so unnatural, so strange.

You walk back out into the main room in a daze, but the feeling comes back again. You squat down, waiting. The door unlatches. So, you act, not entirely of your own accord.

[ ] Recoil
[ ] Leap
>> No. 18879
[x] Recoil
>> No. 18880
[x] Recoil

It's like he's having a bad trip, or something.
>> No. 18882
[X] Recoil
>> No. 18883
[x] Leap
Curious...
>> No. 18885
[x] Leap

For the tactical advantage, of course.
>> No. 18920
...You slump next to the door, dead tired from working with the tengu guards. They were more than happy to have your assistance, but they demanded too much from you, honestly. You weren't even sure how you carried that pillar over to the main encampment. What you knew was that you wanted to lay down and rest right now. You open the door.

...Eh? You heard something akin to a crash in the living room. While, you half-suspected it was Aya, you kept your caution up. It could be a wild animal scampering about. Just then, something jerkily moved away into the kitchen...just your luck. You asked for rest, and now you have to deal with fate ramming you with its horns. Of course, you meant that figuratively.

But not for the thing that just slammed into you headfirst. It knocks the wind out of your breath, and leaves you quite vulnerable to another attack. You look up, clutching your stomach. A youkai...? It reaches for the sleeve of your shirt, but it clumsily misses. You get the chance to move away, narrowly avoiding another slow grab. You quickly think out your options. Negotiation was definitely out of the way. The sporadic, impulsive actions from the youkai quickly crossed out the option of doing that. So it was either fight, or run the hell away. And you were pretty sure it would catch you, assuming it could fly. So you bring your fists up, assuming a defensive position.

It charges at you again, with the same tactic as before. But you swiftly side-step away from it, and flip the youkai on its back. You didn't really have the heart to kill it, so subduing it was the best choice–– and you feel yourself being charged into again, your (very sore) back screaming in agony. Ugh, you weren't at your peak. But you push yourself from the back, forcing the youkai to slam against the desk. Instead of being kicked back, it rebounds around, like a puppet on strings. What a monster, this thing won't go down!

However, it keeps on charging the same way, making it easily avoidable. But the tenacity of the youkai makes it reliable. A little bit too reliable...

It charges again, but you get hit straight onto it, being too tired to move quick enough. The axe falls onto your lap. You use the rest of your strength to smack the youkai via the blunt side of the axe. Head, meet polished metal. It gets sent flying through the rooms, smashing into your sake. It lays still, unmoving. But why your alcohol...? You grab the good luck pendant hanging loose on your neck. Maybe you were cursed with bad luck. Or maybe youkai are drawn close to you like a magnet.

Whatever it was, you just wanted to rest in this position for a while. Just then, a figure comes barging through the door without so much as one knock. Aya comes up, strutting in like she owns the place. She stares at you and the wrecked house in disbelief. “Good god, what were you doing?”

“Don't ask.” You smile, but wince as your back screams in agony. “Let's just call it assault and leave it at that.”

“Hrm....” She looks at the place inquisitively. She looks around the place. But Aya stops dead when she spots the youkai. “Hey...this guy was here before! The amnesia-induced person. What could have set him off...?”

You think back on the fight. “When I fought him, he seemed a little...sluggish. Like he was being forcefully manipulated. His movements were precise, but repetitive.”

She shrugs, and then takes a few pictures of the scene.

“H-hey wait, don't take pictures of this. I don't want to be publicized!”

“No can do.” She winks at you. “Normally, I would back down on your request, but this is an incident! Maybe I'll go ask Reimu to help.” She calls it an 'incident' but things like these have been happening to you so much, it's almost routine. No wait, you can't think like that. These overly aggressive youkai attacks have to be something fishy!

...But all other things aside, you really want to get out of this position. “Hey, Aya, if you don't mind, could you possibly help me up?”

“Huh? Oh sure, no problem.” She holds her hand down to you, and you clutch it, hoisting yourself up from her weight. You then sit down on a chair, reclining back. The whole house is in ruins, with only a few pieces of furniture left intact. Great. Just....great.

“This is unacceptable.”

“Of course it is, look at the mess in here––“

“He destroyed all of my sake! This is a tragedy!” You have a great urge to break down weeping, but you suppress it.

“...What?” The shocked look on her face was priceless, but not enough to pay for all the sake you had. “That, is the single most horrifying experience one could ever have.”

“I know!” She pats your back.

A stirring is heard. The youkai moves around, but still down on the ground. Its eyes stay shut, and a soft snore emanates throughout the room.

Eying the youkai, you feel a small pang of guilt for when you bashed him upside the head.

...But he did smash all of your alcohol.

[ ] Keep him around to...
-[ ] Question him if he's not acting on instinct
-[ ] Possibly befriend him and stop him from fighting.
-[ ] Bring him over to Reimu. She might know something.

[ ] Kick him out because...
-[ ] He destroyed your sake! (and your house)
-[ ] He might fight you again.
-[ ] You don't really want to deal with this right now.

------------

If I ever implied that he was Somao, I am so very sorry. I didn't mean for it to be like that!
>> No. 18921
Small bit of criticism:

>>“He destroyed all of my sake! This is a tragedy!” You have a great urge to break down weeping, but you suppress it.

>>“...What?” The shocked look on her face was priceless, but not enough to pay for all the sake you had. “That, is the single most horrifying experience one could ever have.”

>>“I know!” She pats your back.

It's really unclear as to who's saying the line in bold. At first I thought it was Aya, but when I read the next line I realized it was Somao.

