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

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Bottom]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (Reply to 21036)
Message
File
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • First time posting? See our frontpage for site rules and FAQ
  • Further overview of board culture in this thread.
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, WEBM, WEBP
  • Maximum file size allowed is 4096 KB.
  • Images greater than 200x200 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • View catalog

File 132437676574.jpg - (1.30MB, 2404x1700, mof.jpg) [iqdb]
21036 No. 21036
Expand all images
>> No. 21037
[x] Left.
------

With slow, heavy movements, you lift your feet, and walk over to me. Leaning slightly forward, you extend your arm out to me, offering to me your palm, and I—

--I reach out, and take hold of your hand. Gently, you lift my small body to its feet; the top of my head barely comes up to your chest. I look up at your face, hidden behind that mask. It seems almost funny to me now. I had been hiding behind a mask all this time, and yet, I don’t know what kind of face you’re making at me. Is it pity, I wonder, or is it hate, or resentment, or anger, or sadness. I would like to know. I want to know. I want to know what you think I should—

I shake my head, turning around to face the same direction as you. I grasp tightly onto your hand, and as you begin to walk down your chosen path, I follow.









I slept, and slept, and slept. Whether it was for a year, or a decade, or for a century, I did not know. I slept, heedless of the passing times, bound by my chains. I could not remember what had happened to me, or who I had been. But even as I slept, I could feel my anger, my sadness, my suffering. I wanted to escape. I wanted to break the bindings that held me. I knew. I knew, that the chains that were holding me, were weakening. I did not know why. I did not care why. All that I knew, was that soon, I would be free.

And so, one day, I awoke.

I awoke, and roamed the world, for what seemed like the first time in an eternity.

And I awoke to my terrible hunger.

I was starving. I was dying. I was fading. The mere act of existing had become a terrible strain on my being during my sleep. I required something – anything. I was desperate to live, to continue existing. I was scared, and terrified. I did not know why I sought so desperately to continue to exist. I could not even think to question it. All that I could do – all that I cared to do – was to find a way to quench my thirst and sate my hunger.

Then, I felt it.

Something was calling out to me. Resonating with my entire being. A missing piece. A part of myself that I had lost for a very long time. Without hesitation, I headed for it, desperate to regain what I had been lacking for all those years. I sought to make it mine once again. I saw it. I felt it. The part of me that I had been seeking for so long was so close.

Greedily, I opened my mouth, and swallowed it whole.

Immediately, a rush of emotions washed over me.

The memories of a boy.

His joy, his sadness, his suffering were now all mine.

I could peer into his every thought, his emotions, his every waking moment – as though he were me, and I were him.

I watched through his eyes, as his time of greatest joy was maligned by a curse, turning into despair—

--and then I, too, despaired.

























When I next open my eyes, I see a familiar scene before me. The dim fluorescent lights shine down on me from above and my body rocks ever so slightly at a rhythmic, almost soothing pace. The dull sound of wheels grinding against railway tracks fills my ears as I stare into the darkened window ahead of me. I close my eyes again, but even as I do, the scene before me does not disappear, as if it was something that had been left burned into my eyes. Taking a small breath, I open them again.

“Long time no see,” the voice of a young man greets me.

On the other side of the train car, he now sits, hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket, looking at me with an easygoing smile. His messy black hair sticks up this way and that, like a bird’s nest, and his eyes are dark, yet vibrant and glowing. Without a doubt, this is the appearance of Kuromugi Hoshuu, the boy who died over ten years ago. I avoid his gaze, looking down at the floor. His gaze feels hot. If I were to meet it, my eyes would surely burn.

He remains silent for a moment, waiting for an answer, before beginning to speak again. “No, I guess I should say, ‘it’s a pleasure to meet you,’ shouldn’t I? After all, this would be the first time we’d be talking to one another, Mishaguji. Funny, isn’t it? Even though we’ve been together for such a long time…”

My body squirms in response to his words, and I shrink back into my seat. Quietly, I part my lips, barely managing to rasp out something. “…I killed you.”

His smile doesn’t change, but he closes his eyes, and nods. “Yeah, that might be true.”

“I caused you pain. And I caused her pain.”

He nods again, not opening his eyes. “That might be true, too.”

“The only thing I can do is give suffering,” I continue, finally looking up at the boy. “That is the purpose of my existence as a curse god.”

He stays silent, unmoving. Finally, he opens one eye, looking at me in a strange way. His smile fades from his face, as he speaks with a cross voice. “Yeah? And what about it?”

“That’s why I…” I hesitate to say, taking a moment to swallow hard before continuing, “…that’s why I should just disappear. I’m of no good to anyone. I can only make people unhappy. Everyone will be better off once I’m gone.”

“…I see,” he says, letting out a sigh. He leans his head back, against the glass pane behind him, closing his eyes again. “So that’s the conclusion you’ve arrived at, at the end of everything, huh? ‘I am evil, and as an evil being, I must be brought to justice.’ ” He suddenly opens his eyes, giving me a look of disgust I’d never seen him use before. “What a fucking joke.”

I wince and freeze, unable to reply.

“How long are you going to beat yourself up?” he asks, his brows furrowed and his voice raised. “How much are you going to make yourself suffer before you’re satisfied? ‘Everyone would be better off if I were dead’? Don’t give me that garbage. What good is it to anyone if you’re dead? It won’t bring me back. It won’t heal that girl’s heart. It won’t change anything for the better.”

“But I…” I barely mutter out, looking down at the floor again. “I couldn’t let myself run from the past anymore.”

“No, that wasn’t running away!” he exclaims, rising from his seat. He bites his lip in anger, glowering at me as he grabs fistfuls of my robes, lifting me up and staring at me directly in the eyes. “What you’re doing now – that’s running away. If you feel remorse for what you did, then you should act to make up forit. But this, trying to get yourself killed to atone for what you did, that’s meaningless. It’s selfish. You’re not doing it for the better of everyone. You’re doing it because you can’t stand the guilt. You can’t stand the pain. So instead of trying to really atone for what you did, you’re just seeking the easy way out!

“Listen. It might be true that your purpose is to inflict misery on others. It might also be true that it was because of you that we ended up living such lousy lives. But you know what? We’ve been together this whole time, from the day I was born – no, even before that. You’re as much me as I am myself, and I’m as much a part of you as you are yourself. Don’t you understand? It was because you were me, and I was you, that I had the chance to meet that girl. The year I spent with her – it was the happiest time of my life, and… and it was thanks to you.”

He relaxes his shoulders, and his grip on me loosens. My body slides down, and I slump back into the seat behind me, looking up at the boy. He looks to me, his eyes teary. With a sniffling noise, he wipes the back of his hand across his eyes, wiping them with his sleeve.

“…so while others might hate you, and fear you, and blame you for everything – at the very least, I won’t.”

but you also took that happiness away from him

He stands there, looking to the floor, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jacket. Gradually, the train begins to slow down, until with a screech, it comes to a complete stop. Kuromugi Hoshuu raises his head again, and flashes me a sheepish smile. “Well… I guess this is my stop. For someone who no longer exists like me, this is my final destination. But you’re not getting off here, right? You’ve still got a ways to go before this ride is over.”

With a little hesitation, I nod.

His smile grows more confident, and he nods back. “Good. I’m sure, this time… this time, you can do it.” The sliding doors open and he turns around to one of the doors on the opposite side of the car. He slowly walks to it – he turns at the threshold, looking at me one last time. He grins, and raises a hand: a farewell salute. “…Sayonara.”

He steps past the doors, disappearing behind them as they slide shut again. Slowly, the train begins to pick up speed once again.

“…Goodbye,” I finally manage to say, “Kuromugi… Hoshuu.”

------
>> No. 21038
This certainly was an interesting update. Unfortunately, I had to read it twice as the first time I read it, all I could think was that this was Shinji's train of woe. The "Running Away" bit didn't help either.
>> No. 21039
Final ;_;
I've enjoyed the ride Lion
>> No. 21040
We were on a train before, right? Someone go dig through the archives and remind me. Also, I kind of wish we'd gone right, now; could have seen if Tayasumi caused the Mishaguji to be created in the first place, or if he was just its first vessel.
>> No. 21042
>>21040
we're still going to go right
>> No. 21045
Having Libera me from hell only makes this update even better.
>> No. 21046
Thanks for the update, Lion.

