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File 139070515670.jpg - (136.15KB, 850x538, lone_wolf_howling.jpg) [iqdb]
25754
How long have I been running? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? I don’t know. I do, however, know of this fact: I’m on the run, and it’s not because I am a coward, and it is not because I want to. I’m on the run to escape my pursuers. Them. They, who were responsible for the massacre of my family. They, who incited fear against my own kind based on their blinded prejudice. Then again, it is a part of their nature to be afraid of nature, to be afraid of me, whose forefathers have been hunting their forefathers ever since the dawn of time.

I was there when the massacre happened. They spared no one; the children, the elderly, the sick, everyone was targeted. Even expectant mothers fell to their bloodlust. I rallied my surviving brothers and launched a counterattack against them, but our numerical strength was no match against their firepower. One by one we met our end, until only I was left standing. With so many odds stacked upon me, I was certain I would join the rest of my family in the afterlife, but it didn’t end that way. They captured me, locked me inside a cage and carried me to whatever place they were headed to. I heard them talking about selling me to the highest bidders and be kept as an exotic pet in a luxurious mansion. I couldn’t imagine myself being paraded and pampered like my ‘domesticated’ brethren, and I wouldn’t allow myself to sink so low.

Then I had a breakthrough. My captors ran into forest rangers, and a fight broke out between them when my captors refused to surrender. In the ensuing chaos, one of my captors fled with me inside my cage and was pursued by the rangers. He managed to evade capture, but was so deep inside the forest that he soon lost his way. That was my cue, so I broke out of the cage and headed back into the woods, though not before showing him a way out.

…well, does ‘shoving my teeth into the poor bastard’s throat’ count as one? He should have seen it coming, though. Together, they were powerful, but left on their own they were powerless. Do I regret myself enforcing the law of nature against him? No, I did what I had to do. The rule is simple: it’s to kill, or to be killed, and there’s no such thing as a third option.

They say that misery loves company, and the only companion I have throughout my escape is recollection of stories told by my grandfather. Stories about a land where one could live freely and away from persecution. I’ve heard of the story so many times: Valley of Hidden Dreams, the Land of Freedom, Paradise, Shangri-La, Firdausi, to name a few. It is said that those who wished to go there only had to follow the distant sound of a crashing waterfall, and right now, my ears are picking up that exact sound. Doing what every hopeful survivor is, I follow the direction of the sound, hoping that I can find that waterfall and, eventually, the land of freedom…

But what is this?

A woman standing in front of me. Flamboyant red overall, gorgeous green tresses that I want to nuzzle my nose in, ribbons that seem to have life of their own, and frills. Lots and lots of frills. Enough frills to overthrow the queen of frills.

And she’s staring at me.

“Hmm?”

My instinct is telling me to run away – or at least, jump into the nearby bush and hide, and that’s what I’m going to do. Except that my feet won’t budge. Try as I might, they won’t start moving. Shit; traversing such a long distance (and for such a long time) must taken its toll on me.

“Hello.”

She brings her hand forward, and I instinctively step backward. She doesn’t seem to notice and continue reaching forward; my response is to lower my posture, growling threateningly at her.

“Don’t worry. I won’t harm you.”

I should trust this woman; she seems to be a kind fellow. I hold my head, just high enough to let it be reached. I can feel the silky smoothness of her palm as she caresses my head; so smooth, that in fact that I begin to suspect that she’s not a regular human. And her eyes, those bright green eyes, staring down at me, piercing through me and into my soul, almost as if she wants to bring me out of misery…

“Want to come with me?”

[ ] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.
[ ] I should go back to where I came from.

>>12616
Yes, I’m the one who posted this idea, so sue me. There’s no need to post this story under another name, too, so why should I?

For starters, here are several points to ponder:
+ Our MC is currently nameless, and will gain (or regain) a name as this story progresses. I already have a name planned for our Wolfonymous, but I’ll let Anon decide on that.
+ Our MC will stay in its current form, unless Divine Intervention decides to fool around and give it a human appearance. No furry option, guys. Sorry. Why would you want a furry, anyway?
+ Our MC can understand human language (including, presumably, Japanese), but is not capable of speaking like one. Again, Divine Intervention will have a say on this.
+ Despite what was initially suggested, I decided to give our MC a somewhat more plausible background. Being hunted to the brink of extinction hits hard, you know. And knowing that you might be the last of your own kind…
+ I decided to leave the route open to traverse, so it’s up to Anon to guide our MC towards its target. Remember, Anon, wolves are known to be very loyal to their subject, so choose wisely.
+ Why /youkai/? I don’t know, but this place was the first thing I thought of when this idea was conceived. And that doesn’t factor in a certain wolf tengu who’s probably waiting for someone near the waterfall…
+ I like Hina. It must be the ribbons. Or the boots. Or the frills. Or maybe it’s the spinning.

Anyway, we’ll just see how far this story goes, assuming it doesn’t quickly get drowned by other active stories here. In before “Hooray for SATA writing another story and updating it ever less frequently as usual.”
Expand all images
[x] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

One could do much worst than Hina, and well the other option is too much of a gamble
[X] I should go back to where I came from.

Sure it's more of a gamble, but the payoff could be better too.
[X] I should go back to where I came from.
[X] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

The MC is tired and alone, so there's no point in turning back now.
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25759
Damn, I didn't realize I linked to the wrong post/thread in the OP. Oh well. Anyway, a tie? I was expecting votes to come in like flash flood. I'll wait for a couple of days before I can commence update.

Maybe this picture will convince people to vote.
[X] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.
[X] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

We are tired and alone, and we can't keep running forever. Let's go for it.


I'm guessing wolfnonymous is some sort of youkai, given his/her high intelligence and capability of understanding human speech?
[X] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

This could be interesting...
[x] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

>>25756
Better than Hina? That's crazy talk, man.
>>25795
Some of us prefer other touhous to Hina. Hard to believe, I know.
>>25798

I don't think we're deciding our loyalties just yet, besides, considering our current state we're not in much of position to refuse.

I'm holding out for Marisa myself.
>>25800
this isn't in /forest/ you know.
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25805
Okay, here's the update before I get grounded due to Chinese New Year holiday.

====================

[c] I have nowhere to go, so yeah.

I hesitate for a while, because I have to consider the fact that I’m dealing with a stranger, and the area I’m in is probably even stranger. I look back at where I came from, taking time to contemplate the journey I have gone through. I’ve travelled far too long, and I don’t think I can ever return to the place I call home. Even if I had the chance, I would become a fugitive in my own homeland.

“Well?”

I look back at this woman. Bringing my face forward, I nuzzle my nose on her palm and give it a gentle lick; in a way, I’m telling her that I have nowhere to go and would like to follow her. She doesn’t get it at first, but she giggles and ruffles my head again. I might enjoy this affection, but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t continue.

“Good. I was worried if you wouldn’t. You look terrible; would you like me to look after you?” I am not entirely sure how to respond to that, but I let that roll aside. I’m tired, and I’m in the dire need for a break.

The two of us start to walk. I play the role of attentive listener, listening to Hina as she talks about her daily activities. Most of the stories are quite bizarre, from how a local festival she attended to turned into danmaku fight (what is danmaku, anyway?) because a rowdy visitor made poor jokes about the shrine deity being an old hag to when she had to break a fight between two goddesses because the younger of the duo was throwing tantrums. I find it very amusing that she doesn’t even mind having a wolf as a listening partner, never mind that said wolf cannot speak her language.

“By the way, my name is Kagiyama Hina.” Without even a pause in her strides, she offers me a smile. “Pleased to meet you.”

The forest has begun to clear out, giving way to a cliff. The familiar sound of cascading water becomes even more audible, and I become more agitated. The story of the hidden land of freedom resurfaces, and I begin to suspect if I have arrived before I knew it. Without even waiting for Hina I dash to the source of the sound, and there I see it. The waterfall, roaring in all its glory. This can only mean one thing:

I have discovered the land of freedom.

I resist the urge to howl to my heart’s content, so instead I sit down and stare at the waterfall in awe. I’m so enamoured by the sight that I didn’t realize Hina standing right next to me, or her hand softly patting me. Now that I have arrived at this land, what am I going to after? I look up at her, hoping that she can at least offer me a clue.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” she asks. I cannot deny it; the waterfall is, indeed, the most beautiful sight I have ever come across. If only the rest of my family were here to enjoy the scenery…

“Hey, Hina! What’s up?”

Both of us turn to this voice. There’s a girl, and she’s- have I gotten cross-eyed or what? She has wings. Wings! How in the world can a human have wings? Good god, am I dreaming?

“Hello, Aya. Returning from fieldwork, I see,” Hina greets the girl.

“Oh, you know me! Always in the search for good stories,” the girl boasts. “What about you?”

“I’m going back to my place,” Hina answers.

“It’s still too early, Hina. Come with me, let’s have an adventure~!” The girl even throws a wink at us, though it’s obvious that it’s directed at Hina. “On the second thought, maybe I should meet Sanae. She said she wanted to treat me with, ah, uh… lamune? Ramune? Ra-moon-e? How did she say it again?”

“I don’t think Lady Kanako will appreciate your presence, Aya,” Hina tells her.

“Pfft, like I care. I’ll just show up at their doorstep and declare my- oh? What do we have here?” She’s looking at me. Okay, now what? “Why, hello there, fluffy one. I didn’t remember seeing you with the guards. What are you doing out here?”

[ ] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.
[ ] Assume threatening pose.
[ ] Pounce at winged girl.

No, Anon, this story does not in any way endorse AyaxSanae pairing. It’s just Aya being distracted by shiny things and all~

>>25763
I have not considered the possibility that Wolfonymous is a youkai until you mentioned it. But to answer your curiosity: yes, our MC does, in fact, understand human language though he/she isn’t capable of speaking it. We’ll leave it to Divine Intervention whether it’s worth granting Wolfonymous human speech.

>>25800
As this Anon said, it's still early for that. We have to meet our potential subjects first before we can pledge our loyalty.

>Implying that other Touhous are better than Hina
Why would you even say that? Misfortune goddess needs companion and tender loving badly, you know~

Before I forget, if Anon has suggestions about names for Wolfonymous, I’m all ears. No pun intended.
[X] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IvK5pHYs6I
[x] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.
[X] Pounce at winged girl.

Pouncing is always a good plan.
[x] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.
[X] Pounce at winged girl.

The world's amazing! Play with everyone!
[x] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.

Given our history I think we'd be the wary type.
File 139100763672.png - (796.00KB, 600x783, Okuriinu.png) [iqdb]
25821
>Before I forget, if Anon has suggestions about names for Wolfonymous, I’m all ears.
Okuri. Taken from the name of the youkai Okuri-inu (送り犬), a wolf/dog youkai who follows travelers at night. It’ll only attack if the prey would trip and fall. Other youkai fear it to the point of completely staying clear of it and its prey, so you wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked by a youkai if you were followed by this, unless you’d trip over a root or a rock, in that case you’d be doomed.
[X] Pounce at winged girl.
[X] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.
>dog
>tender loving
>spoilered tender loving
>sata
Well, I see absolutely no way this could go wrong at all.


[X] Pounce at winged girl.
[X] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.

>>25819
>Play with everyone!
I highly doubt pouncing will be interpreted as play coming from a vicious predator.
[X] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.

"Dog wearing sunglasses" levels of cool.
[X] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.

I'd say that mostly we're way too tired to deal wiht this right now. Let Hina take care of it.


>>25821
I like this idea. One more vote for "Okuri". Perhaps we even are, or will become, one?
>>/forest/28167 for those that read it, Stardust also recently updated.
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25881
>>25821
Good one. I’ll use this if there’s no objection.

>>25831
Hush you. Do you want Wolfonymous to become the Big Bad Wolf? So who’s our Little Red Riding Hood?

Anyway, here's the update.

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

[c] Stay cool. Let Hina handle the situation.
- [c] If all else fail and it will, considering who we’re dealing with, pounce at winged girl.


“Aya, I don’t think he belongs to the corp.”

“Eh? You sure?” Winged girl now kneels in front of me. I take a closer look on her; heart-shaped face, vibrant red eyes that seem to be full of eagerness, tight outfit that accentuates her womanly figure, her delicate skin that I certainly want to lick. If it isn’t for the fact that winged girl has… wings, she could have been easily mistaken as a regular human. I must remain calm. It doesn’t matter if winged girl wants to play with me. The fact that she’s a total stranger to me prompts me to be wary of her intention.

“Well, I’d heard that they’re looking for a replacement for Garou. Dude’s too old for duty, you know,” winged girl continues.

“Now you remind me.” Hina approaches me and kneels beside winged girl. “You’re not from around here, are you?” Funny that she asked, because I too have questions regarding this place.

“Are you implying that Fluffy is from the outside world?” winged girl suggests.

“And you have already given him a name,” Hina points out. “But why Fluffy?”

“Why not Fluffy? It could have been Kaede, or Kiba, or Inui, but I’m sticking with my choice.” Winged girl steps behind me and points at my… tail. “You must know that this is the gift of God! Come, Hina! Touch fluffy tail! You know you want to.”

“You’ve been pampering yourself too much, Aya,” Hina dryly remarks.

“You’re no fun, Hina. You should relax!” Winged girl does the unthinkable by grabbing my tail and hugging it tightly. Very, very tightly. In fact, I can feel the softness of her chest as she presses it close to her. “Ahn! Fluffy tail, I wish I could cuddle and snuggle and smooch you all day long~” I hear her moaning as she rubs her face against my tail. This is getting a bit too disturbing, and the implication of her using my appendage as a relief tool is beyond my acceptance.

I pull myself out of winged girl’s grasp. I glare at her, and she responds with a cute pout. I respond by pouncing at her; it doesn’t work, as winged girl has already jumped out of reach. “Can’t I just hold your tail for a few more seconds? Please?” I snort; as if your cuteness can affect me, winged girl. Not even food will persuade me to-

“Maybe I should offer this to you, then.” Is she for real for what? Trying to bait me with a piece of bone, what does she think I am? A dog? “Come here, Fluffy. Let me touch that tail of yours, and I’ll give you this for free~”

I have had enough of your nonsense, winged girl. Here, eat this; I hope you enjoy a mouthful of dust in your face. “What?! Why? How could you treat me like this? I just wanted to be your friend!” What’s your problem, winged girl? You should be lucky that I didn’t piss or defecate on you.

Ignoring her complains I return to Hina and stand by her side. “I think you just offended him, Aya,” Hina remarks.

“I’ll get you for this, Fluffy! You can never escape me, the pure and honest Shameimaru Aya!” With that declared winged girl jumps off the ground and races across the sky, leaving me and Hina behind.

“I’m sure she’ll get over it after a day or two,” Hina says. She better means it, because if winged girl returns with vengeance, I’ll be sure to wage a one-wolf war with her. “But putting that aside, is it true that you’re from the outside world?”

If I could talk, I would have answered the question and then some. Too bad I can’t, so the only way I can answer her inquiry is to point my head to the direction I came from. “That’s the western route. I know that humans come from the outside world from time to time, but they wouldn’t appear from there. It’s…” It is what? I look up at her, and notice a troubled expression on her face. She doesn’t seem to be motivated to continue, but I remain silent just in case she does.

“Oh, dear. I must have spoken too much, please forgive me,” Hina apologizes. What? She decides to not tell me about it? “Anyway, it’s too dangerous for you to stay out here alone, come with me.”



……

………

There’s no greater pleasure than lying on the soft grass and sniffing the pleasant aroma of Mother Nature. Oh, this is so, so nice. I could roll around and let this sweet scent coat my fur for the rest of the day. I don’t care what they say about my change of behaviour, this is too good to pass up.

“I see you’re enjoying yourself.” I stop rolling on the grass, all four feet sticking upward. In my upside-down vision, I see Hina approaching me. “It must have been a tiresome journey, isn’t it?” Damn right it is. After all those trekking, my legs could really use some break right now. Hell, my entire body could finally get the rest it badly needs.

I roll back onto my tummy and let Hina sit beside me. It appears that she has switched to a simple gown, which while less elaborate than her frilly dress is still elegant in its own right. Furthermore, she has let her hair loose, and it’s somehow mystifying to see her hair flowing all the way to her ankle. She’s so impossibly gorgeous I can’t help wondering if she really is a human at all. Somehow she must have noticed me watching her, because she turns to me and smiles. I break eye contact and lower my head. I feel so humble in her presence, and I don’t think I’m worthy enough to have this beautiful woman with me.

“You don’t seem to mind listening to my rambling. I wish the two of us could have a proper conversation, so…” She giggles timidly, almost as if she remembers she’s talking with a wolf instead of a human. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t get carried away. Oh, what have I gotten into?” I don’t really mind listening to her rambling, only because she doesn’t avoid me like people would usually do.

I let out a long yawn and let my head fall onto her lap. It’s been a long day, and I need to let my body its deserved rest. The last thing I manage to notice before I completely lose contact with the surrounding is Hina’s soft hand resting upon my head…



……

………

I find myself in the dark. A complete darkness, so dark I cannot even see my feet. This is surely a dream, or at least the part before my dream starts, so why can I feel my physical presence? It’s almost as if I’m wide awake while at the same time I’m sleeping.

“My, my~ you really are one tough survivor.”

Who? Who’s there? Show yourself!

“Alright, I can reveal myself if you so desire, but brace yourself.”

Here, right in front of my eyes, she appears. A mature-looking woman, clad in purple attire that matches her blonde tresses. She also possesses a killer figure that would make Hina blush, but unlike her, I feel suppressed by her mere presence. It is as if this woman demands fear and respect from me, even if she doesn’t show it.

“You surely have the audacity to use the western route. That’s the most dangerous place for an outsider, and I mean any outsider.” She waves her hand, and the darkness gives way to a lakeside forest. She turns around, and in an instant the night sky is filled with moon and stars. How does she perform this trick?!

“At lease, lone wolf. I didn’t come here to kick you back to the outside world. We both don’t want your effort to go to waste, do we?” She glances over her shoulder to give me what I can only describe as the look of sympathy. “And to think that you’d actually believe in the legend of the land of freedom passed down your family…”

Who is this woman? What does she want? Moreover, how does she know about the legend?

“I have many questions to ask you, and I would like to ask you right now, but I’m saving them for later. I’m here just to make sure you made it safely across the border.” With another wave of her hand, the scenery changes, and I am brought to a burning field. Seeing the damage only fuels my anger toward them, but I manage to keep it suppressed.

“They really are the true monster, aren’t they?” she speaks as she walks past several burnt corpses. “Hunting all these beasts to extinction just because they think they can.” I silently follow her lead, as she continues crossing this ravaged land. “Even that doesn’t satisfy their bloodlust, because they then turn against each other. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before Mother Nature strikes back in the nastiest way possible. When that happens, they better wish they were never born.”