Protip: Whenever you change the speaker, you also start a new paragraph, even if that means you end up with really choppy one-sentence paragraphs.

[X] Keep him around to...
-[X] Question him if he's not acting on instinct
-[X] Bring him over to Reimu. She might know something.

If this is really an incident as Aya says, it might be best to leave resolving it to the professionals. However, we should still try to get as much info about this guy as we can.
>> No. 18922
>>18921

Sorry, that was a mistake on my part. I didn't proofread over this as much as I should have. That was the result of not pressing enter. Eh, what can you do.
>> No. 18923
[X] Keep him around to...
-[X] Question him if he's not acting on instinct
-[X] Bring him over to Reimu. She might know something.

For some reason this guy really bugs me.
>> No. 18924
[x] Keep him around to...
-[x] Question him if he's not acting on instinct.
-[x] Bring him over to Reimu. She might know something.

I'll wait before we get more info before deciding to be friendly with him.

Whew... you had us going. So this means some creepy Youkai snuck into bed with Aya and not Somao? I'm tempted to add a "Smack him around for getting that close to Aya" but won't.

Next time you should put what Somao was doing before switching to the Youkai's PoV.
>> No. 18926
[x] Keep him around to...
-[x] Question him if he's not acting on instinct.
-[x] Bring him over to Reimu. She might know something.

We need answers!
>> No. 18986
It's been 10 days already. Hurry up and update!
>> No. 18987
>>18986

Okay then.

------

As troubled as you may seem, you haven't the heart to throw him out unconscious. You tap him a few times on the shoulder, but all the youkai does is groan.

Aya moves around in the room, examining the wreckage. All but a chair, your bed, and a cupboard is left in place. Everything else has been demolished by either you or the intruder. Such a sad life...

“Hm...what are you going to do with this guy?”

“I'm honestly not all that sure...I guess I can take him in until he wakes up. But after he's done listening to my questions, he's outta here.” You honestly didn't have the heart to take him in after all he's done to you. But you'll spare him the misery of facing your wrath.

Aya looks around, finding something to do. You continue to sit on the only chair that's left. So she hops on the bed, sprawled out on the sheets. “...So you're just going to wait for him to wake up?”

“Yep. But I wish he'd wake up sooner.” You enunciated that last part loud in front of the youkai. He mumbles, and moves around for a bit. You sigh. You move yourself up to the sink, and twist the faucet back to its original posture. The metal creaks a little, but you force it to stay right side down. Water pours into your hands, as you cup it to hold it in. Slowly, you walk back towards him, and splash it right on his face. Immediately, he jolts upright and trips over a nearby leg of a chair.

“....Now that you're awake, why'd you attack me again? That's not really nice.” You cross your arms. You felt like you were a parent scolding his child.

“Mrf...ergh...” He looks a little delirious, but shakes himself out of it. Quite literally, too. “Um...I'm not really sure why I engaged you. Nor am I sure what had happened after the door unlocked either, but I understood we fought...?”

“Right, but you don't know why?”

“Not even a clue. I don't even remember anything right now. My mind's all a blank when I try to recall anything up to a few days back.”

“...So you have a total amnesia? That's odd, what did you do when you forgot everything, and where were you?”

“I was in...” He pauses for a long time. He flinches, as if something had suddenly lashed out at him. “Don't remember. I...think I walked across towards this village, I guess...?”

You sighed. You weren't getting answers from this guy. Not that he didn't comply. He was being unquestionably obedient, but he was just unable to answer any of your questions, let alone open up new questions.

You said nothing, but stood up and dragged him out of the house. Aya comes bounding along in no time.

“A-ah....where are we going?”

“To a well-disposed shrine maiden. Now, let's go.” However, you didn't really give him a choice, pulling him along the ground.

“Hey Somao, ain't that a little harsh?” Aya floats above you, hovering close by.

“Huh? Oh, yeah...I guess.” You immediately let him go. He falls to the ground with a yelp. You weren't sure why you were being like this. Maybe because he dismantled most of your house. But you stopped, and resolved not to do that again. The amnesiac picked himself up and still followed you towards the shrine regardless.

You climb up the stairs with relative ease. The youkai however, isn't faring so well. He wheezes a little, and hacks for a breath of air. “One...one moment...hah, please.”

As you enter the shrine, Reimu comes out leisurely, looking for who entered. She spots the three of you, and wave halfheartedly.

“...Hello, Somao.”

You motion for her to come over. She comes at a slow pace.

“No greetings for me, Miss Hakurei?”

“None at all, Aya.”

“You should be more amiable as a shrine maiden, Reimu.”

Not wanting to hear more of the constant bickering, you cut right to the point. “Reimu, I have an incident to report.” Her eyes focus a little bit more, and become more sharp. “It seems that the youkai before us has developed amnesia and directed an assault at me for no reason. I'm thinking it wasn't intentional.” You point over to him.

“Ah, I see.” Reimu examines him from an angle. “I can't detect any charms or manipulation on him....but whatever it is, it's out of my jurisdiction in power. I can, however, go search for any other incidents relating to this. I'll let you know once I finish. I'll start on it tomorrow.” She returns to her relaxed posture. “But in the meantime, let's go get some tea.” She offers everybody, including the youkai, something to drink.

...You sometimes wonder how she manages to get all of her enemies to drink tea with her. But you go in anyways.

“Heyyy~” A voice calls out to you. A small girl with horns bumps into you. Shackles are chained to her wrists. “I'm bored...let's do a contest.” The smell of alcohol is clearly evident on her breath. You take a small step back to breathe.

