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File 138007232989.jpg - (175.76KB, 850x618, advice tengu.jpg) [iqdb]
23061
Thread 1: >>/youkai/22769

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

Okay.

Okay. This is bad. This is clearly a very nasty combination of guilt, self-doubt, and bitterness at life all flowing together into a steaming, goopy mess of... of... not-feeling-goodness or something, I dunno! I'm not a shrink.

But Hina's clearly suffering, here, and I don't like seeing that. I don't like seeing people cry. It's too depressing. I've seen enough of that to last a lifetime. And I've lived a very long time indeed.

So! Right! Crying Hina, and Kasen looks about as clueless as I do! So, um... gotta give her some support. Gotta let her know that things will be okay. Right.

Carefully, I scoot around the table until I'm sitting next to Hina. Then I gently wrap my arms around her, pulling the goddess into a gentle hug.

Hina hiccups a little bit and settles into my arms, wrapping her arms around me in response. Poor thing... it's like she's pretty much hanging off of me. This must really be eating her up inside. As she sobs into my shoulder, I start running my hands through Hina's soft green hair and start making gentle noises, trying to calm her. It works a little bit, and Hina's crying subsides, just slightly. I notice that Kasen has slipped over and is on Hina's other side, watching her sadly. The hermit looks at me, giving me a nod.

Huh? Oh! Right, gotta say something. Ummm... what to say, what to say. Hm, this is tricky, but I'm sure that I can handle things!

"Hey, Hina?" I murmur quietly.

"...Yeah?" Hina whispers back.

"This is stupid, okay? I mean, what you're doing right now. The crying stuff." Hina seems to shrink at my words, and Kasen gives me a sharp look, but I shake my head. "No, no, I'm not criticizing or anything, just hear me out. Okay?" Hina hesitates, then nods. I sigh deeply, then continue.

"Now Hina, it's true that life has dealt you a pretty bad hand. Nobody can deny that, or that you've had to go through some tough times..."

Hina sniffles but settles down a bit, and Kasen nods in agreement, smiling.

"...And yeah, it's also true that you chose to wallow in self-pity, instead of trying to go out and fix things," I continue, stroking her hair with a gentle smile.

Hina goes rigid, and Kasen's smile suddenly looks very brittle for some reason.

"I mean, if you had just worked up the guts to actually stand up to the tengu, tell them to stuff it, and just left regardless of what they wanted, none of this would have happened!" I inform her, thinking of all the ways that this could have been avoided.

Kasen is staring at me in what looks like horror, for some odd reason, and Hina has gone very still.

"And hey, nobody can deny that Rinnosuke totally suckered you into being his evil minion," I add, nodding at my own revelations. "Heck, from what I hear, when shit really hit the fan at that mansion, you were totally useless, you know what I mean?"

"Ugh..." Hina is cringing a little bit now, and Kasen has lowered her head into her palms. Must be overwhelmed at my wisdom.

I stroke the stiff Hina's hair again. "The thing is? That's the whole point, Hina. All of that stuff? It's in the past."

Hina starts, and looks up at me with tear-streaked eyes, wondering where I'm going with this. Kasen is also staring at me in surprise, as though startled at a sudden shift in tone. Well, whatever, I'm on a roll here!

"What I'm getting at, Hina, is that you know you made some pretty horrible mistakes. You know that you screwed up. But you want to make things better." I smile broadly. "Isn't that the whole reason we're here? I mean in a general sense, doing all of this stuff?" I wave around vaguely. "Of course it is! You're here, you're working hard, as the first step in improving yourself, and your life, so that it doesn't suck nearly as much! In fact, you want to make it un-suck as much as you can! And you're doing a good job so far!"

"Aya..." Hina stares at me, speechless.

"That's... well..." Kasen stares at me, like she's not sure what to think. I put her to the side for the moment, though; it's time for my big finish!

I let go of Hina and take her hands in my own. "Anyway, this is what I'm getting at, Hina. You're doing all of this so that you can make everything about yourself and your life a million times better. That way, the next time life gives you lemons, you know what you can do?"

"Make lemonade?" Hina asks with a smile, wiping her tears away.

"Hell no!" I declare, "It's so you can walk right up to life's lemon stand, look him dead in the eyes, and give him a good kick in the balls! Then you can turn over his stupid lemon stand and tell him 'Who the fuck wants lemons, anyway! I want a goddamn orange! Gimme an orange, or I'll kick your damn ass!'" I nod clenching my hand fiercely. "Or maybe an apple! Apples are nice, too! And if life is still holding out on you, you'll kick his damn ass! With the lemons! Yeah, you'll shove those damn lemons down his throat and up his ass until he finally begs you to take these lovely apples and oranges that you wanted, Miss Hina!" I nod, heart pounding as I imagine it. I pause. "And then you'll walk around town in a bikini, because you're just that confident now that you've kicked life's ass, and because you think you'd look damn hot doing it! Which you would! And those would make good pictures for both your fliers and my personal collection and advertisements, so cheer up, and let's get on that!" I'm breathing heavily, my burning journalistic spirit pouring out of my mouth and, I hope, into Hina.

Hina and Kasen are just staring at me in awe. Or possibly disbelief. Or maybe those expressions are meant to convey stunned, numb, confusion.

Nah, it's gotta be awe at my wisdom, right?

"Well..." Kasen says slowly, "That's not how I'd put it, but Aya has the right of it. Surprisingly." The hermit turns her gaze to Hina. "You've made mistakes. We all have. But you are not to blame for this, Hina. I was never angry at you. If anything, I pitied you for all that you had suffered; that you had been pushed so far, and that you were hurting more than any of us afterwards. Someone as kind as you are could only have been torturing herself up over everything that happened."

Hina turns to look at our host. "Kasen..."

Kasen smiles warmly. "So please, don't trouble yourself over it. We all understand how you must be feeling, and nobody blames you. Hell, there's a few people who feel even worse than you do. When I talked to Hatate, she was guilty that she had never realized what you were feeling."

Hina sighs. "Thank you. It makes me feel much better to know that you don't despise me."

"I never did," Kasen says with a smile, "Nobody does. So please, stop letting yourself be burdened like this. Accept that you have made mistakes, but strive to move on despite them. The past is history; don't let it control you." She hesitates. "Aya is right, when it comes down to it."

Eh, I like the way I said it much better.

Kasen pauses. "Actually, there's a couple of people that I think you should talk to. Specifically, Tokiko and Nitori. Tokiko was played even worse than you were by Rinnosuke, and Nitori..." the hermit sighs, "...Nitori has been at the bottom of a bottle of sake since news about Pleasant Meadows broke. You should go talk to one of them."

"Nitori..." Hina murmurs, looking worried. Right, those two know each other, don't they? On the other hand, I'm kinda curious how Tokiko's handling this whole thing. Hmmm, Hina seems to have made a lot of progress here, so it might be a good idea to go visit somebody else. Since we're on a roll, after all.

"I have a suggestion!" I declare, rasing my hand.

[ ] Let's go visit Nitori!
[ ] Let's go visit Tokiko!
[ ] Let's go visit (write-in)!

Also:

[ ] Say goodbye to Kasen
[ ] Invite Kasen along
[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
[X] Invite Kasen along

While I don't doubt Aya will have some great words of wisdom for Nitori too, it may help to have someone who can... Interpret them.
One track mind, uh?

[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
> 'Who the fuck wants lemons, anyway! I want a goddamn orange! Gimme an orange, or I'll kick your damn ass!'

I vanted orange, they gave me lemon-lime!

Anyway:

[x] Let's go visit Nitori! Tokiko has the oni taking care of her or something but life's been bad for Nitori ever since DyCh-
-Yeah, best not to talk about that...

[x] Invite Kasen along, have her get out more, see the Kappa Village, enjoy indoor plumbing.
-Do hermits even have to go poo? I should ask Kasen that.
[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
[X] Invite Kasen along

I hope we aren't going to be trying our hardest to be retarded for this entire story while haphazardly stumbling back into being treated like just a felon instead of a hated criminal
[x] Let's go visit Nitori!
[x] Say goodbye to Kasen
[x] Let's go visit Tokiko!
[x] Say goodbye to Kasen

Havent seen much Tokiko here
[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
[X] Invite Kasen along
[ ] Let's go visit Suika!
[ ] Invite Kasen along.
Might as well visit Suika while we have Kasen with us.
[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
[X] Say goodbye to Kasen
[X] Let's go visit Nitori!
[X] Invite Kasen along
Pretty clear desire to go visit Nitori with Kasen in tow. Vote called!
looks like I missed the vote, but hey, it's going the way I would have voted.
File 138015811149.jpg - (233.18KB, 850x1238, guilt.jpg) [iqdb]
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"I move that we all go pay a visit to Nitori!" I say to the others. "After all, she's gotta be feeling like crap, and maybe you can cheer yourself up by cheering her up, Hina!"

Hina nods slowly. "Yeah... yeah, you're right, Aya. I haven't seen Nitori in a very long time. It'll be good to see her again. Especially if she isn't doing so well." The goddess has a worried expression on her face.

"I'm not certain, but that's what I've heard," Kasen reports. "So, you want me to come along, too?" The hermit looks surprised by the offer.

"Of course!" I insist, "After all, came here to help Hina out with her happy little journey of self-discovery, but there's no reason you can't come along, too! After all, maybe Nitori could use some wise words of wisdom, or whatever."

And maybe I can persuade this lady to become one of Hina's followers. After all, even hermits want to get rid of bad luck, right?

Kasen considers for a moment, then shrugs. "Well, I suppose that I could stand to get out of the house for a bit. Beyond that..." she gives me a strange look. "I have to admit, I'm more than a little intrigued... and disturbed... by your thought processes, Aya. I wouldn't mind learning how you think... so that I can avoid it myself."

"Uh... thanks!" I reply, deciding to take the comment as a compliment and move on. Kasen just sighs, and Hina giggles.

A few minutes later, we're on-route for Nitori's workshop, with Hina leading the way. "So, Kasen," I say, turning to the hermit, "What have you been up to lately?"

"Meditating," Kasen says in a surprisingly grim tone. "The experience of having your mind violated was... a disturbing one. I've been trying to meditate on the experience, and find a way to reinforce my thoughts against any further attack."

Hina sighs. "I know what you mean... let me know if you learn anything, okay?"

"I will," Kasen replies, then looks over at Hina sharply. "But please, don't take this as a reason to torment yourself. We've already been over it-"

"I know," Hina cuts in. "I know, and I can't keep moping all my life. I made mistakes, and I paid for them. I can't forget what I did... but I can't let it define the rest of my existence. I have to move on." She smiles. "And I think talking to Nitori would be a good next step in moving on."

Kasen nods approvingly, and I can't help but smile. Hot damn, but I'm good!

However, there's a question that's been burning at me for a while now. I fly a bit closer to the misfortune goddess and clear my throat. "Say, Hina, mind if I ask you something?"

She smiles back at me. Damn, but this lady's pretty. "Certainly, Aya! What's on your mind?"

"Well..." I wonder how to ask this. "You know Nitori pretty well, right?" Hina nods. "Right, I knew that. I've seen her come and go from your place in the past. But you just mentioned that you kinda had a grudge against ALL youkai, not just us tengu. But you're friends with Nitori, right? So, do kappa get a pass, or just her?"

Hina looks troubled by my words, and thinks it over for a moment. "It's... complicated," she says at last. I wait expectantly. Hina sighs. "Really complicated. You see, I first met Nitori many years ago. She came by my shrine after a run of bad luck, and asked for my help. Honestly... I didn't want much to do with her. I had already formed a grudge against the youkai, you see. But..." Hina sighs again as her gaze turns distant, looking back into her memories, "She was so desperate for help, and seemed so sweet. I couldn't find it in myself to turn her away. So, I absorbed her misfortune."

"What was her problem?" I ask, curious.

Hina chuckles. "I really don't remember all that well. Something to do with her inventions, in any case. But anyway, later that week Nitori came back to see me again, all smiles. Apparently, life had really turned around for her, and she wanted to thank me." The goddess giggles. "She even brought me a thank-you cake, and ate it with me. After that, I saw Nitori more and more frequently."

"For all of your anger against the youkai, you were still willing to make a friend with one of them," Kasen notes.

"...I guess I was," Hina admits. "Maybe part of it was that she was a kappa, and they're a more human-friendly group of youkai. Stories of shirokodama notwithstanding." Hina is silent for a moment. "I enjoyed... enjoy... her company. How bright and happy she is whenever she comes to see me. How she's always enthusing over some new development." She giggles. "It was awfully cute when she started to practically foam at the mouth over this whole DyCirno thing."

"It sounds like you hold her in very high regard," Kasen notes.

"...She's my friend," Hina admits, looking away. "And all of this, after I spouted off about how I dislike youkai. I guess that makes me a hypocrite, doesn't it?" The green-haired beauty closes her eyes sadly.

"Well, kinda," I admit, drawing a wince from Hina and a groan from Kasen. "But look at it this way: there's good people and bad people wherever you go. Bad kappa, with a twisted anal fixation, and good kappa, who keep their fetish nice and controlled. There's bad humans who hate my newspaper, and good humans who appreciate fine writing when they see it!" I nod confidently. "And of course there's lame tengu, and then there's awesome tengu like me! The thing is, you can't know the good people from lousy people until you talk to them first. And even the lousy people can become good people if they put their minds to it!"

"In other words, I shouldn't discriminate against people because of their background?" Hina asks, looking over at me.

"Exactly! I mean, some people just suck, sure, but you gotta give them a chance! Besides, the only way to make the world a better place is by getting involved, and that means going out and meeting people you're not sure of! It could be your words and actions that change things for the better, you never know!" I look up at the sky, smiling. "Just think! It could be my articles that one day make everyone in Genskyo get along! And then we can have a great big, sexy party, and I'll bring my camera, and everyone will start stripping down, and everyone will come up to thank me, and..." I trail off as the beautiful image becomes clear in my mind. All those lovely people, smiling and half-dressed, all wanting to shake my hand and stroke my wings, and...

I realize that Kasen is staring at me. "Has anyone ever told you that you have a one-track mind, Aya?"

"I know what I want!" I declare, "Peace, prosperity, and lots of good sex!"

"That much is clear," Kasen sighs, giving me a weary look. She glances up as she notices, at the same time I do, that we're slowing down. "Hm, have we arrived?"

"Ummm, it looks that way..." Hina says slowly, landing gently on the ground. The two of us land beside her and...

Um.

Yow.

"Is this Nitori's workshop?" I ask carefully, looking at the dump in front of me. It looks like one of the kappa's little huts, sure, but this place is a wreck! There are garbage bags tossed around haphazardly, bits of metal are actually rusting on the ground... the place looks deserted. Hell, the place looks like a former warzone that never got cleaned up! There's sharp scent of neglect tainted with despair in the air.

"Yes, it is, but Nitori would never let things deteriorate this much!" Hina exclaims, already hurrying towards the building. "Something must be terribly wrong with her!"

I watch the goddess hurry away. "Well, that clarifies her feelings about Nitori," I remark to Kasen. "Wonder what happened here?"

The hermit sighs. "I told you. She's been lost at the bottom of a bottle ever since the story about Pleasant Meadows broke. Come on." Kasen leading the way, we hurry after Hina.

The interior is, if anything, even worse. Bits of machinery litter every surface, like they were tossed there and forgotten. Some devices look like someone actually smashed them to pieces. Chunks of garbage and pieces of dirty clothing are thrown everywhere, and the smell of cheap booze saturates the air. Dozens of bottles of sake litter the ground, making it hard to walk around. The place looks like a tornado hit it, basically. It's not a controlled chaos, like you usually see with the kappa. It's pure chaos, the kind that comes when someone just stops giving a damn.

And in the center of it all is Nitori Kawashiro herself, face-down on a desk, and with a half-full bottle of alcohol clutched in one hand. Her clothes are rumpled, her hair is messy, and she smells like she hasn't bathed in forever. This girl has let herself go. Off to one side, I notice a number of drawings which have been torn apart viciously and flung to the floor.

It's pretty obvious what happened here. Never mind Hina's guilt complex; THIS is the real deal.

The goddess herself is just standing there, staring at the kappa with a look of deep sorrow upon her face. Hina closes her eyes and looks away. "Oh, Nitori..."

The kappa doesn't respond.


[ ] Say something.
[ ] Let Hina handle it.
[ ] Look at Kasen in desperation.
[X] Let Hina handle it.
[X] Let Hina handle it
-[X] Encourage Kasen to help, somehow.

Kasen knew the state Nitori was in, and hasn't done much (or couldn't do much) about it. So let Hina help her friend back to her feet, and let Kasen help them both get back on track.
Only reason I'm not advocating Aya helping too is that somehow I don't think having someone be very loud next to you is the greatest thing when you've been in the bottle and either have a hangover or are presently shitfaced.
[X] Let Hina handle it.

Hina knows Nitori better than us or Kasen. She needs to work this out herself.

On a somewhat unrelated note, when Hina's self-confidence has been reinforced enough, we should pay a visit to Rinnosuke in jail so Hina can tell that bastard off.
[x] Let Hina handle it.

Also after this update I have no idea why I voted to bring Kasen along. Unless this ends up turning into a big therapy train.
[X] Let Hina handle it
-[X] Encourage Kasen to help, somehow.
[x] Let Hina handle it.
[x] Let Hina handle it.
[X] Let Hina handle it
She needs to see herself (or what she may become) from the outside and face it. It'll be... a learning experience I guess.
Both Aya and Kasen should stay away from this.
Yeah, pretty clear that people want Hina to handle this on her own. Cool enough; vote is called, and I'll have something written tonight, with any luck.
File 138023433333.jpg - (99.22KB, 850x566, cheer up.jpg) [iqdb]
23090
Kasen and I glance at each other, and then take a careful step back. Yeah, this is all Hina's show. For various reasons. Among them, she's Nitori's friend, she would probably want to absorb all of the misfortune Nitori is going through, this is a good opportunity for her to see what a guilt trip looks like from the outside, etc. etc.

Plus, there's no way in hell I'm going anywhere near THAT stench.

Hina looks back up at her friend, a sad expression on her face. After a moment, the goddess steps forward, carefully picking her way over to the kappa's side. "Nitori?" Hina asks carefully, "Are you okay?"

Nitori groans a little bit, but doesn't respond. Whew, I was worried she'd died for a second there!

Gently, Hina starts to run her fingers through Nitori's matted hair. "Come on, Nito, talk to me? Please?" Hina's voice is soft and gentle as she tries to get the fallen kappa to respond to her. After a moment, the matted blue hair shifts, and Nitori manages to push herself into a sitting position. It isn't an improvement. Nitori's eyes are red, and there are heavy bags under her eyes. She's obviously been drinking, and crying, herself to sleep for quite a while now.

