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File 138437955349.jpg - (372.96KB, 850x1224, starting over.jpg) [iqdb]
24231
Thread 1: >>/youkai/22769
Thread 2: >>/youkai/23061
Thread 3: >>/youkai/23345
Thread 4: >>/youkai/23651
Thread 5: >>/youkai/23942

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



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MRfvI8Mwv4)

Awwww, yeah~.

That's what I'm talking about.

I'm bound up in Yamame's webs, but I just don't care, because the gorgeous spider is walking towards me, and she has THAT look in her eyes. She's got the whole ensemble, too: that tight sweater over that chest. Those tight black leggings over those long, long legs. And that miniskirt...!

And the way she sways her hips when she walks! I don't care if I'm underground and on the way to old hell, because right now I'm in heaven~!

A web smacks me in the face from somewhere, but I just can't give a damn as Yamame stops in front of me and gives me a thoughtful look, devouring me visually from the tips of my toes all the way up to my eyes, her gaze smouldering. A naughty smile crosses the spider's face.

"You ready, little birdie?" she asks as the webs hit me in the face again. I just nod, excitement pulsing through me. Oh man, this is it! This is exactly what I've been waiting for! Finally, I get to see what lies under that shirt! And the skirt! Well, besides the retractable spider legs, but I am totally fine with them!

Yamame slowly, seductively tugs her sweater up, revealing soft, pale flesh as those webs keep hitting me in the face, over and over again. Argh. Stupid webs! I'm trying to get laid here! Give me a break already! But it's just smack, smack, smack-

Why do they feel fluffy?


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

I open my eyes as the dream fades away, leaving me feeling needy and frustrated. Something white and fluffy is rhythmically smacking me in the face, which I quickly identify as Momiji's tail. I just got cockblocked in my own dreams thank to that wolfgirl.

Wait, no. What's the female equivalent of cockblocked? Vagina-halted? Hell, I dunno.

Momiji is sprawled over my stomach, a blissful expression on her face as she chews idly on Hina's bedsheets in her sleep. I have to wonder what she's dreaming about. Hina is at an angle to my side, nuzzling my wings as she makes the occasional grab for Momiji's fluffy tail. Eventually, she grabs it, causing her hand to smack me in the face. Ow.

"Mmmmmfrgl..." Momiji mutters as she starts awake. "Ugh... who's got my tail?" Releasing the sheets from her jaws, Momiji looks back at Hina and I and stares.

I give her an innocent look. "You'll take responsibility, right?"

Momiji rolls her eyes. "Funny. We weren't that drunk, Aya."

I snort. "You're no fun at all, Momi."

Hina groans as she wakes up, getting to her knees. She wipes her eyes and blinks at the two of us. "If either of you got me pregnant, I'm cursing the hell out of you."

"I would only be so lucky to get that far," I snort. "And on a completely unrelated note, I'm feeling much better about life!" Horny as all hell after that dream, but a lot better.

Hina yawns. "Aya, that's fantastic, but right now I think I'm very hung-over. Can we save the congratulations until later?"

I chuckle. "So no banging pots together this morning?"

"Don't push the misfortune goddess, Aya," Hina groans, sliding out of bed. "Ugh, it feels like my tongue is covered in hair..." The misfortune goddess in question staggers out of the room, heading in the direction of the bathroom. Momiji gets to her feet as well and stretches.

All told, I think that was a good evening.

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

Momiji stays for breakfast before heading out on patrol, while Hina lays low that day. As for myself, I take the next few days to quietly meditate, pondering where my life has taken me, and where I want to go from now on. It's weird, having to think about such things. But for the first time in years, I'm free to do so.

Over the next few days, I watch in growing fascination as the new Shrine of Change springs up from the ground. A large triple torii right at the edge of where the season changes to fall. An immaculate cobblestone path leads up to a central building with a large, airy, open area. Three paths run off to each of the goddess' shrines, with Hina in the middle, Minoriko on the right, and Shizuha on the left. Out back of the worship area is a lovely new house with rooms for all three goddesses and guests, including me. The place has been carefully worked so that several verandas give breathtaking views of the perpetual fall, while other landings afford people a view of the rest of Gensokyo. There's even room for expanded facilities in the future!

Nitori even made a hottub. Gotta love that girl.

And so I stand there, at the gates of the new shrine, while the goddesses themselves are given the grand tour by a proud spider, charming Oni, and giggling kappa. This is more than I was expecting. I mean, a shrine like this pretty much draws in the followers all on its own!

...Of course, there's the rub. With this thing fully built, we're going to start getting attention from other faiths, who are probably going to be wondering what we're up to. Heh, 'we'. Yeah, I've pretty much cast my lot with the Goddesses of Change at this point, haven't I? Nowhere else to go, really. Hmm, I really have to figure out how to make the best of things...

"Excuse me," a small voice says from somewhere behind me, "Is this the new shrine?"

I laugh a little bit. "Wow, word's really gotten around, huh?" I ask, turning around to face... thin air. Okay. An invisible youkai?

"Well, the construction has been pretty obvious, and there have been rumors of a newly-formed pantheon circulating among the kappa. I came to take a look." There's a pause. "Um, try looking down."

I look down.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knu3mIwdNXQ)

There... there's a girl down there. A girl dressed in red, with some sort of sword strapped to her back, and what looks for all the world like a teacup for a hat. Did I mention the part where she's just several inches tall? Because that seems highly relevant. I mean, she could fit in my hand!

The tiny girl smiles dazzlingly at me, and sweeps her teacup hat off her head as she bows deeply. "And you must be the lovely Aya Shameimaru, noted wordsmith of Gensokyo! I'm a big fan of yours!" I like her already! "My name is Sukuna Shinmyoumaru, wandering poet, swordsman, and heroine to those in need!" She straightens up and winks at me. "Happy to make your acquaintance! I hear through the grapevine that there's a new pantheon here, and among its services are misfortune-removal. Am I correct in this assumption?"


[ ] Gesture her inside.
[ ] Lead her inside.
[ ] Ohmygosh she's so cute!
Expand all images
[x] Ohmygosh she's so cute!
[X] Ohmygosh she's so cute! *squeals*
-[X] Must. Resist. Cuteness.
--[X] Lead her inside.

Because cuteness proximity is a thing.

Completely off-topic, I got this crazy idea that the reason Aya doesn't like Hatate is because she's secretly jealous of her. Wait, hear me out. It's a common fanon depiction that Hatate is a hikikomori, or shut-in. Expand on this. Because Hatate isn't as social as the rest of the Tengu, she sometimes isolates herself from everybody else, and as we've learned, when Aya tried it, she broke. Hatate did not suffer from this, and Aya's jealous of her.
[ ] Ohmygosh she's so cute!
[X] Ohmygosh she's so cute! *squeals*
-[X] Must. Resist. Cuteness.
--[X] Lead her inside.
[X] Ohmygosh she's so cute!

The tengu that goes "Squeeee~"
[x] Lead her inside.
> Sukuna Shinmyoumaru

Is she doing it last name first? Believe it or not, Shinmyoumaru's her first name: http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Shinmyoumaru_Sukuna

Let's see Cirno wrap her mouth around that.
>>24239

...Crap.

In the next update, nicknames for Shinmyoumaru!
[x] Lead her inside.

Aspiring miko Aya
[x] Ohmygosh she's so cute!
How could anyone even think about defying her cuteness!? She have a freaking teacup as a hat! That should almost make something cute by default
[x] Ohmygosh she's so cute!
-[x] Carry her inside.
[X] Lead her inside.
[x] EEEEEEEEEEEE
-[x] Lead her inside
[x] Lead her inside.
Please guys, business before pleasure. We need to build a rep here
[x] Lead her inside.
-[x] Resist the cuteness

My... people going for Yamame instead of Hina? For shame (that and considering Keymaster's trends, we'll likely see a Hina/Aya pairing)
[X] Squee Internally
-[X] Lead her inside
[X] Lead her inside.
[X] Squee Internally
-[X] Lead her inside

She's a fan of Aya's newspaper? Well that's pleasantly new.
[X] Squee Internally
-[X] Lead her inside
[X] Squee Internally
-[X] Lead her inside
[x] Squee Internally
-[x] Lead her inside
>>24250
I get the feeling she likes information in general as in comic it has her at the Kourindou (with a non-bastard Rinnosuke) where he reads the paper to her as she finds out how destructive news delivery in Gensokyo is (from newspapers flying through the window at mach 1 to the information delivery melting the cellphone)
[X] Ohmygosh she's so cute! *squeals*
-[X]Take her home with you
-[X] Must. Resist. Cuteness.
--[X] Lead her inside.
... ISSUN!

Okay no. But still! Okami references area always gold.
[X] Ohmygosh she's so cute!

If a minigirl with a teacup hat doesn't move your heart, you are already dead.
[x] Squee Internally
-[x] Lead her inside


Teacup hat!
File 138443659014.png - (1.07MB, 1134x742, p1.png) [iqdb]
24259
[x] Squee Internally
-[x] Lead her inside
Welp, people are going to think Aya relapsed again. heh.
>>24260

Good heavens...you've got Aya all wrong. I'm positive she will be a gentlewoman and treat her guest with dignity and respect.
And now we need to get Shiny riding on Momiji.
>>24262

Hmm... Is there a good replacement for Yami?

Oh! Ex-Rumia!
Okay, gonna call the vote for internal squeeing, with external calm. Well, mostly calm. Update later.
File 138446830232.jpg - (311.68KB, 600x937, life sized.jpg) [iqdb]
24265
This girl... she's... she's...

She's just so goshdarned CUTE! EEEEE!

I mean, just look at her! Tiny and adorable, but absolutely bursting with self-confidence and energy! The way she holds herself, brimming with enthusiasm, but trying to hold it all in, is almost too much for my poor heart to handle. Oh, I wanna just pick her up and cuddle her-

NO!

Wait. Nonononono. Remember the Cirno incident, Aya. Make sure you're not about to make a terrible mistake.

Query: do I feel any sort of sexual attraction to this tiny little person?

Answer: no, none at all. She's just too small for me to pick up on any feminine characteristics. Good so far.

Query: is this girl considered an adult for her species?

......

"Hey, uh, sorry to get off topic, but um, are you an adult?" I ask Sukuna carefully.

Sukuna giggles and nods. "Why yes! I am in fact a fully grown inchling, and am indeed of marriageable age! Why, are you asking~?" She winks at me conspiratorially.

I blush and wave my hands in negation. "Oh, no, no! I was just curious, that's all!" Well, wonderful. I managed to embarrass myself in front of the shrine's first customer. Fan-freaking-tastic. But on the plus side, I can enthuse over how cute this tiny girl, or rather tiny woman, is without seeming like a total creep! I mean,who could possibly resist her?!

...Except my reputation is already in shambles and I don't need to give it another blow. To say nothing of potentially offending my deity's first customer in her new shrine. Thus, while it promises to be a titanic effort of willpower, I must nonetheless hold of on my desire to pick up and nuzzle the little inchling! Effort, Aya! You're pretty much an official at this shrine, so act like it!

I nod to myself and clear my throat. "Sorry about that! I wasn't trying to be rude, I just haven't come across one of your people in a very log time!" I'm pretty sure that I've encountered inchlings before, but it's been so long that I can't remember for sure.

"No worries, no worries, I don't mind talking all about myself to a pretty lady like you!" Sukuna winks at me again, and I can't help but laugh.

"Ah, you'll make this tengu melt with your compliments!" I say, mock-swooning. "Anyway, Hina's right inside. Follow me, and I'll introduce you two!"

"Lead on!" Sukuna says enthusiastically, and follows after me as I lead the way into the shrine. Pretty quickly, I notice the problem: poor Sukuna can't exactly keep up with me. Something of a size difference, you know. "Eheheh..." the inchling chuckles in embarrassment, "...A little help here?"

With a giggle, I bend down and let Sukuna step onto my hand, heading for for the shrine once more as she hops up and takes a perch on my shoulder. "Better?"

"Much," Sukuna nods. "Thanks for the ride."

"My pleasure," I say simply. "Anyway, is Sukuna your family or given name?"

"Family name," the inchling replies, "But just call me Sukuna. Everyone else does. Shimmyoumaru doesn't roll of the tongue as easily, so it's fine. But never mind that! So you're the lovely editor of the Bunbunmaru, eh?"

"That I am!" I say, bursting with pride. I have a fan! "So, what exactly is it that you liked about my paper? I ask because I'm intending to start it up soon, and I'd like some feedback."

"Um..." Sukuna seems to hesitate as we strides towards the shrine. "Your writing is fantastic! It's like you put all of your heart and soul into every word you place on paper! Very eyecatching, very compelling, you know?"

"Thanks," I say, slowing. Something about that compliment seemed off, somehow. "Um... what about the paper itself? You, know how informative did you think it was? Did the articles convey enough information to you? How was it technically?"

Sukuna has a hunted look on her face, her smile nervously fixed in place. "...It was very well-written and exciting to read," she repeats, looking around awkwardly.

I slump over, sighing unhappily as I do so. "Thank you, that's nice of you to say..." I tell her sadly. I guess that's fair. Really, by the end my beloved paper had descended into being an untrustworthy scandal-rag. I really gotta re-think things if I want to start my paper up again.

"Ah! Oh no, please don't take that the wrong way!" Sukuna pleads, arms waving in a panic as she hops to her feet on my shoulder. "Er, as I was saying, you have a very compelling literary style! Um, please cheer up! It depresses me to see such a lovely lady as yourself feeling down!" Sukuna pats me on the side of the head as she puts on a gallant face for me.

"Thanks, Sukuna. I appreciate it, but I know I have a long way to go... heheh..." I start to lumber towards the shrine again.

"Ummm..." the inchling struggles for something to talk about. "So, what brings a tengu to stay down here, anyway? Few of you ever leave your village, and word had it that you personally had run into some legal trouble."

I pause outside of the shrine. "Short version is that a life filled with trauma had pushed me to the very brink, and Cirno, or rather DyCirno, had become a big source of news. I got a little over-obsessed, and got creepy enough that a friend of mine had to reel me in, hard. I'm well aware of my faults, and I'm trying to get over them. Basically, I feel bad about the stuff I did and am trying to become a better person." I frown. "I keep having to explain that. Maybe my first article should be a public statement..."

"Sounds rough," Sukuna says sympathetically, sitting down on my shoulder again. "Well, as they say, learn from your errors and move on! You know what I mean? I'm sure that a beautiful, intelligent woman such as yourself can turn her life around!" The confident smile is back in full force, and I can't help but giggle a bit. Laying it on a bit thick, isn't she?

"That's my plan," I acknowledge as I walk into the large central area of the main shrine. "But anyway, mind if I ask what brings you to see Hina? Love issues?" I give Sukuna a teasing wink.

"Bah!" she scoffs back, waving her hand dismissively. "Can you really see one such as me wanting for companionship? No, the reason I'm here is-" she stops mid-sentence, turning a bit red. "Well... as a fellow woman, maybe you can understand my concerns. You see, I have a couple of personal artifacts which I treasure deeply. The first..." she draws from the sheath on her back, "...is my weapon, the Shining Needle Sword!"

I stare at the shining, silvery object in her hands. "That's a sewing needle," I note.

"I-it is not!" Sukuna protests, flustered. "It's a very powerful weapon with a deadly edge! See?" Proferring the needle, she demonstrates that yes, indeed, its length has been sharpened to a keen edge. But still...

"It still kinda looks like a silver sewing needle," I say, "Just one that's been sharpened."

"St-stop insulting my sword!" Sukuna wails, flapping her arm- and her 'sword'- wildly for a moment before pouting at me. "I'll have you know that I've slain many a dangerous beast with this weapon!"

Oops. Mustn't upset the adorable little girl. Especially not one with a pointy object close to my head. "Well, on second thought it does look kinda deadly..." I begin.

"Exactly! Glad you agree! But anyway," Sukuna hastily sheathes her needle- sorry, I meant sword- and moves to change the subject. "The second artifact I possess is a treasure handed down from my forefathers: the miracle mallet!"

This thing I've heard of. "The hammer that grants wishes in exchange for a price?" I ask, scratching my chin.

"That's the one. Anyway..." Sukuna trails off, suddenly looking very embarrassed. "So, short version is that I was trying to grant a wish, and things went wrong, and I feel that I should get my luck cleansed. That's all."

"What kind of wish?" I ask, intrigued.

"Um... I guess I might have to mention that to the goddess, huh? Well then..." Sukuna looks absolutely mortified. "I was... trying to make my chest grow."

......

"What happened?" I have to ask.

"Picture an orange," Sukuna replies, tugging her hat down to hide her face. "Picture two of them side by side. Now picture me stuck to them." I picture it. "It took me a while to reverse the effect. Getting around was kinda hard. And painful. My back still hurts..."

Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Don't laugh.

"Hey!" Sukuna shouts in her tiny voice. She points an accusing finger at me. "No laughing!"

DON'T LAUGH DON'T LAUGH DON'T LAUGH-

"Oh, do we have a visitor?" Hina asks, walking into the room. Yamame follows close behind.

Sukuna's eyes light right up and she hops down onto the ground. "Ah, so you must be the lady Hina! Truly, your beauty is just as the legends say!"

The three Oni walk into the room behind her. Sukuna freezes.

The Oni look at her curiously. Sukuna gapes at the Oni.

"ONI!" the inchling finally shrieks, drawing her sword and falling into a ready position. "Foul beasts, in the name of my ancestor, I shall punish you for defiling this place!"

Goro blinks at her. "My word. How rude."

Oh god. Sukuna is challenging the Oni to a fight. This is bad. What do I do?


[ ] Try to stop her.
[ ] Try to get the Oni to back down.
[ ] The Oni are going to fight. Cower.
[ ] Write-in.
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
[x] Try to get the Oni to back down.
Simply: Don't defy the inchling!
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "THey're much more polite these days"
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”

That...could have gone better.
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."


When an oni is concerned about someone being rude, you know things are completely topsy turvy.
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."
-[x] "Also it the goddess decision is and is not clean and/or defiling"
-[x] "Now put the deadly weapon down"
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
--[X] "Also, one of the other goddesses is the goddess of booze."
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."

lol
[X] Try to stop her.
-[X] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
If it were anyone but Aya I'd try to get them to play along.
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] "Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it."
-[x] "They're much more polite these days. Yeah, I was just as surprised as you are."
-[x] "So what's the deal with you and oni, I mean besides the parties?"

On a different-but-DDC-related note, did the events of that incident happen before or after Pleasant Meadows? Given that the Mini-Hakkero is part of the plot, and that Rinnosuke made (or at least tinkered with) the Mini-Hakkero, I thought it'd be important to consider.
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] "Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it."
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."

>>24272
> When an oni is concerned about someone being rude, you know things are completely topsy turvy.
˙ǝɹǝɥʇ pᴉp noʎ ʇɐɥʍ ǝǝs I
[x] Try to stop her.
-[x] “Sukuna, they built this place. They aren't defiling it.”
-[x] "They're much more polite these days."
-[x] "Also, no fighting, less than all with such a dangerous weapon, inside the shrine"

I guess Aya can't blame her for the reaction after, well, her own's.
Vote called, and Aya will be appealing to Sukuna's sense of reason. Update later.
File 138455741991.jpg - (135.20KB, 850x485, brave little warrior.jpg) [iqdb]
24282
Okay. Remain calm. All that is happening is that a literally tiny little girl is challenging a group of three Oni to battle. Inside of a brand-new shrine. With a sewing needle.

Now, maybe this sewing needle is actually sharp, and can actually cause some harm to a frickin' Oni. That's kinda beside the point here. I'm somewhat more troubled by the prospect of someone getting into a fight with ONI while I'm in the general vicinity. Also, I don't want to run the risk of collateral damage in here. I mean, this place was just built, for crying out loud!

The good news is that the three Oni look more bemused than anything else. The bad news is that Sukuna is lowering herself into what is clearly a combat stance, and I can sense a definite swell of power from her. She must be tougher than she looks. Okay, I need to break this up before it gets ugly.

I carefully approach the inchling. "Hey, Sukuna...?"