Final thread...wow. It's been a great experience so far, and it's sad to see this story draw to a close. I don't suppose you'll be doing a Q&A afterwards?

Anyway.

Hoshuu contained a part of the Mishaguji. I wonder how that happened, and why it was true from birth.

>but you also took that happiness away from him
That's...odd. Headgames is still present in Mishaguji's mind? Is this Mishaguji's thoughts in what amounts to Mikio's consciousness? By Young!Mikio's "following" us, did he become integrated into us (again)?

It's also interesting that Hoshuu acknowledges talking to Mishaguji as different from talking to Mikio, but I guess that could be expected.

Finally, that was a very nice speech, and send-off, for Hoshuu.
>> No. 21047
>Final Thread
This makes me sad on one hand and on the other i am happy it gets the ending it deserves.

Still trusting you.
>> No. 21048
>>21046
>Headgames
It's called a conscious, or, since this one is telling us to do evil instead of good, a differing opinion. You've had opposing viewpoints within your mind that needed to be sorted out before, right? Same thing here.
>> No. 21050
>>21048
>conscious
Conscience.

And yes, we've had opposing thoughts in our head before, but AFAIR those were all before we'd accepted our identity as Mishaguji. In addition, it seemed apparent that Mishaguji was the voice in our head. Except now that seems very unlikely, unless our current persona is some odd amalgam of Mishaguji and Mikio.
>> No. 21051
The voice, at least to me, seems to be more along the lines of Mishaguji's doubts, fears, & negativity trying to influence what it can.
>> No. 21052
>Fragmentation of Memories, Final

Good grief, I now cannot wait for the ending of this epic journey. Waiting warmly for the conclusion...

>“…so while others might hate you, and fear you, and blame you for everything – at the very least, I won’t.”
>Train scene
>Sayonara

Goodbye Kuromugi Hoshuu, you will be missed. ;_;
>> No. 21053
>>21046
Headgames = Mishaguji
>> No. 21056
>>21053
Did you read the update or no?

>>21052
>Hoshuu
You mean Honshuu?
>> No. 21067
>>21056
Still not funny.

Hoshuu, your sacrifice will not be in vain.
>> No. 21068
>>21067
>not saging
>acknowledging the "joke"
Come on, you should know better than that.

>>21053
Read the whole post.
>> No. 21086
I open my eyes, and see before me the crossroads once again. You stand there beside me, silent and unmoving. I close my eyes again, and squeeze your hand tightly. I feel you tug at my hand, gently pulling me forward, and opening my eyes, I begin to follow you again, as we travel down the other road. As we walk, I look to my left, and where there was once a clear path, there remains nothing but dirt. With a firm resolve, I tear my gaze away, toward the endless horizon in front of me.






“Damn it!”

A young man paces back and forth anxiously, distraught and frustrated. His eyes are wide open and bloodshot, like a madman’s. He tears at his own hair as he continues to retrace his steps, fraught with indecision and despair. More than once, he takes a glance at a rusted spear lying on top of a table, as though contemplating on whether to take it or not. With an angry roar, the young man turns around and punches the wall of the small house he’s in.

“Damn that little brother of mine…” he curses again, continuing to punch the wall until his knuckles are raw and red. He turns around wearily, and slumps back against the wall. “He said he’d be right back. Did he really get spirited away!? Shit, right when I can’t afford to leave the village to look for him.”

An unsaid fear plagues his mind. It eats away at him, feeds on his anxiety, and schemes to drive him mad. ‘What if he was really caught by youkai?’ ‘What if he’s being killed, and eaten alive right this moment?’ ‘What if he’s already dead?’ Worries and doubts fill his thoughts, and drown out all reason. It’s an unbearable thing, to be separated from your family, not knowing what has happened to them, to not even know whether they are living or dead.

Fear… yes, this place is certainly filled with fear.

Day by day, the people in this village live in fear. They live in fear that the crops that they worked so hard to cultivate will die. They live in fear that the rain will not come. They live in fear that an illness will take their life. They live every day, knowing that at any moment, youkai may attack and kill them all, leaving their bones to rot in this foreign, hostile land.

That is the curse of their birth.

They are the sons and daughters of the exiled, the rejected, and the punished. They are the descendants of those who defied the authority of the Yamato, the ones that weren’t outright killed, chased out of their homes and made to live in this remote, unknown, and dangerous corner of the world. In this land, where ferocious beasts make their homes and freely move about in the sunlight, these people eke out a meager happiness. A fragile happiness, that would be so easy to shatter, and impossible to put back together. So many settlements have already fallen, so many have already been killed.

Yes, this is punishment…

It’s the cruel, spiteful punishment of the heavens.

…that’s why I won’t let the same thing happen here.

No matter what, I will protect the people of this village. Even if it’s just as a nameless deity, I will protect the small happiness they’ve made for themselves here…

“Mikihisa, t-there are youkai everywhere…!”

…no matter what…

The young man twirls about the rusty spear, his silver hair turning blood red as he channels strength throughout his body. Dashing forward, he cleanly separates one of the ghoulish fiend’s head from its body. A second fiend leaps at the man, attempting to strike at him with its long, wrinkly hands. The man simply points two fingers in its direction, and immediately, a bolt of lightning strikes down on the youkai, killing it in an instant.

No matter what!

A young girl leaps at the young man, thrusting her hand like a sword toward him. He quickly steps to the side, and lashes out with his spear, striking the girl across the head with the shaft. She falls to the ground, and rolls in the dirt, before quickly rebounding off it and regaining her balance. The young man rushes forward, his deep red eyes narrowed on the girl, his red locks flowing behind him as he viciously stabs with his spear, striking at overwhelming speeds, pushing the youkai girl back, cornering her. He steps in, ready to finish her off.

I will protect these peop…!

The youkai girl reaches back, and picks up a terrified child off the ground from behind her, thrusting him forward at the man.

He stops; just a moment’s hesitation, less than a second of thought.

A devilish grin forms on the girl’s face. She tosses aside the child, and rushes forward, stabbing the man through with her arm.

I…I will…

She looks up to the man, who looks at her with a frozen face of shock, and she grins sadistically, before pulling her hand out. He stumbles back, unable to say or scream anything as he falls down, still clutching tightly to his spear. A pool of blood begins to form underneath him, and his red hair loses its color. The light rapidly begins to fade from his eyes…

I couldn’t do anything.

I sink down next to the young man, tears spilling from my eyes. I look to the youkai, as she advances on the child she used as a shield. He crawls away from her, his small eyes filled with terror, pleading for someone to help him in a small voice. The youkai continues to advance toward him, and raises her foot. I tightly shut my eyes, and hear a wet, grotesque sound, and a scream. Keeping my eyes shut, I bury my face into my knees, wrapping myself up into a ball.

I couldn’t protect them.

All around me, I hear people screaming, flesh tearing, bones breaking, blood spilling, and… lives ending.

This is all my fault.

This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault.

Someone… please… help me…

I raise my head. There is… there is someone still alive. I can hear their cries for help… But what could I do? I can’t protect anyone. I can’t save anyone. I can’t help anyone.

I… I have to kill her… Please…!

…that’s right. From the beginning, I was an existence that could only cause destruction. That is my function, and that is my sole purpose. If I can’t protect anyone, if I can’t save anyone, then at the least, I can grant their wish for the destruction of something. I’ll curse their bodies, I’ll curse their lives, I’ll curse their very existence. Kill them. Kill them. Just like all the humans I killed before, I’ll kill them. I’ll kill the monsters that destroyed this village. I’ll kill the gods who cast them out here for them to die. I’ll kill them all.

So I reach out, to that faint life, and whisper the words

as you wish
>> No. 21087
>>21086
Yay, an updat-

>no voting

ffffffffuck.
>> No. 21095
File 132605229873.jpg - (157.33KB, 500x600, my mind is full of fuck.jpg) [iqdb]
21095
>>21087
Still far better than nothing.

