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File 138273206191.jpg - (240.82KB, 850x1201, not happening in this thread.jpg) [iqdb]
23651
Thread 1: >>/youkai/22769
Thread 2: >>/youkai/23061
Thread 3: >>/youkai/23345

Thanks for reading this stuff this far!

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

I'm sipping my latest drink and still not getting a decent buzz (screw you so much, tengu metabolism), when I hear someone else enter the bar and the bartender call out a greeting. Still can't remember his name. Something foreign, anyway, and I really wonder where he got that vest. Whatever, I'm too busy being in the middle of my funk.

I hear a familiar voice call out in response and a weary figure sits a few spaces to my right. I glance over and-

Godsdammit, this day just keeps getting better and better. A certain pyromaniac has decided to grace the very same bar in which I am hoping to use alcohol to obliviate all of my cares. Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for Meiling Hong!

...Doesn't she have a forest-fire fairy working right under her at the Mansion? That explains everything.

Anyway, Meiling glances over at me and does a double-take. "Aya?! What the heck are you doing here?" I just raise my glass and tap it meaningfully. "Right..." Meiling says slowly, "Yeah, I'm about to do the same. Been a long day."

"Don't you have a liquor cabinet at the mansion?" I ask, "I'm surprised you didn't just get a drink from there." I'm trying to remain calm, but right now, Meiling is pretty much the other half of my frustrations.

"I needed to get away for a while," Meiling sighs. "Long story short... Yuuka and Sakuya are starting to want children."

I choke on my drink. When I manage to recover, I stare at Meiling. "Wha... wait, how the hell would that work?"

Meiling shrugs, and takes a long pull from her glass. "I have no idea, but they've been talking to Flandre a lot these days, and Flandre's been doing a lot of research in her endless quest to become an Auntie." She shakes her head, looking a little bit dazed. "Not that I'm against the idea of kids, but it's just so sudden!"

I shake my head. So even the gatekeeper has problems in her perfect little world where she can't keep the ladies off of her. That's nice. Screw it. I'm gonna finish my drink and get out of here. I'm in too much of a bad mood for this.

Meiling gives me a quizzical look. "You're awfully quiet, Aya. Something wrong? You look unhappy."

"I've had a hell of a bad day," I mutter, "And now I'm sitting next to one of the people who burned down my house with everything in it, causing me to have absolutely. Nothing. Left." I bite out the words and stare down into my drink, wishing that I could throw mental death-bolts at her. Stupid Chinese youkai.

Meiling seems to consider that for a moment. "I guess I did, at that," she allows, "And honestly? I don't feel bad about it."

My head whips around at her words. "What the hell did you just say?" I demand.

Meiling looks back at me, unflappable. "I said that I don't feel bad about it. At all." For a moment, we just stare at each other, my anger rising. "I'm sure that you're angry, Aya. But to be perfectly honest, it could be worse. I had considered killing you at the time."

There's a coldness in Meiling's voice that sends a chll down my spine. "You... what?" She always seems so kind.

Meiling sighs, seeming to deflate a bit. "It's a pretty terrible thing to say, isn't it? And yeah, I would have regretted such a thing. But you know what, Aya? I've known Cirno for a very long time. She's a sweet, energetic little girl, and when I heard you perving out on her, it drove me up the wall. You sounded like a pedophile drooling over their target, and I wasn't going to let it happen."

"But you didn't have to burn the place down!" I shout back.

Meiling doesn't even blink. "It's just a house. I've lost and built many before going to work at the mansion. And frankly, the thought of looking around your place and trying to dig up anything else you had there sickened me. You see, I still don't trust you, Aya. I hear you're trying to do good things with Hina these days, and that's great. But whenever I look at you, all I can remember is the woman who had a pedo-shrine to Cirno in her house, and who kidnapped another little girl to hide from the tengu."

I cringe a little bit as Meiling talks. "...I went too far," I admit quietly, "And I know that. But... my damn house! That was everything I had!"

Meiling looks at me long and hard. "I think that you should have a long talk with Momiji, Aya."

"I did talk to her," I sigh. "It didn't go well. I mean, I thought that girl was my friend, and what happens? She helps to burn down my house, that's what!" I shake my head. "I don't even want to think about Momiji right now."

Meiling nods to herself. "Hence, why you're drinking yourself silly in a bar."

"...Shut up. Everybody hates my guts, anyway." I take another long drink.

Meiling hesitates. "That's overstating the case, but there are certainly a lot of people who have a hard time dealing with you. Your paper got really perverted, Aya, and a lot of the articles were of questionable quality, at best." She leans over to look me in the eye. "And that's a shame. Because an energetic, courageous woman like you can do better than that. You can make a lot of friends, if you just try."

"Oh what the hell do you know," I ask, feeling very uncomfortable. I mean, I know my paper had flaws...

"Me? I'm just a person that everyone in Gensokyo thought was a pathetic, lazy weakling," Meiling snorts. "On top of that, I felt lonelier than anybody in the world, standing out there by my gate all day long. But I managed to change things, Aya. So can you." Meiling gets to her feet. "I'm sorry if things are going rough for you, Aya. But I stand by what I did. What I saw was horrifying in ways I couldn't put words to. You were stalking my little sister, and I did what, quite frankly, came naturally to me. Now look me in the eye and tell me that you weren't going to take things even further."

I spring to my feet, whirling on Meiling. How dare she! How dare she imply that I would ever so much as lay a hand on that girl!

...And yet, I was thinking at the time just how nice it would be to take a picture to bed with me each night. It would be just like waking up to sweet little Cirno each morning.

Gods, what the fuck was wrong with me?

Meiling studies my face for a long moment, then nods. "My advice? Find Momiji. And talk to her. Really talk to her. That's all I have to say Aya. I hope things get better for you." Picking up her drink, Meiling walks away and takes a seat in one of the booths. The bartender is watching me carefully, but I just don't have anything more to say to that.

Meiling's words cut to the core. They're the words of a woman who was protecting her family. I can almost accept them. God, I was acting like a freak. But what really gets to me is the fact that Momiji helped her along.

Maybe that was always the real issue.

I finish my drink and leave.

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

I take a couple of hours to just fly around Gensokyo, letting the booze leak out of my system. I think about Meiling's words, and wonder just how I would have reacted if, say, Hatate had started perving on one of the fairies, like that trio going around playing pranks. Or worse, if one of the elders had decided to slum a little and find himself a little fairy-toy.

Honestly, I don't think I'd take it very well. Visions of blowing their houses down run through my head.

But what she said about my paper really hits home. I mean, I know that people were accusing it of being ridiculously exaggerated, and practically a scandal rag what with all the compromising images I put in it, but come on! I was trying to keep a business afloat! You gotta do things to keep people's interest!

...Except I hated it whenever the elders got me to alter a story or report in a way that benefited them. And as Hina made clear, I wouldn't be too happy being the subject of a 'candid report' myself. So what the hell have a been doing?

What the hell ever happened to the Truth?

That line of thought is taking me down a particularly unpleasant stretch of Memory Lane, so I shake my head and put it on the back-burner. I realize that, without thinking, I've flown all the way back to Hina's house, so I set down on the ground. Guess this is home, for now.

Momiji is waiting for me. She's sitting on top of a large crate, arms wrapped around her legs, and she looks up as I land. From the looks of her eyes, she's been crying a lot.

The two of us just stare at each other for a long moment, silent. What do I say to her...?



[ ] What do you say/do?
[x] "I just bumped into Meiling, she said we should have a talk. Yeah, I told her we already did but she said we should talk anyway. Looks like you want to work this out as fast as possible. So, let's talk."
[X]Aww...fuck you.This is too early for me goddamnit.
Huh, well fuck you too, meiling. She doesn't have to feel bad about it, but we don't have to accept it either. House was probably standing since before she was alive. She's got no idea.
>>23656
Not to mention that burning it down was completely unnessecary. It in no way led to her capture or rehab, and it was really just to fuck with her.
[X]Aww...fuck you.This is too early for me goddamnit.
[x] "I just bumped into Meiling, she said we should have a talk. Yeah, I told her we already did but she said we should talk anyway. Looks like you want to work this out as fast as possible. So, let's talk."
>>23656
>>23657

Wow, it's like you COMPLETELY MISSED the part where Aya admits to herself that if she were in Meiling's place she would do the EXACT SAME THING.

>>23655
>>23658

No need to be that rude. From what she said earlier, Momiji honestly thought it would help when she burned down Aya's house, to remove the source of Aya's sickness. Like a forest fire removes the old, bad, infected, to make way for the new and better. Be a bit more polite about it.

[x]Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time.
>>23660

I didn't miss that part. It just means that Aya is just as big a piece of crap as meiling. Destroying someone's home because you find something they're doing to be distasteful, even when they haven't hurt anyone? People that do that get prison time.
[x] Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time.

Fine. Meiling was acting in defense of someone she considers family, fair enough. But not even a little remorse for destroying everything Aya ever owned? Fuck you too, gatekeeper.
[x] "I just bumped into Meiling, she said we should have a talk. Yeah, I told her we already did but she said we should talk anyway. Looks like you want to work this out as fast as possible. So, let's talk."

Honestly I'd like to at least begin to better the relationship between these two tengus. Momiji built up the courage to come here outside Hinas house even if we screamed at her, probably ever since Aya left the village. We should at least talk to her, not necessarily forgive her just like that yet, but at least talk so Momiji don't fall into a depression and do something stupid
>>23660
It's okay to do it on the spur of the moment, to, naturally as she said, protect someone you love. But, not regretting it afterwards? Saying that you'd do it again? That crosses the line. If we didn't know his heart (we do, thanks to the CYOA, but aya doesn't) I'd think of her as a thug who was looking for an excuse to fight

[x] I'll try to forgive you. Will you do the same?
[x] Make up.

Posting on phone. Can't type proper vote. Pick whichever existing vote that fits best and count as that.
>>23651
The disconnect here is that Meiling doesn't understand that to Aya it wasn't just a house. Which fair enough, since they are both very old and have had different experiences and such stuff. I get that.

However, not even trying to understand why Aya is so pissed about the house? Come on, I thought you were better than this Meiling.

[x]Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time.
Looking over this again,
>I had considered killing you at the time.

"I considered murdering you because you were being creepy."

Way to sound psycho, Mei.
[X] "We need to talk, don't we?"

>>23668
try "I had considered killing someone because they were maybe going to hurt someone I help raise." As Aya said, it's the words of an angry parent, not a neutral party.
[x]Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time.

Knew Meiling would be a mistake. Didn't think it would raise this much of a stink however. Not that I disagree but...

Whatever. New Plan; Disregard SDM, acquire followers for Goddess trio, deal with Momiji.
[X] Sigh. There's no way I'm getting out of this, am I? Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

Guys. I think Momiji actually took what we said to heart, grabbed all her stuff, and ran away from the Tengu. I REALLY don't want to push her away to hard. At least Try to deal with this now, while the emotional barriers are still down. Momiji did a bad thing, but after what Aya said to her, I think we've really messed things up.

And we should at least Try to see what's wrong with someone we thought of as our best friend.
>>23662 here, switching to >>23666 cause I also have a shitty phone. We should just let it drop and forgive her. At least she realizes she went overboard.
[x]Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time. 

The ability to sympathize - hell, to emphasize - with a person's reasoning and motivations does not mean in any shape way or form that that person is right. What Meiling did was horrible, vigilante justice - that Aya could emphasize with her doesn't give Meiling any moral high ground.

If Aya tries to 'get things over with' Momiji because Meiling told her to do so, we won't get anywhere. Aya will still be sad and bitter, and Momiji will either be desperate to defend herself, or desperate for any form of forgiveness. Those two do not make for a good combination when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship.

If Momiji's stuff is in that crate like I suspect, then we can deal with it later. Moving in is going to be a bad idea, because what Aya and Hina both need are fresh starts. Momiji being around 24/7 is going to prick at Aya's wounds, which'll effect Hina.
[X] Sigh. There's no way I'm getting out of this, am I? Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

She said she fucked up and that she is sorry AND she most likely cut her ties to the tengu for Aya. At least listen.
>>23674
you're overlooking the fact we have a great deal of control over how Aya develops. If she's terribly slow to forgive, it'd be because we made her that way.

[x] "I just bumped into Meiling, she said we should have a talk. Yeah, I told her we already did but she said we should talk anyway. Looks like you want to work this out as fast as possible. So, let's talk."
>>23670
Fair enough, she's a concerned party, not neutral, but if she ever actually considered that, I still think its psycho. Aya hadn't even done anything to her. "Look at my child wrong and DIE."
>>23677
In Meiling's defense, and I'm on the side that thinks she went too far here, Aya was doing a just a bit more than just looking.
Hmn.

[X] Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

Because she might actually have burnt all her bridges, and that's kind of a... thing.

Also because Aya isn't that big of a dick, and it doesn't mean we need to... talk much to her, yet. We can just see about getting her a roof over her head if she needs it.

Because Hong Meiling might take a home away from someone, but Shameimaru Aya is better than that.
>>23678

Just to clarify Meiling's rather harsh reaction: some of what Aya had posted on the walls was pretty much child porn. Pictures of Cirno changing, bathing etc. Remember how old Cirno looks/acts. In Being Meiling, it was a source of slapstick humor. Seen in another light, it would be horrifying. Meiling honestly does not like Aya because of that incident, and that's rare for her.

Does this in any way justify her actions? That's for Anon to decide.
>>23678
Well, yes. More than looking, that's a fair point. Still, hadn't done anything to her. Not to mention, didn't Cirno smash her into the ground with a hammer when she tried to get touchy?

[X] Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

And this sounds like as good a plan as any.
>>23681
Tried and failed doesn't really help Aya's case here.

Anyways, both side of the situation have done some bad stuff. So no one is really blameless here.

Aya was creepy as fuck and a bit of a pedo with a shitto of irresolved mental issues, which the Elders are likely responsible for and Meiling deliberately engineered a situation where she'd be publicly humiliated and destroyed everything she had ever owned.

In retrospect, sending her to get therapy from the Freaking Tengu was probably counter-productive.
>>23680
>some of what Aya had posted on the walls was pretty much child porn
I hope you mean that Meiling considered it as such, because you'll be conflicting with your own previous statements otherwise.
[x]Please, Momiji. Not now. I still need some time.

Late at night, likely nearly sunrise, after getting hammered and then flying around for hours without sleep after an afternoon of drama and a night of being reamed by the person that burned down their house without remorse, even if Aya did some stupid and immoral shit? This really isn't the time: it can wait till morning.

And really, talking to Meiling didn't help: all it did was perpetuate the illusion that "everything Meiling does is right and awesome", which worked when she's the main character in a slightly goofy setting but is REALLY condenscending when the main character is the person is the one that she (we?) spent pages humiliating, and where the feel of the story is significantly less slapstick.
[x] Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

I don't see any reason to drag this out by rejecting her out of hand.
And the worst part is? If we were still Meiling, WE'D DO THE EXACT SAME THING SHE DID HERE.

It's a bit depressing, when you think about it.
[X] Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place. Apply hugs as necessary.
Even if Aya has not forgiven her, if that crate contains everything Momiji owns, then she needs a place to stay, Hina and Aya are not so heartless as to turn down someone with no where to go, and Aya could find a use for some help.
Also, potential Miko Momiji.
File 138276514425.gif - (323.08KB, 749x667, AyasOpinionOfChina.gif) [iqdb]
23691
>>23651
>>23680

Dear China:

Fuck You. Option B being less worse than Option A doesn't mean I should respect your restraint or feel indebted to you for showing some restraint. It's called "the lesser of two evils" for a reason.

Yes, you're inspiring, having two beautiful women who chased you, man how did you make a choice there? Oh wait.

Yes, you've worked so hard without any thanks and been so alone and so made fun of; with your regular interactions with your co-workers/boss/locals and the two women who courted you and your regular job that never sometimes made you compromise your ethical standards to keep food on your plate/people willing to talk to you.

Yes, you did something to protect your extended family and I can respect that. Doesn't mean you get a get-out-of-jail-free card for burning down my fucking house.


[x]Dear Doge: I'm still pissed as hell.
-[x]So you want to talk? Let's talk about how I feel about the village. I used "hate" last time as a descriptor, maybe you're curious why?
--[x]Let's talk about the bad old days, the days before you were born, pup.

[x]Still, you were a friend and confident, and even though you somewhat literally threw me to the wolves, I still would like to be your friend.
-[x]I'll overlook your participation in burning my house down.
[X] >>23691

I like the cut of your jib.
Meanwhile, Hina is near orgasm with all the misfortune gathered outside her house, and she has no idea why.
>>23691
Ha! Yes. Annnd..
>>23693
Yes
[X] Sigh. There's no way I'm getting out of this, am I? Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.
You know, once this is all over and Aya is finished with her parole, she could probably press charges against Meiling. It would be pretty easy to nail Meiling for arson since she not only burned down Aya's house, but also set both Toyohime and Yorihime on fire.Via Malla, Meiling is also indirectly responsible for setting Mokou and Kaguya on fire, as well as a significant portion of the Bamboo Forest.