“Um, sure, but if it's drinking, no thanks. I'm going to drink some tea with Reimu and some others.”

“No, I mean an arm wrestling contest!” Suika points out. “Recently, I heard you were really strooong.”

Did she hear that from Reimu...? Or Aya?

[ ] Accept. You have some time to kill anyways.
-[ ] Let's raise the stakes! Let's bet on it!
--[ ] What should you bet for? What should you get in return?

[ ] Decline. Let's just take it easy.
-[ ] Invite Suika to drink some non-alcoholic tea anyways. The more the merrier.
>> No. 18988
[x] Decline. Let's just take it easy.
-[x] Tell Suika maybe some other time.
>> No. 18989
[ ] Decline. Let's just take it easy.
-[ ] Invite Suika to drink some non-alcoholic tea anyways. The more the merrier.
>> No. 18990
[x] Decline. Let's just take it easy.
-[x] Invite Suika to drink some non-alcoholic tea anyways. The more the merrier.

It's been a while since Aya got some love, but I can wait...
>> No. 18991
[x] Decline. Let's just take.it easy.
-[x] Invite Suika to drink.some non-alcoholic tea anyways. The more the merrier.

Its all the youkai's fault that Aya isn't getting enough attention!
>> No. 19010
[X] Accept. You have some time to kill anyways.

Yeah, we probably won't win, but it'll at least give us a good gauge as to how we'd stack up.
>> No. 19059
“Sure, but maybe another time..? I'm not up for it today.” You motion to move back through to the main room, but stop halfway. Suika just stares at you. The look on her face is a few tears short of crying. “Hey, don't make that face!” You quickly thought of a way to get out of this. “Why don't you come over and drink tea with us...?” Her almost-teary pout quickly turns into a vigorous grin, and she comes tumbling behind you soon after.

You arrive into the back of the room. Reimu is already pouring some tea into cups. After it is all set up, she hands you one. She eyes Suika though. “She causing you trouble again...?”

You blow on the tea to cool it. “Not at all. In fact, I wanted her to join us to drink today.” You peer behind you. Already, you can see that she has her iron grip on her gourd, but she refuses the instinct to drink some. You stifle a rising laugh. Reimu just smiles. She goes over to a cabinet, and pours some tea into a new cup. She hands the last cup to Suika.

Aya laughs. “Ah, it's been a long time since I drank tea together with you, Reimu!” She sips her tea carefully. “This place is so homely...we should do this more often.”

The shrine maiden doesn't bat an eye. “Doing that too much would ruin my already languid expenses. Besides, I usually only host a tea party like this once every occasion. And by occasion, I mean an incident. Which I haven't even got to start yet.”

“But times like these are so relaxing~” Aya states. She stretches her arms out behind her. “Even if there isn't much to report on.”

Reimu just shrugs. “I may sound like I'm whining, but sometimes I want some action to take place, you know? Gensokyo is pretty much eventful all the time. But nothing's been going on for a while. So I guess this incident will hopefully spice my routine up.”

You chuckle. “And that's coming from the lazy shrine maiden? Good – you need to warm up your skills to maintain your status.”

Reimu takes her leave. “I'll be out looking for any clues of the incident. May the gods bless you.” You nods, and flies off up north. You leave with Aya, and the two of you wave goodbye to Suika. As you walk on over back to your house, you still find that everything is still a total wreck.

“...Sorry.” The youkai was still here...? He's been pretty quiet the whole time, so you hardly noticed him. But in return, all you give him is a shrug.

“I guess you couldn't help it. But I don't really have anywhere to stay now.” You look over the general stability of the house. You weren't a carpenter or anything like that, but it looked like the house was tilted... Were you really safe there? You didn't want to take any chances. You looked over to Aya. She seemed to be thinking about something. Then she lit up, like she had an epiphany.

“Oh! Then why don't you just stay over with Momiji and I? It's not really a pretty home, but beats not having a home, right?” She smirks. “But there's a catch. You got to work for me like an assistant. You'll be bringing papers, helping me through interviews, all that good stuff. Is that a deal?”

You weigh your options. You either work for Aya, or not have a home for the time being. You're pretty sure living outdoors wasn't fun at all. So you nod lightly. “Sure. I don't really have a choice, really. There's nowhere else I can really go.”

“Then I guess that's settled.”

She puts her arm around your shoulder. “Don't worry, it's not so bad. You'll be doing all the easy stuff. You can just edit the newspapers if you want!” Aya flashes her trademark grin. “But in the meantime, what should we do?”

“Huh, I'm not really sure.” You look around you – but the youkai from before is nowhere to be found.

[ ] Investigate the incident with Aya
-[ ] Go find the youkai

[ ] Relax – nothing much to be done anyways.
-[ ] Maybe go somewhere...?

[ ] Talk with Aya about...

------

I love /youkai/. I can post whenever I want and nobody will care demand an update.
>> No. 19060
[x] Investigate the incident with Aya
-[x] Go find the youkai

Investigative journalism for the win!
>> No. 19065
[x] Investigate the incident with Aya
-[x] Go find the youkai
[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Apologizing for what happened and how you had her worried.

I don't see why we can't do both and I'm not sure if we addressed that or not (don't have anything else on the mind at the moment)
>> No. 19072
[x] Investigate the incident with Aya
-[x] Go find the youkai

[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Apologizing for what happened you had her worried.

Because I'm too lazy to think of.something to write in.
>> No. 19075
“Well, then. We can't have that youkai running around here. If he reverts back to his original state, it could be dangerous.”