So, uh...is this just a flashback (within a flashback)? Or a Stable Time Loop (are we genuinely travelling back, as "Headgames", to grant Tayasumi the original strength he wished for against Rumia)?

For those who don't want to search for this scene's previous occurrence: >>12450

Because I certainly hope that we didn't relapse that quickly from what Hoshuu said, but it's definitely possible given what's happening here.

Still, unless we've suddenly developed amnesia,
>a nameless deity
seems to indicate that this is something of a flashback, as we should know our name at this point in the story.

Then again, actual time travel would finally explain our knowing Mikio's name here. >>15193

...Goddammit.
>> No. 21097
>>21095
I'm of the belief that it is a flashback
>> No. 21098
I'd say flashback/memory. Time travel seems too... well, not complicated, but more than necessary for this situation.

Like the update. If anything just reminded of wondering if Hoshuu/Mikio/Mishaguji will ever encounter Stage 1 Boss Rumia (whether in an epilogue or omake or something) and what will result.
>> No. 21100
>>21095

Flashback. Probably Mishaguji, after being under the radar for some time, when most people had forgotten about him.
>> No. 21106
I can't express enough love for this story. It's goddamn incredible.
>> No. 21128
I'm fairly sure it's the same scene as the first time around, accept now part of it's being told from Mishaguji's perspective, and his justification for why he does what he does. I think.
>> No. 21130
Isn't the left road the path to Hoshuu, and not Tayasumi?
>> No. 21131
>>21130
The choice only determined the order the paths were taken. The left path was already taken and worn down. We're currently on the right one, having finished the left one already.
>> No. 21132
File 132688437614.jpg - (26.45KB, 300x331, 300px-MishagujiSMT.jpg) [iqdb]
21132
>>21045
Oh, great! Another Gurren Lagann fanboy!

Also, this is Mishaguji.
>> No. 21133
>>21132

Somehow, that is not the most phallic giant snake monster I have ever seen.

Goddamn internet.
>> No. 21149
So, Lion, I know you're taking more time with each update, now that the end is near, but aren't you taking, well, too long, now?

The longer it takes for the end, the less impactful/dramatic it will be, due to the long period between each update. Unless, of course, you are writing a massive wall of text, to finish the story with one update.
>> No. 21150
>>21149
Lion apparently is/was experiencing health issues in his family: >>20984

I mean, I'd really like an update (sooner being better) as well, but he seems justified enough in the delays.

And yeah, he's not going to pull some Fallout Gensokyo-esque wall. At the very least, we still have one major decision to make left.

>>20962
>But before it all ends, I want you to answer a question.
>I won’t ask it now, but when I do, I want you to answer it in earnest. I want you to answer it, after putting as much thought into it as possible. I want you to choose an answer that you feel is best. Please, that’s all I ask of you.

I'm hoping for the next update bringing us to that point.
>> No. 21164
Waiting patiently
>> No. 21182
Hey, it's been a while.

I know people are anxious for the update, but I'm going to have to ask those people to wait just a bit longer.

Yesterday, at around 6:30 AM, my father lost consciousness. At 1:15 PM that day, he drifted away. He was suffering from liver cirrhosis for years, although it was only in the last few months that he had been seeking treatment for it. He was very weak, unable to support himself, and our family only consisted of him, myself, and my elderly grandmother, so I had to take over pretty much everything. This left me with little time and motivation to write, which is why my rate of updates slowed down so drastically.

I'm doing okay now, and once I can get over this loss, I'll be able to update again. I'm not going to just abandon this story after we've all come so far, so please, just be a bit more patient.
>> No. 21183
>>21182
I'm sorry to hear that. Take all the time you need. I regret that I can only offer you my condolences over this internet connection.
>> No. 21184
Take care of yourself. Losing someone is always hard. Best wishes for you and the people close to him.
>> No. 21185
That is a very acceptable reason to not right so take as long as you need.
>> No. 21186
>>21182
My condolences. Sorry that you've had to go through that, take as much time as you need to recover.
>> No. 21188
>>21182

I'm terribly sorry to hear that.

Just know that when you decide to write again, you'll have plenty of eager voters waiting.
>> No. 21192
So, seeing as we'll probably be waiting a while longer...

In the mean time, anyone want to speculate on what this "last question" we'll be asked is going to be?

I'm thinking something like what we truly wanted (e.g. the end of >>20962) or, more likely, whether a being like Mishaguji really deserves to live in the world, and why.

Saging, so I doubt many people will see this, but I'd be interested in hearing any other ideas if they're offered.
>> No. 21196
Perhaps:

"what else could I have done?" or something about whether we can be said to actually be Mikio/Hoshuu/etc. or if we're a separate being.

Of course, that's assuming the question isn't one suggested by you, which seems more likely.

There's some interesting parallels that could be drwan between Hina and Mishaguji, now that I think of it.
>> No. 21198
File 133588096878.jpg - (83.00KB, 750x787, everything is so___.jpg) [iqdb]
21198


It’s cold.

I stand in the dirt, heavy rain falling all around me. I look up at the dark sky, the little drops of water splashing against me. I don’t know if I’m crying or not anymore, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever tears are leaking from my eyes become lost in the rain, running down my face and body. The rain washes it all away.

I… hate the rain.

Because though it can wash away my tears, it never washes away the blood around me, the blood that’s seeped into the ground. The blood that’s been spilt, the blood that’s stained my hands, none of it will ever be washed away by the rain. So while others worship it, and praise it as the giver of life, I will always curse it, and hate it.

I kneel down next to the boy at my feet.

His eyes are still, and distant, staring up at the sky. He lies there on the ground, spread-eagled, his body as limp as a doll’s. He can no longer see anything; his eyes have gone dark to the world, and the world, to him. Blood continues to seep out from underneath him, a pool of red soaking the dirt. The rain continues to fall on him, mercilessly showering him with cold drops of water.

He’s dying.

I reach out, and take hold of his hand. His palm is also stained with blood. I cradle his hand in both of mine, his blood smearing my pale skin. I tightly squeeze his palm, but there’s no change in the boy’s expression. No response at all. I want to comfort him. I want to tell him that everything’s going to be alright. I… I don’t want him to die as miserable as he is now… if there was a way, if there was a way for him to be at peace right now…

I part my lips, and sing a song that I’ve known, for a very long time.

I don’t even know if he can hear me, but I don’t care. If I can only comfort him, make him a little happier...

As I sing, a small gleam of light returns to the boy’s eyes. A look of recognition comes over him, and he struggles to move his head. Trembling, he turns his head toward me. His eyes are still distant, and he can’t see me, but that doesn’t matter – he hears my voice. Raising my voice, I continue to sing. The dying boy turns his unseeing gaze back up to the sky, his lips shaking. He opens his mouth, and expels a haggard, shallow breath. His lips move, just barely, as he silently sings together with me, the rain falling around us, mixing with my tears and his, washing it all away.

He smiles, and the last light in his eyes disappear.

I let his hand fall out of my grasp, staring down at my palms, covered in his blood. I reach up, and grab my head, smearing that blood on my face as I look to the heavens. I scream. I scream the loudest I’ve ever screamed. I scream, and I scream, louder and louder, afraid that if I didn’t continue to raise my voice, the sound of the raindrops would drown it all out. I scream, in sadness, in despair, in anger, in suffering, in indignation; with every painful emotion known to me, I continue to scream.

…that’s it, I’ve had enough.

No more. No more, no more, no more. If feelings these emotions are so painful, I don’t want to feel them anymore. I don’t want to be sad anymore. I don’t want to be pained anymore. But I can’t escape it. I can’t ever escape it – because I am a being whose mere presence causes these things all around me. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, sooner or later, these things will happen, again and again, again and again…!

If these things are going to happen to me, no matter what I do, it’s better that I don’t feel anything at all.

I reach out, and grasp the boy’s hand again, lifting it up.

I will grant your wish; without feeling anything, without thinking anything… I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all, just as I’ve always done. The monsters that did this, they’ll feel the same fear you and all these other villagers lived with, every day. I’ll make sure they do. And the cruel gods who banished us, and forced us all to live like this – I’ll kill them, too. I’ll massacre them, just as they did to us.