Both of us stop near a cliff. It’s the same cliff where I saw the waterfall. To hear the waterfall roaring in all its might is so… peaceful. I can’t help wondering if I am really worthy of finding this place. “Save your regret for later. Your family must surely want to see you alive and happy in their stead, so don’t.” She’s right; I must not regret myself being the only survivor, and if that is the case it means I am responsible to ensure the continued existence of my lineage.

“Alright, enough with my untimely appearance.” This woman turns around, and offers me a smile. Not of malicious or sinister, or even friendly, kind, just a smile. “Welcome to Gensokyo, lone wolf. Let us meet again.”



……

………

I wake up. That was… an incredibly otherworldly dream. Words cannot describe the feeling I’m through, and I have this sinking feeling that it won’t be the last time I ever have that kind of dream.

I look up through the opening in the forest. The moon is shining, illuminating everything with its calming light. At times like this, I would have howled to the moon but I feel so terribly thirsty (it must be the encounter with the mysterious woman that has left my throat dry and sore). I’m also outside Hina’s home, so that means she must be sleeping indoor. I can only wonder why she would leave me outside, but I can ask her later. The last thing I want to do is to give her a rude awakening and get scolded as a result.

I head to a stream nearby. I stand on its back and stare at my own reflection, lit by the moonlight behind me. A mean-looking scar streaks across my face, almost cutting it in half. I remember how I earned this scar; my captor slashed my face with a machete in a last effort to protect his life. It hurt, of course, yet nothing hurt even more than seeing them slaughter my family, and nothing was more satisfying than ripping his throat and pissing on his body. I might be unable to fully avenge my family’s death, but at least I showed them who really ruled the forest.

Come to think about it, there’s something peculiar about this reflected image. I take a closer look; it is a face, indeed, and the scar is there, alright, but something doesn’t add up.

I see the face of…
[ ] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.
[ ] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[ ] …a woman, beautiful as the moon above, but which hides a very painful past.

Full characterization of Wolfonymous will only occur in the next update, and that is if choice two or three if picked. If the first choice wins by a majority, Wolfonymous will be shaped like itself, though Anon is free to decide its name, gender, origin, clan name and alliance. And yes, if Wolfonymous does, in fact, become a human, he/she gets to keep his/her ears and tail, just to mess with Aya's fetish.
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.

We need more menfolk.
[x] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.

He strikes me as male anyways.
[X] …a woman, beautiful as the moon above, but which hides a very painful past.
[x] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[ ] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Wolf-shaped wolf.
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Non-humanoid protagonists are the least common by far.
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25889
>>25886
You, dawg, I heard you like wolf, so we put a wolf on your wolf so that you can wolf while you wolf.

>>25888
Come to think about it, are there any stories with non-humanoid MCs here? I'd like to read them.

Also, I'll leave the voting open until I'm satisfied with the outcome. Attaching this picture just because I can.
[x] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Wan wan, wan wan, ni hao wan~

>>25889
The first iteration of A Wizard Foxes Thoughts (>>>/shrine/33976) had a kitsune who at least was capable of assuming fox form, and started out that way.

I vaguely recall something having been in /others/ or /underground/, but I can't find it now.
[z] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.
[x] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

>>25889

Well there was that Okami Story taht died after a few updates.
>>25888
Doesn't exactly mean you go out of your way to make them.
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.
>>25894
I don't see why not.
Question: is this our only chance to change shape?
[T] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
---[T] Flexible nature

If Orin can, from cat, turn into human and back at free will, then wolfanon can too. Count this as a vote for a fluid-nature where we can change between man and wolf.
>>25889
http://www.touhou-project.com/shorts/res/1188.html#1235

This was an animal perspective short for the contest a while back. It was done by the writer for Animating Gensokyo.

I can't personally recall any other such stories.
>>25889
There was that shoggoth story
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.


Let's be a wolf-shaped wolf. There's nothing that says we can't be intelligent enough to hold conversations anyway. (Hell, we already are. It's just the vocal chords that aren't up to speed.)
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25907
[x] ...an AI, unburdened by the brutality of man but unenlightened by their humanity.

Oh, wait, wrong genre.

[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.
>>25906
it might make him more wolf minded
[x] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Let's not have humanity ensue just yet.
Could we get a spam check here?
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.

I think the man/wolf option is best. Unfortunately, I think that vote would be a waste.
>>25922
Hopefully Serial will consider that in the votes.
>>25920
It actually seems legit in my opinion. There are normally quite a few lurkers who only come out of the woodworks for these decisions.
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25928
>>25906
>vocal chords
Vocal cords, dammit.
[X] …a man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.
>>25928
Sorry, I'd like to blame it on being tired or something, but truthfully I just fucked up.
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Oh the (lack of) humanity!
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26006
I'm absent for a few days, and what is this? Did some vote counting, and man wins by just one vote (so close!). Alright, calling it now. Update will be ready in time for my birthday next week. You guys just wanted to see Hina's reaction to a naked wolfman in the morning, am I right?

>>25904
Nice. I'll read this sometimes.

>>25902
You know, I've considered giving Wolfonymous shapeshifting ability, but I want to avoid MC becoming a werewolf for the fear of being too cliched. But eh, my opinion regarding this matter may change, so we'll see.

>>25907
Oh, you.

>Oh the (lack of) humanity!
But who burned the Hinderburg?
>>26006
Given our apparent age an inexperience we should be a wild wolf boy
Welp, there goes the story for me, sorry. I still dont get why people vote for humanoid MCs all the time.
>>26031
It's almost like readers like a protagonist they can easily identify with.
>>26032

I get that, but its just kinda boring to read the same kind of story again and again. The most original and appealing part this story had so far, the nonhumanoid Mc, has now been removed in favour of Yokai MC Nr. 23954.
>>26035
I kinda have to agree with this.
The most original (and eye catching) part of this story was the wolf MC, but I'm willing to wait and see where it goes at least...
It would be kind of fun to see a MC who is humanoid in shape, but still has the mind of a canine.
Not very good at chewing his food (wolves don't have cheeks like humans, so they can't really keep the food in their mouth for long), prefers to sleep curled up in front of a fire instead of on a bed, occasionally stumbles because he has to remember to walk on two legs instead of four and things like that.


>>26006
I'm okay with a shapeshifter.
Being able to shift between a humanoid and animal form does not automatically make you a werewolf.
>>26035
>>26036
Male Youkai MCs aren't that common, that and I get the impression even with a human form, he'd still be very wolfish/wild
[X] …a wolf, alone and sinking in the river of solitude.

Half the draw here is the entirely unconventional protagonist. If it can't keep a lupine form, at least roll with the same animalistic personality. It's gonna be a hell of a lot more fun that way.
>>26043
vote's called, slowpoke.
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26056
Scent and a sound;I'm lost and I'm found;
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26149
>Shapeshifter

I never even thought of that before. Welp.

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

[c] …man, whose gaze is as cold as it is melancholic.

It’s the face of a man. A lone man, sinking in the river of solitude. A fugitive, running for his own survival. His gaze is cold, so cold that he could freeze Hell over if he would. Yet it’s also melancholic, almost as if he’s been drowning in an unspeakable sorrow.

Is this me? Apart from that scar and those ears (which are very out of place), I don’t remember having a complete facial makeover. I must be dreaming, because there’s no way the reflection in the water could represent me, right?

…oh well. Might as well deal with it later on, I’m too tired to even come up with any logical explanation. I finish what I came for, and return to my bunk. A strange sensation wraps my body as I curl up on the grass, but that, alongside my doubt, are swept away as sleep quickly takes over.



……

………

I feel the warm caress of sunshine on my face. After what has to be the most peaceful sleep I’ve ever had, I feel so reluctant to even get up. It can’t be helped; after so many years of going through sleepless night, and as a wolf whose entire life has been always at war with them, to actually be able to enjoy the night to my heart’s content is a good change of pace.

I roll onto my back. I let my four legs stick upward. It’s silly, it’s unbecoming of this dignified creature, but who gives a damn? I don’t have to worry about being laughed at for acting this childish, and I don’t have to worry about the retribution of-

“Ohgodhesrollinglikealittlepuppysocuteiwannatakehimhome!”

I stop rolling. I throw my sight to the front. I find myself staring at her. Wings flapping furiously, cheeks blushing brightly, eyes glittering like stars… wait, she saw it. SHE FREAKING SAW IT.

“Good morning, Fluffy!” Winged girl throws herself at me. “I did tell you that I won’t let you go, didn’t I? You can never escape me, Fluffy! Never!”

Goddamn it, winged girl, why must you destroy my quality private time?!

“You are so, so, warm and fuzzy and comfy! Ahn, if only you were willing to let me take you to my buddies yesterday, they’d gush over you like I do!” Winged girl starts rubbing her face against my belly, mumbling incoherently like a woman possessed. It tickles so bad I want to chomp her wings in retaliation.

“Good morning, Aya. I see you’re off for early breakfast, yes?”

Winged girl stops rubbing on me and sits straight up. “Eh-heh, morning, Hina! You look lovely, too.”

I look up at her. The dress she’s wearing looks similar to the one she wore yesterday, only this time I can see the faint silhouette of her curvatures through the flimsy fabric. Her hair is unkempt, suggesting that she had just woken up. Whatever it is, both winged girl and I find ourselves staring at Hina in awe; it’s like she’s presenting herself in all her glory without even knowing it.

She doesn’t seem to notice us ogling her as she approaches us. “And your business with him would be…?” she directs the question to winged girl.

“Oh, nothing! Nothing! Just giving him some friendly morning hug, that’s all!” She turns around to me, and I snarl at her in return. “Aw, can’t you even become my friend?”

“I don’t think kind of friendship requires salivating over him like an object of desire, Aya,” Hina says.

“To hear such words from you! The irony, it burns!” winged girl wails.

Bah. To hell with her friendship or whatever. I leave the two women behind and head to the stream for quick drink. My tummy starts to growl, just in time a fish swims across my face. In just the blink of an eye, the poor creature is clamped between my jaws, rattling in vain to get free before it succumbs to its face. I happily munch on my breakfast, a reminder that I haven’t had proper meals since the escape.

Hold on. Something doesn’t seem right.

I stare at the reflection. That’s my face, alright, but when I saw it last night, it was the face of a man. Right now, I’m seeing the face of a wolf with half a fish stuck between its teeth. I’m dumbfounded; did I undergo some kind of involuntary transformation last night, or am I just imagining things?

I shrug. Best not to worry about it.

I swallow the rest of my breakfast, bones and all, and return to Hina’s home. Apparently (and to my mild disappointment) Hina has switched back to her frilly outfit, safe for her hair that is still untied. I approach them from an opposite direction, and overhear them discussing about something.

“Like I said, why not Fluffy?”

“You’ve heard the proverb ‘a name reflects its bearer’, haven’t you Aya?”

“Why, Hina, it’s the perfect name for such a fluffy specimen!”

“Couldn’t you just call him with the names you came up yesterday?”

“You mean, Kiba, Kaede or Inui? I’m sticking with my choice, and that’s my final verdict.”

“I don’t think he’ll appreciate being called Fluffy around the clock.”

“I’m absolutely certain he will come to appreciate this name, Hina!”

My ears twitch. I so want to pounce at winged girl and bite her wings for that name. She’s already getting onto my nerve, and it has only been two days!

“Hey, guys! What’s going on?”

I turn to the cheery voice. Whoa, a newcomer has arrived, and she looks very out of place compared with Hina and winged girl. Twin-tailed girl in bluish green outfit with green hat and green backpack, and she’s holding what looks like a collar in her left hand.

“What’s up, Nitori,” winged girl greets.

“The sky is blue, the clouds are white, that’s what,” newcomer girl replies. Hah, very funny. Of course the sky is blue today; what is she, a joker?

“Good morning, Nitori,” Hina says.

“Did something happen? I saw you two discussing when I walked nearby,” newcomer girl says. Hina and Aya points at me, and newcomer girl follows the direction of their fingers. She looks at me, long enough to prompt me to tilt my head, and she lets out a hearty chuckle before gives my head a friendly pat. “Hey there, buddy, didn’t even notice you’re here. The name’s Nitori, pleased to meet you.”

“What? No fair! I wanted to pet Fluffy, too!” winged girl complains.

“So! As I was saying, what’s going on?” Nitori asks after pulling away from me.

“Well, both Aya and I were discussing about giving him a name,” Hina answers. “Aya insists on naming him Fluffy-”

“Just because he’s the cutest thing ever~!” Aya cuts her out. “Too bad Fluffy is very hostile towards me…”

“Oh, can I join? I can come up with several names on the spot, too,” Nitori asks. “By the way, do I get something if my choice wins?”

“I don’t think we’re having a competition of sort right now,” Hina remarks.

“If that’s the case, why don’t we let Fluffy decide?” winged girl suggests.

“Good idea, I agree!” Nitori says.

“Oh, just do whatever you like,” Hina shrugs.

[ ] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.
[ ] Screw this. I’m out of here. (Destination will be decided on the go.)

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

I should update my other stories after this ASAP. Happy birthday to me, by the way. I feel so old already.
[x] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.

Hina's nice and I'd like to get the name thing over with.
[X] Screw this. I’m out of here.
Time to meet some other touhous.
[x] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.
[X] Screw this. I’m out of here.

Happy birthday SATA.
[X] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.

"Fluffy" is not an appropriate name for a badass wolf.
[x] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.


Here are a few suggestions I found while searching around on the internet.

Ayumu: from 歩 (ayu) "walk" and 夢 (mu) "dream, vision", referring to how he came to Gensokyo.

Kouki: With the spelling 幸 (kou) "happiness" and 希 (ki) "hope", because of the whole "life a full life for the sake of those who died"-thing.
Could be a bit too meta for them to know about that, though. Maybe if Yukari is bored and decides to randomly join in.

And Katashi: written as "堅" meaning "firm", just to get as far away from "Fluffy" as possible.
[X] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.
[x] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.
[X] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.
[x] shapeshift
-[x] "If I must have a name, how about Katashi?"

I like the idea of a Youkai animal (a la Orin) as MC
[X] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.

No reason to let anyone know that we can shapeshift just yet. If we do it when Aya's not around we could mess with her
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26238
Alright. Did some vote counting. Looks like we'll stay and listen to the lovely ladies' suggestion. Writing now, updating later.

>>26232
Anyone okay with MC being a shapeshifter? If I get unanimous votes, I'll tweak MC's backstory a bit to include this ability. And maybe explain why Wolfonymous saw human face in the water that night.

>>26160
I like this. Will consider putting the suggestions in the update.

>>26157
Thank you~

>>26234
Well, of course! We'll mess with her once we reveal our shapeshifting ability. And it will be awesomely fun to see her reaction.
>>26238
I have no issues with it and it'd be an interesting ability
I like it, obviously
I like it, obviously
I like it, obviously
I like it, obviously
>>26238
As I said earlier, I'm totally okay with Wolfnonymous having shape-shifting abilities.
You don't really have to retcon it though, it could be that he gained it when coming to Gensokyo (like, maybe it was just dormant until now and he "unlocks" it because of the difference between the outside world where youkai are hunted to death, and here where they can actually live their lives fully because of the sorta stable equilibrium between them and the human village.)


Also, if you want more name suggestions I got mine from a page called behindthename.com, which is basically just a huge list of names and their meanings. It's nice for when you have to come up with thematic names that aren't always too obvious.
Shapeshifting's good
I like it, obviously
[c] I should stay. Wonder how many names they can come up with.

This looks interesting. Whatever names they come up with, it’s worth staying and seeing their face when this discussion gets heated. I stay by Nitori’s side, while Hina and winged girl sit directly in front of us.

“Aya, you’re first,” Nitori begins and points at her.

“My choice remains. Dead or alive, his name shall be Fluffy!” Oh, for crying out loud, she’s still persistent with that name! I so want to pounce at winged girl for that ridiculous mindset of hers.

Nitori rolls her eyes. “Fluffy? Really? Come on, Aya, you’re a journalist, there must surely be better names than that, right?”

“Don’t care.” Winged girl folds her arms. “Fluffy is Fluffy.”

“Fine. You, Hina?”

“Um, I was thinking…” She twirls her finger in her hair, creating a small circular shape. It’s kind of cute seeing it from her. “How about Kaede?” Kaede? It’s certainly a better name than Fluffy, but why naming me after maple leaf? “Th-that was just a suggestion, it’s not meant to be taken seriously,” she nervously adds.

“Okay, Hina and I are done. Your turn, Nitori!” winged girl says.

“Einstein! Or Ein for short,” Nitori says this with so much vigour it almost spooks me.

“Why Einstein?” Hina asks.

“He was a smart fellow, and I reckon this one is a smart fellow, too,” Nitori answers.

“Uh, Nitori, Einstein is a scientist, and Fluffy is a wolf. There’s a different between them,” winged girl points.

“I know that, but who cares about it,” Nitori says and turns to me. “Well, I was going to name him Gustav or Draken, but he’s no weapons. Right, Ein?” I have no idea why she’s giving me that name, but I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Still, it’s better than Fluffy, to be honest.

Wait. She wanted to name me after weapons?

“So we have three names to choose from, that means we’ll let Fluffy decide right now!” winged girl says.

I begin to consider my selection. I like Kaede as it sounds very oriental and suitable to my ears, but Einstein is quite unique in its own sense (and I won’t deny it if Nitori says I’m the smartest wolf ever, heh.) Whatever choice, in the end it sure will cause winged girl to flip out and cry foul. I snicker; serves her right for trying to make me a pet. No thanks, winged girl! Not even in my next reincarnation.

“You know what, guys, I have a sound suggestion. How about we put these names in Bunbunmaru, while throwing in some more options, and let people read about it? Hell, we can even make a competition out of it, if everyone’s alright,” Nitori suggests.

“Well, that sounds reasonable,” Hina agrees. “Besides, people may suggest other names, too. The more the suggestions, the more we can pick from.”

“Whaaaaaaat? Public voting?” Both Hina and Nitori turn to winged girl. “Uh, I mean, okay! Sounds good to me! We journalists celebrate the freedom of speech, after all!” Then, she murmurs under her breath “I’m going to rig the vote and let Fluffy win by landslide!”

“Aya, you know we can hear that,” Nitori points.

“Bah, you and your naming scheme,” winged girl puffs. “Whatever. I’ll print and distribute this right away! Until then, adios!”

As winged girl flies off to only-she-knows-where, kicking up some dust and debris in her wake, both Hina and Nitori stare at each other, and then at me. I merely respond by tilting my head to the left, causing them to tilt their head in the same manner. What, do they find my reaction cute or something? “You know, all these choices aren’t even final yet, and who knows when there are too many names to choose from,” Hina says.

“Yeah, I have to agree with you. Oh, speaking of which!” She shows us the device she’s been carrying. “Want to see what I’ve come up with after five days of intense arr-and-dee?”

“Sure, but… what is it?” Hina inquires. Nitori grins at the questions, almost as if she’s been asked about her most important… collar-thing, whatever.