“O-oh....he was gone?” Aya looks around the vicinity with curious eyes. That youkai seemed to have a knack for disappearing once he regained his sanity. “S-so then....where should we look?”

You thought about it for a moment. The village would be the ideal place at first – you had to protect the people before leaving. “Let's start off in the village. If we find him in less than ideal condition here, we might have to face damage, or even worse – death. So in that case, can you go scout around by flying? I'll look ground level.”

She nods, and turns her back to you. Her black wings spread, and she speeds off towards the air. You still see a thin line scarring up her back. You look away – but Aya's already gone anyways. You walk around the circumference of the village, assuming Aya would fly through the interior of the town. About halfway around, your head starts to pulse again. These headaches are starting to get heavier with each recurring one. But this one feels a little different – it's starting to cloud your thoughts. You felt your legs weaken, but you manage to catch yourself before you hit the ground. Still feeling wobbly, you decide to kneel to regain your standings.

A rush of wind blows behind your back. Aya walks up from behind you and squats down until she's eye level, looking at you worriedly. “I was scouting around the place – no sign of the youkai. But more importantly, are you okay? You seem pretty worn down.”

You clutch your forehead. “It's a bad headache. I've been getting these kinds of pulses through my temples. Even worse, they seem to come back every once in a while.” You stumble forward a little bit, tripping over something. Aya reaches out to catch you, and you land in her arms. “Thanks...” You regain your balance, and look over what had caused you to lose your footing. It had seemed to be a small snake statue – only an inch high. It had chipped on the side, where you had stubbed your toe.

But you had felt a lot better. Only the cloudy feeling was left – a fragment of the earlier pain. Aya looks at the statue sternly and picks it up. “It seems to be a ward of some sort. The charms on it look pretty familiar. This is a good clue! Maybe we can consult Reimu about it when she comes back!”

...Huh. There were charms on it? You didn't notice. Good thing Aya can be so perceptive.

“And another bit of information...the charm may or may not have been influencing my headache. It had stopped immediately after the statue was chipped. Maybe another clue?” She nods, writing this all down on her notebook. Wait, when did she take it out?

She starts heading back towards the mountain. “Let's leave. I think we did enough work for today.” Aya picks up the small statue, careful not to chip it more.

All you two did was circle the village and trip over something. You were going to call her out on her laziness, but your back was starting to flare up again. At least you had some money to gloat over....not even a house, though. You wish you could build one, but that would require the total desecration of your house – what's left of it.

As you walk back with Aya, you recall the worried look on her face. “Oh...and Aya?”

“Hm?”

“Sorry for making you worry about me so much.”

“I wasn't worrying. I figured that you can handle any situation fate throws at ya!”

Oh. Well, now you feel like a genuine idio–

“Just kidding. You make me worry too much.” She lightly punches your shoulder, but looks hurt. “...It's not that good to make me worry about you all the time.”

“Then how can I make it up to you?”

She stares out to the sky for a second, and then immediately focuses back on you.

“You can't.”

“Oh...” You were puzzled. You wanted to do something for her, but she refused to let you. Immediately, you felt a little guilty. But Aya gave you a warm smile.

“Because you don't need to.” That had caught you off guard. You felt a little embarrassed for Aya pulling off something like that.

As you walked up the stairs, something unnerved you. Something to do with the statue. You try to set it aside, but it was just irking you. Greatly.

The feeling subsides, but now you feel a little bit paranoid. You sigh and calm your thoughts. You arrive at the usual patrol entrance. Momiji is seen sitting down on the top of the waterfall rocks, sword lazily sheathed out. Aya waves before turning back through the tengu camp.

As she opens the door inside to her home, she motions for you to follow her inside. She points to a bed sitting in a small room in the house. “You know, I don't know what got into Momiji when she wanted to buy a third bed. I thought it was the most stupid idea ever!” She chuckles, obviously remembering the memory. “But I don't regret it now. Remind me to thank her for it.”

You shrug. “You can never be too prepared.” You yawn a little. “Speaking of which, I'm dead tired, so I'll be heading to sleep as of now.”

“But wait that's unrelated to the topi–“

“Overruled.” You say before snaking your way into the sheets. “I'm tired, and I don't want to think anymore. Night.”

Before you close your eyes, you hear her mutter out: “But it's not even afternoon...”
______________

You slowly drift into semi-consciousness. Something warm's right next to you. You shiver a little; it's colder up in the mountains than you're used to. You reach out to pull it closer. It feels so...warm.

[ ] It feels nice – stay like this.
[ ] Why does this feel wrong...?
[ ] Wake up – it's too cold to stay put anyways.
>> No. 19076
[x] Wake up – it's too cold to stay put anyways.
-[x] If it's Aya, fix the covers so the both of you stay warm as you go to sleep.

I think we should see what's going on before making any hasty moves, though I'm hoping it's Aya next to us.
>> No. 19077
[X] It feels nice – stay like this.

Grabbing someone else in bed with you, what could go wrong?
>> No. 19078
[x] Wake up – it's too cold to stay put anyways.
-[x] If it's Aya, fix the covers so the both of you stay warm as you go to sleep.
>> No. 19082
[X] Why does this feel wrong...?

What if it's not Aya?
>> No. 19083
>>19082
That I noticed, hence the wake up choice and sub section, a good way to check and warm up.
>> No. 19084
>>19083

D'oh; just now saw that post. Wasn't directly addressing you, but the first couple above you.

Shows how well my reading comprehension is this late...
>> No. 19085
[x] It feels nice – stay like this.