"Hey." Nitori croaks out in a scratchy voice. "Did you come here to curse me? I can't blame you."

"Why would I want to curse you, Nito?" Hina asks, still running her fingers through the kappa's hair in a soothing motion.

Nitori just looks away, a dead expression on her face. "Oh, I dunno. Revenge, maybe? For the mind-fucking? Apparently, that's what I do now. Mental rape. Welcome to Kawashiro electronics, come for the ridiculous do-dads a stupid ice fairy makes me build, stay for the abominations of science that rip your brain apart. Kawashiro electronics, making brain-dead slaves ever since I let myself get suckered." Nitori closes her eyes. I'd say that her shoulders slump, but I don't think she can be any more slumped than she already is.

Hina stares down at her friend for a moment before gripping Nitori's shoulder firmly. "Stop saying those things about yourself."

"Why?" Nitori laughs mirthlessly. "It's all true. What, don't you know? You were there, right? Yeah. You got to see my designs up close and personal, and even try them out..." The kappa shakes her head and starts to raise her bottle to her lips.

Quick as a flash, Hina yanks the bottle out of Nitori's hand. "No more drinking," the goddess declares sternly.

"Hina, please," Nitori begs in a weak voice. She stares up at her friend with a desperate, pleading expression. "I need it, okay? If I don't have something to fog up my mind, it starts going in some really bad directions. I... think I can imagine what must have happened to you, to everyone else, and I can't get it out of my mind. So... please?" Nitori holds her trembling hand out for the sake.

Hina responds by tossing the bottle into a trashcan that somehow isn't overflowing. Nitori cries out in dismay as she does so. "No. More. Drinking!" Hina insists, looking down at the kappa with an expression somewhere between stern and worried. "You, young lady, stink. You are going to get cleaned up, you are getting a new set of clothes on, and then the two of us are going to sit down and have a long talk!"

Nitori somehow manages to shrink into her chair. "Oh. I see. Well, say what you need to, I'll listen to the whole thing." She lowers her head and just sits there, waiting for Hina to chastise her.

Hina just rolls her eyes. "No, when I say you're getting cleaned up, I mean RIGHT NOW." Taking a hold of Nitori's collar, she yanks the startled kappa towards a side-door. "You shower's over here, right?"

"W-wait! I haven't recalibrated the mechanisms yet! The pressure water will be way too strong!" Nitori desperately tries to squirm out of Hina's grip.

"I've used your machines before, I'm sure I can figure it out," Hina replies, not slowing down.

"I-I can wash myself! Lemme go!" Nitori tries again, face flushing red.

"Yeah, right. Which is why you're living in filth right now. Come on!" With one final yelp from Nitori, the misfortune goddess yanks the smaller woman into what has to be the bathroom, and slams the door behind them.

Kasen and I stand around awkwardly for a moment. "Do we do anything?" I ask her.

The hermit shakes her head. "Somehow, I don't think we have to. Or should."

I nod. "Right. Stay out of it. Gotcha."

There's a horrified squeal from inside the bathroom. "Hina, I can take my own clothes off! St-stop!"

"Oh, like you'll even bother if I let you. Come here!" Hina's commanding voice responds to Nitori.

"D-don't be so forceful!"

Um...

"There... argh, Nitori, how long has it been since you bathed?! Go on, get in there!"

"Uh, I'm in, I'm in... WAAAAH! What are you doing?!"

"I'm getting in too and making sure you get clean!"

"Please put your clothes back on!"

"They'd get wet. Don't be silly. Now hold still!"

"I can wash myself!"

"I said hold still!"

Uh... huh. "Is she... washing Nitori?" I ask vaguely.

"Certainly sounds that way," Kasen says in an amused-sounding voice.

I get the mental image of a naked Hina, water from a shower streaming down her bare skin, fussing with a naked Nitori, rubbing foamy soap into the kappa's hair and skin. Struggling with her, forcing her hands all over Nitori's body...

"Nito, you need to cheer up!" I hear Hina say.

"Cheer up. Funny," Nitori grumbles back. "How?"

"Like this!"

"Wa-gyahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAH! STOPPIT!"

"Cheer up, Nito!"

"HeeheeHina! Staaahhppp tickling meeeeeheeheehee!" Nitori squeals back between peals of laughter.

"Ahhh, you always were so ticklish! And as I recall, you're sensitive... here!"

"Waaaaahahahahhahaha! Noooooooo! Heeeeeelllllppp!"

......

I take a step towards the bathroom. Nitori needs help. I have to help. With the bathing. The bathing of two hot, naked female bodies,with foam all over their skin, and the boobs and the butts, and the tickling and groping and stroking and-

Kasen slams a hand down on my shoulder and glares at me. "No."

Awwwwww...

*************************************************

Some time later, the inside of Nitori's workshop has been restored to something that looks organized. Or as organized as a kappa's workshop gets, anyway. After leading Nitori (clean, dressed in clean clothes, and blushing) out of the shower, Hina had conscripted me and Kasen to help clean up the mess in here. Things went a little more smoothly when Nitori managed to repair one of her cleaning bots, and after a couple hours' worth of work, the place has been set to rights once more.

"There, that's much better," Hina remarks, looking over the much more orderly room. She looks over at Kasen and I. "Thank you for your help, you two."

"Hey, no probs," I say with a grin.

Kasen smiles. "It was my pleasure. And it's good to see you looking better, Miss Nitori."

Nitori doesn't respond. She doesn't look like hell anymore, but there's still a lifeless haze in her eyes as she stares at the floor. Hina glances over at her, sighs, and sits down in a chair. "Nito, come over here."

Reluctantly, Nitori walks over to Hina, who stares at her for a moment... before pulling the smaller kappa to sit down on her lap, arms wrapped tightly around Nitori's stomach.

Nitori gapes in shock, and tilts her head to look back at the goddess. "Hina?! What the heck are you doing?!"

Hina shrugs. "Well, I figure that this is the best way to get through to you when you're moping." Her mischievous smile turns serious. "Come on, Nito, what's wrong? I've never seen you this low, ever!"

Nitori stares at Hina for a moment before looking away. "Do you really have to ask?" she mutters. "I helped Rinnosuke fucking Morichika with his twisted little plan. I made his machines. I renovated that mansion for him. All of that? It was all ME. Everything you... everything that everybody went through? All my fault. ALL of it." Nitori scrunches her eyes closed.

Hina sighs and looks at Nitori, clearly at a loss. I guess when you've been suffering from massive guilt and suddenly see it in someone else, it really throws you, huh?

Hmmm, the atmosphere is really getting heavy in here, huh? Maybe I should say something to lighten the mood a bit... or even try to push things forward so we get to the good stuff.


[ ] Ask Nitori why she did it.
[ ] Talk about boobs.
[ ] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.
[ ] Write-in.
[x] Talk about boobs.

It's been hours since Aya acted like Aya. She's probably getting the shakes.
[X] Talk about boobs.

it's in character, and seems to me that being lighthearted is actually working with Nitori.

also,
>>23084
ALL ABOARD THE THERAPY TRAIN!
[x] Talk about boobs.

Let's do the thing Aya does best out of these options
[x] Talk about boobs.

Yeah, if you give me this option, I'm gonna vote for it.
[x] Talk about boobs.
File 138024074983.jpg - (0.95MB, 2000x1132, Gravelord.jpg) [iqdb]
23097
[x] Talk about boobs.

The only answer.
Also, am I the only one who keeps thinking of pic related?
>>23097

When Aya said she had dead expression on her face, I'm pretty sure it wasn't GRAVELORD level of dead. I mean like...ghost dragon? Maybe. Archlich? Also maybe. But certainly not Gravelord level of dead. You went too far man.
[X] So why'd you do it?
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.

One of these times Aya is going to go to far and if she does I don't want it to be with a person that pretty much thinks she almost killed her friends and acquaintances.
[x] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.
[x] Reign in the boob impulse and shut up.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.

I can't see boobs helping in this situation.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.

Wait all of sixty seconds, until everyone else talks this through a bit, maybe gets some catharsis going. THEN Aya can start yapping, once the mood brightens a bit.
[X] Talk about boobs and anuses and wings.

I'm sure Kappa like most, if not all, of these things.
[x] Hina was like this too, but look at her now! Out trying to make things right and getting all intimate! You should too! Right now even! I won't even look see I'm covering my eyes...

I think we could use both a little push and a little laugh. Maybe not worded exactly like this but something along these lines.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.
[x] Ask Nitori why she did it.

I want to know why and I doubt Aya'll get better if we keep on choosing the gag/cocktease choices
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.

>Talk about Boobs

Are you kidding me. Aya won't have a serious bone left in her body after anon is done with her if these options come up.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.
[x] "C'mon, someone as friendly as you wanting to hurt someone as sweet as Hina? No, you were thinking you were helping Hina with a prank or something but got tricked like everyone else did!"
[x] Talk about boobs.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.

Aya being Aya is fun, but let's not take it too far.
Hina was never as far gone as Nitori is now. She was "just" moping, and could be cheered up by being forced to look at the bright side.
Nitori has been hit with a serious, self-destructive bout of depression. There is nothing in her that would react well to Aya's "cheer up" shenanigans. She needs some real support to get past this.
As in therapy and forced enrollment in a "recovering alcoholic"-program kind of support.
If we want to help her, we have to get her out of here, where she just sits and drinks all day. The last thing we want to do is talk to her a while and then leave her alone, she'll just go back to drinking all day if we do.
I think maybe we should have Kasen watch over her for a while.
She may not be a psychiatrist, but she can probably use some of her hermit wisdom to help Nitori start working through her guilt.
And, at the very least, she needs someone to keep her from crawling back into a bottle again.
[X] No, Aya. Just sit there and shut up.
File 138031116478.png - (359.07KB, 500x393, ravelord nito.png) [iqdb]
23117
[x]Talk about boobs.

We need an ice breaker. Unleash the Shameimaru!

>>23097
Nope, you're not the only one. That's real fuckin' Nito.
Calling vote, and Aya just barely reigns in her impulses and manages to remain silent! Update later today.
File 138032058840.jpg - (616.46KB, 716x974, hugging is nice.jpg) [iqdb]
23119
You know, Nitori has a fantastic rack. I mean, it's amazing. And on a lady as petite as her, it only looks even more incredible. Hina's got a lovely pair, I've seen just what Kasen has been gloriously blessed with, and I certainly have nothing to be ashamed of myself. And I really, really, want to bring this up! I mean, what is better than talking about boobs to liven a conversation up? We could talk about boobies all across Gensokyo, well into the night!

However, a little voice in the back of my head tells me that now is not the time to talk about beautiful parts of the female anatomy. In fact, it is telling me that now might be a very good time to step back, hold my peace, and just let Hina handle things. Because I have to admit, she's been doing a good job. Maybe she's the sort of person who's good at helping with other people's problems, but terrible at dealing with her own?

Either way, Hina just looks sadly at Nitori before giving the kappa a tight hug from behind. "Talk to me. How'd it happen? I know you wouldn't do this sort of thing deliberately..."

"No," Nitori agrees, clearly trying her best not to cry. "Of course I wouldn't. But... I should have known better."

Hina sighs. "I understand what you mean there."

Nitori shakes her head. "I was so frustrated with the whole DyCirno thing. It was professionally humiliating for me. So, I started drinking to blow off some steam."

"And that's when he came to you?" Hina asks, stroking the kappa's hair again.

Nitori closes her eyes and nods. "Yeah. Rinnosuke started coming by with booze in hand. He was friendly. Charming. He always had some new gizmo that had fallen through from the outside. We'd talk, and I'd get to drinking, and he'd start to suggest these machines to me... and then he'd challenge me." Nitori laughs without mirth. "He told me there was no way I could make this machine, or that machine. It just built up over time... until he finally got me to make that mind-wiping machine."

"Didn't you ever wonder about that one?" Hina asks with a frown.

Nitori nods listlessly. "Yes. But when I went and asked him about it, Rinnosuke acted all troubled and said that he was worried that we'd gone too far, and destroyed the machine. I decided that it was just as well, and put it out of my mind." Another empty laugh. "Pretty stupid of me, huh? But he could just be so charming... I totally got taken in by him."

"In the face of that, getting you to remodel Pleasant Meadows must have been easy," Hina notes, not releasing her friend.

Nitori nods again. "Yeah. I mean, it was a chance to see the outside! To see outsider architecture up close! All I had to do was help him wire the house up for a little prank, and he'd see to it that I got paid in all kinds of the latest tech from the outside!" She places a hand over her eyes. "I'll bet he was probably planning to wipe my mind, too. To keep me silent. Or maybe he figured he could just keep duping me by keeping me a drunk, I dunno." A sigh. "But yeah. That's how I fucked up. Go me."

Nitori is crying silently now, tears gently slipping down her cheeks. Hina nuzzles her friend gently. "You and I have something in common, then. We were both used by that man." Nitori doesn't respond. "It's horrible, isn't it? Knowing that you got so thoroughly played. Knowing that people got hurt because of your actions. And even though you were deceived, you can't help but feel like a fool for being tricked like that."

Nitori just nods quietly.

Hina smiles. "I forgive you."

Nitori sits bolt upright. "Wha...?"

"I said I forgive you," Hina repeats herself. "It wasn't your fault. Not completely. I got tricked too, remember? And not just you and I. Everyone who ever met Rinnosuke was deceived by his act. Hell, even YUKARI got played well enough that he managed to get some details out of her, and even slipped out of the border without her knowledge. Can you imagine how she feels right now?"

Nitori stares back at Hina in shock. "But... my inventions hurt you," she whispers. "How can you forgive me when -that- almost happened?"

Hina runs a hand through Nitori's hair. "Because you're a good girl. You're sweet, and kind, and helpful. You only want to help people out, and that's what Rinnosuke took advantage of. You never meant any harm. And that's why I forgive you."

Kasen suddenly steps forward. "I feel the same way, Miss Kawashiro," the hermit says gently. "If you would feel better hearing it from me: I also forgive you. And you're not the only one I forgive." Kasen smiles as she looks over at Hina, and the goddess sends back a grateful look.

Nitori just sits there in Hina's lap, trembling with emotion. Tears streaming down her face, she looks back at the green-haired beauty who holds her. "Hina..." Nitori chokes, then squirms around until she's facing Hina, throwing her arms around the taller woman. "I... I'm so sorry!" And then the floodgates open, and Nitori starts to sob in earnest.

"Shhhh," Hina soothes her friend, "It's okay Nito. It's all gonna be okay now." Kasen watches the two with a content smile on her face, and I feel a strange twinge in my heart that I can't quite identify.

Weird.

***********************************************

Some time later, we're all back at Hina's shrine, watching as Hina gracefully spins, absorbing the kappa's misfortune. Nitori looks on in awe as Hina serenely twirls in place, a look of bliss upon the goddess' face. Kasen also looks a little bit mesmerized by the motions. Personally, I'm still impressed, but I wish Hina would wear a mini-skirt. That's make these rituals a lot more fun!

"So Aya, you're helping Hina out?" Nitori asks.

"Hm? Oh yeah, that's right." I nod back. "They sent me down here to help out with that. We're putting her religion together, bit by bit!"

"Huh, cool!" Nitori says, eyes twinkling. "Well, if there's anything I can do to help, just let me know!"

Hina's spinning halts. "Thanks, Nito, I knew I could count on you!" The goddess hugs her friend again. "Anyway, I've sucked in all of your misfortune, so you should be feeling a lot better now."

"Th-thanks, Hina," Nitori responds, blushing at the hug.

...Yep, the kappa's got a crush. Pretty obvious, really. And potentially useful!

"Hey, 'Nito,'" I say, grinning. "We're looking for worshipers, you know! How about joining the Church of Hina Kagiyama? That's a working name, by the way."

"Huh?" Hina breaks away from Nitori and looks at me in shock. "Aya, you really shouldn't try to recruit my friends like that! It's a conflict of interest-"

"Can I?!" Nitori squeals excitedly, "Oh yes, I'd love to! I mean, I was always thinking that I'd love to pray to Hina, but I wasn't sure how she'd take it. I mean, I know how she feels about youkai in general, so..."

Hina stares at Nitori blankly. "You knew?"

Nitori nods. "Yeah. I could tell. A bunch of us kappa figured it out pretty easily; you never seemed too happy whenever we came too near. Finally, I screwed up my courage to approach you one day, and I guess we hit it off! Still, I wasn't sure you'd want me as an actual follower, so..." Nitori shrugs helplessly.

"...You actually WANT to offer me faith?" Hina asks, disbelieving. Nitori nods shyly.

"What a surprise," I remark. "A member of the people that care for humans has an interest in following a goddess who also cares greatly for humans, and would probably find professional benefit in having her misfortune taken away on a regular basis. Who woulda guessed?!" The others stare at me. "Oh, what?! Someone had to point it out!"

"As blunt as ever, huh?" Nitori sighs. Then she looks up at Hina shyly. "So, uh, would you mind me coming by from time to time and making an offering?"

"Oh... no! Of course not!" Hina sputters. "I mean, I'd be fine with that! Whenever you like!" She looks absolutely gobsmacked.

Nitori giggles happily. "Thanks! Because..." happy giggling gives way to weary sighing. "Now that I'm working for that damn fairy, I have to deal with being known as DyCirno's technical support. Ugh."

"How unfortunate," Hina murmurs, staring down at Nitori. Aaaaaannnd, there it is, she's breathing heavily! Good for you, Hina, you've found a steady source of misfortune!

"What an interesting day this has been," Kasen notes, watching the scene with interest.

"Care to join the faith?" I ask hopefully.

"No thank you, I'm pretty happy with my situation," the hermit replies. Damn. "But if I ever feel unlucky, I'll be sure to pay Lady Kagiyama a visit." She chuckles.

Oh well, I knew that she wouldn't be easy to convert. But at least she's seen Hina in action now. The door may yet be open!

***********************************************

Later that night, I'm reclining in the bath. Kasen and Nitori have gone home, the kappa pledging her devotion to a surprised and pleased Hina. Kind of telling, that after years of bitterness, Hina's first followers were a tengu and a kappa. Still, we really need to go after some human worshipers at some point. And maybe some kappa as well, but I don't think Kanako and Suwako would appreciate too much competition. Hmmm, something to think about.

Shaking my head, I decide that I've soaked enough for one night. Time for bed. Standing up, I flutter my wings to shake the water off them, and start to step out of the tub-

The door opens. Hina steps in. She has a camera. She starts taking pictures.

Of my.

Naked.

Body.

"Wow, this thing works great!" Hina enthuses, looking down at the device. "I got it from Nitori; it's apparently one of her latest designs!" She winks at me. "And Aya? Looking good!"

Uh.