“This, Hina, is what I call… the Inter-Species Communicator 3000!” She announces it so proudly and so energetically, her voice booms out of the forest and scares the hell out of the avian creatures. Ah, she’s so cool it temporarily blinds me, too. “This device will scan its wearer’s brain signal and convert it into voice understandable by any listener. It allows animals to communicate with humans without the need for them to learn each other’s language. Very easy!”

“Is it safe?”

“Why, Hina, you don’t have to doubt the power of science! Here, let me show you.” Nitori kneels in front of me and wraps the device around my collar. Instinctively I jerk away from Nitori and stand behind Hina. “Hey, come on! It won’t hurt, I promise,” she says.

“Nitori, I think he’s afraid of that thing,” Hina tells her.

“Aw, how am I supposed to field-test this thing?” Nitori mutters. I almost feel sorry to see her dejected, but that collar brings back trauma of them capturing me. “Oh, don’t worry! In case the collar is too cumbersome, I have also developed this!” She shows us a tiny object about the same size of a stag beetle; in fact, it looks a lot like a beetle except that it’s coloured in red. “It’s the miniature size of the communicator. It functions exactly the same as the one of this size, except that it won’t hinder its wearer’s mobility. Don’t worry, even when it’s moving a lot, it won’t easily come off.”

Nitori beckons at me. I cautiously approach her, ready to jump back if she puts the collar back on me. She doesn’t, to my relief, and instead places the object on my head. And it just stays there, unmoving, like it’s a real beetle that has found a lounging spot. “Pfft! Hahahaha, you look terribly cute with it!” she scoffs, almost choking in her own laugh. Hina’s giggles are barely audible from behind her hand. Clearly, this thing has left a questionable impression in them, and it feels kind of funny to have this ‘beetle’ perched upon my head.

“Okay, enough with the silliness,” Nitori coughs. “To make the communicator works, one simply has to think of a word, any word!” I stare at her in utter confusion at the explanation, and Hina does the same, which causes her to laugh sheepishly. “Right. I suppose a simple demonstration wouldn’t hurt, would it?”

“If you please,” Hina says.

She takes the thing off my head and places it on hers. Without uttering a word, she asks us to stay silent and wait for it, and it doesn’t take too long before we hear something – and it’s coming from Nitori. She smiles and puts up a finger. “See? It’s just that simple. Even when faced with the inability to speak, this device will allow its wearer to have a conversation with people around him or her.” Is that her voice? It is her voice, indeed, but it sounds so distorted, like she’s drowning in a massive volume of water.

Nitori places the thing back on my head. “Now you try it.” I let the ‘beetle’ stick on my head for a while, and close my eyes. Concentrate. Concentrate. Form a word, she said. Any word. Let’s see, I can already see a word forming inside my mind’s eye. Okay, let it flow through and…

And then it happens.

“Did you hear that, Hina?”

“Yes, I can clearly hear it.”

They heard it. That means this thing is working. Moreover, I just spoke a word. It sounds foreign, it sounds completely alien, and it definitely doesn’t belong to a wolf.

I form several more words. They come out incoherently, but I think I convey my message to them. “He’s from the outside world.” I nod at Hina and think of more words. “And he came here because he was told to follow the sound of the crashing waterfall.”

“Why would a wolf want to find its way to Gensokyo, anyway?” Gensokyo, huh? So, this land of freedom does have a name. “Is he running away from something?” I let a few words get out of my mind, and in an instant, both Hina and Nitori’s face change. They now stare at me with an expression of shock and disbelief.

“You’re being hunted.” I nod to confirm it. “And you’re the only survivor.”

I look back to the direction of my home – former home. I allow my mind to run on its own, producing as many words as I can, letting them hear all my laments. I don’t think that I am speaking too much, until Nitori removes the ‘beetle’ from my head. Aw, when I’m feeling comfortable with its presence on my head, too…

“Is there something wrong, Nitori?” Hina asks.

Nitori looks at the ‘beetle’ and then at me, and then heaves out. “…wow, I have to admit it worked just as I’d expected. I’m… surprised it actually does.”

“Are you going back?” Hina asks again.

“Yeah. I just need to adjust it, run some more analysis,” she answers. She excuses herself and heads back to where she came from, but she stops after a few paces. “Hey, Hina.”

“Yes?”

“At the outside worlds, humans are hunting animals to near or total extinction. Did you know that some of them end up in Gensokyo?” She pauses. “Maybe it’s what’s happening to him.”

She bids us farewell and disappears into the woods. In the ensuing silence that follows, neither Hina nor I speak a word, and none of us seem to want to strike a conversation. I let that slide aside and look up to the sky; time flies by without me noticing, and I’m sure Hina notices it, too.

“I can’t believe it.” I turn myself to Hina and stare into her eyes. “You and your family are being hunted to extinction, and you came here to escape human’s persecution.” She kneels in front of me and cups my face between her hands. “Poor thing. You must have been suffering so much you once wanted your misery to end.”

She doesn’t have to pity me, and I cannot deny her saying that I would rather die than to live in discrimination. Still, I live, and that means my journey is far from over. Thanks for the concern, though, Hina. If only I could give you a hug…

“Ah, uh? Hey!”

I give her hand a lick. Then her nose, her cheek, her forehead, every part of her face. I even prod the tip of my nose behind her ear just to get a few sniffs of her scent. Oh, she smells so nice, so heavenly I want to ALRIGHT THAT’S ENOUGH.

“S-stop! N-not the ears! Ah! It tickles…!”

Right, I better stop before I get carried away. I pull back and offer her an apologetic look. She stares at me, perhaps shocked by the unexpected gesture, and I can’t blame her for being unfamiliar with it.

“Is that how you say thanks? It’s so… unbecoming.” Well, at least I did what my family would do with each other as sign of gratitude. After a minute of intense gazing, she relents and lets out a hearty laugh. “Oh, silly me, of course that’s how you’d do! I should’ve known…”

Choose an activity.
[ ] Stroll near the cliff.
[ ] Follow Hina wherever she goes.
[ ] Bask under the warm sun.
[ ] It’s adventure time~

Names being proposed:
[ ] Fluffy.
[ ] Kaede.
[ ] Einstein.
[ ] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)

Also, this is entirely optional:
[ ] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [ ] Japanese countryside. Specify which part of Japan, if you will.
- [ ] Siberian wilderness.
- [ ] West/East Europe’s untouched forest. Just that I could insert a Hansel & Gretel joke in this story.
- [ ] North America’s mountain range.
[ ] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [ ] Barely reaching ten.
- [ ] Early thirties. It’s the Eighties, and Cold War was at its peak.
- [ ] Around six decades. He’d seen the devastating effect of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- [ ] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.
- [ ] 200-plus. Dude was a little cub when Satsuma Rebellion took place.
- [ ] Others, but Wolfonymous is nowhere that old, thanks.
- [ ] Wolfonymous would prefer not to reveal his age, thank you very much.
[x] Bask under the warm sun.
A nice relaxing moment is long overdue.

[x] Kaede.

Also, this is entirely optional:
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] Early thirties. It’s the Eighties, and Cold War was at its peak.
File 139278589129.jpg - (201.41KB, 800x499, 97025ea4951b0ac02df1e0f9ca0a500d.jpg) [iqdb]
26356
>>26353
Aaaand I should correct myself about Wolfonymous' age a bit. When I said he's in his something-something, it means that Wolfonymous was born in the era he spent his years before he discovered Gensokyo. For example, if anon chooses his age to be 30-plus years, it means that dude spent most of his life in the Eighties (it would also imply that Wolfonymous was born in late 70s/early 80s). Sorry for not making it clear to everyone.

Keep on voting, guys.
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] 200-plus. Dude was a little cub when Satsuma Rebellion took place.
I should point out that Kaede, Ayumu, and Kouki are all female names. (Although Katashi, at least, is male.)

[x] Einstein.
>>26358
Kaede can be a male name, though these days it's more popular as a female one.

Example of a male Kaede: The one from The Last Blade.
[X] It’s adventure time~
[X] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] Early thirties. It’s the Eighties, and Cold War was at its peak.

We RUSSIAN WOLF
[x] It’s adventure time~
Basking under the warm sun is what my 14 year old dog does. We're still young.
[x] Einstein
[x] Siberian Wilderness
[x] Barely reaching 10
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] 200-plus. Dude was a little cub when Satsuma Rebellion took place.
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] 200-plus. Dude was a little cub when Satsuma Rebellion took place.
File 139283085198.jpg - (26.26KB, 640x480, ein03.jpg) [iqdb]
26365
[X] Einstein, or Ein for short. But let's see the results of the poll anyway.
[X] Siberian wilderness.
[X] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.

Because sharing a name with the best canine ever.
Also, "For you astronomers, the Tunguska event was one of the most important days in history. For me... It was Tuesday."
[X] Einstein, or Ein for short. But let's see the results of the poll anyway.
[X] Siberian wilderness.
[X] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.

I don't like any of the names in the poll, but "Ein" is great.
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.

Right now, I'm slightly leaning toward Ein, but I'd like to see what other names come up as options.
[x] Stroll near the cliff.
[x] Others. Let’s wait for the result from Bunbunmaru to show up. (I’ll include the names suggested in previous post for the sake of it.)
[x] Suggest where Wolfonymous originally comes from.
- [x] Siberian wilderness.
[x] Suggest how old Wolfonymous is.
- [x] Born in the 1900. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.
[X] Bask under the warm sun.
[X] Einstein.
[X] Siberian wilderness.
[X] Born in the 1900s. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was a Tuesday.

I approve of Ein.
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Alright, we’ll be strolling near the cliff, will be named Einstein (though we’ll wait for the results of the poll), hails from Siberian wilderness, born in the 1900 and survived the Tunguska Event. Because for him, it was Tuesday.

Writing now, updating later.
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Choose an activity:
[c] Stroll near the cliff.

Pick a name:
[c] Einstein (but let’s wait for the votes to come in before we can decide).

About Wolfonymous:
[c] Hails from Siberian wilderness.
- [c] Born in the 1900s. Survived the Tunguska Event. It was Tuesday.
-- [c] More of this will be revealed the more Wolfonymous interacts with people.

(ON HOLD) Is Wolfonymous able to shape-shift?
[c] Yes.




……

………

With my tummy filled, all that’s left for me to do is to stroll near the cliff and enjoy the afternoon. It’s a little disappointing that Hina isn’t with me as she has a business to attend at a settlement near the foot of the mountain, and it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t accompany her. I guess it’s for my own good, too, as I still am unsure if there’s any human population in Gensokyo. I’m keeping my guard in case I encounter one.

All I know right now is that I’m spending the afternoon by doing nothing. Nothing but being amazed by this breathtaking scenery. I close my eyes, letting my ears pick up the thundering roar of the waterfall. Such a beautiful sound, so soothing, and yet so haunting. I feel I’m being enticed to approach the waterfall, to come closer, to let it overwhelm my insignificant self with its might…

I pull my eyes away from the waterfall and look up to the sky. I begin to recall an incident that happened many years ago. I was a little cub when a fireball appeared in the sky, turning night into day. I, alongside the rest of my family, watched as the fireball came down to the forest, and it was the last thing I remembered before we were caught in a massive explosion. Wait, was it an explosion? I believe it was more like a tidal wave, but the sea was way too far away, and it smashed upon us from the above.

Whatever it was, one thing was certain: I survived the blast, and so did my family. That was the most disturbing aspect, however, because everything else around us was dead, burnt and charred to the core. Puzzled as we were, we wandered across the land, now turned into a wasteland, asking ourselves how on Earth we survived when so many others perished. Then, perhaps because he wanted to boost our dwindling morale, my grandfather told my family to basically suck it up and continue with our life instead of bemoaning our misfortune. Maybe the disaster was just another Tuesday to him, or maybe he foresaw something none of us could. Who knew what he was thinking at that time…

Oh, goddamn it to hell.

I’m not supposed to lament over my past. What’s gone is gone, and I can’t do anything about it. I let out a long yawn and outstretch my body before leaving the cliff. Hina won’t be back until later in the evening, and I have no idea where I should go. Maybe I should find Nitori and ask her if she knows a place.

“Hey, sis, look! A wolf.”

“It is a wolf, you silly.”

“Ooh, it looks dangerous. Let’s taunt it and see if it chases us.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Mino.”

“Aw, come on. You’re afraid of the big, bad wolf, aren’t you?”

“I’m not afraid. I’m just concerned of what it’s- ah! It’s looking at our direction.”

I furrow my eyebrows. I have two girls standing not far from me, and they look as fidgety as they are curious. Both wear yellowish-brown dress, and both share the same eye and hair colour. If it isn’t for one of them wearing a hat full of fruits, they could easily be mistaken as identical twins.

And they’re looking at me.

What to do?
[ ] Greet them.
[ ] Ignore them.
[ ] Spook them.
[ ] Pounce at them.
[ ] Stay still and act cool.

Aki time? Aki time. My apologies for the length and delay of this update. Wolfonymous, you lucky canine you.

For those curious about the timeline, this story takes place not too long after DDC. I have plans to introduce Wolfonymous to our very own mermaid/Dullahan/loup-garou trio later in the story.
[x] Greet them.
[x] Greet them.
[X] Stay still and act cool.

Bitch, I'm a wolf.
[x] Greet them.


Let's disappoint Minoriko by not being dangerous at all. In fact, we're cuddly and fluffy.
[x] Greet them.
[X] Stay still and act cool.
[X] Stay still and act cool.

Be cool.
[X] Stay still and act cool.
[x] Greet them.
[X] Stay still and act cool.
I see a draw in the votes. I'll wait for a tie breaker before I can confirm; if there's none, I'll combine them. Updating later.
[X] Greet them.

It was so tempting to vote for []Spook Them
>>27008
Alright, calling the vote now. Thanks for the tie-breaker.
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Sorry for the absence. Marriage of a family member took a high priority over this story, and I had to suffer to get through.

[c] Greet them.

They don’t look very threatening. Granted, they saw something strange and unfamiliar, but I can forgive them. I, too, have not met them before, which means this is my best opportunity to get in touch with the denizens of Gensokyo.

I sit down and hold my head up high, as if beckoning to the girls to approach me. They look at each other, and then at me. I wait for them to come to me, and they keep staring at me. What’s wrong with these girls? Are they afraid of me?

“Uh, I think it wants to greet us.”

“You think? I don’t think so. It just wants to play with us.”

“But Mino, it really wants to greet us.”

“Silly Shizuha, it’s a wolf. How can it greet someone not from its own kind?”

I get up from my sitting position and approach the girls. Perhaps because they didn’t anticipate my reaction, the girl with fruit-hat steps forward and opens a defensive stance. “B-back off!” she hollers and shakes a fist at me. I ignore the gesture and continue approaching them, causing the girl to flail her arms at me. “I said back off! One more step, and I’m going to-”

I jump at the girl-

“Eep!!”

-and tackle her to the ground. I have her pinned underneath me, and she’s staring at me with eyes wide open. I stare back at her, causing her to flinch and throw her hands over my face.

“I’m sorry! Please have mercy!”

Oh, really now? After the threat you just showed me, you wanted to beg for mercy? Besides, girl, you just taunted me. A wolf doesn’t take a taunt very lightly.

“Let me go!!”

I bring my head down, open my jaws…

“Noooooooo!!!”

…and lick her on the face.

“Eh? Eh! S-stop! Stop licking me! Wah! Shizuha, please save your sister!”

I turn my attention to the other girl. She’s just as appalled as her partner, though I can’t explain why her face is burning very brightly. What? I’m just showing her how wolves communicate with other living beings, there’s nothing indecent about that.

“What’s going on here?”

I turn my head to the voice. Oh, it’s Nitori, and looks like she has the device with her. I quickly return to her, who greets me with a soft pat on my head. “Hey there, buddy! Were you playing with Shizuha and Minoriko?” she asks.

“Playing?! That wolf almost had us for lunch!!” the girl with fruit-hat yells as she’s helped by her partner to stand up. “Don’t ever let it come at us!”

Nitori looks at me. I look back at her. She laughs and scratches the back of my ear. “I think we have a severe miscommunication going on here. Ah, perfect timing. I’ve just upgraded the device.” She fixes the device on my head and presses her finger on it. “Now all the words will come out in organized order and not randomly. Go on; tell them you didn’t mean to scare them. Apologize, if you have to.”

I grumble in silence. I was not the one at fault, and I shouldn’t be the one who apologized. Still, I’d feel rude to not listen to Nitori, so I comply. I let a few words form inside my head before I channel them into the device.

“My apology if what I did had scared you.”

Wow. That sounds deeper than I thought. I turn to Nitori and ask whether I always sound like that. “Ah, no. That’s just the device’s extra features. I had it configured at ‘cool voice’ because I kind of liked it that way,” Nitori answers. “You like that, didn’t you? I know you do.”

The girls cautiously approach me. “So… you wanted to be our friends?” the one without head ornament asks.

I turn back to them. “Do I look like something that is not friendly to you?”

“Well, you’re a wolf, so we thought you’d… ah! I’m so sorry. We forgot to introduce ourselves.” She bows to me. “I’m Shizuha, and she’s my sister Minoriko. Pleased to meet you.”

“It is an honour to meet both of you.”

“You!” Minoriko cries out. “I’ll have you know that I’m the goddess of harvest! I won’t let myself fall prey to the likes of you!”

I furrow my eyebrows at her. “Do you have a problem with having a wolf pin you down and lick you all over?”

“I-I… no! That’s not it!!” She’s blushing. She must have thought differently about it. “Why would I even think of that!? It was your fault, you dirty lecherous wolf!”

“Said the girl who taunted me and tried to play tough.”

“Why you!!” Shizuha already restrains Minoriko before she can lash out at me. She manages to wiggle out of Shizuha’s arms and harrumphs indignantly at me. “Just you wait, you big bad wolf! I’m going to make you pay for this!” She, then, looks all over her and a look of disgust is painted on her face. “Ew, it’s all over me! This is so disgusting!”

Nitori and I watch in amusement as Minoriko hurries back to the wood, while Shizuha curtsies to us before joining her partner. “You have quite a sharp tongue, you know,” my partner says as we head to the cliff.

“Never thought I would. Still, it feels awkward to hear my own voice in my entire life.”

“It takes time but you’ll get used to it.” Nitori gives my head a soft ruffle. “Want to come with me, Ein?”

“You already decided to call me with that name.”

“I can’t afford to wait for the result to come. Besides, Ein sounds cool. Way too cool.” She winks at me. “You know what I’m saying?”

At least I know there are people who won’t call me Fluffy, that’s for sure. “Where are we headed to?”

“To the human settlement. I have an errand to do there.”



……

………

“Eh?! What do you mean I can’t take Ein with me?”

“Did you not read the signboard? No feral animals allowed.”

“But Ein is not feral! Please, please, will you let me take it with me? I’ll look after it, trust me!”

“I don’t care if it bites or not. It’s a wolf, for freaking out loud!”

“It’s a wolf, and it’s friendly. So that makes it a friendly wolf!”

Without giving us any chance to defend our reason the guards shoo us away from the entrance gate. Nitori growls angrily at the lack of warm reception and shakes her fist at the guards. “Damn humans, always jump into conclusion. It’s not that Ein’s going to terrorize the population.”