Everyone should just die.

…you agree with me, right?














I open my eyes, and see myself surrounded by trees. The cool evening air soothingly brushes against me, sending a small chill throughout my small body. I look up at the sky, above the heads of the tall, numerous trees, at the stars and the full moon. I take in a deep breath, drinking in the cool night air, my eyes drooping shut again. As I do so, I hear footsteps shuffling through the grass, and so I open my eyes again and turn in the direction of the sound.

There, I see a young boy with stern eyes, raising his hand in a greeting as he walks closer.

“Hey there,” he says, in a rough but friendly tone of voice. “I didn’t think I’d see you again.”

I merely smile in response, unable to give any other reply.

“So…” he says, looking away, up at the sky. “This is the end, huh?”

I nod.

He scratches his cheek. “It’s been a really long ride, hasn’t it, for you, and for me.”

I nod again.

He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes as he lets out a sigh. He turns around, and looks up at the moon. He stays silent for some time, before he finally speaks again, “But is it really alright to leave things like this? Is this how it should really end?”

I can’t answer his question.

“This isn’t what you want. You don’t really want things to end like this.”

“I…” I start, but my voice quickly dies, unable to say anything more.

“Who would want something like this?” he asks, turning around and fixing me with a harsh stare. “Who did you intend to make happy by doing this?”

I can’t answer his question.

“Even now, you still can’t decide. You can’t choose, always wavering back and forth, half-heartedly going along with what others tell you over what you feel yourself. You’re always so indecisive, and yet so impulsive,” he continues, scowling. “If this is how you’re going to end things, don’t regret it, don’t mope about it, and don’t justify it to yourself.”

His face slackens slightly, before he smiles bitterly. “But maybe I’m asking too much of a kid,” he says, walking closer. He reaches out, and places his hand on my head, looking down at me with the kindness he learned as an older brother. “…you’re thousands of years old, and you have so much power, but you’re still just a child. You were never able to become anything more than that…”

“There’s more to the world than just misery. There’s more to you than suffering. Can’t you believe in that?”

“But I…” I start, doubtful.

“I… am nothing more than sad memories now,” he says, cutting me short. “And… the same goes, for the me I will become. Like with all bad experiences, you just need to let go, and move on. You don’t have to forget. Just don’t let it weigh you down anymore…”

I remain still, and close my eyes, indulging myself in his comfort, in his rough but welcome kindness…

worthless

I open my eyes. The young man and the trees are nowhere to be found. The scene before me is nothing but white. A blank, frightening place with neither ceiling nor floor, only a vast expanse of nothingness, dull white stretching over everything as far as can be seen.

“Accursed child.”

Muttering. I hear muttering all around me.

”That child will bring misfortune on us all.”
”Look at that hair. Look at those eyes. That child is a child of evil.”
”Demon.”
“That child will bring down Lord Mishaguji’s wrath on us.”
”It’s because of that child that the drought’s lasted this long.”
“That child’s birth has angered the gods!”
”It’s his fault that the hunts haven’t gone well lately!”
“Drown him in the lake!”

“Little one.”

I turn my head, desperately looking around, searching, searching, searching…

“Do not mind what they say, my sweet little one,” the voice of a woman echoes out. “You are no curse. You are my greatest blessing…”

…and I suddenly find myself on the ground, staring at my dirty feet. I look up to the sky, and see dark clouds hanging overhead. A light flashes in the sky and the clouds roar a deafening cry, booming throughout the cold air.

I look down, and see a house of dried grass on fire.

Thick black smoke rises up into the air, as the small pit-house burns down.

I am a child.

I can do nothing. I am nothing.

I can only watch

as my home burns

and as my mother dies within.

I sink to the ground, on my knees, helpless and pathetic. Menacing shadows gather behind me, converging together with one another, overtaking me. I turn around, and see countless pairs of eyes. Eyes full of hate, of contempt, of blame, of suspicion, of fear, of scorn, of malice. They look down on me from above. I am powerless, and they are powerful. I am a child, they are the adults. They are right, and I am wrong. And that’s why… that’s why…

“No, stop!” I scream, throwing up my arms, covering my head and squeezing my eyes shut. “Stop it! Don’t kill me, don’t kill me! Please, don’t kill me! Don’t kill me… please…!”

It hurts. It hurts… it hurts, it hurts! The burns in my body hurt. Hot bronze is being pressed against me everywhere. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts so much. The ropes around my wrists hurt. The ropes around my ankles hurt. The dagger buried in my chest hurts. It’s painful. It’s all so painful… it all hurts so much…

die

It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!

then die

I open my eyes, and see myself.

Myself, his pure white hair stained red, blood dripping from his hands and feet, with monstrous black slits centered in his red eyes.

Myself, who will not let me forget what I was, what I had done.

if you die, the pain will go away, he says in a small child’s voice, with the cruel malicious tone that only children can use. die. disappear and be forgotten. your entire existence will have been nothing but a nightmare, from its beginning to its end.

But I still want to…

do you really believe they would forgive you? he hisses. they are nothing more than memories. constructs created by you, to comfort yourself. do you believe the real ones would say the same?

His appearance changes and takes on the shape of the hunter. The surroundings change, to the ruins of the village I failed to protect. “It’s your fault I died,” he says, scowling deeply. “It’s your fault my brother died, and my sister, and my father! My entire village was razed because of you. You deserve death. Die, and disappear.”

I shake my head, turning around. The world changes, and I find myself in the grounds of a shrine. The runaway boy stands before me, holding the hand of that little girl. They stare at me with eyes of hatred, of accusation.

“It’s your fault I died,” the boy says coldly.

“It’s your fault my mother died.”

“Die.”
“Disappear.”

I shake my head again, turning away from them, running away from them.

A burning building appears before me, a woman standing at its doorway, hand clasped around a young girl’s.

“Why did you kill me?” she asks. “Why? Why?”

“Die,” the hunter says.

“Die.”
“Die.”

“Die.”

The voices surround me, and I collapse to the ground, blocking my ears, trying to drown out their voices.

Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die.
Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die.
Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die. Die.

I look up, and see myself. He looks down at me with his monstrous eyes, as the grass field around us sways in the summer breeze.

die



Die?

Die…

Disappear, and be forgotten…

After all, even now, I’ve only caused trouble for everyone… even though I tried so hard to leave behind everything.

I am not a god.

Not in the same way as Moriya, or Yasaka.

I… we are but children. Vengeful spirits of the dead who had gained power, and taken on the forms of earth spirits.

I… can’t be as virtuous as they are.

I can’t stop thinking like a human.

I can’t stop being a child.

I’m stubborn, indecisive, impulsive, knowledgeable yet not wise, immature, wicked, vindictive, shortsighted, weak-willed…

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be content to just let myself forget. That’s why… that’s why I needed him to remind me… what I was, what I had done before. That’s why… I had been torturing myself, from the beginning. I couldn’t be happy. I couldn’t keep fooling myself. I couldn’t keep fooling everyone around me. I couldn’t let myself live in a lie, even if I was finally happy…

That’s why I did all this.

I thought… it would be for the best.

Was I… wrong?

Mikio… please, tell me.

What should I do?

[ ]
>> No. 21199
Waiting for a write-in expert for this one.
>> No. 21200
[x] Reach out your hand.

Someone will be there to take it.
>> No. 21202
So, so glad to have you back, Lion.

"There is always hope for you, no matter how dark things may seem to become."

Just posting that for now. Proper write-in coming later, need to put a lot of thought into this one.

Also, recommending that people look back at other parts of the story for ideas. The ToC has info on every update besides this thread, now.

...How, uh, wall-of-text-y can I be in doing this write-in, while still being in good taste?
>> No. 21203
[x] Forgive yourself.
Hasn't he suffered enough?
>> No. 21204
[x] Forgive yourself.
>> No. 21205
[x] Forgive yourself.

