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Not quite a CYOA, but the very few choices you make do make a difference.
"Argh..." I woke up, finding myself in what seemed to be a forest.

Trees surrounded me, and rocks dug into my skin. I lay there with torn clothes, trying to remember how and why I died. I was executed after days of torture...or so I thought. For some reason, I couldn't remember much else besides my name, age and home. My friends, family, job...I couldn't remember. It was as if they were blotted over with black paint. I clutched my head. It had suddenly started to hurt when I tried to remember. Tossing aside the prospect of remembering any more details, I looked around.

Where was I, anyway? Heaven? Hell?

I heard a rather high-pitched voice...a woman's voice. "Hey, are you okay?" I looked around groggily and spotted a young lady running towards me. She was dressed in a Japanese shrine maiden's outfit, her black shoes thumping lightly on the dirt. Long black hair, a frilly red ribbon and dark blue eyes...was I in Japan?

"Where am I?" I asked, first and foremost. The lady stooped down to my level and looked somewhat confused, head tilted to the side.

"You're in Gensokyo. Now that I think of it...you don't look familiar. Who are you?" the lady raised an eyebrow in suspicion, and I saw her hand clutch at a gohei.

"My name is Ichirou Ichimaru. Who are you, miss?"

The lady held out a hand and helped me up to my feet. I noticed that I was barefoot as I winced, the rocks stabbing painfully into my feet. "I am Reimu Hakurei, shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine. Follow me. You will be subjected to...interrogation."

Reimu grabbed my wrist and more or less dragged me away down a dirt path. Interrogation? I felt my breath hitch. That didn't sound too enjoyable.

Soon enough, we arrived in the vicinity of a shrine. I could hear the sound of a bamboo pole clanking on rocks...what a classic decoration to a Japanese garden. Above the tranquil sound of nature, I could also hear the chattering of girls. Well, chattering wasn't the word to describe it. Bickering would be more suitable.

Reimu and I looked up, catching sight of three other girls flying high above us. Wait...they were flying? How?

"Miss Reimu...are they...flying?!" I asked incredously, eyes wide in shock. Reimu nodded and shrugged nonchalantly, as if she saw people flying in the sky every day.

The girl with short black hair holding a red notebook heard my rather loudly voiced question and swooped down almost immediately, landing gracefully in front of me. Her two companions descended behind her. One had honey-brown hair tied in girlish pigtails and the other had messy white hair. Strangely enough, the girl with the white hair had wolf-like features like pointed wolf ears instead of normal human ears and a fluffy white tail.

"Reimu, who is this? Did you finally get a boyfriend? Are you eloping? Did you have a tryst in the forest?!" the girl with the red notebook asked questions one after the other, not giving Reimu time to respond.

"Shut up, Aya. I found him like this in the forest. I was about to interrogate him." Reimu replied with a cold stare, frowning ever so slightly. She tightened her grip on her gohei until her knuckles turned white...was she trying to control her temper? The shrine maiden let go of my wrist, and I noticed that it had turned red from her vice-like grip.

Aya slowly blinked, absorbing the situation. "So you're saying...that you kidnapped him and are now planning to torture him?" she concluded, finger to her lips in a rather cute gesture. Reimu's jaw dropped, and as for myself...it felt as if my heart had stopped beating. This girl was a maniac. The two girls behind Aya both sighed, hands to their faces in a classical 'facepalm'. The girl with the pigtails grabbed Aya by the shoulders and spun her around to face her. "Problem, Hatate?" Aya chuckled, looking over her shoulder to grin at me. I noticed that all three of the girls were wearing 'tokin' hats. Were they tengu or something?

The pigtailed girl, Hatate, frowned and flicked Aya between the eyes. "You idiot! He's obviously from the outside world." she hissed, jabbing a slim finger in my direction.

The outside world? What did she mean?

Aya gasped in reaction to Hatate's statement, spinning around again to face me. She looked me over, her red notebook open with her pen poised to write. "Look at his clothes! Don't they look familiar?" Hatate stepped out from behind Aya and folded her arms, frowning. The wolf girl's eyes widened as she too gazed at me. Reimu seemed mildly amused by all of this, judging from the small smirk that had formed on her face.