“It’s only normal that humans fear wolves.”

“And you’re saying that like it’s normal to you,” Nitori quips.

“I would tell you why, but it wouldn’t be a pleasant story.”

Both of us head to an opening not far from the entrance gate. Nitori still shoots the guard dirty glare before she gives up and ruffles her hair in frustration. I sit next to her and wait for her to cool down while keeping my eyes at the surrounding environment. I should have told Nitori that it was unwise of her to bring a wolf into human settlement, and that I’m fine exploring the rest of the mountain on my own.

“A wolf and a kappa, sitting under the sun and bemoaning their misfortune. Truly, this is a sight to behold.”

I turn my head around, and my sight is blocked by a human-shaped figure. It’s a new girl, and I totally am at loss of words. Red and white outfit, red ribbons, sleeves that seem to defy the law of nature, and calm (if not stern) expression. Who is this girl?

“Oh, hey, Miss Reimu.” Nitori waves unenthusiastically at this girl. “Don’t mind us. We’re just sitting and doing nothing. Yeah, nothing. Just ignore us.”

Reimu pays no attention to Nitori and stares at me. I begin to fidget. What business does this girl have with me?

“A youkai.”

My ears flick up. I am what now?

Nitori’s mood changes in a sudden, and she now turns her head to this girl. “Ein is a youkai? How can you tell, Miss Reimu?”

“I’m a shrine maiden, you silly sod. Of course I know.” Reimu kneels in front of me and places her hand on my forehead. Strange, despite her initially hostile gaze, I sense no malicious intention from within her. Maybe she was just curious about my wellbeing, who knows. “That’s weird. I can’t pinpoint the exact type of youkai he is. He might have just been a regular wolf youkai, but there’s just something very peculiar… I should talk to Kosuzu after this.”

“Ah, are you perhaps going in? Could you talk to the guards and let us pass through?” Reimu harrumphs at the request, but otherwise says nothing and heads to the entrance gate. “Did you hear that? She just called you a youkai,” Nitori speaks as I see Reimu bargaining with the guards. “I wonder what kind of youkai you are. Or you might even be a werewolf! How cool is that?”

“I’m very sorry, but what’s a youkai?”

“It’s a general term used by people to describe supernatural phenomenon. There’s animal youkai, there’s plant youkai, there’s weather youkai, and there’s also book youkai,” Nitori says. “You’d probably heard of ogres and trolls and demons. Youkai are the same thing, it’s just how people in Japan call them.”

Hold on. Japan? I thought I’m still at Siberia. How is this possible? How can I be in Japan when I’m supposed to be in… I’m having a headache just thinking about this. “I fear a lot of explanation is imminent.”

“It’s a bit complicated, you see. I’ll explain along the way.”

Reimu returns to us. “Okay, I’ve talked to the guards, and they agreed to let you two in. Be grateful that you have my assurance, but!” Both of us jump off our feet when Reimu raises her voice. “I have to remind you not to cause any incident, because you don’t want that to happen. Understand?”

“Leave it to us, Miss Reimu!”

With Reimu’s approval, both Nitori and I walk past the gate and head to the main square. (I managed to glance at the guards, who flinched at the gesture and readied their stance. Even in Gensokyo, humans still fear wolves.) I look around me and notice a lot of eyes fixated upon me. Most of them are fearful, as expected of humans, but there are also curious onlookers (they might be wondering why this wolf has a beetle on its head).

“We have come here. What are we going to do next?”

“Well, that…” Nitori laughs sheepishly. “I actually don’t have any plan. I just kind of wanted to go here.”

I glare at her. “Please tell me you didn’t have any.”

“Don’t blame me! You didn’t tell me what you wanted to do beforehand,” she protests. “What about you, Ein? Do you have any plan in mind?”

Now I’m the one who has to come up with a plan.

[ ] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?
[ ] Let’s follow Reimu.
[ ] Kosuzu? Sounds like someone of great importance. Let’s find her.

I wonder if we can find a wolf sage in Gensokyo. Only Horo can make eating honey-coated apple so enticing and sexy at the same time. Also, economics ho!
[x] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?
[x] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?
[ ] Kosuzu? Sounds like someone of great importance. Let’s find her.

Because she sounds like the one most likely to be able to explain this whole "youkai" business, since Reimu wasn't sure and said she'd ask Kosuzu about it.


>>27344
Books, anime, or manga?
[x] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?

The first guard that we saw was reluctant to grant us entrance, plus Ein's not exactly had good experiences with humans in the past and we don't know a damned thing about the human village. Better let Nitori field this one.
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>>27358
The anime, though I only watched the first season. Never had the chance to read the books, while I only had a glimpse of the comic. A shame, since I would like to know what happened to Horo in the story.

Okay, waiting for a few more votes to pour in before I can call it. Picture not related.
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AND SO IS THE FOLLOWING TEXT
>>27439
She has a baby.
>>27439
I've got the books. They're really good, although there are a few scenes that were better in the anime.

Also, why are we talking in spoilers?
[X] Let’s follow Reimu.

haha time for tide pissing.
[X] Let’s follow Reimu.
[X] Let’s follow Reimu.

>“To the human settlement. I have an errand to do there.”
>“I actually don’t have any plan. I just kind of wanted to go here.”
If Nitori's so indecisive, let's stick with someone who knows what they want.
>>27481
I doubt Reimu would be much better considering what she usually does in teh village (shop)
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>>27450
Because I haven't been in touch with the series?

Aaaaand I see a draw between following Reimu and letting Nitori decide. Tie breaker, please, then I'll call it.

Don't mind the picture, though.
[X] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?
There's your tie breaker.
It took a while because I wanted to make sure I hadn't voted once already.
>>27596
Alright, thanks for the tie-breaker. Writing now.
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[c] Let Nitori decide. She’s the one who wanted to come here, remember?
-
-
“Why don’t you decide?” I say this with a mocking grin on my face. “After all, it was you who were vying to come here, weren’t you?”

“Oh, hush you! I’m thinking,” Nitori protests. “And will you please stop making that face? It spooks me.” I merely stare straight into her eyes, and it’s more than enough to make her flinch. “Urgh… okay, okay! I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not planning this earlier.” Her cheeks puff. “There. Satisfied, Ein?”

“Apology accepted.”

“Okay, it’s decided!” She claps her hands. “We’ll go to wherever Reimu is headed to. Didn’t she say she wanted to see, uh, Kosuzu?”

“Excuse me?” Both Nitori and I turn to the voice and find the same guard who didn’t let us in earlier. “I don’t know what you two are doing, but aren’t you attracting a lot of attentions right now?”

We are? A closer inspection reveals that our bickering has indeed attracted a lot of people. Villagers are quick to gather around us, and the guard is now accompanied by his friends. Oh, goddamn it to hell, I’m being surrounded by humans. I need to get out of here fast!

“So, uh, see what I mean? I suggest that you bring whatever business you have to Myouren Temple before people gets caught in trouble.” Nitori looks at me. I look at her. Both of us look at the guard. He gets fidgety and tries to maintain his stance. “I didn’t say that you, uh, can go there and frolic or, uh, plotting to kidnap us for your experiments. Probably.”

“I take offence to that last one!” Nitori objects.

“Come, Nitori. I have no desire to involve these humans in our argument.” I turn to the crowd behind me, who immediately disperse to form a path. “Let us visit this… Myouren Temple?”

“Yeah, let’s go! I don’t want to have anything with this guard and his prejudice against science!”

With a proud stride Nitori and I leave the main square, and a grin creeps upon my face as I hear a horrified “did that wolf just talk?” from the guard. Finally away from the creepy eyes, I ask Nitori what’s so special about Myouren Temple and why the guard wanted us to go there. “It’s Buddhist temple. A lot of the followers are youkai, though there are some human devotes, but personally I think they’re more attracted to the gradient-haired woman. Went there once, got trounced by the woman, offered to be her disciple, and politely rejected the offer.”

“And the guard wanted us to bring our argument there because he expected us to become her follower.”

“For you, maybe, but for me? Nah, I’ll pass.” She lifts a finger before I can continue. “And before you ask, we never kidnap humans for our experiments! Those are rumours. Rumours, I tell you! I mean, why would we even do that? We have standards!”

“I believe in you.”

“Thanks, Ein. So, can I ask you a question?”

“Alright, ask.”

“Okay. When you told us that your kind was hunted to near extinction, how bad was it?”

“How bad? It was not just bad, it was worse. They targeted and killed everyone in my family. The children, the elders, the sick, even expectant mothers. I only live because one of them suggested that I be sold to the highest bidders and kept as a pet.”

“Wow. I didn’t know humans out there are real bastards.”

“Heh, you said that.”

“And we’ve been getting a lot of them lately. Causing troubles and spreading false rumours just because they’re outsiders.” Again, her cheeks puff in annoyance. It’s kind of cute to see her pout. “I met this guy once, and he told me that I wear hat because I am bald, and he said that while laughing his ass off. You know what I did?”

“Do tell.”

“I booted him off the waterfall. Never bothered to find his body afterward.”

My ears fall flat. What. She just did that?

“Well, yeah, he basically asked for it! I’m not bald, thank you very much!” She takes the hat off, showing to me a perfectly covered head. Yup, totally not bald. “Outsiders need to learn to live by the rules, and everyone knows that. It’s just… sigh, some of them just want to screw the rules and make their own.” She fixes the hat on her head. “I’m no law enforcer, no sir, but that kind of mentality is going to bite their ass sooner or later.”

“Respect the forest, or suffer the consequences. Kill, or be killed.”

I can see an ornate building at the outskirt of the village. I can only assume that it’s Myouren Temple. There’s a girl sweeping in the courtyard, and it’s the most uninteresting sight I ever come across. Nitori goes to meet the girl, and her ears suddenly perk up when she sees us.

“Hi, Kyouko. We’re taking a rest here. May we-”

“GOOD AFTERNOON!!!”

Ohgodwhathervoiceiskillingme!



……

………

The screaming stops. I barely manage to prevent myself from falling onto the pavement. Amidst my reeling sight, I see Nitori folding her arms and… is she grinning? “I expected that to happen, so I came prepared.” She takes a device off her head and shows it to the girl; I can barely make out its shape but whatever the thing is, the girl is clearly not pleased.

“Aw, that’s not fair!” she whines.

“The last time I went here, you almost killed me with that sonic boom,” Nitori replies. “Safety is a top priority. Especially when dealing with that lethal weapon.”

“It was a greeting, not a lethal weapon,” the girl grumbles.

I force myself to get back on my feet. Again, I lose my footing and fall onto the pavement. It gets the attention of both girls and they rush to aid. Goddamn it, my head’s starting to split open.

“Are you alright!?” the girl asks.

“Do I look alright to you?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you!” she apologizes. “Please stay here! I’ll go find Shou or Ichirin!”

I suddenly catch a scent. Familiar, yet ominous. So ominous, I immediately stand up and hold my ground. Off all things that I could come across in Gensokyo, the last thing I want is to have a duel to the death with it.

“Tiger.”

“Tiger? There is no tiger at Myouren Temple.”

I look up. Standing in front of me is not a tiger but is, in fact, a woman. And she’s kneeling in front of me.

“You seem to be in trouble. Please, allow me to help.”

She’s offering me a gaze. A sympathetic, caring gaze. I would have accepted the offer… if it’s not for the scent of tiger coming from her.

[ ] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.
[ ] Give in. Accept the offer.
[ ] Refuse the offer.
[ ] Pounce.

Inb4 Fatal Fury/Art of Fighting joke.

P/S: don’t worry guys. Ein is alright, though he’s currently having the headache of his life. For the record, Ein did have an encounter with Siberian tigers, so that should explain the sudden mood shift. Also, I will remove the italics from Ein’s dialogues once he gains the ability to speak in human language.

Anyway, I’m cutting this update short because I want to make sure I do my research on Okuri-Inu and Tunguska Event. As such, our next meeting with Kosuzu will be full of expositions.
[x] Give in. Accept the offer.

I want to give her a chance
[X] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.
[X] Give in. Accept the offer.

After a suitable period of reluctance, of course.
[X] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.
[x] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.
[X] Give in. Accept the offer.

Even if Ein has had bad encounters with tigers in the past, considering that he just waltzed through an entire village of humans it would be strange of him to get hung up on it for longer than we already have.
[X] Give in. Accept the offer.
[X] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.

It only makes sense.
[x] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle.

Tiebreaker.
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>>27934
Hey, thanks for the breaker! Writing now.
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Sorry for the delay. Monsoon happened.

=--------

[c] Hold the ground. Let Nitori handle the situation.

This is not a proper situation for me to react. Any sudden movement and I would risk myself and Nitori getting shooed from this temple. That’s not what I want, and that’s definitely not what members of my clan would want.

“Is there something wrong with him?”

“Ah? No, that’s not it! Ein’s just arrived yesterday; he’s not familiar with the crowd yet.” Oh, that’s right. I’m so engrossed in my age-old feud with tigers I almost forgot about Nitori. “Aaaaaand I think Kyouko’s screams did him bad.” At the corner of my eyes, I can see the girl pouting at Nitori and then at this woman, who merely shrugs her shoulders in amusement of sort.

“A wolf from the outside world? It is quite an unexpected occurrence. And you say that he was affected by Kyouko’s screams?” I manage to weakly nod at her. “I can understand that. It would only take one of her yells to send people packing.”

“I never do it on purpose!” Kyouko protests.

“Ah, but I digress. Here, allow me to help.” I flinch when she suddenly places her palm upon my head, and the first thought in my mind is to run away, run as far away from this woman as I can muster. Damn it, woman, if you really want to spook this wary wolf…

“There, it is done.”

W-what just happened? My head doesn’t ache anymore. In fact, I’m feeling a hundred times better than before; healthier, chirpy and spirited. What and how in the blazes did this woman do?

“How do you feel now?”

“Thank you for… whatever you did.” It’s all I can muster.

“It’s my pleasure.”

After exchanging a few words with the woman (who later introduces to me as Toramaru Shou), we leave Myouren Temple and head back to the village. It just happens that we walk past the school during lunch time, so our presence is noticed by the children who are very quick to surround me. If it isn’t for a woman shouting at this children to head back inside, I would have become their plaything.

“Didn’t the guards tell you that animals are off-limit?” this woman asks as she approaches us.

“Sorry! I was just taking Ein for sightseeing,” Nitori apologizes.

“If that’s the case, carry on, as long as you don’t cause trouble,” this woman says.

“Thanks! By the way, we’re looking for Reimu. Do you have any idea where we can find her?” Nitori asks.

“I saw her at Suzunaan. Perhaps you should go there,” she answers.

After parting way with the woman (whose name I would later learn as Kamishirasawa Keine), we head to a shop near the market. Sure enough, we spot Reimu speaking to a couple of girls in front of the shop. Nitori suddenly flinches and backs off, and I can’t help noticing her hostile gaze as I look up at her.

“Is there something wrong?”

“You see that girl over there?” I follow her finger, and see a purple-haired girl standing next o Reimu. “She wrote a biased article about us kappas, and it pisses most of us ever since.”

“I take it you have no desire to meet her at this moment.”

“Not until she issues a formal apology to us,” Nitori adds. “I’m sorry, Ein, but the moment I saw her I just lost my mood. Can you go without me? I’ll be at the temple if you want to look for me.”

I leave Nitori behind and head to the shop. Reimu and the girls are still chatting and they haven’t noticed my presence. I quietly take my sit beside the bench and listen to the conversation. Apparently they’re discussing about a sudden influx of animal youkai in Gensokyo, and Reimu expresses her concern about the incursion that took place in the winter while the purple-haired girl states she has to examine the records for similar occurrence in the past.

“You surely have the guts to snoop in a conversation between girls, don’t you?”

A sharp turn to the back, and I face a girl. Whose hat is so ridiculously wide its brim blocks out the sunlight.

“No offence to you, dog, but what on Earth are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be, uh, on a leash?”

“Who are you calling me a dog? I am a wolf, the ghostly stalker of the forest.”

She narrows her gaze. I narrow mine. She furrows her eyebrows. I furrow mine. We are locked in an intense staring contest. It is so intense we could stare down abominations if we would.

“What’s going on here?”

And brimmed hat girl jumps off her feet.

“Holy shit, Reimu! A talking wolf!!” the girl shrieks.

Reimu’s steps come to a halt when she sees me. “Oh, it’s just you. Where’s Nitori, by the way?” I greet her as usual and point to the direction of Myouren Temple. “Weird. She wouldn’t usually leave her partner behind. You look alright, though, so that’s fine with me.”

“Reimu! The wolf just talked,” the girl continues to point out.

“No, it did not,” Reimu says.

“Yes, it did!” the girl answers. She turns back to me and points at my face. “You! Talk to me! Again!” I ignore her demand and stay put. “Aw, come on! Do it again!”

“Excuse me.” I turn my attention to the two girls behind Reimu. They see me and immediately turn their attention to Reimu. “When you said there’s an influx of animal youkai, can this be one of them?” purple-haired girl asks.

“Speaking of which.” Reimu turns to pigtailed girl. “Kosuzu, doesn’t one of the books contain a story about wolf youkai?”

“I don’t think we have a book about wolf youkai in general.” Pigtailed girl pauses, and I wait. “Unless if you mean Okuri-Inu.”

“Okuri-Inu? Ooooh, you mean the youkai that stalks travellers in the night, right?” brimmed hat girl asks.

“Yes, Miss Marisa, that youkai.” The three girls sit on the bench, and I get invited to sit near Reimu. “Okuri-Inu. ‘Sending-off dog,’ also known as Okuri-Ookami or ‘sending-off wolf’. It follows traveller late on the road at the night, with the purpose of stalking and preying upon the traveller should he or she trip or stumble.” I growl in annoyance when brimmed hat girl tries to pinch my cheek. “Because they’re so ferocious in stalking their intended preys, no other youkai or wild animals will come close, making Okuri-Inu a kind of double-edged sword.” I snarl at brimmed hat girl, and she backs off. “As long as the traveller keeps his or her footing, they should be safe.”

I stare at each and every one of the girls. “So, due to a catastrophe at my homeland, I got exposed to whatever power it was and became this… Okuri-Inu thing. And somehow I gained intelligence, hence my ability to understand human speech.” I chuckle dryly. “This has to be the greatest day in my entire life.”

…I might have erred.

“Did… did the wolf just talk?!” purple-haired girl asks.

“Such a manly voice!” pigtailed girl gasps.

“See? I told you so!” brimmed hat girl says.

Only Reimu offers me a sympathetic gaze. “You don’t sound very thrilled. Does it have to do with the ‘catastrophe’ you mentioned?” I shake my head. “Come on. Tell us. Things don’t just become youkai without a reason, you know.”