Hopefully the next update'll come before 2014
>> No. 21206
[x] Die

I'd like Mikio to say it as regretfully and sadly as possible. The reason I vote for this, while cruel, is because up to this point Mishaguji has brought nothing but pain and sorrow to people, and he hasn't been able to do anything but this no matter how much he wishes otherwise. This is his existence and what seems to be the sole reason he exists for. This isn't something easily changed from what I understand, unless something drastic is done to change it. I see that drastic something as dying, as it seems to be the most guaranteed and efficient way to solve this problem no matter how depressing and unjust it is. I suppose I might be thinking in an overly pessimistic way, but regardless, this is how I view it as. I still do really want Mikio to say it as solemnly as possible, though.
>> No. 21208
>>21206
...Wow, you completely missed the point of this update, huh?

Anyway, I'm waiting for a better idea than this, but I suppose it will do for now.

[x] Forgive yourself.
>> No. 21210
[x]Die
Rest in peace, O Cursed One.
>> No. 21211
[x] Forgive yourself.
>> No. 21212
[x] Forgive yourself.
DO IT
>> No. 21213
All right, then. Wall of text incoming.

To those voting for "Forgive yourself", I agree that this is definitely a necessary part of what needs to be done. Mishaguji's massive guilt complex has caused many conflicts in the story, and led to the recurring idea that he is a monster doomed only to cause suffering, and likely the creation of "Headgames" itself.

However, the guilt of Mishaguji as well as the negative influence of Headgames are extensive enough that I'm not sure this vote would be enough to overcome them. It's possible, but I think we should try for more.

To those voting for "Die", I can see why you would think it's the best choice. >>21206 does present a decent argument, and one that has been supported by large parts of the story.

However, I think that we are capable of changing things in a drastic solution other than dying. Despite what Mishaguji is convinced of, we are not necessarily bound by fate, and can change ourselves if we so choose.
There are plenty of quotes which have been said to us which support this, some of which I will now shamelessly mine to support my argument.

>>9141 Memory of Hoshuu, speaking to us.
>"...let me tell you this, at least: you’re not bound to anything. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m not the best person to tell you something like this, but if you don’t like where this train is heading, you can go ahead and forge your own set of rails. That’s something I can’t do, but you can.”
>>16670 So, we can't stop thinking like a human, eh? Well, this might not be all bad, as Kiyone put it...
>“Humans are born with the ability to live beyond their instincts! Don’t you realize what a precious gift that is? Do you know how much it’s coveted by those who aren’t as fortunate to be given that gift from birth?”
>>11132 About Hina, but also applicable to ourself.
>“...even if I am meant to spread curses, I have my own choices. And I choose to carry away curses instead, if it means helping humans… even if it’s just a little.”


...Thus, this is my exceptionally long-winded write-in suggestion.

[x] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god. You cannot merely forget these things, as events have proven.
[x] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything. You cannot be held responsible for all of the suffering inflicted, much of it is due to how you were created and preexisting misfortunes. Realize that letting yourself die will not help those who have suffered at your hand, and the best way to atone for these events is through redemption. To that end...
[x] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others. You may be feared by many humans, but there will always be those friends, loved ones, and comrades that accept you.

But, like I said above, our depression is extreme enough that doing this on its own would be difficult, so:

[x] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so. Keine, Shizuha, Sanae, Hina, Nitori, Aya and Momiji (plus any I might be forgetting). Remember those who have said or proven we are not bound by fate, and hold on to these memories for strength.
[x] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now. Reach out a hand, and hope.

Lastly,
[x] Look at the moon.
If for no other reason than that I think it would be fitting and poetic.


inb4 I’m an enormous faggot for writing all of this
>> No. 21214
>>21213
My personal opinion is that short write-ins tend to carry more weight that long ones.

Also, good post, a bit cheesy but hey!
>> No. 21216
>>21213
Love this, but I'll trim it a bit for the sake of not creating huge posts. Pretty sure Lion will understand.

[x] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
[x] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
[x] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
[x] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
[x] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.
[x] Look at the moon.
>> No. 21217
>>21216
Yeah, this'll do, thanks. I think I wrote too much trying to justify things.

>>21214
See above, and thanks.
>> No. 21218
[x] Think about what you've seen here, in these last few years. Think about what they've said, and how they've chosen to say it. Nobody else tried to make a monster of you.
[x] And you, yourself - how long has it been since you really wanted to hurt anyone but you? Everything you've done, you've done trying to rid the world of yourself.
[x] Just think. You're trying to make things better for people. Does that sound malicious to you?
[x] Everyone wants the same thing out of this. Accept it. Accept what you've been hoping for all this time.

[x] Be forgiven.

Yeah, I'm the douche who brought that write-in up during Tayasumi's last stand, and I'm going to bring it up again, dammit.
>> No. 21219
Where are all the other voters, anyway?

13 votes isn't bad, generally speaking, but this used to be getting 30+ on the major choices.

And how long is Lion going to keep voting open?
>> No. 21221
[x] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
[x] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
[x] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
[x] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
[x] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.
[x] Look at the moon.

I like this one.
>> No. 21222
[X] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
[X] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
[X] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
[X] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
[X] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.
[X] Look at the moon.

>>21219
They will come. It's been a while since the last update, so some people might need a little time to realize that there's a new one.
>> No. 21223
[X] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
[X] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
[X] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
[X] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
[X] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.
[X] Look at the moon.

It's a bit long, but it's all too important to cut any of it.
>> No. 21225
>>21224
>send curses to cover the whole land.
The fuck?
>> No. 21226
>>21225
We're a curse god, so we should do what curse gods do.
>> No. 21227
File 133624429144.gif - (119.66KB, 316x500, SPIN.gif) [iqdb]
21227
>>21226
Spin?
>> No. 21228
File 133626723795.jpg - (249.95KB, 850x1203, spin_kappa.jpg) [iqdb]
21228
>>21226
Nitori?
>> No. 21229
>>21227
No.
>>21228
Sure, why not? It's important to have a little fun on the side before you curse her very existence.
>> No. 21248
[X] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
[X] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
[X] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
[X] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
[X] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.
[X] Look at the moon.

I wish to provide an alternate reason for looking at the moon.

The moon is known for lunacy, causing people to go insane and to do things they would never do when they were sane. As a curse god, the sane thing to do was spread curses. So the opposite, and the most insane thing a curse god could do, is the above.
>> No. 21249
[x] Think about what you've seen here, in these last few years. Think about what they've said, and how they've chosen to say it. Nobody else tried to make a monster of you.
[x] And you, yourself - how long has it been since you really wanted to hurt anyone but you? Everything you've done, you've done trying to rid the world of yourself.
[x] Just think. You're trying to make things better for people. Does that sound malicious to you?
[x] Everyone wants the same thing out of this. Accept it. Accept what you've been hoping for all this time.

[x] Be forgiven.

[X] It's okay to close your eyes now.
>> No. 21253
>[x] Stop running away, and accept. Accept the past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
>[x] Forgive yourself for these crimes, and try to move on from them: cease thinking of yourself as a monster, and stop blaming yourself for everything.
>[x] Seek to change yourself. Though your nature as a curse god is inevitable, Hina proves that you can choose your place in the cycle of curses, and you too can act as you wish to help others.
>[x] Remember. Do not spare yourself the memories of those you have hurt, but do not forget those you have helped and given joy to, going against your nature to do so.
>[x] Have faith in others. Our friends and allies have said and acted in ways showing that they will accept us, even as we are now.

With the exception of the sappiness of the 'look of the moon' bit, these are not wrong, but also things he already knows, having experienced them through Mikio's eyes. He's unable to forget the negative memories; that's why he stopped pretending to be Hoshuu, and why he's reliving them right now. He has faith in his friends and knows they care for their well-being, which is why he knocked out Aya and Momizi, and had to play up the evil 'Mishaguji' personality in order to bait the goddesses and Sanae. Also, I can't see Mikio giving a lengthy, stern lecture here.