Of course, if Reimu and Marisa are any indication, vigilante justice is legally acceptable in Gensokyo. Meiling would probably justify her vigilante actions as being necessary to protect her family. The problem with this defense is that Meiling's particular brand of vigilante justice is in direct violation of the spellcard rules. Reimu invented the spellcard rules specifically so that youkai could settle their differences WITHOUT causing collateral damage. Meiling never even considered using danmaku to solve her problems before burning Aya's house down. Breaking the spellcard rules is a serious crime in Gensokyo. If Aya presses charges, Meiling will either get nailed for arson or nailed for breaking the spellcard rules. Either way Meiling is screwed.

Meiling would probably have to do some time, but Gensokyo's justice system does grant her some options. Meiling is kind at heart, so even if she went to jail she could probably be let out on parole for good behavior, probably to do some community service building houses. Or they could neatly sidestep the whole issue by having Reimu beat the snot out of Meiling. Heck, if Aya really wanted justice fast, she could just challenge Meiling to a spellcard duel right now. Meiling has been getting better at danmaku, but Aya could still probably beat the tar out of her. Either way justice would be served.
>>23696

There's no judicial system for living beings in Gensokyo, so Aya would be wasting her time. Just sayin.
>>23696

As far as I know there is not any jail in Gensokyo. The only law enforcement, which would probably side with Meiling on this one, is Reimu. So really, there could not be any charges pressed if Reimu does not give a fuck about it. You are reading way too much into this.

As far as most of Gensokyo in this story is concerned Aya is a sick freak and Meilings actions were justified to a certain degree. Aya could challenge her of course, but there is no guarantee that she would win or Meiling would accept/ not steal her fan or something like with Marisa. Additional to that, even if she would win Ayas image is pretty much in the gutter right now so most likely other people would see her as the bad guy if she chooses to punish Meiling. And even if Aya wants Meilings house destroyed, Meiling already explained that a house does not mean much to her, SDM is out of the question because it is not Meilings.

Justice would be served? Hardly, and that is not even starting the whole "Is Aya really the bad guy here" thing.
Okay folks, I wouldn't normally do this, but given that I've gotten more than 30 extremely heated responses after a single post, I feel the need to step in here.

First of all, take a nice, deep breath. And another. And another. Feels good, doesn't it? Now, I want you all to remember what you're reading here: fanfiction about girls in funny hats (and nice legs) who like to fly around and shoot each other as a way of saying hello, all by an admitted amateur of a writer.

Now, this whole boondoggle started in Being Meiling, which was a fundamentally silly story, and was never meant to be taken seriously at any step in the process. The whole Aya/Cirno thing? Written for laughs, because the thought of Aya drooling over Cirno was a fundamentally silly thought. It did get a surprisingly vicious response, but I pretty much stepped on a nerve there. In the end, though, it was a silly premise in an intentionally silly story.

What's happening here is, as has been stated, the other side of the looking glass. This is a look inside the head of the former antagonist, combined with a somewhat less silly theme. Now, what Aya did was wrong. It was not malicious, no, it was simply our beloved reporter tengu getting WAY too carried away, which is an admitted failing of hers. But even if there was no real malice here, this would still be a horrifying thing for someone else to encounter. As was hinted, some of those pictures of Cirno were in very, very poor taste. Imagine your response if you walked in a room and saw something similar of someone close to you.

Meiling saw someone who threatened her little sister figure, and responded like a dragon would. Momiji saw a friend getting involved in some truly horrifying shit and had to do something about it (her motivations are forthcoming.)

And remember, this is Gensokyo, where mass environmental disaster and property damage is responded to with a smack upside the head followed by tea. Furthermore, would Momiji really destroy the entire life of someone she considered a friend?

In this slightly more serious take on Gensokyo, neither party is in the right. Meiling doesn't like Aya, but she did go full pyro there in defense of Cirno. Aya may not be a full-on predator, but she really was toeing the line there at the end. Just keep all of this in mind as you read and vote.

In the end, this is all just fanfic about pretty, imaginary girls. Try to take it easy, okay?
>>23699
Amen to that.
>>23699
As I said, the thing I love the most about this story is that you get to see the actions and choices of a MC from the side of another MC, and suddenly things aren't so black and white. An moral lesson we can use here and IRL as well.

And you should be honored by the response this is getting, even if it is a bit negative: you really wrote yourself a page among THP's history (not that you haven't done that from the other stories, it's just that this story's concept is pretty new)

PS: we know it's just a fantasy story about little girls, it's just that we take it as serious business here, don't mind us that much and carry on.

>>23686
>>23682
I agree with both of you, good points.
>>23699
Gensokyo lacks a unified government and court system for everyone. As a youkai on youkai case that are in different factions (SDM and Tengu) this would likely fall on Yukari who would handle it like a diplomat due to lacking real authority. from there Aya would have no position to demand anything because even the faction she belongs to would be against her. see >>/sdm/56497
for Yukari diplomacy.
>>23703
I meant >>23696 not 23699
>>23699
>Waaah take it easy guys!

No worries, mate. As you said, that bit in "Being Meiling" was kind of a misstep where Meiling crossed a line. I mainly wrote my scorn-vote because I thought the scene with Meiling in the bar came out very poorly. Not because Meiling wasn't genuflecting and apologizing, but because Aya just sort of went

"Man you're totally right! I would have done this thing that seems to be outside my characterization so far if I was in a similar situation! Thanks for letting me know I should go pretend my only real Tengu friend didn't burn down my house and help a bunch of people who I have explicitly described my feelings for as 'hate' put me in jail and take away my only remaining material possessions. Why can't I be more like you, Meiling?"

I'm fine with Meiling being a vengeful jerk. As much as I didn't like how hiiiilaaarrrrious that scene in "Being Meiling" was, it still felt mostly in-character.

I'm not quite as fine with Aya being spineless or easily forgiving a relative stranger for kicking her when she was down. And burning down her house.

>And remember, this is Gensokyo, where mass environmental disaster and property damage is responded to with a smack upside the head followed by tea.

Yes, property damage in Gensyoko is a mostly everyday thing (sometimes, according to some interpretations); the Shrine gets flattened in incidents (annually, according to some interpretations) and Marisa breaks into Voile (explosively, according to some interpretations). The difference between these supposedly run-of-the-mill events and ayahaus.wmv is simple: intent.

Of two times the shrine's been flattened, the first was because Tenshi wanted to do something interesting, and the second was Yukari removing the keystone that Tenshi put in the foundation. Both times, the destruction was incidental, rather than malicious. Naturally, the shrine got rebuilt, first by Tenchi, then by a combination of Oni, Dollmaker, and Timehax. Aya's house got burnt down because Meiling wanted to hurt her.

Marisa's break-ins are either covert or explosive. In the case of the former, the worst that happens is grand larceny/assault with a hakkero. The latter, at most, puts a hole in a wall and disrupts a library's organization. Again the property damage is incidental to a goal, stealing books, rather than the main objective. Aya's house caught a case of the arson because the goal was to burn down her house.

>In this slightly more serious take on Gensokyo, neither party is in the right. But if there was a party to be in the right, it would be Meiling, because of all these reasons I wrote above. Keep that in mind when you vote!

[bias intensifies]
File 138279953047.jpg - (12.41KB, 218x231, nfa.jpg) [iqdb]
23706
>>23699

I don't get it...didn't you ask us to collectively decide if her actions were justified?
>>23699

> Furthermore, would Momiji really destroy the entire life of someone she considered a friend?

I wonder what's in the mystery crate...
>>23705
"Aya's house got burnt down because Meiling wanted to hurt her."

Nope. Meiling wanted to remove the creepyness and maybe to get Aya to stop doing that shit once she lost her collection. Its not like she said "fuck Aya, that bitch will lose her house now" and did it to hurt her. Maybe as a sideeffect, but she did not think about it at that time. True, it was over the top but her intent was not, at least as far as I remember, to harm Aya emotionally as much as possible. The first and foremost thought driving that was Destory the Cirnoshrine.
>>23699

It's being taken as a big deal because Aya has been consistently thinking that it's a big deal her house was burned down, and we're (or me, anyways) filled with empathy. We know, or at least can imagine, what it would be like if your property was taken from you for unjust reasons.

You're the writer, so it's obvious that you're intending this to be somewhat silly, but the problem is that, from everything that we're seeing as Aya, there are some serious things going on here. She has serious mental issues because of what happened to her in the past, she feels like she's a victim and being unfairly treated even though she admits she was in the wrong, and she's sociopathic to the point that she doesn't have the social senses she should have to know that "hey, maybe what I'm doing is REALLY douchey". As someone who had depression issues and not realize it until my life was beginning to turn into a train wreck, with all of my friends and family fully aware that I was having problems but were unable or unwilling to intervene, I have a LOT of empathy for her right now.

To me, this story was becoming a gem: Aya is unstable due to past trauma and current stubbornness and victimization, and the tengu don't want to deal with her so they throw her at Hina to deal with two (ahem) birds at once. It's not a bad idea, and Aya IS the right tengu for the job, but Hina helps Aya more than anyone could have expected by acting as a sort of therapist for her and walking through her past issues that Aya keeps buried. It's interesting, it's funny, it's serious, and it's applicable to other peoples' experiences such as my own.

It just seems a waste to try to brush it off and say to not take it seriously instead of taking ownership and run with it as far as you can go.
>>23705
> I'm not quite as fine with Aya being spineless or easily forgiving a relative stranger for kicking her when she was down. And burning down her house.

Also, this kind of sums up one of the other reasons why this thread (not story, but this specific thread) has me a bit butt frustrated. On the other hand, if Meiling goes into politics her opponents might as well not bother: she can burn down your house and make YOU feel bad and apologize for it. Screw Remilia's "charisma", Meiling rolled an 18 in that one.
>>23708
Which did not necessitate burning down the entire fucking house.

I mean, I would have burned the Shrine too, but I sure as hell wouldn't burn down the entire place, I would have taken the pictures out and burned them in the backyard.
>>23708
Yeah, Meiling went in with the intent to clean the place up. But then she decided that a bit of arson was a good idea. If your intent is to get rid of a certain thing, <i>you only burn that and not the whole fucking building</i>, let alone someone's home.

You gotta remember a home is more than just a place where you sleep, or a place where you sometimes entertain guests. A home is <i>your space</i>. Even more-so if you're isolated physically or socially. Ruining another person's home is a sign of supreme contempt not just for a person's things, but also for that person.

I'm not saying that Aya was even remotely right in her actions during "Being Meiling". She did a bad thing, for bad reasons. She admitted to herself that she did a bad thing for bad reasons.

I'm not saying that Meiling was totally wrong and Aya-sama~ is perfectly in the right here. Meiling did a bad thing, for well-intentioned reasons. Meiling thinks she did something for reasons that seem good to her.

What I'm saying is that there is a minimum level of anger/rage/desire to hurt a person needed to decide that arson is a-okay, and that both parties did bad things.

What I'm saying is that the segment in the bar felt poorly constructed, and not executed well. Meiling basically went "I'm right, you're wrong, pee pee doo doo you are a bad person do what I say." And Aya went "Wow, you're right, person who burned down my house! I should go do that because I'm an awful person and you're totally right."

Besides, there wasn't even a bar fight, a brawl, danmaku match, or even much discussion before one side gave up. What kind of toehoe world is this?

>>23693
<i>Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss</i>


>>23707
Is it a camera?
I think it's a camera!
<spoiler>Suprise! It was just Kogasa-chan!</spoiler>
[X] Sigh. There's no way I'm getting out of this, am I? Go find out why Momiji's sitting on a crate outside Hina's place.

I'd like to see Meiling convincing other major players in Gensokyo with her "It's just a house" argument, should their livelihoods get destroyed like Aya's.

I bet...say, Remilia, would be real CALM and UNDERSTANDING if somebody burned down the SDM when everyone was away. Hey, she can always build a new one.
[x] "Hi..."

I'm pretty sure, after a night of heavy drinking, feeling like shit, and arguments, Aya isn't in the state of mind to launch into a massive tirade.

I can only vote for a non-confronting "hello." Because of limited perspective, we have no idea what Momiji wants or is here for. For all we know, she could be here to help us. Furthermore, I feel that blowing up over this would be a very "old Aya" action.
[X] ...I was pretty nasty earlier, huh?
-[X] I'm sorry. It's just... it's all so frustrating, you know? I don't hate you.
--[X] Burning down my shrine was completely justified, by the way. What hurt was everything else.
---[X] ...You didn't burn your own house down in some weird act of penance, right? Cuz I'm seeing you and a box, and- oh please tell me you didn't do anthing stupid.

>>23712

Here's a bit of advice that I got on my first day and am passing to you! Formatting uses square brackets here!
Well. Clearly, there are a lot of opinions on this matter, and a lot of feelings being thrown around. So, let's do this a bit differently this time, and air things out, hm? Instead of one big update, I'm going to make a series of smaller updates, so that people can help guide this conversation. Let's see what comes out of it.
Holy crap...now that I think about it, the fairies must have a real problem with being exploited by sexual predators in Gensokyo.

I mean like...there arent even any "laws" there, and all the game protagonist probably wouldn't get off their lazy asses to do something about it. I can kinda see why Mei-Mei would overreact in this type of situation...I mean, who else is going to stand up for them?

I think Meiling did the right thing. While I am sorry that it had to be Aya, a Touhou we know and love, in such a lawless environment that type of behavior needs to be brought before the public eye, and made an example of.
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23720
I sigh, and just look at Momiji. This is turning out to be a hell of a day. "Hey," I say to her, "So. Wanna talk?"

Momiji nods, and gets up off the crate. "Yeah, I do. I've been doing some thinking. The house... I shouldn't have burned it down."

"Thank you for that," I mutter.

"The thing is..." Momiji hesitates. "Honestly, I've always held a lot of respect for you, Aya. The rest of the village... you know how they talk about you. Always seeing you as this eccentric, outcast fool that the elders can barely keep under control. And yet, you always seemed happy, somehow. Flying free, doing as you wished. You were only upset after meeting with the elders, something that I could relate to."

"Heh. I know the wolves hate being ordered around all the time," I comment.

Momiji nods. "Yeah. We really do. So, whenever one of those guys got all high and mighty with me, and I couldn't take it anymore, I stormed out of the village and took great comfort in knowing that there was a place that I could take refuge. A place that I could get away from the village. And you were always there. Always had a drink for me, and an open ear."

I smirk. "Yeah. We'd stay up all night and bad-mouth the elders and their stupid procedures. God, I hate those guys sometimes."

"Same here," Momiji nods. "I mean, I worked very hard to get my position, and it feels like I'm never being taken seriously, you know? Still, there's a big part of me that takes great pride in being a tengu, and appreciates the order and discipline that our society brings. I guess... that's why I had a love-hate sort of feeling towards you."

I shrug. "I don't follow you."

Momiji sighs. "I mean, you were always flying free, doing whatever you want. At times, I envied you for that. At times, I found your silliness to be really frustrating. I've heard rumors that you used to be a really big deal in the village, and I never understood what changed." The wolf shakes her head. "I guess... you were the person I always wanted to look up to, but there was too much about you that I couldn't. Do you understand what I mean?"

I think about it for a moment. "I think so. I know that I'm not a model tengu. So, fine. You kind looked up to me, but not quite, because I flouted the traditions that you held dear."

Momiji chuckles quietly. "Yeah. I could never tell if I admired you for breaking with tradition, or was disappointed in you for it. I mean, it was just so... out there. But still. I considered you- consider you to be a friend. At the least, however weird and eccentric you got, I felt like I could count on you."

"...And then Cirno happened," I put in.

"Yeah," Momiji agrees, "Cirno happened."

I'm silent for a moment. "Why did you do it?"

"Because your house was, over the years, becoming less a refuge and more of a hermitage," Momiji says quietly. "Because you were doing something that horrified me, and I couldn't make you listen to me when I told you that it was wrong. You were going down an awful path, and I didn't know when, or if, you would stop. I was afraid that you would become someone that I would hate." She hesitates. "Aya, that shrine was terrible. It was like your departure from the village had warped you. I felt that I had to get rid of any traces of that wrongness, and get you to start over. I thought that I had to help you pull back from the brink. So I got rid of that place you'd been hiding in for centuries and brought you to the village. I wanted you to understand just what you were doing wrong. I... wanted to get help to help you." Momiji falls silent.


[ ] What say?
Okay, something that Keymaster and everyone else should remember: WE DID NOT CHOOSE TO BURN DOWN AYA'S HOUSE. Our only vote was "talk to the tengu, see if this sort of shit is tolerated." Keymaster came up with the idea of burning down Aya's house. I'm sure that if it were put to a vote, many of us would have chosen the option of "just burn down the creepy shrine."

Now, something that solely relies on meta-knowledge. In the end, Aya's house getting burned down might actually be a good thing for her. While Malla took things a bit too far, there's a REASON forest fires are a natural phenomena. Burn away the old and bad, to make room for the new. Hell, some trees won't even release their seeds until there's been a forest fire.