"Hmmm, veeeeery good," Hina says with a leer, looking me up and down in a way that makes me uncomfortable. "I bet I'd get a whole lot more followers if we used THESE pictures on a flyer!"

What.

"What?" I say distantly.

"Yeah, 'Aya Shameimaru,' now at the Kagiyama Shrine!" Hina giggles a bit. "You don't mind, right Aya? I mean, you've got it going on, girl!" She throws me a thumbs up.

But.

I'm naked.

I mean, if she shows those pictures-

People will know what I-

That's my-

I don't-

But-

Why would-

......

[ ] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______
[ ] EXCUSEEXCUSEEXCUSE
Is it write-in time? Because if so-

[x] This is what I put Karen through?!

other wise...


[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______
>>23120

Nope, not a write-in. There is, in fact, a meaning behind that blanked-out option.
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

I bet this is Aya's "the shoe's on the other foot now" realization.
[X] Pose.

Some things will never change.
...my curiosity has the better of me.
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

and if nothing else, I know I don't want the other, just yet. If it's what I suspect it might be, this is a good choice.
Woah when I thought things were dull, this comes from the left side.
Your character development never ceases to amaze me Keymaster; it's time for some realizations!

[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ ______
Also, halfway through the thread I was thinking about asking Kasen to forgive Nitori herself and then asking those two to join Hina... and she did it by herself. I guess 'twas predictable, eh?
[X] Pose.

She did say earlier that this is exactly what she'd do if somebody took pictures of her bathing.
>tfw no pose option
Guess it's all aboard the character development train.

[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______
>>23127
Yeah but it wasn't true, even if she thought it was. That's the whole point.
[x] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

This can't possibly go wrong
I imagine if the talk about boobs option had won, thank goodness it didn't, This would be much worse right now.
[X] Pose.

>I just stare at her blankly. "I don't get it. Why hide your body? You've got it going on, girl!"

>The hermit blushes a little bit as she glowers at me, when Hina speaks up. "Aya, if someone barged in on you while you were bathing, wanting to take your picture, how would you react?"

>I think about it. "Pose?"

>Kasen chokes at this. Hina just nods. "I'll keep that in mind then."

Right, this was coming for a while. Let's not prove the Pure and Honest Reporter a hypocrite...
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

Never before have I seen anyone put it so eloquently. Clearly, Aya puts even Shakespeare to shame with these words.
[X] Pose.
[X] Pose.
[X] Pose!

Can't be a hypocrite though.
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______
[X] Pose.
[X] Pose.
[X] Pose.
--[X] See if you can get Hina to join in
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

Why would you bother putting anything besides a mystery option?
[X] JoJo Pose, I say.
[x] JoJo Pose

Yes. A thousand time this.
[x] JoJo Pose

Deleted my old vote to change it to this.
[x] JoJo Pose

Do we get time stopping, knife throwing and bulldozer crushing powers too?
[X] JoJo Pose

Do it, Aya!
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

The blanks, they shall rule the votes
[X] Pose.
--[X] See if you can get Hina to join in
[x]Jojo Pose

Anything else? I wouldn't think so!
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

__ _____ ___ ___ _
File 138037677917.png - (382.89KB, 650x532, E3Ja4.png) [iqdb]
23154
You guys realize you just prevented any kind of character development right?
This is beyond and above shitposting.
[X] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______
[ ] _____ ______ ____ ____ __ ____ _ _______ _____ _______

A feeble attempt to give Aya some character development.
[x] mystery option
>>23154

Not at all. I for one would like the idea that Aya, despite (initially) having no concept of modesty whatsoever, eventually learns (or has it beaten into her, potentially with a drunk Flandre) to respect that others don't share her views. To me, it would make a much better path of character development than just "LOLNOPE I'M A HYPOCRITE," especially with all her speech about how she'd pose if that ever happened.

On that note,

[x] Pose (Jojo pose optional)
>>23158
An offhand one-word answer that she thought about for a whole moment when asked a question isn't this soul-defining speech you make it out to be.

Actually being shown how other people feel and learning about this strange new sensation first hand seems like a pretty reasonable way to end up changing your views. Aiming for more beatings and trauma seems weird to me.
[x] JoJo Pose
File 138039580381.jpg - (137.23KB, 800x533, coming for you aya.jpg) [iqdb]
23161
>33 votes
>Holy shit.

Anyway, vote is called for posing. Update later today!

You can't escape the character development train, Anon. It is coming for you.

Choo-choo.
>>23161

Thank heavens for that.
You guys seem to be assuming Aya isn't already perfect.
File 138040017080.jpg - (195.40KB, 850x1318, uhhhh.jpg) [iqdb]
23164
I-

I said I'd pose, right?

That's what I told Kasen and Hina before, right? I can't be a hypocrite, right?

So I'll pose. I mean, it's not like I'm ashamed of my body, right? Hell, I've got nothing to be ashamed of. I've got the goods, you know?

That's right. There's nothing to be bothered about. Nothing at all.

Nothing.

Right?

Right.

Right.

So... pose, Aya. You said you would.

You're not a liar, are you?

Slowly, hands trembling, I raise my hands in a pair of 'v' signs and smile as best as I can. It feels ghastly, somehow.

And Hina takes a picture.

And another one.

And another.

And another.

Then she lowers the camera and just looks at me. I drop my hands and stare back. For a moment, there is a long moment of silence. Neither of us says a word.

Finally, Hina speaks. "I'm going to make it an early night, Aya. Good night."

"Yeah," I say with a dry throat. "See you in the morning." Nodding, Hina closes the door and I hear her footsteps moving away from the bathroom. After a moment of just staring at the door, I step back into the bathtub and sit down in the warm waters, just staring at the wall.

I mean, I do it all the time, right?

Pretty girls should be flattered that someone wants to take a picture of them, right? I mean, it's what I do, so why should it bother me when someone does it to me?

It shouldn't.

Right?

I mean, it's not like Hina is the type to actually publish something like that in the first place! She wouldn't! Not that it would be a bad thing to start with! Right?

......

I mean, I'm not a hypocrite, it's just-

Why does this bother me so much?

...I don't have a damn clue.

After a while, I dry off and climb into bed, trying to forget about what just happened. Knowledge deserves to be free, after all. I can't go against that. I just can't.

Eventually, I fall asleep.

********************************************

"No. Fuck off," I tell the bastard.

Yoshio just gapes at me. "What did you just say?!"

"I said fuck off," I reply, packing some more clothes. "Not you directly. I know you're just the messenger. But I want you to repeat that to the elders. Use the same tone of voice, that'll make it more convincing..."

My fellow crow tengu looks at me sternly. "Aya, you can't leave like this. You have a duty to the tengu, and walking away like this is utterly disgraceful. It will not go unpunished."

Okay, you know what? Screw this. Turning around, I walk up to the man and stare him in the eye. "Fine. Stop me."

He stares back, looking stunned. "...What?"

"I said stop me. Get whoever you need to, and stop me." I don't break eye contact with him. Honestly, I'm getting a little sick of this shit.

"Uh..." Yoshio looks a little hesitant, and I immediately feel bad.

"Yoshi, I'm sorry," I say in a gentler tone of voice. "I'm not trying to put you on the spot. But they sent you because they knew I'd be more inclined to listen to you. But I'm not going to. I've had enough, of all of this. That's why I'm leaving, and Tenma himself knows better than to stop me."

"But the guards-" he begins.

I just shake my head. "I'm one of the oldest and most powerful of the tengu," I remind him, "And I've seen a lot more combat than anyone else. If they sent the guards after me, I'd win, and they know that. Actually, what they're probably counting on is me being too hesitant to fight my own kind, which has worked in the past. But not this time." I heft my bag into my shoulder. "Yoshio, I take great pride in being a tengu. But I'm sick of how things are going around here. I don't like what we've done to ourselves. What we're still doing. So I'm getting out. If the tengu want my assistance, I'm still willing to help out. I'm a tengu, after all. But I'm not staying in the village anymore, and I'm not going to be jerked around like this."

He sighs, all of the wind going out of him. "So, that's it, then? One of our eldest, most respected members is just going to up and leave?"

"Yeah."

He shakes his head. "Wow. I really don't know what to say."

I smile a bit. "I'm hoping a lot of people will feel the same way. But I'm sick and tired of all the double talk and outright lies they're telling. Not to mention the arrogance and self-delusion. Someone has to tell the truth, and it's gonna be me. And if I can't do it in here, I'll do it out there." I shoulder my bag, and head for the door of the house that is no longer my own. "Just tell them that I'm still proud to be a tengu. I just hope I'll still feel that way in a hundred years."

And I leave.


****************************************

My eyes flutter open, and I sit up, rubbing my face. Holy shit, how long has it been since that happened? Yeah, I remember it, though. That's the day I left. I swore to myself that I'd-

I mean, that's why I'm doing this. Why I always wanted to do it. Well, not at the moment, but still.

Fuck it. I'm hungry, it's early, and I have a job to do. Brain, get on task, here! Shaking my head to clear it. I put on some clothes and head out to the kitchen to cook. Yeah, just gotta stay on task.

Hina comes out as I put breakfast on the table and pauses, giving me an unreadable look. I glance up at her and smile dazzlingly. "Morning, honey~!" I sing to her, "Breakfast, it is served!"

Hina smiles back. "It looks lovely. Thank you, Aya!" The goddess takes a seat and the two of us immediately start to chow down. There's a bit of an awkward air over the table.

After a moment, I stop eating and look up at her. "Hey, Hina?" I ask hesitantly. "Those, uh, pictures you took. You know, um..."

"Hmmm, I think I might keep them in a private collection," Hina replies with an easy smile. "After all, I don't think they're good enough to put on a flyer or anything."

"Oh... yeah!" I agree hurriedly. "I mean, no offense, but your grip was off, and that totally wasn't my best angle! I mean, there's so much I could teach you, but for now, just leave the photography to me! After all, I am an expert!"

"All right," Hina says evenly, "We'll just consider those photos buried, all right?" I nod eagerly in response and go back to my food. After a moment of watching me, Hina starts to eat again as well.

Well, that's a relief! Those photos are gonna stay private. Not that I was worried, or anything! I mean, If anybody saw those pics, they'd be here in a flash just to get a glimpse of yours truly. So really, I was getting worked up over nothing. Not that I was getting worked up. Of course not. Right.

......

Anyway, we have another big day ahead of us!

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

SYSTEM UPDATE:

HINA STATUS: Hina has gotten over her guilt over what happened at Pleasant Meadows. In addition, she's feeling much better about her life in general, and has less of a grudge against youkai. However, there's still some work to be done there.

AYA STATUS: (redacted)

WORSHIPERS: Nitori Kawashiro is now a follower of Hina! Congratulations! Kasen is also a possibility to recruit, but she won't be converted as easily. In other words, Nitori's a freebie. If you want to recruit Kasen or any other named character, you'll need to think up a good plan.

The kappa are also available now for conversion, but be warned! Certain goddesses might not like you marching on their turf!

THE LIST:

[ ] Personal development. Hina has some things she really needs to work on as a person:
-[ ] Her bitterness with her life.
-[ ] Her grudge against youkai.
[ ] The shrine.
-[ ] Location? Here, elsewhere?
-[ ] Any improvements to be made?
-[ ] What services should be offered?
-[ ] What about clergy?
[ ] Public relations.
-[ ] Improving Hina's image.
-[ ] Advertising her services.
-[ ] Getting followers.
--[ ] Kasen.
--[ ] The kappa.
--[ ] Other.
[ ] Strategic alliance with another faith?
[ ] How big should you grow?
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Improving Hina's image.
[x] Strategic alliance with another faith
- [x] Moriya shrine

Combine the two and you get improve her image with the biggest guys around. Get Sanae on her side? Not as a believer but as an ally.
[X] Personal development. Hina has some things she really needs to work on as a person:
-[X] Her bitterness with her life.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.

There've been suggestions as to how to change the rumors, bit by bit, if I'm not mistaken? This would be the time.
[X] Personal development. Hina has some things she really needs to work on as a person:
-[X] Her bitterness with her life.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.

A good idea. If she's less bitter with life, she has a better shot at improving her image.
>>23165
>>23166
>>23167

Hmmm... I'd actually like you guys to focus on one thing at a time (should have written that, sorry). Unless you can explain how you plan to combine them? I'll allow it, if you have a good rationale.
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Improving Hina's image, get Akyuu to stop being so superstitious and make a public apology for slandering Hina!
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.

Sure, let's go with that.
... Huh.

... is it just me, or is village!Aya just.. generally more composed/mature than present!Aya?

I feel like Aya went too far pursuing one concept, and broke herself over the inconsistencies...
>>23166
here.

make it just improving the image. It's going to be a slow process anyhow, so we can get cracking on improving the rumors. We do that, she gets the rare brave human willing to see if it's alright after all. That'll help with the bitterness a bit, too.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.

See guys, you don't need to panic over comedy option votes.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.

Well, since I was the one who suggested the plan of slowly shifting the rumor mill towards more positive things, it'd be wrong for me not to vote to do that when you guys seem to like the idea too.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.
>>23161
Thank god. Who says that railroading is always a bad thing?

Anyway, we should focus on her self before going anywhere else.


[x] Personal development. Hina has some things she really needs to work on as a person:
-[x] Her grudge against youkai.
>>23176
yeah and I think we should finish what the thing with Nitori started

[x] Personal development. Hina has some things she really needs to work on as a person:
-[x] Her grudge against youkai.
>>23176
>>23161

Well, the update delivered a fair enough compromise. I'm happy with it.

[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's image.
Okay, gonna go ahead and call it for improving Hina's public image. Update should be later tonight.
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23181
I lean back in my chair and think, putting everything else to the side for the moment. There's actually a few things that I want to take care of. Hina's made a lot of progress, but I still think that she's still a bit sore about her life. That'll have to be addressed. So will her lingering grudge against youkai. I mean, get with the times, Hina! The way of modern Gensokyo is to live and love, just the way it should be!

On the other hand, I think Hina needs a little time to meditate on things, so maybe we'll just sideline that for now. Yeah, we can deal with her personal issues once she's had a chance to think it over.

I also toy with the idea of forming a strategic alliance with another faith, get their help in establishing Hina as a significant goddess in exchange for future assistance, or even outright loyalty. The Moriyas are right there, after all. On the other hand, that might be jumping the gun a bit. Better if Hina doesn't show up at someone's door as a total petitioner, after all.

...Actually, it might be better to start addressing one of the big roots of Hina's problems, wouldn't it?

I nod to myself and lean forward, planting my hands on the table. "Hina, it's time to work on your image!" I declare.

She looks back at me. "You mean overall how people react to me, or are you just trying to get me in a miniskirt!"

"Yes, and yes!" I say eagerly.

Hina rolls her eyes. "Why don't you wear a miniskirt first, Aya?"

I stand up and strike a pose. "Hey, this thing isn't exactly long, baby!" I tell her, patting my black skirt proudly. Seriously, this thing shows my legs off but good! Definitely one of my finer purchases.

Hina looks thoughtful. "Huh. So you don't mind showing off a little bit, but when I talked about advertising using naked pictures of you, you completely locked up!"

"Pshaw!" I scoff, waving off her observations. "Those are totally different things! Besides, I knew you were kidding all along! But never mind that!" I decide to push the conversation along. "While I agree that you really should wear something sexier to draw in the worshipers-"

"I never agreed to that!" Hina protests.

"-What I'm actually talking about is your public image." I sit back down and poke the table to punctuate my sentences. "Now, the biggest problem you have, in my opinion, is the sheer amount of misinformation floating around about you. It makes people fear you as a source of misfortune. Not that you don't know this already."

"Right, so I need to do something about this," Hina agrees. "Maybe that won't guarantee me success, but it'll make people less fearful to come and see me."

"Given your competition in Gensokyo, we still have a lot to do before we can consider you a major goddess," I agree with a smile. "But yeah, as long as people are afraid of you, that's a huge obstacle between you and success. So obviously, we need to remove that obstacle. We can worry about drawing worshipers in later."

"But how?" Hina asks me, looking troubled. "I mean, fear of the goddess of misfortune is practically a cultural thing in Gensokyo. It's like it's something that people just do, because their forefathers did it."

"Ergo, we need to replace a bad tradition with a good one!" I declare smoothly. "Besides, Gensokyo is changing. Old enemies are becoming friends, and it's not uncommon to see a human and youkai of some sort experimenting with dating." Except for hide-bound tengu. Seriously, a good romp with a human would do those guys some good.

"That's true," Hina muses, and it takes me a moment to realize that she's referring to the human-youkai dating thing, not my thoughts about tengu getting laid. Which they totally should. "Actually, there's this Oni that's been wandering around for a while preaching that very thing. Big Papa, or something. But what are you getting at?"

"All I'm saying is that things are changing, and if the descendants of youkai-hunters are willing to consider marriage to their former enemies, then I'm sure they can get over their paranoia enough to see that a human-loving goddess that takes away their misfortune might just be of benefit to them!" I think about it. "We should probably work on the humans first, honestly. They'll be the tougher cookie to deal with, and if you can convince them, the youkai will be sure to follow."

"Plus, there's the fact that if I get youkai followers first, a lot of people will just call me a youkai-lover," Hina notes with a sigh.

"Eh, honestly, there's going to be some people that you can't convince no matter what," I shrug, "Human and youkai both. Still, we gotta start somewhere."

"You don't have to tell me twice!" Hina says with a smile. "So, how do we start?"

I lean back again and think about it. "Well, one idea is to just change the rumors around, bit by bit. Start by saying that you don't actually curse EVERYONE, just bad people. Then add that you fuel this by taking misfortune away from good people. Eventually, we work our way up to you being a nice, helpful goddess."

"That'd work, but it would sure take a long time," Hina muses. "Plus, rumors are uncertain things. That could easily turn into me being regarded as some sort of terrifying punishment goddess!"

"Yeah, it'd need us to keep an eye on things," I agree. "Still, it's a thought. Another idea is going to talk to Akyuu Hieda."

"The town chronicler," Hina says with a frown. "Yes, I read her article about me in one of her books, and I don't mind telling you, it wasn't very flattering!"

I shrug. "Akyuu makes books based on whatever information she can gather, which is sometimes limited. Besides that, despite her looks she's been reincarnated like... a lot. So she's probably got some baggage from her previous lives." I shake my head. "Honestly, I sometimes wonder just what that girl actually thinks about humans getting along with youkai..."

"Well, in any case, Akyuu would be a good person to talk to," Hina notes, "Her word means a lot in the village. If we could get her to put a good word in for me, it would go a long way. Still, that would require some very delicate negotiations on our part."

"No kiddin'," I snort. "Anyway, I hate to admit it, but Hatate's paper is doing pretty good these days." I sigh a little bit, but press on. "So it might not be a bad idea to talk to her, and get her to do an interview, maybe spread the word of what you're really like." Not that I couldn't do a MUCH better interview, but I currently don't have a paper.