"Oh, his clothes look similar to that black cat's clothes! The little Mansion boy." the wolf girl stated, pointing at me. I self-consciously fidgeted with my clothes, feeling uncomfortable under the gaze of all these girls. Aya, Hatate and Reimu all nodded vehemently.

Aya suddenly pulled out a camera and held it up, quickly taking a picture of me. It was an old-fashioned camera. Very different from the digital cameras I used to see all the time before my apparent death. Maybe it was all a dream...my last thoughts before the true embrace of death claimed me. I subtly pinched myself.

This was not a dream.

"Shutter chance! Momiji, what do you think?" Aya trilled excitedly as she showed the camera to the wolf girl, grinning like the maniac she was. Momiji peered over the brunette's shoulder at the camera, eyes wide as she stared at the photo. Hatate was frowning, but she too looked over Aya's shoulder. I frantically checked my clothes, afraid that the ripped fabric was showing areas of skin that were not meant to see the light of day. Yes, my clothes seemed fine.

Reimu's eyes widened as she flailed her gohei around. "Aya, no! Don't you dare publish that!" she exclaimed, glaring at her. "I have to get Ichirou to Yukari. He's not supposed to be here." the shrine maiden added with a frown, looking around. It was as if she were looking for this 'Yukari' person. Aya stomped her foot grumpily, and I noticed that all three of the girls were wearing inconvenient-looking shoes with thin pieces of wood acting as heels...only they were placed in the middle of the shoes.

Aya pointed at me. "That's no fun, Reimu! Let him work at the Bunbunmaru!" she yelled, grinning. I was totally shocked, but Reimu actually paused and seemed to think the proposal over. Hatate stared at Aya, looking scandalized while Momiji simply sighed. "Well...how about it?" Aya's grin took on a more disturbing air at this question, her eyes narrowed and her lips curled until her grin looked more like a sneer.

Reimu glanced at me...and shrugged. "Go ahead. That's assuming that he wants to work there, of course." Suddenly, all of the girls stared at me again with varying expressions. Aya looked threatening with her 'grin', Hatate looked grumpy, Momiji looked hopeful and Reimu was calmly watching. I pondered over this decision, realizing that I couldn't return to the 'Outside World' anymore. I was 'dead'. That much I was certain of. If I went back home, I'd probably get chased out by everyone while having shouts of 'zombie' or 'ghost' thrown towards me. I had to stay in Gensokyo, whether I liked it or not.

"Yes. I'll work with you." I turned to face Aya directly, staring at her. She almost immediately jumped into the air, cheering loudly as we looked on with varying degrees of amusement. "I don't believe that you three have told me your names." I pointed out, adjusting what was left of my collar.

Aya stopped cheering and held out a hand. I shook it, and she nodded. "My name is Aya Shameimaru. I'll be your boss from now on, so it's 'Miss Shameimaru' to you!" I smiled slightly, suddenly feeling uplifted by her energy. Aya might have been a maniac...but she was rather interesting.

Hatate took my hand and shook it roughly before letting both arms fall to our respective sides. "Hatate Himekaidou. I'm Aya's rival in sales...don't get in my way." she almost growled, glaring at me. She had a scowl forming on her face. I felt a chill go down my spine at this. Hatate was...very scary. I'd have to watch myself around her.

Momiji smiled and shook my hand. It felt terribly gentle compared to the 'handshake' that Hatate gave me just a few seconds ago. "I'm Momiji Inubashiri! I work for Miss Shameimaru too, so we're colleagues." her smile turned into a playful grin at this, exposing sharp canine teeth. Judging from the wolf-like characteristics...she was a white wolf tengu. I was sure of it now.

It seemed that Gensokyo was something of a fantasy world. Tengu flying around and mentions of the 'outside world' which I suspected was my home world. It was strange, obviously, but I would get used to it. "So...um...where is the Bunbunmaru?" I asked, raising an eyebrow. All four of the girls pointed in one direction. I strained to see what they were pointing at...and realized that they were pointing at a huge mountain that seemed to reach the sky. It was only a bluish silhouette from this distance, though. "How are we going to get all the way over there?" I asked incredously, eyes wide in shock.