She seems trustworthy. I shouldn’t doubt her intention. So I gather bits of my memory and tell the story of the fireball, how my family and I were caught in the explosion that followed and survived, and how we lived the years to come with no regard of the changing environment. I also tell the story of how I survived the massacre and had to escape my pursuers before I set my feet upon Gensokyo…

…never before would I imagine making the girls in front of me shed their tears over this tale of sorrow.

“That’s… that’s too awful! Why would they hunt you to the brink of extinction?” pigtailed girl sobs.

“Even the younglings were targeted. Horrible, just horrible,” purple-haired girl adds.

“They were afraid of us, and they should be. It was when they thought they could rule the forest with an iron fist they wanted to show us who was the boss.” I frown. “Bigoted lowlifes, planting the seed of fear and hatred in their children so that they can eradicate us as they please. Just because they’re… humans doesn’t mean they have to let their prejudice against wildlife take over.”

“Hey! You do not call us lowlifes, okay?” brimmed hat girl complains.

“Miss Marisa, please!” pigtailed girl pleads.

“My apology if I have offended you, but I only harbour this hatred against those who intentionally want to do me harm.” I glance behind me to check whether Nitori or Hina is present, but I only see some villagers staring at the commotion in concern. It seems I have attracted unwanted attention, and it can only lead to a conclusion. “I have to take my leave. I don’t believe my presence is welcomed.”

“Don’t leave now! We still want to know more about you,” purple-haired girl says.

“I have nothing to share, except for the occasional encounters with bears and tigers.” I pause for a while. “Unless you’re interested in the fireball story?”

“Well, that’s fine by me,” purple-haired girl answers.

“Can a fireball really appears in the sky and then explodes, causing damage to the ground?” brimmed hat girl asks. “Moreover, did a fireball really appear over Gensokyo in the past?”

“As a matter of fact, it can.” Pigtailed girl walks into the shop, and returns afterwards with a book almost as thick as her arm. She sits down, opens the hefty book and skims through the pages while everyone peeks at her. “It never happened in Gensokyo and certainly not in Japan, and there were no recorded sightings of such event over the past one hundred years. But it did happen here.”

The page flipping stops. She presses her finger at a picture. I peek closer, and in a sudden an ominous chill grips my bones to the core. It depicts the disaster area perfectly, down to the charred land and dead trees. The memories of my pack and I wandering about the barren wasteland resurface, and the horror of having to survive on the barest of bare…

“Is that a crater?” brimmed hat girl asks.

“Look at those trees. They look like they got caught up in a massive explosion,” Reimu says.

“Yeah, but look! Some of the trees were completed scorched but they were still standing,” purple-haired girl adds. “Is that even possible?”

“The Tunguska Event, named after the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia,” pigtailed girl reads a paragraph. “A celestial object, believed to be a comet or an asteroid, entered Earth’s atmosphere at incredible speed and exploded in mid-air over Siberian forests at 7:14 in the morning on June 30th 1908.” She stops reading, only because she’s distracted by the swaying of my tail. “The explosion occurred at an altitude of three to six miles, with energy equivalent to three to five megatons of TNT. The explosion was so powerful it was registered as an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale across Eurasia.” She stops again, and giggles at my half-hearted attempt to be adorable. “To this day, it is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.”

She closes the book. “The explosion of that magnitude, if it were to happen over Gensokyo or any city in the outside world, would wipe out all living beings in an instant and leave the area inhospitable for many years, perhaps even permanently” The other girls shudder over the thought of living through an apocalypse. “Luckily it happened over unpopulated area, so human casualties were very low.”

“Except for wildlife,” brimmed hat girl says.

“Yes, they didn’t stand a chance.” Pigtailed girl turns her attention to me. “But you went through that and survived! The lucky stars must have protected you on that day.”

“That still doesn’t explain why you became a youkai, though,” Reimu adds.

“They can say whatever they want about it, and you can say whatever you want about it,” I scoff. “The day asteroid or whatever celestial object they called graced Siberia was the most important day in history. But for me… it was Tuesday.”

“You have a weird sense of humour,” brimmed hat girl says.

“That’s what you’d get when I was told to just suck it up,” I answer. “But now, I have to go. I fear Nitori and Hina are awaiting me for too long.”

“Aw, okay,” pigtailed girl says, looking dejected. “But at least, tells us your name! It would be rude if you didn’t, would it?”

“…fine. I was born without a name, but Nitori and Hina had agreed to call me Ein, so that is my name for now.”

The girls introduce themselves. The pigtailed one is Kosuzu, and she’s very proud of her book collection, the one with purple hair is Akyuu (and apparently an official chronicler), the girl whose hat is ridiculously wide is Marisa, and I already knew Reimu from our first meeting outside the village. Because of my apparent friendliness, I quickly gain both Akyuu and Kosuzu’s trust, with Akyuu offering to write stories of my adventure. Gee, way to make the first impression, wolf.

“By the way, why Ein?” Akyuu asks.

“I am fine with any other names, so long as it’s not Fluffy,” I answer. “And to answer your question, Akyuu, it’s best you direct it to Nitori in person. She suggested it in the first place.”

“Fluffy? Pft, please! That’s just plain ridiculous,” Akyuu laughs.

“I know, right?” I reply.

“I was thinking of calling him Sirius,” Marisa says. “What about you guys?”

“Sirius sounds cool, but I prefer Beowulf!” Kosuzu says excitedly. “Miss Reimu, what do you think?”

“Eh, I personally don’t care what he’s called,” she shrugs. “I still need to know how Ein, or Sirius, or Beowulf, or whatever became a youkai and was able to find Gensokyo on his own.”

“Does Wolf O’Donnell sound good on him?” Akyuu asks.

Whatever you want to call me, girls.



……

………

I reunite with Nitori after Reimu escorted me to the outskirt of the village. We bid farewell to the red-white and return to the mountain, where I have a fortunate encounter with Shizuha and Minoriko, the latter throwing potatoes at my direction in fury. Exhausted after the encounter and the trip, I tell Nitori I’m heading back to Hina’s place. With her consent, I make haste to the forest, and my heart skips in delight when I see Hina sitting on the patch of grass.

“Hello, Ein.” I greet her with a soft nuzzle on her palm. “I see you were venturing today. How was your trip?” I lie down and rest my head upon her lap. “Tired, wasn’t it? At least you look content, and that is good.” I wish I could tell her the little adventures I had, but I am so tired I can only afford myself to yawn. “I will not ask anymore, but please, allow me to accompany you through your sleep.”

“Please, help yourself.”

I hear a hushed “thank you” in my ear, and moments later my eyelids are closed shut.



……

………

I wake up. It’s midnight, and the moon is shining over my head. Once again, I am outside Hina’s home, and I have no desire to disturb her slumber just yet. And once again, my throat feels sore and dry, so after stretching out I head to the stream and take a gulp. It’s peaceful out here, and I take time indulging in this peace while slurping as much water as my single breath can allow.

Then I see it. Under the moonlight, clear as crystal. Looking at me with its cold, melancholic gaze.

It’s the face of the man again.

I stare at the face, and it just stares back at me. It does nothing else. It just stares at me, like I don’t even exist. The more I stare, the more it returns the stare, and it begins to tick me off.

What is really going on?

[ ] Ask aloud.
[ ] Ask in quiet voice.
[ ] Don’t ask. Just pretend it’s your face and get over it.
[ ] Pounce.
[ ] Howl.
[X] Don’t ask. Just pretend it’s your face and get over it.

This one sounds like it will be the one most likely to cause us to shift
[x] Don’t ask. Just pretend it’s your face and get over it.

It's probably not important anyway.
[x] Don’t ask. Just pretend it’s your face and get over it.

quite some wolf references flying around there.
[X] Pounce.

This reflection is an eyesore.
File 140254017847.jpg - (146.65KB, 510x355, WOV-09-LS0018-01P.jpg) [iqdb]
28864
>>28608

[c] Don’t ask. Just pretend it’s your face and get over it.

This is not the time to question, nor is it time to contemplate. Whoever or whatever it is, it’s just a reflection in the water. All I have to do is to ignore it, pretend it’s my face and get over it, right?

…or maybe not.

I stare back at this reflection. Its cold, melancholic gaze is now gone, replaced with a look of what I can only describe as loneliness. The more I stare into the water, the lonelier it becomes. Jeez, face. I wonder why you look so sad. Are you in pain? Maybe you wanted to talk to someone, or perhaps you wanted to get out of this misery? I wish both of us could have a warm conversation, but neither you nor I know each other.

I look up. The moon, wolf’s loyal companion, always staying by its side no matter the circumstances, is shining upon me with its gentle light. I missed the time when I would sit down with my siblings and howl together, and then sat around the elders who would tell us tales about why wolves would howl to the moon.

Eh, why not?

My eyes close. I take a deep breath. Then, after a long time of silence, I howl. A long, lingering howl that echoes through the night. I pause to let my voice recuperate, then I resume. For as long as I can sustain my breath, for as long as I can recall the memories of old, I keep on howling. It feels so good, singing my ballad to the lady of the night above me, praising her and her beauty…

Ah, shit. I’m getting sleepy. I look back at the reflection. The face is still there, and the sadness is still present in its expression. I give it a nod and turn around. Goodnight, face. Have a pleasant dream, whoever or whatever you are.



……

………



My pace screeches to a halt. For a split second, I swear to myself I heard a wolf howling from a distance. I strain my ears to listen, and I hear it again. And again. And again. It is indeed a wolf, and it comes from across the valley. Is there a stray wolf living in the forest? Or is it just a piece of my imagination?

I shake my head. I must have been tired. It’s not easy being on night patrol, even when you’re a youkai. I should finish my shift and pass it to my colleague before I retreat to my bunk.

There it is. Again. The howl lingers for what I can only assume as one full minute, before it dissipates in the night. I wait for the ‘stray wolf’ to howl again, yet nothing comes out. It must have gone asleep, as I am about to after this.

Perhaps I should find the ‘stray wolf’ and ask about the howl.





……

………

Pain.

Pain everywhere.

Nothing but everlasting pain.

The pain of losing a family. The pain of losing brothers in arms. The pain of not able to avenge the slain. The pain of having to run for own life. The pain of getting caught and sold as slave.

The lone wolf had felt all the pain. And now, it wanted to make sure this despicable sight in front of it, the two-legged creature called hunter, feel the same pain.

“G-get away from me!!”

With a howl full of bloodlust, the lone wolf pounced. The hunter cried in panic and swung his blade in self-defence. It slashed across the lone wolf’s face, barely missed its left eye, and left a scar behind.

It only angered the lone wolf.

It pounced again. It caught the hunter’s hand between its mighty jaws. The hunter screamed in agony and tried to pull himself free. The lone wolf crushed the hunter’s hand, ripped it off its socket and tossed the limb to the ground.

The lone wolf turned to the maimed hunter. The hunter pleaded for mercy, begged for its life. The lone wolf did not care. He had murdered its family. He had spilled the blood of the children. Now he must pay with his own blood.

“Please let me go!”

There is only one law in the forest:

It let out a mighty howl-

Kill…

Pounced at the hunter-

…or be killed.

And sunk its teeth into the hunter’s throat.

The hunter let out a horrified, gurgled cry as he tried to push the lone wolf off him. The grip on his throat tightened, even as the lone wolf’s fangs pierced through windpipe and blood veins.

The lone wolf yanked its head. In a blink of an eye, the hunter’s throat was ripped. His struggle came to an abrupt halt, and his screams were instantly silenced. Blood gushed out of the wound, some of which spilling onto the lone wolf’s face.

The hunter stared at the lone wolf with eyes wide open before he fell onto the ground. In his last act of defiance, the hunter tried to grab the lone wolf by its leg. Try as he might, it was fruitless, and with the last breath he met his end.

The lone wolf approached the dead hunter. Vengeance had been delivered, and it celebrated it by feasting upon the carcass. Its need fulfilled, the lone wolf lifted its head. And howled to the moon, long and sorrowful. It knew that killing the hunter would not bring its family back. It knew, finding and killing all of them would not be able to replace what it had lost on that day of infamy.

So it swore to the moon. In the name of its family, the lone wolf would walk the earth. In the name of its great ancestors, the lone wolf would survive all tribulations.

In the name of the moon, it would live.



……

………

Birds. Cheerful, energetic birds. Chirping and making all sorts of noise.

It takes me a while to get up and outstretch my body. And it also takes me a while to realize I’m now slumped against a tree. Did I sleepwalk last night? I certainly did not, because I clearly remember myself lying on the turf and dozing off seconds after that. With a very hazy head I let out a long, interrupted yawn and get up.

“Good morning, Ein.”

I turn around. Oh, it’s just Hina. And she’s wearing that dress with flimsy fabric again. At least her hair’s tied in a ponytail. “Good morning, Hina.”

She sits down on the staircase and beckon at me to approach her. Not in the mood to disappoint a lady, I oblige and sit next to her. She gives the back of my nape a gentle massage, and I shiver in instant delight at the touch.

“I heard someone howling last night. Was it you?” Ah, damn, she must have heard it.

“Yes, it was I. I am sorry if it disturbed your dream.”

She giggles and continues massaging my nape. OH IT FEELS SO GOOD DON’T STOP. “Oh no, it didn’t. In fact, I enjoyed it very much.”

“You did?”

“Well, it would usually be the wolf tengu who did, but they only do that once in a blue moon. They tend to get too noisy, though.” To my disappointment, she lets go of my nape. “You’re enjoying it, aren’t you? You cute cuddly one~”

I find myself bothered by the last comment. I never consider myself cute and cuddly. Well, maybe when I was a little cub, but that was a long time ago. Now I am a grown-up wolf, and by all accounts I should be called ‘a fearsome wolf.’

“Being cute doesn’t mean I’m cuddly,” I make up a point.

“Maybe.” She surprises me when she suddenly wraps her arms about my neck. She seems to anticipate my attempt to resist as her arms begin to tighten. After struggling to slip loose, I relent and allow myself to be hugged. “At least you’re okay with me cuddling you,” I hear her saying.

“I’d rather let you cuddle me than winged girl. If I ever hear call me Fluffy one more time, I’m going to eat her wings.”

“Aya is going to be upset when she hears that,” Hina says.

“I don’t care. By the way, what is a tengu?”

“They’re youkai, and the mountains are their territory. They consist mostly of crows and wolves, though I’ve come across some lesser known kinds. They’re not really friendly toward outsiders, be they humans or other youkai,” Hina answers. “I’ve heard rumours that Lord Tenma is pushing for a change among the tengu. Aya herself told me about it.”

“I take it that his call falls on deaf ears.”

“I don’t know, since tengu are traditionalists by nature,” Hina says. “It would be nice if they open up and accept changes, wouldn’t it?”

“I don’t know.”

I feel her head resting comfortably upon me. “I’m sorry if my rant bothers you.” It’s not. I do enjoy chatting with this woman regardless of her intention. So I stay still, enjoying the warmth of Hina’s arms and body while letting her snuggle up to me. Were my siblings still alive, they would have flocked around Hina and asked to be picked up and cuddled. She would make a great babysitter.

“So! Have you eaten?” My mind snaps back to reality when Hina asks aloud.

My stomach starts grumbling. “I have not, thank you very much.”

“If that’s the case, let me prepare breakfast for you.”

“Hina, wait. I can fend for myself-” She has already left before I can speak. Why must she trouble herself just for that? Moreover, does she even realize that I am a wolf? As I contemplate for the reason, a shadow casts over me and I look over my shoulder.

“Good morning!”

It’s that damned winged girl again.

“What do you want?”

“I come here to hug your fluffy tail! May I-” Her smile is instantly swept off her face. “You…” She covers her mouth in an effort to muffle her gasp. “You just talked!”

“Yes, I just talked. If you don’t like me talking, then leave.” I turn around so that I can face this annoyance. “So, your name is Aya. Hina told me about you.”

“Owner of Bunbunmaru Publication, Gensokyo’s top reporter, pure and honest Shameimaru Aya at your service!” winged girl replies with pride. “And I come here specifically because I’m very honest about my wish.”

“Honesty my ass. You just want to piss me off with that obsession.”

“I’m telling you the truth!” Aya complains. “And it’s not an obsession! It’s a desire! Pure, unadulterated desire at that!”

“Yeah, yeah. Desire. Obsession. Fixation. Passion. Whatever. You’re scaring the birds. Stop it.”

“Why are you so uptight? I just want to be your friend. Please, will you let me be your friend, Fluffy?” At the mention of that dreaded word, I snarl at Aya. “What’s wrong with you? Do you hate that name very much?”

“Call me that one more time, and I will eat you here and now.”

“Y-you do not!” She immediately covers herself, as if trying to protect her modesty. “I mean, you do not prey upon me as you wish! I’m a crow tengu, for your information!”

“You’re a bird, and I’m a wolf. Does that make any difference?”

“Yes!”

“What is going on?” Both of us turn around. And see Hina standing at the door. Holding what looks like a wooden stick with flat end in her left hand. “Ah, good morning Aya. Would you like to join us for breakfast?”

“Hina!” Aya drapes herself over Hina and shoots me an annoyed glare. “Fluffy is bullying me! Do something, please?”

“You’re constantly trying to touch his fluffy tail, so of course he’d act defensively,” Hina says.

“You’re not helping!” Aya whines.

I can never understand this winged girl.



……

………

“Eh? Are you trying to say that you hail from Siberia?” Aya asks through a mouthful.

I beam at her. “Where do you think I came from? Under the sea? Very funny, I didn’t know wolves could live underwater.”

“And crows don’t live in caves,” Aya shoots back. “But still, that’s a far, faraway place for you to travel from. How did you manage to find Gensokyo?”

“I followed the sound of the crashing waterfall, that’s all.”

Aya looks at Hina, and she just shakes her shoulders. She looks at me, and I dismiss her with a glare before I munch on this slab of meat. Grilled and seasoned, as Hina explained. I didn’t get to know why she wouldn’t leave the meat raw, but I certainly can’t deny that it tastes better.

“So, Aya, how goes the public voting?” Hina asks.

“Ah, about that…” Aya giggles nervously; it’s as if she finds herself bothered by the matter. “Well, the results came in last night, and I have to say that people responded warmly to it. I like that! It certainly boosts the popularity of my publication.” She pauses and lets out a defeated sigh. “It’s just that there were so many votes pouring in, and I had to count all of them on my own. Not to mention my house got so packed I could barely lie down, so…”

Aya yelps when Hina suddenly touches the back of her nape, and yet she quickly sinks into pleasure as Hina applies slight pressure into the skin. “I take it that you had to stay awake,” Hina says.

“It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog,” Aya mutters. “And I should be sleeping like a log, too.”

“And yet you didn’t.”

“My readers are very impatient and want to know the result quickly. It’s my responsibility to keep them informed.” Aya shudders when Hina lightly prods her finger on her neck. Hina giggles at the response and prods even more, causing Aya to moan in bliss. “Ow, yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t stop, please…”

“You really like it, don’t you? Well, let me take care of you right now~” Hina says, her voice taking a slightly flirtatious tone. Aya squirms on her chair, trying very hard not to succumb into pleasure as Hina goes on to massage her shoulders. There’s no way a simple massage can provoke that kind of reaction, but damn it. What I wouldn’t do to be in winged girl’s place?