"I wouldn't mind talking to Hatate," Hina admits, looking thoughtful. "Or maybe there's someone else we can talk to that would help improve my image. Hm."

"Well, we can always go back to one of my original ideas!" I say with a huge grin. "A swimsuit calendar!"

Hina glares at me. "And you'd pose for it too, would you? Or would it be just me?"

"Either option is good!" I insist. "I mean, okay, I'd make sure to pick out tasteful bikinis. Fair enough. But with you, me, and Nitori all in the calendar, and people seeing what we had to offer..."

"No," Hina tells me flatly. How rude. it's not like I was gonna make it a nudie calendar.

That would probably be going too far.

"Fffffiiiiinnnneee," I groan, slumping in my chair, "No sexy goddess in a bikini. Have it your way. So, what do you wanna do? Or do you have a better idea?"

Hina thinks it over.



[ ] Play the long game; work on changing Hina's reputation, bit by bit.
[ ] Go have a word with Akyuu.
[ ] Interview with Hatate.
[ ] Talk to someone else (specify).
[ ] Write-in.

Note: creativity in your answers will be rewarded. Use your noggin, and put some thought into this!
...something tells me that asking Keine to help by altering history would end poorly. Still, if I recall correctly she tends to be kind and reasonably fair, and has a friendship with Akyu. As a school teacher, she would also be a good person to talk to for longer games.

As a were-hakutaku, she can probably sympathize a bit better with Hina than Akyu would, so there's that as well.

For downsides...not really seeing any, unless we mess up horribly.

So,,,

[X]Go talk with Keine
[x] Ask Keine for backup for...
[x] Having a word with Akyuu.
-Appeal to Akyuu's job as a chronicler that she be as accurate as possible and present Hina as the benevolent goddess that she is, even going as far as using Hatate's article (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Kakashi_Spirit_News_2) as evidence.
-If Akyuu claims that she's not superstitious then ask her why she thinks cameras steal souls (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Nitori_Kawashiro , just under "A Summary of Kappa Tools").
--While we're on that subject, ask Hina what she thinks of what Akyuu said about Nitori.
-If Akyuu claims that she doesn't slander anyone then ask her why she was so snide and willfully ignorant about not only Byakuren but about Mahayana Buddhism itself (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Byakuren_Hijiri).
--"Nirvana's more a state of being than a literal place, you'd know this if you did your research."
-If she disparages your paper, ask her that if it's so bad then why would Reimu use so many of its articles as evidence.
--Aint no one f***s with Tiny Reimu.
---AIN'T NO ONE.
[x] Ask Keine for backup for...
[x] Having a word with Akyuu.

...actually, I can't argue this plan. Start the rumor mill as you build a more direct positive thing, if possible, but direct path first. I think we're running out of room to do things one at a time, though.
[X] Something like this. >>23185

Ask Akyuu to revise her article to be more truthful, and maybe show her how to report real truths while you're at it.
Hmm...

What's the general opinion of Marisa, these days?

Respected-ish human Incident Resolver, more human than the youkai-loving shrine maiden? No-good thief doing who-knows-what in the forest? Something in between?
[x] Ask Keine for backup for...
[x] Having a word with Akyuu.

...but without the extreme confrontationality >>23185 implies. We want to make friends, not take out frustration on grudges. That's what got Hina into this mess in the first place.
>>23189

Lemme adjust my vote (>>23185) then:

[x] Have Keine be the one to point out Akyuu's errors.
[x] Ask Keine for backup for...
[x] Having a word with Akyuu.
Hm, that's actually a very interesting write-in! Okay, vote called for talking to Keine about dealing with Akyuu! Update will be later today. Hopefully. If not, look for it tomorrow.
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23195
"...Talking to Akyuu seems like the best plan," Hina finally says. "She would have the biggest impact on the opinions of the humans of Gensokyo." Can't argue with that. People are more likely to listen to one of their own, especially someone as respected as Akyuu, than to believe something written by Hatate of all people.

Stupid Hatate and her stupid paper, who does she think she is, trying to report like a moron, I bet the elders get her to falsify stuff all the damn time...

"Of course, I'm a bit worried there,"Hina continues, jolting me out of my thoughts. "I mean, we'd basically be asking Akyuu to contradict something she wrote earlier. That might not be easy."

"Writing a retraction always sucks," I agree. "Plus, Akyuu comes across all sweet and nice, but she can be awfully damn opinionated. Personally, I think that all of those reincarnations have left a mark, but that's just me."

"Then you don't think she'll listen to us all that willingly?" Hina looks worried.

"Well..." I scratch my head. "...She'll probably be polite and greet us, but getting her to change her views on you could be tricky. The way I figure it, Akyuu is convinced that she's in the right. And she'll be very wary about recommending someone she thinks might be a threat to humans. I guess that's just old memories; wariness is probably just a part of her nature."

"That's unfortunate," Hina sighs.

I shrug. "It's understandable. Things used to be pretty bad, you know? A lot of people died on both sides of the equation. I mean, I remember a time when youkai stepped really carefully around any human that set foot into Gensokyo; odds were they had good reason to be so confident in walking in here. And that includes tengu, not that any others would admit it." This line of conversation brings up some bad memories, so I decide to push things along. "Point is, Akyuu's about as set in her ways as an elder, which she sorta is. Getting her to come around isn't gonna be easy."

"I was afraid of that," Hina mutters. "I actually sent her a letter addressing some of the things she brought up in her little book, and the note I got back was effectively a polite way of blowing me off." The goddess shakes her head. "So, okay. Talking to Akyuu won't be easy. Is there someone else we can talk to? Someone that might help us get through to her? I guess that's a long shot, but-"

"Whoa, wait." I sit up straight, thinking. "That's... actually not a bad idea. All we need to do is sway someone more approachable, and go through them to get to Akyuu."

"Oh, okay." Hina looks pleased that her idea holds some water. Which it does. That's actually a really good idea. "So who should we talk to?"

I think about it for a moment. But the answer is pretty obvious. "Keine Kamishirasawa," I declare.

"The schoolteacher?" Hina asks with a raised eyebrow.

"The one and only!" I start ticking points off on my hand. "She's Akyuu's friend, for starters, so she'd be able to get through to the chronicler. For another, she's a teacher and the village guardian, which means that she's got some influence of her own. If nothing else, she could spread the good word about you if Akyuu won't. Besides that, she has her own issues with acceptance and wanting people to understand her; remember her whole were-hakutaku thing. And finally, she'd be willing to listen to you. She's got a couple of friends among youkai already. All in all, we could do a lot worse than Keine."

Hina nods, looking eager. "So, how do we approach her?"

I shrug. "Walk up and say hello? Speaking of which, let's get started! The day's a-wasting!" Taking just a couple minutes to clean up, the two of us head off for the human village.

***************************************************

We're closing in on the village when Hina slows to a stop. "Actually, can you go in and talk to her for me?" the goddess asks nervously. "People still aren't too happy to see me around, and it would defeat the purpose if I freaked everyone out by walking through town."

I bite my lip but can't fault her logic. The folks in the village probably WOULD panic if they saw Hina walking through the gates. After all, that's what we're trying to do something about. Well, fair enough, I can deal with that!

"I'll go in and talk to Keine," I tell my companion, "You just hang around at a decent distance. Chances are, I'll get her to come have a word with you personally, so just hang in there, all right?" Hina nods, looking relieved.

Yeah, this has gotta be fixed. I will not be satisfied until Hina can walk down the street without everybody flipping out over bad luck! Well, actually, my goals are a bit bigger than that, but y'know. One thing at a time.

Regardless, Hina settles down a little ways from the village, while I make my way up to the main gates and stride through.

Ahhh, the human village! Busy, vibrant, and full of life! As opposed to the tengu village, where hanging a fancy display without permission can get you fined. I miss the old days, when we-

Eh, enough complaining about what my people used to do. This place is great! So many sounds and smells. Humans and youkai, brushing shoulders. Tons of people, handsome men and pretty women alike, going about their business and looking absolutely gorgeous. Hmmm, handsome, fit men, and lovely women... it's everything a tengu could ask for! Maybe... should I sneak a few pictures and start to rebuild my collection...?

Mmm, no, I probably should reign myself in, huh? Yeah, that might be best, since... well, never mind! Here we are at the schoolhouse, and there is the lovely teacher herself, adjusting a sign outside. Looks like a reminder about lesson plans, or some such. I gotta give her credit, Keine does the whole 'hot for teacher' thing but good. Long, silvery-blue hair, gentle eyes, pretty face, amazing bust, and an ass that just begs you to give it a smack... hell, if I had a teacher like this, I'd pay a whole lot of attention, if you know what I mean!

Of course, if you ever did get fresh with Keine, she'd probably crack your skull. Then lecture you about manners. Then dust you off and send you on your way. All of which is somehow more terrifying than her just getting angry at you. Yeah, I'm gonna keep my hands and camera to myself.

Anyway! Target acquired. How should I proceed...?

[ ] Hey gorgeous, how about you let me teach you something~?
[ ] No, just be friendly.
[ ] Actually, be formal and polite.
[ ] Write-in.
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?

Approach them like a Hollywood Producer, its the only way!
[X] Actually, be formal and polite.

Aya actually seems to respect her, or at least fear her a little bit, so formality seems like a good idea.
[x] No, just be friendly.

No need to be overbearing, especially since we'll be asking her to do something for us. Just take it easy.
[X] Actually, be formal and polite.

I don't remember how Keine relates to Cirno in this take on Gensokyo. Either way, she would know and not appreciate how Aya was. Aya is changing, though. Slowly. Eventually. May as well get that across.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite.

She will notice that Aya's serious with this attitude.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite.

Slowly but surely returning to her old personality, like in the flashback.
[X] Actually, be formal and polite.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite.
[x] No, just be friendly.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite. 

Play it safe here.
[x] Hey gorgeous, how about you let me teach you something~?
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?

Which is basically "be friendly", but this is a more fun way of saying it.
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?

Aya you are basically a dude...
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?

Character development is all nice and dandy, but we've still got a long way to go. Let's not hurry it up and act more Aya-like.
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?

More Aya-ness.
[x] Actually, be formal and polite.

GOT BIDNESS TO ATTEND TO
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?
[x] Keine, baby! You look lovely, how've you been lately?
[x] Actually, be formal and polite
Okay, vote called for being polite and formal in the face of the intimidating Miss Kamishirasawa. Update will be later.
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23218
Hm. You know what? This might be a good time to be on my best behavior. After all, I'm here as a supplicant, and I'm not sure if word of my wrongful accusation has been spread here. Well, exaggerated accusation. Misunderstood circumstances. Whatever. Point is, I'm trying to get in good with the lovely schoolteacher, so time for me to be on my best behavior.

Finishing up with her sign, Keine turns around and sees me, stopping short. Her eyes widen a little bit at the sight of me. No doubt dazzled by my beauty; she has good taste! But best behavior, Aya! I clasp my hands and bow politely. "Good morning, Miss Kamishirasawa," I say as formally as I can, "It's pleasant to see you today."

Keine just stares at me, not saying anything.

Suddenly feeling a bit uncomfortable, I straighten up and meet her blank expression. "So, I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time," I inform the guardian of the village. Damn, but it's hard to keep my eyes on her face. This woman has an amazing rack! I'd love to see the rest of her!

Then her eyes narrow, and a palpable sensation of menace chills me where I stand.

Eyes locked with my own, Keine strides forward until we're nearly nose-to-nose. Coldly, she stares deep into my eyes as though staring directly into my soul, like she was considering each and every facet of my being. Hell, with her powers maybe she can. For a long, dread-filled moment, I can only stand there and wonder if I'm going to be on the receiving end of one of her notorious headbutts.

I swear to all the gods, I wasn't checking her out! Much!

"...Miss Shameimaru," Keine finally says in a frigid voice.

"Hey," I say weakly. "Um, I mean hello and good day. Um... forgive me for saying so, but could you give me a little bit of personal space, here?"

Keine raises an eyebrow but steps back. "Honestly, I wasn't aware that 'personal space' was a concept you were familiar with," the teacher states.

I wince. "Wow, uh, I'd like to point out that I never touch anyone without their explicit permission."

"No, but you certainly take pictures as much as you wish," she calmly replies. Somehow, there is a great deal of menace behind her words. This simple, oft-smiling schoolteacher has me absolutely terrified, and she hasn't even raised her hands.

"...This is about Cirno, isn't it?" I hazard a guess.

"What was your first clue?" Keine hisses back at me.

"Well, she is a student of yours, and you're rather infamous when it comes to protecting those you teach-"

"That was a rhetorical question, Miss Shameimaru," Keine interrupts me.

"Oh." I fall silent. This is not going well. For a long moment, the teacher just stares at me, eyes filled with a cold anger. I never realized that she was so protective of Cirno... actually, she's protective of little ones in general, from what I remember.

That's something I can relate to.

"I'm sorry," I say at last, and Keine's eyes widen in genuine shock. "I got carried away. Cirno was big news, and absolutely adorable, and I'm told that I sort of have an impulse control problem. Things got out of hand, and I'll try not to let it happen again. And I'm not just talking about Cirno." I bow deeply.

For a long moment, Keine just stares at me. "You're... apologizing?" she asks faintly.

I straighten up. "Well, yes."

The schoolteacher blinks. "Wow. I never dreamed that you'd ever admit yourself to be in the wrong."

I sigh. "I really wish people would stop saying that. Look, try and see it from my point of view: have you ever wanted to pick Cirno up and hug her?"

"I feel that way for quite a few of my children," Keine responds.

"Right. And have you ever thought that having a picture of them would be a nice thing to have laying around?"

Keine shrugs. "Perhaps, but that doesn't mean that I'd act on it, necessarily. Such things should be treasured gifts from people, not prizes to be stolen." She looks at me archly, and I feel her words cause something to twinge deep inside of me. I push it aside.

"Well, I just feel that acting on my impulses has always been the best way to go about things. I mean, I'm honest with myself. That said," I raise my hands in an appeasing gesture, "I realize that I kinda went too far, and I'm sorry. I'm trying to reign myself in. Please just talk to me?"

Keine hesitates, then sighs. "Well, I know a fair number of people who could stand to reign themselves in... very well." The teacher nods, and gives me a faint smile. "You seem genuine, so I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. With that in mind, can I help you with something?"

"Actually, yes." With the danger seemingly past, I breathe a sigh of relief. "Actually, I came to talk to you about two people: Akyuu Hieda, and Hina Kagiyama."

Keine blinks. "That's an odd pair to speak about in the same sentence. What is it?"

I gesture for Keine to follow me. "Let's walk and talk. You see, just the other day I got released from confinement..."

************************************************************

It takes us about twenty minutes to reach where Hina is waiting for us outside the village, standing beneath some trees. As we walk, I fill Keine in on why I was released from custody, and what I'm up to with Hina.

"Interesting," the teacher muses, "So you're actually trying to raise the fortunes of one of Gensokyo's less powerful deities, then."

"The tengu elders feel we owe it to her," I agree, "Which we do. And it was left to me to lend her a hand since nobody else on the mountain has the slightest clue how to say anything nice about anybody else." I roll my eyes.

"And you do?" Keine asks skeptically.

"I say nice things about people all the time!" I protest.

"That doesn't involve commentary about their figure?" Keine presses.

"Uh... I can explain that," I say hurriedly. "I mean, I'm trying to run a successful newspaper, and people love scandal, and every so often I have to slide something in to get the elders off my back, and hey! There's Hina!" Thank the gods; that was getting awkward.

As we walk up the the ribbon-loving goddess, I can't help but note that Keine slows her steps and regards Hina warily. Hina notices it as well, and sighs. "Forgive me for saying so, Miss Kamishirasawa, but I had hoped that you would be less than inclined to believe ugly rumors about other people." She gives Hina a piercing stare.

Keine winces. "Ugh. My apologies, Lady Kagiyama. I suppose I'm just used to hearing the usual concerns regarding you. I'm sure you're familiar with them."

"Naturally," Hina agrees, "I was merely hoping that you would be more open-minded." She shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be hostile. It's just that I hate it when people keep acting like I carry the plague." She sighs. "Or actually spread bad luck around."

"Then you don't?" Keine asks, looking interested.

"Now who has a bad habit?" I ask, feeling a bit annoyed. Shaking my head, I walk up to Hina and give her a big hug. "Hey! Look at me! I'm hugging the misfortune goddess and not getting any bad luck! Because if Hina leaked any out, she'd suck it right back in! How about that, huh?"

Hina looks around awkwardly. "Um, Aya? Do you have to do that in the middle of a serious meeting?"

I give her a strained smile. "Hina, I haven't taken a photograph in over a day now. I need something to tide me over, and your soft, sweet-smelling body is just to placebo I need!"

"I... see," Hina says blankly, clearly not seeing.

"I wasn't aware that photography was addicting," Keine says giving me an odd look.

"Of course you don't!" I sniff. "You simply don't understand the sheer joy, the feeling of connection, that comes when you immortalize a moment forever in a photograph!" My heart sinks a little bit. "Immortal, that is, until someone decides to burn it to ashes." Stupid Momiji. Stupid Meiling.

Keine looks like she wants to say something to that, but shakes her head. "Well, I suppose I wasn't giving you a fair hearing, Lady Kagiyama." The teacher bows with a gentle smile. "If you do not, in fact, leak out bad luck, then there really isn't any reason to be nervous of you, is there? So, what can I do for you, exactly?"

Hina glances over at me, and I release my hug. Right, gotta get Keine on our side so she'll help us with Akyuu. Hm, what to say, though?


[ ] Write-in.
[x] And that brings us to Akyuu.
-[x] Ask her if she's read Akyuu's article on Hina. We can pretty much be guaranteed that she has, but this is an interview!
-[x] Tell her about the response that Hina received when she wrote Akyuu about the article. We're hoping to get a better one now.
-[x] Hold back all traces of resentment. We're not doing this out of spite. We do not hold any grudges. This is just a necessary step towards our goal.
[x] And that brings us to Akyuu.
-[x] Ask her if she's read Akyuu's article on Hina. We can pretty much be guaranteed that she has, but this is an interview!
-[x] Tell her about the response that Hina received when she wrote Akyuu about the article. We're hoping to get a better one now.
-[x] If Keine's worried that we're asking Akyuu to show favoritism then inform her of the other erroneous entries. We'd like to correct them not out of resentment but to spread the grace of Hina by removing misfortune with the Truth.
--[x] (Putting in a good word for others could also help when making an alliance but we don't need to talk about that now.)
[x] And that brings us to Akyuu.
-[x] Ask her if she's read Akyuu's article on Hina. We can pretty much be guaranteed that she has, but this is an interview!
-[x] Tell her about the response that Hina received when she wrote Akyuu about the article. We're hoping to get a better one now.
-[x] If Keine's worried that we're asking Akyuu to show favoritism then inform her of the other erroneous entries. We'd like to correct them not out of resentment but to spread the grace of Hina by removing misfortune with the Truth.

on an unrelated note, I just realized something that scares me somewhat. Koishi is better adjusted than Aya is, in Keymaster gensokyo
[x] And that brings us to Akyuu.
-[x] Ask her if she's read Akyuu's article on Hina. We can pretty much be guaranteed that she has, but this is an interview!
-[x] Tell her about the response that Hina received when she wrote Akyuu about the article. We're hoping to get a better one now.
-[x] If Keine's worried that we're asking Akyuu to show favoritism then inform her of the other erroneous entries. We'd like to correct them not out of resentment but to spread the grace of Hina by removing misfortune with the Truth.