"Have no fear, Lady Aya!" Sukuna declares boldly. "I shall defend both you and your goddesses from the destruction wreaked by these Oni! Yea, their heart's-blood shall stain this floor ere long, you have my word." She pauses. "Um, but I'll help clean it up afterwards, I promise."

"I can't help but find this whole situation a tad unnerving," Yondo says, brow furrowed in concern.

"Same here," says Kintaro. "And it's against my code of honor to raise a hand against a lady, so I have a definite conundrum here."

Sukuna opens her mouth to say something in response, then pauses, staring at Kintaro. "Sorry, what?"

I take the opportunity to step forward, kneeling down beside the inchling. "Hey, Sukuna? You really don't have to worry, okay? You see, these Oni really aren't defiling anything, not are they going to wreck the shrine. In fact, they actually built this place."

Sukuna is silent and still for a moment, before slowly swiveling her head to stare at me with a blank expression. "What."

I nod. "It's true. Turns out that Oni are a lot more polite these days."

Sukuna stares at me for a long moment. At the Oni for a long moment. Back to me. "Um... really?" Scratching her head under her teacup-hat, poor Sukuna looks dreadfully confused.

"Yeah, I was surprised, too," I admit, scratching my head as well. "I mean, what I remember about Oni is a lot more violent... and terrifying."

"Oh, well, that's all in the past!" Goro says at once. "After moving underground, we became much more civilized!"

"It's true," Yamame quips, "These days, they rebuild their city after knocking it down in a drunken brawl."

"Well... we do appreciate a good party," Kintaro shrugs. "But that doesn't mean that we don't take a great deal of pride in our efforts! We're a new breed of Oni, educated and respectful, proud of other skills than fighting ability and alcohol tolerance." He pauses. "Though those are indeed vital skills, I must confess."

Sukuna actually looks wobbly on her feet. "Er... so... you Oni are, um... gentlemen?" The Oni nod cheerfully, and Sukuna's 'sword' falls limply by her side. "Well. Um, in that case you have my apologies. I misunderstood. Apparently."

"No fighting in the shrine, please!" Hina takes that moment to call out.

"Especially not with a deadly weapon," I add, eying the Shining Needle Sword dubiously. I mean, I guess it could be a deadly weapon. Maybe. But it's just really hard to look at a sewing needle and fear for my life. Still, Sukuna obediently sheathes her weapon.

"Er... this is totally unexpected," the inchling says in a dazed fashion. "Um, this is in no way like what I was expecting based on the writings of my ancestors. You have my apologies, good sirs." Blushing fiercely in embarrassment, Sukuna tugs her cup down over her head in an effort to hide her face.

All of a sudden, it's just too much for my for heart to bear. Giggling, I reach over and slide my hand under Sukuna's cap to rub her soft head. "Hey, don't worry about it! I was the same way when I first met them! Just chalk it up to one of those funny changes you weren't expecting, okay?" I suddenly notice that Sukuna is making a funny purring sound in her throat, and realize that I'm petting her in public. I quickly pull my hand back. "Um... sorry, reflex," I apologize.

"Hey, no problem at all~," Sukuna replies in a relaxed tone. She looks a bit happy. Maybe she actually likes getting her head rubbed?

"Well, that was certainly interesting," Yamame says, sounding amused. "Anyway, Lady Kagiyama, if you ever have need of the our services again, please feel free to call!"

"And if you ever have need of our services in turn, please let us know!" Hina responds pleasantly.

"Oh, we certainly shall, but I suspect Miss Minoriko will be the most popular among our people!" Yondo remarks, drawing laughter from the others.

"What's that about Lady Minoriko?" Sukuna asks, straightening her hat.

"Mino's the patron deity of booze making," I reply.

"Huh?" Sukuna looks a bit floored by this.

"It's true. So anyway," I stand up and give Sukuna a curious look. "What was with that reaction? I mean, you took one look at the Oni and were ready to dice them up." Or at least poke them in the foot, which I guess would hurt.

Sukuna puffs her little chest out proudly. "I am a descendant of none other than Issun-Boushi, the great and legendary Oni-slayer!" Sukuna declares. There's a sudden silence in the room. The inchling blinks and glances around. "Um... actually, is that something to take pride in anymore?"

Goro coughs awkwardly.

I just shrug. "Sukuna, anybody who wants to hold you to account for something that your bloodline did in the past is a bloody hypocrite, and that's all there is to it." This is coming from a woman who saw her own kind commit atrocities. The three Oni give each other a significant look, but say nothing. If they're as educated as they claim to be, they know damned well that the Oni did some pretty terrible things in the past, as well. In fact, those very three gentleman might have been part of it. You know, before becoming gentlemen.

Kintaro clears his throat. "Well, we have some matters to attend to back underground, so if you'll excuse us." Bowing politely, the Oni gentlemen quickly make their way out of the shrine. Sukuna watches them go with an awkward expression on her face.

"I really ruined the mood, didn't I?" the inchling laments, slumping over. "I'm really sorry about that..."

"Aw, no worries," I say reassuringly. "You aren't the first person who's had trouble with the changing times. Just keep an open mind and it'll all be okay." The inchling gives me a grateful nod.

"Yeah, the Oni have done some rough stuff in the past, too," Yamame comments as she walk past us. She's still wearing her coveralls. "They just don't like to be reminded of it. I don't think anyone does. Anyway, nice working with you guys! Feel free to drop by my cave anytime!" With a wink, Yamame heads out the door of the shrine.

I'm sorry, but that woman has a fantastic ass. It looks good even in those coveralls. It's sort of highlighted, you know what I mean?

"See something you like, Aya?" Sukuna giggles. I glance down to the the inchling slyly grinning up at me with a smile on her face. She's blushing a bit, too.

"Sukuna, Yamame taught me something very important: miniskirts are fantastic!" I nod confidently.

Sukuna winks at me. "I agree. Short skirts are fantastic!" Giggling again, the inchling rushes over to Hina, who kneels down to welcome her. Huh, that was a little weird-

Wait a sec. Sukuna was standing right next to me, looking up. Sukuna is just a few inches tall. I'm wearing a skirt.

...Was Sukuna checking me out?

Shizuha walks up to me, looking around the shrine with a pleased expression on her face. "This place is fantastic! I'm so glad that we hired Yamame!" She pauses and gives me a searching look. "Something wrong, Aya? You have a funny expression."

I look at Shizuha. "A miniature woman may very well have been looking up my skirt right now, and I'm not entirely sure how to feel about that."

Shizuha nods slowly. "Congratulations? Or my condolences? Anyway, I was wondering what you thought our next move should be, now that we have a shrine."

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


STATUS: Shrine built, and ready to go!

HINA STATUS: Excited at having a cute petitioner.

MINORIKO STATUS: Making booze.

SHIZUHA STATUS: Planning for the future.

AYA STATUS: Not too sure what to think.


THE LIST:

[ ] 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.
[ ] Let's visit the underground!


ADDITIONAL VOTE: Pick a number.

[ ] 1
[ ] 2
[ ] 3
[ ] 4


Optional vote:

[ ] Write-in: Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper. Embarrassed? Angry?

(Writing Sukuna was a bit of an experiment for me, since I hadn't seen her written anywhere else before. If you want to see another scene with her, feel free to make an extra vote her. Otherwise, we'll consider the experiment concluded and move on.)
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] Pick a number: 3
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: thoughtful.
Is it just me, or does anyone else really want to go nab the Oni as worshippers for our budding faith? Nobody else has them currently, and while they might not be all that devout, there's a literally unknown/large amount of them. Even sparingly faithful, they would do Wonders for the three goddesses.

Something to think about, at least.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] 3
[x] It can't be helped.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's public image.
[X] 2
[X] Eh, karma.
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Improving Hina's public image.
ADDITIONAL VOTE: Pick a number.
[X] ABSTAIN
These options are too unclear.
Optional vote:
[X] Write-in: Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper. Embarrassed? Angry?
-[X] Embarrassed, but also flattered and maybe a little turned on.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] Pick a number: 3
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.

I liked your Sukuna, it'd be nice to see more of her later.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] Pick a number: 3
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.
-[x] It's almost like she's a minature me/Aya, I better help her avoid my mistakes.

I can't be the only one who thinks that she's a mini Aya (as in the current one who while she has an interest in ladies, isn't excessive about it)
File 138457476248.jpg - (266.91KB, 1215x717, bitch.jpg) [iqdb]
24292
[x] Should we get a clergy at some point?
[x] 1
-[x] Embarrassed but..
--[x] It's karma
[x] Public relations.
- [x] Improving Hina's public image.
(I think the best way to do that is probably to start providing services, though.)

[x] 3
I'm assuming this is for "how many of Aya, Hina, Shizuha, and Minoriko are going to be doing this?" I figure this leaves one free to hold down the fort shrine impromptu pillow fort.

[x] Eh. It's nice to be appreciated, I guess, but she's not really my type, y'know?
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] Pick a number: 3
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.
-[x] It's almost like she's a minature me/Aya, I better help her avoid my mistakes.


Maybe it actually involves a pillow fort of some kind?
[x] Public relations.
- [x] Improving Hina's public image.
[x] 1
[x] Write-in: Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Flattered.
[x] An encountered named character (Hatate)
[x] Pick a number: 3
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.

Things have stabilized. Maybe we should look into a bit more Pleasant Meadows recovery. And this could help our general public relations as well, if we can get her to write an article on the goddesses and/or our progress towards our own recovery.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.
[x] Pick a number: 2
[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.
-[x] It's almost like she's a minature me/Aya, I better help her avoid my mistakes.
File 138461326451.jpg - (1.22MB, 1582x1582, 38778819.jpg) [iqdb]
24301
[x] Public relations.
- [x] Improving Hina's public image.
[x] 4
[x] Write-in: Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper.
-[x] Embarrassed, but also flattered and maybe a little turned on.

RECALIBRATING...NEW TARGET LOCKED

My god, the first appearance of Sukuna on THP and she's flirty and likes big breasts and being carried and the protagonist is female? This story really does take away misfortune.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.

It's not going to take long before the other faiths start noticig us, especially since creating such a grand shrine will start raising their suspicions and getting their hackles up. At the very least we should do this before we start making any more "aggressive" moves like advertising or improving Hina's image.

[x] Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper: Thoughtful and a bit embarrassed.
-[x] But mostly pleased, it's nice to be appreciated.
-[x] It's almost like she's a minature me/Aya, I better help her avoid my mistakes.


And I don't feel like picking a number, whatever we get is fine by me.
>>24301
Nope, the target is still Yamame. Sukuna is not someone Aya can deal with.
File 138462279629.png - (3.46KB, 432x1216, 38380124.png) [iqdb]
24305
>>24304
How is Sukuna harder to deal with than Yamame?
Also, who says there's only one target?
Harem route is best route.
[x] Planning on how to deal with the other faiths.

Pick a number:
[X] 3

Optional vote:
[X] Write-in: Aya's reaction to Sukuna being a peeper. Embarrassed? Angry?
-[X] Embarrassed, but also a bit flattered.
>>24304
stop mispelling Hina. It's a pretty likely change excluding multi-girl hijinks that Hina'll be the one that Aya ends up with.
>>24301

Am I the first person to write her? I hadn't seen her in any other stories, but I know a couple of other people were planning to write about her.

>>24302

Funny you should bring that up.

Anyway! Now calling votes for dealing with the other faiths, for feeling embarrassed and vaguely flattered at an inchling who seems a little too much like Aya, and for the number 3.
File 138463846243.jpg - (693.32KB, 774x1100, is she a mini-aya.jpg) [iqdb]
24312
I chew on my lip for a moment. "Honestly, I think we all need to sit down and really think about how the other faiths are going to react to your newfound presence. I mean, this place really does stand out, and the construction has to have gotten some attention. Somebody's going to come around looking for answers, and we need to figure out how to receive them."

"In other words, do we act defiant, friendly, or do we kiss massive amounts of ass," Shiuzha notes with a raised eyebrow.

I snort. "Pretty much. Any way you handle it, there's going to be pros and cons. Anyway, you all have a presence now. Time to figure how you're gonna handle it."

"Fair enough," Shizuha nods. "I'll go grab Mino, and Hina once she's done with your little admirer." The leaf goddess smirks at that, and I cough in embarrassment, feeling a little flushed in the face.

"Yeah, she certainly has good taste in women, doesn't she?" I declare bravely, causing Shizuha to laugh and shake her head.

"Well, whatever. I'll think it over and talk to you later, Aya." Shizuha waves as she walks off, heading down Minoriko's wing.

Still that is one of the big issues right about now. I mean, this shrine really is not subtle. It's more or less advertising in and of itself, even if we didn't have Oni walking through Gensokyo, shouting 'Come see the goddesses!' at the top of their lungs. Which is just as well, because I don't think that would have drawn in the worshipers. Maybe the exact opposite, in fact.

Anyway, I have to wonder how each of the faiths are going to react. I sit down on a bench as I mull it over, letting Hina have a moment to see to Sukuna's misfortune issue. If I had to guess, I don't think that Reimu will react all that well to yet more competition. I mean, being married to Remilia, Reimu can't have any cash-flow problems any longer. On the other hand, accumulation of faith is kind of a matter of pride, and I doubt that Reimu will be thrilled at new competition.

The Moriyas worry me. A lot. Any opposition from Reimu is likely to be very overt, but Kanako and her crew? They specialize in subtlety, in covert plots and plans. They might try to subvert the goddesses here, or they could try to discredit us in order to prevent any faith from trickling our way. But however you look at it, Kanako is a war goddess who responds to challenges with all of her might. Suwako cheats like a bastard, and Sanae has learned from both of them, along with possessing the enthusiasm of youth. Yeah, they really worry me. Especially given just how likely it is that we'll be stepping on their toes.

Byakuren and the Myouren Temple? I think that they'll be less of a problem. Byakuren is the type of person who just wants everybody to get along, and I can't see her openly opposing Hina, Shizuha, and Minoriko. She represents the most likely source of allies, since our doctrine doesn't really cross the principles of Buddhism. Well, except when it comes to alcohol, but this is Gensokyo, for crying out loud! On the other hand, the Buddhists and Taoists have been fighting like cats and dogs since they got here, and if Byakuren gets it into her heads to try and recruit us into that little struggle, things could get complicated.

That brings us directly to the Taoists. Miko and her crew aren't exactly youkai-friendly, and I've pretty much gotten the others to accept the possibility of youkai worshipers. I mean, Nitori is already a follower, and they got youkai to build this place! And that means that Miko and her crew may very well see us as a threat to be neutralized. Especially if Byakuren does try to ally with us.

...Fuck, this is complicated. We all need to sit right down and hash this out, pronto. Things are starting to escalate.

As I brush my hands over my skirt absentmindedly, I remember how little Sukuna was checking me out earlier, her broad grin and blushing face. Okay, let's be honest here. The inchling was staring at my panties. There, I said it. Thing is, this is the sort of thing that I myself have done many a time in years past. Partially as a misguided way to seek affection. Partially because it turned me on. Now that I'm on the receiving end, how does it make me feel?

...Well, I'm embarrassed, for one thing. I mean, I don't exactly show off my unmentionables to just anyone, and Sukuna didn't have to look right up at me or anything! I mean, hello! Respect for personal privacy, anyone?

Except for the fact that I haven't really respected anyone's personal space in a very long time, so I don't exactly have the right to get angry at her, now do I? Maybe once I've started to show a bit more decency in my actions, then I can try and act like a moral authority. Besides, I feel strangely... flattered. I mean, It's not like I want to go around flashing everybody in Gensokyo, but that someone would want to check me out, like she obviously was, kinda feels nice. It feels good to be appreciated, even if she didn't exactly go about it in the best way possible.

Still, that makes me worry. I know where Sukuna's headed if she keeps this up. The inchling is clearly putting up a front, trying to act suave and heroic, while not quite pulling it off correctly. When she's so goshdarned cute, it's hard to stay mad at her, but not everyone will feel that way. In fact, quite a few people will feel very angry at having their personal space violated like that, and it won't make Sukuna any friends.

I know where she's heading, because I've been there myself. Sukuna is acting just like I used to. How long until people stop seeing her as cute and harmless, and start to get angry at a pest? I really don't want to see that happen to her.

I sigh. In a lot of ways, Sukuna is like a miniaturized version of me, and liable to make many of the same mistakes. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Maybe... I should invite her to stay around a little longer? Show her first hand what happened to me when I went down that route? I can't help but feel an obligation to prevent someone else from making my mistakes-

"Excuse me?"

Eh?

I'm jolted out of my thoughts by a pleasant, gentle voice, and open my eyes to see a visitor standing in the shrine's entrance.

It's Byakuren Hijiri.

Byakuren Hijiri, leader of the Buddhists, head of Myouren Temple is here at our shrine, and we don't have a plan for dealing with her.

"I saw your shrine being built, and thought I would come along to take a look," Byakuren says pleasantly, "I do hope that's not a problem?"

Fuck.

FUCK.

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

RANDOM ENCOUNTER [3], BYAKUREN HIJIRI HAS APPEARED. WHAT DO YOU DO?


[ ] Write-in
[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine

By the way, does this shrine have a name?
>>24313

Not yet. Feel free to suggest one.
[x]Oggle breasts PANIC Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
[x]Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
Mitsugami Shrine (三神神社, mitsugami jinja, Three-God(ess) Shrine)
[X] Don't (visibly) panic[
-X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
[x] Smile and give her a tour.
[X] Don't (visibly) panic
-[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
politeness is for those who don't know what to do
what were the other random encounters (for posterity sake)?.
[X] Don't (visibly) panic
-[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
-[x] Resist the urge to oogle/check her out.

Just some insurance as this is Byakuren we're dealing with.
>>24320

[1] Reimu
[2] Sanae
[4] Miko

Building a new shrine was bound to get someone's attention; Byakuren just got here first. Now that the Goddesses of Change are going public, unexpected complications are likely to be a thing. Just a heads-up.
[x] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
-[x] Ask her for advice on how to avoid angering the other faiths
holy shit perfect opportunity
[X] Be polite. Byakuren is a guest, and we will treat her as such.
[X] Be efficient. Make certain the goddesses speak for themselves.
[X]Have a plan to kill everyone you meet Above all else, don't panic.
[X] Panic internally
-[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine


Okay, so Aya is the closest they have to an actual priestess right now. It's all up to her now. They're doomed!


>[1] Reimu
>[2] Sanae
>[4] Miko

Seems like we got pretty lucky, I guess?
Byakuren is generally pretty mellow.

Reimu probably wouldn't be too terrible either. I guess she'd pretty much come by and warn them not to be an Incident. Sure, it's a rival shrine but she can't really stop them from, well, being goddesses basically. (Oni drink, tengu fly, goddesses gather faith. It's what they do.)

Sanae... Could go either way. Either she'd be here as an official representative of the shrine (and a mouthpiece for Kanako and Suwako) which would likely turn out exactly like what Aya was worrying about. Or she could have shown up just out of personal interest in which case things would probably end without any major events. She's sometimes overly enthusiastic, but she's not a bad person.

Miko... Well, she's coming to a shrine of a rival faith that is youkai friendly, currently serving a youkai and she's met by a youkai who's basically the head priestess, albeit temporary. Also a majority of the current followers are youkai.
Thiscanonlyendwell.jpg
>>24325
The only issue with Byakuren would be Aya's impulses acting up, however subdued they are by now.
>>24327

Byakuren isn't exactly the most strict or faithful of Buddhists. She seems to selectively ignore that her Youkai followers don't often follow the tenets of Buddhism.

>>24325

>Seems like we got pretty lucky, I guess?
>Byakuren is generally pretty mellow.

Damned lucky. As stated above, Byakuren is pretty lax, and is all for the whole "Youkai and humans together" thing, which is who this new shrine will cater to. There's a good reason why a large number of voters voted for allying with Byakuren and the Myouren Temple way back when we were still deciding how to get started. Didn't get a majority vote, but it wasn't off by much.

Which I kind of think is a shame. Don't get me wrong: things are working out very well so far, but I like Byakuren, and would like to see her get more screentime. So I am glad she was the random encounter, not just because she's the best choice of the four possibilities.
>>24328
Well not sure how much that covers being checked out by a recovering Tengu reporter.
[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine
[X] DON'T PANIC
-[X] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine.
>>24322

Yay for lucky #3!