>I… can’t be as virtuous as they are.
>I can’t stop thinking like a human.
>I can’t stop being a child.
>I’m stubborn, indecisive, impulsive, knowledgeable yet not wise, immature, wicked, vindictive, shortsighted, weak-willed…
>I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be content to just let myself forget. That’s why… that’s why I needed him to remind me… what I was, what I had done before. That’s why… I had been torturing myself, from the beginning. I couldn’t be happy. I couldn’t keep fooling myself. I couldn’t keep fooling everyone around me. I couldn’t let myself live in a lie, even if I was finally happy…

Recognizing that there has been evil in your actions, that there are more righteous people in the world, that you cannot be someone else, that there is the primacy of a suffering reality over a happy fantasy, that you don't have all the answers, that you may need advice of and consider the views of others in order to come to the truth of matters, that there are circumstances beyond your control, and that one of them is that you cannot choose how you are born into this world.

These are all realizations necessary for one to come of age.

>That’s why I did all this.
>I thought… it would be for the best.
>Was I… wrong?

Yes, you were wrong undoubtedly. Thinking you can take all the hate of the world into yourself was a dangerous and selfish delusion that ignores the fact that there your death will cause more suffering, that there can ever be an end to suffering, and that you can do nothing to mitigate and relieve the suffering of others, in the ways that Hina did (as other voters have mentioned), or by other, direct means.

>Mikio… please, tell me.
>What should I do?

You already know.

'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.'

Truly, in the past you very well were a child, but an adult cannot be held responsible for the mistakes he made in childhood. But you've wronged others just now, by taking this stance as one who 'cannot be forgiven'. You can't say that the past is the past when there's something you can still do about it.

[x] It's time to grow up. You're not a child anymore.
-[x] But if you get the chance, ask them to forgive you.
>> No. 21261
>>21253
This is very good.

I'd hope that Lion takes this post into account.
>> No. 21275
>>21253

Holy fuck, THIS

[x] It's time to grow up. You're not a child anymore.
-[x] But if you get the chance, ask them to forgive you.
>> No. 21280
[x] It's time to grow up. You're not a child anymore.
-[x] But if you get the chance, ask them to forgive you.
>> No. 21282
[x] It's time to grow up. You're not a child anymore.
[x] Stop running away, and accept your past, your crimes, and your nature as a curse god.
>> No. 21283
[x] It's time to grow up. You're not a child anymore.
-[x] But if you get the chance, ask them to forgive you.
>> No. 21305
Before I know it, I find myself sitting in a chair in a dimly lit room. I lean forward, burying my face into my hands, wallowing in my feelings of angst and self-pity.

A light shines down on me, as though someone suddenly turned on a spotlight. At the same time, I feel a hand resting on my shoulder. It gives me a gentle, reassuring squeeze. I lift my head, knowing without looking to whom the hand belongs to.

“But the reality might not be so bad,” the calm, kind voice of Momiji comes from beside me.
Even so, I hate it.

The hand on my shoulder disappears, as another spotlight shines down somewhere behind me, illuminating another.

“It’s your own heart that perceives that reality is hateful and unbearable,” says Rouga, the spotlight fading from him.

The spotlight shines again, illuminating Aya. “It’s your heart that confuses reality with the truth.”

“If you, like, change your perspective and position, the things inside your heart will change a lot,” Hatate quips in.

“There are as many truths as there are people,” Tayasumi says.

The spotlight shines on Mikio. “But you possess only your own truth, formed only by your limited perspective of the world, revised and twisted to protect yourself.”

“Yeah,” Hoshuu energetically agrees, “the view one individual can have of the world is quite narrow, after all.”

“One measures things only by one’s small measure,” Nitori says.

Sanae appears. “One sees things only with the truth given by others.”

“You feel happy on a sunny day,” the Aki sisters say together.

“And you feel gloomy on a rainy day,” says Hina.

“If that’s all you’re taught, then that’s all you’ll ever think,” Sanae finishes.

Hina smiles. “Even so, you can be happy on a rainy day.”

“Your truth can be changed simply by how you accept it,” Kanako says, her arms crossed. “That’s how fragile the thing we call ‘truth’ is.”

“That’s why we search for a deeper truth within ourselves,” Tayasumi says. “And ignore the truth in front of us.”

“You, for example. You’re just not used to being liked by others,” Suwako says, her hands crossed over her mouth, light glinting off the eyes of her hat.

“You’ve never learned to deal with fearing what others feel about you, so you avoid it.”

But… doesn’t everyone hate me?

“You idiot! Why can’t you understand that you’re the only one who thinks that way?”
But, I hate myself.

“If you truly hate yourself, you cannot love or put your trust in others.”

I’m a coward. I’m cowardly, and sneaky, and weak…

“If you know yourself, you can be kind to others.”

I hate myself. But maybe… maybe I could love myself. Maybe, my life is worth living! That’s right… I can’t be anyone but myself. I am me. I want to be me! So… so it’s okay for me to continue to exist! Power wells up in my body, and I feel as though millions of volts of lightning are traveling through my body as I jump up to my feet, knocking over the chair I’m seated in.

“My life is worth living here!” I announce triumphantly.

At the same time, a tremendous gust of air bursts out from my body, blowing away my dark surroundings. The dimly lit room I was in disappears from view, replaced by a bright and colorful world, as all the people I love and trust all fade into my view, cheering and yelling.

“Congratulations,” Momiji says, clapping.

“Congratulations!” Sanae claps.

Hina smiles faintly as she claps. “Congratulations.”

“Congratulations!” the Aki sisters say together.

“Congratulations,” Tayasumi says with a warm smile.

Nitori grins, clapping with her extending arms. “Congratulations!”

“Take care,” Mikio says as he claps.

“Grats, mister!” Hoshuu says with a wink.

Ami the wolf barks happily.

“Congratulations!” Rouga barks.

“Congratulations,” Aya says with a smile.

“Like, congratulations!” cheers Hatate.

“Congratulations,” Kanako says, her arms still crossed together.

Suwako stands, surrounded by the spirits of the other Mishaguji. “Congratulations,” they all chant together.

Slightly taken back, I’m at a loss for words. But still, I manage a warm smile, fighting back tears.

“Thank you all,” I finally manage to say.

Thank you, my writefag.

Farewell, my story.

And to all the readers…

CONGRATULATIONS!




----

Yeah, sorry, guys, but I ran out of writing budget, and this was all I could manage with what I had left. The real ending will be in The End of Fragmentation: The Movie!
I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. The real update is coming soon.
>> No. 21306
IT AAAAAAL RETUUUUURNS TO NOOOOTHIIIIING
I JUST KEEP LETTING ME DOWN LETTING ME DOWN LETTING ME DOOOOOWN
>> No. 21307
File 133806450891.jpg - (434.45KB, 900x900, my face.jpg) [iqdb]
21307
Lion, you do realize that you're a bastard, right.

8/10.
Q&A when?

>> No. 21308
Awesome, when do we get the giant naked pubescent girl?
>> No. 21309
I'll admit, I don't entirely understand what compelled you to make a gag parodying Evangelion out of the blue like this, but considering the source, I suppose that's only fitting.
>> No. 21310
This will always be the true ending to me.
>> No. 21311
Glorious
>> No. 21352
File 133845973523.jpg - (405.28KB, 1600x1200, field.jpg) [iqdb]
21352
I look down at the ground, surrounded by shadows, chanting at me to die, to disappear, for an end to my miserable existence. Maybe that really would be the best thing for me right now. After all, no matter how hard I tried to change, no matter how much I wanted to help other people, in the end, it was all the same; I brought only pain and suffering to everyone around me, to myself. I don’t want to be hurt like that anymore, I don’t want to hurt anyone else like that anymore… maybe it would be best for me to just disappear, maybe that’s the only choice that I have—

“No!” a single voice cuts through the mutters around me.

I raise my head, my eyes wide with surprise. One by one, the figures surrounding me dissolve away, broken apart in the wind. The tall grass brushes against my tear-stained cheeks, swaying about gently as a comforting breeze washes over my body. I look forward at the ‘me’ who wishes to die, and realize that the voice didn’t come from him. Slowly, I turn my head, and see ‘your’ masked figure standing behind me, the tips of the grass brushing against your waist as you step closer toward me.

“That’s not the answer…” you whisper softly, stopping behind me.

Then… then what should I do?

“You already know what you have to do,” you say, your fingertips brushing against the surface of your mask. “It’s only that you’re hesitating, scared.”