Sounds good to me.
Jumping on the bandwagon. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing.

[x] And that brings us to Akyuu.
-[x] Ask her if she's read Akyuu's article on Hina. We can pretty much be guaranteed that she has, but this is an interview!
-[x] Tell her about the response that Hina received when she wrote Akyuu about the article. We're hoping to get a better one now.
-[x] Hold back all traces of resentment. We're not doing this out of spite. We do not hold any grudges. This is just a necessary step towards our goal.
Hm, looks like a pretty solid vote to me. Consider it called!
You sure do repeat yourself a lot.
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23227
I take a deep breath. "Well, frankly Miss Kamishirasawa, we're here because we want to talk to you about Akyuu Hieda."

Keine blinks. "About Akyuu? Oh, and please just call me Keine. No need to be formal."

I nod. "Thank you. "And yes, we wanted to talk to you about Akyuu. Specifically, a certain article she wrote concerning Hina here. By any chance, have you read it?"

Keine nods. "Actually, yes. I make sure to read everything that Akyuu writes. If nothing else, it's a helpful guide to the humans of Gensokyo as to what they can expect out in the wilds."

I scoff. "Oh please. Do you have any idea just how inaccurate that drivel is?

Keine raises an eyebrow. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Miss Shameimaru, but I seem to recall that you also wrote up some profiles once upon a time, and they tended to be less than complimentary to their subjects. Many argued about how truthful they were, as well."

Oh. She's going for a low blow, is she? "I technically never wrote a single untruth in those," I grate out through clenched teeth, "And sometimes, you just do what you have to do. Whether you like it or not."

Fuck the elders. Fuck them so much.

I realize that Keine and Hina are staring at me in surprise. The next moment, I realize that my fists are clenched tightly. Okay, no. Calm down. Don't let this get to you. This is a very serious meeting for Hina's sake, getting angry about someone's innocent misunderstanding will accomplish nothing. Just breathe. Close your eyes and breathe.

Breathe.

Okay.

I open my eyes and look at Keine. "All I can say in my defense is that, while I may not exactly be a model tengu, cutting off your ties to your people completely is a little... scary, y'know. And when someone in authority is leaning on you, wanting you to doctor your stories a little bit, it's hard to feel like you have much choice."

Keine nods slowly. "I can understand where you're coming from, but that doesn't change the fact that you have been known to exaggerate your stories for the sake of getting readers. Why then, should I accept your criticism of a good friend of mine?"

"Because it's completely unfair," Hina says firmly. She steps forward. "Miss Kamishirasawa, when I read that article by Miss Hieda, it nearly broke my heart. Do you have any idea how horrible it is to have someone publicly spread bad rumors about you? I want to make this clear to you: I remove misfortune from people. I take away bad luck. I don't leak out misfortune or anything, and even if I did, wouldn't I just suck it all back up? All I have ever wanted is to help people. It's literally why I was born. Despite this, I've had to labor under a terrible reputation for as long as I can remember. And now, when someone goes ahead and writes up these rumors, presenting them as fact, without even trying to ask me about it..." Hina's voice breaks at the end, and she closes her eyes tightly. Keine just looks at her, face troubled.

"...I know a lot of people doubt what I write," I admit, heart panging as I do. "But this isn't about me. This is about your friend writing something blatantly false that is actually causing someone harm. That's what we're talking about here." I look over at Hina. "Tell her what happened when you wrote Akyuu."

Hina nods and looks up. "I wrote a letter to Miss Akyuu, explaining that she was wrong. I tried to explain to her what I really was, and what I really did. Her return letter was just a polite way of telling me to buzz off."

Keine sighs. "Akyuu can be very stubborn at times," she admits. "Still, it sounds like you're trying to get her to change her entries on one person in particular..."

"Worried about favoritism?" I ask. "Well, it's not just Hina who Akyuu got the facts screwed up on. There's a whole lot of people who got flat-out slandered, and who deserve better. Frankly? I, no we, would like to correct all of those errors. Not because we're angry. But because it's the right thing to do. We just so happen to want to spread the grace of Hina by removing the grave misfortune of misinformation and ignorance with the light and fortune of the truth!" I can't help it; by the time I finish speaking, I'm breathing heavily, nearly bursting with emotion. Come on, you massive-boobed teacher, get the message already!

Keine looks a bit stunned at my outburst. Hina looks impressed. Finally, Miss Kamishirasawa sighs and scratches her head. "Well, I have to admit, you certainly have my attention now. And yes, I suppose that Akyuu can be a bit unreliable at times when it comes to her articles. If it frustrates Hina, it probably makes a lot of others upset as well..." Keine trails off and shakes her head before favoring us with a smile. "Well, in any case, you've convinced me. Did you want me to have a word with her?"

"Specifically, we want you to vouch for us and get us a meeting!" I declare.

Hina nods. "I want to see her face-to-face. I want to let her know just how what she wrote affected me." The goddess' eyes are burning with complex emotions. That's right, Hina! Let them see the truth of your burning soul!

Keine looks from me to Hina, then back again. Finally she nods, albeit hesitantly. "All right. I can certainly get you an audience with Akyuu. Knowing her, she'll be pleased to have the opportunity to interview you directly. But please remember, Lady Kagiyama, that the people of the village still fear your presence. Wrongfully or not, they worry that you'll bring them bad luck simply by being near them."

"Meaning...?" Hina asks.

"While I lead you to Akyuu's house, don't be surprised if people seem a little nervous," Keine chuckles weakly.

I give Hina an encouraging nod. Things are looking good so far!

************************************

A bit later, I'm reconsidering that thought. As Keine leads us through the village, Hina rapidly becomes the center of attention. It's like that prophet guy from the west parting an ocean or something. There's a visible break in the crowds that forms as we pass through, lined by some extremely nervous-looking people. They make signs to ward off misfortune, they chatter nervously among themselves, they do everything but try to burn Hina at the stake! Sheesh, there's some gratitude for ya!

Hina just tries to bear it all gracefully, eyes straight ahead, shoulders squared, stance poised and graceful. I'd almost buy it if I couldn't see the hurt in her eyes.

"Hang in there," I murmur to Hina. She nods back.

Keine shoots a dirty look at the villagers, not that it does much good, and sighs unhappily. "My apologies for their behavior. It's just that it can be hard to shake some old viewpoints."

I chuckle. "Just leave it to me! I'll have people appreciating Hina for the lovely goddess she is before you know it!"

"I look forward to it," Keine comments with a smile.

Hina shoots me a grateful smile, then turns to Hina. "Is there anything that I should know about Miss Hieda?" she asks.

The schoolteacher thinks it over. "Well, you know the most important parts. Child of Miare, reincarnates on a regular basis, keeper of the chronicle... you know the most important parts."

"I know she's been a man at least once in her past lives," I quip. "Wonder how that works out for her? Body and mind of a young girl, clear memories of past marriages?"

"I've never asked," Keine replies, "Seems too personal to inquire about. Here we are." The three of us come up to an impressively-sized house, and Keine gestures for us to stop. "Can you wait outside for a moment? I'd like to let Akyuu know that she has company." We nod, and Keine steps inside, leaving Hina and I alone outside with the nervous, whispering crowd.

"This is so awkward," Hina mumbles after a few minutes, glancing over at a few of them.

I look out at the crowd too, then shrug. Hey, if it worked for Keine! Grabbing Hina, I pull her into a tight hug. "Howdy folks! Look at me! Hugging the misfortune goddess, and not a trace of bad luck! Makes ya think, don't it?" My only response is stunned silence from the crowd. No doubt thinking over their terrible treatment of Hina! Ah, Aya, you do have a knack, you know?

"Aya," Hina says weakly, "We're in public. Please let go." She's blushing heavily.

"Awww, but you're so soft~!" I I giggle causing Hina to blush even more furiously. Sadly, my Hina-cuddling time is interrupted by a polite cough behind us. Turning around, I see Keine standing there with an awkward smile on her face.

"Please help me," Hina pleads, and I reluctantly let go of her before Keine headbutts me or something. And she smells so nice, too!

Keine gives me an weary look before shaking her head. "Well, Akyuu is waiting inside. Please follow me."

"So whaddaya think?" I ask as we enter the house, "Think she'll give us a fair hearing?" Keine's shrug and uncertain expression don't really fill me with confidence.

The Hieda household wasn't exactly ostentatious from the outside, though it was large. Inside? This is the sort of place I would expect from a noble family. Banners, paintings, relics of times long past, all sorts of things decorate the carefully-tended hallways. Hell, maybe those relics are mementos of Akyuu's past life. Who knows?

After walking down a few hallways, Keine leads us into a sitting room of sorts, with a decent sized table in the middle of it. Sitting at the table, a fresh pot of tea ready and waiting by her side, is Akyuu Hieda herself.

I've gotta hand it to Akyuu, the girl has definitely blossomed as of late. She certainly qualifies as a beautiful young woman, and her cute features are already starting to change to those of a refined young lady. She's gonna be a real heartbreaker. Hell, maybe she is already for all I know.

The chronicler of Gensokyo nods politely as we enter. "Welcome to my home, all of you. Please, have a seat."

"Thank you for having us," I say politely, remembering to be on my best behavior. Hina bows politely, and we have a seat at the table alongside Keine as Akyuu passes out the tea. I notice her posture; she's deliberately relaxed, the kind of relaxed that only comes from careful effort. She also takes care not to touch Hina directly, and has seated herself so that she can keep an eye on the misfortune goddess at all times. Akyuu's smile is friendly and cheerful, and even manages to reach her eyes. However, the eyes themselves are wary, and very calculating.

Sheesh. This girl would do just great at a tengu court. I'm uncomfortable already.

"Well then, what can I do for you today? I must admit, it's such an amazing surprise to have two notable figures of Gensokyo just drop in on my doorstep like this!" Akyuu keeps a friendly smile on her face while she carefully speeds past the pleasantries to get to the heart of the matter. Not bad; all those lifetimes have taught her a thing or two.

"Well, I was hoping to have a word with you about that article you wrote about me, Miss Hieda," Hina says carefully. "You see, I feel that you have misunderstood a great deal about my nature-"

"Ah, forgive me, but I need to stop you there, Miss Kagiyama," Akyuu says, holding a hand up in a carefully non-confrontational manner. "I believe that we already corresponded about this, yes? And again, I am sorry if you feel that you were misrepresented, but I do work under limited information at times. Furthermore, as someone with the best interests of humans at heart, I must always err on the side of caution. After all, can you guarantee that your powers will never be a threat to humanity?"

"Ah, well," Hina tries to respond to Akyuu's rapid-fire dismissal of her concerns.

"I understand that this must bother you, but would you really ask humans to take such a risk? To potentially endanger themselves in such a way? I am sure that you and Keine both understand that precautions have to be taken, even if they may seem unreasonable. Besides, Miss Shameimaru," she turns her attention to me, "If I were to make corrections regarding Lady Kagiyama, it wouldn't end there, would it? Any number of youkai or god would beat a path to my door, demanding that I make a revision regarding them. In the face of all of this, a mistake could certainly be made which would make things even worse. No, I'm sure you understand that sometimes, it's better to leave well enough alone, yes?"

I reel at the barrage of words. Her reasoning is sound, her manner pleasant. Her logic is bullshit, and her eyes are full of cold calculation, wanting to be rid of us as soon as possible. The clever chronicler, safe in her lair, ready to meet her guests and send them on their way, empty-handed.

I hate underestimating people like this. Well, what to do...?


[ ] Respond politely.
[ ] Respond passionately.
[ ] Respond angrily.
[ ] Burst into tears.
[ ] Flirt outrageously with Akyuu.
[X] Respond politely, passionately and angrily.
[X] Two can play this game. Point out that the subjects of her slandering seem to have more compassion and humanity in them than she does.
[X] Let her have it, even with her reincarnations you are still the elder here.
[X] If she gets personal: You still have friends in the newspaper buisness that would be willing to write an article about her. And by the way, how is the lovelife?



Fuck this Akyuu. She wants to be a dick? Aya ca be one too.
[X] If it's just a problem of volume, require witnesses and forms and people to vouch for changes and whatnot.
[X] Just because it'd be <i>hard</i> doesn't mean you shouldn't <i>tell the truth.</i>
>>23228
Not sure if aya does, maybe if she stopped by Hatate first maybe, but as far as we know it, Aya is an outcast.
>>23230
I was refering to Hatate, also it doesnt have to be true, as long as Akyuu believes it its fine.
>>23227
[X] Respond passionately.
[x] Respond with all the hot blood you can muster
[x] Respond passionately.

If Aya was polite about it she'd just get cut off like Hina, and getting angry in Hieda's house would just end in some shit getting started. The truth should still be the heart of the matter though.
[X] Respond passionately.
[X] "This isn't about humans verses youkai. Sanae's a human from the Outside who works with a technophile goddess, yet you claim that she knows nothing of the Outside even when she's insisting otherwise! In Byakuren's entry you went beyond disagreeing with her goals and not only called her evil but outright insulted her religion! 'Oh, but I just said her magic was evil.' Based on what evidence? The same you used in Nitori's entry when you outright declared that cameras steal souls? If 'it is unknown how it works' then you shouldn't be claiming how it works, should you?"
[X] "No, correcting Hina's article wouldn't end with her, but you're a chronicler and being correct is your job. If you're not accurate then we may as well have another chronicler. Personally, I'd like a chronicler who doesn't believe in superstitious nonsense like cameras stealing souls while smugly talking about magic scrolls infected with viruses. Keine here's a historian, do you really want to disappoint your friend with shoddy scholarship?"
[X] "What's your opinion of the Hakurei-Scarlet marriage? I can't imagine you'd approve given how just plain snide you were when writing about the biggest supporter of peaceful human-youkai relations. The Moonbitches didn't approve and they were made to publicly apologize because of their bigotry. Is that the kind of person you want to be? Besides, didn't you admit at length in the monologue of Eastern Histories of Hieda that Gensokyo and human-youkai relations were improving?"
[X] Even if this does get on Akyuu's bad side word'll spread too those she libeled that Aya defended them, making alliances easier.
[X] Respond Passionately and Focused.
-[X] This game was Aya's bread and butter at one point, she's still got the skills. Akyuu wants to play without a single untrue fact? Nail her without a single untrue fact.
-[X]To be more to the point, I suggest you give her a professional lambasting. Describe every single mistruth she has listed in the chronicles, in detail. Don't give her a word in edgewise.

Akyuu is apparently the kind of jackass that Aya left the village about. Rip and Tear.

yes i mad
I...wanted to be reasonable, but that argument...it won't be forgiven lightly.

[x]:

Walking through this village, Hina was met by hatred overriden by fear. Your writings have played no small part in creating that.

Others are painted with the same brush. Nitori Kawashiro, among the friendliest girls I know, was declared a stealer of shirikodama along with her entire race. This played no small part in her recent alchoholic tendencies, I'm sure.

That is two examples. Where did it lead? Meadow Falls. The only thing that spared us the domination of a madman was said madman's tendency to gloat more than was healthy. We nearly lost the Yama to that incident, and once all was said and done I have little doubt that the bloody Barrier would have fallen.

If humans were more receptive, one or possibly both enabling factors wouldn't have been vulnerable. If you had sought the truth, you could have averted that incident.

You label people threats, without care that your label may make it so. I have given two examples where this is the case. If I were to look, no doubt I would find more.

Worse, where this doesn't occur you still alienate those that might help this village. To use a hypothetical example, the human village could invite Yuuka to help establish a garden, rather than treating her as a threat to be feared. As Meiling has shown, Yuuka is not unreasonable.

If you don't have enough information to be certain, say so! Include a warning if you must. When you get the information needed, put it in! To say 'I don't know' and use that as an excuse to slander is despicable. To make enemies and estrange allies with such practices is suicidal, for yourself and for those you claim to protect! To use a lack of information as an excuse to not receive information is just pure hypocrisy.

Even when put under pressure to frame things in much the same way as you are, I still stuck to the truth. To do otherwise, to mislead those who would seek knowledge with outright lies so that you can maintain their trust is not something that I will forgive.

[/x]

That rant needs a re-write for setting (I'm not sure if Yuuka was in the in-setting chronicle or not...) and tone (it doesn't quite sound like Aya...), but I'm voting for something along those lines.

Once more, excellent story Keymaster!
[x] Respond passionately.
[X] "Your past lifetimes' beliefs are obsolete: this isn't about humans versus youkai. Sanae's a human from the Outside who works with a technophile goddess, yet you claim that she knows nothing of the Outside even when she's insisting otherwise! In Byakuren's entry you went beyond disagreeing with her goals and not only called her evil but outright insulted her religion! 'Oh, but I just said her magic was evil.' Based on what evidence? The same you used in Nitori's entry when you outright declared that cameras steal souls? If 'it is unknown how it works' then you shouldn't be claiming how it works, should you? Err on the side of caution? Please."
[X] "No, correcting Hina's article wouldn't end with her, but you're a chronicler and being correct is your job. If you're not accurate then we may as well have another chronicler. Personally, I'd like a chronicler who doesn't believe in superstitious nonsense like cameras stealing souls while smugly talking about magic scrolls infected with viruses. Keine here's a historian, do you really want to disappoint your friend with such shoddy scholarship?"
[X] "What's your opinion of the Hakurei-Scarlet marriage? I can't imagine you'd approve given how just plain snide you were when writing about the biggest supporter of peaceful human-youkai relations. The Moonbitches didn't approve and they were made to publicly apologize because of their bigotry. Is that the kind of person you want to be? Besides, didn't you admit at length in the monologue of Eastern Histories of Hieda that Gensokyo and human-youkai relations were improving?"
[x] Respond passionately

None can defeat Aya like this (except potentially Flandre) and this isn't even her final form!!!
[X] Respond passionately and politely.
-[X] This game was Aya's bread and butter at one point, she's still got the skills. Akyuu wants to play without a single untrue fact? Nail her without a single untrue fact.
[X] Respond passionately.
-[X] Wall o' text.
plus
-[X] "I might not always be seen as the bastion of Truth that I am (in her own opinion, at least), but at least I'm out there, gathering stories myself! I'm seeing things first hand instead of just writing down whatever drivel happens to come to my doorstep.
Unlike you, I always write the truth!
...Even if I enhance it sometimes due to reader expectations."