[x] Don't (visibly) panic

[x] Be polite. Byakuren is a guest, and we will treat her as such.
-[x] Resist the urge to oogle/check her out, no matter how plush and friendly her big & bouncy jiggly-wigglys are.
-[x] Whatever you do, don't imagine Sukuna stuffed down Byakyren's welcoming breasts, no matter how adorable that image is.
-[x] Ask Byakuren why she gave herself a perfect body, but not in a way that implies she's a hypocrite.
-[x] Ask how Koishi's doing.

[x] Be efficient. Make certain the goddesses speak for themselves, but be ready to back them up if need be (as well as satisfy your own curiosity).
-[x] If Byakuren gets concerned about booze, politely point out to her that Mahayana Buddhism permits alcohol among the laity. Also be sure to praise her adhering to her vows.
-[x] If Byakuren gets concerned about meat-eating, ask if she and Minoriko would be willing to work together to invent meat trees.
-[x] Ask about her magic, where she learned it from and how it differs from the mikkyo she grew up with.
-[x] While we're on the topic of esoteric Buddhism, ask why she identifies with the Mahayana branch and not the Shingon school.

[x]Have a plan to kill everyone you meet Ask her for advice on how to avoid angering the other faiths.
-[x] Assure her you've no plans to poach worshippers, assuming the Goddesses of Change don't do so themselves.
-[x] Ask if Moriya's been wanting any favors ever since Suwako cleared that land for her.
-[x] Apologize for crashing the Hakurei-Scarlet wedding.
>>24312
[x] "Of course not!"
- [x] Politely welcome Ms. Hijiri to the shrine.


[x] >>24332
I approve sufficiently to bandwagon. Good thing I checked before posting.

>>24317
三神 would be better read as Mikami, I think.

Especially since then we can turn right back around and read Mikami as 美神. (For values of "we" possibly only equal to Aya, but that won't stop us.)



(Internet- and wiki-fueled babbling follows. Beware.)

⚏ ⛩ ⚏

Byakuren and the new pantheon are probably theologically opposed, at least a little: Buddhism encourages separating oneself from the concerns of the world, and we're actively trying to immerse ourselves in those selfsame concerns to gather faith.

However, we're clearly not just doing so parasitically: we may not be taking steps to end suffering, as the Buddhists would have it, but we do act to relieve it. Also (as has been pointed out), we're trying to appeal to youkai and human alike, so we're definitely not politically opposed. Hopefully (hopefully!) "dealing with" Byakuren will involve nothing more complicated than sending her a fruit basket every autumn, and possibly making sure there's a temperance option at festivals (a good idea for the kids, anyway).

⚌ ⛩ ⚌

Dealing with the Moriya-tachi is probably going to be the other way around. We're theologically (doctrinally, insofar as we have one) concordant -- entirely too much so, being direct rivals, and thus politically at odds. How bad it's going to be partly depends on how much of a bitch Keymaster's Kanako is, but I wouldn't be surprised if things start with veiled insults and/or threats. Especially if the tengu are complaining to her after we stuck them with the bill for the shrine.

Dealing with Reimu is also potentially going to be unpleasant. My current best suggestion is to butter up her sister-in-law. (This should probably be done earlier rather than later, so we have her as quasi-backup in case things go sour with the Moriyas.)

Dealing with Toyosatomimi no Miko is ... um. Possibly not difficult. She did say "Harmony is to be valued," after all.

And then there's Yukari. No, she doesn't need faith, but we are messing with the political landscape of Gensokyo, and she will care about that. Maybe she'll be glad for us having popped up, and maybe not -- but she'll definitely have an opinion.

(... and there are probably at least two other interested parties that I haven't thought of who will get involved eventually...)
>>24332
I'd imagine Sukuna would actually enjoy that with the real queestion being would that be excessive.
>>24333

Thanks for bandwagoning! A nitpick here and there, though.

>Byakuren and the new pantheon are probably theologically opposed, at least a little: Buddhism encourages separating oneself from the concerns of the world, and we're actively trying to immerse ourselves in those selfsame concerns to gather faith.

I don't think there's going to be much opposition, if any. Mahayana's been mellow about worldly concerns (for the laity at least) from the get-go and Buddhism has a history of adapting to the times anyway. Zen's practiced in San Francisco differently than it is in Dengfeng, for example. Byakuren will only really be concerned with whether or not we're doing good deeds, which should not be a problem given Hina's and Minoriko's inclinations.

The biggest threat from Myouren isn't Byakuren but her followers; they're loyal but not obedient (she was surprised when she learned of them boozing it up), and have schemes that could work at cross-purposes (see Mamizou and Kokoro). Thankfully, they'll probably leave us alone as long as they don't think we're a threat.

>Dealing with Reimu is also potentially going to be unpleasant. My current best suggestion is to butter up her sister-in-law.

I think appealing to Reimu will be out best bet, just write a biography about her life before she invented the spellcard system. Refer to her as "a former child prodigy," "the heroine of Gensokyo," "our bringer of peace," and other sensationalist claims that are technically true. Since getting Reimu's account will make it seem like she's taking a bribe we'll need to consult somebody who knew her during the first five incidents. Looks like Aya'll have to meet with another powerful magician…

Though given the events of DDC and Pleasant Meadows likely coming together in the worst way (one involves the Mini-Hakkero, the other its creator), Mima's probably got her hands full keeping her apprentice's spirits up. Perhaps Hina can help with that.

> Dealing with the Moriya-tachi is probably going to be the other way around. We're theologically (doctrinally, insofar as we have one) concordant -- entirely too much so.

Oh yes, if it were as simple as "we'll get the oni and spiders to build that dam for you!" then she would've hired them herself. Her goal is to become the goddess of technological innovation, a concept which relies more on the common people working together than commands from on high. The closest precedent the Outside has to what Kanako's after are prolific inventors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prolific_inventors), but in addition to heavy marketing (which she seems rather good at) she's going to need a research institute.

Regardless, any deals made with Moriya will best be on a cash-up-front basis as opposed to any long-term contracts, especially since law enforcement (and law in general) in Gensokyo consists of "Reimu in a bad mood" and little else. Though given how scared pasteless everyone at the Symposium was of her, the local witcher's looking more like a better ally...

>Dealing with Toyosatomimi no Miko is ... um. Possibly not difficult. She did say "Harmony is to be valued," after all.

She's also a political opportunist who wants to become true administrator of Gensokyo, never mind that it's less of an organized nation than Somalia (and will probably have a more hilarious Wikitravel page). The best way to deal with her is to address her outward concerns ("The humans are disorganized and little more than farm animals!"). Also, while Miko was there during the bad-old-days she probably doesn't have as much of a problem with youkai as Akyuu does, Miko seems to have a personal grudge with Byakuren more than anything else.

>And then there's Yukari. No, she doesn't need faith, but we are messing with the political landscape of Gensokyo, and she will care about that. Maybe she'll be glad for us having popped up, and maybe not -- but she'll definitely have an opinion.

Gensokyo hasn't had a stable political landscape for almost a decade, what's one more change? She'll probably just want to watch the show. While Yukari was rather sympathetic towards Hina, we don't know what Shinki's opinion is. Given that she hasn't gone all cenobite on her latest prisoner I remain cautiously optimistic.

>(... and there are probably at least two other interested parties that I haven't thought of who will get involved eventually...)

There's Eientei and Former Hell. Eirin's main concern is her lover so Eientei'll be a business partner at most. Former Hell consists of the oni of the Former Capital and the Palace of the Earth Spirits. We'll likely get a lot of faith from the oni, but they seem decentralized so finding a representative'll be tricky.

The other power center consists of Satori and her extended family, but she has good reasons to distrust religious leaders; Kanako because of Utsuho, and Byakuren for approving of Koishi closing her 3rd eye. She also does not like damn lolicons. Negotiate in person to show honesty and penance, and pray to Hina that the satori doesn't go Psycho Mantis/Brian Mills on you.



My, that ended up being a lot more than a nitpick about Buddhism, didn't it?
>>24324 here.
I'm bandwagoning on the modifications to mine that >>24332 and >>24333 did.
>>24336
So, use controller port two while talking to Satori? Got it.
>>24338

Hopefully Aya will be able to hide the fact that she's a coward who saves a lot while playing Super Mario Sunshine.


...God I feel old.
>>24336 here, with something I forgot.

Let Miko know, in no uncertain terms, that we will retaliate if Futo sets anything of ours on fire.
[X] DON'T PANIC
-[X] Politely welcome Mt. Hijiri to the shrine.
Vote called. Some excellent discussion on this one! Anyway, vote will be later.
File 138472701483.jpg - (143.52KB, 850x1105, surprise visitor.jpg) [iqdb]
24343
Shit. Shit. SHIT. I was not ready for this. WE were not ready for this! Dammit, if only we'd had a few hours to prepare, I'd have a plan to deal with Byakuren! But no, Miss Buddhist has to show up all on her lonesome, with her big smile, and her huge knockers-

Man, those things are big. I mean, this lady is racked like nobody's business.

No, no! Focus, Aya! This is not the time or the place to focus on how hot Byakuren is, or on her gigantic tits, or on how cute and happy Sukuna would look perched in there, rubbing her cheek happily against the soft mounds while an amused Byakuren patted her head, making the inchling purr-

Not! The! Time!

No. You know what? I'm the closest thing this shrine has to an official, and I am damned well going to act like it. So the other faiths have started to take notice of us? Fine. Time to meet them head-on, with all of the tact that I can muster. Remember dealing with the tengu courts, Aya. Don't panic. You can do this. It's time for full court-mode, but with less stick up the butt and more personality.

Byakuren is waiting patiently for me to respond, probably realizing just how much her visit took me by surprise. All right. Carefully, I get to my feet, straighten my skirt, and give Byakuren my best smile. "Lady Hijiri, you are more than welcome at our temple! I admit, you took me by surprise, but it's far from an unwelcome one!" Byakuren blinks a little bit as I talk. Not surprising, I don't really do formal speak all that much after all. Still, she returns my polite bow and smiles at me.

"I'm relieved to hear that, Miss Shameimaru. I didn't want to impose, but I just had to see what was going on here. Call it curiosity. Oh, and please call me Byakuren." The monk is all smiles, all poise.

"Then please, call me Aya. I was never too good at acting all formal." I relax a bit, not sensing any danger from Byakuren. Of all the other leaders, she's the one that worries me the least. Which doesn't mean that I should totally let my guard down.

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Shizuha and Minoriko peering around the corner of one of the hallways, Shizu making a stretching motion with her hands. Right. Buy some time.

"If you'll come with me, Byakuren, I can get you some tea. At the moment, Hina is helping a little youkai with a little misfortune issue, so she'll need a couple of moments to wrap that up." I gesture for the monk to follow me down the hall to Minoriko's wing as the Aki sisters disappear down the hallway.

Meanwhile, Byakuren's eyes light up at my words. "Truly? That warms my heart to hear! Word had it that Lady Kagiyama was more accepting of youkai than had previously been the case. Your influence, perhaps?"

"Possibly," I shrug. "Possibly the influence of a certain kappa friend of hers. Still, while the pantheon was forming, I made the point that excluding youkai due to the way things used to be really made no sense."

"I agree wholeheartedly," Byakuren agrees, following me down the hallway. "Gensokyo is a very changed place, even from when I first arrived here. I feel that it is the business of all beings to make this a more pleasant place to live in. It warms my heart to see that there are other individuals of faith who share my belief."

Ah. She's here looking for allies. We enter into Minoriko's wing, a homey area with charms dedicated to farming, food, success at endeavors, and other related things. Off to one side is a veranda overlooking the land of endless fall, and I get Byakuren to have a seat while I prepare some tea. As we wait for Hina and the others to arrive, I take it upon myself to explain the tenets of the Three Goddesses of Change, and how each one represents a different aspect of the changing world.

Byakuren nods her approval. "Impressive. The word is indeed ever-changing, after all, and it can often be difficult for people to accept this fact. I find it heartening that Gensokyo's deities have taken it upon themselves to help people through such times."

"Someone had to," Hina says as she and Akis walk up to us, all smiles. The three goddesses bow. "Lady Hijiri, you honor us with your presence."

Byakuren stand and bows in turn. "Not at all. I am honored that you would receive me on such short notice."

I chuckle. "Well, it's good that we're all friends here! After all, this is supposed to be a place where people can come and unwind, and contemplate the changes in their daily lives! And on that note, let's all drop the formalities, yes?" Everyone nods at this.

"Would you like a drink, Byakuren?" Minoriko offers as she takes her seat. "I have heard that you don't touch alcohol, but brewing lies within my domain, so I just have to offer."

Byakuren smiles politely. "Thank you, but I choose to abstain. Still, I understand the little pleasures that others like to indulge in, and would certainly never begrudge someone else their vices. I merely recommend moderation in all things."

"Including, at times, moderation?" Shizuha asks with a raised eyebrow.

Byakuren laughs. "Perhaps, Shizuha, perhaps."

Off in the distance, I notice Sukuna peering in at us, giving Byakuren a wide-eyed look. I don't have to guess just where her eyes are pointed. Still, it doesn't look like she'll be interrupting, thankfully.

Hina sighs as she looks at Byakuren. "I have to say, I'm a bit jealous. How do you manage to look so lovely all the time, Byakuren?"

Byakuren just shrugs. "I believe in having a healthy body, which leads in turn to a healthy mind and a healthy soul."

Heh. Way to dodge the question, Byakuren. Though by that logic, big boobs lead to a bigger soul? I wonder if there's more room to hold it- stay on task, Aya.

"And how are things at Myouren Temple?" Shizuha aks. "I hear that it's usually a very serene place, with the occasional bit of excitement." The emphasis Shizuhu puts on excitement makes it clear what she's referring to.

Byakuren just sighs in response. "There are some very good people at the temple, but youkai are by nature very passionate beings. It's hard for them to fully follow Buddhism's tenets without falling to their passionate nature. Still, I have absolute faith that following the teachings can save them from a darker path."

Maybe. But I know one group of youkai that veered a little too far away from their passionate nature, and developed a collective stick up their butts. The tengu aren't really a good example of how to do things. Still, I choose not to interfere in the debate. Best to let the goddesses handle themselves.

And they do. Shizuha proves herself to be surprisingly adept at this sort of thing, engaging Byakuren in topics ranging from branches of Buddhism, to Byakuren's own personal views on things (it all goes over my head). Minoriko talks about their desire to be a helpful day to day presence in Gensokyo, and makes a crack about developing some sort of meat tree. I have to wonder just how that would taste. Hina engages Byakuren in talk about magic and karma.

Eventually, Byakuren looks over at me. "You seem rather quiet, Aya. Don't feel you have to remain silent on our account."

I shrug. "My reputation has taken a clobbering of late. I didn't want to risk seeming nosy." I sigh. "Incidentally, I apologize for what happened during the Hakurei-Scarlet wedding. That really wasn't me at my best."

Byakuren looks thoughtful. "What happened, precisely? You had always had a checkered reputation, but there were more than a few people muttering dark things about you after... certain recent events."

I shrug, not hiding from the question. "I'm over a thousand years old, Byakuren. A millennium's worth of difficulties had finally started to overwhelm me, and led me down a path I'm not too proud of. Fortunately, I had some friends to pull me back from the brink." Mino and Shizu give me a startled look; this is something they haven't heard before. Hina quietly sips at her tea.

Byakuren... looks very sympathetic. "Our pasts can haunt us, indeed. At times, we cannot break free from our past difficulties without the gentle yet firm hand of someone that cares. I'm glad that there were those willing and able to able to help you." The monk sighs. "Honestly, there's someone at our temple who has similar difficulties, I wager. At least when it comes to symptoms."

I blink at this. "Who's that?"

"Koishi Komeiji," Byakuren replies. "I can't say for certain that her troubles mirror your own, for I do not know what troubles either of you encountered. However, Koishi also tends to be rather... affectionate with people."

Eep. "Does she take awkward pictures?" I ask, trying to laugh it off.

"No, Koishi likes to get a more personal experience whenever she's around," Byakuren replies wearily, a faint blush tinging her cheeks. "And it's hard to stay mad at her due to the sheer innocence and whimsy she demonstrates. She might get a tad too... personal with you, and then promptly engage you in discussion about the nature of morality, and then go looking for cookies." Byakuren shakes her head, a baffled expression on her face.

Well, color me curious.

Byakuren takes another sip of her tea. "So, you have chosen to start a new faith. Have you spoken with other representatives yet?"

"Not as of yet," Shizuha shrugs. "You are the first to come here."

"How fortuitous of me," Byakuren smiles. "I do know that the other faiths can be very... territorial at times. The Moriyas never forget a favor owed, for one, and the Taoists cling to a very outmoded view of the world. And then of course there is Reimu." The monk shakes her head. "But you seek to aid people in their day to day lives. Commendable, as is your acceptance of both human and youkai. It seems we have many things in common."

Here it comes. She's looking for an alliance. Byakuren has been trying to seem close to us intent as soon as she got through the door. We just opened up, and Gensokyan politics is already beating down our doors.

Byakuren hesitates. "Incidentally, what was it that you chose to call your shrine? I fear I missed the name."

I perk up. "Oh, it's the..."


[ ] (Confirmation vote for the sake of the writer. A couple people suggested Mitsugami and Mikami, which I like the sound of. Can any moonspeakers out there confirm which one fits better? If there's now objections, I'm gonna go with one of these. Barring someone having another idea."

ALSO

[ ] Byakuren is clearly seeking to align herself with you. How do you respond to her? (This may lead directly into political talk, depending on the response.)
Whichever one way we go, alliance-wise, I'd recommend that we go speak to Koishi later.

Let's turn Aya into the pervert version of one of those ex-druggies that do "Don't do drugs" speeches at schools. Gensokyo seems like it would need it, to be honest.
[X] Mitsugami

[X] It'd be nice to have a good relationship with Byakuren, but while working with her is fine, that's not the same as working for her. Let's make sure to avoid becoming or being seen as just an extension of the Myouren. But there's no problem with stuff like mutual goodwill, exchange of favors, partnership of equals etc.
[X] Listen to her offer, but politely stall for time.


I think we should try to stay neutral for now, at least until we've had a bit more time to get settled and maybe talk to some of the others who will no doubt come knocking.

Just tell her the obvious truth: She all but bumped into the construction team as they were leaving, we haven't even had the shrine for a day yet and need some time to get settled before making a decision.
Give us a week to "unpack" and discuss things and we'll get back to her as soon as we can.
>>24346
Oh, and as for the shrine name, I don't have the necessary moon-rune skills to tell one squiggly line from another, so yeah... Either one sounds fine to me.
[X] Either name works.
[X] Listen to her offer, but politely stall for time.

>>24346
Agreed. Ideally I'd like to hear all the major players out before deciding who to or not to cast our lot in with; whether that works out is up to Keymaster.
[x] Mikami, because Google actually translates it.

[x] We should remain on the 'friends' side of neutral. While peace between youkai and humans would be nice, that's not our main focus.
[x] Mikami, because Google actually translates it.

[x] We should remain on the 'friends' side of neutral. While peace between youkai and humans would be nice, that's not our main focus.

Part of me wants to have Aya run into Komachi just to see what she thinks. But Byakuren being sympathetic wouldn't be surprising as she too had some shade in her past.
[X] Mikami, because Google actually translates it.

[X] We should remain on the 'friends' side of neutral. While peace between youkai and humans would be nice, that's not our main focus.

Not an ally, unless we have to choose. Events may very well occur as such that we have to get involved.
[X] Answer honestly: while an alliance could certainly be in the cards, we need time to set up, unpack and deliberate.

Because it's the truth!
>>24349
Yeah, being politically neutral (for now) obviously doesn't mean we can't be personally friendly.

But I'd like to stress that that friendliness should be on a personal level only until we've decided which way to cast our lot.
Being "friendly" in business matters means we'll give off the image of already having made our decision, whether we choose to ally with Byakuren or not.
Either way, it will strain our initial relationship with the others if we seems to have already agreed to join the buddhists and are only listening to them out of courtesy, not actual interest.
Of course, at least one of those initial relationships will be strained anyway (Miko), but there's no point in adding oil to the fire before even talking to her.