Quick, ask before the girls are drowning in the sea of massaging euphoria!
[ ] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [ ] Gensokyo (and its populations).
- [ ] The inhabitants of the mountains.
- [ ] Bunbunmaru Publication.
- [ ] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
- [ ] Why Hina is so good in giving a massage.
- [ ] Others (please specify).
[ ] On the other hand, be a good dog wolf and…
- [ ] …finish your meal.
- [ ] …leave the girls and head outside.
-- [ ] While you’re at it, what is your plan for today? (Write-in goes here.)

We have made peace with Aya. For now. Let’s see how this peace will last. And who wouldn’t want to have spa treatment from Hina?

Man, if only Anon had voted for Wolfonymous to see a woman in the reflection for the first time, I would have had fun writing a what-if-scenario where Hina and/or Aya walked in and saw us sleeping. In our pure, unadulterated morning glory,on top of that. Anyway, sorry for the delay. Laziness happened.
[x] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [x] Gensokyo (and its populations).
- [x] The inhabitants of the mountains.

A nice start to things, everything else can come later.
[x] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [x] Gensokyo (and its populations).
- [x] The inhabitants of the mountains.
- [x] The result of the poll.

And Fluffly won by a very not pure nor honest landslide.

>>28864
What's to stop them from seeing our "morning glory" anyway?
>>28870
the full human male vote didn't win, but rather a comprimise of a shifter.
[X] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [X] Gensokyo (and its populations).
- [X] The inhabitants of the mountains.
- [X] The result of the poll.
- [X] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
- [X] Why Hina is so good in giving a massage.

Wall me.
File 140305794069.jpg - (196.50KB, 600x627, 7666c870338aa86d9e5c733156bc760c.jpg) [iqdb]
28919
>>28878
Anyone okay with the great wall of texts? If not, I'll wait for more votes to pour in.
[X] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [X] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
- [X] Why Hina is so good in giving a massage.

I already know all that other boring crap.
[x] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
-[x] Gensokyo (and its populations).
-[x] The inhabitants of the mountains.
-[x] The result of the poll.
-[x] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
-[x] Why Hina is so good in giving a massage.

Tell me everything. I must know all your secrets.
>>28919
Holo~
[x] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
-[x] Gensokyo (and its populations).
-[x] The inhabitants of the mountains.
-[x] The result of the poll.
-[x] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
-[x] Why Hina is so good in giving a massage.

But I also agree with >>28922, just so we have this info IC, doesn't mean you need to write it up. The last three on this should be a good post, without hashing out stuff we already know OoC, but still need to learn IC.
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28948
Alright. Writing now.
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28952
>>28948

[c] Ask Hina and/or Aya about…
- [c] Aya’s unhealthy obsession for everything fluffy.
- [c] Why Hina is so good in giving massage.


There’s a pressing matter that requires immediate attention. No, it’s not about Gensokyo and its geography. I can probably explore the land and learn about it on my own, provided that the wildlife isn’t hostile toward me. Hell, I’ll just fight them if I have to. It’s something else that’s been bothering me ever since I met Aya.

“Aya.” She turns to me sharply, such speed! “I don’t get it. What do you care about everything fluffy? I find that unhealthy obsession very sickening.” I glower. “And don’t start calling me that.”

“Jeez, Fluffy! You don’t have to be so uptight,” Aya complains. “And you don’t just go and say it’s unhealthy! You just don’t know how it feels to hug fluffy things! Especially tails! Oh, soft and gorgeous tails! Their suppleness, their warmth, just thinking of them makes me all giddy!”

“I am not cuddly, and I am also not fluffy.”

“The wolf has spoken,” Hina adds.

“Aw, but you’re the fluffiest thing ever!!” Aya moans. “Who else I can go and hug their fluffy tail? You tell me!”

“Go make your own and piss off.” I think I just made winged girl shut herself up because she’s staring at me with eyes wide open and lower jaw hanging low. Good for her, because if it wasn’t for Hina I would have preyed upon her and turned her into breakfast.

With the matter taken care of I turn myself to Hina, who can’t keep herself from laughing. “Is there something wrong?”

“I didn’t think I’d come across a wolf who’d openly tell Aya to bugger off,” she says.

“I could care less about her or her obsession.” I finish what’s left of my meal and wait for refill. “And perhaps I should ask you a question too, Hina.”

“Oh? You have a question?” She props her elbows on the table, rests her chin on her hands, and smiles at me. “Go ahead. I’ll answer it for you.”

“I’m curious. Why are you so good at giving massage?” The question earns me a knowing, if not foxy, stare from this woman. I suddenly feel worried that she would react in such a way, as if she’s been expecting me to ask that question.

“Because I like to see people’s reaction to my handiwork, I guess?” Hina replies. “Especially Aya. You have no idea how she always begs me to work on her body.” She, then, trails her eyes over Aya with the intention to examine her, and Aya quickly averts her gaze as Hina’s eyes meet hers. “Like when we went to the hot spring last week. Aya asked me to massage her shoulders, and I did. She really, really, enjoyed it~”

“B-but you didn’t have to fondle me, too!” Aya protests.

“You don’t have to be so modest, Aya! There are only two of us here, you don’t have to hide it from me,” Hina replies. “Oh, let me tell Ein about my favourite massage spot. Did you know that you can make Aya drop onto her knees by caressing the base of her wings?”

“No! Not my wings!” Aya yelps in a sudden when Hina attacks her wings, and her face turns beet red as she mercilessly caresses the limbs. “Hi-Hina, please! Not in front of Ein…” she pleads, panting and wheezing as Hina’s fingers diligently prod and poke around the bony structure.

“What a shy tengu. Where’s the intrepid reporter that always jumps into any good scoop? I wonder~” Hina brings her hand to the front and WHOA DID AYA JUST JUMP OFF THE CHAIR?

“Please let me go! I have works to do after this.”

“Oh? Already calling it quit? And here I thought you would jump onto Ein and shamelessly worship his tail.”

“N-no! Stop mentioning the- ah!!”

Perhaps I should do something else. But what?

[ ] Find and bother Shizuha and Minoriko.
[ ] Find Nitori and be blinded by SCIENCE.
[ ] Let’s go to the human village and scare the hell out of the guard again and visit Kosuzu.
[ ] Go anywhere and everywhere. The adventure is calling~
[ ] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.

Sorry, Anon. In this story, Aya is the hunted instead of the hunter. Especially since Hina is the hunter. What? Also, short update is short, but this should do it before the first day of Ramadan this Sunday, so please wait warmly while this author is preparing.
[x] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.

A bit of payback and a chance of talking with Hina some more. Then maybe some adventuring can be done. (A bit wary of the general adventure option, good way to have some character not /youkai/ end up derailing things)
[x] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.

Making observations is an important part of science.
[X] Find and bother Shizuha and Minoriko.

I'm fine with this much tengu for now. On to more goddesses.
[X] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.
[x] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.
>>28952

I started fasting today. Ramadan Mubarak to author.

Great story. Waiting warmly.
[x] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.

A male's gotta do what a male's gotta do.
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>>28960
Thanks~

>>28928
~

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

[c] Stay. This… “Interaction between two females” is too good to be missed.

The more Hina’s hands are feeling about, the more Aya is getting uncomfortable. Her face becomes redder, her chest is heaving uncontrollably, and she’s started mumbling incoherently. I’m not sure whether she’s in distress or enjoying the goddess’ touch because it’s as if Aya’s secretly wanted that.

And I have no idea why my ears are perking up, my tail is wagging on my own and my irises are dilated.

Hina’s hands come to a stop on Aya’s chest. Aya is breathing out in relief, though she still looks worried when Hina doesn’t pull away from her. Hina doesn’t seem to notice as she turns to see me. “Ein, would you kindly leave us for a while?” Huh? I don’t get. She wants me to leave? It’s not that I will stand in the way, is it? “Weeeeeell, this is between me and Aya, and you’re kind of distracting, so…” What are you talking about, Hina-

Oh.

Oh.

“I see. If you don’t mind, I’ll go outside and take a walk.”

“Thank you so much, Ein. And have a safe trip.”

“Nooooo! Fluffy! Don’t leave me behind!”

“Now stay still! Aren’t you tired from yesterday’s work? I bet you are~”

The moment I leave the kitchen I hear a loud thump behind me. I stay for a while, just in time to hear Aya letting out a muffled yelp, followed by a wet smack and Hina’s heavenly giggle. As much as I want to stay and watch this… “Interaction between two females”, I must respect Hina’s request and give her the privacy she needs. Besides, I put my trust in her to keep winged girl at bay.



……

………

My grandfather often told me that all living beings have the rights to be free. Every creature, be it the hunter or the hunted, deserves to roam the land they’re living in freely and without hindrance. So when the hunters laid out their plan to sell me to the highest bidder as pet, I was panicked that my freedom would be robbed. I was not ready to give up my freedom in exchange for lavish lifestyle, and I would not ever let someone else chain me and yank me around like a dog on a leash. No, I will never allow myself to stoop that low. I am a wolf, a free wolf of the forest. I alone dictate my freedom. I alone decide how I live my life.

…huh, it appears that I have strayed far from the current path. Looking forward and back reveals nothing but dense thickets. Perhaps I should backtrack or continue forward, trusting my sense of direction to guide me through. Regardless, I must remain calm for I am still, after all, a stranger in this strange land.

“Hello, lone wolf.”

Who’s there?

“It seems you have lost. Would you like me to accompany you?”

Wait, it’s her. The mystery woman I encountered in my dream. Or is it really her? She looks… different from that time.

“I’m very sorry, but… have we met?”

“Well, of course we did~! Try to remember for me, please?” When I find myself unable to answer that question, mystery woman chuckles and waves her hand at me. “It doesn’t matter if you remember or not. Anyway, I take it that your acquired name’s Ein, yes? Reimu told me about a wolf that survived the Tunguska Event.”

“That would be me, correct.”

“To be able to live through an impact event and dismissed it as a Tuesday, you’re one hell of a survivor. Wonderful, even.” She snaps her fingers, and my ears and tail stand in full attention as a gap materializes out of nowhere and floats beside her. I’m about to ask mystery woman the purpose of this abomination when she gives my head an assuring pat. “You wanted to get out of this forest, right? Well, hop in. I’ll follow you from behind.”

I hesitantly glance at the gap. “Is this safe?”

“I would cast a spell that enables you to fly, but a flying wolf would be quite a sight to behold.” I still remain hesitant to accept the offer, and she senses my anxiety as she discards the gap with a wave of her hand. “Well, I suppose we could walk and waste our time talking to each other. What do you say?”

“…I’m sorry.”

“Aw, you don’t have to be so glum! Chin up, lone wolf! I’ll even be your friend, if you like~” Mystery woman startles me by wrapping her arms about my arms. Strong, so strong. Such otherworldly strength. And yet so warm and gentle, too. Her breath is nice, too. Smells of rose, even.

What is she anyway?

“So! What do you think about Gensokyo? It’s a wonderful land, isn’t it?”

“I… I don’t know. I guess I’m starting to like this place. I think.” Mystery woman lets go off me and begins to walk, in which I slowly follow her steps. “At least I don’t have to worry about them for now.”

“The hunters, am I correct?” I merely nod to answer her. “Or, if I’m bothered to correct you, poachers. Hunters kill to feed themselves and their siblings. Poachers kill because they’re greedy. Hunters stop before they’re getting full. Poachers won’t stop even when they’re bloated. Hunters respect nature. Poachers do not.”

“…they’re different,” I mutter.

“Yes, they are, but you won’t tell them apart from a first glance. A shame, because it would be easier for forest rangers to identify them and punish them for their crime against nature,” mystery woman answers. “Here, you only have to worry about hunters, because they hunt for a living. Not necessarily, because some of them do get riled up when they can’t get their trophy. Ah, we have arrived.”

We did? I throw my sight to the front and see the majestic waterfall. I must have been lost in time, because I didn’t know we’re already out of the forest. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” mystery woman says as she and I approach the edge of the cliff.

“Yes, it is beautiful.”

“Here in Gensokyo, nature is left to prosper and progress without the hands of humans interfering. Creatures of all kinds and shapes live as they are, free as a bird. No fear, no remorse, no pain.” I slowly digest her words and let them mingle inside my head. “The dragon and many other elders gave me a funny look when I proposed the formation of a safe haven for creatures that had been extinct or were becoming one. I suppose that was in… late seventeen-hundreds?”

“That was the purpose behind Gensokyo’s existence?”

“Yes and no.” My ears perk up once again. What does she mean by that? “You see, lone wolf, it’s not just creatures that are becoming extinct that need a sanctuary. There are many sanctuaries in the outside world, and it will be redundant if Gensokyo is repurposed to serve that purpose.” Mystery woman pats my head for the second time. “Gensokyo is a place where things that humans no longer believe in can exist, where they can live without the retribution of mankind. Creatures of mankind’s fantasy, creatures of old times, creatures whose purpose were and are no longer required.” She smirks. “Even inanimate objects end up here, oh yes. They’re more abundant, perhaps too abundant.”

…I don’t really get that last part. Inanimate objects, as in rocks and such?

“But alas! I’ve spoken my mind too much. Perhaps you will understand if you allow the adventure to call you~” mystery woman muses. “Besides, looks like you have guests.” What is she talking about-

“You!!”

I recognize that voice.

“You big, stupid, stinky bad wolf!”

I turn around-

“Yes! You! I’m talking to you!”

-and see Minoriko pointing angrily at me.

“What do you want?”

“I shall have my revenge! Prepare for retribution!”

A glance to Minoriko’s left side, and I can see Shizuha offering me an apologetic look. I look back at Minoriko, and she’s puffing her cheeks angrily. Retribution? What’s the matter, girl? Still feeling sticky after getting licked yesterday?

“Are you playing dumb, you big stupid stinky bad wolf?! Prepare yourself!”

Gah, why should I?

[ ] Humour her.
[ ] “Humour” her.
[ ] Don’t humour her.
[ ] Ignore her.
[ ] “Ignore” her.
[ ] Don’t ignore her.
[ ] Ask mystery woman for advice.
[ ] Snarl.
[ ] Pounce.
[ ] Act cool.

Don’t worry, guys. Mystery woman is just here to accompany Ein until she gets bored. Or “bored.” Whichever comes first.

Pack members Girls met so far (in order of appearance)
+ Hina
+ Aya
+ “Mystery woman”
+ Nitori
+ Shizuha
+ Minoriko
+ Reimu
+ Kyouko
+ Shou
+ Keine
+ Marisa
+ Kosuzu
+ Akyuu

=========
[x] Humour her.
[x] “Humour” her.
[x] Humour her.

Sure, why not.
[x] Pounce.

Pounce 2: Electric Boogaloo. Because if it's not broken, don't fix it!
[X] Pounce.
[x] “Pounce”
Sounds like someone wants another round of licking.

[X] Pounce.
[x] Humour her

Let's actually try to have things return to normal for once.
[X] Humour her.
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28997
Alright. We're going to humour Minoriko. Writing now.
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>>28997

[c] Let’s humour the goddess… by pouncing at her.

She’s clearly asking for it. Well, then. Let’s humour this lovely lady.

“I am the grey ghost of the forest.” I hold my ground and bring my head up. “Bow down before me and I shall spare your life. Refuse to yield and you shall face the wrath of the forest.”

“You! I will not fall to you and your reign of terror!” Minoriko replies.

I begin to walk, slowly and deliberately. “I shall stalk you, day and night, eyeing you with the hunger of an insatiate beast. I will make your night sleepless.”

“You can never provoke or scare me!” Minoriko shakes her fists at me to emphasise her defiance.

“And I shall prey and feast upon your delectable body.”

“Eek!!” The scandalized girl covers herself with her arms. “Anything but my body, you lecherous wolf!”

“I don’t care whether you are a human or a divine being.” I stop approaching her just to get a better look of her. “The fact remains that you taunted me, and it is enough to justify my action.”

“S-stop! I’m sorry! I won’t taunt you again, I promise!”

“Oh, no. Your apology won’t be enough. You’re going to pay for your indecency…” I pounce at Minoriko, once again pinning her on the ground. “…with your blood. Hmm, I have long craved for fresh and tender meat, and you happen to be the first I come across.”

I stare long and hard into her eyes, causing her to blush and breathe hard. Oh, she really has a nice curve. “P-please! Have mercy!”

“Promise me you will never taunt me after this.”

“I promise, I swear! Just let me go, please?”

“You’re a good girl.” I jump off Minoriko and step aside as Shizuha helps the tormented goddess to stand up. “I’m not in the mood to argue with anyone of you. What I did to you was merely a warning. Taunt me again, and I shall not hesitate to turn into a predator for real.” I bat my eyebrows teasingly at Minoriko. “Surely you don’t mind me licking and pinning you down the next time we meet, Minoriko?”

“No! Never in a million year!”

“Just admit it. The thought of being dominated has excited you somehow, isn’t it?”

“Y-you!!!”

“Minoriko, please stop.” Shizuha turns to me and bows apologetically. “Please, whatever you think about Minoriko, she never meant to make you upset. She’s just unfamiliar with a talking wolf, that’s all. But you can’t be serious about, uh, preying upon her, can you?”

“Look, do I look like something that would stalk people like you?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So stop being so hostile at me. I only did that because she had the bravery to taunt me.” I hear an amused giggle from behind me, so I turn around and see the mystery woman laughing at me. “That was not funny.”

“Oh, yes it is!” she answers. “To have this lone wolf humouring a local goddess and then, and then…” She’s unable to continue speaking as she clutches her belly and erupts in a loud laughter. How dare she laughing and making fun of me?

Mystery woman calms down afterward and rubs her chest. “Oh, dear. I’m terribly sorry for being this rude. I must not make my honoured guest look foolish.”

“You don’t say.”

“But!” She suddenly points at us, causing both Shizuha and Minoriko to yelp. “I am glad that this lone wolf of the outside world has made some friends, and with lovely and delectable goddesses of autumn, too. I don’t have to worry about his welfare after this.”

“If you’re a friend to this wolf, then tell him to stop pouncing at me and licking me! It’s so disgusting!” Minoriko barks.

“Oh, no, I would be stealing the fun if I do. Besides, you seem to be enjoying it already, the feeling of being pinned down and dominated by masculine male~” mystery woman chirps.

“No! I won’t submit myself to the likes of him!” Minoriko wails.

Mystery woman ignores Minoriko’s tantrum and turns to us. “Whatever you’re going to do with Ein, please look after him for me. I wish could stay by his side all day, but such privilege always evades me.”

“W-well, we can do it for you if that’s what you want,” Shizuha speaks.

“Good, because starting today my schedule will be very hectic, for I have urgent matters beyond the world that require my immediate attention.” Mystery woman waves to us as she walks into a gap that appears behind her. “Oh, Ein?”

“What is it?”