Also, I'm just gonna smooth out that wall of text to be more readable.

"Your past lifetimes' beliefs are obsolete: this isn't about humans versus youkai.
Sanae's a human from the Outside who works with a technophile goddess, yet you claim that she knows nothing of the Outside even when she's insisting otherwise!
In Byakuren's entry you went beyond disagreeing with her goals and not only called her evil but outright insulted her religion! 'Oh, but I just said her magic was evil.'
Based on what evidence?
The same you used in Nitori's entry when you outright declared that cameras steal souls? If 'it is unknown how it works' then you shouldn't be claiming how it works, should you?
Err on the side of caution? Please."

"No, correcting Hina's article wouldn't end with her, but you're a chronicler and being correct is your job.
If you're not accurate then we may as well have another chronicler. Personally, I'd like a chronicler who doesn't believe in superstitious nonsense like cameras stealing souls while smugly talking about magic scrolls infected with viruses.
Keine here's a historian, do you really want to disappoint your friend with such shoddy scholarship?"

"What's your opinion of the Hakurei-Scarlet marriage?
I can't imagine you'd approve given how just plain snide you were when writing about the biggest supporter of peaceful human-youkai relations.
The Moonbitches didn't approve and they were made to publicly apologize because of their bigotry. Is that the kind of person you want to be?
Besides, didn't you admit at length in the monologue of Eastern Histories of Hieda that Gensokyo and human-youkai relations were improving?"
>>23241

> Also, I'm just gonna smooth out that wall of text to be more readable.

As the writer of said wall, I approve.
...Damn. That got one hell of a response, didn't it?

Anyway, calling vote now, And I'll try to put all of this into a decent update. Which should be later today.
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23244
I stare at Akyuu for a long moment. At her fake smile, at her shifting eyes, at her entire manufactured posture. I let her words roll over me, words that were basically a polite way of saying 'get the hell out of my house.' I've dealt with people like this before, except they had wings, and also were holding me over a fire. It looks like bastardness isn't restricted to the tengu.

I look at Keine, and her weary expression, betraying a total lack of surprise. 'Just Akyuu being Akyuu,' she's probably thinking; just her friend being difficult.

And then I look over at Hina, and see her disappointment, her hurt. She made a desperate appeal to be understood, a plea for people to give her a chance, and what happens? She gets blown off before she can say a single word in her defense. But the worst part of all is how utterly unsurprised she looks, like this was the outcome she expected all along.

Just like that, my patience shatters.

I take a long look at Akyuu, locking eyes with the smiling bitch, and take a long, slow sip of tea before gingerly setting the teacup down. Then I smile pleasantly and speak my piece:

"Fuck you, you stupid bitch."

The sudden silence feels like an explosion somehow. Akyuu's composed expression vanishes in an instant, and the chronicler just gapes at me in shock. Keine's head whips around as she stares in disbelief, and Hina just sits there blinking, like she can't believe what she just heard.

"Wha- what?!" Akyuu gasps out. It's a total violation of politeness and hospitality, what I just did. But you know what? I just don't care anymore.

I slowly get to my feet, staring down at the smaller woman. "I said 'fuck you, you stupid bitch.' Sorry, was that too much for you, you faux-bureaucratic twit? Do I need to dumb it down for you a bit and just call you an idiot?"

Keine rises as well. "Now, just a moment-" she begins, but I'm on a roll here.

I lock gazes with Keine. "Stay out of it," I tell her with all of the venom I can muster, and the schoolteacher just stares at me like I grew a second head. I turn my attention back to the shocked Akyuu, my wings flapping a little bit with my agitation. "Do you really think you can just blow me off with bureaucrat-speak? Do you think I don't deal with that same shit every time I go into the tengu village? Well, it doesn't work there, and it won't work now. So, allow me to give you my personal viewpoint. You can call it an interview if it makes you feel better. But you will listen."

Heart pounding in my ears, I lean over, impaling Akyuu with my stare. "I know what people say about me. And maybe I'm not always seen as the bastion of Truth that I am. Hey, when your elders threaten to cut you off from your own people if you don't play by their rules, you learn to bend a little bit. Even if it makes you feel sick." I clench my fists in frustration.

"But you wanna know something?" I lean forward more, closing the distance between myself and Akyuu. "At least I'm out there. I'm getting the stories myself. I'm learning everything firsthand with my own eyes and ears. I'm working for what I print. And I sure as hell am not just sitting on my ass in my house, printing whatever drivel happens to fall my way!" I'm yelling. I can't help it.

Akyuu springs to her feet now, and yells back at me. "How the hell do you want me to gather everything on my own, when I can't even fight?! In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a 'mere human,' as your people so charmingly put it. How the hell am I supposed to go out there and investigate?!"

I throw my hands in the air. "It's Gensokyo, for fuck's sake! You ancestors were killing machines! I know, I saw them in action! Hell, Marisa trained herself up from nothing, and she's one of the toughest people in Gensokyo! She's a better chronicler than you are, and she's a compulsive liar!"

"And I suppose you regard yourself as some prophet of the truth, or some nonsense!" Akyuu snarls back, her face red!

"I always print the Truth!" I shout, "Even if it is enhanced for the sake of reader expectations sometimes, or stretched because the fucking elders were threatening to shun me again! What's your excuse, huh respected member of the village?!"

Akyuu's mouth works for a bit before she finds her voice again. "...I write what I do because I have to," the woman says darkly. "Because unlike everyone else in the village, I remember the past. I remember just what your kind did! I remember the bloodshed, the terror!"

"So do I!" I yell back, "And you're not the only person who has bad dreams about those days sometimes! But you know what? The past is history, and for some damn reason, there aren't a lot of people who have figured that out. Your past lives? All the stuff you remember? It's old news. Obsolete. It's not about humans against youkai anymore. And it's not just youkai you're slandering. There's a lot of people who deserve way better than you're giving them."

Akyuu blinks at me. "What are you talking about, tengu?" She speaks the name like a curse.

I narrow my eyes. "Want a list? Okay. Let's start with Sanae Kochiya. You claim in your writings that she really doesn't know much about the outside. Well, she's from the outside, she arrived here from the outside a couple of years ago, and she follows a goddess who's as obsessed with technology as the kappa! Hell, she's probably forgotten more about the outside than we'll ever know, and yet you still arrogantly think that your ideas are more valid than hers?!"

"Well..." Akyuu fumbles a bit, "Sanae was a bit naive when she arrived, so it was hard to think-"

"Hard to think that maybe things were just that different?" I snort. "Whatever. And folks people call my kind arrogant. But let's leave that bit of journalistic idiocy behind. Let's talk about Byakuren. You know, the lady you called evil? The lady whose religion you insulted? The lady who's working overtime to get humans and youkai to get along, so there won't be any more killings?"

"Technically, I only called her magic evil-" Akyuu starts, but I'm too worked up to let her finish.

"Based on what evidence?!" I demand. "Because you read it somewhere? Because you didn't like what she's doing? Can't accept that things are changing? Whatever, let's move on to Nitori! One of the sweetest girls I've ever met, and yet you write like she and the kappa are some sort of twisted ass freaks!"

"Kappa hunt for shirokodama!" Akyuu shouts back at me, voice getting shrill. "It's been known for a long time-"

"They have a butt fetish, and like to go for the prostate, good for them!" I scoff at her, feeling a bit disgusted with this idiot. "Hey, remember how you wrote about cameras in that article on her? You know, that device that steals souls, but you don't know how it works? Remember that, Miss Expert?" I whip my own camera out of my pocket. "Wow, look at this! A camera! Something I've been using for years, and it's never stole a soul once, because they. Don't. Do. That! Seriously, do you fact-check anything?!"

Akyuu and I glare at each other for a long minute, breathing heavily. Holding my camera in my hands lets me feel a familiar weight, like a trusted friend. It calms me, and my next words are more even. "What did you think of the Scarlet-Hakurei marriage? It was a beautiful thing, you know. I saw it first-hand. I can't imagine you'd approve, though. I mean, if you trashed Byakuren like that, their marriage must have had you frothing at the mouth. Never mind how happy it made them." I raised an eyebrow. "Hey, you know the Watatsukis? Arguably the least tolerant people to ever come to Gensokyo? They got made to apologize for being bigots. Right now, you really remind me of them. Completely unwilling to look past someone's differences, and see them for who they are. Is that what you want?"

Akyuu looks away, biting her lip.

"And all of that is weird, given that you yourself admitted that things were getting better between humans and youkai. What's the matter? Can't let go of some old grudges?" Akyuu still doesn't answer me. "You're right, you know. Correcting Hina's article wouldn't end with her. It shouldn't. It's called revision. When you get new information, you change the books to accommodate it. And if people started to lean on you, there's a ton of people who'd come to your rescue. You should know that." Still no response.

I just shake my head and put my camera away. "A chronicler who has no problem with being wrong? If that's the case, maybe this joint needs a new one. A chronicler who actually gives a damn about being correct. One who doesn't believe superstitious claptrap like soul-stealing cameras and then goes on to talk smugly about magic scrolls infected with a virus. I mean, what?!"

Akyuu mutters something under her breath that I don't catch, but I'm too far gone to care. "That's some shoddy scholarship, Akyuu. I'm surprised, given that you're friends with a historian. Keine must be awfully disappointed, if this is the standard you hold yourself to-"

"SHUT UP!!!" Akyuu screams at me. I stare, mind suddenly going blank. Akyuu is crying, tears streaming down her cheeks, and sobs choke her speech. "St-st-stupid tengu! Do you think I like being so weak?! Unable to leave the village for fear that something will kill me?! Reminded all the time of my godsdamned duty, so that I can't do anything else no matter how much I want to?!"

"Uh..." My words fail me. A pretty girl is crying, and it's my fault. Um, brain failing, need assistance. Help.

"You youkai," Akyuu spits out as tears continue to roll down her cheeks, "I hate you so much sometimes! Always looking down on us, spitting on us, considering us your pets, when Reimu and Marisa are some of the most powerful beings in the entire land! When we ran you here in the first place! Now, all of a sudden, you think you can treat us like cattle, and we're just supposed to take it?! And I'm supposed to write things that feed your ego?!" The chronicler wipes her cheeks to now avail. "The things I remember... and you want me to feel bad because some beings dangerous to my people are offended? Where do you... how dare you..." Akyuu breaks off, and falls to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably. "I write things that keep people safe from the things that threaten them! That would hurt them without remorse! What the hell do you want from me?!"

I just stand there, speechless, as Akyuu breaks down in front of me. Keine looks at her friend in grief, while Hina apparently can't believe what just happened. I can't blame her.

I just made a pretty girl cry.

What the hell do I do?


[ ] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[ ] Um, um, comfort her somehow? But how?!
[ ] She used to be a guy, right? Show her some tengu leg, that'll cheer her up!
[ ] I, I don't know! I don't know how to deal with crying girls! What do I do?! (Write-in option)
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
-[X] What do we want from you? There's a fairly simple answer. We want nothing less than the truth.
Welp, time to switch gears.
>>23246
Also, how are any of these errors she's printing keeping people safe? Sanae being uninformed is keeping people safe? Calling Byakuren's magic evil is keeping people safe? Telling people cameras steal souls is keeping people safe? Lastly, by discouraging people to go to Hina, that's actively making the human situation worse, seeing as how she's such a boon.
[X] I, I don't know! I don't know how to deal with crying girls! What do I do?!

PANIC! CODE RED! CODE RED! Mission is a failure! ABORT! ABORT! Tengu and reporters first!


I don't think this really needs a write-in. That sounds pretty good to me as is. Aya exploded in Akyuu's face, and things went completely different from what she expected and now she's lost.
She doesn't know how to deal with a crying girl, so let her flounder about trying to come to grips with the situation.
Being confronted with something you can't deal with leads to character development. And that is good.

Then, after Akyuu has calmed down and Aya has been sent to sit in the corner and think about what she's done ("You made a girl cry! Bad Aya, bad!"), the others can have a conversation like reasonable adults.
I'm sure Akyuu understands that she was wrong, and she should try to update her chronicles but as she said, she can't exactly go out and find the truth herself.
I'm sure some form of compromise can be reached, though.
[x] Now that we broke her down we have to build her back up.
-[x] "Hey, if it's being weak that you're worried then why don't you work to become strong? You mentioned Marisa, right? She's not much older than you and lived by herself in the Forest of Magic for years! She even has her tutor living with her if you wanna go straight to the source. If you think Mima's too much of a dark wizard or too far away to reach then there's always Byakuren right by the Human Village. If you're worried about youkai being dangerous then you can always ask the humans at the temple. Hell, you could ask the humans in the village who're dating youkai."
-[x] "You say you don't want to be a chronicler? Then why don't you be something else? Figure out what you want to do and do it!"
[x] Of course, we're not taking back what we said and we still want the truth.
-[x] "Just think about what I said and ask yourself if misrepresenting others is really helping humans. Take Hina here, helping people is what she does, that's her thing. If humans stay away from Hina then they're missing out on a great opportunity. If this was about ego then I'd be squawking about me and not everybody else, people who I barely interact with and who probably don't even trust me."
[X] I, I don't know! I don't know how to deal with crying girls! What do I do?!
-[X] K-keine! You work with kids! Help! Or Hina! Or someone! Help!
Damn it. I was about to make a decent argument for not being in Akyuu's face about everything she's doing wrong.

Ah well. Such is the nature of a CYOA, and I'm never going to complain about updates earlier than I expected.


[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
-[X] When she has regained her composure, use a logical argument, not an impassioned speech.
-[X] Do not expect Akyuu to fix all the problems with the chronicle.
-[X] Do not expect an immediate answer. Leave the room with Hina and allow Keine to comfort Akyuu if necessary.

Perhaps something similar to the following:

"I want you to look and see individuals, not just youkai. There are still dangerous youkai in Gensokyo, and it's fine if your policy is "dangerous until proven safe". I just want you to look to see if a youkai is safe before immediately writing it off as dangerous.

"Take Miss Kamishirasawa, for example. She is half-youkai and has the power to wipe the village off the map whenever she chooses. Despite this, you list her threat level as 'low'. This is because as a hakutaku, Miss Kamishirasawa is a natural ally of humans.

"Hina is not a youkai. She is a goddess. It is a part of her nature to use her power to help humans when they worship her. Yes, she is capable of cursing people, but she is about as likely to do this as Keine is to destroy the village. By alienating Hina, you are not protecting humans. You are preventing all the humans in the village from gaining the a useful ally.

"Ultimately, it is your chronicle. You are the only one who can decide what to put in it. You are free to give it an anti-youkai slant. However, if you fill it with blatant lies, don't be surprised if we have this conversation again."

Aya should not back down from her argument, as every part was true, despite the insensitive delivery. Being able to discuss with people in a logical manner is a large step forward for her character development.

tl;dr: One step at a time. Fixing the misconceptions with Hina takes priority. Someone as old as Akyuu will not change overnight.
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[X] Explain to her that while her intentions are good, her methods suck. There is a difference between warning people about dangers, which is perfectly fine, and creating dangers because of racism. And if the fear continues to stay, how far until the history she has seen repeats, even with reversed sides?
[X] DO NOT back down, even if she cries her eyes out. She wanted to be a dick about the whole thing from the start and you would not have chosen this approach if she was willing to listen. Explain this if questioned.

>>23253
I would vote against your points if I could. For all we know she could be faking to get everyone to hate the horrible horrible tengu.
Not expecting her to at least promise to fix the shit she wrote is caving in and basicly saying oh sorry, just continue as before. We fix her now or never.
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[X] Explain to her that while her intentions are good, her methods suck. There is a difference between warning people about dangers, which is perfectly fine, and creating dangers because of racism. And if the fear continues to stay, how far until the history she has seen repeats, even with reversed sides?
[X] DO NOT back down, even if she cries her eyes out. She wanted to be a dick about the whole thing from the start and you would not have chosen this approach if she was willing to listen. Explain this if questioned.
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[X] Explain to her that while her intentions are good, her methods suck. There is a difference between warning people about dangers, which is perfectly fine, and creating dangers because of racism. And if the fear continues to stay, how far until the history she has seen repeats, even with reversed sides?
[X] DO NOT back down, even if she cries her eyes out. She wanted to be a dick about the whole thing from the start and you would not have chosen this approach if she was willing to listen. Explain this if questioned.

It's important to explain that a lot of these things that she thinks are keeping people "safe" are just keeping many humans, youkai, and goddesses from mutually beneficial association. I don't feel the need to add this to the vote to make it a different vote because it seems like it would sort of fit within the boundaries of what is already there.
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[X] Explain to her that while her intentions are good, her methods suck. There is a difference between warning people about dangers, which is perfectly fine, and creating dangers because of racism. And if the fear continues to stay, how far until the history she has seen repeats, even with reversed sides?
[X] DO NOT back down, even if she cries her eyes out. She wanted to be a dick about the whole thing from the start and you would not have chosen this approach if she was willing to listen. Explain this if questioned.

If she can't head out and get information first hand, can't see just request a meeting? Is there not a courier service in Gensokyo?
File 138095522116.jpg - (108.85KB, 565x710, image.jpg) [iqdb]
23259
I know there's now way this is possibly going to win, but

[x] time for a field trip
-[x] to the scarlet devil mansion
--[x] with a bottle of whiskey
>>23259
[x] time for a field trip
-[x] to the scarlet devil mansion
--[x] with a bottle of whiskey

This is a plan I can get behind.
>>23254

I never said that we should allow Akyuu to continue with obvious untruths in the chronicle. I simply do not believe that centuries of prejudice can be "fixed" with a few fancy speeches, and cowing Akyuu into submission would just make her feel justified in her fear. Compromise may not fix all of the problems that are here, but I think we could get Akyuu to support Hina if we do not demand that she change her entire view of youkai. It may be too late for that though, as we failed at diplomacy pretty hard.

Also, what is our goal here anyway? Does everyone else want Akyuu to stop being racist? I am rather indifferent on the side characters, save as a means to the desired end. All I am doing is pursuing our current goal: fix Hina's reputation. If everyone else wants our goal to be "make people stop being racist, which ends up helping Hina", then I will alter how I think about this story appropriately.
>>23259
>>23260

Those votes do not make any sense.
[ ] She used to be a guy, right? Show her some tengu leg, that'll cheer her up!