But in the end even if we won't be political allies, we can at least expect Byakuren to be "friendly neutral" towards us due to similar beliefs and goals (and her "let's all get along" attitude) unless we take a position directly opposed to her.
>>24333
[x] Mikami, because >>24333. (Which is me, so don't count me twice.)
[x] Friends yes, family no.

(I suppose it's nice that it happens to agree with me, but I have enough experience with Google Translate not to consider its output to be justification for much of anything.)

>>24347
Uh, right, I should probably include liner notes for the pun. Where 三神 Mikami means "three kami", 美神 Mikami means "beautiful kami". That's all.

(There's also an unintentional, twice-obscure reference to the Three Graces -- but how many Gensokyo residents would know anything about either Greek mythology or Renaissance art?)
>>24354
I imagine Remilia would be at least passingly familiar with European art, being "nobility". Greek mythology on the other hand is less likely to be well known.
Pathouli probably has some books about it, but that doesn't really mean much. With her library she "probably has some books about" everything.
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[x] Answer honestly: while an alliance could certainly be in the cards, we need time to set up, unpack and deliberate.

Yup, far too early to really commit to anything.
>>24344

>Let's turn Aya into the pervert version of one of those ex-druggies that do "Don't do drugs" >speeches at schools. Gensokyo seems like it would need it, to be honest.

I'd read it.

[x] Answer honestly: while an alliance could certainly be in the cards, we need time to set up, unpack and deliberate.

The shrine WAS finished like 10 minutes ago, after all.
Calling vote. The shrine is now Mikami Shrine, and we'll be friendly, but not allies, with Byakuren. Update later today.
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"...Mikami Shrine," I tell her. "Seems fitting, don't you think? Given that we have three goddesses here? And pretty ones, too~!"

"Aya, you already live here," Shizuha quips, "There's no reason to try and flatter us."

"Not that we don't love it, of course," Hina pipes up.

Byakuren laughs at the banter. "It seems that you all are very close friends."

I shrug. "Well, we have a common interest, after all." The goddesses do, at any rate. And given that my original goal was to help Hina, it wasn't too hard to extend it to the others. Still, Byakuren's words ring a note with me. "Friendship..." I muse.

"Hmm?" The monk gives me a speculative look.

"Friendship is what you came here after, was it not?" Shizuha asks, sipping her tea.

Byakuren nods. "I suppose I was. After all, we both believe in the harmonious living between all beings, and may be at odds with some of the same people. I had merely thought that as friends, we could stand together where alone we might falter."

Fine words. And not without some truth to them But it's quite clear just why Byakuren made a bee-line here: she saw an opportunity snag a political ally, and seized it with both hands. Not that I think Byakuren is all ulterior motives, mind you; she makes a good point. But still, at the root of things is that Byakuren is here to try and align us with her, when we haven't even spoken with the other faiths yet. At best, we would be committing ourselves too early. At worst, people might come to see us as nothing more than a branch or subordinate of her own temple. And that is a risk we just can't take.

"So, Byakuren, here's what's on my mind right about now..." I set down my tea mug as the monk gives me her full attention. I need to put this delicately. To let her down without making an enemy out of this woman. Fortunately she's way more reasonable than the elders, so this should be cake. "We do have a lot in common, but you have to understand that peaceful interaction between all beings in pretty much incidental to us. It's good, yes, and to be pursued, but it isn't the central thrust of what we do."

"Besides that, we literally just got our shrine built this morning," Shizuha adds. I notice that the leaf goddess is squeezing Minoriko's hand in a silent gesture. "We have very few worshipers as it is, and taking a stand on major issues isn't something we're physically capable of just yet. Get too close to one friend, and their enemies may yet express their personal disapproval."

Hina nods silently, sipping her tea. The misfortune goddess glances over at me and nods slightly, giving me the go-ahead to handle this for her.

"What we're saying to you, Byakuren, is that we'd love to have you over anytime for some tea." I take in the monk, waiting to see if my meaning has gotten across.

It has. Byakuren sighs heavily, visibly disappointed. "I see. I suppose that I came here perhaps a bit too soon, but I was hoping that we might have some more common ground."

"We have a great deal of common ground," Shizuha says evenly, "And 'not right now' is a very different thing from 'not ever.' But we haven't the power or resources at your disposal. To take a stand now would prove more a danger than an advantage. Perhaps in the future, when we have strengthened our position, we can see about a closer association. But not until then."

In the future, when the goddesses here have enough faith at their disposal that they won't be considered vassals of Myouren temple that is. Goddesses though they may be, no one can question just who the big player here is.

Fortunately, Byakuren doesn't press things, just giving us a somber nod. "I understand your position. However, I would remind you that there are others out there who may not be willing to leave you be. You may find that you need allies against them when the time comes. Should that happen, I do hope that you will remember me." Byakuren smiles gently, but her point is well-made.

Argh, I hate this political shit. Byakuren is a nice person and all, but she still has an agenda, and she's entirely willing to use her unwillingness to use us as tools as a selling point as to why we should join with her. I guess you have to pick up some political acumen over a long lifetime. I mean, I hate the tengu court, but it's impossible not to know a thing or two if you live in the village for any length of time.

So, we're avoiding getting too closely entangled with Byakuren, in part because she isn't going to push us on it. The other faiths might not be so gentle. We have got to start talking about them. Figure out how to deal with each in turn.

I wonder, should we invite Byakuren to stay around, pick her brain on avoiding trouble with the other faiths?


[ ] Invite Byakuren to stick around to 'talk shop.'
[ ] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.

AND

[ ] How do we deal with/plan for our interactions with the other faiths in Gensokyo? (Write-in, feel free to discuss. Some people have already written down some great stuff in the thread.)
[x] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.

Not cool to have an outsider in what is basically a strategy meeting.

Don't have anything really to add to the discussion, so going with a blank vote for the second part.

[x] Bring up the points into the open that were mentioned previously in the discussions, but not in-story.
[X] Invite Byakuren to stick around to 'talk shop.'
[x] Invite Byakuren to stick around to 'talk shop.'
We need her input. After all, it's not like she isn't our most likely ally.

Besides, you can learn a lot of someone when you hear him talking about enemies.
[X] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.
[X] Alrighty. Reimu/Remilia is a faction that can exert force when needed. They're also someone we should get in contact with. Even if not as an ally, just so that the one whose job it is to enforce the rules is kept in the know.
[X] Do not, under any circumstances, trust the Moriyas. There's a reason we never allied with them in the first place. In fact, we came up with half a thread worth of reasons, unless I'm misremembering it.
[X] Last update covered how to deal with the Myouren temple, for now. If we need to make an alliance, they're one of the safe options.
[XX] THE GIST OF THIS: Make Friends. Not necessarily allies, but friends. Especially Reimu and Remilia, but the other faiths as well. Sanae would likely be one of the hardest to do so with, but if we can interact with her in a context outside of politics, then we may show her that we're turning a new leaf, and are worth knowing as a person. Really, though, the advantage of making friends is that friends will help friends if they're in trouble. Allies will feel forced to help. Basically, grow steadily, and get to work on those rumors. This is a team effort, now.
[X] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.

[X] Alrighty. Reimu/Remilia is a faction that can exert force when needed. They're also someone we should get in contact with. Even if not as an ally, just so that the one whose job it is to enforce the rules is kept in the know.

[X] Do not, under any circumstances, trust the Moriya Shrine. There's a reason we never allied with them in the first place. In fact, we came up with half a thread worth of reasons, unless I'm misremembering it.
-[X] In fact, create Moriya contingencies. Like RIGHT NOW.
--[X] Create contingencies on top of contingencies. The Moriya are BAD NEWS.
---[X] REALLY. FUCKING. BAD.
----[X] Did I mention contingencies?
-----[X] Because I did.

In case you hadn't noticed, I don't trust the Moriya. They have been responsible for the highest number of Incidents, their priestess has gone batshit since coming to Gensokyo ("You can't let yourself be held back by common sense!"), and they consist of two-and-a-half gods. A very bad combination.

Byakuren may have been the first, but it won't be long 'til the others come knocking. And the Moriya group are the most likely to do something, even more than the Taoists. You can afford to put them off til a later date.

[x]It's time to apologize to the Scarlets. Admit you realize how much of a creeper you were, and that you've changed.

Even if we aren't going to be close friends with them, if the Moriya try to start an Incident targeted at the shrine, it would sure be useful to have Reimu NOT completely ignore any pleas for help because there's bad blood with the (possible) head priestess of the Mikami Shrine.

[X] Make friends. With as many people as possible. Again, apologize for your creeper tendencies, and show that you've changed. The advantage of making friends is that friends will help friends if they're in trouble.



Off topic a bit, did we ever see Sanae in Being Meiling?
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24365
[x] Invite Byakuren to stick around to 'talk shop.'
We need advice in order to grow stronger.
As we grow stronger, we're more likely to ally with Byakuren.
Therefore, it is in Byakuren's best interest to help us a little.
I just typo'd Byakuren's name as Nyakuren. Hnnnnnng'd myself pretty badly.

As for the other faiths
[x] Moriyas:
We fill a niche that they currently leave empty. Most of their domains are directly opposed to ours. Anyone who follows us is unlikely to join the Moriyas anyway. We're just not that big of a deal, and probably never will be.
They'd have to be pretty insecure to see us a an actual threat, but I doubt they care. They'll probably make a show of threatening us, and we'll make have to respond. Bullets may or may not get involved. If we duel anyone I'd rather it be Sanae, due to our somewhat similar roles and abilities.

[x] Taoists:
The reverse of how we handled Byakuren; sure we're accepting youkai followers, but it's not like we're promoting human-youkai marriages or anything. It's just good business sense, really.
As for our de facto head priestess being a tengu, well that just kinda happened.

[x] Hakurei:
I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm really really sorry please don't seal me OH GOD NOT THE FANTASY HEAVEN NOOOO

>>24364
I think the best way to handle apologies/explanations would be public flyers. We've offended basically everyone in Gensokyo at one point or another, and we can't handle them all face-to-face. Plus, we annoy or embarrass people, but we never set out to actually hurt anyone.
On that note, the HakuScarlets, Cirno, Rumia and anyone else I'd have to read Being Meiling to know about all deserve personal apologies. And if they read the fliers first it should go a lot quicker and easier.
Fuck Meiling though. Pyromaniac vigilante bitch. Who the hell brings a psychotic vampire to an intervention, anyway?
In the incredibly likely event that the Moriya shrine threatens the new kids on the block, bluff outrageously.

[x] Threaten to use Hina's misfortune powers to curse the metaphysical concept of "Kanako's plans", thereby dooming all of the Moriya shrine's schemes and conspiracies to failure.

I have no idea whether Hina actually can (or is willing) to curse a metaphysical concept, but I doubt Kanako would be willing to take that risk. The best part is, since her plans probably have a high failure rate to begin with thanks to Murphy's Law, Kanako would probably bend over backwards to stay on our good side after we make this threat. If she tries to act against us anyway, paranoia will kick in as soon as one of her plans goes awry, thus making her think we know more than we actually do, without us actually having to do anything.
[X] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.


What did we just decide? Be friendly, but not allies, not yet.
Meaning she does not sit in on our strategy meeting.

It's way too lateearly here for me to get involved in the planning tonight, though. I'll get back on that tomorrow (i.e. later today).
I for one welcome our new Nyakuren overlords.

But not right now. We can ask her for advice if it becomes necessary.

[x] Politely see Byakuren off
>Hinya
>Minyariko
>Shizunya
I can't stop. Send help.
[x] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.
>>24366
That isn't even remotely possible. She's Hina, not Yukari. And she has trouble with a few gaps you can't do anything to 'concepts' in this universe.

[X] Invite Byakuren to stick around to 'talk shop.'
>>24365
Um, yeah.

Have you read Being Meiling? Flandre is less psychotic, and more really good at insulting people when drunk.
>>24372
Doesn't mean Flandre isn't psychotic as well.
I mean, she has her good days and her bad days. And then there's those days.
>>24373

Someone hasn't read Being Meiling. Or just skimmed through it.
Honestly I agree with sending byakuren off as in some ways she has less experience dealing with the factions compared to the group themselves. Now on the other hand if we were to get on Reimu's good side, we can find out much more.
>>24371
Of course Hina can't really curse a metaphysical concept. I know that, you know that, and Hina knows that. The thing is, Kanako doesn't know that, so when one of her plans inevitably fails she will think that Hina really can do that. That's what makes the threat such an effective bluff.

Also I forgot to put this in my last post:
[x] See Byakuren off, then start talking about your plans.
>>24372
Um, yeah, try reading my spoiler.
Also, were you paying attention when Meiling and Flandre showed up an Hina's shrine? She basically threatened to burn Aya alive.
Mmmkay, looks like we'll be seeing Byakuren off, then start talking about our plans. Update later.
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>>24365

The post picture is this guy's fault. ALL HIS. I can't get it out of my mind!

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


Eh, heck with it. Much as I'd like to stay friends with Byakuren, this is internal affairs we're talking about. So, after some small talk over tea, the four of us wave to Byakuren and see the smiling monk off. That's about when Sukuna make her appearance.

"Who was that?!" The inchling says wonderingly. It almost looks like she's drooling.

I straighten my skirt and carefully step out of Sukuna's field of view. "Just the leader of Myrouren temple," I say simply.

Sukuna shakes her head. "She really, uh... you know."

"Has vast tracts of land?" I suggest.

"Yes," Sukuna says with a big smile, "Positively mountainous."

"Looks like you have a disciple, Aya," Minoriko says with a smirk.

"So hilarious, Mino," I retort. "For your information, I am a reformed tengu! I don't act like that anymore!" Not to discount Byakuren's mountainous territories, of course. I just choose to be more discreet in my appreciation.

"What are you talking about?" Sukuna asks, looking a bit confused.

"Oh, it's old news," Hina replies, smiling. "Would you like to stay for a while?"

"Oh, thanks! I'd love to!" the inchling cheerfully replies. "Do you mind if I look around the area? The fall here is so pretty!"

Aaaaand she instantly got the approval of Mino and Shizu. Pretty slick, Sukuna. I have to wonder if that was deliberate on your part. In any case, while Sukuna goes off to romp in the leaves, the four of us sit in the living room behind the public part of the shrine and start to strategize.

"Okay," I say, leaning forward. "Byakuren's visit has highlighted our desperate need to set some policy, here. We know that the other faiths have taken notice of us. It's just a matter of when, and how, they contact us. Byakuren is apparently willing to be our friend. That's a good sign. But we need to establish just how we deal with the others. There's no guarantee that anyone else will be civil with us, let alone friendly."

"I'd like to start off this talk with Reimu," Hina begins. "The Hakurei Shrine is the most established of the faiths here in Gensokyo, and Reimu has considerable influence, even if her reputation has taken a beating. Besides that, she has all of Remilia's resources behind her now. Definitely not someone to cross."

"I'm not sure we have to worry too much about Reimu," Minoriko speaks up. "I mean, she couldn't exactly declare a holy war on the other shrines when they showed up, and so long as we don't cause any incidents, she doesn't have a mandate to come after us. Besides, word is that she's mellowed out a lot since marrying Remilia."

"Getting some does that for you," I comment. Minoriko throws a pillow at me.

"I'm not convinced," Shizuha says with a frown. "Reimu might be getting sick of all the competition. There's no telling whether or not she'll try to put some sort of squeeze on us. I'd be very wary of her, no matter what we do."

Hina nods at me. "Appeal to her pride. Get Aya to write a charming biography or something to improve her image in Gensokyo. It won't conflict with our own faith, and might even win her over as a friend."

"There's a thought," I muse, sucking on my teeth. "Though the writing idea might require me to improve my reputation a little bit first."

"Would you have a problem working with the Scarlet Devil Mansion?" Minoriko asks me. "You know, given past difficulties with them."

"They might have an issue dealing with me, which is understandable, and something to get past." I shrug. "As for me... well, magnitude of their response aside, I was being awfully godsdamned creepy, so I understand, at least. In the end, it's something I want to leave behind. But aside from all of that," I rub my chin, "There's the simple fact that Reimu and Remilia are one hell of a power couple. The level of power and influence that they can bring to bear is absolutely staggering. We do not want to get on their bad side. The other faiths? They would be troubling as enemies. The Hakurei Shrine would be ruinous as a foe."

There is a moment of troubled silence at this.

"So, what? Try to get Reimu and company on our side as friends?" Shizuha looks interested.

"Pretty much," I nod. "We can't afford a confrontation with them. It would finish us. That means being all smiles when it come time to deal with them. In any case, Reimu isn't one to hold a grudge. If you don't cause her trouble, she really shouldn't have an issue with you. If we butter her up a little bit, we can probably avoid issues with her. That's my take on it anyway."

"So try to play nice with Reimu," Minoriko muses, "Fair enough. What about the Moriyas? They're our closest neighbors, after all."

And potentially very dangerous ones at that. Then there's the Taoists to consider.


[ ] (Feel free to keep the discussion going. I'll write more tomorrow)
Never trust Moriya. You really think that if you can bluff them they will leave you alone? You really think that just because this new shrine is outside their domain they won't take offense? The whole reason Subterranean Animism took place was because Kanako was trying to EXPAND her sphere of influence. Bluffing her? She gave a complete idiot the power of a SUN GOD without thinking of the consequences. You really think that if you threaten the Moriyas with bad luck she won't do anything, anyway?

I mentioned before. CREATE MORIYA CONTINGENCIES. Notice that "S" there. More than one.
[X]Ladies Scarlet: apologize for crashing wedding
-[x] offer to write a advertisement for shrine and possible biography
--[x] that you can check after word
---[x] mention the threat from the Moriya's and how they might start an incident soon to get rid of us.


[X]Moriya
-[X] CONTINGENCIES
--[x] but nothing overt, no need to start the problem


[X]Taoists
-[x] mention how you are not allies with Myouren just friends, but don't bring it up.
We should conduct false flag operations to convince Reimu that the Moriyas are up to something again.
Should distract both of them for a little bit, buying us time to establish a proper foothold.
No I am not being serious.
>>24380
considering how little we know of this world's Moriya shrine, we shouldn't assume so much.
[X]Ladies Scarlet: apologize for crashing wedding and write a public apology in the paper.
-[x] Have Hina come with to negoiate/mediate

http://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/768636 more Hinya
[X]Moriya
-[X] Show caution but have a friendly face.


[X]Taoists
-[x] mention how you are not allies with Myouren just friends, but don't bring it up.
[X]Ladies Scarlet: apologize for crashing wedding
-[x] offer to write a advertisement for shrine and possible biography
--[x] that you can check after word
---[x] mention the threat from the Moriya's and how they might start an incident soon to get rid of us.


[X]Moriya
-[X] CONTINGENCIES
--[x] but nothing overt, no need to start the problem


[X]Taoists
-[x] mention how you are not allies with Myouren just friends, but don't bring it up.

On the other hand, Kanako canonically helped build the Myouren Temple. There is no explanation given for why, but still, it happened. Just throwin' that out there.
A thought occurs: this is keymaster we're talking about. He turned Yuuka into a shy woman who wanted friends and showed us a Yukari who is not anywhere near as gamebreaking as she is forced to imply.

What if the Moriya are actually legitimate? What if they're suffering from bad luck up the wazoo trying to keep the shrine afloat?

Just a thought.
>>24386
that's what i tried to hint at in >>24383 . I fear that being overly paranoid will likely start things off on the wrong foot.
>>24386
And now that you've pointed that out YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL, YOU FOOL!
>>24379

Well, now we know what Aya's next dream is going to be.

I pre-emptively vote for Hinya

[x] The Hakureis
-So we're opening this new shrine and
--It'd be great if you could swing by and see the place
---And I am really sorry about the whole wedding crashing thing
----No really please don't use the fantasy seal I'm not lying
-----Have this complementary booze as a token of good will!

[x] Moriyas
-X-Com levels of countermeasures!! Just in case
--Alternately, make the first move and go visit with a peace offering- like booze!

[x] Taoists
-So I heard you liked burning things and breaking plates
--We have booze, did you want to have booze?

[x] Buddhists
-So about that booze...