Five bucks says it's that youkai.
>> No. 19086
>>19085
You mean next to us or another unwarned PoV change? Either way, why are you voting for that?
>> No. 19087
Tiebreaker needed. Expect update by tomorrow.
>> No. 19088
[x] Wake up – it's too cold to stay put anyways.
-[x] If it's Aya, fix the covers so the both of you stay warm as you go to sleep.

It's foolproof!
>> No. 19089
You groggily rub your eyes for a bit. The winter chill nips your face, causing a slight shudder through your body. You blink for a bit. Upon closer inspection, you realize that the covers aren't on you all the way, because there's something blocking you. You pull away from the warmness, and examine what exactly you were holding. It's Aya, breathing gently from under the covers. You rub your eyes again, and then pull the covers around you too. You wish you had nice, warm wings to blanket yourself. But Aya'll have to do. You feel your eyelids close, and the world blurs out of thought.
_________

A slight stir causes you to dreamily wake up. You slowly clear your vision, blinking away the dark spots in your eyes. You open your eyes. And the first thing you see is Aya, next to you, just staring at your face. Once she realizes that you're fully awake, she opens her mouth. “A-ah.....good morning, Somao?” She starts blushing a little. “I-I'm not really sure how I got here, but...y-yeah.”

“Sorry.” The fact that you were holding onto her waist wasn't helping the two of you either. You tremble because of the cold, and you instinctively pull her closer. She squeaks a little, and her shoulders tense up. “A-ah...I'm sorry again. I'm just really cold.” You pull yourself out of the covers. “I'm just not used to the morning chill up in the mountain.”

“It's fine...You just surprised me.” She stays under the blanket.

You chuckle a little, but sneeze in the middle. “What I would give for something warm.”

She laughs, still inside the covers. “All tengus have built in warmers. We're fit to be up in this mountain.”

“Oh, and when you yipped like that...that was incredibly hilarious and cute.” You snicker a little.

She pulls herself from out of the bed. “I need to teach you the basics of being my assistant!” She adeptly changes the topic, seeming like nothing had happened. But you give her a look. However, you say nothing and follow her to the 'work' room.

“Now, this here,” Aya points to a blank fold of newspaper stacks. “Is a template for my articles. If you would so please, you'll be the one who will edit, proofread, and publish the newspaper as a whole. Don't worry, it'll be an easy job once you figure out everything.” She sorts a few notes from her writing journal. “I'll be doing most of the interviews and facts-gathering, but you can come along if you want. You'll just have to keep up with me!”

“I see...So that leaves no space open for anything else. What do the other staff members do?”

“I'm going to let you in on a little secret.” She winks. “There isn't anybody else but you and me.”

“What, really?” You say that bluntly. “I thought Momiji helped you out with your articles.”

“From time to time.” She shrugs. “But since she got her full time watch guard job, I can't really go along with her anymore.”

“...So you've been handling this newspaper by yourself? Wow, that's...quite a feat.”

“Aint it...” She smiles genuinely. “And by the way, your work starts tomorrow.”

“Gotcha.”

Now that you have some free time, what should you do...?

[ ] Continue investigating the incident. (II)
-[ ] Where to search...?

[ ] Relax, nothing much to be done.
-[ ] Maybe go somewhere...?

[ ] Check out the tengu village in depth, for once.

[ ] Visit the shrine in the mountains.

[ ] Talk to Aya about...
>> No. 19090
Okay... time to think on what would be best... but I am pleased with how things went.
>> No. 19091
[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Her life in the village
-[x] Her home
[x] Check out the tengu village in depth, for once.
>> No. 19092
[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Her life in the village
-[x] Her home
-[x] Notable articles in her opinion
-[x] Anything she might feel like talking about
[x] Check out the tengu village in depth, for once.
-[x] With Aya as the lovely guide.
>> No. 19093
>>19091
Here

Im changing the wall to a better wall:
[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Her life in the village
-[x] Her home
-[x] Notable articles in her opinion
-[x] Anything she might feel like talking about
[x] Check out the tengu village in depth, for once.
-[x] With Aya as the lovely guide.
>> No. 19094
[x] Talk to Aya about...
-[x] Her life in the village-
[x] Her home
-[x] Notable articles in her opinion
-[x] Anything she might feel like talking about
[x] Check out the tengu village in depth, for once.
-[x] With Aya as the lovely guide

More Aya? Well I'm okay with this.
>> No. 19095
File 13009456016.jpg - (73.08KB, 595x531, stop staring at me.jpg) [iqdb]
19095
“Hmm.” You stare at Aya for a while. She pretends not to notice, but you can obviously see that she's growing uncomfortable.

“...Yes, what is it?”

“You know, you've never told me what your life's like. And more specifically, your life in this here village.”

She laughs. “It's nothing special. I mostly do my work here for the main portion of the day.” She picks up a few notes, and scribbles them down onto another paper, words soon forming into paragraphs. “It's something you can be passionate about, is it not?” She gently smiles, closing her eyes.

You weren't a spirited type of person, but you couldn't say no when she was like that. “Yeah...I guess it is.” You start grinning too.

“And my life here...” She returns back to writing on the paper. “Is quite peaceful. Living here, having fun with Momiji, talking to lots of people is really nice.” But she shrugs. “It's rather too peaceful, don't you think?”

“No, not really. Too much eventful occasions will wear out a man like me. Lately, all I've ever felt was tired, tired, tired. What happened to all the serenity?”

She winks. “It left since the day you met me.”