Every problem can be solved by seduction. Dating a youkai will show her they're not so bad after all!
[x] I, I don't know! I don't know how to deal with crying girls! What do I do?!
-[x] Give her a warm snuggly hur from behind
--[x] And give her a good German Suplex
---[x] Tell her she's being unfair for using the powerful weapon of tears in a serious discussion as this

This better work
>>23262
Well, I don't know what the guy who came up with the vote was thinking, but I was thinking Drunk Flandre would be helpful in this situation.
[x]Hey Hina, does this count as misfortune?
[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
-[X] When she has regained her composure, use a logical argument, not an impassioned speech.
-[X] Do not expect Akyuu to fix all the problems with the chronicle.
-[X] Do not expect an immediate answer. Leave the room with Hina and allow Keine to comfort Akyuu if necessary.
>>23265
I actually thought he meant that as a self-flagellation event. Which makes sense, after what happened. Let's save Aya's depression after we solve this though.

[X] Just... let her work it out of her system, I guess...?
[X] Explain to her that while her intentions are good, her methods suck. There is a difference between warning people about dangers, which is perfectly fine, and creating dangers because of racism. And if the fear continues to stay, how far until the history she has seen repeats, even with reversed sides?
-[x] Fear leads to hate and hate begets more hate. Is this what you want? You want the Youkai/Human feud to continue thorough all of your lifetimes? Or do you want the recent peace to keep growing?
-[x] You're not only a chronicler, you're an important participant in Gensokyo and your word can help or destroy this. I'm not asking you to lie to twist things, I'm asking you to give everyone the gift of truth.
-[x] Unlike me, there's no one who can force you to say something you don't want. If you can't let go of the hate, if you want to keep treating Youkai as an single minded entity instead of a group as varied and as capable of love and violence as humankind, it's fine. I just ask you to give a chance to Hina here. She's a Goddess, not a Youkai and has nothing but the best interests of humans in mind. For what little is worth, you have my word on that.
Okay, gonna call it for letting Akyuu work it out of her system, while Aya gives her a talking to afterwards. At least, as best as she's able to, given how unsettled she now is.

Update later!
File 138100151418.jpg - (462.98KB, 534x756, you made akyuu sad.jpg) [iqdb]
23270
Okay, let's take a moment to recap, here. I got mad at Akyuu. Akyuu got mad at me. I yelled at Akyuu. Akyuu yelled at me. I made Akyuu cry.

I, I don't know how to deal with a crying girl! Um, should I make a joke? Flash some leg? She was a guy in a past life once, right? Should I give her a hug or something? Come on, think! Somebody give me a clue here!

Unfortunately, Hina and Keine are less than helpful at the moment, just watching Akyuu sadly as she bawls her eyes out. Her sobs are deep, coming right from the heart. They're tears of anger and frustration, of a rage that has been simmering for lifetimes. I dunno, maybe after seeing her people and youkai in general tear into each other for generations, suddenly seeing everyone wanting peace is a little galling for her. It's strange enough for some of the villagers; for Akyuu it must feel like she's betraying the fallen.

Thing is, I know a lot of tengu who feel that way. And I know first-hand where it leads.

But I don't know how to deal with this! Reincarnations or not, Akyuu's still pretty young, and cute, and, and, and I have no idea what I'm doing! So all I can do is stand there while Akyuu pounds the table in frustration, letting her emotions out.

After a while, the chronicler gets herself under control, and starts to wipe furiously at her eyes, trying to make herself presentable. I cough awkwardly. "So... you okay there?"

"Go to hell," Akyuu mumbles.

"Eh, I'd rather not. Old hell's scary, what with all the evil spirits, and it makes me all claustrophobic, you know?" I laugh weakly. "Plus, there's all the Oni, who make me nervous, and I'm not helping, am I?"

Akyuu glares up at me. "Oh, so there's some places even the mighty Shameimaru won't go?"

I wince. "Eh, you got me there. Yeah, there's some places that even I'm worried about visiting. But look, let's get back on track here. Um, sorry if I was a little hard on you. I guess I got a little worked up, huh? But listen, all I'm trying to say is that you're heart's in the right place, you know? It's just... your methods kinda suck, you know what I mean?"

"Screw you," Akyuu says bitterly, wrapping her arms around her knees, "Not all of us are combat machines, haven't you noticed?"

"Well, I'm sure if you took lessons-"

Akyuu cuts me off. "I never meant it like that. Don't get me wrong, I like what I do. I just hate how so many people seem to define personal worth by how much destructive power you have at your disposal."

I cough. "Yeah, can't argue with that. Look, but as I was saying-"

"Can't you just leave me alone?!" Akyuu shouts, glaring at me with red eyes, "Haven't you said enough? You've humiliated me in front of my friend. Aren't you happy?"

I flinch at her words. Hurting people's feelings really isn't what I wanted to do. But... I can't back down now. Even if it makes me sound like a bitch, I have to go through with this. "I'm not going away," I tell her quietly. "As far as I'm concerned, we could have had a nice talk about this, but you had to go and try to blow us off. Well, I got your attention now, so I'm taking advantage of it. Okay?"

Akyuu looks away. "Fine. I'm obviously gonna be forced to listen to you. So what do you want?"

I sit down across from her, racking my brain on what to say. "Um... I sort of understand. Your job is keeping records and all that. So you have to get accounts brought to you. But let's leave that all aside. See... I think you've been deliberately fabricating things. Making people worse than they really are. You know?"

Akyuu doesn't say anything.

"Thing is, it's one thing to warn people about dangers, and another to like... to create dangers because you're being all racist and stuff, so-"

"That's rich, coming from a tengu," Akyuu snorts.

I sigh. "Yeah. I know. Look, all I'm saying is that what you're doing is creating fear and suspicion where you really don't have to. If this keeps up, history's just gonna repeat itself, and people are gonna die again. Do you really want that?"

"Maybe I do," Akyuu says in a hollow voice. "Maybe making peace was a stupid idea. Maybe we should all be dead. Hunter and youkai both."

...Holy fuck, what do I say do that?

"Akyuu, you can't be serious!" Keine blurts out, looking shocked.

Akyuu just shakes her head. "We killed each other for centuries, then we locked ourselves up in here. Things are peaceful now, but how long until anger and resentment builds up and bursts? Then it'll all just start up again. And I'm supposed to do nothing? I have to make people remember. I have to remind people of the dangers out there. It's the only way to keep people alive."

...Damn circular logic. How the hell do I deal with this?

And yet, it turns out I don't have to. Hina does, by walking over to Akyuu, keeling beside her, and pulling the chronicler into a hug.

"Eh?!" Akyuu yelps, eyes going wide as she's pressed into Hina's bosom.

"It's okay," Hina whispers soothingly, stroking Akyuu's hair. "I'm safe. I really don't leak misfortune out of my pores, so you have nothing to worry about. We're a lot alike, you know?"

Akyuu blinks, blushing a little, and looks up at Hina. "What do you mean?"

"We both have long memories, and we both have held a grudge against youkai for a long time." The goddess smiles weakly. "I remember those days, you know. Human and youkai, slaughtering each other like it was going out of style. Entire fields of dead bodies." She shakes her head, and I shudder at the bad memories.

"That's why I write things... to remind people..." Akyuu says thickly, clenching her fists.

"Yeah. I felt the same way." Hina sighs. "I hated the youkai that harmed the humans I loved. Even if people feared me, I still cared for them, and wanted to keep them safe." She shakes her head. "I hated youkai for the longest time. But it never got me anything. There were people among the youkai who wanted to befriend me, and I never even noticed. I was too busy remembering the past. Remembering the death and fear. But the thing is, the fear went both ways." Hina looks over at me. "Aya, be honest. There were a lot of youkai who feared the human hunters, weren't there?"

I nod. "There isn't a youkai alive who'll admit it. But yeah, I sure did. A small army of guys who fight as one, know tricks to seal all of your abilities, and have tricks up their sleeve you never even heard of? You'd have to be dumb not to fear that." I hesitate. "The fear and hate went both ways."

Hina nods. "And it never got anyone anything did it? Just more pain. More death. Now things are changing, and I..." she chuckles weakly, "I hated it. I hated how it seemed like we were just supposed to forget that all of those awful things ever happened. But what other choice do we have? To keep dwelling on it, keep hating, until we kill each other again?"

Akyuu is silent for a moment. "They'll come for us again. They'll kill us."

Hina thinks for a moment, then shakes her head. "No. They won't. The tengu keep to their mountain, the kappa want peace, everyone in the underground keeps to the underground, and really, all of the other youkai are wary of getting crushed by Reimu. Or Marisa. Or really, just a group of angry hunters. Or, they just want to do legitimate business and get on with their lives. It's taken me a long time to accept this."

"I know what you mean," Keine puts in. "It's taken me a while to put it together too, but youkai are just... people. There are jerks among them, saints, and others who just try to get by."

"Just like anywhere." I laugh a bit. "I guess that's the thing that really shakes people up. The realization that we're not so different after all." I rub my forehead. "God, I need a drink."

Akyuu is silent for a moment. "So, what do you want me to do?"

Hina shrugs. "Just... give everyone a chance? Be unbiased? If you're not certain, ask someone for more details. If something seems dangerous, yes by all means report it. If they're just trying to help out... let people know that too." She sighs, and hugs Akyuu tighter. "Look, I'm not asking you to advertise for me. I just want people to know that I actually don't spread bad luck. All I want is to take all of that misfortune away. It's all that I've ever wanted. I realize that a lot of people don't want to go all the way to youkai mountain to see me, especially with ferals about. It just... bothers me that everyone thinks that I'm dangerous. I'm not. I swear."

There's a long moment of silence. Finally, Akyuu sighs. "I'll write an unbiased report based on what you told me. I'm not going to promote you as the solution to all of our problems. You're not. But at the very least, I can report that you aren't a harbinger of ill fortune. From there, people can make up their own minds. As for the other youkai... I'll look into it some more, and see what I need to revise."

Hina smiles, and hugs Akyuu tighter. "Thank you. That's all I ever asked."

Akyuu is silent for another moment. "Um, Lady Kagiyama?"

"Yes?" Hina asks with a smile.

"Well, you see..." I notice that Akyuu is blushing fiercely. "...It's true that I've been male in past incarnations, but this body is female, with all of the 'inclinations' of being female, but I still remember the desires of certain past lives, and... well, what I'm saying is that you're really making me very confused right now."

Hina blinks, and seems to realize that she has Akyuu embedded between her breasts. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" She yelps, letting go of the chronicler.

"Um, no problem," Akyuu says weakly, trying not to look at Hina. Judging by the occasional glance she casts Hina's way, it isn't working that well. "...Boy, I'm gonna have weird dreams tonight." Hina rubs her neck in embarrassment, and Keine and I try not to laugh.

*****************************************************

A while later, Hina and I are walking through the streets of the village, thinking in silence while around us everyone gives Hina a wide berth. Neither of us really notice. Honestly, I'm kinda drained by that whole incident, and I think Hina is, too.

"I kinda see where she's coming from," I admit, "Though I don't like her methods."

"Me too," Hina sighs. "I really am like her, though, aren't I? Choked by bitterness, holding a grudge against youkai even though so many of them want to be friendly... holding on to past anger even though the world has changed around me."

"At least you know it and are willing to change," I point out, "That's the important thing. I know a lot of people who aren't."

"Yeah. By the way," Hina glances over at me. "Is it true what you said? About your elders putting pressure on you to exaggerate your reports?"

I feel very uncomfortable. "Well... I kinda made my break with the tengu a long time ago, and started living on my own. Things is... the tengu are my people, you know? It's hard to just cut off all ties with them, especially when most other people don't want to deal with you just because you are a tengu yourself. And the elders know that. So..." I wave my hands weakly. "Look, I don't wanna talk about it. Can we just do something else?"

"Sure," Hina nods, watching me closely, "Like what?"

[ ] ...Let's just go home.
[ ] Stay in the village.
-[ ] Do what? (write-in)
[ ] Go somewhere else
-[ ] Where and do what? (write-in)
[x] Stay in the Village
-[x] Get food, it's been a while since we last ate.

Date time
[X] Go elsewhere.
-[X] Doesn't matter where. Wander around for a bit. That was tense, we need some time to digest all that.

In short: Go for a walk. If nothing else, the bit of me hoping for a romantic end approves of Aya sharing a quiet moment with Hina.
[X] Go elsewhere.
-[X] Doesn't matter where. Wander around for a bit. That was tense, we need some time to digest all that.
[x] Stay in the Village
-[x] Get food, it's been a while since we last ate.
[x] Go somewhere else
-[x] Grilled lamprey sounds nice.
[X] Get food, it's been a while since we last ate.

Doesn't really matter if it's in the village or outside, just sit down, relax and refuel before moving on to the next hurdle.
[x] Stay in the Village
-[x] I need a drink

After what happened... I dunno, that's what I'd do.
[x] Stay in the Village
-[x] Get food and drink
[X] Go elsewhere.
-[X] Doesn't matter where. Wander around for a bit. That was tense, we need some time to digest all that.

Probably shouldn't linger too long in the village quite yet.
[X] Go elsewhere.
-[X] Doesn't matter where. Wander around for a bit. That was tense, we need some time to digest all that.
[x] Go somewhere else
-[x] Grilled lamprey sounds nice.
Calling vote for going elsewhere with no destination. Update will be later today.
File 138109374446.jpg - (282.00KB, 804x545, feeling thoughtful.jpg) [iqdb]
23283
I sigh. "Let's just get out of here. We can go somewhere. Anywhere. I just need to get away, you know?"

Hina nods in understanding. "That was quite the experience, wasn't it?"

"Tell me about it," I mutter as we head towards the gates of the village, people still staring at us in fear. "Speaking of rough experiences, doesn't that bother you?" I jerk a thumb back at the whispering villagers, then wince. "Sorry. Dumb question. Of course it bothers you."

"A lot," Hina says quietly. As we pass through the gates, she smiles at the guards, who regard her warily. Still, Hina keeps a smile on her face even as we pass by them. "I suppose they can't help it. When you've been told all your life to fear the misfortune goddess, who are you to think otherwise?"

"Someone who thinks for themselves?" I retort, hopping into the air and stretching my wings. "I hope you don't mind if I hover along here. I've been confined way too long, lately."

Hina smiles, and starts to spin as we walk along, somehow keeping pace with me even as she spins. "Not at all. I have my own preferred means of walking along, too."

I chuckle, and reflect on the pair we make. A hovering tengu, and a green-haired woman spinning like a top. Eh, screw it. This is far from the weirdest thing in Gensokyo. Not by a long shot. I take a deep breath as I float along, letting the events of the past hour flow out of my mind.

Hina jolts me out of my meditation. "What you just said, about thinking for yourself... do you think humans don't do that?"

"It's not about humans or youkai, or whatever," I reply. "I've seen a lot of people of all types who just think what they're told to think without ever checking into it themselves. I mean, people who just think and act because someone told them to do it. No thinking for themselves, no investigating things to make up their own minds. I dunno. It always kinda irritated me."

"But you're a reporter," Hina points out.

"I don't tell people what to think," I retort. "I investigate and report the Truth, so that people can make up their own minds. Akyuu's right about one thing: not everybody can go out and check things out for themselves. So they depend on me to be informed. That's a task that I carry upon my shoulders with pride."

"Hm," Hina muses as she continues to spin alongside me. "If you don't mind me asking, why did you leave the tengu village in the first place?"

I groan. "Always asking the tough questions, aren't you?"

"I learn from the best," Hina says sweetly, and I have to chuckle.

"I really am, huh? Well..." I take a moment to gather my thoughts. "There were a lot of reasons. I didn't like how everything was getting all regimented, to the point where you had to fill out a bunch of forms just to put on your shoes. I didn't like how everybody was looking down their noses at everyone else. I just wanted to fly free and have fun, rather than sit and argue about protocol." I hesitate. "There were other things, too."

"Other things?" Hina asks.

"Other things," I agree. "So, you remember the big, bad wars between human and youkai, huh?"

Hina stops spinning and walks normally, giving me a long look. "I do," she says at last, "And I remember how terrible they were. A lot of innocent people lost their lives. I can sort of understand why so many people want peace these days. But I suppose that there are others who just can't forgive, or forget, the past."

"The more things change," I quip. "Yeah, I know a few tengu personally who lost a loved one to a human back in the day. It all goes around. Nobody can bring themselves to forget. But sometimes, forgetting's the best thing you can do."

Hina gives me a long look as I say this, but doesn't pry, gods bless her lovely, bosomy heart. Instead, she changes the subject to something else. "I'm a lot like, Akyuu, huh?"

"Bitter about the past, and mad at youkai because you've always been mad at youkai?" I guess.

Hina winces. "You don't pull your punches, do you Aya?"

"I'm a hard-hitting reporter," I say primly.

Hina sighs. "It's true though. Looking at and listening to Akyuu, I realized just how stuck in the past I was. Angry about how things had been, rather than embracing opportunities to change things. I really need to let go of things, huh?"

"Sometimes, you gotta let go of the past, and be optimistic!" I say with a nod. "That's what I keep telling people, when they'll listen to me. I think Momi does. Even Hatate, with her stupid, upstart, crappy paper." Hina snorts in amusement, but I press on. Hina's not a journalist, she obviously wouldn't realize the inherent inferiority of the Kakashi Stupid News at first glance. "Look, I lost people I care about to humans, too. But that's all in the past! You can't hold a grudge forever! Those bad days are over, and I'd be glad to hop in bed with a sexy human, just as much as I'd be happy to hop in bed with a sexy youkai. Or goddess," I add with a wink.

Hina misses my meaning. "Oh, Aya. Is it really all about sex? Don't you just want that special person to hold you nice and close?"

"Who doesn't? But failing that, I'll take a nice roll in the hay. Or in a bed in a love hotel." I ponder for a moment. "Not that there's many of those around here. But you get my meaning." I sniff the air, and scent a mouth-watering aroma. "Oh, Hey. Wanna get something to eat?" I point at a food cart coming up ahead of us.

"Why not? It'll be my treat!" My heart soars. I knew Hina had a soft spot for me! Just you wait; before long, this lovely goddess will be posing in a nice, frilly, bikini for me, green hair falling over her pale skin as she gives me a seductive smile...

"Aya?" I feel a tug on my arm. "We're here."

Ah. I would seem to have been lost in my daydreams, thinking of the lovely Hina in an equally lovely swimsuit. How embarrassing. Yet still an inspiring thought! Shaking my head, I set down on the ground. "Ahhh, sorry about that! Anyway, let's see what's on the menu here!" Walking up to the food cart, I rap on the counter. "Y'ello! Hungry customers here!"

"Just a moment, please~!" A pleasant, melodic tone comes from inside. Oh, I know who this is. Moments later, a lovely pink-haired sparrow stands up and turns to us with a smile. "Sorry, I was busy with something," Mystia Lorelei tells us cheerfully. "Anyway! Welcome to my stand! What would you like this-" Then she sees me and trails off. This sudden silence is soon followed by an outraged glare. "What are you doing here?!" Mystia demands.