We have flashbacks and Aya's word that she hates the tengu lifestyle, and wanted to get away from it. Even after "striking out on her own" she was still required to write articles for the Tengu, perhaps in part because her home was still in tengu territory. With her house gone, she'll have to move on, and won't be constrained by the tengu anymore. In the few days she's been helping Hina, Aya's already been turning her life around, making it better than it was before. She's finally starting to see what she was doing (not just with Cirno, but being a perv and creeper in general) and is slowly starting to gain empathy.

So yes, while it may be harsh, burning down her house will ultimately do more good than bad.
>> 23721

I wholeheartedly disagree. The house burning honestly didn't help anyone in the end: the best thing that happened to Aya to make her realize just how wrong she's been since, well, whenever, was being assigned to Hina. The house burning really only made things worse: Aya ended up fleeing and kidnapping Rumia, Momiji feels like shit, and everyone feels embarrassed about the whole damn thing. The only real good that came out of it was the long, strange chain of events that led to Aya helping Hina, and Remilia and Reimu getting hitched.
>>23722

That said, yeah, we probably would have voted to burn the shrine, mostly because it would have been funny at the time.
[X] So... what's with the crate?
[X] Bite back any snide remarks about how great of an idea burning down our house was: Momi's already upset about it as it is.
[X] Awkward silence.
[X] "So... what's with the crate?"
[x]So what's with the crate?

If it does turn out to be all of Momiji's possessions, I'm going to laugh. And cringe a bit. But still laugh. Even more so if she decided to burn her stuff in "penance." In which case my laugh of humor will turn into one of derision. But I'll still laugh.
>>23722
It didn't make things better immediately, but burning all bridges (figuratively and literally) means things will get better in the long term as Aya can now make a clean break with all of Tengu society.
[X] So... what's with the crate?
I must know.
[x] >>23725
This.
No need to keep fighting with Momi. Let's save our anger for Meiling. It was she who suggested burning the house. Momi went along with it because she was in shock and couldn't think to argue.
Aim our resentment towards the one who isn't even sorry about it.
>>23727

Yeah... big problem with that is that she DIDN'T make a clean break with tengu society. She ended up being jailed, put in remedial training, and is currently on parole with expectations to report to them on a regular basis while doing a job for the tengu in order to get the last remaining bits of her personal possessions back.
[X] Bite back any snide remarks about how great of an idea burning down our house was: Momi's already upset about it as it is.
[X] Awkward silence.
[X] "So... what's with the crate?"
Pissing, tide, etc.

[X] When you put it like that? I think I understand where you're coming from.
[X] Y'know, I was a big deal way back when, but that? That stopped after the wars. What we did back then was... no matter how low we sank, everyone else still thought of themselves as superior.
[X] I couldn't. After what I saw, I couldn't.
[X] Bite back any snide remarks about how great of an idea burning down our house was: Momi's already upset about it as it is.
[X] Awkward silence.
[X] "So... what's with the crate?"
[X] Bite back any snide remarks about how great of an idea burning down our house was: Momi's already upset about it as it is.
[X] Awkward silence.
[X] "So... what's with the crate?"
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23735
I suppress a sigh. I guess I see where Momiji is coming from. I know I wasn't being all that normal with Cirno. I got carried away, and some wires got crossed, and... well, I really was going down a pretty terrible road.

Still, burning down my house? Having my livelihood taken away? I can almost accept that the gatekeeper was doing all of that in retaliation for Cirno, but Momi... I trusted her. It still feels like she turned on me. Turned me in, even. I mean, I guess I understand that she was trying to help me, but was that really the best way to go about it? I still don't now if what I was being put through was some kind of therapy, just me being incarcerated, or if the elders were trying to reprogram me or something. I just...

I just don't know what to think anymore. So I don't really say anything back to Momiji. What can I say?

There's a long silence between us. I look at the sky, searching for answers, while Momiji turns her gaze to the forest. Distantly, I wonder where Hina is. Is she still with the Akis? Is she sitting inside her house right now, trying hard not to overhear everything? Heck, she's probably getting off on all of this misfortunate atmosphere. Heh. There's a funny thought.

I dunno. Part of me understands where Momiji's coming from. The other part of me is infuriated that my friend basically backstabbed me, and burned everything I had to ashes. I just keep flipflopping between remembering just how creepy I was acting (and yes, I can admit that to myself), and the simple fact that everything I used to own now is gone.

So what the hell do I even say right now? I don't know how guilty I am, or how much of a victim I am. Probably both. I'm just so confused.

"...So what's in the box?" I finally ask, gesturing to the crate. "Did you finally walk out on the tengu and need a place to stay, now? I'm sure Hina has a spare room..."

Momiji shakes her head. "No, nothing like that. This is... well, you remember how I told you that all you had left was your camera and fan? And some clothes?"

"Yeah, and that stuff was being held by the tengu administration. At least up until today," I note.

"Well..." Momiji shrugs, "Technically, that wasn't exactly true. There were some other things I salvaged, and hid in the woods. I packed them into this crate, and buried it all underground."

I blink in confusion, and take a closer look at the crate. It does smell like dirt, and there are signs of mud all over its surface. So, Momiji saved some of my things...? Shaking my head, I walk over to the crate and pick up a crowbar lying on top of it. Bracing myself, I set the bar and pop the top of the box off-

......

What the actual fuck...?

Masks. Books. Old newspapers. Tightly folded tapestries. Other boxes, with labels on them. My old robes. And that's just what I can see on the topmost layers. These are all my things...

"We didn't torch the house right away," Momiji says quietly, "Meiling gave me an hour or so to go through the house and gather up most of your things. I pretty much tore the place apart, since it would be going up in smoke anyway. I found a lot of old things there, like these old manuscripts hidden in the walls... not to mention your stash of candid photos. Twelve caches of them, that I found." Momiji falls silent for a moment. "I was going to give this back to you once it was felt that you'd recovered, but... now seems as good a time as any."

......


[ ] ...What...?
[x] Hug.
[x] Cry.
Oh bullshit.
[x] ''So you had the intuition to save these, yet you still burned my house down. You really think that what warped me was my House? You really think that locking me inside the village would help?

You really don't understand do you?

What broke me was the Village, the Elders, the Tengu society as a whole.''


I'm sorry, but I can stomach what Momiji said before, it's like she had the right information, yet she came to the completely wrong conclusion. I don't feel like making up unless we correct her.
>>23738
Should be I can't stomach
[x] ''So you had the intuition to save these, yet you still burned my house down. You really think that what warped me was my House? You really think that locking me inside the village would help?

You really don't understand do you?

What broke me was the Village, the Elders, the Tengu society as a whole.''
>>23738

Not quite, Anon. You're getting closer, but you still don't have all of Aya's story.
>>23741
Perhaps, but I think we know enough to know that the house wasn't the root of her problems. It might have become a symptom or something that Aya needed to change, but that should have been her own decision.

Also, I don't like how Momiji's trying to justify herself. I get the idea, but really it just kind of tells me that she really never understood Aya.
I mean for fucks's sake, therapy from the Tengu? I went back and reread what they were making her do in Being Meiling, and it was not helping.
[X] You saved everything? That's... Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but I've been thinking for a long time now that everything I owned was gone. You didn't figure I might want to know all the things I'd gathered over centuries hadn't been burnt to tiny cinders? I mean, if you were worried I'd go look for them, you could have just lied about where you hid it all.
[x] Cry
[x] Hug
[x] Make a joke about dogs burying things.
[X] You saved everything? That's... Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but I've been thinking for a long time now that everything I owned was gone. You didn't figure I might want to know all the things I'd gathered over centuries hadn't been burnt to tiny cinders? I mean, if you were worried I'd go look for them, you could have just lied about where you hid it all.
>>23743 here with an addendum

[X] I get that dogs tend to forget that they buried something, but come on!
-[X] ...That was a bad joke, sorry.
--[X] I'm still mad about a lot of what happened, but... Really, thank you.
>[X] You saved everything? That's... Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but I've been thinking for a long time now that everything I owned was gone. You didn't figure I might want to know all the things I'd gathered over centuries hadn't been burnt to tiny cinders? I mean, if you were worried I'd go look for them, you could have just lied about where you hid it all.

Such guilt tripping.
Wow. A lot of you sure want Aya to hold a grudge.
[x] I'm grateful that you saved my things, but couldn't you have, you know, not burned down my entire house instead.

It's a nice gesture, but if she could do that much, she should have been able to hold back a bit.
Although I get the feeling that the hour she got to save stuff was just because Meiling was busy fetching the gasoline, not because she actually cared about letting Momiji save her friend's stuff.
At least it shows that Momiji's motivation was more about correcting a friend than stopping a creepy stalker by any means necessary (even if the box feels rather deus ex machina).


>>23742
Well, Aya is very different from other tengu so it's not so strange that they never truly understood each other.
Few people ever do. The best we can do is what we believe is right and hope that the other person at least understands our intentions, even while disagreeing with our methods.
To >>23749

>>23743 here again. I actually do want them to make up and be friends, even if my write-in comes off as a harsh guilt-trip. That's why I made that addendum to hopefully take some of the sting off it.
>>23749
I've been advocating reconcilliation from the start. Holding a grudge won't get us anywhere.
I've never said that she should just forgive and forget, but Aya should at least try not to drive away the one who was (and is) probably her only real friend.
Yes, she's getting along well with Hina, and to some extent the Aki sisters, but it's still more on the level of favored business partners than real friends.
>>23749
Less holding a grudge and more to drive a point home. I feel that if we just forget her here and now, a actual dialogue, which is what's needed, would never form.
>>23752
Or, at the very least, if Aya is going to hold a grudge, at least make it against Meiling.
>>23753
I'm assuming you mean forgive her.. But yeah, better to let everything out here and now than drag it it around without ever really talking about it.
[x] I'm grateful that you saved my things, but couldn't you have, you know, not burned down my entire house instead.
-[x] "So you had the intuition to save these, yet you still burned my house down. You really think that what warped me was my House? You really think that locking me inside the village would help?"

This is kinda ridiculous all around. Even if she saved a majority of the things, Momiji still threw Aya under a bus, and the fact that Momiji saved Aya's things doesn't change the fact that she also was not going to give them back until Aya 'got better.'

When you stage an intervention, you make sure to keep the person you're trying to help as calm and sensible as possible. You speak about the issue as adults. If Momiji was worried that Aya's house was addling her mentally, then she should have just talked to her about it as a concerned friend and not, you know, burn the place to the ground. The fact that Momiji's first attempts failed does not in any way mean the jump to "Burn it down, wipe it clean" is justifiable.

If Aya was treating her home as a sanctuary, then what Momiji did was violate and stomp on any sense of safety Aya felt. Of course Aya panicked and kidnapped Rumia after that, she was straight up being emotionally tortured.
>>23753
Pretty much this. Grudges are unhealthy, but so is rolling over and forgiving everything when you still have legitimate greviances. There were so many better ways to get Aya to stop being obsessive over Cirno instead of burning down her house, throwing her into a jail cell, and making her the laughingstock and pariah of Gensokyo.
>>23756
Interventions are staged when someone has a "normal" problem that you known about for a while. When suddenly confronted with proof that someone you thought you knew, and considered a friend, is actually the worst kind of scum, I'd say it's understandable to freak out and overreact.
Not okay, but understandable.
Although, and i am not protecting either party, but the drastic measures taken were almost needed, otherwise, without all these things to make aya THINK, would she have realized she had gone too far, as she has now?

if they pulled her aside, would she have reformed to the point she is at now?
>>23759
There was still no need to burn her house and most of her stuff into ashes.
>>23756
I believe Meiling was the real driving force behind the houseburning, so while Momiji is in no way innocent it wouldn't have gone that far, that fast, if she had been alone.
>>23760
As i said, almost needed. it is still too far to go.

but would a lesser, or less extreme punushment have caused her to reform, or would she shrug it off, like she does with people's words she doesn't like?
[X] I'm grateful that you saved my things, but couldn't you have, you know, not burned down my entire house instead?
-[X] "So you had the intuition to save these, yet you still burned my house down. You really think that what warped me was my House? You really think that locking me inside the village would help?"

Momiji might well have had good intentions bringing Aya a few of her things, but at the same time someone showing up with a box of your stuff after helping bring you down almost feels like twisting the knife a bit. I was actually eager to see them talk until that bit about Momiji knowing what was going to happen and choosing to loot a few things rather than attempt to intervene came out; something about it - mainly Meiling being in charge of "you have an hour to loot, then I burn" rather than, I dunno, ANYONE else - just feels really wrong to me.

Honestly, if I thought it had a chance of winning I'd vote for a clean, cold break right here and now.

On a related note, someone refresh my memory: Did anyone ever think of getting Aya some kind of therapy, or did she just get tossed in the clink? In hindsight it's obvious she had a badly twisted mind, but I can't remember whether anyone in-universe thought about it at the time.

Gods, this story bring out bad feelings.
>>23763
i think the only therapy people tried to give her was the 'you are in the wrong, punishment now' and the flandre treatment, which mainly caused unfortunate mental stress, although dealt with her at the time.
>>23762
Burning the pictures and then locking her up in the Mountain would have be more than sufficient.
>>23764
The Tengu's way of getting her to reform sounded kind of like a form of torture to me.
>>23763
Yeah, the box does not sit too well with me either, but I'm sticking by my opinion that forgiveness is better than termination of friendship.

>>23764
To be fair, the rules of the game were different then. Votes were about what was more funny, not whether or not it was good for the mental health of the unstable tengu to have a drunk vampire insult her newspaper.
[X] I get that dogs tend to forget that they buried something, but come on!
-[X] ...That was a bad joke, sorry.
--[X] I'm still mad about a lot of what happened, but... Really, thank you.
---[X] Mentioning saving everything I own would have saved us both some grief."
----[X] make joke about rebuilding house.
>>23766
It's more like that thing with prisoners breaking rocks with sledgehammers than actual torture... But it sure as hell did not lead to anything constructive as far as criminal reformation goes.
[x] "...Thank you."
[x] Hug.

You guys just need to calm down and let it drop. We spent all this time getting Hina to drop her grudges and you guys still want Aya to hold a grudge against pretty much her only friend.

The only grudge we need is against the Elders. And Meiling.
>>23756

Meiling tried to talk to Aya. Repeatedly. She forced herself to keep calm, and explained to Aya just how and why what she was doing was wrong.

IT DIDN'T WORK. Instead everything Meiling said either went completely over Aya's head, or worse, she deliberately misinterpreted it. So while I can't talk about Momiji's role in all this, Meiling at least TRIED to snap Aya out of it rationally.

Remember? The whole freaking conversation between the two was taped, so Momiji knows this as well. Someone TRIED rationally getting through to her, and it didn't work. THAT'S why I'm willing to cut Meiling and Momiji a lot of slack.

Since quoting the whole conversation would be too long, I'll simply leave a link to the appropriate thread in Being Meiling, in case you have forgotten the whole of what happened.

http://www.touhou-project.com/sdm/res/55803.html#55803
>>23771
And how does that justify burning down her house and almost everything she owes?

No one is denying that Aya was fucked up, but in that case they should have put her with people who could have helped her deal with her issues.
>>23772

Her house? Yes. Almost everything she owns? CLEARLY you haven't read the latest update, where Momiji said most of her stuff was in the box. As for someone helping out with her mental issues? First, tengu society. I have no idea how it works, but they're big on honor, and apparently aren't sure how to handle something this extreme. Second, Japanese society. Mental problems stay WITHIN the family, and psychologists are near-nonexistent, even in modern Japan.

Holy FUCK have these turns of events been polarizing as hell. I KNEW it would be a bad idea to have Meiling show up, which is why I voted for Albrecht, a neutral party.

I ask you, what would you have done? Clearly a rational conversation didn't work, as we've seen. The status of psychologists in Gensokyo is the same as that of buses.
>>23773
No, it's clear that you haven't read the update correctly, Momiji only saved some of her stuff. But the vast majority of it still went up in smokes.

Which what I meant when I said that giving her to the Tengu was the wrong thing to do. They could have had one of the Faiths help her. Hell, I can think of one person who has a lot of experience with dealing with Youkai with issues, Byakuren.

I wouldn't have burned down her sanctuary and her stuff which would have put her under a lot of emotional distress and make her even worse.
>>23774

Ahem. Directly from the last update.

[quote=Tengu of (Mis)Fortune]

Masks. Books. Old newspapers. Tightly folded tapestries. Other boxes, with labels on them. My old robes. And that's just what I can see on the topmost layers. These are ALL MY THINGS...

"We didn't torch the house right away," Momiji says quietly, "Meiling gave me an hour or so to go through the house and gather up most of your things. I pretty much tore the place apart, since it would be going up in smoke anyway. I found a lot of old things there, like these old manuscripts hidden in the walls... not to mention your stash of candid photos. Twelve caches of them, that I found." Momiji falls silent for a moment. "I was going to give this back to you once it was felt that you'd recovered, but... now seems as good a time as any."