You groan theatrically. “Sometimes, I regret meeting you.” Hm, wait. “Actually, I don't. But you give me so much unnecessary stress, Aya. Or maybe it's my fault everything gravitates to me for some reason.”

Aya chuckles at your statement. “You're so absurd, you know that?”

As she finishes up her already two page length paper, you look over it. “What're you working on?”

“Nothing much. Just an article I needed to finish up before the day ends.” She taps her pencil. “But I'm stuck on what else to write for on the last section.”

“Oh, really? Have you written about the incident between the unknown youkai?”

Her eyes light up at the prospect. “Hey, thanks Somao! Now all I need to finish is the page and I'm set for the day!” As she burns words onto the stack of papers, She hands you some ink and print. “Okay, I'm all set. Now, I want you to copy these papers onto some newsprint. It's really easy, we've had the kappa build up a machine for us just recently.”

She guides you on what to do with the machine, from what buttons to press, to how many copies should be made.

...Talk about fast. This happened in the span of a few minutes. Now, a fresh stack of newspapers were just waiting to be sent out. You grab one from the pile. After gazing through a few places, you noticed that Aya has reported from most of Gensokyo.

“Wow...you've gone to so many places, Aya. Did you do all of this in the span of one month?”

“Yeah, but it was a slow work month for me. I usually get more in...”

She points out a few articles. “Like from here, I got to meet the Yama again. I don't talk to her much, but I found my way in.” She smirks craftily. “We had a discussion over youkai doing bad deeds for a good cause.” She points over to a few quotes. “Surprisingly, she can be very lenient to those who have good intentions.” This article's probably my best one for this issue, excluding the youkai incident. I wish I had some more action going around here, though. Times like these are tough for a hard working news-reporter.”

“It's a peaceful, boring land. And nobody wants that. Except me.” You sigh and give a shrug. “Nobody seems to care what I want.”

You fold the newspaper back into the pile. You recline on the chair closest to you. “Anything else you want to talk about? I have nothing much to do now.”

“I don't have a lot to talk about. Just seems like my boss, Lord Tenma, has been getting on my case lately. I haven't done anything to piss him off yet. He seems a bit...on edge.”

Hmm, maybe a clue. You'll make note of that later.

You stretch your arms, leaning back onto the cushion. “Now that I'm informed of what I'll be doing here and where to stay, can you show me around this place? The only location I know by heart is the infirmary.” You knew the infirmary too much – you were acquainted to it.

You stand up, walking directly to the side of the already moving Aya. She points out the usual bars and centers. As she leads you along the village, one particular house scheme seemed a little bit off from the others.

“Hey, doesn't that one look a bit different, from the rest of the village?”

“Yep! It's the center of the tengu officials. It's where the advisors consult Lord Tenma and where we discuss our battle plans.”

[ ] Convince Aya to confront Lord Tenma right now (respectfully).
[ ] Your thoughts are getting kind of cloudy right now...
[ ] No, wait, your head's starting to ache and hurt.
[ ] Did you hear something...?
_______________

Constructive criticism time! Tell me what needs to be improved, and what should be done to make a better story.
>> No. 19096
Constructive criticism? Well make the transition of view points more clearer, perhaps not to be so hamfisted with the main plot.

[x] Did you hear something...?

I'd rather not turn puppetish and I feel the last three choices are a way of resisting whatever's going on.
>> No. 19097
[x] No, wait, your head's starting to ache and hurt.

Considering that he's been having recurring headaches for a while, this might he the safest option. Or I could be.pulling this out of my ass and be totally wrong.

And I suck at cricticising, so what the post above me said.
>> No. 19098
After thinking about it for a bit, the main problem I had.with this story was the flow. Sometimes it didn't quite run smooth.

But on the plus side, I so love your character interactions. Just tlthe events happening to them come at a linear pace.
>> No. 19099
>>19096 Here, this set of choices reminds me: Try to have them clearer as no good comes of votes made in the dark.
>> No. 19101
I guess I'll start working on this story once I get the next vote. Will work on it, and will probably post an update tomorrow (or within a few hours)
>> No. 19110
>>19101
Does that mean you still take a vote?

If so:
[x] No, wait, your head's starting to ache and hurt.

If not: meh
>> No. 19123
[x] No, wait, your head's starting to ache and hurt.

Ergh...your head seems to have been cracked open by a hammer. Or at least it feels that way. But you refuse to let it show, if only not to worry Aya. You move around with Aya, but didn't have the clairvoyance of mind to pay great attention to where you were headed to.

Suddenly, you bump into Aya's back. You blink a few times.

She turns around to face you.“A-ah, sorry, I was just looking at something.” She looks closer at you. “Are you okay? You seem a little....off right now.”

“Yeah. I'm perfectly fine. It's just that I get tired much too often now.”

She smiles. “Nothing a good nap can't cure.”

You laugh it off, trying not to wince when you move your head around. “Hahah....that's true.” But you still couldn't quite shake off the pain. You just wanted it to go away!

At last, the two of you enter a very familiar place. As you look over the place, you see the usual scent of alcohol and laughter from a few customers. Aya asks for two, and then looks at you with a smirk. “I think this'll help you much better.” As you continue to stare in her in disbelief, she giggles. “Don't worry, it's only going to be one drink! Nothing big, I promise.”

You resign your fate, as the bartender hands you some whisky-like substance. You start drinking, but pain sears up your forehead before dissipating.

...After you drink the last sip, you realized that you felt much better. The headaches have decreased to nothing but a small ache.