"Bwuh?" I ask in confusion. What the heck did I do to her?!

"Aya, what did you do this time?" Hina asks wearily.

"Nothing!" I protest, "What's with the sudden accusation?! I never did anything to this girl! I think! I'm pretty sure!" I hesitate, racking my thoughts. "Um..." I turn to Mystia with a sheepish smile. "Uh, if at anytime in the past, I took some photos of you that you were less than willing to provide, I offer my sincerest apologies. Rest assured, my actions were born of admiration, because who could possibly ignore a pretty lady like yourself-"

"Not that," Mystia spits out. "Try again."

"Uh... oh!" I snap my fingers. "You're friends with Cirno, right? Look, I'm really sorry about that. I just got carried away, and-"

"Not that either," Mystia says, looking even more annoyed. "But I am irritated about what you did to Cirno and Rumia. Thanks for reminding me. No, I'm talking about what you did to me, personally."

Hina is giving me a Look. I rack my brains, trying to figure out just why this pretty fellow avian could possibly hold me in contempt. Ummm... "Didn't I have a drink here? Before I was arrested, I mean?" Mystia nods, tapping a long talon irritably. "Um, I had some food and drink... pretty sure I paid you... then, uh, I noticed that you had a really nice butt when you bent over." Uh oh. I don't like where this memory is going. A certain black haze is parting in my memories. "...Did I grab your butt or something? I'm really sorry-"

"You lunged over the counter, rubbed your face in my boobs, then tried to pull my clothes off so you could 'collect my underwear,' you freaky tengu!" Mystia explodes at me. "You drunken lout, you were feeling me up in front of a bunch of other customers! Do you have any idea how humiliating that was?!" The sparrow is glaring at me with red cheeks, her hands quivering with anger.

Ah. Yes. I remember now. Lacy and pink, as I recall. I also recall being blinded, and having my head rammed through a wall. Then being chased away by the enraged proprietor as she hurled waves of danmaku at me. Boy, I was drunk.

Mystia looks ready to lunge at me and tear at me with those nasty-looking claws. Hina just groans and facepalms. I laugh awkwardly, which just seems to make Mystia angrier. Well. This is quite the pickle. What do I do?

[ ] Run.
[ ] Apologize.
[ ] Ignore the problem and order food.
[ ] Flirt.
[X] Apologize
Yesssss.

[x] Apologize.
-[x] Profusely.
[X] Genuflect
Seriously, Aya, what the hell?

[x] Apologize.
-[x] Profusely.
[x] Ask if there's anything you can do to make up for it.
[x] Apologize.
[x] Flirt

If she has already gotten that far...
[x] Apologize.
-[x] Profusely.
-[x] So... no drink for me?
[X] Genuflect
[X] Genuflect
[x] Apologize.
-[x] Profusely.
-[x] Genuflect.

Oh Aya.
[x] Apologize.
[x] Flirt
[x] Genuflect
At least she can react to what she does wrong..
Update called for apologizing to Mystia. Update might be tonight, might be tomorrow. Been a long day.
File 138119099340.jpg - (127.15KB, 850x1147, doom.jpg) [iqdb]
23302
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA2np1k1nEE)

I clear my throat nervously. "Um, well..." Mystia glares death at me, her talons looking very, very dangerous.

Okay. I'm a tengu, one of the strongest of youkai. And I know I can fight. However, my fan is still currently in the possession of the tengu village, having not been returned to me. And right now, Mystia Loreli, looks absolutely pissed. And really, it doesn't matter when there's supposedly a big disparity in your levels of strength. As I've seen first hand, somebody who's angry enough can do some serious damage. Especially when they have inch-long talons instead of nails.

Besides, I think I remember what she's talking about. And I kinda, sorta feel bad about it.

"I'm sorry," I say quietly, bowing my head in shame and embarrassment.

Mystia stares at me blankly. "You're what?" Her voice is very flat.

"Um, I said I'm sorry," this time bowing deeply with my whole body. "Really sorry. Really, really, very sorry. Um... So yeah." I hazard a glance up at Mystia, who is staring down at me with a frighteningly empty look in her eyes.

"Let me see if I get this straight," the sparrow says to me, tapping her oh-so-long nails against her arm. "You embarrass me, and all but molest me, in front of my customers, and you are 'sorry.' That's the best you can come up with?"

"What the hell more do you want me to say?!" I wail springing up so fast that Mystia and Hina both jump back in surprise. "Look, I'm really sorry, okay? I kinda remember that night, and I was drunk outta my mind, and well, I get really riled up when I'm drunk. Momi always has to smack me on the head to get me to smarten up..."

"Do you get amorous with her?" Hina asks, sounding curious.

"...Sometimes," I admit, flustering. "Look, I admit it, I just kinda act without thinking things through when I'm drinking-"

"More than usual?!" Hina exclaims, looking horrified.

I sigh. "Hina, you aren't helping. Look, Miss Lorelei... Can I call you Mysti?"

"No," Mystia snaps.

"Miss Lorelei it is, then," I say evenly. "As I was saying, I'm the kinda girl who kinda just acts on her impulses, and it gets worse when I'm drinking, and... well, I was kinda checking you out, ya know?" I laugh nervously. "I mean, you're a high-class lady, you know? I mean, such pretty feathers! I'm jealous, know what I mean?"

Mystia blinks a little bit, looking from her wings to mine.

"Yeah, such a pretty shade, know what I mean? And you have such a nice singing voice..." butter her up, flatter her, anything to work through the rage. "...And then you bent over and I got a good look at your butt."

OH GOD. ABORT. DEATH GLARE. DO SOMETHING.

"I, I mean... your chest!" I squawk, flailing around in terror. "Yeah, and, the way your outfit just pulls tight against those mounds of yours. I couldn't resist!" Hina is facepalming, and Mystia has this terrifying stillness about her. I push on desperately. "So, I'm really sorry that I couldn't keep my hands to myself! I mean, I got a hint of leg from you, and I was drinking, and feeling a little hot, and I just wasn't thinking clear!" Mystia is growling deep in the back of her throat, and starting to flex her claws. Oh man, those things look painful!

I frantically look at Hina for some help, but she's taken a few steps back and is watching the developing situation carefully. Thanks for the help, Hina!

Mystia's eye is twitching in a truly terrifying way. "Just to be clear..." she says quietly, "Was all of that supposed to be a compliment, by any chance? Or is it just disgusting, hormonal perversion spewing out of your mouth? Because it really sounds like the latter to me."

Okay. I suck at apologies. Time for the last resort!

I genuflect, pressing my face into the soil. "I humbly apologize for my actions, and hope that you can forgive this humble tengu for the deeds she committed while not in her right mind! If there is anything that I can do to make it up to you, please let me know!"

There's a long moment of silence. Then, a sweet, melodic voice tantalizes my ears. "Oh, Aya, you're so sweet~."

Eh?

I look up and oh mother of heaven Mystia is smiling at me with this seductive grin on her face, tugging on the collar of her outfit and exposing some delightfully pale skin. "Really, going to these lengths to apologize to me? Maybe I misjudged you~!" She laughs throatily, and I feel my heart pounding.

Is this really happening? Did my natural charm and charisma really get through to her? I man, did I pull it off and snatch a sweet reward from the jaws of certain maiming?!

Mystia gestures me closer. "C'mere. Why don't you apologize with your lips?" Her smile is warm and inviting.

Oh hot damn, yes!!!

Grinning hugely, I get to my feet and lean on the counter, moving closer to the smiling Mystia. Gently, the sparrow strokes my cheek with one hand, touching my skin with the amazingly soft pads of her finger, talons not going anywhere near me. The other hand caresses the other side of my face, and soon Mystia has my head in a gentle grip. "Ready, honey~?" She sings to me. I let my smile speak for me, and Mystia smile back. "Good!"

Then she slams head into the counter.

"Gack!" I choke out.

"Hmm. Not enough of on apology," Mystia muses from somewhere hazy and distant.

*SLAM*

"Ackgth!"

"One more time!"

*SLAM*

"Plurgh!"

I fall to the ground, vision spinning, thoughts in disarray. I see something pink peer down at me. "I feel much better!" I happy, musical voice says from the other end of the cavern I seem to be at the bottom of. "Apology accepted."

Oh. How nice. She likes me. Wooo...

"I beg your pardon, but may I have your lunch special?" A polite voice asks from a green and red blur. Is it that Christmassy thingy again?

"Why certainly, ma'am! Please have a seat, and it'll be right up!" The green and red thing settle itself, and I am left all alone at the bottom of a swirling pit, wondering why my heartfelt apologies failed so miserably. At least Mystia sounds happier. That counts for something. I think.


[ ] Can I eat too?
[ ] Booze, please.
[ ] Mystia, this is Hina. Hina, Mystia.
[ ] So, are we good now?
[ ] So sleepy...
PFFFFT.

This is better than I hoped for when I initially brought up grilled lamprey.

[x] Can I eat too?

We've caused enough problems by talking more than we need to.
[X] Can I eat, too?
-[X] I promise to pay my bit...
--[X] ...with money, this time...
[X] So, are we good now?
[X] Mystia, this is Hina. Hina, Mystia.
[x] So sleepy...
[x] So sleepy...
[x] So sleepy...
We haven't had one of them 'anemia options' in a while.
[x] So sleepy...

Probably the best for Mystia to know that we're serious.
[ ] Can I eat too?
[X] So sleepy...

Head slammed into hardwood. Thrice. Possible concussion. Nap time.
[x] So sleepy...
[x] So sleepy...
Geez, all that apologizing and Aya still gets thrashed, not to mention that she was apologizing for something she did while her judgement was so impaired that she didn't even remember doing it. And Hina doesn't even try to stick up for her at all. Ain't fair I tell ya. Take a rest Aya, you need it.
>>23316
Well, she think she was wrong not because she was making someone else uncomfortable, but because she exceeded herself 'a little bit'

She's learning but she still lacks empathy. Or rather, she has too much of it (everyone thinks and feels like I think I do)
[X] So, are we good now?
[X] So sleepy...
fulfill apology then sleep
((hardwood+youki strength)*3)-durability=knockout
[x] So sleepy...

When we wake up it'll be Cristmas morning, which means PRESENT!
Pretty sure the vote will be called for sleep, but just in case...

[x]So sleepy...
Yeah, pretty clear that the vote is calling for nap-time for Aya. Called, update will be either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.
File 138127372168.jpg - (169.86KB, 850x745, dreaming of times long past.jpg) [iqdb]
23322
I stare at the swirling darkness blearily. Above me, my attacker and the treasonous goddess who would not even help a friend out of a pinch chat amiably. Well, not that I can blame Hina. Mystia had this deadly look in her eyes, like she was ready to peel my skin off; she even has the built-in equipment for the job.

So, I'm left all alone on the ground, with no one to talk to, no food, and no booze. And neither a sexy sparrow or a beautiful goddess to cuddle to me during the long, cold hours of the night. How sad.

Well, okay, it's mid-day, but you get my meaning.

I'm so lonely.

I'd get up and complain, but the pain in my head tells me that it'd probably be a much better idea to just lay here and let the pain fade away over time. Yes. Just lay here and sleep.

Fall into darkness.

Sleep.

Night night~.

"Oh dear. I think she fell unconscious."

"Eh, she'll recover. Here's your meal!"

Girls are so mean.

*******************************************************************

I hear the child crying from a mile away. Literally. I might not be a wolf, but I still have good ears. A glance in the direction of the crying gives me a likely location. Further down the mountain, in a particularly dense cluster of trees. Human, most likely. But why here? Humans don't normally come near this mountain.

I lift into the air and go over to investigate, my curiosity piqued. Well, more than that. There are many terrors in the night, and this child's life can be measured in minutes if it's still in the woods after nightfall. Be it youkai or wolves (not my relatives), a child makes for such a tempting snack.

It sickens me to no end that many of my kin would not be moved by the plight of an innocent. Their taste for blood has gotten the better of them, I wager. Or maybe they just don't care. Regrettable. But I do care, and any tengu that dares to challenge me on this can deal with my claws. Or my fan, I suppose.

I never wield swords. Not anymore.

From the sky, I am able to see the slight hint of cloth, and slowly lower myself so as not to startle the young one. A boy, of maybe eight summers. More or less; I'm no judge of human children. Looks to have stumbled and injured his knee. His cries are of both pain and fear; the boy likely realizes the danger he is in. He hurts, and knows that death is close.

Fortunate, then, that I am here.

I land on the ground silently, hiding behind a tree. This will be awkward. The child will no doubt be frightened at the sight of me, so I must-

"Who's there?!"

Ah. Surprisingly good senses. You would expect that I would have learned not to underestimate humans at this point. Oh well, what's done is done. I step out from behind the tree and smile at the boy, making sure to keep my mouth closed. He doesn't need to see my teeth, that would only upset him more. Of course, seeing me does, as expected, frighten the lad. Actually, terrify would be more accurate, judging from his suddenly pale features. Not to mention the trembling.

Poor little thing. Gods above, human children are adorable! I'd just love to give this little one a hug! Except that it would probably be a bad idea. Instead, I plant one hand on my hip and cock my head, making a disapproving face. "Little boy, what are you doing here?" I chide, sounding like a disapproving aunt.

"Huh?" The fear vanishes in the face of confusion. This was not what the youngling expected.

"Did your parents not tell you that coming here was dangerous?" I shake my head as I quickly move over to the youngling. "Now I have to go to all the trouble of taking you home! Such a bother."

"Y-you will?" The boy asks me, unable to believe his luck. In response, I gently pick him up by the waist and sling him around so that he's riding on my back, his arms instinctively wrapping about my neck. I move my wings so that they give him a bit more support and smile back at him. Closed-mouth, again.

"I will. And I do hope your parents give you such a scolding! Really, to be in such a dangerous place, all alone..." I tut my disapproval as I start down the mountain, more than a bit relieved that I got to the little one before any of the others.

"I'm sorry," the boy says quietly, "I just wanted to be like Mommy."

"Your mother is a hunter?" I ask, carefully levering myself down a steep embankment. The claws help. I really need to practice walking on the ground more often, though many of my fellow crows feel it to be beneath their dignity.

"Yep! And my dad's a merchant! They came here to, um..." the boy trails off, suddenly uncertain.

I just chuckle. "I understand. Well, we'll keep it quiet, yes? Your knee looks all right, just sprained. Just tell them you were playing a tad too hard. Our little secret, yes?"

The boy nods eagerly. "Thank you so much, um... Miss." He takes a moment to notice that I'm female, not that I blame him. The differences can be profound. "I shouldn't have come here, I know. It's just... Mommy went on patrol, and I wanted to see her fight, so I followed her, but then I got lost. I'm sorry..."

There's a lot in that little apology, and I sigh mentally. The humans are on the move it seems. An unexpected boon from helping this child. No doubt a gift from the gods. Tenma will have to be alerted. I pray we avoid any bloodshed this time. "Just learn from this, child, and be more careful next time. Promise?"

"Yes, Miss tengu! I promise! I'll be careful from now on!" He smiles sweetly, and I chuckle again. Human children really are cute, after all.

I drop the child off not too far from his settlement before making a hasty retreat. No need to borrow trouble. Tenma increases patrols, but the humans never come. Perhaps they were just scouting. A bit of mercy. The boy I never see again, though I do share the story with any who will listen. Some even approve of my actions, though they are few. That is fine. As long as some know the truth, perhaps minds will change one day.

In the meantime, I will remember.


********************************************************

I groan as I come around again, still sprawled on the ground. Above me, Hina and Mystia appear to be having a nice talk, while nobody pays attention to poor little old me. So cruel.

I rub my forehead. It's been so long since I remembered that incident. Honestly, remembering that far back is difficult. Things were different then. I... we were different. Dwelling upon memories gives me a headache. Screw it, anyway. I'm much sexier now!

"Oh, are you awake?" Hina looks down at me, worried. "Mysty gave you a nasty bump on the head. Are you feeling better now?"


[ ] Fit as a fiddle!
[ ] I hurt. Hold me until I feel better.
[ ] Screw you guys so much.
[ ] I'm hungry.
[X] I'm hungry.

Dawwww, but with some trepidation mixed with it.
After sleeping you need food.
[X] Screw you guys so much.
[X] Those first three hits were free, Mystia, but if you try that again I'll piledrive you headfirst through the counter.
[X] So, what's cooking?
[x] Food.
[X] I hurt. Hold me until I feel better.
[X] I'm hungry.
[x] I'm hungry.
[X] Screw you guys so much.
She was drunk, was your excuse?
>23328

Being drunk is no excuse. I've done some stupid shit when I've been drunk, but I admit it was my own damn fault.

[x]I'm hungry[/x]
[x] Screw you guys so much.

Leaving poor Aya on the floor like that was too much.
Sure, she made a mistake while she was drunk, and she maybe deserved the blows to the head, but I know if my buddy passed out, I'd help him out anyway.
Does that mean Hina isn't our buddy? ;_;
[X] I'm hungry.

I will keep voting food until it happens. This probably won't take too long.
[x] I'm hungry.
[x] Screw you guys so much.

What the hell? I mean, I could understand a little bit that Mystia is pissed but being harrassed in front of her customers while drunk is shameful but leaving a body on the cold floor is totally okay?

What i really don't understand though is why Hina didn't do anything. We comforted her when she was hurt and filled with guilt. And stood upp for her when Akyuu had writen a book of her with nothing but lies, and told her off to fix it. I know the tengu ordered Aya to help Hina but the actions she have done shouln't be taken for granted
[X] Screw you guys so much.

Time to flip tits. Metaphorically, anyway.
[X] I'm hungry.
[X] Screw you guys so much.
[x] I'm hungry.
Hm, maybe Hina isn't actually much of a friend after all. In that case...
[x] Screw you guys so much.
Aya out, lata dawgs!
[x]I'm hungry...

Let's not antagonize our client too badly.
[x]I'm hungry...

I don't think it was even possible to defend Aya in this case, though it never ceases to amaze me how far this Aya's fallen.
[X] I'm hungry.
Also, think back to the night Aya tried to molest Mystia. Did she pay for that meal? If not, offer to pay off the tab.

>I'm much sexier now!
This one line says so much about her mental state.
[x] Screw you guys so much.

While Aya is a youkai, and thus is a lot hardier than the average human, they went a bit too far. Aya has earned a little grumbling.
[x] I'm hungry.
Calling vote! Aya is hungry. And maybe a tad peeved at Hina and Mystia. Update will be later tonight, in a new thread.
File 138135938583.jpg - (203.45KB, 850x606, our chef.jpg) [iqdb]
23346
New thread:

>>/youkai/23345
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