[/quote]

Emphasis mine.
>>23775
"All my things" means that everything in there belongs to her. This is not the same as what you're reading it as, "All of my things", which would mean that everything she had in the house was in the crate.

There's only one crate and Aya's house was reasonably large. Furthermore, if there are things that Aya had hidden, as implied by the caches of photos and the old manuscripts in the walls, then it stands that there could be things Momiji did not find.

All of which is moot because even if Momiji miraculously saved every last little thing Aya's collected over the centuries of her life, she still participated in burning down Aya's house, home, and shelter from a disdainful society.
>>23775
Reading comprehension and proper grammar, do you understand what those terms mean?

All my things is not the same as All of my things.
>>23775

Yep. Momiji pulled just about all of Aya's stuff out of her house before the big purge. Granted, this one crate isn't all of it, but Momi can only haul one crate at a time. In any case, she's good at packing things.

Also, she didn't save Aya's porn. Which, I admit, is tragic.
>>23778
No offense, but I feel like you either need to be clear on these things or stop feeling like you're jumping around trying to justify stuff.
>>23778
Doesn't that makes things worse?

''Hey, I had the time to find and save all your stuff before we burned your house down, but I didn't have the time to find and torn down all those pictures and only burning them up instead of burning down your only sanctuary.''

I mean, what the fuck?
>>23778

>>23779 's thoughts are my own. It's good that you're informing us of what's actually going on instead of just leaving us to flounder, but it'd be much easier if you could inform us in story of these kinds of things. As it stands, it really does feel like you're justifying things after the fact in order to nudge the story in a certain direction.

>"...There were some other things I salvaged, and hid in the woods. I packed them into this crate, and buried it all underground."

>"Meiling gave me an hour or so to go through the house and gather up most of your things."

Packing up takes time, even if you're rushing and don't actually care about any damages your haphazard packing is causing. I could buy one crate being the best Momiji could do under the circumstances - and implies herself, considering she specifically referred to 'this' crate instead of 'crates' - but is Momiji seriously that good of a packer that she can shove the near-entirety of Aya's centuries of life into a bunch of crates in about an hour? Crates that were probably not on the premises, meaning she had to fly out and find them? Crates that she has to carry one at a time, since they're too bulky and heavy for her?
>>23781

Patience, Anon. Momiji hasn't had a chance to explain how she pulled that off. Speaking of which, I might just pull off a quick update before bed tonight. Maybe.
>>23782
That still doesn't address the fact that if she could pull this off, why the fuck didn't she just take down the pictures and burn those instead?
[X] I get that dogs tend to forget that they buried something, but come on!
-[X] ...That was a bad joke, sorry.
--[X] I'm still mad about a lot of what happened, but... Really, thank you.

Anon, you need to learn how to let go.

Cheers Keymaster, I'm liking this part very much.
[X] You saved everything? That's... Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but I've been thinking for a long time now that everything I owned was gone. You didn't figure I might want to know all the things I'd gathered over centuries hadn't been burnt to tiny cinders? I mean, if you were worried I'd go look for them, you could have just lied about where you hid it all.
-[x] is this it?
--[x] now where to store this.
---[x] where did you get crates anyway. I did not think the village had any nor would they give them out easily.
[X] I get that dogs tend to forget that they buried something, but come on!
-[X] ...That was a bad joke, sorry.
--[X] I'm still mad about a lot of what happened, but... Really, thank you.

Keymaster, the emotional reaction is the direct side effect of good writing.
All this time I've been talking about why Meiling and Momiji were justified in their actions, and how it may be good for Aya in the long run, but I forgot to actually VOTE... So,

[X] I get that dogs tend to forget that they buried something, but come on!
-[X] ...That was a bad joke, sorry.
--[X] I'm still mad about a lot of what happened, but... Really, thank you.

A bit of a joke to try and lighten the mood. That sounds like Aya, not holding a grudge.
Voted twice ignore. >>23785
File 138284248027.jpg - (120.76KB, 850x602, why are things like this.jpg) [iqdb]
23789
"...Momiji, how the hell did you pack everything into one crate in a single hour?" I ask faintly.

"Well, packing it actually took a lot longer than an hour," Momiji admits.

I rub my head. "You're not making any sense."

Momiji sighs. "I was angry. Disgusted. I was going to torch that place no matter what. But I didn't want to destroy everything that you had. So I basically ran around your house and tossed it all outside. The packing came later." She pauses. "There's actually a couple more with some less important stuff. Bedsheets, rugs, that sorta thing."

I stare at the crate for a long moment. It's a big crate, to be sure. Looks heavy, too. "Well, that's nice," I say hesitantly, "You saved my things. Great. Didn't stop you from burning down my home."

"No," Momiji says quietly, "I guess it didn't."

"Do you really think that house was what warped me?" I ask, reaching down and picking up one of my old masks. "As opposed to, you know, the village itself? Did you really think that locking me up would help?"

"Actually, I did think being at the village would help you," Momiji says, staring right at me. "And no, the house was just a symptom. As for what changed you..." Momiji sighs. "No, Aya. It wasn't the village. It's the exact opposite, really."

I frown and stare at her. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Momiji returns my look. "Aya. You're a lone tengu, living outside the village, shunned by many of the inhabitants. One of your main hobbies is to collect naughty pictures of people and stare at them. That really put me off at first. At least, until I thought about it." She sighs. "We wolves are pack animals, Aya. I understand very well what all that solitude could do to someone. And I know that you were in exile for a very, very long time."

I grit my teeth. "I chose to leave on my own."

"Yeah. That's what Ichiro told me. He introduced me to Yoshio. I learned a lot about those days." She hesitates. "I know that you were turned away from the village gates a lot until you agreed to play ball. And I know how the elders were keeping you under control. It wasn't the village that destroyed you, Aya. It was it's absence."

"Shut up," I mutter, clenching my eyes shut. "Couldn't you have figured out a way to deal with things in a way that didn't involve burning my house down?"

"Maybe," Momiji sighs, "But at the time, I was too angry and sick to think about it. All I wanted to do was get rid of that... obscenity you were worshiping, and get you back into the village. Back among your own kind." She sighs. "They were colder to you than I thought. I apologize for that."

"Just that?" I glare at her.

"...I'm sorry I burned your house down, Aya," Momiji says quietly. "I was angry, and frightened. I didn't know what else I could do to get you back to normal. So I felt I had to bring you back in, and deal with your... issues... in a controlled environment." She shakes her head. "Things went terribly. And I'm sorry."

I gently place my mask back into the crate, and slump down onto the ground, leaning against the large, wooden box. Momiji comes to sit next to me. "...Big box," I note.

"Yeah," Momiji agrees, "I bought it from the kappa."

"...And you hid it all?"

She shrugs. "I knew the elders would just try to claim it. Probably give it to some 'worthier individuals.' Or just dole it out to you over years. So yeah. I hid it. Like I said, I was gonna surprise you with all of it. I figured you'd stay with me until we worked out your issues, and then you'd move to a new house inside the village, and surprise! There's all of your stuff." She pauses. "Well. Most of it. I wasn't too gentle while storming around your house. Didn't save the pornography. Also, you have some broken dishes. And some dirty sheets. And some torn sheets, too. Sorry."

"...Some of that pornography was centuries old, Momi," I chuckle.

"I figured you'd fixate on that," Momiji retorts. She sighs. "Aya. You're not well. Your years of isolation did bad things to you, and the elders didn't help. I wanted to help you. I fucked up. I'm sorry."

I'm silent for a moment, letting Momiji's words wash over me. There's a sincerity in them that I kind of find hard to face head-on. Instead, look at the crate. "Sheesh. I knew that dogs liked to bury stuff, but come on!"

"Wolf," Momiji insists calmly.

"Whatever," I snort. "What is this thing, five feet to a side? It's huge. And where were you keeping it?"

"I buried it in the forest," Momiji says simply. "I know this place like the back of my hand. And yeah, it's five feet square, and packed as tightly as I could get it. You have an awful lot of crap, Aya."

"At least I still have it," I sigh. I feel weak all of a sudden, completely drained, and I let my head rest on Momiji's shoulder. She reaches up and starts to stroke my hair. "Thanks." Momiji nods. "Am I crazy, Momiji?"

She shakes her head. "No. Not insane. But you have serious issues, Aya. Still, you've been improving incredibly in the past week. I think Aya's been good for you."

"...Still can't believe that I was perving out on an ice fairy," I grunt, "One who doesn't even have any boobs."

"Or a 'fuzzy-wuzzy' tail," Momiji says dryly. I chuckle at this. Yeah, I remember one time that I got really drunk and started chasing Momi around, wanting to hug her tail. She's never forgotten that. It was worth it, though; that tail is as soft as all hell. "You still angry?"

"...Yes," I admit. "I'm angry and frustrated, and I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with myself. But... thank you. Really. I think you might be the only true friend I have." I reach over and hug Momiji, which she returns tightly, even stroking my wings in that soothing way of hers.

"Come on, Aya," Momiji says, pulling me to my feet, "Let's get you inside. Take a day or two to get your head straight, okay? I'll bring the rest of your things and put them out back or something."

"Thanks," I say, leaning on the wolf heavily as she lugs me to the door of Hina's place. I feel so weak. This day has been hell. Carefully leading me along, Momiji slides open to the door to Hina's shrine, and over to my bedroom at my direction. I notice Hina watching me silently through my increasingly tired vision.

Momiji takes me to my bed and lays me down in it, even tucking me in, before saying her farewells. I'm asleep before she even leaves the room.

I do not sleep well.


[ ] I will record it all
[ ] Alone
[ ] My precious ladies
[ ] The elders
[x] I will record it all

Regardless of what other Anons say, this is a fascinating series of events, Keymaster.
[X] The elders
[x] My precious ladies

Time to mourn some porn.
[x] My precious ladies
[X] My precious ladies

Not sure if porn or past lovers. Knowing Aya, probably both.
[ ] I will record it all
>>23789

[x] I will record it all

So will be revealed her obsession with Truth
[ ] I will record it all
[ ] Alone

It's fascinating how isolation can completely destroy psyches.
[x] I will record it all
>She shakes her head. "No. Not insane. But you have serious issues, Aya. Still, you've been improving incredibly in the past week. I think Aya's been good for you."
Err, either she means Hina or Aya's even more narcissistic than we thought. Not that's a bad thing, mind you

Anyway
[x] Alone
[X] I will record it all

The deconstruction continues.
[X] Alone

Tide, meet piss.
[x] I will record it all 
Well. I'm out for a few days and this happens. It's probably for the best I wasn't here.

[X] I will record it all
[x] Alone.

We already know the main gist about how her newspaper started and got derailed. I'm more interested in her personal development.
[X] My precious ladies

This choice makes me think of a scene where Aya finds a single pornographic picture hidden between the pages of one the books. Every night after that, she pulls it out and strokes it while whispering "My precious."
[X] The elders
>>23800

...Yes. She was supposed to say that staying with Hina was good for Aya. Fuck it, it was late when I proof-read this.
[x] I will record it all

I don't even have a clue what this choice could mean. But it is still the one who tempts me the most
[X] The elders
[X] The elders
Whoops. Disregard one of the prior two votes.
Calling vote for 'I will record it all.' Brace for dream sequence.
>>23813
missed the vote, but hey, it was going the same way.
File 138290786522.jpg - (145.64KB, 850x574, good morning.jpg) [iqdb]
23815
More blood. I've gotten so sick of it. This time, the blood of the innocent stains the air, making me ill. I stand on the high ground, looking down at the village with sorrow. It used to be full of life. People laughed and cried there. Had families. Made lives for themselves. They had nothing to do with the battle against the youkai. These were farmers, who realized that they could make a living for themselves by selling food to the hunters.

They never meant any harm. Hell, they probably only half-believed the stories of fearsome monsters stalking these parts. All they cared about was trying to get by through selling bread, fruits, and meat to a bunch of eccentric martial artists they saw maybe three times a year, when their caravans went to sell to the hunters.

Of course, we'd found out about them. Never underestimate a crow when it comes to gathering information. The village was detected, and their operations carefully logged. An enclave of humanity, gathering food and supplying the warriors. Clearly a home to more of our enemies; had the hunters not been seen in their streets?

Never mind that the few hunters seen were likely only going there for some extra provisions. Or maybe were coming and going from further afield. Regardless, the people here lived peacefully, free from predation from bandits or youkai. It must have seemed like paradise to them.

But it was the home of our enemy, and it supplied the humans closer to our mountain. And given that there were hunters here, of course they couldn't be mere civilians! No, this was a primary target, a place that had to be wiped out in order to weaken our foes.

And so the tengu marched. Or flew, rather. They flew, and descended upon the village during the midday, when a lone musician filled the air to brighten the day for his fellows. While people went about their business, children played, vendors hawked their wares, and a simply village went about its daily concerns.

And then they died. En masse, screaming in fear, grief, and confusion, the innocent people of this village died. Most had likely never laid hands upon a weapon in their entire life. A few desperate men grabbed whatever was close at hand to protect their families, to no avail. The only mercy is that it was quick. Somehow, that little mercy seems so cruel.

And I? I had come along to bear witness. Something about the whole situation had not been sitting right with me. Why would a group of warriors be so far from the front lines, doing nothing more than gathering food? The answer, of course, was that there were no warriors here. Only innocents who had wanted nothing more than to be left alone. Tengu don't really have civilians; all of us are born with our strength and taught to fight. These people were different. These people didn't have a chance.

And so the wolves linger in the streets, and the crows hover in the skies, looking lost. No one feeds upon the dead; we've changed beyond that. Instead, a few empty-eyed wolves gently touch the bodies of children, cut down by their blades, while crows land on rooftops and stare at the remains of a cheerful structure being built for a festival of some sort. It's festooned with flowers, and I think a couple was going to be married here.

It's an atrocity, and we tengu are responsible. I close my eyes and shake my head. We didn't know, it was true. But we could have found out easily. That's what crows do. But bloodlust clouded the heads of the tengu, and nobody stopped to think. And now the blood of the innocent is on our hands. Nobody is whispering about inferior humans at the moment. How do you claim to be superior to one who wasn't even playing in your court? No. This was murder, plain and simple.

Someone touches down next to me. "This is..." Tenma's voice sounds numb. I look over to see the Lord of the tengu staring down in shock.

"I told you this would happen someday," I sigh wearily. "The tengu howled for blood, and they got it. They tore it from those who could not fight back. Tell me, where is the honor in this, oh mighty 'Lord?'" There is scorn and anger in my voice. Tenma doesn't respond. He just stares down as the reality of the situation hits home to him. Finally, his face firms as our mighty leader comes to a decision.

"We burn the remains to ashes. There can be no evidence of this deed," Tenma says.

I whirl on him, shocked, face twisted with outrage. "What?!" This is... there are no words. No way way to convey the injustice of this. Are we to simply pretend that these people never existed?!

Tenma meets my gaze, face stern but eyes uncertain. "Look at the effect that this has had upon our people. If word of this became widespread, the tengu would lose heart, and our honor would be forever marred. No, best to reduce the town to nothingness. Pretend that there was a fire here, and that the people were forced to flee. So many things that can happen to a human in the wilderness, after all..."

I snarl with rage. "You damnable coward! You'll sweep the truth under the rug like this?"

Tenma whirls on me, affronted. "How dare you?! Do you forget who speak to, Shameimaru?!"

I step forward, nearly nose-to-nose with Tenma, and look him right in the eye. "Yeah. I do, Tenma. Do you remember who you're talking to?" He doesn't respond. "I'm calling you a coward for trying to erase these people. I'm calling you a monster for not even giving them a decent burial. What are you going to do about it?"

Tenma stares at me, frustration evident even with his carefully schooled features. He knows better, of course. Tenma tried to bring me back into line once, when it was clear that I wouldn't fight wars for the tengu anymore. He went home with bruises that day. "The affairs of humans are not our own," he says carefully, "We are very different beings-"

"Once," I interrupt, "But not anymore. Or maybe you'd like to explain why our village looks exactly like a human village. Look in a damn mirror, Tenma." I pull on the skin of my cheek for emphasis. "Once, you and I couldn't go to a human village without everybody taking one look and panicking. Now? We might get people offering to court us, if we just hid our wings. We're not that different. And what you're doing? You're covering up a slaughter."

Tenma meets my gaze, trying to overpower me with his will. He fails, and looks away. "I have spoken," Tenma says, though there is little conviction in his voice. "This is for the good of the tengu. If you will not accept it... then stay out of our way, Aya." The Lord of all tengu flies away, and I can only stare in his wake, impotent.

The village is put to the torch. All that is left is a mysterious scorch mark that fades within a year. The tengu who participated in the raid never speak of it again. Some commit suicide. They're never spoke of again, save in hushed whispers by their families. Tenma starts to drink heavily.