As Aya reaches out to pay for the drinks, you stop her. You drank most of the liquor, so the least you could do was pay for it. You give the bartender the due cash, but you felt like you were a little short on money now. You should get back to your usual work soon.

A door closes shut from the entrance. As you look over to see, Momiji leisurely walks over to the place. Spotting you and Aya, she moves towards the two of you. “Somao, I knew you'd be here.”

“...I'm not always in a bar, y'know.”

She laughs. “Well, I thought I'd just drop by to say hello. But more importantly, I heard there was a small commotion through some colleagues of mine, nearby the human village. It's none of the tengu's business, really. But it could be yours. I'm not sure of any details, but the people were uneasy.” She taps your shoulder to stand up. “If you're going, I'll be accompanying you. I was told to go scout out whatever was happening.”

[ ] Head out to see what has happened.
-[ ] Go alone; it could be too dangerous to move in groups.
-[ ] Go with Aya, her speed can be advantageous.
-[ ] Go with Momiji, her keen senses will be an asset.
-[ ] Move with both; it'll be best to travel in a party to avoid unnecessary casualties.

[ ] Don't go
-[ ] It's only a small commotion
-[ ] You have no reason to as of now.
-[ ] You weren't in the best conditions to leave.
>> No. 19125
>>You move around with Aya, but didn't have the clairvoyance of mind to pay great attention to where you were headed to.
>>clairvoyance of mind
>>clairvoyance

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

>>But you still couldn't quite shake off the pain. You just wanted it to go away!

Sudden shift to past tense seems out of place with the rest of the narrative. There's a few other examples, too, but that's the most jarring one.

>>You resign your fate

Probably should be "You resign yourself to your fate."

That being said...

[X] Head out to see what has happened.
-[X] Move with both; it'll be best to travel in a party to avoid unnecessary casualties.

Momiji's been ordered to go anyway, and Aya might appreciate an opportunity to squeeze Somao tight against herself on the flight over and investigate something potentially newsworthy firsthand. Besides, there's safety in numbers.
>> No. 19126
>>19125

Yeah, for the grammatical errors, as well as wrong definitions, my English isn't as perfect as people who learned it as their first language. But it would help if I ever found the time to look for a proofreader.
>> No. 19127
[X] Head out to see what has happened.
-[X] Move with both; it'll be best to travel in a party to avoid unnecessary casualties.
>> No. 19128
[X] Head out to see what has happened.
-[X] Move with both; it'll be best to travel in a party to avoid unnecessary casualties.
>> No. 19129
[ ] Head out to see what has happened.
-[ ] Go alone; it could be too dangerous to move in groups

I feel my tragic hero senses flaring up..
>> No. 19133
“Alright, let's move then.” You glance over to Aya. “Are you coming too?”

With a gleam in her eyes, she stands up almost triumphantly. “As if that was a plausible question to ask! Of course I am. If it's something interesting, I could pick it up as my next article. A scoop, if you will!” Before she could get too preachy about her newspaper, you follow Momiji to the exit, and then out of the village.

She takes the lead, Aya following, and goes down the mountain pathway. She speaks up around when the three of you reach the creek. “So we – excluding you, Somao – have been ordered to walk to not discern ourselves to any potential enemies. Secondly, we are not to engage unless provoked by said enemies.” She looks over to Aya. Momiji stares sternly into her eyes. “You. Got. That. Clear?” She enunciates every word.

Aya shrugs, and raises a questioning look. “No thanks. If it's a good scoop, I gotta be there.” She smirks confidently. “Don't worry, I'm the fastest, remember? They won't catch me if I stick low to the ground.” Momiji raises her arms to object, but Aya already was poised to fly off. By the time Momiji could utter a syllable, Aya was gone. Momiji sighs with great tension.

She mutters for a moment. “When will she ever learn to follow orders? I'm her subordinate, shouldn't she be the one more responsible...” Eventually, she gives up and slowly grows quiet.

“Aya's not so bad. But she's more of an unstoppable force at times.” You give Momiji a reassuring look.

“I know. And that's why it annoys me to even greater lengths. She's a good person at heart. Just never at the right times...” But Momiji smiles while saying this.

“Heh...it's not too hard to see her good side. It's right there – nobody just notices it.”

“Sometimes, I have to look real hard...” She chuckles quietly. “She can be such a pain sometimes. So do her some good and influence her for the better. If anyone can do it, it would be you.”

“But Aya's fine the way she is!” You say, a bit sheepishly.

She pinches her nose. “Sometimes, I think you're the only one who thinks that.”

As the the pathway ends to the outskirts of the village, you notice a crowd of lesser youkai are gathering around the border of the town.

Though they aren't doing anything, the mass moves in a singular motion, like a giant wave swaying through the ground. No sentience is even distinguishable. Some have a glazed look in their eye, but others have a partially clear iris. However, each youkai is complying to one will. A tall snake statue lays amidst the horde. Momiji signals to you.

“Do what you want, but I'll be staying guard.” Her eyes darken. “And if you do go in, I won't be of assistance to you. I have to follow by my orders.”

“Gotcha.”

...Now, what were you going to do about this mess?
[ ] Go in, and take the group by surprise – hopefully, it will jar the control of the mob.
[ ] Scout it out first – stick near Momiji and assess the situation fully.
[ ] Wait for Aya – her speed could be useful here.
-[ ] Actions?
[ ] Other
>> No. 19134
[X] Scout it out first – stick near Momiji and assess the situation fully.