Booze makes Gensokyo go round, because it feeds the Oni that carries it around the sun.
[X] Ladies Scarlet: apologize for crashing wedding.
[X] Moriya and Taoists: keep a friendly face while talking to them, but keep contingencies in case of trouble. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.


I don't think Reimu and Remilia would be too happy to deal with Aya right now.
As she said, she needs to work on her reputation first. Until she has shown Gensokyo that she has reformed and is trying to be a better person, I don't think any interactions between her and the SDM will go well.
Aya shoud offer a proper apology, then keep her distance for now.


The Moriya and the Taoists.. Let's be polite and try to avoid unnecessary confrontations, but we should still try to keep them at arms length for now.

Hopefully we shouldn't have too much trouble with the Moriyas since we don't have a lot of overlap in our sphere's of influence and Gensokyo has a polytheistic view of religion so there's nothing preventing us from "sharing" some followers who choose to pray to both.

The Taoists.. As far as I understand of wikipedia, Taoism values working with the natural forces of the universe instead of against them and returning to a more "basic" and simple form of existance to more easily be in tune with the Dao (the "way" that Taoism follows).
From what I can tell from reading the Touhou wikis (I haven't played most of the newer games yet), most of their grievances with the Buddhist faction are because they are the Buddhist faction.
As long as we don't get involved on either side of their feud, we should be able to avoid most of the trouble with them, too.
(We're not the Buddhists and we're not exactly philosophically opposed to Taoism either. Heck, we even have two personifications of the natural ways of the universe here.)

Yes, I am being cautiously optimistic here. Hoping for the best... (Since everyone else has the "preparing for the worst" part down pat.)


>>24386
He also turned Aya into an obsessive lolicon and Rinnosuke into a megalomaniac sociopath.
Just sayin'.
But I see your point. We can't automatically assume that the generally accepted fanon is true.
>>24389
I agree with the spoilered portion.

Is making a written apology and having an intermediary deliver it to the Hakulets acceptable? It acts as a way to test the waters, causes a minimum of awkwardness between both parties, and it allows Aya to avoid meeting with someone who had outright expressed her willingness to straight up murder her (there's good reasons for it, but that's still incredibly hostile and Aya most likely doesn't want to bump into Meiling for the next decade or so).
>>24390
Those are possible interpretations of the characters and were more or less well justified, so I don't see how that can be something negative.

[X]Ladies Scarlet: apologize for crashing wedding
-[x] offer to write a advertisement for shrine and possible biography-subject to their edition and approval.

[X] Moriya
-[X] CONTINGENCIES
--[x] but nothing overt, no need to start the problem

[X]Taoists
-[x] Neutrality approach. We don't bother you, and you don't destroy us by force.

Never engage a living saint directly. It is immortal and raises the morale of all SOBs near it.
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24393
I take a long sip of tea, vaguely wishing that I had some booze. Now is probably not the time, though. Anyway, I can probably make peace with Reimu on the goddess' behalf. A full apology, an offer to write nice things about them, maybe with Hina acting as a negotiator on my behalf, and it should be possible to smooth things over with them. In fact, Reimu might have some insights on the Moriyas and their plans. Which brings me to the next point.

"So, Moriya Shrine," I say out loud. "Any thoughts?"

There's a moment of silence as they think this over. Hina is the first one to speak. "Sanae is a bit... off at times, but she seems reasonable overall."

"For the most part," I agree. "I've spoken to Sanae a few times, and she has these really weird views and interests. Stuff I just don't understand; probably has to do with the Outside. Anyway, Sanae doesn't mean any real harm, but she's always had a hard time fitting into Gensokyo. I mean, she has these preconceptions as to just what a shrine maiden is supposed to do, and it doesn't always mesh well with Gensokyo. She's bright, cheery, weird as all hell, and not many of us knew what to do about her. The tengu, I mean."

"So she really threw you guys, huh?" Shizuha looks amused.

"It was hilarious to watch," I snort. "There was Sanae, marching down the main street of the tengu village, acting like a tourist, and nobody dared say anything to her for fear of offending her goddesses. It was fantastic; I got a few good pictures of the elders during that whole episode."

"So, Sanae might be cheery to talk to, but she's loyal to Kanako and Suwako above all else," Minoriko notes.

"And it's those two we need to think about," Shizuha says, folding her arms in thought. "We've spoken to both, at times. Kanako is polite enough, but she always has a scheme. Always. You can damned near see the gears moving behind her eyes. On top of that, she's a war goddess. Anything she perceives as a challenge is something to be faced head-on and conquered. That's just how she is."

"Meanwhile, Suwako acts all childish and carefree, but she's arguably even worse," I note, remembering the little girl goddess. "She's powerful as all hell, has a lot of experience, and she cheats like a bastard. Hell, I hear that the only way Kanako ever beat her was by cheating worse. And as pleasant as Sanae can be, it's those two who are calling the shots. We have to watch out for them."

"Are they really a threat?" Minoriko wonders. "I mean, I don't think that any of our doctrine directly steps on their toes..."

"Doesn't matter," Shizuha sighs. "The thing about the Moriyas is that they're ambitious. They'll take any chance to expand. If I were them, I'd try to force us into some sort of agreement that turns us into a subordinate shrine."

"That's one of the reasons I decided to keep my distance from them," Hina agrees, "I was too afraid of being made their vassal."

"It could very well happen," Shizuha nods. "We're a new shrine, and vulnerable. If they managed to subvert us early on, then they could get a large percentage of our faith by declaring themselves our patrons. We'd basically be working for them."

"There's something else," I note. "Kanako wants to paint herself as a goddess of technological development. In other words, a form of change. We already have one kappa on our side, and remember how we were talking about a chemical research lab? Well, that is sort of in line with your portfolios, and the Moriyas may realize that. They could see you three as potential enemies to crush. Or prizes to claim."

It's a sobering thought that silences all of us for a moment.

"...We need contingencies," Shizuha says finally. "Lots of them. Officially, we should be friendly neighbors. Unofficially, we can't trust them. We need to make plans to deal with them. To keep them at arms' length. Anything to keep their attention off of us. Hell, if we could direct their attention away from us and on to someone else-"

"Careful," Minoriko warns her, "You're thinking in terms of incidents now. That's a sure-fire way to get Reimu on our case."

"Which could get us some publicity," I note. Everyone stares at me, and I raise my hands in a placating gesture. "Easy. It's just a thought. I'm just putting all of our options on the table. Now, clearly we need to think about the Moriyas some more. Now, what about the Taoists?"

"I say we just stay out of their way," Hina says seriously. "Miko is pretty clear on not liking youkai, and at times it seems like she's stuck in a past era. At least to me. On the other hand, she already has enemies enough in the Buddhists, and is unlikely to want to make more. If we just stay out of her way, there should be no trouble."

Shizuha nods hesitantly. "I agree to an extent. But remember, Miko is a noblewoman, a royal. Like the Moriyas, she may see us as a potential resource to be brought over to her side. We'll have to keep that it mind."

"Yeah, but again, that means making enemies she really doesn't want," Minoriko points out, "And in any case, if she does move against us, that basically pushes us directly into Byakuren's arms, which we also don't want... urgh." Mino runs her forehead. "This politics stuff is killing me."

"Think this is bad? Try attending a tengu court," I say dryly. "But yeah, let's just stay polite with Miko. We don't become buddy-buddy, we don't become enemies. But we may want a few back-up plans just in case she tries to make a move on us and bring us under her control. It's possible, and she is the sort of person to grab anything she might consider useful."

"So, much like the Moriyas, but with less freedom to act," Hina nods. "Well, let's just keep an eye out in case she tries to stamp out a potential threat. But you know..." Hina looks thoughtful, "There are other groups in Gensokyo. Eientei, the underground, the ghost princess... do you think we'll wind up dealing with any of them? We might want to think about that as well."

"Not to mention something that I've been wondering about for a while," I add. "Just how big do you girls plan to get? I mean, this shrine looks pretty impressive. Do you intend to become an important fixture in Gensokyo, or are you gonna be a bit more behind the scenes?"

Shizuha shrugs. "It's too early to say. It all depends on how well people react to us. In the end, we have to see what we can get and run with that. But with as much publicity as we've gotten, we can't hide under the radar anymore."

I nod at that. Leaf goddess has a point. Still, that leaves me wondering how we deal with the others...


[ ] Write-in suggestions for anti-Moriya and anti-Taoist contingencies. Just in case. Also, how much do you care about other political groups in Gensokyo, and what is your stance on them?
Not a vote, just to add a potential contingency: Given that the Moriyas easiest early attack vector is to, indeed, spread propaganda about the shrine, who it belongs to and who runs it, etc, the easiest way is to go on PR-blitz in the village ASAP. That way we can get our facts out there immediately before Kanako & co can start mudding the waters. This does bring attention to us, but hey, better than being vassals, eh?
[x] Get Yuyuko as an ally, if not a worshiper. Recruiting her shouldn't be hard given her love of food and art. In exchange you'll have Yukari's co-schemer as an ally. (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Silent_Sinner_in_Blue)

[x] Get on good terms with Satori. Tell her about Byakuren's Koishi problem and hope she finds it funny. With Satori as an ally you'll have someone who can get Utsuho to go on strike should Moriya be a problem.

[x] Go interview Mima and/or Marisa about Reimu's pre-danmaku days for that biography-bribe you're going to write. While you're there, get on Pameel's good side so she'll put in a good word to the SDM.
>>24394
What about trying to make things up with Hatate as A) she'd be a good ally and B) the matter of clearing the air between her and Hina.
>>24395
[X] All the things this chap here said.
>>24396
I don't see any contradictions in these two tactics. We can do both, really. Aya can leave immediately for the mountain while the gods figure out what exactly they would like to say to the public. Then we can put together the final plan with Hatate in tow, if Aya can convince her to work with us.
>>24395
Yuyuko and Mima/Marisa are good ideas.

I doubt Satori will be amused with Koishi's antics. We should definitely talk to her about it, though, along with offering various shrine services. Some new underground crops? Ones that the Oni can brew into booze, maybe?
The Underground is looking like the best choice for a serious partnership, honestly. We could probably even set up a branch shrine down there.
And have Kisume as a mascot miko.

The best part of all that? Surface humans won't care. In fact, if we spin it as 'by giving them more stuff to do underground, they're less likely to get bored and come to the surface' we'll probably be celebrated as heroes.
[X] PR blitz.
-[X] Ask Hatate for help.

Make sure people know who and what we are, so if Kanako and Suwako try something, it'll not be as effective. However, few people know of Aya's revelations, so any word from her would not be trusted. However, Hatate's paper is very well-liked, so try and enlist her help. Keyword "try" because it looks like Aya has never thought highly of Hatate or her paper, and I wouldn't be surprised if Aya insulted her about it in the past.
>>24400
>However, few people know of Aya's revelations, so any word from her would not be trusted.
Which is exactly why I think any press release should include a public apology from Aya for all past offences, including a brief explanation of her circumstances as the the unwilling lapdog of the Tengu elders, and an invitation for anyone who wants an apology in person to come and visit the shrine.
Just, uh, not all at once. That would be kind of hectic. Put it off a few days, talk about it with your friends, maybe organise a group trip, that sort of thing.
...

Huh.

Yannow, actually, causing an Incident might not be a bad idea.

For one thing, publicity. Nothing like an Incident to get your name out there.

For another... It could also affect our image. Incident causers are big players. We are an Incident causer: therefore we are a big player. Yes, it's fallacious logic, but it might work.

(Also, I think watching the resulting annoyed-Reimu-rampage might be amusing, but that's just me.)
>>24402

This... makes a disturbing amount of sense.

Almost all change brought about in Gensokyo by new power players comes in the form of an Incident or is at least marked by it. If we do this PR-stunt, asking Hatate for help should also be an indicator of something OFF about to happen (as its been noted above, Aya's been fairly off-kilter recently, but no one knows she's bounced back, and not anywhere near as radically as this).

If we try for an Incident, I mean an honest to gods Incident, something that gets everyone's attention, we'd need to plan it out VERY CAREFULLY. Several things could go wrong at once, or the stars could align perfectly. Regardless, it would be even riskier than trying to play the Moriya shrine for fools-

The Moriya Shrine. If an Incident were to occur, Kanako and Suwako might try and use it to their advantage and subvert the shrine in the chaos.

Incident is too risky, WAY too risky at this stage. Not when our allies are still limited at best and tentative at worst.

Allies then. If we can get Yuyuko into our power-base as a worshipper, we would get an in with Yukari, and through her, a second method to try and ally ourselves to the Hakurei/Scarlet.

Hatate is an absolute must if we want to have any sort of chance at a PR buzz, Incident or no. Prioritize her, and show her the Truth that we seek once more. We get her, and we get a paper for advertisement as well as closure for the Pleasant Meadows debacle. In FACT, if we use her, Hina can get a public apology out to the others involved.
>>24403

Once we have Hatate, the Underground should be priority numero dos. Utsuho and Satori aside, we'd get an in with Tenshi (Okuu's new BFF) as well as Spiderbutt hanging around the house.

From there, if we put Yuyuko as priority three, we'll have the beginnings of a very solid power base.

Next, contingencies. as the person who out forth the idea that maybe Kanako and Suwako were legit, I'm not retracting that statement. Not yet. We're still working on the presumptions of other people here, IC and OOC. That having been said, I also think there is a chance that Keymaster might play them straight, other wise I wouldn't worry about them trying to screw us over. Until we know more, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

[x] In the event of 'Suddenly Sanae', play nice, as a favor for those lovely pictures you got of the Tengu Elders flipping out.

[x] In the case of 'Kanako alert', contact the nearest big power that isn't Moriya/Taoist aligned for backup, preferably someone who is willing to pal-up with you afterwards.

[x] Should 'Suwako +/- company' become involved, GET FUCKING YUKARI. Prostrate, beg, we need her off our property and out of our hair. Yes, its not exactly ideal, but she's actually a decent person, and should be sympathetic to Hina should we explain things. The resulting stalemate should allow for a proper battle plan to come to fruition in the meantime.
>>24404
If it isn't clear, I meant begging Yukari for help.
>>24404
>>24405
Not that anyone at the shrine knows it, but Yukari may not actually be able to help. (This isn't godlike-hax Yukari, after all.) It's still better to have her on our side than not, though: at the very least, she has resources and experience, and apparently a lot of people still respect her.

Although probably those involved in the Pleasant Meadows incident more so than those who merely read the Kakashi Spirit News.

>>24402
Uh.

Successfully creating an incident would definitely establish us as powerful and possibly terrifying, but that's the exact opposite of the image we want among our worshippers: to them we'd just be another capricious "youkai" power -- something to be feared, propitiated, and avoided.

On the other hand, if someone else causes an incident that we are seen to suffer from, we can play that up with the humans and humanlike youkai: "Hey, look, we understand the problems you go through when people cause incidents. We suffer right along with you." With an undercurrent of We're like you. We're one of you.

Alternatively, we can resolve an incident. Or even resolve mini-incidents -- the sort of things you can't get Reimu out of bed for. (Although the DyGuard may have a monopoly on those...?)
>>24406
Gooble gabble gooble gabble ONE OF US
>>24395
Getting Satori as an ally won't help because she can fucking read minds. Although I'd like to be on good terms with them, that'll come eventually when we expand our faith to the underground.

Solving an incident is a good idea, with full power Aya being a level 6 stage boss (She could handily beat Sakuya or Youmu in a straight fight) but if the DyGuard appears, we'd have to back down immediately, giving them all the credit. A tricky situation.

As for the Moriya Shrine... their first move would be bad publicity. We counter it with good publicity ASAP.
Their second move would be intimidation by Shrine Maiden. We can deflect this one easily.
Their third move would be.. what? A move regarding the nuclear power plant? If we have the Kappa, the underground and Tenshi in our pockets, we have the power source and the technicians at the same time: we can literally take credit on any improvement they make.
After this... the final step would be a direct confrontation. For this step, we'd need to have the Hakureis and Yuyuko (and by extension Yukari) in our side.

So, that's the road map for now. First step: PR in the village and public apology from Aya to the Hakureis/Gensokyo.
I think we should keep the Kappa/underground as a threat. Make it clear that we're willing to stay out of that, but if the Moriya move against us then all bets are off.
>>24408

>Getting Satori as an ally won't help because she can fucking read minds.

How's that a problem? We're not trying to keep secrets from her and she'd love a good reason to stick it to Moriya. Also, her mind reading will confirm that Aya's intentions are...well, pure and honest.
>>24408
>equating stage number to power level
No.
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24412
"PR," I say at once, making the others give me a strange look. "Public relations," I elaborate, gesturing with my hands. "It's the ultimate contingency. Put our name out there, let people know what we're like, what we do, that sort of thing. We don't have to be overwhelming or in everyone's face, we just have to present you three as a welcome aspect of Gensokyo that everybody wants around."

"I see where you're going with this," Hina says, straightening up. "If we have a good enough reputation in Gensokyo, the Moriyas and Taoists will be very hesitant to move against us."

"There are already concerns about them," Shizuha puts in. "If they're seen as harsh aggressors of a peaceful trinity of household goddesses, it won't look good for them."

"It also protects us from negative publicity, just in case they decide to go that route," I put in. "Basically, the sooner we have a good reputation, the sooner we're protected against aggression."

Minoriko starts ticking points off on her fingers. "So, PR campaign to make us look good, talk with Reimu and make peace with her, not to mention that we need to be welcoming towards absolutely anyone who comes to our doors... this is complicated."

"Making a religion usually is," I say with a smile.

"Anyway, if Sanae comes along, I think we can handle her no problem. Sanae is pretty friendly." Minoriko frowns. "If her goddesses come, though... that could be tricky. We'll need to be careful to play along and act friendly while not winding up under their thumb. That would be easier if we were stronger, though."

"Power base," Shizuha nods. "Faith is power in Gensokyo, and we need more of it to cement ourselves. We need followers. Allies. The more faith we get, the stronger we get, until the other faiths hesitate to attack us directly. The question is, who do we go to? Where do we seek out faith?"

"The human village is a given," Hina says thoughtfully, "And... Aya, I'm sorry to bring this up... but we could also consider the underground."

I cringe, but force myself to nod. "Yeah. The Oni are anything but devout, but if the city is as big as I hear, and you have a bunch of Oni tossing random prayers your way... well, in a city that large it all adds up. Plus, I have to wonder just what the Satori down there thinks of the Moriyas. Kanako was screwing around with one of her pets, after all."

Minoriko pauses for a moment. "What about the ghost princess? She probably likes art, being a noblewoman, one has to think that the land of the dead is choked with misfortune, and then there's her appetite."

...That's a thought. Get her to say a prayer of thanks over every last morsel of food, and it'd all add up. Plus, if we could get Minoriko's power to work there and make Yuyuko's food taste better than normal, well. Given how the ghost princess is supposedly a huge gourmet, we might have a devotee right there. At least, one during mealtimes, but that's really what we're going for, isn't it? It's all about making allies.

Shizuha looks over at me. "By the way, did you know that Miss Kirisame and her... wife, have taken over Morichika's old shop? She has this powerful spirit, Mima, living with her, and she's known all about Reimu since they were kids."

"There's a thought," I muse. "That fairy used to work at the SDM, so maybe we could get them to butter up Reimu for me. To say nothing if we could manage to make them into friends, as well."

Hina folds her hands in her lap. "Speaking of PR, you may want to consider making a public statement, Aya. Rumors about you are still going around. It might help to clear the air and let people know that you're recovering from your past misdeeds."

"Like a public apology?" I sigh. "Yeah, that might involve talking to just about everyone in Gensokyo and saying 'Hey, sorry I peeped at you!' Still, I think you're right. The problem is getting people to read anything I write anymore, what with my reputation in shambles."

"What about getting help from Miss Himekaidou?" Hina asks me.

I'm silent for a long moment. I rub my face after a bit and sigh. "...Yeah. Yeah, that might be a good idea. Hatate is the pre-eminent reporter in Gensokyo these days," Gods that hurt to say, "and she does good work. Getting a good review from her would help out a lot."

"Are you sure?" Minoriko asks in concern. "I never got the impression that the two of you got along all that well."