And I? I decide to record it. Because even if the rest of the tengu want to forget about the things that are inconvenient to them, I will not. And so I sit down in my home and write down what happened, carefully and painstakingly. And then I make some illustrations, as detailed as I can. There will be a record of those people, whose names I will never know. And when this manuscript is finished, I will make more, of those times past the tengu have seen fit to ignore. And then I will continue to record these incidents.

The Truth is real. And even if nobody else here does, I believe in it with all of my heart.


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

My eyes flutter awake with the morning light, and I become aware of a warm, comforting presence beside me. Turning my head groggily to the side, I slowly become aware of the fact that Hina has apparently gotten into bed with me last night. I can feel her body heat from where she lays next to me, and her scent is very sweet. Gods, but she looks beautiful when she's sleeping.

As though sensing my wakefulness, Hina stirs and glances over at me, rubbing her eyes. She blinks at me. "...Aya, you're drooling."

"Eheheheh..." I giggle stupidly. I mean, come on! There is a hot goddess in bed next to me! What the hell would you do?!

Wait, I know exactly what I'd do.

"So, uh, what are you doing here?" I ask, unable to keep a grin off my face. This could be it...

Hina smiles. "It seemed like you could use some company last night, so here I am!" She...was checking up on me? Wow. Hina's face looks a bit concerned. "How are you doing, Aya?"

I think about what has transpired. About my past, my actions, and the dream I just had. And in the end? "I think I'm okay," I say slowly. "I mean, there's lot I gotta sort out... but I think that things are gonna be fine."

"Good," Hina says approvingly, "Just don't go staring at any young girls, okay?" I give her a dirty look, and Hina giggles. "Oh come on, Aya. Sometimes, you have to laugh at something to put it behind you." Heh. I guess that's true, huh. "So, is there anything that I can do for you?"

"Some kinky, loving sex?" I ask hopefully.

"Nope~!" Hina says cheerfully.

"Hot makeouts?"

"Nope again!"

"...Deep morning kiss?"

"Negative!"

"Touch your sexy body?"

"Nada!"

"You give me a sensual massage?"

"Hmmm... nope!" Darn. Almost had her, there.

"Lovingly made breakfast?"

Hina nods. "That I can do!" Then Hina tosses a sheet over my face and is out of the room before I can do pull it back off. Awww... I never got a chance to see what she was wearing to bed! Thank the gods for Mister Imagination.

At least breakfast tastes good.

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

Mmmkay, I think it's time to put the drama on hold and get back to the empire-building, don't you?

CURRENT STATUS: Allied to the Aki sisters as the three goddesses of change. Still far from being major players, though.

HINA STATUS: Hopeful.

MINORIKO STATUS: Enthusiastic.

SHIZUHA STATUS: Cautiously optimistic.

AYA STATUS: Kinda horny, really.


THE LIST:


[ ] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[ ] Public relations.
-[ ] Improving Hina's public image.
-[ ] Advertising!
-[ ] Time to start providing services.
-[ ] Getting followers.
--[ ] An encountered named character (Specify: Kasen, Akyuu, etc.)
--[ ] The kappa.
--[ ] Other.
[ ] How big should you grow?
[ ] Should we get a clergy at some point?
[ ] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[ ] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[ ] Public relations.
-[ ] Improving Hina's public image.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.

They will notice, fast. We need to know what to do when they do.
[x] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[X] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[X] Public relations.

>>23817
Should work on effective doctrine and such first, though. While yes, this will be noticed, there needs to be an idea of how the other doctrines will attack/the Goddesses of Change will defend.

For example, who will try to make it a matter of popularity, or try rumormongering, or attack physically? While Aya is there partially as a bodyguard, setting up to counter social attacks is a longer-term thing.
File 138291212163.png - (73.17KB, 222x352, MikoOfMisfortune.png) [iqdb]
23820
[X] Should we get a clergy at some point?
-[X] Appoint Aya as head miko. Get her some miko robes (pic relevant) and a gohei or onusa. Put Hina's spiral logo on the robes.

...not really related, but why is "duplicate file entry" an error? It was relevant there, it's relevant here, I shouldn't have to add a border to post it again.
>>23819

Doctrine's not one of the options on the list. Did we do it already?
We did do the doctrine thing already. I think it was in the last thread!

[x] Work on that Shrine thing. Bitches dig shrines.

Also, curious as to what Aya was imagining Hina in. Or not in.
[X] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[X] Public relations.


Dealing with other faiths is also important, but we can't deal with them properly until we're set up ourselves.
[x] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[x] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[ ] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's public image.
>>23815
I think the shrine and Hina's public image go at least partially hand-in-hand.

>[x] The shrine(s). We really gotta sort that out.
Closer is probably better. We're trying to be deities of the common people. The shrine on Youkai Mountain isn't attended even by tengu, much less other youkai. Nobody goes there, so nobody goes there. And the pantheon's supposed to be focused on change, right?

Which isn't to say we want to abandon the option of getting faith from youkai. It might actually be better for the fledgling pantheon to open a branch shrine near the tengu village -- one focused more on the Aki sisters than on Hina, since Hina won't want much to do with them (and possibly vice versa).

But no one goes to the shrine on Youkai Mountain, and I don't see any way to convince them to. And really, that's already the same as not having a shrine there at all.

(It is a home, though. I'll understand -- certainly Aya would understand -- if Hina would rather not get rid of it entirely.)

>[x] Public relations.
>-[x] Improving Hina's public image.

We can't improve Hina's image without interacting with people. Aya herself probably can't do it directly at all, due to her own negative image. But just suddenly moving a feared, unpopular goddess into the Aki sisters' domain... well, that might have the opposite effect.

So Hina's going to have to do some hand-shaking and baby-kissing (n.b.: don't get those crossed) in the Human Village before moving. (And their reaction to her is going to inform what steps we take next concerning her shrine-of-residence.)

But unless Hina lives near a group of people, in the long term, her public perception won't stay improved amongst them.
Voting is mainly in favor of dealing with the shrine issue, so consider the vote called! Update will be sometime this evening.
File 138299564979.jpg - (169.50KB, 850x604, goddess at work.jpg) [iqdb]
23830
"What's this mask for?" Hina asks, pulling out another mask.

I glance over. "Old ceremony, the kind used to open up certain conferences. That was back when I cared about that stuff."

"Huh. And this one?" She asks, pulling out another mask.

"Um... I forget. Actually, I think that one's just decorative. A design to bless one's endeavors that never took off." Hina looks interested in my words, and sets the mask off to one side.

It's been a couple of days since Momiji dropped off the rest of my stuff, and Hina and I have been going through it to see what was salvaged. The answer turn out to be: quite a lot, really. I mean, a few dishes are broken, and I don't see my old futon anywhere. And more than a few things are pretty dirty. Anyway, Hina and I have been going through it all, just sorting and cleaning things off, before storing it away more conveniently in Hina's back storage room. I'll have to do something nice for her as a thank-you. Buy her some lingerie, maybe. Which, knowing my luck, I will never see on her body. Oh well.

"Hey, aren't these traditional tengu robes?" Hina asks, picking up another set of my clothing. "This is the sort of thing that I see most of the tengu wearing."

"Yeah, that's the stuff," I agree. "I don't really wear it all that often, though. It's such a pain in the ass to get on and off." I start to illustrate with my hands. "I mean, I have to use this bar to brace some of the clothing and just sort of... rotate into the accessories. It's a real bother to deal with, so I usually don't." Smirking, I strike a pose. "Besides, my current outfit is already sexy enough, don't you think?"

"That sounds like a dangerous question, Aya," Hina giggles. I'm about to reply when a sound from outside suddenly gets our attention.

The sound of someone throwing money into a donation box and clapping their hands in prayer.

Hina and I look at each other. Nitori comes by from time to time, but she usually calls out before giving her donation. This silent prayer... could it be...?!

Hina's eyes suddenly get very wide, and she rushes to the front door as quietly as she can, in a strange sort of prancing motion. It's really hard to describe, but it's the movement you make when you simultaneously want to move fast and quietly. I think she forgot that she can just float.

Cracking the door open ever so slightly, Hina peeks out, with me hovering just over her so that I can get a look, too. There's someone out there. A human male, dressed for traveling. Obviously from the village, and he appears to be finishing up a brief prayer, looking at the shrine expectantly. Feeling a surge of hope in my chest, I prod Hina in the small of the back, and she nods before taking a deep breath to steady herself. Thus prepared, the misfortune goddess opens the door.

"Hello," she says politely, "May I help you?"

The man looks up, hesitates slightly, then smiles and bows. "Hello, Lady Kagiyama. Pardon the intrusion but I was wondering if you could rid me of my misfortune."

Hina takes a deep breath, sighs happily, and nods. "Why, certainly! Why don't you come in for some tea, and we'll get right to work?"

I turn away to hide a huge grin. Hina just got a supplicant! Fuck yeah!

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

"It's mesmerizing," the man, Taro, notes as he stares wide-eyed at Hina. The goddess is doing her thing again, spinning gracefully in place as she draws out Taro's misfortune.

"It is," I agree, staring at Hina for a long moment before turning my attention back to the petitioner. "So! Welcome to the Kagiyama shrine! Mind if I ask what specifically brings you here? I promise, it'll remain confidential. Really."

Taro shrugs. "Well, like I said, things just haven't been going that well for me lately. Word had gotten around that Lady Kagiyama was a lot safer to be around than anyone thought, so... I thought I'd take a chance. Seems to have paid off."

I nod. "Yeah, Hina's a lot better than most people give her credit for. She takes away bad luck, she doesn't give it to people!" I pause. "By the way? The stuff people may have been saying about me? You really shouldn't read too much into it."

Taro nods. "Well, if Lady Kagiyama has you staying at her place, that must be true, huh?" He smiles. "I must say, it's a shame the Bunbunmaru isn't being sold anymore. Of course, my wife was less than amused by, uh, some of your articles."

Urk. "Yeah, I may not have been upholding journalistic integrity all that well," I chuckle weakly. "But never mind that! We are certainly glad that you sought out the Kagiyama shrine today!"

"And it's a good thing that you did," Hina says, coming to a halt. "I mean, you were so full of misfortune! I really recommend that you come see me earlier if your luck turns so sour ever again!"

Taro scratches the back of his head in embarrassment. "Yeah, I should, huh? Although..." he frowns a little bit. "I did hesitate a bit before coming out here. Not due to your reputation or anything, but more due to the location." Taro looks up at Hina. "I mean, this place is pretty far away, you know what I mean? And I kept worrying that a tengu patrol was going to nail me, even if they said they wouldn't in the Kakashi Spirit News."

Must remain calm. Must not rant madly at the mention of my usurper. Stay calm, Aya. Smile! Smile for the nice man!

Hina frowns. "You know, I was thinking for a long time that I needed to move my shrine somewhere else, but I never got around to it."

Taro shrugs. "Well, a long as there was some easier way to get your blessing, there's more than a few people that would take advantage of it, ma'am."

Hmmm. "Say, did you know that Hina's gonna be working with the Akis pretty soon?"

His eyes go wide at that. "Really? Then Miss Minoriko is a friend of yours?" He smiles happily. "Now that is one fine goddess. Always someone you can count on during harvest time, you know what I mean? But if you don't mind my asking, how do you two go together?"

I wave my hand. "We're still getting things set up on that end. You'll see. But yeah, Hina is gonna be working with the Aki sisters. Both of them," I add meaningfully.

Taro has the grace to look embarrassed. "Ouch. Beg your pardon. It's just that Miss Shizuha isn't someone you normally think of unless it's fall, know what I mean? Which is really unfair to her, but... it is what it is, right?" Hina and I nod in understanding. It isn't only the misfortune goddess that needs some serious advertisement.

Anyway, Taro stays long enough for some tea, then heads back out the door, saying that he wanted to get back to his fields as soon as possible. A farmer's work was never done, and all that. Hina and I wave farewell as he disappears into the trees. Once he's left, I turn to Hina with a triumphant smile. "Hey, hey! That's a good start, right?"

Hina looks thoughtful. "Yes, but he brought up a good point. It isn't easy for people to get to my shrine. And once I finish the merger with the Akis, things are going to get complicated." She looks over at me. "Aya, let's head over and visit their grove. We need to settle this thing once and for all." I nod in agreement, and take a few minutes to put away the possessions we had sorted that morning. Shortly thereafter, Hina and I are en-route to the home of the Akis.

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

"So, what's up?" Minoriko asks as she sets out the tea. It's delicious, as expected. I swear, everything this girl touches tastes fantastic!

Hina sips her tea before responding. "Well, now that we have an official alliance, I wanted to work out the matter of our shrines once and for all." She begins to gesture as she talks. "I mean, do we each have separate shrines? One central shrine with different wings devoted to each of us? Branch shrines? Live together, or separately?"

Shizuha looks thoughtful. "There's pros and cons to every situation. I have to admit, I've been thinking this over myself, and I'm not too sure what the right decision would be." She glances my way. "Aya, what's your opinion on this?"

I take a moment to think it over.


[ ] Shrines! Discuss!
[x] In the interests of accessibility we should set up shrines near the Human Village.
[x] Three shrines close together; symbolizing that we're both a pantheon and individual goddesses, and also aforementioned accessibility reasons.
[x] Discuss pros and cons of all possibilities before making a final decision.
File 138300304350.jpg - (1.69MB, 3256x2162, MiwaTorii.jpg) [iqdb]
23832
[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses
[X] Make Aya a miko, get her some miko robes and a gohei.
I like that vote.

[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses
[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses

It's what I was going to say.
[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses
[X] Consider making Aya a (temporary?) miko, get her some miko robes and a gohei.
>>23830
> [ ] Three shrines close together; symbolizing that we're both a pantheon and individual goddesses, and also aforementioned accessibility reasons.

[x] One shrine near the Human Village. (Maybe even in the Village?)

If you have three separate shrines, then you've got to worry about three shrines' worth of maintenance and clergy. If all three goddesses are located at one shrine, though, you can get visitors interested in the other two goddesses when they come for one in particular. (Think of it like the shelves full of impulse-buys at the cash register.) (Also note that "shrine" usually refers to the entire a campus, not just a single building.)

Actually being in the village proper... well, that would make slightly more sense for Hina (who should be close to people), but less for Shizuha and Minoriko (who should thematically be close to the fields and forests). Also, they'll want a large lot of land for gardening and trees and festivals; that's easier to come by outside the village.

It's possible that the Akis' current location already satisfies all the desired criteria.
[x] One shrine near the Human Village
-[x]Aya the (temporary) miko
-[x]One bedroom, single bed, three goddess, Final Destination.
>>23837
I was actually considering pitching the pantheon-formation as a marriage. There are a lot of logistical similarities. (Really, they should probably have gone on a few dates first.)
[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses
[X] Get Aya some miko robes and a gohei.

Just think of the centuries of impending sectarian violence over exactly which of the three shrines is for which goddess.
Food for thought: what about the Youkai? If the shrine is too far, will they react? I think Hina's shrine should be changed to serve as a back up shrine... but who will they go to first? and when? Decisions...
>>23840
Yeah, see the first part of >>23828. It depends on how often the youkai actually come to Hina's current shrine in the first place; I'd gotten the impression that they essentially never did.

The tengu elders are going to react poorly anyway, of course, because they're reactionary asshats. We'll need some sort of plan to deal with that -- and I don't think appealing to Reimu is going to work in this case, since we're directly competing with her. (Which is not to say she would refuse to stop the tengu, just that she'd find a way to do it that disadvantages Hina. Like, say, twisting her arm to get her to move back to the old shrine, or at least closer to the mountain.)

On the other hand, appealing to Yukari might work... although if DaiCirno gets called in, Aya should probably be somewhere else.
[X] One central shrine with wings devoted to each goddess.
[X] Put it somewhere closer to the human village.
[X] Stick close to traditional Shinto architecture
-[X] maybe use a triple (miwa) torii, since it's for thee goddesses


>>23840
Closer to the human village does not mean that youkai wouldn't be able to come there.

Inside the village would be more like Hina's current shrine, but the other way around.
Right now she lives on Youkai Mountain so it's mostly just youkai who can actually reach her shrine, and a few of the tougher (or more desperate) humans.
If they move inside the village, it would be mostly just humans and a few of the more civilized (or desperate) youkai.

The best compromise would be moving down from the mountain, but not actually into the village.
Easier access for humans, without completely shutting out the youkai.


>>23841
How, exactly, would they be competing with Reimu?
She's not dependent on faith (only donations), as the Hakurei shrine does not actually have a god right now, and her donations are affected more by Incidents than any real "divine service".
The Hakurei shrine doesn't offer anything to draw in devotees, so the only time people really remember her is when she's out danmaku-ing troublemakers.
But when she does, there's nobody who doesn't pay attention to her.
>>23842

Well, Mima might still be the Curse God of the Hakurei Shrine.

If she was ever that to begin with.

I think the Hakurei Shrine worships a bunch of gods in general, and whichever ones bring in the most money at the time in specific.