…I hate myself. I hate what I am now. That’s why I’ll never be able to do what you want me to do.

“That’s fine,” you say, nodding. “You can hate yourself as you are now; as weak, and immature, and indecisive as you imagine yourself to be.”

That’s right. That’s what I am, so I should just—

“But that’s why you have to change.”

Huh…?

“You know yourself, and that’s why you can change. If you can’t shoulder what must be done as you are at this moment, then you have to become someone who can. Become someone who can love himself, someone who can accept the past, someone who can trust in others, someone who can bear suffering…”

Can I… can I really become someone like that?

“You can,” you say firmly. “You’ve always doubted yourself, believing in what others said about you. But you can’t just resign yourself to that anymore. You can’t give up.”

I… can change?

“Mishaguji,” you continue, “it’s time to grow up. You can’t be a child anymore.”

Grow up… Me?

that’s impossible, he says, shaking his small head. it’s nothing but a futile hope.

“It’s not futile,” you assert strongly, staring into his monstrous eyes. “If you can accept your past, your sins, your nature, you can grow past them, and become something else.”

A single crack appears in the face of me, who wishes to die.

it’s already too late to change, he says.

“It’s not too late until after we’ve given up.”

A second, larger crack appears.

everyone hates you. they’ll never forgive you for what you did

“That’s not true, you’re the only one who thinks that way,” you say, shaking your head. Looking down at me, you stretch out your hand toward me, reaching up, and tearing off the mask covering your eyes. You toss it aside, and stare into my eyes with yours. “Come on, Mii. We’ll go ask for their forgiveness together.”

Cracks continue to appear in his face, connecting to one another, spreading to his body. He remains silent, staring ahead at us without a change in his expression.

…Yes, he might be right, and it might just be a futile hope, but I want to try. I want to try to become the kind of being that I wish to be. An adult who can do so many things that a child like me can’t, someone who can accept the mistakes of his past, and move on from them. I don’t want to doubt myself anymore. Even… even someone like me, whose nature itself brings suffering to others, want to hold hope that tomorrow will bring a happier future. I want to believe -- that I can change, that I can earn the forgiveness of those who I’ve wronged in my selfishness, that I can be happy at last…!

Trembling, I reach out for the hand offered to me. Feeling the touch of his skin, I nearly shy away, pulling back my arm, but he takes a firm grasp of my fingers, and pull me up to my feet.

And at the same time, the scenery around me undergoes a sudden. As though someone had suddenly spilled color onto the world, the dull grass swaying around me begins to transform. Like a wave, the transformation washes over the world. A fierce wind forces me to shield my face, squeezing my eyes shut. The gust dies down, and I open my eyes again.

The world has turned gold.

All around me, I see the tall stalks of grain, dancing in the now gentle breeze. It’s a beautiful sight, a field of gold, so rich and vibrant. The field of gold stretches out as far as my eyes can see. This field… it’s filled with the power of the earth, with the life of the land itself. The land gives life to the wheat and rice, which in turn give life to people. It’s almost overwhelming, to be surrounded by so much life. Certainly, this is the most beautiful scenery you could imagine…

“You see this land?” you ask, squeezing my hand. I look up to you, puzzled. “You created this.”

“Eh?” I mutter, confused. “I… did?”

“That’s right,” you say, nodding. “Have you forgotten? You gave your blessings to the land, and in turn gave life to these crops. It was because of you that the people of Suwa were able to flourish. You were no god of evil. It’s not your sole nature to hurt people and make them miserable. You have the power to make them happy as well…”

…I see.

The answer was as simple as that all along.

Then, why?

Why couldn’t I see it until now?

Why did it take me so long to remember something so important…?

I look to him. He stands there still, deep cracks spread throughout his body.

“So, you don’t need me anymore…” he says, his voice louder than a whisper.

He begins to crumble away. It starts at his fingertips, and rapidly spreads to the rest of his body. He starts to break apart, bit by bit, turning to nothing but dust as the wind carries him away. As he begins to fade away, he turns his head, and looks out at the field. His expression changes for the first time, a faint smile dancing on his lips.

“It’s a scene I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s nostalgic,” he says, before looking back to us. “I won’t try to dissuade you anymore. If this is what you’ve decided… don’t make anyone sad from now on... not even yourself.”

He closes his eyes, and his smile grows wider. When he opens them again, his pupils are no longer monstrous, returning to the same, pure-red irises like my own. Finally, the last of his body crumbles apart, disappearing from sight, swallowed into the scene of gold.

“…Let’s go, Mii,” you say to me, still holding onto my hand.

I look to you, and smile, nodding.

Once more, I will hold hope.

---
>> No. 21353
File 133846418462.jpg - (119.28KB, 1200x872, 8b4640ef9fceca84f903b193015d2231bc82c3aa.jpg) [iqdb]
21353
It’s dark.

Your body feels light, and weightless, as though gravity has no control over you. But that’s not true, because even now, you’re still sinking. Deeper, and deeper, you descend, surrounded by coldness as bitter and harsh as death, where not a ray of light can penetrate through. You don’t try to fight it, you don’t attempt to claw your way back up, or kick with your legs. You continue to sink, as if resigned to your fate, as though you’re content with what’s happening to you.

But you’re not.

A small glimmer of light shines down on you from above, and just that is enough to empower you. You reach out with your hand, extending your arm toward the light, desperately trying to grasp it. Your legs kick back and forth, fighting against the pull of the earth, attempting to drag you down, deeper and deeper. You fight and struggle, trying to climb back up, waving your arms and your legs as hard as you can. Even if it’s only a small glint, even if it’s the most fragile of hopes, if you could only reach it, then--!

Someone grabs your hand, tightly grasping it in theirs, and firmly tugs on it, pulling you through the water. Up and up, you ascend…

When you open your eyes, you find yourself kneeling on the ground, barely supporting yourself with your arms, gasping for air. Your clothes are absolutely drenched, sticking to your skin, and droplets of water fall freely from your body. The cold night air bites against your exposed flesh, numbing your sensations as you struggle to catch your breath.

“Come now, pull yourself together,” a nearby voice reprimands you. “You look unsightly.”

You raise your head, and see the imposing figure of Yasaka Kanako standing before you, her arms folded together majestically, as she stands straight and proud as always. Next to her, you see Moriya Suwako, looking to the side – away from you – and twirling a lock of hair around her finger, though the eyes of her strange hat are still fixated on you. Behind them both, their shrine maiden stands, looking at you with an uncertain expression, one hand tightly clenched in front of her chest. And that’s not all – Shameimaru Aya and Inubashiri Momiji stand off to the side, relief evident in their eyes, though they still appear tense.

“Stand,” the wind god says. “A man should not spend so much time on his knees.”

Your breathing slightly calmed, you weakly straighten yourself out, getting up on your feet. Your legs feel wobbly, and you nearly fall back down, but you manage to steady yourself with some difficulty. While you do so, you ponder what you should do – what you should say. There are so many things running through your mind right now. You want to apologize, and ask for forgiveness, but you can’t even begin to imagine the words you should use.

“Everyone, I—” you start, but the words become stuck in your mouth.

Kanako raises an eyebrow. “Yes, what is it? Speak up.”

You try to start again, but this time you can’t even utter a single word. Suwako briefly glances your way, and sighs, shaking her head as she reaches inside her sleeve. She withdraws something, and without a word of warning, she tosses something to you. You catch it in the air. It’s small, and smooth, and made of wood. It’s a small wooden plaque, an ema. You turn it over in your palm, and recognize the writing on it to be yours.

‘I want to be forgiven.’

“If you’re gonna do it,” Suwako says, grinning, “do it with some energy.”

You look down at the plaque, and smile faintly. Gripping it tightly into your hand, you turn your gaze back up, and speak in a clear and confident voice.

“I’ve done many horrible things, and deceived so many. Up until now, I’ve caused everyone a lot of trouble,” you say, your arms at your sides. “I know a simple apology won’t make up for any of the irresponsible things I’ve done, nor will it erase the pain I’ve caused, but I hope you will allow me the chance to atone for it.”

You lower your head, bowing deeply. “Everyone, I beg for your forgiveness.”