I lean back in my seat and stare at the ceiling. "Hatate frustrates me," I say. "She always struck me as a hypocrite. Wanting to write about the Truth while staying firmly under the elders' thumb, never leaving the village. Hell, almost never leaving her room. It annoyed me. And when she started to leave and emulate me... well, I couldn't help but feel threatened. Somebody was horning in on my business, you know?"

In other words, someone was taking away from the scant attention I was getting from people. Worse, by writing more accurate stories, Hatate was closer to the Truth than I was, and that pissed me off to no end. On the other hand, she didn't get a lot of news herself, she pirated it from other people, and had a pretty bland writing style, too. But then she started to get better about it, I felt threatened, and...

"I have some complex feelings as regards Hatate," I say finally. "But yeah, talking to her may be a good idea." I look over at Hina, who nods solemnly. "For many reasons."

Shizuha nods and folds her arms. "Okay. We know what we have to do. The only question is the order that we do it in, and how we divide ourselves. Things are about to get very, very complicated."

Minoriko frowns. "What about what Aya said? Causing an incident and trying to steer it to our benefit?"

I wince. "If you have a good plan, I'm all ears, but I think our power-base is a little sparse for us to be seriously thinking about that. Let's just put that on the back burner for now." There are nods of agreement at this.

We fall into a thoughtful silence for a moment, weighing our options. The silence is interrupted by some ecstatic cheering coming from outside a window. Curious, the four of us get up to go look, and see Sukuna. She's pushed together a pile of leaves, and is enthusiastically hopping in and out of it. From her perspective, it must be like venturing into a jungle.

Watching Sukuna's smiling face and hearing her childish laughter, I find myself wondering. Sukuna might be walking down a path that I used to, and it didn't take me anywhere good. Should I try to get her to stick around? Try to teach her just where I went wrong? Or should we just send the little inchling on her way?


[ ] Send Sukuna on her way.
[ ] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[ ] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

Sukuna is adorable, we need more.

Also, the cats appear to be contagious
[X] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[X] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[X] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.
[X] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[X] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[X] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

I posted before about making Aya into the pervert version of one of those "Don't Do Drugs" speakers.
Koishi and Sukunyaa seem like they could benefit from Aya talking about her experiences in voyeurism. Moderation in all things, after all.
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

Shizunyaa is adorable
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

also
>Kanyako
>Sanyae
>Su... uh.. I got nothing there sorry
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

That and while we teach her, Aya can have someone to talk to regarding perverted inclinations/remarks and perhaps help deal with them via some sort of venting. That and she's very amusing to have around.

Though I can imagine that one day Sukuna'd end up in Aya's shirt pocket and really enjoy the ride.
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.


>>24418
I'm sure she can find some way of making the both enjoy it.
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24420
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

>>24418
I can think of better places for her to end up.
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24421
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

>>24417
Suwanko
I think we should try to finish the whole "seeing those affected by the Pleasant Medows" thing sometime soon.
>>24411
Yes.
>>24410
We ignore her existence for thousands of years and now we try to make her our friend in order to use her influence in our favor? Wouldn't that piss you off a little bit?
>>24423
Did Aya even know the satori were down there? Besides, with her claustrophobia and her fear of oni, it's pretty understandable why Aya wouldn't exactly venture down for a courtesy call.

Besides, Satori might be happy with Aya if she tells Akyuu to knock it off with the stuff about Koishi being imaginary.

Also, the next dream is OBVIOUSLY the Goddesses of Nyange
[x] Invite her to stick around. I want to help her, and keep her from turning out like I did.
-[x] ...While I'm at it, perhaps we should try to make a follower out of her?
--[x] Gradually! Don't overwhelm the poor girl.

Hatate, yes.
Meeting with Reimu might also give us access to Suika. On the other hand, we could also use meeting with Suika for Pleasant Meadows closure as a pretense for meeting with Reimu in the first place.
>>24411
I'd say it's not straight up stage equals power, but it's a good estimation.
Well, that was unanimous.

Update later today.
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I turn slowly to the goddesses. "Say, do you mind terribly if Sukuna sticks around for a little while?"

Minoriko blinks in surprise. "No, that's fine, if nobody else has any objections." Hina and Shizu shake their heads. "But why the sudden request? Or were you just taken in by how adorable she is?" Minoriko's smirk is interrupted by another cheer from inside, and we look to see that Sukuna is now apparently dueling the falling leaves. The turns Mino's smirk into a stunned blush.

"She is very cute," I allow," But what I'm more worried about is the path in life Sukuna is starting to follow. Right now, people are willing to overlook some of the things she does. But how long will that last? Eventually, people might get sick of her without her even knowing it." Like what happened to me. "I just want to help her stay on the straight and narrow." And avoid my mistakes.

Shizuha blinks and stares at me. "...Where did that come from?" she wonders out loud. "Did you have some sort of epiphany while weren't looking?"

"I support Aya's decision, and think that we should grant her our blessing," Hina says calmly. Mino and Shizu look at her in surprise, then back at me, then at each other. After a moment, the sisters nod.

"Well, I can't say that I understand," Minoriko says slowly, "But I guess you'll tell us when you're ready, huh? Anyway, do what you think is necessary, Aya." The harvest goddess gives me an encouraging smile, and I nod back gratefully. I just feel that this is something I have to do. Like it might make up for some past wrongs.

Anyway, that's how I come to approach Sukuna as the inchling piles fallen leaves in an effort to make some type of fortress. Nodding in pride at her hard work, Sukuna perks up as she hears my approach and whirls around. Her face turns bright red as soon as she sees me. Busted.

"Ah, M-miss Aya!" Sukuna sputters, fidgeting uncomfortably. She rallies as best she can. "Don't mind me, for an inchling this is important training! Yes, I always have to be ready to besiege a fortress in order to rescue a beautiful woman. Like yourself," she adds with a wink and a cocky grin. This girl, honestly.

Still, that's all a part of her charm, isn't it? I smile my best smile at the tiny warrior and give her a formal bow. "But of course! A warrior with such a mighty pedigree as yours must always work to sharpen herself, yes?"

"Exactly!" Sukuna nods firmly, back on solid ground now. "I mean, if something were to happen to you, I couldn't forgive myself. A lovely lady such as you must always have someone that she can rely on. And I daresay that I fit the bill." Sukuna tilts her 'hat' to a rakish angle, and I suppress a giggle. I doubt that would help her pride.

"I'd be honored to have someone as strong as you watch over me," I assure Sukuna, and that isn't just humoring her. I can sense a lot of strength coming from her small body. "Actually, I'd feel so much better if you decided to stick around for a little while longer."

Sukuna gapes at me, all signs of cockiness disappearing under her sudden surprise and disbelief. "...Really? You're inviting me to stay here? So... it's okay?"

All of a sudden I have an idea. Sukuna, with any luck, will wind up staying here. Here at the Mikami Shrine, with three goddesses and myself. A shrine that is currently trying very hard to gather more worshipers. Why the hell shouldn't I try to get Sukuna to be a follower as well? Hell, with her sheer cuteness, she'd be a huge benefit to have around! The followers would just pour in. Okay, gotta be careful going about this...

"We'd be happy to have you here!" I assure the inchling. "And besides, there's all kinds of reasons to stick around! Beautiful scenery, good food, gorgeous babes..."

"Can't argue with that," Sukuna quips with a grin.

"...We've got Hina, of course, who is a source of good fortune," I continue on with my sales pitch. Okay, technically Hina can't grant good luck yet, but taking away misfortune is practically the same thing, after all. Besides, a little faith and she'll be able to branch out. "Then there's Shizuha, who is a patron of poets and artists." Sukuna perks up at that; she did mention the she was something of a poet. "And of course, Minoriko is all about hard, productive work, good food, and good alcohol!"

Sukuna blinks as she mulls it over. "That's... actually a pretty good assortment of blessings," she notes. "I mean, nothing to really guide you through life itself, but the sort of stuff that you could turn to each day."

"That's what we're all about," I agree. I plant one hand on cocked hips, carefully stretching out one leg to expose it just a tiny bit more. Sukuna takes notice, judging by how her eyes keep flickering to my thigh. "That, and guiding people through the inevitable changes that occur in the world. Change happens; you shouldn't fear it, but must instead embrace it! That's what Mikami Shrine is all about!" I finish my spiel with a little bounce, which causes other parts of my body to bounce. Not to mention Sukuna's widening eyes.

"This is a fantastic shrine, and I would be happy to stay here and learn from you," Sukuna says faintly. A bright grin is slowly starting to spread across her face.

Okay, so maybe throwing a but of seduction in is kind of cheating, but screw it. Shrine maidens have been a source of desire for years, and Reimu and Sanae don't do a lot to disprove that theory. Hell, a lot of Moriya shrine's visitors go there just to sneak a peak at the green-haired wind priestess. Of all things, Reimu's armpits are semi-legendary. As acting shrine maiden, why can't I sexy it up from time to time? I mean, it obviously works! I just have to know my limits.

"I'm happy to have you on board!" I say enthusiastically, reveling in my very first convert. "Why don't we go find you a room in the house, then?"

"Actually, I have my own place," Sukuna assures me, hopping along beside me. "But it's pretty portable, so no worries there. On the other hand, if you're offering, I wouldn't mind sleeping in a nice, comfy bed alongside a nice, comfy woman." Sukuna winks roguishly. Or tries to, at any rate.

I giggle a bit a the new worshiper's antics. "Well, only if you're very devout," I tease her.

Sukuna seems to take my joke seriously, however. "Then I shall be as devout as it takes to be blessed with the nighttime presence of one of these lovely goddesses or their beautiful priestess!" Sukuna declares, eyes burning with determination. I'm more than a bit flattered, but this is a reminder that I have a lot of work to do with her.

And then Sukuna leaps up and grabs a hold of my wing.

"Eep!" I yelp, going rigid as Sukuna tugs on the sensitive limb.

"Sorry, misjudged my jump!" Sukuna apologizes. "Um, let me swing over here..." Bounding off my wing, Sukuna lands right where they merge into my back. Then she seems to shift around, as though getting comfy. "Hey, this spot is nice! Your feathers are so soft and fluffy! Is it okay if I ride around here for a bit?"

I don't answer. I can't answer. Sukuna is currently making herself at home right on one of the most sensitive parts of my body. I can only stAAHger towards theEEEP shrine as Sukuna KEEPS ON rubbing up against SENsitive feathers and skin and OH MAN.

This is getting very awkward, very quickly.

And the three goddesses are watching my plight through the window, looking ready to break down into laughter.

AH! This isn't FUNny! S-Sukuna's pressing all the right buttons EEK and doesn't even know it! I cAAHn't even stay angry at the innocent little inchling!

Oh geeze... I hope she doesn't take a liking for that spot. Sukuna's cheerful humming does little to reassure me on that count, however. At least I nabbed a new follower.

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


STATUS: Currently on neutral-polite terms with Byakuren. Relations with other faiths are still unknown. Sukuna has been added as a follower.

HINA STATUS: Holding back laughter.

MINORIKO STATUS: Jealous; Sukuna's so cute!

SHIZUHA STATUS: Worried about the other faiths.

AYA STATUS: Help!

SUKUNA STATUS: These feathers feel so nice!


THE LIST:

[ ] Public relations.
-[ ] Talk to Hatate for help.
-[ ] Advertising!
-[ ] Getting followers.
--[ ] An encountered named character (Specify: Kasen, Akyuu, etc.)
--[ ] The kappa.
--[ ] Other.
[ ] Gathering support
-[ ] Let's visit the underground!
-[ ] Making approaches to Reimu.
-[ ] Visiting the ghost princess.
-[ ] Let's go to the underground!
-[ ] Visit the Kirisames.
[ ] Write-in
[X] Gathering support
-[X] Let's visit the underground!
[X] Public relations.
-[X] Talk to Hatate for help.

now is the time, if any.
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Talk to Hatate for help.
--[x] Take Sukuna along for the ride.

Let her sponge up Aya's story while we discuss it with Hatate.

I'm thinking a double-sided flyer.
Side A is the Mikami Shrine; who they are, what they do, how they can be of benefit to the common people.
Side B is the public apology; what Aya did, why she did it, and the chain of events that drove her there.
The best part? We can get the Tengu Elders to pay for all of it.
[ ] Public relations.
-[ ] Talk to Hatate for help.

I really want to see more Hatate. She gets too little love.
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Talk to Hatate for help.
--[x] Take Sukuna along for the ride.

I figure this should help Hina's air clearing as I suspect in the hustle bustle of things, that got overlooked.
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Talk to Hatate for help.
--[x] Take Sukuna along for the ride.
[x] Public relations.
-[x] Talk to Hatate for help.
--[x] Take Sukuna along for the ride.


As if we could dislodge her from her new favorite position.
The people have spoken. Time to confront Hatate. Also: more Sukuna.
File 138524337264.jpg - (247.12KB, 850x966, a new day.jpg) [iqdb]
24440
Hinyaa pounces, tackling my foot, and I laugh at the adorable little kitty. Looking up and me, she mews happily, and starts to rub up against my leg, moving in a circle, of course. Off to one side, Minyaariko and Shizunyaa are playfully wrestling, while Sukunyaa sleeps on top of my head.

Ah, kitties are so nice! And kitty-girls are even better! I could just spend all day playing with them, rubbing their heads, holding and cuddling and feeding them... they're just so cute!

All of a sudden, I realize that Hinyaa is no longer cat-sized, but is a full-sized goddess with cat ears and tail, and is giving me a sultry, seductive look. Actually, the Aki sisters have grown into full-sized catgirls and are sauntering my way, while Sukunnyaa is wriggling down my back to the sensitive spot between my shoulder blades once more.

Purring, Hinyaa perches on top of me and gently licks my nose, eyes boring deep into my own. Minyaariko rubs against my hand as she reaches for the buttons to my shirt, while Shizunyaa kneels down beside me and starts to tug at my skirt.

But kittygirls, this is so wrong! And yet, it feels so right... Hinyaa leans forward, ready to take my lips into a kiss-


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

-when the real Hina opens the door to my room and leans in. "Minoriko wanted me to tell you: breakfast in is ten minutes, and no being late!"

I groan, rubbing the last precious bits of sleep out of my eyes, my unusual dream fading away. "I can't even sleep in a bit?" I complain.

Hina shrugs. "Minoriko is the goddess of hard work. As far as she's concerned, you're just wasting the day away!" Smiling, Hina ducks back out into the hall, closing my door behind her. She's right, though; Mino gets annoyed if she thinks people are slacking off. Work hard, play hard is a good philosophy in her book, but you have to work hard first to earn the play. At least as far as she's concerned.

Hina and I just moved into the Mikami shrine yesterday, and I have my own room here. Most of my possessions are still boxed up and kept in a storage room. It was kind of strange for Hina to leave her old shrine like that; she's been there for as long as I can remember. But Hina had long associated her old place with feelings of confinement and frustration; for her, leaving was a means of expressing a new lease on life. And so, with the help of Minoriko and Shizuha (and a bit from Sukuna), we packed everything up and moved here. I could have sworn that some of the tengu were watching us from a distance, but none of them showed their faces.

In any case, Hina's old shrine has been left for whomever wants to claim it, while the two of us have made a home here. I have to admit, it's really nice. My room has a window giving me a good view of Gensokyo, while the veranda opposite looks out onto the fall lands. It's a bit unusual, but you get used to it over time.

Anyway, breakfast awaits! Shaking my head to clear it of sleep, I stand up and get dressed, wondering vaguely just what is up with me and dreams of catgirls. Some sort of deep desire to be the one hunted, rather than do the hunting...? Eh, screw it, I'm not in the mood for psychoanalysis. I think I'll let my poor brain recover a bit first before doing any of that.

Minoriko is cooking as I head downstairs, with Hina and Shizuha sitting at the table, talking. Sukuna has made a little space for herself on the table, and is fiddling around with some paper and ink. Is she writing some poetry? Every so often, the inchling glances up at Shizuha as though in thought, before nodding to herself and going back to work. Every time this happens, Shizuha looks vaguely pleased. I think being a patron of the arts is starting to work out for her.

"Morning, everybody," I say as I take a seat at the table.

"Good morning, Aya," Hina says with a smile.

"Did you sleep well?" Shizuha asks me.

"Like a log," I tell her, " This place has some great vibes."

"Oh, I know!" Sukuna enthuses. "I mean, the leaves are all so pretty, and the smells are wonderful, and of course, there are beautiful women making the place even nicer~!" She winks at all of us as she says this, making Hina giggle with amusement.

"Careful, Sukuna," I warn her, "You need to be selective with your compliments, or a woman will think you consider them to be meaningless words."

"Mmm, good point," Sukuna muses. "Then I shall make sure to be generous with my admiration at carefully determined moments! Speaking of which, you're looking quite lovely today, Miss Aya~!" I laugh a bit myself. Sukuna just never quits.

"Okay, that's enough flirting, everyone," Minoriko declares as she starts to bring the food into the dining room. "We have another busy day today, so make sure to eat hearty!"

"It's always a busy day with you," Shizuha snorts.

"Kinda what I do, sis," the harvest goddess retorts. "And besides, we really do have to work our butts off right now."

"Good point," Hina says with a nod. "Aya, what's your opinion on things? I was thinking that we should start by advertising ourselves a bit."

"Good call," I agree. "Actually that's what I've been thinking about. Our first step should be to advertise the shrine and let people know that you're here, and what you do. This accomplishes several goals. The first is the obvious one of putting the shrine's name out there, along with the three of you. Secondly, this allows us to improve your own reputation, Hina. Tied to Mikami shrine as you are, your reputation will rise and fall with the shrine's. And thirdly," I sigh a bit, "This also gives me a chance to make my own peace with Gensokyo."

Shizuha nods. "Sounds good. It'll be a lot of work, but this will enable us to do several things as once. Not to mention pre-empting any bad publicity by the other faiths."

I nod at that. So far, we hadn't been contacted by Reimu, the Taoists or the Moriyas. My theory is that they saw Byakuren leaving the shrine and have been trying to figure out just what we're up to, and whether or not there's an agreement with her. Welcome to politics.

"So, are you planning to restart your newspaper?" Minoriko asks between bites.

That makes me pause. "...The Bunbunmaru doesn't have a reputation as a reliable conveyor of the Truth," I say hesitantly. "We might need a trusted third party to vouch for us." There is silence as I say these words. Everyone knows what I'm getting at. I take a deep breath. "I'm thinking of going to talk to Hatate."

There. I said it. I am honestly thinking of going to speak with my former rival in order to get her assistance. And oh, geeze, it hurts my pride. But it's the right move. Hatate's newspaper is currently the most trusted souce of information in Gensokyo. It's the best way to reach a large number of people, and she's likely under orders from the elders to assist Hina however she can. Might as well make use of the old bastards while we're able to.

Hina reaches over and squeezes my hand. "That's big of you to do, Aya," she tells me reassuringly.

"Oh, may I accompany you?" Sukuna asks hopefully. "I must confess, I am eager to see the interaction between two wordsmiths." She's so formal when she gets like this. I wonder if Sukuna is telling the truth, or if she's actually hoping for a catfight between me and Hatate.

Still, no reason not to humor her. "Of course you may," I tell the inchling, who immediately cheers happily. I notice Hina heave a sigh and look off into the distance. Right. The Pleasant Meadows thing. I wonder, should I bring the misfortune goddess along as well?


[ ] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.
[ ] No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
[x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.
[x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.
[x] No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.

I think Aya needs to have a heart to heart with Hatate. If we bring Hina along Aya will be overshadowed by the whole Pleasant Meadows thing. I think we should go without her first, then bring Hatate back to talk with Hina after we're done. Hatate will have to visit the shrine and talk to Hina anyway if she wants to write a good article, so we might as well deal with our own issues first.

Besides, I think Aya needs to take a few steps on her own for a while, she's been relying on Hina a little too much. It's time for Aya to regain a little bit of independence, and hopefully a little bit of faith in her self.
[x] No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
Hatate will probably need to come to the shrine for an interview anyway.
[x] No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate. Time to see if I can be a divine herald on my own!
-[x] Though if Hatate gets huffy about Hina then I'll remind her of that article she wrote: http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Kakashi_Spirit_News_2
[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.