Reimu glanced at Aya. "We fly, of course. Though I won't be coming along." she replied with a small smile, the smile growing wider when Aya smirked. Hatate and Momiji also smirked at each other. "Have a nice flight, Ichimaru." she waved at me with her gohei and I waved back out of habit, then remembering that I couldn't fly. I felt hands grab at my own, my arms then being pulled up...

Soaring through the air was an exhilarating feeling. The wind blowing straight into my face, the clouds rushing by...the trip was just made a little painful by Hatate and Momiji holding onto my hands as they flew. "Stop screaming, this hurts for us too, you know?!" Hatate yelled, not caring that my arm's joints were currently being pulled apart. It wasn't a 'little' painful, it felt like torture! Didn't they do this kind of stuff in the Dark Ages? Pulling apart a guy with ropes attached to horses? Not that these ladies were horses, of course.

Momiji laughed nervously, adjusting her grip on my hand. "Don't worry, Ichimaru! It'll only be a little more before we reach the Youkai Mountain." she assured me, grinning. Well, at least that much was true. The mountain didn't seem very far away now, and it was quickly moving closer. I could make out tiny houses built in a little settlement now. A village for youkai? I suddenly felt afraid. What if the youkai attacked me? I wouldn't stand a chance against them...I was lucky not to be assaulted by the three girls I was with.

Aya sped ahead, even faster than Hatate and Momiji who were visibly straining to catch up to the energetic brunette. "You're going too slow! You guys can usually catch up with me, what happened?" she shouted over her shoulder, grinning. Hatate and Momiji glared at her, both girls then shaking me as if to say 'HE'S what happened.' I yelled out again, feeling my arms become even more painful. Aya looked forward again and nodded to herself. "About a minute until we reach the Youkai Mountain." she stated, waving one finger at us. Hatate and Momiji sighed in relief. I felt like crying tears of happiness.

True enough, we landed on a cliff about a minute after Aya's announcement. I winced, feeling the sharp rocks stab into my bare feet. Ouch...they were even sharper than the ones in the forest. I followed the three girls down a rough path with cautious steps, wondering how they could balance on this ground with those ridiculous sandals. I was having trouble walking in a straight line myself...though maybe my feet just hurt too much for me to do that. We soon reached the small settlement that I had seen on the way to the mountain. There were fairly smooth footways of what seemed to be cement laid out here. I was extremely relieved by this - I could feel my right foot start to bleed. Aya, Hatate and Momiji looked back, noticing that I wasn't keeping pace with them.

"What's wrong, Ichimaru?" Momiji asked, her sandals making small clicking sounds as she turned around to look at me. I shook my head and walked forward, trying to hide the limp that I had developed from my cut foot. Hatate moved over to me and grabbed me by the elbow. Aya watched with an air of nonchalance, hands clutching her notebook in front of her.

Hatate kneeled down and forcibly lifted up my right leg, inspecting the wound. I looked down at my leg, gritting my teeth. The blood was escaping in a steady but small flow now...it wouldn't be long until I left a trail of blood behind me. "Need a lift, Ichimaru?" Hatate asked almost teasingly, smirking up at me. I blushed slightly and shook my head. I could tell that my answer was ignored, since I suddenly felt myself being lifted bridal-style. I instinctively reached up to hold whoever it was that carried me around the neck, and promptly blushed even harder when I saw that it was Aya.

Hatate laughed at how ridiculous I looked at the moment, Momiji simply grinned at me and Aya looked down at me wearing the same expression as she had earlier. Narrowed eyes and a sneer. I looked away immediately, trying to ignore the fact that other youkai were staring at us, puzzled or amused. We walked on to a small building which held an office. The office was extremely messy, with papers strewn haphazardly across the one huge table in the middle and chairs scattered about in the same manner. The was another door in the back with a sign hung on the doorknob: 'Employees Only'. "Welcome to the Bunbunmaru News." Aya chuckled, gently placing me on a chair. I rested my right leg on my left, gratefully pressing a handkerchief offered by Momiji to the wound. "Momiji, stay here and help tend to Ichimaru's wounds. Hatate...do whatever you feel like doing. I'm going to get some news." the raven-haired reporter waved at us before leaving the office as quietly as a gentle breeze, the door clicking shut.