Forewarned is forearmed. Also, I'm wary about that statue: if a small one made it hard for Somao to think, who knows what a large one could do to him?
>> No. 19135
[X] Scout it out first – stick near Momiji and assess the situation fully.
>> No. 19136
[X] Scout it out first – stick near Momiji and assess the situation fully.
>> No. 19147
[X] Scout it out first – stick near Momiji and the situation fully.

I would go against the vote, but first voter does bring up a good point.
>> No. 19179
“If you don't object, I'll be staying right here. I'd like to know what I'm up against before fighting a huge mob.” You adjust your position, creeping low next to Momiji. “But just what the hell are they doing here?”

“Informants say that they just suddenly appeared, but it's only based on speculation.” The wolf tengu chews on her lower lip. “We've attempted to get some informants inside the town, but all entries were tightly sealed, and the main entrance is barricade by the mob.” She sighs. “We're in the dark here. As tengu, we naturally have information on things like this...but this time, we don't have our most valuable asset here.”

A quick swoop blows wind from behind you. Aya is crouched down, in the middle of both you and Momiji. She has a sharp look in her eyes, and her gaze is stern. “I got some info on these mindless freaks. They seem to be all youkai status, but usually those of weak nature. Though I haven't ventured close enough to tell, they seem to be limited to a circular area. The source is right in the middle, and seems to be a statue of something.”

“A snake statue.” You answer automatically. “It's a snake statue. I think it's the key to all the generated simultaneous power between the youkai.”

“Right.” Aya interjects. “The source is placed exactly where it blocks the entrance, and gives them the advantage to fighting. As they have strength in numbers, it almost forces a direct confrontation.”

Momiji rubs her head anxiously. “We're not dealing with some stupid youkai. Whoever is commandeering the mob has thought this through.”

You nod slowly. “So it's like the village is being under siege...”

“So, what're we going to do, Somao...?” Aya asks pensively.

“No, Aya, 'we' aren't going to do anything. This is out of our affairs, not to mention the tengu's jurisdiction. We aren't fit to do squat at the moment.”

“Save it for the paperwork, Momiji.”

You sigh. Even at times like this, the two of them squabble over anything.

You look over towards the large mob that seemed to have grown in size now. Funny, when did it seem to grow bigger...?

However, none of the youkai were moving out of the range, and seemed to be stuck there standing the whole time.

“This is stupid.” you say. “It's like the world's slowest game of chess, with only two kings prancing around each other.”

“Except you're losing, Somao.” Momiji notes. “The objective of the youkai placed there is to block any entering, yes? But you're missing one vital thing here. The people in the village. What had happened to them? Were they taken? Or are they slowly dying inside? We don't know. The tengu were unable to breach their defense.”

“...Damn it! I can't win in this situation? But what am I supposed to do?”

Before Momiji or Aya could say anything, a large explosion of fire pierced the gate entrance. Incinerating a few, a large space is cleared out long enough to see one person climbing through a puncture in the entrance. Mokou.

[ ] Take your chance while the commotion is still up!
[ ] 'Retrieve' Mokou out of the large mob. She could have some information!
[ ] Stay hidden and out of view. She's immortal – you're not.
[ ] Maybe there's something else you can do...
>> No. 19181
Well... this is interesting.
>[ ] Take your chance while the commotion is still up

I'd imagine this would have Aya and Samao charge in to see what's going on. The only risk is possibly the Mob and the snake statue's effect on Samao.

>[ ] 'Retrieve' Mokou out of the large mob. She could have some information!

Not sure if she knows much and trying to get in her way is risky in itself.

>[ ] Stay hidden and out of view. She's immortal – you're not.

Pretty cowardy and The mob might give Mokou trouble due to the sheer numbers.

>[ ] Maybe there's something else you can do...

Mystery option.
>> No. 19185
>>19181
>Mystery option.

Really? I thought the choice was for a write-in.


[x] Take your chance while the commotion is still up

I'm presuming this means to fight with Mokou. Let's do this!
>> No. 19194
I like to write.
If it wasn't obvious, I want to post an update. But one vote isn't going to cut it. And damn, I am making so many typos in my posts lately.
>> No. 19195
>>19194
It doesn't help that Lion decided to update his story.

[x] Take your chance while the commotion is still up

This strikes me as the best choice.
>> No. 19196
>>19181
Good analysis

[x] Take your chance while the commotion is still up!
>> No. 19197
[X] Take a chance while the commotion is going!
Less awkward grammar.

>>19194
I put off voting because of how confused I was. The village barred its gates to keep the youkai out, then Mokou blows a hole in one to get out? Couldn't she have flown over it? Also, she's left a way for the youkai to get in now.
>> No. 19198
>>19197

Sorry for that then. What I meant was that the youkai were blocking the gate, rather than the gate blocking the village itself.

Times like these are exactly why I require a proofreader. I'd go to IRC but I feel so out of place there. ;_;
>> No. 19199
>>19198
try asking Fyhen in there, he's willing to proofread, and you'll get used to it as long as you don't do something VERY stupid.
>> No. 19203
[x] Take your chance while the commotion is still up

What could possibly go wrong?
>> No. 19231
I thought you were implying that you were going to update more when you wanted a proofreader. Guess not, huh.

[x] I want more Aya.
>> No. 19252
>>19231
Patience, friend. Moral's a bit of a slow updater even under normal circumstances.

That said, I'm looking forward to seeing the next update when it's finished.
>> No. 19257
Yeah, sorry about that. I consumed my writing time into developing a series of shorts. But I wasted my efforts, as most of them got scrapped. Will start the new thread....soon? This week, maybe.
>> No. 19272
Next thread here >>19262
If anybody's even looking around here.
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