...Maybe we can open a branch shrine up there, like Kanako did that one time.
Okay, looks like we have a good write-in here, so I'll start writing. The update may be delayed though; I've kinda had a long day.
File 138309117659.jpg - (307.36KB, 850x992, making plans.jpg) [iqdb]
23846
"Well..." I say thoughtfully, "Here's my idea. What you really want is a central shrine. Not one for each of you; that wouldn't accomplish anything. What you really want a shrine for the collective worship of the three of you at once. Just... one with wings, each for one of you."

Shizuha looks interested. "I see... each wing of the shrine would have slightly different features related to one of us. Depending on which goddess the people wanted the assistance of, they would go down that wing to pray."

"Me for food, you for artistic inspiration, and Hina for fortune," Minoriko notes. "Hmmm... but we might still want something in the center to remind people that we're a package deal."

"That's easy enough," Hina shrugs, "We may be a trinity, but on any given day, someone may only wish the blessing of one of us." She nods, deep in thought. "What about location? Should we put it closer to, or even inside the human village?"

Shizuha winces. "Not inside the village," she insists, "That would be way too provocative to the other faiths. Whether we decide to stay under their radar or not, an act like that would be practically saying 'we're gonna take all of the faith in the village!' It would get a response, and not a good one. I don't think we should be so bold. At least, not yet."

"And if I can point out," I jump in, raising a hand. "I understand why the three of you are going after human faith first and foremost. But don't count out youkai. I mean, your average youkai may be a bit more lackadaisical when it comes to worship, but we still have faith to offer." I shrug. "I mean, I can think of a certain sparrow who'd enjoy blessings for her business, quite a few youkai enjoy making art, and everybody needs to get rid of bad luck from time to time."

"Good point," Minoriko nods. "In other words, making a new shrine close to the human village might make it more awkward for youkai petitioners, as well as provoking the larger faiths."

"Well, my shrine is right out," Hina comments. "I had a petitioner earlier today, and he was mentioning just how long the trip was. Honestly, it might be time for me to move."

"Huh. And you don't mind moving?" Minoriko asks. "What about the tengu? Aren't they gonna throw a fit over this?" She glances at me as soon as the words are out of her mouth, looking apologetic. "Er, sorry Aya. No offense intended."

I wave her off. "None taken. It's a fair comment. And anyway, it was made clear to me that the tengu aren't going to get in Hina's way if she wants to move off the mountain. I think guilt has overridden the sticks up their butts."

Hina giggles with amusement. "And I'm perfectly happy with moving away. Really, the old spot is nice, but it has a lot of bad memories attached to it. Memories of brooding, and feeling sorry for myself." She sighs a bit at this.

"Well, a change can be good from time to time," Mino puts in, hurriedly trying to keep Hina's spirits up. "Anyway, what about right here? We're fairly close to the village, such that it wouldn't be a chore to come visit us, but far enough away that a bunch of youkai might pay us a visit as well. I mean, we're within sight of 'Youkai' Mountain, know what I mean?"

"Still, we might want to build somewhere on the edge of our property," Shizuha muses. "As much as I love our surroundings, we might want people to consider more than just fall when they think of us." Shizuha shares a look with her sister. It's daunting for them; they're talking about exceeding the boundaries of who they've been up to now.

I shrug. "What's life without a challenge? Anyway, Hina's thinking about going into being a full-on good fortune goddess. It won't take way from the fact that she removes misfortune; it just means she's growing, and has more options, you know?" The Akis seem to consider this, and nod, looking reassured.

"How about the design?" Hina asks. "Should we stick to traditional Shinto architecture? We're all basically Shinto gods, after all. And maybe put up a miwa torii as well, to symbolize the three of us."

"Yeah, those are good ideas," I agree. "We can hash out the details later, in any case. But first, I have a proposal!" The three give me their full attention. "We can worry about expanding your clergy as your faith grows. But allow me to make a recommendation for your first priestess: me!"

"What." Shizuha says flatly.

"Sorry?" Minoriko blinks.

"Uh," Hina hesitates.

"Just think about it!" I say with a huge grin. "It'll be the biggest of ironies! I mean, a tengu of all things becoming a shrine maiden? It'll give me a chance to put on one of those cute robes and swing around a gohei!" I think it over for a moment. "Hmmm... of course, this is Gensokyo, so I'll have to leave my armpits exposed... maybe some symbols for all of you. Spirals, leaves, grapes, that sort of thing. Oh, and the new priestesshood has gotta wear miniskirts! It's gotta be, like, a divine commandment or something!" I look at the goddesses hopefully.

The three glance at each other for a long moment before looking back to me. "...Can we get back to you on that?" Hina asks awkwardly.

...I thought it was a nice idea. A whole order of mikos wearing miniskirts. Mmm...


[ ] Go with the current idea for a shrine.
[ ] No, wait! This! (write-in)
[JK] Ah, maybe not miniskirts? (yet)

I see no issues here. Are we in agreement, gentlemen, ladies?
>>23846
I remain less than keen on the whole separate wings thing; I feel like there should still be a comfortably-sized, much-used central area. But if they think they'll be happy with it...

Aya probably needs to exceed the boundaries of who she's been up to now, too. But then, that's called character growth, isn't it?
>>23848

I thought that was what we decided upon: separate wings with a large central area.

[x]Go with this.

It's a good idea. That's why we already chose it, and it's pointless to make us choose it a SECOND time.
[x] Go with the current idea for a shrine.
[x] "Ah well, a youkai miko would probably cause too much of a stir anyway. Better to have a human priestess, or even none at all if you want to be closer to your followers."
[x] "But if you guys change your minds, I promise to preform my duties as your Head Priestess and represent you to the best of my abilities."
-[x] "...With little to no perversion."
[X] Go with this
-[X] Accept Aya's application
--[X] Don't require other mikos to wear short skirts
[x] Go with the current idea for a shrine.
[x] "Ah well, a youkai miko would probably cause too much of a stir anyway. Better to have a human priestess, or even none at all if you want to be closer to your followers."
[x] "But if you guys change your minds, I promise to preform my duties as your Head Priestess and represent you to the best of my abilities."
-[x] "...With little to no perversion."
[x] Go with the current idea for a shrine.
No one put up another idea to vote so...
[x] Go with the current idea for a shrine.
[x] Find someone else to be Head Priestess.
- [x] Aya can be the Manager. Or... Producer.
GoddessM@ster.
[X] Go with this
-[X] Accept Aya's application
--[X] Don't require other mikos to wear short skirts
--- [X] Maybe save it for special occasions?


Besides, Aya probably won't do a lot of official work at the shrine, and will only be a temporary miko anyway.
She'll have fun with the robes and gohei for a while, before the novelty wears off.
Not to mention, she has her newspaper to get back to.

But it's a good start for the shrine to already have a miko (even a temporary one), it'll also show that they're still open for youkai even though they're moving closer to the human village, and the goddesses can use it as an opportunity to keep Aya (a little more) in check for a while.
As priestess she has to be the most diligent in following the divine commandments, after all.

I mean, if they agree to let Aya wear a miniskirt she'll probably agree to "take her position as head miko seriously", which basically means "listen to whatever we tell you" if they want to stretch it that far.
File 138315193365.jpg - (70.61KB, 850x425, i have some ideas.jpg) [iqdb]
23856
I chuckle weakly. "Okay, so... maybe no on the idea of being High Priestess?"

Shizuha raises an eyebrow. "Why exactly are you so hot on the idea of being a priestess?"

I grin. "You mean other than the opportunity to be around a bunch of pretty girls in uniform all the time, not to mention handsome men in appealing robes? No reason."

"Would the men have to wear miniskirts, too?" Minoriko asks wryly.

"...Kilts, maybe?" I suggest.

"Maybe a little too novel for Gensokyo," Hina giggles. "Well, can we get back to you on that? Not that we're saying no or anything, and youkai clergy is an idea, but well..."

"Yeah, a youkai priestess might cause a bit too much of a stir for a brand new religion," I admit, scratching my head. "Better to have a human as high cleric. Assuming you even want one, that is. Something to think about later, maybe." I pause. "But the offer is always open, and I am always willing to serve you in that capacity, to the best of my abilities!"

The goddesses glance at each other.

I cough. "And, um... I'll keep the perversion under control. No candid photos, and no pushing miniskirts on anyone. Though I still think that they're awesome, and I assert that a bikini calendar would be amazing for advertising."

"Well, one thing at a time, right?" Hina says smoothly. "Personally, I like your idea for a shrine. If we put it on the edge of the sisters' property, that should work out just fine."

"Seconded," Minoriko says, raising her hand.

"Then it's unanimous," Shizuha says with a nod. She smiles. "All right, so we have a doctrine and an idea for a shrine. Good enough so far. But this still leaves us with the issue of building a shrine in the first place. I mean , who do we get to do that?"

I think it over. "I can think of three possibilities. First off, you could just let human carpenters from the village take care of it. That would probably take the longest, but the workmen from the village know their stuff, and it would practically be free advertising. You could tell them all about the faith while they worked, and word would get around."

"What about cost? That's quite an investment," Minoriko notes.

"No big deal," I assure her, "I think we can get the tengu to foot the bill on that one. After all, they're trying to help Hina out, and helping her new faith out means assisting her." I smirk. "You two get to benefit from the deal there, too. Anyway, that actually brings me to the next possibility. Getting tengu artisans to do it."

"Huh. Never saw the tengu as being builders," Shizuha notes. "But then, somebody had to build your houses."

I nod. "This has a few benefits as well. Tengu are strong, so the work would go quickly, and if you give them the lowdown on your doctrine, word would get around just as quickly as with human carpenters." I sigh. "Even if it does mean using a rival's newspaper." I shake my head. "Anyway, they'd probably do it for free because of Hina, so there's that, too. The downside is that tengu artisans haven't really had an original idea in a very long time. So, your shrine will probably look very staid and somber unless you do some serious interior decorating. Unless you want to go for that kind of look."

Hina looks thoughtful. "What about Nitori? I mean, she's a follower, and she has quite a bit of pull among the kappa. With their machinery, they could probably put up a shrine in no time flat."

I nod. "That was gonna be my third option. Through Nitori, you could get a kappa work-team over here and have a shrine up practically overnight. Also, it would be chock-full of amenities. Actually, you might want Nitori to do some work on a shrine no matter who build it, but that's a whole other story. Anyway, with the kappa, you'd have a shrine up fast. the downside..." I hesitate, wondering how best to put it.

"...Is that we'd have kappa workers," Shizuha finishes, hitting the nail on the head.

I sigh. "Yeah. The infamous dam incident comes to mind. Keeping them all on track would be a job in and of itself. Still, you'd have a shrine up really quickly, and probably one with all kinds of fancy bells and whistles. It's just a question of whether you want to deal with the kappa or not." I shrug. "So yeah, those are my ideas."

Minoriko mulls it over. "Actually, I have another idea myself. You ever hear of that earth spider? A Miss Kurodani? Well, apparently she's been wandering around Gensokyo doing contract work for whoever will hire her. I don't know much about her, but rumor has it that she's an excellent carpenter who does some amazing work."

"Huh..." I scratch my chin and shrug. "I'm afraid that I don't know too much about her. I mean, I've heard the name, but I tend to stay clear of the underground. I have no idea if she'd do a great job, or a bad job. Sorry, can't advise you there. She's a total wild-card, as far as I'm concerned."

"So those are our options," Hina concludes. "Who do we ask to build our shrine?"


[ ] Human villagers.
[ ] Tengu artisans.
[ ] Nitori and the kappa.
[ ] Miss Kurodani.


(Note: for now, I'm just running with the idea of building on the edge of the Akis' property; if you want to change that, you'll have the chance. Also, we'll come back to the idea of clergy later.)
[] Shop around:
Human villagers.
Nitori and the kappa.
Miss Kurodani.

Tengu artisans would not look wild enough for a shrine of change.
[x] A combination effort of both
-[x] Human villagers.
-[x] Tengu artisans.

With after-touches made by
-[x] Nitori and the kappa.

I know that it'll be a pain in the ass to make Tengu and Human work together but we need to show how things have changed: to those groups in general and to supplicants in particular.

Besides I get the feeling that Aya would enjoy this-if she can pull it off.
[X] Shop around:
-[X] Human villagers.
-[X] Nitori and the kappa.
-[X] Miss Kurodani.
[X] Shop around:
-[X] Human villagers.
-[X] Nitori and the kappa.
-[X] Miss Kurodani.

I tink Yamame would be a good person to meet if anything Hina would have much in common (nice but feared for their powers)
We're taking a chance here anyway, why not
[x] Miss Kurodani
[x] Nitori+Kappa

Nitori's already a follower, and with the proper motivation and direction they can get things right (DyCirno's mecha army, anyone?) working alongside Kurodani.
[x] A combination effort of both
-[x] Human villagers.
-[x] Tengu artisans.

With after-touches made by
-[x] Nitori and the kappa.

The post this came from shares my perspective on this.
[X] Shop around:
-[X] Human villagers.
-[X] Nitori and the kappa.
-[X] Miss Kurodani.

Especially the latter, because spiders need more love.
...Crap. This is one of those times that I should have specified, isn't it?

Sorry, folks. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and you can only pick one group to work on the shrine. I'll allow the shopping around write-in if people want, though.
>>23864
well,
>>23862 here.

[X] Shop around:
-[X] Human villagers.
-[X] Nitori and the kappa.
-[X] Miss Kurodani.

If I can't get both tengu and humans on this, the tengu should stay out. No need to encourage their shit. Aya's becoming more about truth, once more, but she shouldn't (and has good reason to) let them into her life except as individuals.
[x] Miss Kurodani.
Because wild card is best card.
Well, Keymaster has spoken. If I can only choose one, I'll go with

[x]Nitori and the Kappa

Because they're a lighter and softer version of Sparks, and I want religion to be combined with SCIENCE! *fanfare*
[x]Nitori and the kappa

For SCIENCE!
[X] Miss Kurodani
Nah, I'll pick this one.
[X] Miss Kurodani.

I'd rather have the wild card than the group with ADHD. What's the point of getting other people to build the shrine if you have to provide constant oversight so they don't do something crazy?
[X] Miss Kurodani.

Wild card option. Also, she might pass the word down Underground, for whatever that may be worth.
[x] Miss Kurodani. 

Time to get avant-garde here.
[x] Miss Kurodani
>>23870
Because this.>>23868
But no, I'll refrain from this one. Getting the Tengu to do anything for us... I don't know, I just have a bad feeling.

Humans are meh, Kappa are SCIENCE, and for all Aya knows, Kurodani is Nineball
[X] Miss Kurodani.
[X] Miss Kurodani

Alright
[X] Miss Kurodani

Because tengu artisans means dealing with the tengu.
Human carpenters means dealing with the tengu (if they are to foot the bill).
And kappa mechanics means.. Dealing with kappa mechanics.

Besides, Kurodani is one of the more intelligent youkai, and has no real bias against humans so it's not as if she'd cause trouble without a good reason.
Okay, we won't get the same free publicity, but that can be dealt with in other ways.
>>23877
>Human carpenters means dealing with the tengu (if they are to foot the bill).
So, we're not going to pay Yamame?
[X] Miss Kurodani

Why? Well... Because it is Kurodani!!! Yes, my logic is obviously reasonable and unquestionable
>>23878
I don't know.

It was just specifically noted that the tengu would pay if we hired human carpenters.
And besides.. Would Yamame want to be paid as much as an entire group of human carpenters, or does she only want as much as one?
Does she even want to be paid in money and not something else, since she's a youkai (and a bit of an outcast) and would not have much use for human currency?
Okay, a sudden surge of votes for the earth spider, so consider it called! Update will be... whenever. Roughly.
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23882
I shrug. "Your call. Just pick one group, okay? Some of those carpenters and artisans can get awfully antsy about working together. Workman's pride, or something like that."

"Well, no reason not to get the villagers to do it, right?" Minoriko suggests. "I mean, it's free advertising!"

"Maybe..." Shizuha muses. "On the other hand, do we want to announce our plans to the Gensokyo before we're ready? It might be better to lay low, just until we're truly prepared. Anyway, I'm curious as to what the kappa have to offer."

"Well, I find myself very curious about this Miss Kurodani," Hina comments, looking thoughtful. "I haven't heard much about her myself, but if she could work quietly, and without making too much of a fuss, then she'd be worth looking into."

"Everything I've heard indicates that she does great work," Minoriko puts in. "A combination of stonework and carpentry. It could look really good."

Shizuha seems to think it over. "Yeah... come to think of it, I'd like to talk to this Miss Kurodani myself. There are a few things I wouldn't mind asking her."

I smirk. "So, nobody wants to talk to the tengu, eh?"

Hina winces. "Er, that is..."

I laugh and wave her off. "No worries, I understand completely. Besides, it'd be a pain to have them here, gawking at me all the time. The dreaded tengu exile, and all that. Anyway, sounds like you're thinking about, uh, Yamame was her name, I think."