Momiji sat on the floor, carefully rubbing antiseptic into my wound. "The wound isn't that bad. A week or so in a bandage should fix it." she commented, then grabbing a roll of bandages from a first-aid kit. The antiseptic stung terribly, but it felt familiar for some reason. It was as if I was treated for wounds often back at home. Was I just accident-prone or, on the darker side, something like a soldier? I silently let Momiji wrap the bandages around my foot while Hatate walked out of the office, wooden heels tapping on the floor. "Ichimaru, are you afraid of the youkai, like Miss Shameimaru, Miss Himekaidou and I?" the wolf tengu asked, neatly finishing up her job.

I thought this over for a few moments. Aya wasn't a bad person, if a little crazy sometimes. Hatate was scary, but I could tell that she wasn't about to assault me anytime soon. Momiji was very kind and friendly. Traits that reminded me more of a domesticated dog than a stereotypical lone wolf. "No, I'm not afraid of you guys. I mean, I haven't been attacked yet, and you seem nice enough. I'm just afraid of other youkai." I replied, smoothing down the bandage on my foot. Momiji looked as if she was about to say something, but quickly stopped herself when the door to the office swung open.

I let out an involuntary gasp, my sight suddenly taken away by a pile of fabric being thrown into my face. I looked down at my lap and raised an eyebrow, seeing a set of clothes. Hatate closed the door behind her and leaned against the wall, arms folded. "Those belonged to a man who came to the Mountain." she said, staring at me. I stood up and tilted my head to the side, silently asking what had happened to the man. "He got eaten by the youkai. No cause for worry. We'll protect you." the pigtailed tengu looked slightly confused when I immediately shuddered and looked away, but she simply shrugged in response. I noticed that when she had mentioned the man, a flash of sadness had appeared in her eyes and disappeared just as quickly. Was she related in some way to the man? I decided not to think about it for now. Momiji helpfully pointed to the door in the back with the sign on it, and I walked through.

Was this where I would be staying? I stood in a small room that was decorated in the Japanese style, complete with tatami mats and sliding paper doors. One messy futon with a design of crows on the blanket lay against a wall and another futon neatly lay folded up in the corner. That one had a maple leaf design on it. So Aya and Momiji slept in this room...hopefully, they were not exhibitionists. I unfolded the clothes that Hatate had given me, noting that they were in pretty good condition despite the smell of dust that clung to the cotton. They were clothes of a style that I used to see very often. A dark blue t-shirt with an orange design on the hem, dark brown half-shorts and white canvas loafers. I pulled them on as quickly as I could, folding my torn-up clothes neatly. Aya had already returned to the office when I walked out of the room, chatting with the two other tengu. "Welcome back, Miss Shameimaru." I greeted politely, smiling. Aya grinned at me, motioning for Momiji to step aside. The white wolf tengu did so, revealing a dark blue futon leaning rolled-up against the wall. "Wow, is that for me?" I asked, eyes wide. Was Aya nice enough to get a futon for me?

Aya walked up to me and grabbed my hand, leading me to the futon. "Yeah! You'll be sleeping in the back room with me and Momiji from now on. Don't worry, there's enough space for all of us." she gestured rather excitedly for me to take the futon and I did so, supporting the roll of bedding on my shoulder. "Is your foot okay now?" the raven-haired girl asked, looking down at my legs. I was limping slightly, but my foot actually felt fine after Momiji had treated it.

I nodded and smiled at Aya. Her grin widened and she glanced out of the window. The sun was setting, turning the white walls of the office a faint orange. "I should be getting home about now." Hatate glanced at her yellow cellphone and walked out of the office, door clicking shut behind her. I could see her walk into a small house nearby, the sign on the door almost flying off when she slammed it shut.