“Wolves are known to be very loyal to their subject, so why don’t you show these girls how much you value this loyalty?” She winks at me, and seconds later she and the gap vanish in thin air.

“…I can’t believe it,” I hear Shizuha muttering in surprise. “I can’t believe we actually talked to Yakumo Yukari.”

Yakumo Yukari. Finally I learn the identity of the mystery woman. “Do you know her?” I inquire.

“Yes, we do. In fact, everybody at the mountains knows her,” Shizuha says. “It’s very rare for her to come to this place. Usually she only goes to the shrine at the top of the mountain and never around here, so… anyway, now that she wants us to become your friends, would you, uh, like me to keep you company?”

“I don’t see why not.”

“Thank you so much.” She follows me as I head back to the edge of cliff. She sits down next to me, and I can’t help noticing her getting nervous as she closes the distance between me and her. “Oh, wow, I didn’t think I’d be able to talk to a wolf. I, uh…”

“Just say it.”

“I’m a bit nervous, and happy.” She giggles and twirls her hair around her finger. “What I’m trying to say here is, uh, you’re a friendly wolf. Like, a really big, friendly wolf! …I don’t think you’d allow somebody else to play around you, though.”

“Funny you said that, because I used to be popular around children.”

“Oh, you have family? May I know where they are now? Are they doing fine?”

I throw my gaze skyward. “Playing with the angels and looking down at this lone wolf, probably.”

“Ah, I-I’m sorry! I didn’t know your family’s already… I shouldn’t ask you about it anymore, I’m sorry,” Shizuha apologizes.

“Thanks for the sympathy. I appreciate it.” My heart skips a bit when I feel her body leaning against me. “You know, Shizuha. Being a big, friendly wolf doesn’t mean I’d allow myself to be used as a resting post. Or a plaything.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t help it,” Shizuha giggles. “You see, I’ve learnt to overcome my fear of wolves ever since Mister Garou became my friend.”

“Garou?” I think I heard the name from Aya before. Who is this fellow?

“Don’t you know? He’s a big name around here. He seldom leaves the tengu village, but when he does he always comes to our place. He even lets us play with him, too.”

“And that’s where you got the idea of a big and friendly wolf.”

“Yes, he was the one who told me to not be afraid of wolves.” I flinch in a sudden when Shizuha touches the scar on my face, yet I stay still as she examines this old wound with interest. “Where did you get this scar, and how?”

“I had it while escaping the hunters. It was a reminder of the day I… lost everything I cherished and treasured to them.” My rant’s interrupted when Shizuha hugs me. It’s so sudden, it’s so unexpected, and yet… it’s so welcoming.

“I’m sorry to hear that. If there’s anything I can to help you, please let me know.” I nuzzle my nose on her face and rest my head upon her shoulder. I need not to say a word to let her know that I appreciate her sincere offer to help.

And she’s kind of warm, just like Hina.

“Okay, you two. Are you done? Cut it out, this is not the time for soap drama.” Both of us pull away from each other and turn to Minoriko. “To see Shizuha cuddling a big bad wolf while ignoring me, her sister who’s worried to death over her safety, I’m so jealous!”

“If you really wanted to hug me, you could’ve just asked,” I point out.

“Nope, no thanks. Not to you,” she replies.

“Fine, but you’re missing out the good thing. It’s your loss.”

“Don’t you dare taunting me, you big bad wolf.”

“Says the girl who taunted me first. And I could tackle you to the ground and lick you all over again if I would.”

“Why you…!”

What to do next, Ein?
[ ] Stay with goddesses of autumn.
[ ] Continue the adventure.
[ ] Return to Hina’s place.
[ ] Find Nitori.
[ ] Find Garou.

>>28870
You’re missing my point, Anon. Don’t you want to have Hina/female!Wolfonymous sandwich with Aya as its filling for breakfast? Inb4 Ein forming a harem of gorgeous goddesses, hot crow tengu and energetic kappa girl.

Also, my apology for the delay. I’m recovering from post-holiday blues, so yeah. But writing will resume as usual, so please wait warmly~
[x] Return to Hina’s place.

Golly, I sure hope they're done. I would hate to walk in on something.
[X] Stay with goddesses of autumn.

Aki sisters are best sisters.
[X] Stay with goddesses of autumn.
[X] Stay with goddesses of autumn.
[x] Stay with goddesses of autumn.

Let's spend some time with them that and show Minoriko Ein's better side.
[ ] Stay with goddesses of autumn.
Because Minoriko & Shizuha
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Alright, we'll be staying with Aki Sisters after this. Writing now.
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Sorry for the delay, but my computer broke down and I had to make do with writing this update at cyber cafe. Please bear with this lowly writefag.



……

………

[c] Stay with goddesses of autumn.

“Want to come with us, Ein? I want to show you something really nice!”

“I can’t see why you want to take the wolf with you, Shizuha.”

“Come on, Mino! Give him a chance, will you?”

Amidst the hot debate between the sisters, we arrive at our destination deep in the forest. I see a spot of clearing at the centre of this location, and Shizuha wastes no time running to the middle of this confined area. “This is our secret playground!” she answers, as if she knows I'd be asking her the question. “Not many people or creatures know how to get here, and you're going to be the first.”

She spreads her arms wide open, and I stand on my ground, astounded and awestruck, as dried leaves magically get blown off the ground. It's very magical, very glorious, and seeing Shizuha smiling widely as she performs this feat makes me wonder if she has awaited so long for this.

“Come, Ein! Let’s play!”

I approach Shizuha and walk around her in circles, letting the leaves fall down around me. More leaves are blown off the ground, this time circulating around both her and I. Then, to my surprise, she jumps on me and nuzzles her face on me, her arms tightly wrapped around my neck. I“I hope you don't mind me doing this to you~” I hear whispering happily.

Who am I to refuse her?

The two of us stay together like this, even as the dried leaves stop circling us and slowly fall down to the ground. Shizuha keeps holding onto me, never letting go of this self for even a split second, and I remain still, not wanting to deny her this privilege. This is actually nice, to have a nice girl hugging me and never letting me go. I wish the winged girl could learn a thing or two from Shizuha...

“Good golly, look at that. Getting hugged by the goddess of leaves and enjoying this magical scenery. Boo-hoo, I envy the big bad wolf.”

Just like that, my good quality time is ruined.

“My sister likes you, so you better not break her heart.” Minoriko points her finger at me. “If you do, prepare to face the wrath of the goddess of harvest.”

“If you really want to join, you could have asked..”

“Pfft! Not when you're around. Sorry, big bad wolf, but I'll pass,” Minoriko says.

“Come, Mino~ let's hug Ein and enjoy his warmth~” Shizuha murmurs dreamily as she buries her face beneath my furry coat. I look back and forth between her and Minoriko, and the girl with fruit hat harrumphs and folds her arms. I find this act of defiance amusing, though I can't help wondering if she secretly wants to join Shizuha as well.

My ears perk up. My head jerks to the right, throwing Shizuha off balance. My eyes stare straight at a part of the forest, and my heart suddenly sinks. It's like there's an unspeakable horror that's watching us. Instinct takes over, and I immediately lower my stance, growling defensively at whatever this threat is.

“Ein? Is there something wrong?”

The threat reveals itself. My eyes widen in a mixture of shock and horror. It's a wolf, but not just a wolf. It's a giant wolf, and its towering figure dwarves me as it stares at me.

Shit.

[ ] Stand your ground, Ein.
[ ] Drop down and play dead.
[ ] Keep growling.
[ ] Pounce.
[ ] Wow, such height.
[z] Keep growling.
[x] Wow, such height.

the joke answer, it calls to me
[x] Wow, such height.

Much Garou. Wow.
[X] Stand your ground, Ein.
[x] Wow, such height.
[X] Stand your ground, Ein.
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Alright. The votes have been called. Writing now, please wait patiently.
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[c] Stand your ground, Ein.
[c]Wow, such height.


I shouldn’t do anything that may startle this wolf. Sure, he’s a kin or a brother, but that doesn’t mean that I should jump at it and nuzzle on its face. The worst that could happen is that the wolf attacks me out of aggression or as an act of defence and I have to fight back, endangering Shizuha and her sister in turn.

“Mister Garou!”

Shizuha runs past me and hurls herself at the wolf. It appears unfazed as Shizuha tightly hugs it, and its focus is momentarily distracted when Shizuha starts asking her various questions. I keep on watching, unaware that Minoriko’s already standing by my side or that she’s ruffling me between the ears.

“You see that?” I can’t tell whether she’s directing the question at me or her. “Ever since Shizuha’s made friend with that old wolf, she’s forgotten the scary aspects of wolves. Well, this is Gensokyo, so things may not like what you think.”

Shizuha lets go off the big wolf and returns to me, an expression of excitement and eagerness painted upon her face. “Come, Ein! Let me introduce you to Mister Garou!” Without giving me a chance to speak my mind she drags me toward this wolf, all while its eyes are carefully examining me. How I feel so small and insignificant in its presence…

“Mister Garou, this is Ein. He just arrived here, so please be nice to him. Ein, I’d like you to meet Mister Garou. He’s the reason I’m not scared of wolves, and I mean real wolves!” Her face is practically glowing as she introduces us to each other.

“You’re embarrassing this old wolf, Shizuha,” this wolf chuckles. Oh, it can talk, too, and without any apparatus, either.

“Both of you can sit down and talk to each other, okay? I’ll be right back!” Shizuha lets go off me and goes off to another direction, presumably to talk with Minoriko. And that leaves me looking up at this wolf. This majestic being, exerting an aura of magnificence that one would expect to see from a creature that has seen everything in its entire life. I don’t want to say this, too, but… wow. Such height.

“Tell me, young one. Are you the one who howled to the moon last night?” I nervously nod. “Just as I thought. It’s been a long time since I last heard the howl of a Siberian wolf. Two hundred years, if this old fang can remember.”

Wait. What?

“Shameimaru talked about a wolf that came from the outside world days ago, and she wouldn’t stop talking about it ever since,” Garou says, chuckling at the end of the sentence. “And she even complained to me that you don’t want to be her friend.”

“That’s only because she wants to lust over me, that winged girl,” I grumble. “I swear to myself if she ever tries to rub herself on my tail again…”

Garou laughs softly. “Ah, that girl. Always salivating over her subject of utmost desire, not caring of people’s opinion. Don’t mind her; she’ll soon forget why she’s targeting in the first place.”

“I’ll chomp on her wings if she doesn’t,” I add.

“Not very friendly, aren’t we?” Garou asks. I glare at this wolf, annoyed that he would make such assumption. “As expected of a lone wolf. Take your time; friendship isn’t built in one day. Or is it because you’re still tied to your past?”

Hold on. Why is Garou suddenly mentioning my past? Who told him about it? Damn it, it must be that winged girl, I knew it!

“It is not wrong to remember the past. After all, without the past there won’t be the present. Without the present there won’t be the future.” Garou moves a bit and sits next to me. “You cannot let the past control you, however, because if you do you won’t be able to appreciate the time you live in.”

…sounds awfully familiar to advices grandfather often told me. How and why?

“Ah, but I’m wasting my time on youngsters as I’ve always been. Please forgive this old fang.” Why is he asking for forgiveness? He didn’t do anything that deserves an apology. At least he’s being polite, though.

“Tell me, young one. How did you find your way to Youkai Mountains? It’s very uncommon for animals to discover this place, let alone a wolf.” I get this feeling that I will be asked this question wherever I go. Still, it would be rude not to answer Garou’s question.

“I followed the sound of the crashing waterfall.” I can notice Garou’s eyes widening slightly in intrigue; he probably thinks I’m making up a story. “My grandfather often told me about a place where everyone could live without the fear of persecution, and I was uh…”

“Siberia’s a long way from this place, young one. You’d have to swim across the sea just to reach the coast,” Garou says.

“I don’t know how I found the way, even. I just kind of… followed my footstep,” I reply. I start panicking when Garou stares at me strangely. “The important thing is, I’m here and I live, so…”

“Fluffy!!!!”

Winged girl appears out of nowhere, and just like that she buries her face beneath my fur. “Hina’s being a big bully! I don’t want to be bullied!” She’s practically whining. And she’s using my shoulder to cry on. I don’t even.

“…this is why I don’t like her,” I mutter.

“Not even you? You’re the same as Hina!” winged girl cries. “No! Wait! You’re even worse! At least Hina was just touching me, and I’m fine with Hina touching me, because her touch is heavenly!” For a moment, her gaze becomes dreamy, and she peculiarly murmurs Hina’s name a couple of times. Is she obsessed over Hina?

She snaps back from her daydream and clenches her hands on my skin oh goddamn it that hurts! “But you’re not! You want to eat me!”

I glare at her. “You’re a crow. I’m a wolf. Deal with it.”

“Your words wound me, Fluffy! How could you!” she complains.

“Then do me a favour and rub yourself on Garou.” That does the trick, because Aya has realized that she has misbehaved in front of Garou, and that he’s staring at her almost exasperatedly.

“Ehehehe… hello, Garou,” Aya meekly says. “It’s, uh, a pleasant day to walk, isn’t it?”

“Why, Shameimaru, It indeed is a good day to enjoy the scenery,” Garou replies. “And I expect this pure and honest reporter to behave as accordingly, too.”

“Well, about that, uh…” She’s looking back and forth between Garou and I, face burning brightly. It’s clear that she’s greatly embarrassed by her indecency. “Ah! I almost forgot I have to finish compiling the survey! Until we meet again, adios!” She leaps off the ground and streaks across the sky, not bothering to look back.

“That girl. Even a millennium later, she still needs to learn to respect people’s privacy.” A millennium? Are you telling me that winged girl is a thousand years old, Garou? “Don’t let her manners fool you. She’s the most powerful and influential person in the society, and she could easily replace Tenma if she would. God knows why she chose to become a journalist instead.”

“And you’re not?” I dare myself to ask.

“I’d rather keep myself out of their political game.” I don’t understand what Garou’s saying, but I’ll go along with it.

Shizuha and Minoriko return after their lengthy discussion. The older of the sisters hurls at me and encircle her arms about my neck. I find myself at loss of words when both Minoriko and Garou are snickering at my attempt to look tough. If I could chase them off I would do so, but that means Shizuha would be disappointed at me.

“I’m not to be hugged like this,” I sigh in defeat.

“Oh, will you stop being so denial? Shizuha likes you, get over it,” Minoriko says.

“Then do me a favour and cuddle Garou instead,” I tell her. This causes Minoriko to furiously blush, and Garou to look at me amusedly.

“Y-you! Why you!!” Minoriko hisses.

“Admit it. You want to hug this oh-so-fluffy thing but you’re too proud to say it aloud.” It’s my turn to mock Minoriko. “Or would you prefer to be dominated all over again? I bet you are.”

“No! Never! Never!” Minoriko wails.

“Come, Mino~ let’s enjoy the fluffiness~” Shizuha mutters dreamily.



……

………

After spending the remainder of the morning with my newfound friends, we part way and head to each other’s destination. I bid them farewell and leave the playground with a multitude of feelings I never thought to have. Befriending two lovely goddesses is one thing, but to know a fellow wolf that had probably lived longer than I is another. At least I got to see Aya acting very awkwardly in Garou’s presence.

I make haste to Hina’s home. Upon arrival I see her discussing with Nitori at the river, and there’s another person with them. I didn’t remember meeting her before, and I assume she must be one of Hina’s acquaintances. What sets the person apart from Hina or Nitori is that she’s carrying an oversized sword on her shoulder, and she seems unfazed by its ungainly size, too.

…they look kind of busy. I shouldn’t barge in and just head to my resting spot; playing with Aki Sisters and exchanging ideas with Garou have left me tired and reeling. But if I don’t announce my arrival, I might worry them especially Hina. I should decide now.

[ ] Greet them.
[ ] Stay wherever we are and observe.
[ ] Siberian wolf is tired, needs to rest.
[ ] Be a good wolf and sit down.

Ein being the fluffy one? Wait until he meets Gensokyo’s true lords of fluff. Once again, sorry for the delay.
[x] Greet them.
[x] Greet them.
[X] Greet them.

>“Hina’s being a big bully! I don’t want to be bullied!”
>“No! Wait! You’re even worse! At least Hina was just touching me, and I’m fine with Hina touching me, because her touch is heavenly!”
Hypocrisy, thy name is Aya.

>Ein being the fluffy one? Wait until he meets Gensokyo’s true lords of fluff.
You say that like he won't be inducted into the group against his will.
[0] Greet them.

> she’s carrying an oversized sword on her shoulder, and she seems unfazed by its ungainly size, too.

Momiji?
[X] Greet them.
File 141939097440.jpg - (291.91KB, 800x600, Snow-Wolf-Wallpapers-1.jpg) [iqdb]
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[c] Greet them.

There’s nothing wrong in greeting them, right? I mean, I’ve known Hina and Nitori for days now, and I’m certain they will help me with the sword-carrying girl, too. No doubt the girl will question my presence, but she will understand. She will.

“There you are, Ein!”

“Is there something wrong?” I ask as I approach them.

“No, nothing in particular. Just wanted to see whether the communicator’s functioning or not,” Nitori says. “Having fun with it?”

“Can’t say I enjoy having an inanimate beetle on my head, but it’s been helpful so far,” I answer. My attention, however, is diverted to the sword-carrying girl, though she hasn’t noticed my presence. “And what business does she have with you?”

“Momiji? She’s taking a break from her duty. Her subject has gone somewhere in the forest, she told us. Hey, Momiji! Want to meet Ein?” The girl with the sword turns around. She turns to Hina and whispers something to her before she turns back at me. Without any warning whatsoever, sword girl approaches me. She kneels in front of me, staring intently at me. I find myself becoming agitated, especially when she places her hand between my ears as to give me a pat. Normally, I would object to such intrusive gesture, but I feel somewhat pleased when she does this. In fact, it feels like I’ve known her for a long time, strangers as we may seem.

“You are Ein, correct? Nitori told me a lot of things about you.” She pulls her hand off my head and smiles. “Aren’t you something? You should know that we tengu don’t appreciate outsiders trespassing our territory as they please.” And she surprises me by speaking in the language I’m born with: the language of the wolves.

[“Not all of them harbour ill feeling toward you. As a matter of fact, we were very excited when we heard news of a wolf from the outside world coming here!”]

[“…thanks?”]

[“You have no idea. Many of us were dying to see you in person. You can thank Miss Aya for that, too.”] As she says this, her tail is wagging left and right in excitement, totally betraying the calm demeanour her face’s showing. Getting restless, aren’t you sword girl?

[“Anyway, uh, Inubashiri Momiji!”] Her tail stops wagging. [“Pleased to meet you, and don’t be afraid to ask me anything, okay?”] She pats me for the second time, giggling while giving my ears a few scratches. [“Also, please howl to the moon like you did last night. I-I mean, we want to listen to it again. It was splendid; very nostalgic, even.”]