Hina nods, and Shizuha shrugs. "At the very least, she's worth sounding out. We should see what she has to offer, at the very least. Mino, are you okay with that?" Minoriko nods, and Shizuha looks back to me. "Yeah, so do you think that you can go meet with her, Aya?"

I hesitate, feeling a sense of foreboding come over me. "Um... you want me to talk with her?"

"Well, it makes sense," Shizuha responds. "I mean, the three of us should really start ironing out the precise details of our new pantheon, not to mention any ideas for the shrine. Besides," Shizuha smirks a little bit. "You're pretty much our manager at this point. Isn't it your job to look into these little things for us?"

"I don't think my duties were precisely spelled out," I grumble, but I sigh in resignation. "Okay, fine. I'll go have a talk with Miss Kurodani, and see what she has to offer. I'll be back later." Getting up, I start to walk to the door.

"Are you all right, Aya?" Hina calls after me in a concerned-sounding voice. "You don't seem very enthusiastic."

I turn around, feeling uncomfortable. "Well, it's nothing I can't handle or anything. It's just that... Yamame Kurodani lives underground, you know?" I shake my head. "Never mind. I can handle it. I'll see you all later." I depart the Aki sisters' house and take to the sky.

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

I drop by Mystia's stand just long enough to inquire about Yamame, and get pointed to one of the entrances to the underground. Honestly, Yamame turns out to be pretty darned easy to find. Mainly due to the large sign sticking up right outside the path to the underworld. I stare at it in bemusement, a large arrow pointing to a yawning cavern mouth, while the sign itself reads:

Kurodani Enterprises!
Now offering services in:
-Construction!
-Tailoring!
-Superhero for hire!
Affordable rates, and guaranteed quality!
Inquire inside; ask for Yamame!
XOXO


...Superhero for hire? Well, I guess the tailoring thing makes a bit of sense. She is a spider, after all. Huh, I guess she has a bunch of skills on offer. Wonder why I haven't heard more of her? Ah well, only one way to find out! Yep, I just need to walk inside that cave and look for her.

That cave right there.

That dark, enclosed cave, where the sky absolutely cannot be seen through all of the rock.

That cave leading underground, where there's barely any room to fly, where your vision is limited, and you really have almost no room to move. That cave right there.

Right.

......

I have to fucking go in there?!

Okay, calm down, Aya. No need to hyperventilate. You're not even in the cave yet. Even if you are intending to go inside. So just... chill out, all right? Just take it nice and easy. You're just gonna go inside, find this Yamame girl, and talk business. It'll be just like I'm going inside someone's house to have some tea! Except underground. With the walls pressing in from all sides, and there's no escape, and there's all kinds of awful things down there like evil spirits and fucking Oni...

Okay. You know what? I can do this. I can totally do this. I am Aya Shameimaru, and I'm not gonna be intimidated by a stupid cave. No sir! I'm gonna show that cave who's boss, that's what I'm gonna do!

And that's why I walk up the the cave mouth and shout "Hello! Yamame! Got a business proposition for ya!" into its depths as loudly as I can.

Heh. I showed that stupid cave.

...Huh. There seems to be no response. No matter! I will merely shout once more into the ebon depths! "Hello there! Miss Kurodani?! You have a potential customer who wants to talk to you!"

...Still nothing.

Come to think of it, the sign did seem to indicate that I had to actually go inside to look for her. Maybe just standing outside won't cut it? I mean, she could live fairly deep inside the cave, after all. Actually, there does seem to be a smooth stone path leading deeper inside. And once my eyes adjust, it doesn't look a dark as I had thought. Actually, I can see fairly well. Some sort of luminescent fungus?

Aww, what's it matter? Am I really going to let myself get scared off by a stupid dark cave? Heck no! I wouldn't be able to hold my head high around Hina, Miko and Shizu if I came back empty-handed! So, without giving myself another moment to dwell on it, I screw up my courage, and storm confidently into the cave.

The dark.

Cramped.

Tight cave.

Which has no space to fly.

Barely enough space to move.

It's so cramped. So very cramped. How can anyone live down here? How can you live down here when there's no space to stretch your wings, when you can't even see the sky and flying away is not gonna happen because there's NO ESCAPE AND THE WHOLE PLACE UNDER TONS OF ROCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

TOO TIGHT. WALLS ARE TOO CLOSE.

Fuck it, I'm outta here. Stretching my wings, I hover up a bit and take off back for the entrance when FUCK FUCK FUCK CAUGHT IN SOMETHING.

WEBS.

BIG FUCKING WEBS.

Oh fuck. I'm trapped underground in these giant webs and I can't get loose and I don't wanna be down here anymore LEMME OUT LEMME OUT LEMME OUT

ARRRRRGHHH, GOTTA GET LOOSE.

FLYYYYYYY!

.......

Fuckdammit. Now I'm upside down. I am caught in these huge fucking webs, in this cramped cave, deep underground, and I'm not even upright. This day is turning out to be fucking fantastic. I can only wonder how it can possibly get even worse.

"Ohhh~," a feminine voice sings happily from deeper in the cave, "It sounds like I caught a snack!"

SHIT.

GOTTA GET LOOSE, SPIDER WILL EAT ME. GOTTA GET LOOSE, SPIDER WILL EAT ME. GOTTA GET LOOSE, SPIDER WILL EAT ME.

Goddammit, I'm stuck underground, I'm upside-down, my wings and arms and everything is all tangled up, and now I'm gonna be lunch for some spider youkai! Hey, spider-lady, didn't you get the memo? We don't do shit like that in Gensokyo any more!

"Oh. Uh, actually, you don't look like lunch," the voice says from nearby. I heave a sigh of relief. Okay, false alarm. Spider-lady is reasonable. That's a good sign. Shaking my head to clear it, I turn my attention towards the sound of the voice and-

Oh. Wow.

Blonde hair. Golden eyes. Tight, ribbed sweater over an amazing chest. Incredible legs wrapped in thighhighs combined with a MINISKIRT... Oh yeah. I love this woman's dress sense. Baby, I don't care if you're some sort of sealed underground youkai, anybody who likes miniskirts and wears them as well with you is all right in my book!

Yamame Kurodani smiles back at me. "Ah, sorry! You caught me out of my work clothes! How embarrassing! Anyway, do you need a hand down from there?" She pauses, taking a closer look at me. "Um... are you drooling?"


[ ] Please help me down. And outside.
[ ] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[ ] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
[ ] Oh god I am underground and stuck in a web and everything is horrible. Panic!
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!

Business and pleasure!
[x] Please help me down. And outside. 'Cause I have a business proposition for you! Outside.
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
Upside down business negotiations are the best
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!

Maybe the blood rushing to our heads will provide new insight into our thoughts on the Underground?
>Oh. Wow.

Blonde hair. Golden eyes. Tight, ribbed sweater over an amazing chest. Incredible legs wrapped in thighhighs combined with a MINISKIRT... Oh yeah. I love this woman's dress sense. Baby, I don't care if you're some sort of sealed underground youkai, anybody who likes miniskirts and wears them as well with you is all right in my book!

Yamame Kurodani smiles back at me. "Ah, sorry! You caught me out of my work clothes! How embarrassing! Anyway, do you need a hand down from there?" She pauses, taking a closer look at me. "Um... are you drooling?"

Okay, are there any females Aya ISN'T willing to tap?

[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!

>Upside down business negotiations are the best

>Maybe the blood rushing to our heads will provide new insight into our thoughts on the Underground?

Upside-down deals sound like a good idea. Plus, if she floats above us, panty shot! And a nice, long look at those legs.

...What? That's what this Aya would do. Though perhaps not go as far as flirting...
[X] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!

Oh dear gods why can't I stop laughing.

Yes. Upside down tangled swinging perverted propositions.
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!

Dudes... What are you doing? It's a frigging miniskirt!!!
[ ] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[ ] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!

I just remembered that we've only seen KM's Yamame twice. The first time she was drunk and trying to impregnate Reisen, the second time she was a sexy supervillain.

What I'm saying is this was the right choice.
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!

This should be entertaining enough by itself.
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
-[x] Ok, maybe only a little flirting.
[x] Y'know, if the rest of people here are this hot, the Underground might not be so bad.
[ ] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[ ] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!

>Aya >Not tap everything that moves

Honestly, if I were in her position, I'd do the same.
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[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
-[x] Ok, maybe only a little flirting.

>>23894
Yeah, shame Parsee isn't here too.
[x] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you! 
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it! 
-[x] Ok, maybe only a little flirting. 
[x] Y'know, if the rest of people here are this hot, the Underground might not be so bad.
[X] Hi there! I have a business proposition for you!
[X] She wears a miniskirt! Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!
-[X] Well, maybe just a little flirting.

We can't NOT flirt with the miniskirt, but let's at least try to keep it businesslike. (And let's not forget we're in a similar situation to Reisen's. Who knows what flirting might lead to...)
>>23896
Parser is busy with the butler, probably. We'll see her if(when) we manage to make Aya go further underground.

Speaking of which:
[]Flirt (outside)
[]Business Proposition (outside)
[]Outside (outside)
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23900
[x] She wears a miniskirt. Flirt! Flirt like your life depended on it!

Tengu needs sex badly. Seriously, she's never going to stop thinking about it otherwise.
>>23882
[x] Hi! I would like to have a business proposition for you but I'm currently upside-down and claustrophobic and you're distractingly attractive.
Righto! Vote called for upside-down negotiations with just a side of flirting. Update will be later today.
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23903
Okay. Gotta stay cool. There's a sexy spider lady right in front of me, and she's in exactly the right kind of clothing to get me going. Now, I'm not too keen on the whole being webbed up in spider-webs thing, but who knows? Maybe that's a turn-on for her! All right, Aya, you can do this! Just give her all of your charm!

...Well, maybe I should rein it in just a tad. The full-charm offensive doesn't always work out so well for me, and beyond that I am here to do a job. So, restrained flirting for the time being, and she's staring at me so I should really say something.

"Sorry about that," I chuckle. "I'm just stuck on the fact that from the looks of things, I came to exactly the right parlor, know what I mean?"

Yamame blinks in surprise, then smiles seductively. "My, my, but you certainly don't look like a fly to me! And I didn't even give you an invitation!"

"Pardon my rudeness, I just wanted to surprise you," I say smoothly, "And why settle for a bug when you can have a tengu?" I glance up and down Yamame's dynamite figure. "Only two legs? But I guess those two really make up for the others, don't they?" I wink suggestively. This is going well~!

Yamame smiles, and four spidery legs suddenly emerge from her mid-back. She must have summoned them out of her body, like some youkai can do. I glance over at them, mull it over, and nod. "Yep. I can totally deal with this." She's wearing a miniskirt for crying out loud!

Yamame laughs in delight. "Oh, you're just great~!" she enthuses, then gives me an amused grin. "Such a flirt, even when you're upside down and your, ah, panties are showing."

Eh? I glance down... well, objectively up I guess... whatever, I take a glance at my lower quarters and notice that, in fact, Yamame's getting something of a free show. Ah, gravity, after centuries of flouting your rules, you finally decide to get back at me, eh? Stupid skirt, falling down around my waist. Or falling up around my- you know what, screw it.

"Ahahaha...ha..." I laugh weakly, feeling my face burn with embarrassment. "Well, what can I say? Um... uh..."

Yamame grins. "Wow, I should wear this outfit more often! The tengu girls just can't keep their skirts on!"

I slump in defeat. "Yeah, you got me. Um... can you lend me a hand here?" Giggling, Yamame floats up a little bit and adjusts my skirt so that my modesty is once more restored. "Thanks. So!" Shaking off the embarrassment, I put on my best smile and move on to the main thrust of my presence here. "Yamame Kurodani, I am very pleased to make your acquaintance, and not just due to your awesome dress sense! I am here with a business proposition!"

"Oh, really?" Yamame says, suddenly all ears. "All right, and what can Kurodani Enterprises do for you, Miss Shameimaru!"

She knows my name! I'm kinda thrilled by that! "I am here on behalf of a certain three goddesses, who seek your expertise in construction! Hina Kagiyama, and the sisters Minoriko and Shizuha Aki, are all interested in having you build a shrine for the three of them."

Yamame's eyes light up at this. "Really?! So, some gods on the surface really want me to do some work for them?" Her excitement halts as a frown crosses her face. "Wait... all three of them want one shrine? As in, collectively?"

"Yeah," I nod, "See, they've recently formed a small pantheon and want to build a temple to symbolize their new alliance. It's really cool, actually! They're the Three Goddesses of Change! You should totally come by and hear their doctrine! At the very least, we'd like to see what your work's like."

Yamame nods in interest. "Well, I can totally do shrines! Woodwork, stonework, tapestries, I can do it all! And anything I can't handle on my own I can just get from the Oni. So, a temple is a big investment, you understand that, right?" Yamame's voice takes on a lecturing tone as we get to business. "It's gonna be a lot of work with a lot of planning, and I sure can't do it for free, you get me?"

"Eh, no worries, the tengu will foot the bill for this one," I assure her. After a moment's hesitation, I add "Actually, my advice? Go full-on extravagant with your planning. Believe me, the elders have it coming."

Yamame thinks it over. "So what you're offering me is a high-profile job on the surface, working for literal deities, and I'm pretty much good to let my creativity run wild?"

"Well, the three of them want some input, of course," I remind her. "But yeah, the tengu are footing the bill, so... we wanna see watcha got." I frown a bit. "Honestly, though, we don't know too much about you, so I'm kinda here to sound you out, too. See what your skills are, that sort of thing."

"Understandable," Yamame nods at my words. "Well, how about I get you down from there, show you the main cavern, and grab my portfolio?" She glances down at herself. "Not to mention get into some more proper clothes."

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with what you're wearing at all!" I'm quick to assure her. "I mean, the sweater and miniskirt totally suit you! The thighhighs too! No reason to change on our account." Dammit, keep the miniskirt! Those things are great!

Yamame just raises an amused eyebrow. "Mmmm, it feels like I have an admirer."

"I just think you wear that miniskirt very well," I reply smoothly. "Hell, it's taken my mind off of just how cramped this cave is." CRAP. I just reminded myself. "And speaking of which, can we hurry this up and head outside, please, maybe?" Keep smiling, keep smiling.

Yamame looks a bit confused. "Um... I deliberately widened the cave, though. There's room for like, seven or eight people to walk abreast, and it's just as high..."

"It feels cramped to me," I cry frantically.

"And speaking of that, how the hell did you get caught in my webs?" The spider looks absolutely baffled now. "I mean, I leave them up so that I can catch the occasional prey that flies in, but they're all near the ceiling! People should be able to walk along just fine without getting caught in them! Hell, even flyers notice the webs and just land."

I cough. "Er... I sorta panicked and tried to fly out of here at top speed," I admit. "I wasn't really paying attention either, so... oops?"

My host looks up and down the actually rather wide cavern (but still too fucking small for my tastes; it feels like the walls are closing in) and sighs. "Eesh. You really did a number on my webbing. I'm gonna have to re-string all of my traps!"

I smile nobly. "Then allow me to repay you with my body!" Okay, maybe the smile is less 'noble' and more 'suggestive,' but whatever! I gotta do what I can while this vision of hotness still has her miniskirt on!

Yamame turns back to me. "Oh, really~?" she asks in a husky voice. "In other words, to make up for tearing my webs all to pieces, I can do anything I want to you~?" Hanging there, restrained in her webs, all I can do is nod eagerly. Yamame's smile turns cheerful. "Then you're okay with me cocooning you and sucking out some of your fluids?"

FUCK. SHIT. BAD. WENT TOO FAR. IMMINENT VORE. CALL FOR HELP.

Yamame bursts into merry laughter. "Aww, you're so fun! Here, let me help you down from there." Still giggling, Yamame hovers up at starts to release me from her webs. I sigh, reflecting that my bodily fluids were safe, but my pride was in fragments.

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

Oh wow. This is impressive.

Just after Yamame releases me from her webbing, she leads me into a larger cavern, which she claims to have carefully carved so as to show off her skills. It's sort of her business-front, so to speak. And man oh man, this girl has some skills.

Everything has been painstakingly carved. There's a stone gazebo, murals carved right out of the cavern walls, the floor has been smoothed and carved to resemble bricks, and all kinds of statuary dot the place. Besides that, there are several wooden works of extremely high quality. Furniture, small shacks, decorative carvings, that sort of thing. She's leading me to a small japanese-style building with a few low tables inside at the very moment, and it looks like something a noble would be happy to have in their yard.

"This is basically where I show off my talents," Yamame explains. "For a long time, I didn't have much else to do, so I got a lot of practice. I'm a little new at working with wood, but I've picked it up quickly! Anyway, please have a seat in this guest house. I'm gonna go get changed and grab a few pictures, and then we can go meet with your goddesses, okay?"

I nod absently, looking around. Sheesh, spider-lady here puts tengu artisans to shame! And this place is large enough that I almost feel comfortable here. Almost.


[ ] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!
[ ] Just wait for Yamame to get ready.
[ ] May as well take a look around.
[ ] Oh god underground must get back topside now!!!
Flirting didn't turn out very well for us last time, so let's just

[x]Take a look around, admiring Yamame's craftsmanship while waiting for her to get ready.
[X] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!
[x] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!
[x] Just wait for Yamame to get ready.
Is there just rock here or other things as well
[X] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!
-[x] Subtly examine her handiwork and judge it for your self
--[x] Check out her legs


Layers upon layers of deception
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
Aya: "Meep."

Oh dear gods that was hilarious. What did you expect, Aya, flirting with a spider youkai?

(I think Yamame will be good for her... :P )


[x]Take a look around, admiring Yamame's craftsmanship while waiting for her to get ready.
>>23910 here. Make that

[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
[X] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly.
Close eyes, think of wide open spaces. Can't make a proper assessment if you're not calm.
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.

with more than a dash of panic all along of course. It'll be amusing to see the reactions once they're both outside and Aya can move without any retrictions.
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
[x] "What kind of 'fluids' we talking here?"

Business before pleasure. There will be plenty of time afterwards to flirt with the pretty spider youkai.
[x] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!

We must keep it to all costs!!!
[X] Oh god underground must get back topside now!!!
[x] May as well take a look around.

Ask her how she started up this business of hers too.
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
[x] Flirt! She can't take the miniskirt off! You must persuade her otherwise!
then once that is done
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.

Once the goddessess see what a good miniskirt can accomplish, they understand the glory of short skirts and totally agree to wear them, and that's completely true and not just wishful thinking.

Sitting in the guestroom and admiring the worksmanship (workswomanship? workspidership?) will be like being in a regular house.
Outside.
With just a thin roof between you and the sky, and not an entire mountain of rock and dirt and-crap! Think happy thoughts! Like miniskirts! Yes miniskirts! Goddesses in miniskirts! Mmmmm~
[x] Spiders do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly and look around until it is ready.
Okay, calling vote for waiting around warmly for spiders. Update later.
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23924
I make my way to Yamame's guest house, watching regretfully as she disappears into a passage in the wall. As she walks away from me, I take note of how the tiny miniskirt sways back and forth with her motions, highlighting a delicious strip of pale flesh just above her thighhighs and below her skirt. The hypnotic waving of the miniskirt seems to bid me a fond farewell as Yamame disappears around the corner.

Goodbye, miniskirt! Thank you for gracing me with your presence! I miss you already...

Wait. That skirt was swaying an awful lot. As were the hips beneath it. Was... Yamame swaying her hips for my benefit? Giving me a little show as she walked off to change?

I choose to believe that to be the case! Damn, but I'm suave! Humming cheerfully to myself, I step into the guest house and make myself comfortable. Ohh, a mini-bar for guests to make themselves comfortable! Classy! And even a few packaged snacks! Sweet setup Yamame has here. And with the lovely paintings of landscapes dotting the walls, I can almost think that I'm actually in a house outside, and not buried under tons of rock! Yep, just look at the lovely paintings, and picture myself frolicking with the goddesses, and Yamame too, on a windy day in a sunny field, with everybody wearing miniskirts!

Aaah, I feel better already! Actually, these paintings are really well done. I wonder who 'AAW' is? Hm. When I build a new house, maybe I can commission some work from him-

scritch

-What was that? It sounded like something scraping along the ground.

Scritch

There it is again. Is something down here? Ugh, what kind of creepy-crawlies lurk in these caverns, anyway? Then again, I shouldn't worry too much. Yamame seems the type to keep her space fairly clean, and I'm not exactly helpless in a fight, either. Eh, maybe it's a pet or something?

*Scritch*

Whatever it is, it's right outside the door. What...?

*Scritch*

...It's a bucket. A bucket sliding along the ground. And now sliding along the floor as it moves into the building. Okay, so there are ambulatory buckets here in the underground. I suppose that there are stranger things in Gensokyo. Okay, now the bucket has stopped, and... is that a head?

Slowly, a mop of green hair, done up in pigtails, rises out of the bucket, making way for a pair of curious blue eyes. It's... a girl. A little girl in a white kimono sitting in a bucket. A cute little girl with a shy smile on her face. How sweet! She must be some kind of youkai, maybe a friend of Yamame's. I wave cheerfully to the adorable little figure, and her smile grows.

And grows.

And grows.

And grows until a huge smile seems to split her face from ear to ear, empty, vacant blue eyes boring into my own as her bucket slides across the floor towards me. Her smile never wavers. Her eyes remain locked on my own. Her smile, meaningless and full of hollow promises, betrays a total absence of any soul.

She's close, now. So close. I don't move. I don't look away. Slowly, the girl lifts something out of her bucket, holding it over her head. It's a cleaver, ancient and pitted, and stained with a drying red substance. Old as it, is, it still gleams in the light.

The girl giggles, an empty, hollow sound as she carefully moves the cleaver into position. I don't move. Down here, far from the light of the sun, with my mad assailant, what's the point? I don't move a muscle as the cleaver comes around and chops toward my neck-

















































KISUME END




"...What the hell are you doing?" I ask the little girl as she holds the 'cleaver' to my neck. She jumps at my remark, fake smile dropping off her face as she looks at me in bafflement. Sighing, I move the 'cleaver' away from my neck. "Kiddo, points for effort. But the fake, empty smile was trying too hard, and I could tell right away that the cleaver had no edge to it. Also, that's tomato sauce. What, did you put it on the cleaver just now?" I frown. "And why are you showing me that card? 'Kisume End?' Is that you name? Heck of a way to say hello."

I suddenly realize that the little girl, Kisume, is starting to tear up. "Oh, geez!" I yelp, starting to panic. "Uh, look, don't take it personally, okay? I mean, I'm a reporter, so I've seen a lot, and I used to do a lot of fighting back in the day, and I'm kinda trying to keep myself calm right at the moment anyway, so... what I'm trying to say is that the cards were all against you here. So don't take it personally, okay? Come on, cheer up!"

Unfortunately, Kisume's disappointment is not so easily overcome. Shaking her head sadly, the... bucket youkai?... hovers into the air, turns around, and disconsolately floats out the doorway. Gee, now I feel kinda bad. Poor girl was probably just trying to play a prank on me. I'll have to make it up to her sometime.

Yamame walks into the building, looking over her shoulder at Kisume. I notice that she's, unfortunately, changed into a far more conservative-looking poofy brown dress. I mean, it looks good on her but... miniskirt.

Yamame looks over at me. "Was Kisume bothering you? Sorry, she does that a lot. Kisume tries to spook a lot of the visitors I get, but she just isn't all that good at it."

I shrug, getting to my feet. "Eh, no worries, it was pretty obvious that she wasn't serious about it. Still, I feel kinda bad; maybe I should make it up to her sometime."

"That's sweet of you," Yamame comments as she leads me through her cavern. "Anyway, I have my portfolio, so shall we be off to see your goddesses?"

"Yeah, I'll lead the way," I reply, making my way towards the surface with all due haste. Wouldn't do to keep the trio waiting, after all. So sir.

"Say, Aya?" Yamame says as we head for the surface. I give her a questioning look, and the spider gives me a teasing wink. "You have some very lovely legs." I look on in astonishment as Yamame pulls ahead of me, very deliberately giving her hips a nice bit of sway as she walks.

...I knew she couldn't resist the Shameimaru charm. It's infallible!

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

Later, Yamame is bowing politely to the assembled Three Goddesses of Change. "It's a pleasure to meet you all," she says formally. "My name is Yamame Kurodani, and I am honored to be in your presence. Before we begin, I would like to explain a bit about myself. First of all, it is true that I am one of the sealed youkai of the underground. However, that treaty really doesn't apply much these days, and almost no one pays attention to it."

That's true. Besides, if the Oni wanted to go topside, they probably would regardless of any so-called treaty.

"My personal ability is the power to manipulate disease and illness. However, I want to assure you that I would never use such a power lightly! I would only use it to curse the truly wicked." The goddesses nod at this. Hina's in pretty much the same situation. "Furthermore, stories of me being some sort of walking plague are totally false. It's completely safe to be around me, and I don't make people sick just from touching them. That's a terrible rumor that got spread about me for no good reason."

Hina smiles. "It seems that you and I have something in common, Miss Kurodani." Yamame looks interested, but carries on.

"Well, I brought with me a portfolio containing pictures of some of my work both above and below ground." Yamame starts to shuffle through a folder at her side. "The pictures were provided by a Hatate Himekaidou above ground-" Ugh. "-And one of the Oni using acquired kappa technology below ground. I hope you find it satisfactory."

The goddesses and I start going through Yamame's collection, and nod approvingly. There's a collection of what look like homesteads above ground, and a number of buildings in a surprisingly urban setting. Is this... the underground city? Wow. The Oni have really outdone themselves, it looks like. Still, the four of us can't help but nod in approval. Yamame clearly knows her stuff!

The three deities glance at each other and nod. Clearing her throat, Shizuha is the one to speak. "Well, Miss Kurodani, you've convinced us! We'd be happy to have you build our shrine for us."

Yamame looks delighted. "That's great! Thank you! So, Aya has given me the basic details but did you want to expand on it any?"


[ ] Shrine-building! Discuss!

-Current basic ideas are for a central, general area with a wing for each goddess. Also, it'll be built on the edge of the Akis' property unless someone comes up with a better idea. Feel free to discuss specifics that Yamame could work on, or any additional features that you think the shrine should have. Remember, the tengu are footing the bill, so be creative!
I'll probably add more ideas later, but the most immediate ones:

[x] Prayer Wheels! (And cylinders) Auspicious architecture, making use of feng shui and other similar geomantic techniques to assist in the absorption of misfortune (make it so it attracts good luck?)

[x] Lots of space to display artwork! Spots for sculptures, scroll racks for preserving original copies of poems, and so on

[x] Incorporate nature wherever possible and appealing to do so, make it a nice place just to gather if people want to.

[x] Sturdy foundation to avoid unwanted Celestial Earthquakes, and storm-resistant buildings in case Kanako gets uppity

And this is the big one:

[x] Temple distillery and booze cellar.

Because honestly, we need one.

(How long until Minoriko becomes Patron Goddess of the Oni?)
>Wouldn't do to keep the trio waiting, after all. So sir.
>So sir.
...yeah...

as for ideas:
[X] No expenses spared. This is, admittedly, mainly out of spite.
-[X] Keep such expenses subtle, though. We don't need a diamond studded blinged-out monument to Glitz & Glamour, we want something more natural.
-[X] Incorporate nature where possible. Hina herself may not have much to do with nature directly, but the Aki sisters and the farmers who will be our main worshippers (at least at first) certainly do.

[X] On that note, the whole shrine should be comfortable. While the shrines themselves can and should look impressive, the surroundings should be of a sort that encourages it being a meeting place.
-[X] That's actually a key point: make it a meeting place, and you'll have everyone visiting more often in the first place. Want to make converts? Have them meet their friends here before going to lunch.
-[X] Booze cellar/distillery. Seriously, this is a good idea. Offer a shrine-exclusive variety of wine. Or beer. Or vodka. All of the above? Use the line of alcohols to help promote the new trinity.

that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
>>23926


>So sir.


...Fuckgoddammit typos piss me off. Yes, it was meant to be 'No sir.' Blargh.
[J] When it inevitably gets leveled by the next Incident, needs to be easily reconstructed :P
[X] Prayer Wheels! (And cylinders) Auspicious architecture, making use of feng shui and other similar geomantic techniques to assist in the absorption of misfortune (make it so it attracts good luck?)
[X] Lots of space to display artwork! Spots for sculptures, scroll racks for preserving original copies of poems, and so on
[X] Incorporate nature wherever possible and appealing to do so, make it a nice place just to gather if people want to.
[X] Sturdy foundation to avoid unwanted Celestial Earthquakes, and storm-resistant buildings in case Kanako gets uppity
[X] Distillery and booze cellar.
[X] A big torii. We don't necessarily have to match the Oyunhara Otorii's 19 ken height (34 meters / 112 feet), but it should be at least 3 ken tall (6 meters / 18 feet).
-[X] How sharp is the edge of the Aki's eternal autumn? It would look pretty impressive if we could put the torii right on the edge, so just stepping through it takes you from the outside season to autumn.
[X] A hot tub. Reimu has hot springs, we can have a hot tub.
[X] Lots of space to display artwork! Spots for sculptures, scroll racks for preserving original copies of poems, and so on
[X] Incorporate nature wherever possible and appealing to do so, make it a nice place just to gather if people want to.
-[X] On that note, the whole shrine should be comfortable. While the shrines themselves can and should look impressive, the surroundings should be of a sort that encourages it being a meeting place.
[X] Sturdy foundation to avoid unwanted Celestial Earthquakes, and storm-resistant buildings in case Kanako gets uppity
[X] Distillery and booze cellar.

>>23929 should also feel awesome for this gem:
[X] How sharp is the edge of the Aki's eternal autumn? It would look pretty impressive if we could put the torii right on the edge, so just stepping through it takes you from the outside season to autumn.

Cozy shrine is the way to go here. Artistic, but without being too fancy.
>>23930
>>23926 here.
add
[X] How sharp is the edge of the Aki's eternal autumn? It would look pretty impressive if we could put the torii right on the edge, so just stepping through it takes you from the outside season to autumn.
to my vote. It's brilliant.
Something for Hina's branch:
[x] Put markings or indentations on the floor leading into the branch, resembling footprints of someone who is spinning as they walk. This should imply to anyone visiting that spinning is cool and you should try it.
[x] A spiral of running water in the main room, visible through glass, running from the outside edge to the centre. Either hanging from the ceiling or placed under the floor.

Other than that, [x] >>23930

Incorporating running water into the other branches might be cool too. Rivers, after all, change the landscape over time. Dunno how, though. Water sculpture for Shizua, booze fountain for Minoriko?
In addition to the above:

[x] A library stocked with books and videos. A good religion is able to educate its followers on its areas of concern.
-[x] Areas of concern include, but are not limited to: art, evolution, farm practices, food, health, probability theory (since it relates to luck), social change, and technological change.
-[x] A multimedia center for watching documentaries.
-[x] Professional archival facilities (climate-controlled rooms, acid-free storage boxes, etc.)
-[x] Items can be purchased from likely knowledge centers.
--[x]The SDM and Suzunaan definitely have books, and Kourindou (ooh… scary, scary) may have so Outside books or magazines (one from there is where Patchouli learned about three-stage rockets, see Silent Sinner in Blue).
--[x] The other magicians may have something pertinent in their private collections.
---[x] A kappatech document scanner/printer will be needed if the owners don't want to part with the physical originals.
--[x] Moriya may have digital archives that can be printed out, and Kanako'd love getting money from the tengu.
-[x] You'll probably need to hire a librarian for all this. Patchouli and Koakuma are busy with the SDM and Kosuzu is Mamizou's project. My suggestions are either an unaffiliated magician (Marisa, Mima, Alice) or some OC villager.

[x] A printing press, because all the successful religions are publishers. Besides sacred texts, selling copies of what's in the library could be profitable.
-[x] A legal office, to hash out copyright law.
--[x] Law in Gensokyo? Well, this religion is all about change…

[x] A chemistry lab. No, really. Studying physical change, especially if it has pretty colors, will help followers understand and appreciate Change.
-[x] A chem lab can also be used as training for applications related to the goddesses interests, such as art restoration and food science.
-[x] "Chemistry is the science of change."
--[x] But we'll leave that kind of chemistry to Marisa.

[x] A fireproof vault, for Aya's peace of mind.
[X] Prayer Wheels! (And cylinders) Auspicious architecture, making use of feng shui and other similar geomantic techniques to assist in the absorption of misfortune (make it so it attracts good luck?)
[X] Lots of space to display artwork! Spots for sculptures, scroll racks for preserving original copies of poems, and so on.
[X] Incorporate nature wherever possible and appealing to do so, make it a nice place just to gather if people want to.
[X] Sturdy foundation to avoid unwanted Celestial Earthquakes, and storm-resistant buildings in case Kanako gets uppity.
[X] Distillery and booze cellar.
[X] How sharp is the edge of the Aki's eternal autumn? It would look pretty impressive if we could put the torii right on the edge, so just stepping through it takes you from the outside season to autumn.

I'm not keen on the hot tub idea. It's more of a party thing than the image of cleansing that hot springs have. It's not natural.
>>23933

As much as it'd be hilarious to have the New Bunbunmaru HQ somewhere on-site, I can't help but think it's a bit selfish, even for Aya, to have her new place set up right in the middle of a temple for these three lovely ladies.

Besides, there will inevitably be other ways to get the Tengu to foot the bill for that particular project.
>>23937

No new newspaper here (>>23933), just a shrine library and print shop for topical literature.
Mmmkay, some good stuff here. Update will be in a new thread, sometime tonight.
File 138352441331.jpg - (137.83KB, 720x960, our lovely architect.jpg) [iqdb]
23944
New Thread:

>>/youkai/23942
>>23944
All I could think of when I looked at that images was:
"Is that a shotgun shell?"
But either way. Yay, new thread.
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