We're making progress. An encounter between the two will happen eventually now that we're approaching Hatate, anyway.
[x] No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate. Time to see if I can be a divine herald on my own!
-[x] Though if Hatate gets huffy about Hina then I'll remind her of that article she wrote: http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Kakashi_Spirit_News_2

this guy had it right, I'll bandwagon.
>>24448
>>24449

>Time to see if I can be a divine herald on my own!

Not now, guys. While Hina and the other goddesses are important, it's even more important to clear the air. It would be a bad idea to have a Hatate with a grudge writing an article about the Mikami shrine.

>-[x] Though if Hatate gets huffy about Hina then I'll remind her of that article she wrote: http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Kakashi_Spirit_News_2

Huffy about Hina? Are you serious? It was clear from Pleasant Meadows and Hina's own testimony that Hatate doesn't blame Hina for that whole fiasco at all. If anything, she'd get huffy about Aya herself.

On the topic of Hina, while some closure is necessary, and I would highly suggest Hina talk to Hatate as soon as possible, first we should focus on clearing the air between the two Tengu. Therefore,

[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
-[x]Sorry Sukuna, I've changed my mind. I need to do this alone.

For that matter, this is intensely personal, so bringing Sukuna along isn't a good idea. I know Aya already agreed to bring along the poncle, but she's a total stranger. Even the Aki sisters would be a better choice to bring along than Sukuna.
Oogh, this is kind of a tough one. On one hand, it's good to put all the bad water under the bridge. On the other, it might put things on a distinctly sour note.

But, you know, if Hina is dwelling on it, she's not going to be her normal, Hina-y self! And that's important, right now. A misfortune goddess should not, herself, appear misfortunate!

[x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.

Aya, is this really the time to be developing a new kink?

[x] Yes, yes it is.
[x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate. 
[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
-[x]Sorry Sukuna, I've changed my mind. I need to do this alone.
[x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.

I think the mini-flirt would be nice to take with if just to break any moods that come up.
[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.

At least test the waters before diving in.
>>24450
Honestly I also think it is a good idea to leave Sukuna out of this serious matter

[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
-[x]Sorry Sukuna, I've changed my mind. I need to do this alone.
>>24450

>Huffy about Hina? Are you serious?

If she gets huffy. In the unlikely event that happens I suggested supporting evidence for Aya to use. I also forgot that bit of supporting evidence you mentioned.
[x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
-[x]Sorry Sukuna, I've changed my mind. I need to do this alone.
You know, if Sukuna comes and Hina doesn't, Sukuna's going to perv, then Hatate's going to assume that Aya's been training her, and likely throw them both out and run Aya's name through the muck a little farther.

So I'd be okay with either of
> [x] Yes, it's time to put things to rest between her and Hatate.
or
> [x]No, me and Hina both might be a bit off-putting for Hatate.
> - [x]Sorry Sukuna, I've changed my mind. I need to do this alone.
but I think "No" on its own is going to be a really bad idea.
Calling votes! Aya will be heading without the company of Hina. Also, don't worry about Sukuna. She can be quiet when she needs to be.
I wonder how long it'll be until the whole clearing the air with the other PM people is halfway complete let alone fully complete.
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24464
...Nah. This is gonna be complicated enough with just Hatate and me. Bringing Hina along too would just completely muck things up. No, I'd better go this alone and air out my grievances with the upst- with the junior reporter before dragging Hina into this. Sukuna can come along, mind you. I could use the moral support.

Finishing breakfast,I climb to my feet. "Well, I better go get this over with. Wish me luck."

"Good luck!" Hina says approvingly, the Akis echoing her.

"Ah, wait for me!" Sukuna pipes up, scrambling across the table and leaping for the sensitive spot on my back-

I quickly snatch her out of mid-air and plop her down on my shoulder.

"Eh?" Sukuna blinks in confusion.

I give her an apologetic smile. "Sorry, but that spot on my back's kinda sensitive. I'd rather you not sit there all the time, okay?" Why is Hina giving me that look? It's a very mischievous look, and it scares me.

"Oh," Sukuna says, blushing. "Um, sorry, I didn't know that."

"No worries, you can just ride on my shoulder for the trip," I assure the inchling. "Anyway! Off we go!" With a final farewell to the goddesses, I leave the house with Sukuna on my shoulder and take to the skies.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrQYuRXvYqA)

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: flying is fantastic! Surging through the skies with no one to tell you where to go or what to do, being able to see the entire terrain stretching out beneath you... it's an incredible feeling. And now that I've pretty much bid farewell to the past, I feel as light as the wind itself. No more elders yanking me around. No feeling of unwelcome obligations. No fear of solitude. Just me, the realization that I can live however the hell I want, and the reality that I will have a warm, welcoming place to go home to when I'm done.

Yeah. That's what a home is supposed to be. Not a prison in all but name.

Heh, flying around like this reminds me of a human poet I had a fling with once. I took him up in my arms and flew around with him for a while, just enjoying his sense of wonder at being able to see for miles. It's a reaction disappointingly absent in the other humans of Gensokyo. I dunno, maybe being surrounded by all of this magic all the time takes all of the wonder out of it. I sure had a good time with that poet. He was so worked up that we were pulling each others' clothes off before we touched the ground. Ah, memories~.

"So, where is this Hatate?" Sukuna asks me, jolting me out of memory lane.

I start looking around. "She shouldn't be too hard to find. Hatate is a crow like me. She should be flying around in the sky, looking for a scoop, or maybe hanging around the human village." Actually, the village is the most likely candidate; there's usually a lot going on around there. Though, a thought occurs to me as I fly. "Hey, Sukuna? Thanks for coming along, but do you mind keeping a low profile when I talk to Hatate? There's some stuff we need to air with each other."

Sukuna looks over at me silently and nods. "Sure. I'll just disappear somewhere. You sure it's okay for me to be here, then?"

I reach up and pat the inchling on the head, causing her to purr a bit. "Yeah, you're good for moral support. I just need some privacy when I talk to Hatate."

Sukuna nods, and leans back as she keeps her grip on my shirt. "When it comes to providing support, my heart and soul are always at the disposal of a beautiful woman like you, Aya," she says gallantly. I just laugh in response. Sukuna will be Sukuna, after all.

After flying around for a while and enjoying the wind, I finally catch sight of Hatate, sprawled lazily in one of the trees along the road to the human village. It looks like she's writing something; must be working on tomorrow's stories. I gently tap Sukuna, and the inchling slides off my shoulder without a word, hovering off somewhere. I take a deep breath and gently drift down.

Hatate mumbles something as I land on the branch across from her, taking a seat. It's not very intelligible, but sounds something like 'I'll be with you in a moment.' Fair enough, I don't mind waiting.

After a moment, the younger tengu glances up at me and does a double-take. "A-Aya?!" she yelps, almost dropping her notepad in shock.

"Hey," I say with a faint smile, waving innocently.

Fumbling a bit, Hatate manages to put her notepad away and gives me an awkward version of a professional smile. "Um, hi! So, I hear they let you out of the village, and you're doing a lot to help the local deities. Good work, that's totally gotta be good karma for you!"

I shrug. "Hey, helping Hina meant helping out the Akis, but now I'm helping out the sisters for their own sake as well. I'm a pseudo-shrine maiden, who woulda guessed?"

Hatate snorts. "Kind of weird, given legendry about tengu."

"True," I admit, "But I've never been one to follow tradition." Even if I helped to make it. Strange how that works.

There's an awkward silence between me and Hatate, with both of us not sure what to say to one another. Fuck it. I need to get this over with. "I need your help, and the help of your newspaper," I say at last.

Hatate stares at me like I just said that Tenma was doing a drunken striptease in the central square of the tengu village. "...What?" she asks blankly.

"Mikami shrine needs advertising, I need to make a public statement, and my own newspaper is for all intents and purposes dead." My voice chokes off as I say this, and I close my eyes tightly. Dammit. Just knowing that the Bunbunmaru isn't being written anymore hurts like hell. I take a moment to master my emotions before opening them again.

Hatate is staring at me with complex emotions raging in her eyes. "Then start it up again," she says heatedly.

I shake my head. "Right now, that's not my priority-"

"Then make it your priority!" Hatate yells at me. I stare at her in surprise. Hatate used to be such a meek girl. Where the hell did all of this intensity come from? Seeing my confused gaze, Hatate starts to look hesitant and turns away. "I mean... you put so much time and effort into it... don't tell me you're going to turn your back on the Bunbunmaru like you did the village..."

That's it. That's as much as I can take. Rising to my feet, I spin around and turn my back to Hatate. "Look, if you want a good story for your paper, come to Mikami shrine. Hina and the sisters could use your help. I'd also like to reserve some space. Your call." I stretch my wings and take to the air-

-only to be hauled back by something tightly gripping my wrist. The hell?! I whip my head around to see Hatate grabbing hold of me with both hands, an expression of regret on her face. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, "I shouldn't have said that. Forgive me?"

......

"Sure," I say faintly, sitting back down on the tree limb. Hatate takes a seat next to me, fidgeting slightly. There's a long silence between us.

"Aya?" Hatate says at last, "Why don't you like me? I mean, all I've ever done is try to be more like you, but you always look down on me. Like I'm an upstart. I've never figured that out. What am I doing wrong?" There's genuine hurt in her voice, her eyes. I close my own eyes, taking a moment to think.


[ ] You do whatever the elders say without complaint.
[ ] You don't write as well as me, but people like your paper more.
[ ] You always steal my stories.
[ ] You were just fine with being alone.
[ ] You're too much like me.
[ ] You're... better than me.
[X] You're too much like me.

Assuming that Hatate also had some issues with the elders censoring stories, I can see some bad memories in Aya rising up when she sees Hatate. Although, it certainly puts Hatate's skirt into a slightly different light.
No, no I don't think any of the options really fit the real reason.

[X]You had it easier than me.

Now I know, we don't know all the circumstances behind Hatate's life. However, it's pretty clear that while she followed Aya's example she never had it as bad as Aya.

Basically, they tried and did do the same thing, but Aya was exiled, rejected, branded as worthless while it seems none of that happened to Hatate.

You can't tell me that this kind of context won't bring an intense dislike.
[x] You're too much like me.
She copies Aya's actions without understanding her motivations.
[X] You do whatever the elders say without complaint. And you don't have to - you were just fine with being alone. My exile broke me in ways my Goddess is - are only beginning to fix. But you're... stronger than me. And yet you still submit to them. They don't deserve you, Hatate.
[x] You're too much like me.


It's like looking at a "what if" of yourself, and finding that you could have been so much better. Only that better you is someone else.
[X] You do whatever the elders say without complaint.
[X] You do whatever the elders say without complaint. And you don't have to - you were just fine with being alone. My exile broke me in ways my Goddess is - are only beginning to fix. But you're... stronger than me. And yet you still submit to them. They don't deserve you, Hatate.
[x] You're too much like me.
[x] You had it easier than me.
-[x] You do whatever the elders say without complaint.
--[x] You were just fine with being alone.
---[x] You're too much like me. (but not enough like me)
----[x] You're... better than me.

Let's be honest, it wasn't any one thing that made Aya dislike her, it's the combination.

Aya resents how easy it was for Hatate to be like her. She dislikes how Hatate does whatever the Elders tells her to. She dislikes it even more because Hatate is far too much like her for comfort. She dislikes how Hatate managed to keep herself together when Aya couldn't. She dislikes that Hatate is basically a mirror of herself, except everything went better for her. And she's only a fraction of Aya's age!

When she sees Hatate, Aya begins to doubt herself and everything she's done up until now. It makes her wonder what's wrong with her if a girl less than half her age is doing better than her at promoting her her own cause.

As for the other two reasons, they strike me as something Aya would tell herself to avoid thinking about the real problem and feel justified in disliking Hatate.

tl;dr: Aya is large, she contains multitudes.
[X] You do whatever the elders say without complaint. And you don't have to - you were just fine with being alone. My exile broke me in ways my Goddess is - are only beginning to fix. But you're... stronger than me. And yet you still submit to them. They don't deserve you, Hatate.
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24476
>>24474

>Finishes long post after getting distracted by neighbour's cat getting stuck in tree
>is satisfied
>posts
>reads thread
>sees >>24467 and >>24470

...Or what they said, but in longer words.
>>24476
I liked your post! It kind of seemed to me like [/spoiler]>[] All of the above[spoiler] was a valid and relevant answer, and your post was pretty close to what I was thinking.

But yeah,
>[x] What that guy said
>>24477
Huh, so I guess the whole "green text in the middle of paragraphs via empty spoiler boxes" thing doesn't work on THP. You learn something new every day.
[x] You're stronger than me. Yet...
-[x] You do whatever the elders ask you to
[X] All of the above. Basically, more bandwagon. It's the truth, and this shit needed to happen.
[X] >>24474
[x] You do whatever the elders say without complaint. 

... And got bigger and better doing it.
Hmm. I agree with most of the bandwagon thing except for just one thing- and the actual vote in as at the end of this post.

I'm not sure it's so much a matter of Hatate being better than her. I kind of get the feeling that the frustration, at the moment, is that she's better off than Aya is, despite largely following in her footsteps. She even said it: "All I've ever done is try to be more like you."

So here's the question, really:

Does Hatate want the Truth? Is that really what she's looking for? Or is she chasing after Aya's back, holding her as some kind of ideal?

Maybe that's why she ended up better off. She had something physical- something real to pursue. Moreover, she was born in a more accepting time and never had to deal with the awful shit that pushed Aya to pursue Truth for the first time. So even if she were trying to find the Truth, what is the motivation? Is it just because Aya was looking for it, first?

I think, if I were in this situation, there's only one answer. And it comes in the form of a question.

Besides, the self-loathing's been going on for long enough for Aya to realize that it's not about being better or not, I think. It's time to break through that wall with a gale-force sledgehammer.

[x] You're like me, but you can't be.
-[x] Why would you want to be like me?
--[x] What made you want to write in the first place?
[] You're... better than me
Think about it. Aya went crazy with her stories, while Hatate stuck to the Truth. By hating on Hatate, she was actually hating on herself for straying from the Truth.
[x] You're too much like me.
To whoever voted for
>-[x] You do whatever the elders say without complaint.
and any of its variations. So far we know nothing about Hatate, how much she actually follows their orders.

So far we really don't know about the relationship between the Tengu elders and Hatate. This vote is too accusatory, and isn't right for this mood. Perhaps the best vote would be a combination, like >>24474 said.

>Aya resents how easy it was for Hatate to be like her. She dislikes how Hatate does whatever the Elders tells her to. She dislikes it even more because Hatate is far too much like her for comfort. She dislikes how Hatate managed to keep herself together when Aya couldn't. She dislikes that Hatate is basically a mirror of herself, except everything went better for her. And she's only a fraction of Aya's age!

Ultimately, my vote has to be this; In the end, this is what it all boils down to:

[x]Because I'm...jealous of you.
[x] You're like me, but you can't be.
-[x] Why would you want to be like me?
--[x] What made you want to write in the first place?
[x]Because I'm...jealous of you.
>>24486
Wrong. It won't be an option if Aya didn't think it was true. So either we push her into the most important issue here, or we clear one big misunderstanding from our lovely ex-reporter shrine maiden-in-training crow tengu.
Hm, quite a variety of opinions here. Hatate being too much like Aya technically has the most votes, but people have hit a lot of Aya's frustrations right on the head. I'll put together something and post later today.
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24491
"It's because... you're a whole hell of a lot like me," I say finally, "But not quite. And it's both the similarities and differences that get to me."

Hatate stares at me blankly, completely confused. "I don't get it. What are you talking about?"

I sigh, trying to put my thoughts into words. How do I put this? How do I explain this deep feeling of... frustration I have with her? "Hatate, what exactly do you know about me?"

The younger crow pauses a moment to think it over. "Well, I know that you're pretty old. You've been around a long, long time. I know that you used to be very important in the village, and then something happened. I heard that you were exiled for a long time, and then came back." She hesitates for a moment. "I know you've never been a model tengu, and really... I kind of admired that."

That brings me up short, and I look at Hatate in surprise. "Admired?" I echo her.

Hatate nods. "Yeah. I mean, you could always go wherever you wanted and do whatever you wanted. You never gave a damn what other people thought about you. You were always free to leave the mountain and see all of Gensokyo. The rest of us had to have a good damned excuse just to leave the village. But you... you had freedom. You were always so full of energy. So enthusiastic. I... wanted to be just like you. I mean, why else do you think I started dressing like this?" Hatate gestures down at her clothing, a mirror of my own.

She's serious, isn't she? She honestly thought...

Then again, I can't blame her. For a long time, I deluded myself as well. Trying to tell myself that everything was okay, that I wasn't on a leash held by the elders. But all along, those bastards let me stay away just far enough that I didn't corrupt anyone with my outlandish, modern ways of thinking while making sure to yank me back from time to time, just to remind me who was really in charge.

"You don't get it," I say weakly. "You don't get it at all. I don't know how you do it. You're so like me, but so not. You live in the village, but you want to leave it, too? You write newspapers and spread the Truth, but you do what the elders want willingly. You talk a good game and get to know people, but you always come running back when they call you, just like a good little girl. Hell, you even spend all that time alone, and it doesn't even bother you?!" I clench my fists tightly, fighting back the awful memories of those years in isolation.

I don't know what to say to her. Hatate is such a hypocrite. Just like every other tengu. Just like me. In her, I see myself, see all the things I ever did wrong... but she's happy and content, a welcomed member of tengu society.

I just can't stand her.

And then Hatate laughs, a bitter, empty laugh. "You don't know what you're talking about."

I look over at her, at her eyes gazing sadly at some long-ago memory. "What do you mean?" I ask.

Hatate closes her eyes. "I was alone all the time because I was a failure."

...What?

Hatate presses on. "A failure in all ways. I wasn't strong. I wasn't good at gathering information. The best I could do was fool around with a kappa gizmo and focus my spirit photography, but then all of my information was stale, a day old at best. What kind of crow was I? My parents were disappointed in me, and let me know it." Hatate lifts her legs up and wraps her arms around them. "That's why I stayed in my room, Aya. Because the alternative was to be in my house and look my parents in the face. Look at their disappointment, at them wondering why I couldn't be a 'model' tengu like some of the other girls my age."

"Hatate..." This sounds damned familiar.

"I spent most of my time in there, just using spirit photography to see what was going on. Nobody bothered me, and I just just used my power to spy on the rest of Gensokyo." Hatate sighs. "I was miserable. I felt isolated. Uncared for. Just a failed tengu. And then I started paying attention to you." She smiles a bit. "Aya Shameimaru. The weird one. The wild one. Pervert, scoundrel, visionary. Everybody always whispered about you and your exploits, how you went places and did things that nobody else would dare to. Of course, they always spoke like this was the worst thing ever... but I could see the admiration in their eyes. Even the jealousy."

Admiration? Jealousy?

"I wanted to be just like you," Hatate blurts out. "I wanted to be unique, to break free from the village that told me I wasn't worth anything for not fitting into the niche they picked out for me. So, I decided to start up my own newspaper. One just like yours." She sighs. "Of course Kakashi Spirit News wasn't as good as the Bunbunmaru. I didn't have your skills, your experience. But I wanted to. I put everything I had into it. You were the milestone that I had to surpass, and I put everything I had into it." Hatate looks up at me. "And then Cirno happened, and I lost by default. How do you think that made me feel?"

I stare at her, my mind trying to process all of this. "So, you started a newspaper to emulate me..."

Hatate shrugs. "Imitate the best, you know? But as I learned more, I started to realize that maybe you weren't performing the best you could. Talking to you, watching you, and reading what histories I could get my hands on, things just didn't seem to add up, especially these days." She frowns. "After Pleasant Meadows, I realized that I had to look harder. To dig harder to get to the Truth of things, but that's really hard sometimes. You're a real puzzle, and I have a hard time figuring you out."

My mouth feels dry for some reason. "You still live at home, though... and the elders..."

"They're my family," Hatate says weakly, blushing. "And these days my parents seem kinda proud of me. It makes me feel good. I mean, even if I hate how they treated me in the past, I still love them, and it feels good knowing that they approve of me. As for the elders..." Hatate looks troubled. "Lately, they've been talking to me a lot. Inviting me over for tea. Suggesting that Kakashi Spirit News would be a great benefit to the village if I'd just... change my stories around a bit. I mean, I don't want to do that, but they're getting awfully pushy. What if I say no, and they get angry? What will they do to me, my family?"