"Ichimaru, Miss Shameimaru, I'm going out for patrol. I'll be back at around nine." Momiji stated, looking up at the analog clock put up on the wall. She picked up her shield and sword, walking out of the office soon after. I was left alone with the energetic Aya Shameimaru...which frankly, wasn't a terribly pleasing thing. Aya walked into the back room and I followed, rolling the futon out onto the floor.

Aya slid open the door to what I assumed to be the closet, but was in fact a darkroom. She turned around and noticed my surprised expression, grinning. "Well, I had to make room for this somehow. We use that chest of drawers over there for clothes." the girl pointed at a mahogany chest of drawers in the corner...was it bought or hand-carved? The designs carved onto it were awfully intricate. When I looked back, Aya had already disappeared into the darkroom. I sat down on my futon, looking up at another analog clock on the wall. About seven in the evening now.

I still had some time before I had to get to sleep. I wondered if I should chat with someone to pass the time, scratching my cheek in thought.

This choice is up to you, readers! Pick one of the girls for Ichirou to talk to...his relationship with that girl may affect future events!

[]Speak to Aya [Rank: 0]
[]Speak to Hatate [Rank: 0]
[]Speak to Momiji [Rank: 0]
[X]Speak to Momiji [Rank: 0]

And as it starts from zero...
[x] Speak to Aya

Otherwise, it just wouldn't be a shutter chance!
[X] Speak to Momiji

Not as spastic as the others.
[x] Speak to Aya
[*]Speak to Momiji [Rank: 0]
[x]Speak to Hatate [Rank: 0]

I felt like I was really on fanfiction.net the entire time I was reading this. That is to say, this was bad. Characterization, direction, "plot", everything was all over the place. You jump from idea to idea at light speeds, and it ended up being an unamusing mess. You seem to be fond of minor memes, so you should recognize this one. No sir, I do not like it.
Are you the anon who shut down the horrors on /forest/ and /others/? If so, many thanks.
No problem. I don't want to be too harsh on this guy as it's clear he has some writing ability as compared to that other guy, but I think he just needs to slow down and plot some things out a bit more. The entire scene with Reimu, for example, was completely unnecessary and added nothing. Within the span of a few minutes she showed up, did nothing, and left. That adds nothing at all to the story at large, and shouldn't be included. Also, the meme usage; that kind of shit is generally not okay.

With a bit of work though, this guy will be okay.
[x]Speak to Momiji [Rank: 0]

Somewhat contrived at parts, but it's not really THAT bad. While I have an issue with Reimu just giving him up like that, the Reimu encounter still sets precedence for later parts, assuming Reimu becomes much more important. I guess you could argue that he could just introduce Reimu at that time, but then you're losing the impact of juxtaposition with Aya's character if you choose to introduce them at different times.
[x]Speak to Momiji [Rank: 0]

Just out of curiosity, where are the memes?

For one, "shutter chance" is kind of a meme. It's just a thing the Japanese like because it's in English, but it's not proper English at all (or at least, not an expression any English-speaking person has ever used).
Kind of funny how "shutter chance" is an example of Engrish that would probably never be spoken by anyone who knows English, but something like "survival horror" is itself Engrish, but sounds more natural.
[x]Speak to Hatate [Rank: 0]

Check the dates next time you post. Not really a big deal this time around, just be careful.

You too.
Even though I feel I hold responsibility for killing this off, I actually hold some small hope of it's successful revival.
Why? It sucks.
It's not the worst, though. I can think of a couple of stories running right now that deserve the axe far more then this one did.
Sorry! Definitely my bad. Strange, the first time I've necroed a thread anywhere. Won't do it again.
In that case, learn how to use "sage" properly, like I'm doing now.
Does it really count as necroing when the thread was barely half-way down the first page?

Yep. If it's monthes old, and you really feel the need to vote or give your opinion on something, sage it. Especially if it's a story people really liked, but now it's abandoned/on hiatus. People will think the writefag finally updated again, but it's only some faggot bumping the story.
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