Kanako closes her eyes, appearing to be in deep thought. Suwako looks away, scratching her cheek. An uncomfortable silence permeates the air, until it’s broken up by a snort, coming from Kanako. Opening her eyes, she grins slightly.

“So that was it after all,” she says.

“It’s not like we’re in any position to judge,” Suwako says, playing with her hair again. “We’ve made our mistakes as well.”

“Regardless,” the wind god says, not breaking composure, “as long as you recognize your misdoings, you can learn from them. And, it’s part of our duties to make sure that wish of yours comes true.”

Straightening out, you look past the gods, and at the girl you hurt the most. She maintains her uneasy gaze, appearing conflicted. She notices your gaze, and shrinks away slightly, looking a little guilty. “…I’m sorry, I can’t forgive you right now,” she says, looking away. “I’m--I’m not sure what to think. I need… I need time to sort this out. Please understand.”

You nod. She’s been through quite a lot tonight. She’s confused, and hurt. Her hatred for Mishaguji, who destroyed her happiness, is conflicting with her memories of Kirita Mikio, who had always been helpful and kind to her. That internal strife isn’t something that can be settled so soon. You’ll wait, until she can come to terms with what happened, and even if she still can’t forgive you, you’ll still work to atone for what you’ve done to her…

“Mikio!”

Unable to contain themselves any longer, Momiji and Aya rush toward you. You turn to face them – and Aya immediately greets you with a punch to the gut.

“What the hell, Miki!?” she rages as you stumble back, doubled over. “We thought you were really prepared to die!”

“S-sorry,” you say, grunting in pain. “I didn’t want you two involved…”

“Mikio,” Momiji calls to you calmly. You turn to look at her, and she slaps you hard across the face, glaring at you with a stern expression. “Don’t do that. Don’t do that ever again.”

“I’m sorry,” you say, rubbing your raw red cheek. “I won’t.”

“Good,” she says, her face softening.

“Now come on, Miki,” Aya says, tugging you by the arm. “You still need to rest.”

You’re about to protest, when Momiji takes hold of your other arm, helping her drag you along, away from the shrine. Even with the weight of the situation still pressing down on you, you can’t help but smile. They know what you are now, your true nature, and yet… the way they treat you, the way they act around you -- it hasn’t changed at all. Just that, is enough to make you glad that you chose to live. The happiness you feel right now…

You look to the lake, and see the sun beginning to rise, just slightly peeking out from behind the mountaintop.

You’re so glad to be alive.
>> No. 21354
Wonderful.

So this is the end, huh?
>> No. 21357
Huh, I'd forgotten about the ema.

I'm kind of expecting an epilogue, so I think I'll hold off on posting my thoughts for now.
>> No. 21358
I have a weird feeling about FoM ending because I have enjoyed this for a few years.
>> No. 21359
File 133847828699.gif - (498.81KB, 360x150, bravo.gif) [iqdb]
21359
So, I guess that's it, then.
Well. Pic related.

The first part was very nicely done. The interaction between the three entities making up Mishaguji was great, and I loved how it integrated the write-ins.

The second part, I hate to say this, but the dialogue just felt...rushed, a bit. The ema callback was great, but a lot of the actual parts spoken by the characters just felt awkward (this could very easily have been intentional, but it didn't sit all that well with me regardless.)

Like >>21357, I think I'm going to wait for either an epilogue or a statement that we're not getting one before typing up my full thoughts on the story. That'll take some time.

And, I might as well beg for a Q&A once again, or at least a statement on whether or not we're getting one. I highly doubt an epilogue would be able to wrap up all of the lingering questions about this excellent story.
>> No. 21360
Lion confirmed in IRC that there's at least one more update. Presumably that's the epilogue. And he's also made references to a QnA at the end of FoM before (also in IRC).
>> No. 21362
File 133849936161.jpg - (16.14KB, 469x320, BisonYes.jpg) [iqdb]
21362
>>21360
Thank you, good sir.
>> No. 21370
So...who's the one that came out of the lake? Is it Mikio or Mishaguji? Or is it some sort of strange amalgamation of all the personalities involved?

Getting major Tales of the Abyss flashbacks if it's the last one.
>> No. 21373
>>21370
>strange amalgamation of all the personalities involved?
I sort of figured Mikio, Hon, and Taya were all the "same" person to an extent, just reincarnations of Misha, with different experiences in life. Maybe. I dunno, he's a god and all, he's allowed to be a crazy fuck and talk with himself.
>> No. 21385
>>21373
>Hoshuu
>Hon

You again?
>> No. 21391
>>21385
Me again. It's a joke, I kid.
>> No. 21392
Hoping desperately that there's going to be a sequel.
>> No. 21393
>>21392
We'd be lucky if he resumes border house at all as opposed doing what most big name writers do after finsihing a story: Hanging out in IRC and never really writing again.
>> No. 21398
>>21392
I think this conclusion excludes the possibility of a sequel.
>> No. 21401
>>21391
As do I. This occasion is too grand to be marred with petty rage.

>>21393
God, I wish he does resume Border House. I love it so much; probably my favorite story on the entire site.
>> No. 21402
>>21401

Agreed with you there. Border House is an awesome story. The old meaning, not the new one. I'd love it if he picked it up again. That said, everything that Lion has written is great, so if he decides to continue/start anything else, I'd be game.
>> No. 21403
>>21402
Well he did say that he was only putting it on hold. All we can do is hope that he continues being an excellent person.
/asskissing
>> No. 21418
On a different note, it just occurred to me that Mikio's insane alcohol tolerance probably stems from the fact that he's a god himself.
>> No. 21614
...So, this is getting one last part, right?

And I'd want it to be as high-quality as an ending for this deserves, and taking the time necessary for that is fine, but could we get a status update?
>> No. 21618
>>21614
I'm still alive, but I'm busy because I need to move out and stuff and life in general is giving me a headache.
>> No. 21626
>>21618
Sorry to hear that life's being troublesome, hope it gets better for you. Waiting warmly for the last part.
>> No. 21802
...And it's now been over twice as long as it took to get the last update up. How're things progressing?
>> No. 21876
He's nearly broke, has neither mates nor family left to rely on, and constantly plays games or chats on IRC so he doesn't have deal with all the shit that's befallen him over the last half-year or so.

It's heartbreaking and angering at the same time.

If you want to talk to him, you can find him on IRC. Best of luck to him, and you for trying.
>> No. 21941
Okay, status update, while the epilogue hasn't been written yet, I finally have a job now. Once things are a little more stable I'll return to working on this. Sorry to keep you all waiting for so long, but I'm going to have to ask you to be just a little more patient.
>> No. 22009
>>21941
I hope that you are doing allright again.

Just a heads up that someone is still waiting for updates. And for Border House.
>> No. 22055
>>22009
Gotta agree with this guy. I'm the faggot who posted a few threads ago who only read your other story and discovered this only to be beaten down by the sheer size of it. I loaded them all via westisblue and read them over the last few days, I feeled hard when Hoshuu got off the train and you-know-what soon after that. I too would love to see an epilogue with a happy end. Maybe even with Hoshuu and the others together.
>> No. 22075
Dear God. I first started this a while ago then dropped it before starting it up again. And I'll be damned; I just went through some of the most interesting and emotional 12 hours of my life. Bravo Lion! You are by far the single most dedicated fan-fiction writer I know to date. I would just like to say thank you for an awesome read, and I look forward to your epilogue!
>> No. 22078
>>22075

Sage, you shameless nigger.

And here I thought there was another update.
>> No. 30076
Finally finished reading this again. Just as many feels as the first time around, even after all this time. I know it's been five years, and I know you've probably moved on with your life, as we all have, but I still grasp at the tiny ray of hope that some day you'll bring this magnificent story to a close.

But regardless of whether or not you do, Lion, if you're reading this, thank you. If I tried to repay you for all the effort you've put into writing for a bunch random people you've never met on the internet I'd have to buy you a whole damn bar.
>> No. 30353
I was excited when I saw Lion's post with the date for today, but it looks like he deleted it so I guess nothing's going to come of it. :(
[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Top]


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


[Switch to Mobile Page]
Thread Watcher x