Hatate is looking at me, eyes frightened and seeking advice. This conversation... how did it come to this? What do I say to her?


[ ] What do you say to Hatate?
Oh boy. Shit's about to hit the fan, if it hasn't already and it's just a matter of moments until the feces come raining down. I'm honestly not sure how to vote, but Aya should start putting her foot down. Maybe get one of the other Tengu to help. Like Momiji. Aya's best friend, and probably the only other tengu to support her. Perhaps make some threats to the elders themselves?

Then again, the elders are fully supporting Aya's endeavor right now. While the Mikami shrine wants to be completely independent, right now they're still footing the bill for all this new shrine stuff. Threatening the elders might get them to cut off that funding...

Yeah, it's a clusterfuck.

[x]I don't know, but I'm making it my top priority.
-[x]Discuss the situation with the others.

That's all we can do right now, as far as I can see. Maybe someone later will come up with a better write-in.
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24493
>"change my stories around a bit"

I FEEL THE HATE OVERTAKING ME

INTERNAL REACTION

[X] FFFFFFFFFFFUCK THEM.
-[X] THOSE PUTRID OLD FUCKS
--[X] THE SIZE OF THEIR BALLS MUST BE MONSTROUS IF THEY'RE PULLING A STUNT LIKE THIS.

EXTERNAL REACTION

[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.

On a side note, Key, I am legit mad right now. Wow. It's fiction, I know, but wow.
>>24493
>On a side note, Key, I am legit mad right now. Wow. It's fiction, I know, but wow.

Hallmark of a good writer. Getting you invested in the character and story, even when you know it's entirely ficticious.
[x] Come clean on at least some of Aya's background. Including, no, ESPECIALLY the parts about why she hates the elders and how things actually used to be.
[x] Do give Hatate a bit of a hint that "I wanted to be just like you" and "I wanted to be unique" are contradictory goals.

This is a classic case of communication breakdown. Only by explaining who we are and why we do what we do can we hope to reach an understanding.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
[X]Consider paying the elders a visit. They ruined one tengu reporter already and you will be damned if they get another one.

MY RAGE IS LIKE A SPEEDING TRUCK
>>24492
>Threatening the elders might get them to cut off that funding...

I dont think they would. From all the censoring and withholding information one could assume that they care about thier image very, very much. Now, even if they dislike Aya, they offered/are offering help to Hina because thier actions were horrible. Now if they were to revoke the help,and lets face it Hina needs that shrine, thier reputation would be in shambles.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
[X]Consider paying the elders a visit. They ruined one tengu reporter already and you will be damned if they get another one.
-[X] Make it EVER so clear that if they try to continue, or retaliate, that they will suffer. At minimum, a political attack on such a scale that Kanako will publicly disavow any affiliation with the Tengu. Hatate's paper still has a reputation for honesty. Put ANY AND ALL threats, insinuations, and suggestions they offer on the front page, with their faces attached. Get the Gentlemen Oni involved, with a full explanation as to what is going on. They would not stand for such a thing, and would in all likelihood bring friends. Angry friends. Hell, if you need to, remind the elders that you are on good terms with several Oni, despite your shoulder mounted companion.

I mad.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
-[x]Consider setting up an autobiograpy deal with Hatate
-[x]if she needs to talk we wont turn you back.

Aya was broken from not being able to talk to any one. If Hatate starts going down the same road than Aya should be there for her to keep her sane.
>>24499

[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.

[X]Consider paying the elders a visit. They ruined one tengu reporter already and you will be damned if they get another one.

-[X] Make it EVER so clear that if they try to continue, or retaliate, that they will suffer. At minimum, a political attack on such a scale that Kanako will publicly disavow any affiliation with the Tengu. Hatate's paper still has a reputation for honesty. Put ANY AND ALL threats, insinuations, and suggestions they offer on the front page, with their faces attached. Get the Gentlemen Oni involved, with a full explanation as to what is going on. They would not stand for such a thing, and would in all likelihood bring friends. Angry friends. Hell, if you need to, remind the elders that you are on good terms with several Oni, despite your shoulder mounted companion.

Speaking of said inchling...

[x] "Hey, Sukuna, how'd you like to show off your danmaku skills fighting for a fair maiden's honor?"
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.

[X]Consider paying the elders a visit. They ruined one tengu reporter already and you will be damned if they get another one.

-[X] Make it EVER so clear that if they try to continue, or retaliate, that they will suffer. At minimum, a political attack on such a scale that Kanako will publicly disavow any affiliation with the Tengu. Hatate's paper still has a reputation for honesty. Put ANY AND ALL threats, insinuations, and suggestions they offer on the front page, with their faces attached. Get the Gentlemen Oni involved, with a full explanation as to what is going on. They would not stand for such a thing, and would in all likelihood bring friends. Angry friends. Hell, if you need to, remind the elders that you are on good terms with several Oni, despite your shoulder mounted companion.

[x] "Hey, Sukuna, how'd you like to show off your danmaku skills fighting for a fair maiden's honor?"

And then we were at war with the government. HAPPY TIMES FOR ALL!
Suddenly incident
>hey let's fix everything by threatening the Tengu government
Guys, wow. This is not as easy as you're making it sound. Do you think "exposing" the elders is going to make the tengu vote them out of office or something? And why would anyone else in Gensokyo do anything about it? And then you think physically threatening them isn't going to have repercussions for everyone involved or even tangentially related, especially Hatate? Yeah, that'll fix her problems.

Besides, we already have all the religious politics to worry about right now. Maybe we could actually accomplish something once their power is established, but it would be a lot more eloquent and persuasive than LEAVE HATATE ALONE OR I'LL GET THESE GUYS I MET ONCE TO KICK YOUR ASS.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
24502 here. In retrospect, I jumped the bandwagon because of heat of the moment.

However, I can't really think of anything better to do. If the Elders have a stranglehold on Hatate like this, her paper's likely to have less credence than we can rely on safely.
>>24507
>24502 here. In retrospect, I jumped the bandwagon because of heat of the moment.

>However, I can't really think of anything better to do. If the Elders have a stranglehold on Hatate like this, her paper's likely to have less credence than we can rely on safely.

That's why I, >>24492, said I wasn't quite sure what to do, and suggested talking it over with the rest of the Mikami (that's what I'll use to refer to the three goddesses and those closely associated with them) before we make a final decision.
24499 here.
Let me clarify that while I am suggesting scaring the ever loving shit out of them, I am suggesting a POLITICAL attack. Not physical. Bringing the oni in should be saved for if they decide to make a show of force. We have force if need be. Meanwhile, cripple their main strength (political power and ties) by making sure the one thing they value above almost all else is directly attacked.

Were they humans, I'd be going for their wallets. The elders aren't greedy, though. They're willingly ignorant, and insist on forcing their ignorance onto others. While they try to hide their heads in the sand, we're digging out the dirt above them and pointing a sign saying "look at these idiots".
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.

We don't need to take action on her behalf YET. Just give her the information first, let her digest it. Let her decide how far she wants to go before we try forcing her down Aya's path. Maybe have some collaborative literary effort or something.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
[x] Laugh.
[x] Laugh kind of crazily.
[x] Toss a little crying in there too.
[x] Explain what happened to you with the elders and the exile.
>>24514

This post, I like it.

ANOTHER! *throws mouse to the ground*

[x] Laugh.
[x] Laugh kind of crazily.
[x] Toss a little crying in there too.
[x] Explain what happened to you with the elders and the exile.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.

As awesome as Sukuna challenging the elders for Aya's and Hatate's honor is... well... um, I'm pretty sure she'd do it without prompting anyways. So looking forward to that!
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
-[x] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
[x] Laugh.
[x] Laugh kind of crazily.
[x] Toss a little crying in there too.
[x] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
- [x] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.

Running a newspaper out of the shrine is probably a little out there: we're already ridiculously heterogenous. But we can definitely take her in for as long as she needs to get set up again; and ever after, when she needs company and tea, the Mikami shrine will be open to her.

And by "tea" I probably mean "booze", but you get the idea.

>>24508
The phrase you're looking for is perhaps "Mikami-gumi".
[x] Laugh.
[x] Laugh kind of crazily.
[x] Toss a little crying in there too.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
-[x] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.

...

Hm.

Actually.

Isn't this within the spellcard parameters?

I mean, I don't know that we want to turn this into a physical fight. But if we have to, we might be able to get away with challenging them to a spellcard duel, with the Truth at the stakes.
>>24521

> I mean, I don't know that we want to turn this into a physical fight. But if we have to, we might be able to get away with challenging them to a spellcard duel, with the Truth at the stakes.

That's why I (>>24501) brought up that stage 6 boss we're carrying around.
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
-[x] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.


If the Elders try to push too hard, it's easy to just move out for a while and show them that their old trump card (exile) suddenly isn't as great because the game has changed.
Exile is no longer solitary isolation, it's "only" "you can't come back here" because there are others out there willing to associate with Tengu, unlike last time.


Let's save the direct confrontations for later. At least until after the shrine has been paid for and we've gotten it up and running.
(Besides, we still haven't even met all the other major players around here.)
Right now the Elders could fuck up the Mikami shrine pretty horribly if they decided to be dicks about it.
They're reputation-obsessed assholes, but they horribly devious reputation-obsessed assholes who could surely find some sort of bueraucratic way of totally screwing us over if we rush into a fight with them.

Have to remember that Aya is no longer a lone wolf crow, she is connected to others who would surely be targeted as well if she stirs up trouble with the Elders.
Not to mention how badly we'll fuck up Hatate's situation if we go threatening/challenging them without thinking things through.
>-[x] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.

Don't forget that Hatate has family. While we can keep her safe from the Elders' retaliation, we can't do the same for her parents.
>>24524
True. But if that happens, it will be by her choice.
Aya tells her the story of what happened last time, and it's up to Hatate to decide whether to go along with the elders, go into exile like Aya or try to walk some middle path.

As long as we don't try to talk to the elders about this subject, we won't at least be directly responsible for whatever happens.

If Hatate is given the chance to make an informed decision I'm sure she will talk to her family too, before either bending over backwards to protect her peaceful life, or becoming Aya 2.0 to protect her ideals.
Either way, it will be her choice and her decision, so the consequences will be her's to bear even if we can lend a hand.
[x] BLOOD AND THUNDER

References to other CYoAs aside, it seems the general consensus is that Aya is PISSED, but not at Hatate. She needs a cold, hard dose of Truth, but it's not her fault.
Wow. I stirred something up here, huh? Anyway, I'm gonna call the vote for revealing a lot of Truths to Hatate. There will be (internal) rage. And likely some maddened laughter. And it will be written later today.
[X] Laugh kind of crazily.
[X] Curse the elders (as in swearing, not using supernatural powers against them. Yet. ) .
[X] Drop a truth bomb on Hatate on how the elders did the exact same thing to you, and look how badly that screwed you up. The fact that they're trying to do it again to her, knowing full well what happened last time, is downright hideous.
-[X] But if the same thing happens to her, she doesn't have to be alone. There's a whole shrine willing to accept her.
-[X] And if they stoop so low as to threaten her family ... it's a big shrine, and the builder's a nice lady, but there's also ... other ways of resolving disputes like this.
--[X] Crack knuckles ominously
File 138550554863.jpg - (358.88KB, 850x1199, what i still am.jpg) [iqdb]
24529
For a moment, I can't say anything. I mean, I physically cannot make my mouth work. Not that my mind is currently working well enough to provide my mouth with words to say in any case. So yeah, shock is really taking a toll on me right at the moment. And as I stare at Hatate's pleading face, it occurs to me just how much I'm looking into a mirror.

Of course, Hatate isn't exactly like me yet. That comes later. That comes after the elders have had their way with her.

And then I start to laugh. I mean, how can I not? It's just too much! After all this time, after all that's happened, the elders have decided to do it all over again! But not with a broken, formerly powerful tengu begging for some company. No, they're going to do it to a lonely tengu girl with too little self-respect and too little understanding of what's happening. But the end result will be the same.

Those bastards.

Those damnable FUCKS.

It wasn't enough to destroy me, to utterly humiliate me, to take everything I had built up and smash it into pieces?! Now they're going to do it to Hatate, just as she's starting to build up some actual pride in herself?!

Those repulsive old bastards. Only they could stoop so low. And the end result will be just like me, won't it? Hatate's a good girl. She won't stand for this, for writing bald-faced lies about people in her newspaper. And the end result of her defiance will be that she gets tossed out of the village and shunned, only let back in when she's agreed to be their mouthpiece, their puppet.

I realize that I'm still laughing. Maybe a little to hard; Hatate is giving me a frightened look. Raising a hand in apology, I struggle to get a hold of myself, only to realize that I'm starting to break down into tears. I press my hands over my face. Fuck, this is turning out to be too much.

"Aya?" Hatate's gentle voice cuts into my little world. She sounds frightened, confused, and sympathetic. "W-What's going on? Why are you acting like that?"

Deep breath, Aya.

Focus.

Push it all away.

This girl needs you now.

Good. Just like that.

I wipe my eyes, straighten my back, and stare at Hatate, looking her right in the eyes. And I speak not as Aya the perverted tengu, But as Aya Shameimaru, who routinely won stare-downs with the so-called Lord of all tengu. "Hatate. Child. Listen to me, and listen very carefully. You were never a failure. You will never be a failure. The only failures are those that would tell you that you have failed, for the simple crime of being you. Don't listen to them."

Hatate is staring at me wide-eyed, her jaw slack. I have her absolute attention. I take her hand gently. "Hatate, the only thing that was done wrong is that those who were supposed to guide you failed to do so. You had to find your purpose on your own. You did so, admirably." I chuckle a bit. "Guess I had a hand in that, huh? But you aren't that confused, lonely girl of times past. You've grown stronger, I can see that. And you did it on your own."

"Aya..." Hatate is blushing a little bit as she stares at me. "Thank you. I've... never seen you act like this before."

I sigh. "Well, this is a side of me that was broken to bits long ago. Let me tell you about her- about me. About what happened to me, and all of us."

And I tell her. I tell her about Aya Shameimaru, the unstoppable swordswoman who came to hate the art she had perfected. Of the atrocities committed by our people, and how I tried so hard to record them. Of my leaving with my head held high, and the years of exile that broke me, leaving me wretched and pliable for the elders. I tell her of forcing myself to remember all of it.

By the end, Hatate is staring at me solemnly. "They're trying to do the same thing to me, aren't they?"

I nod. "It's pretty obvious, now. The Bunbunmaru for a long time was the biggest news source in Gensokyo. Even if people didn't trust it, they read it, and that influenced their thinking. With me out of the game, they started looking for someone else to fill that role. And they have you."

"They've got me good, too," Hatate says with a sigh. "If I defy them, they'll target not just me, but my family too. I'm not sure what to do about it... but I won't let them control me either." Hatate looks at me with blazing eyes. "I know what it's like to have someone try to control your very thoughts, Aya. This is a little more subtle, but it's just as horrible, and I am not going to be their puppet."

Oh wow. Where did Hatate get this spine? She's a lot tougher than I thought she was.

Then the young tengu's shoulders slump. "That said, I don't know what to do. I like having my parents be proud of me, and I'm worried about what would happen to them. I guess I could always declare that I was walking out of the village like you did, but then I'd get cut off from everyone. That's scary."

I take her hand. "I can't advise you there, Hatate. Remember, I don't have a record of good judgement when it come to this sorta thing." I laugh a bit awkwardly. "But I will tell you this: if things go straight to hell, you can come to me. I've done it for Momiji, and I can do it for you. Things are different these days; there are people who would talk to you, take you in. If nothing else, you can come visit us at Mikami shrine whenever you need. Okay?"

There is a bit of dampness in Hatate's eyes. "Okay. Thanks, Aya." Suddenly, the young tengu leans forward and seizes me in a tight hug. After a moment, I return it. It feels good, being there for someone like that. After a while, we let go of one another, and Hatate wipes her eyes. "So, now what?"

What indeed. There's a large part of me that wants to march on up to the mountain and smack some sense into the elders. I don't fear them, not anymore. What more can they do to me? The shrine's all paid for, anyway. And I really, really want to call them on the carpet for what they're doing, what they've done, and threaten to expose all of it to everyone. Hell, I'm even tempted to tell some Oni gentlemen about just how deceptive the old fucks can be, and turn them loose.

But is this really the time? Do I really want to borrow trouble for everybody, especially with the shrine being so tenuous right now? What should we do?

"Um, Aya?" I blink and look over at Hatate. She points, and I follow her finger to see a familiar inchling, hiding behind some shrubbery, staring at us with an eager expression. I'm pretty sure she's checking out our legs. And possibly a bit more, judging from our positions. "Who is that, exactly?"

...Way to kill the mood, Sukuna.

[ ] Go after the elders.
[ ] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[ ] Something else (write-in).

Also:

[ ] Scold Sukuna.
[ ] Let it slide.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Let it slide.

I don't think she was crossing the line too badly, that and given her height, one could dismiss it as her just looking.
Awww, Tengu feels.

[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Let it slide.

We have too much on our plate to go after the elders right now.

Also, we can't get mad at the little gal. She's too cute.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Let it slide.

The Inchling species have a default x100 multiplier to their innate cuteness levels. All rolls on adorable actions are critical success without fail.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Tell the goddesses about Hatate's situation; get their input. At the very least Hina.

As for Sukuna...

[x] Scold her. This was a goddamned personal moment, and she said she would stay out of this.
[x] "So much for your 'gallantry', Sukuna."

Make goddamned sure she knows she fucked up. Right now it's a pretty small thing, but small things add up, and we're trying to keep her from going down the same path as us. A private moment should stay a private moment.
[X] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[X] Tell the goddesses about Hatate's situation; get their input. At the very least Hina.
[X] Scold Sukuna.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. This was a personal moment, and she said she would stay out of this.


Like I said before. If shit is to be stirred up with the elders over Hatate, it should be by her choice, and her choice alone.
If we attack the elders (physically, verbally or politically), they will retaliate, and not just against Aya.
This is Hatate's newspaper and her life we're talking about. We don't do squat unless she asks for it.

As for Sukuna, she went too far this time. Most of the time it's on the level of "pervert with a heart of gold", but this is too far.
There's no need to be snide about it, but she has to realize that there are limits to what you can get away with.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. This was a personal moment, and she said she would stay out of this.
[X] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
-[X] Tell the goddesses about Hatate's situation; get their input. At the very least Hina. If Momiji's there, her too.
[X] Scold Sukuna. This was a goddamned personal moment, and she said she would stay out of this.
-[X] When we get a chance, ask her how much of our story she overheard. Follow up with what led to our house getting burned down.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Not too hard though.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.

You're not alone, Hatate.
Not sure if this had been mentioned before, but i just thought of something.

Hina and Akis are gods of change.

Tengu court, as we've seen, are extremely opposed to change, almost hostile to it.

Just wonder how this is gonna mesh with them come PR release.

Who knows? it might just be CHANGE that does them in,
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.

Getting pissed off at the little Poncle is a good way to drive her away. We don't want that- we just want her to be a little more careful with the things she does and when she does them. For now, a light bit of scolding is in order, but not too painfully- just yet.

Maybe deny her the wing-spot for now?
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
-[X] Tell the goddesses about Hatate's situation; get their input. At the very least Hina. If Momiji's there, her too.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.
Not a vote but something to consider: Reimu considered Aya's and Hatate's newspapers good evidence for her argument in SoPM (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Part_6). Now imagine how the Oni Miko's gonna react if she thinks that the tengu elders are depriving her of news...
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.

Just a bit of a wag of the finger.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Chide Sukuna.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
-[X] Tell the goddesses about Hatate's situation; get their input. At the very least Hina. If Momiji's there, her too.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.
[x] Not now. Take Hatate to the shrine, get started on a PR campaign.
[x] Scold Sukuna. Lightly.
Okay, calling the vote for PR, and some corrective scolding done on Sukuna. Update later.
File 138558930171.jpg - (159.92KB, 850x1201, junior reporter.jpg) [iqdb]
24554
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>>/youkai/24553
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