Sword girl excuses herself and returns to Hina, presumably to discuss about something. I take a few seconds to digest her last words, and it occurs to me that Momiji just asked me to howl to the moon again. I would have rolled on the ground in excitement, and I could have done it had it not if Nitori didn’t approach me. And she looks kind of very apprehensive, too.

“What kind of language were you and Momiji talking in? The communicator couldn’t pick up everything you said!” Nitori inquires.

“We spoke the wolves’ language,” I tell her.

“Say what?!” Nitori moans. “Damn, I need to upgrade the communicator after this. But seriously? Language of the wolves? No one has spoken that dead language since, well, whenever!”

Your words wound me, Nitori! The language is not dead, thank you very much. “Then do some more research, okay?”

“Jeez, Ein, you don’t have to be so uptight with me,” Nitori grumbles.

“Not today, Nitori. I’m tired of having anymore argument…” I leave Nitori with her own device and approach Hina. Noticing my arrival she wraps her arms about my neck, giggling as she rests her chin upon my head. “I should warn you that I’m not a plaything, Hina.”

“You can do that to Aya, but you can never do that to me,” Hina giggles and tightens the hug. “You’re cuddly and fluffy and warm. Is it wrong for me to admire these qualities of yours?”

“Stop it. I’m not cuddly, and I’m definitely not fluffy,” I complain.

“Oh? Does that mean you’re going to do the same thing you wanted to do to Aya? You know, pouncing at me and eating me good~? ♥” Wait, what? What on earth is Hina talking about? And why did she say the second question in whispers? And why are both Momiji and Nitori staring at me wide-eyed before they avert their gazes? Somebody tell me!

“Gotcha.” Hina laughs and pinches both my cheeks. “That was a joke. Were you thinking of something else, you big bad wolf?”

“Please don’t make jokes like that again, Lady Kagiyama! It’s… it’s too horrid!” Momiji moans in disapproval. Nitori is at loss of words and simply loses consciousness, falling into the ground with a loud thud.

“Oh? Why shouldn’t I, Momiji~?” Hina asks foxily.

“Because you were implying that Ein is, uh, a predator!”

“Well, of course! Aya is a crow, while Ein is a wolf. It’s only natural that wolves prey upon crows. Right, Ein?”

“Lady Kagiyama!”

Speaking of crows, I ask Hina what happened to Aya after I left. She explains that Aya made a hasty exit and went off to find me, complaining that she had been bullied by Hina. Hina’s smile becomes somewhat smug when I ask if she really did bully winged girl, and this worries me. Is she really that superior compared to Aya?

“By the way, Ein.”

“What is it?”

“Was that the wolves’ language you spoke a while ago? Will you teach it to me?”

“Uh, I can try if you want. But why?”

“It’s a goddess’ secret~♥”

Choose your next activity:
[ ] Bask under the sun with Hina.
[ ] Follow Nitori and be blinded by science.
[ ] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.
[ ] Find and play with Aki Sisters.
[ ] Sit on the riverbank and have a conversation with ‘face’.
[ ] Answer the call for adventure.

Hina, you big tease you. And in case I forgot, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone in TH-P.com.

Touhou girls met (in order of appearance):
+ Hina
+ Aya
+ Yukari
+ Nitori
+ Shizuha
+ Minoriko
+ Reimu
+ Kyouko
+ Shou
+ Keine
+ Marisa
+ Akyuu
+ Kosuzu
+ Momiji
[x] Sit on the riverbank and have a conversation with ‘face’.

This option calls to me.
[x] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.

Touch fluffy tails.
[X] Find and play with Aki Sisters.

LOCAL WOLF DOMINATES MINOR GODS: MORE INSIDE
[X] Find and play with Aki Sisters.
[X] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.

Will this pack accept a lone wolf? Of course!
[X] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.
[x] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.
[x] Find and play with Aki Sisters.
Vote spam request; those Saged votes are really suspicious.
>>29189
Any specific reason you'd think that? Because I just generally sage all of my votes.
[X] Answer the call for adventure.
We're a Wolf in a strange new land! It's about time we go to some adventuring!
>>29190
votes aren't saged and the high amount of votes compared to usual is also a red flag.
>>29192
I was always under the impression that you should sage everything that isn't an author updating, although looking at the how to survive THP thread, that seems to not always include votes. I certainly wouldn't use it as proof that someone is doing something duplicitous though.

For that matter, 8 votes isn't really that high.
>>29193
Votes usually aren't saged unless it's been a considerable amount of time since the last vote or update. After all, especially if they state an actual reason, it might provoke someone who hasn't voted yet to vote, or someone who has voted to change their vote, but if it doesn't bump the thread, there's a good chance they wont see it.
>>29193
For this story 8 is rather high.

>>29194
That's sort of why I'm suspicious of saged votes: attempts to tip things and hide it.
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Alright, we'll be meeting Momiji and them canine siblings. Please wait warmly while this writefag is preparing~
>>29196
For a story that was averaging like 12 votes an update earlier in the thread, 8 votes in the christmas season (where voters are more likely to be on) isn't high, even if the last few votes before it averaged closer to 5. Furthermore 2 saged votes for different choices feels like a weird thing to harp on, but whatever.
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Note: dialogues in [brackets] denote wolf language being spoken.

[c] Get acquainted with Momiji and her canine siblings.

“You want me to come with you?” I ask.

“Yes! I mean, it will be an honour for us to see you up close. Are you not happy to be able to see your own kind?”

“I would like to, but…” I turn to Hina for a second opinion. “I… should I go?”

“Why, yes you should. It’s a good opportunity to know your own kind closer, like she said,” Hina says.

I turn back to Momiji. I notice her tail swishing around in apparent excitement, and she doesn’t even bother to hide it. Apparently she’s very eager to introduce me to the rest of the pack, so to speak. “Please! Will you follow me? Please say yes, Ein. Please?”

“I… well…” I look back at Hina, who’s offering me one of her trusting smiles. Then I turn back to Momiji, who’s gotten very restless. I don’t really have the mood to continue my venturing, but this may be a good time to get acquainted with other people.

I approach Hina. She looks at me expectantly before she hurls herself at me, hugging me very tightly. “Hina, stop teasing me like that again.”

“I can’t help it~” Hina hugs me again, tighter this time. “You’ve been very sulky since you came here. I figured I should do something that would cheer you up, and since you don’t like what Aya did to you…”

She falls silent. I wait.

And I wait.

And I keep on waiting.

She’s not saying anything.

Uh, I don’t like this.

“Are you angry at me?”

“Of course I’m not!” A pause. “…well, a little bit. I appreciate your intention, and I’m grateful for that. It’s just… what you did to me a while ago was too…”

“Outrageous?” She giggles. Oh, Hina, do you have no regret whatsoever? “Yes, I’m aware of it. Yes, I know that I might have gone a bit too far. Yes, I know I’m to blame for it.”

“Then I should be angry at you.”

Hina giggles again and pats me. “We have a lot of time to talk about it, and I’m looking forward to it. Anyway, go ! Momiji is awaiting you already~”

After bidding Hina farewell, we head to the waterfall where Momiji’s workplace is located. I’m more interested in meeting her siblings than learning about her profession, and I’m curious about how a wolf society would look like in Gensokyo. I’m putting my trust on Momiji to introduce me to them.

[“Does Lady Kagiyama do that to you often? The, uh, teasing, I mean?”] Momiji asks as we walk alongside the cliff that faces the waterfall.

[“As far as I know, that was the first time she ever did that.”] I take a quick glance at the roaring waterfall. [“Let me guess: you were surprised that she would say such thing.”]

[“Surprised? I was downright disgusted! Lady Kagiyama I know wouldn’t do or say such embarrassing thing!”] Momiji says.

[“Maybe you should dig deeper and unravel Hina’s guilty secrets.”]

[“Uh, I think I’ll pass. So, Ein, is it true that you were hunted at the outside world?”]

It must be Aya who told Momiji about my backstory. Since the pesky crow isn’t here, I guess I can answer her curiosity to my heart’s content. [“They weren’t just hunting me. They went all the way to kill everyone in my family: parents, brothers, sisters, the elders, the children, even expectant mothers. I was spared only because they wanted to sell me as pet.”]

[“That’s… horrible.”]

[“I get that a lot since I came here.”]

[“Don’t worry, Ein! I’m very sure my sisters will take a great care of you. You can count on that!”]

[“Thanks for the sympathy, but I think I’ll stay with Hina for time being.”] We keep on walking. [“So tell me, where are we exactly headed to?”]

[“The Mountain Guards Division is located at the waterfall. Most of the wolf tengu live there, though there are some, me included, who are stationed elsewhere around the mountain.”]

[“And the reason we’re going there is?”]

[“I need to report to my officer before lunch time. You don’t have to worry about that; it’s just the guards’ daily routine.”]

We arrive at our destination. Momiji tells the gatekeepers that I’m coming with her, and despite getting cold shoulders I’m allowed to enter the settlement. This place appears to be desolate, what with so few people here and there.

“That’s strange. I thought my sisters would pounce at me like they always do,” Momiji says.

“They might be sent to do some errands,” I suggest.

“Maybe you’re right.” We continue walking past several buildings until we arrive at the biggest building in the settlement. “The headquarters is located here. Guards report in and take their assignments here.”

A loud commotion catches our attention. As we turn around, I see a group of girls running from the opposite side of the settlement and— hold on, aren’t they approaching us a bit too fast?

“Oh, there you are. I was looking for you—”

Momiji promptly gets ignored as the girls run past her and pounce at me. Instinct kicks in, and I immediately jump out of their reach, causing two of the girls to crash into the wall. Landing next to the bewildered Momiji, I stand my ground and snarl defensively at the girls. I’m dismayed that my presence is not welcomed, but I’m even more upset that these girls deliberately ignore Momiji.

“Wow! Such fluffiness! Very soft! Much warmth! Oh my god, wow!”

Say what now?

“We have found fluffy tail! We must touch it!”

The girls pounce at me. Again I evade them and jump away from them.

“Quick! Corner him! We must acquire fluffy tail!”

I tackle the girls in front of me and run up to the roof. I don’t know how I did it, but now I have the higher ground.

“Come down, Fluffy! Let us touch your fluffy tail! Pretty please?”

I’d rather die than to let them defile my self-esteem!

“Ein! Please calm down! These are my sisters!” Momiji shouts from the ground.

“Tell them to stop chasing after my tail!” I shout back.

“No!! Please let us touch fluffy tail! Pretty please?!” the girls moan. Just piss off and die, you piece of—

“I was away for barely half a day, and what is going on?”

All of us immediately stand erect. Approaching us from the direction of the gate is Garou, and the girls immediately give the wolf a big berth as he approaches the building I’m standing on. “Are you alright, Ein?” Garou asks.

“Do I look alright to you?” I bark.

Garou turns himself to face the restless mob. “For your knowledge, Ein is very iffy when it comes to having his tail touched.” I leap off the building and stand guard beside Garou. Good of you to have come, Garou! I don’t know what I should do with them! “Another thing I must add: he comes from the outside world, thus he’s unfamiliar with Gensokyo and all.”

“But Garou, you’re too old to have your tail touched,” one of the girls complains.

“Yeah! Besides, you always go outdoors whenever we want to have fun with you,” another wolf girl huffs.

“Do I have to remind you that I have lived longer than any of you?” The girls quieten and are averting their gaze. “I don’t mind if you want to frolic with me, I can understand that. But please show some restraint in from of Ein. He’s my guest starting today.”

“Jeez, Garou, you don’t have to so uptight with us…”

“Come again Inui?”

“I-I mean, yes! We understand! We’ll… we’ll leave immediately.”

The girls scamper off to different directions. I turn my head to Momiji, who is now avoiding eye contact. “I… I should find Miss Aya and talk to her about this. She was responsible for spreading news about your arrival,” she mutters. “I’m sorry, Ein. I didn’t know this would happen.”

“That was bad, Momiji. You should feel bad for allowing that to happen.”

“I told you I’m sorry!” Apology isn’t enough, Momiji. I trusted you, and this is what I get in return? Do you realize how badly hurt my feeling is right now? “What’s the matter with you, Ein? What did we ever do wrong?”

I’ve had enough of this. This is not the place I’m supposed to be at. “I should go.”

“Ein! Wait!”



……

………

Damn it. Just… damn it.

I was expecting the community to at least treat me well as a guest, but instead I almost got treated like a plaything. As if Aya and her sickening obsession aren’t bad enough, now I have fanatics who will stop at nothing to touch me? Had I known this would happen, I would have gone somewhere else instead.

I groan in defeat. Moping won’t do anything, and neither is complaining. I should head back to Hina’s place and call it a day. After the madness I’ve gone through, I want to drop on the grass and fall asleep…

“Is that you, Garou?”

I look up. A winged girl is spotted descending towards me. Is that Aya? If it is that pesky crow, I’ve come prepared.

“Wait a minute. You’re not Garou. Garou is huge, and you’re… not. Oops.”

It’s not Aya. The twin-tails and chequered skirt are a giveaway. Aya’s colleague? Her close friend? If she’s here to bother me, I’m going to shoo her away.

“Umm, is there something wrong?”

I ignore the girl and close my eyes. I don’t need anyone to accompany me. Just leave me alone and mind your own business, okay?

…I peek at my unwelcomed visitor. She’s still here. Does she not understand that her presence is unneeded?

“Well, I can tell that you’ve had a bad day. Right?” As if she understands what I have gone through. She doesn’t seem to notice me sulking as she plops down beside me. “Would you like to talk about it? I don’t mind listening.”

I should do something about the girl.

[ ] Keep ignoring her.
[ ] Get up and leave.
[ ] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.

“It’s scallops time!”
“No, SATA! No!”

[x] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.

Let's give Hatate a chance.

Also both Doge and fluffy tail in the same update? Ha.
[x] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.
[x] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.

at least she hasn't gone after fluffy tail yet
[z] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened
[x] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.
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29250
Alright, after a long delay, I'm calling it now for trusting Hatate. Writing now.
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[c] She seems trustworthy. Maybe I should let her know what happened.

This girl seems trustworthy and respectful of others. Maybe, just maybe, I should let her know what happened. So I do, opening a can of misery and revealing its content to her. I care less about whether or not she’s interested in the story, I just need to let it out.

“You’re angry at them because they’re only interested in touching your tail.”

Of course I’m angry. It’s like they have nothing else to touch. It hurts me just thinking of it. And there’s no way I’ll let them defile me as they wish! Never!

“You know what do I think?” Twin-tails girl throws her sight up to the sky above and smiles. “They’re just following the trend. Sooner or later they’ll forget about it. Just another Tuesday in Tengu Society, trust me.”

You think they’ll forget about it?

“After all, that’s what people at the outside world often do.”

I have no idea what you’re talking about, twin-tails. Wait a minute; you’re telling me that touching fluffy tail is a trend at the outside world?

“Oh, this is so silly!” twin-tails girl giggles. “Why on earth am I talking to a wolf? I should get back to work.” She stands up, but hesitates for a while before she plops back down on the grass. “You know what? I’ve had enough of the vote counting. Why can’t she ask somebody else to do her bidding, that Aya… and seriously. Fluffy, of all things? And why couldn’t I cast my own vote, jeez?”

Looks like someone’s on the same wavelength as me.

“I mean, okay. I can understand it if someone wants to name a wolf Takumi or Mulder or Kato, but Fluffy? She can be so childish sometimes,” twin-tail girl complains.

Like anyone would name their thing Fluffy. Do you have any suggestion, twin-tails?

“If you ask me, I’d give it names like Spartacus or Leonidas or Hannibal. Way better than Fluffy.” I’m not sure if I can appreciate being named after historical figures, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

“Anyway, I’m bored.” Twin-tails girl falls on her back and brings something out of her shirt; it looks like a device of sort, and why is she tapping her fingers on it? “I was planning to visit Moriya Shrine or human village today, but if I do that people would think I’m on an interview hunt. What, helloooooo? I’m nowhere as obsessed as she is!” She brings the device above her and— did I just hear it click? “Just because I’m a tengu journalist doesn’t mean I have to play by the book’s rule. Why must it be ‘you must interview people if you want your newspapers to be popular’ and ‘it’s not like people will believe everything in newspapers, so get over it’?”

I’m afraid I lost you, twin-tails.

“And that Aya, always mixing fact with her own opinions in all the articles she wrote. Does she expect people to one-hundred-percent believe everything she publishes?” twin-tails girl continues complaining. “Jeez, why am I the one who’s spilling out my misery? It’s not like you’d understand my problem, would you?”

I have nothing to say about that. I’m sorry.

“Yeah, maybe I just talk to somebody who can actually give an opinion. Sorry for letting you hear it.” There’s another click from the device. Now I’m curious; what is she really doing? “Hmm? You want to know what I just did? It’s called selfie. You bring your camera to the front like this, smile to the camera, press the button, and…”

CLICK

“It’s done! Here, let me show you.” Twin-tails girl shows me something on the, uh, camera thing. That’s me and the girl, and… wow, I look upset. Really, really upset. “Very useful, isn’t it? You can take pictures of yourself anywhere and anytime you like! I do this a lot whenever I’m not writing an article, it’s fun. Wanna take another?”

I don’t want to argue with her. She likes what she’s doing, why should I question it?

Choose an activity to do later:
[ ] Follow twin-tails girl wherever she goes.
[ ] Visit human’s village.
[ ] Go to the Moriya Shrine.
[ ] Head back to Hina’s place.
[ ] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).

And so selfie becomes Gensokyo’s latest trend, courtesy of Hatate.
[x] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).

Then Maybe Hina's, but I won't complain too much about hanging around with Hatate.
[z] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).

Seems like the best thing to do.
[x] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).
[X] Follow twin-tails girl wherever she goes.
[X] Go to the Moriya Shrine.
Why should we apologize anyway?
[X] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).

>>29258
Because Ein snapped at Momiji for how her sisters behaved. She didn't know they would act like that, and they are responsible for their actions.
>>29259
I suppose that was uncalled for.

By the by, have we transformed into human (kind of) yet?

[x] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).
[X] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).
File 142575915224.png - (853.00KB, 1144x1507, fleet-not-momiji.png) [iqdb]
29262
Right, I suppose we should find Momiji and apologize for being angry at her after this. Writing now, updating later.

>>29260
MC hasn't undergone its transformation into human. I'll cover that in the next thread )hopefully).

>at least she hasn't gone after fluffy tail yet
inb4 she has a stash of fluffy tail merchandise at home. She's just too cool to show it openly.
File 14279377636.png - (159.26KB, 384x1200, 7a16cd20185e3563f803a8e6b4c66e69.png) [iqdb]
29283
Yet another trip and name change from this author. Anyway, update coming up.

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

All the conversations between Ein and Hatate in previous update and this are under the impression that Ein was using the communicator to speak.

[c] Find Momiji (and apologize for being angry at her).

“Leaving already? When I thought we could talk a bit more together…” twin-tails girl asks when I stand up and turn around to where I came from. She sounds rather disappointed that I’m leaving, almost as if she wishes I could stay with her for a bit longer.

“Well, if you have to go, at least please tell me your name.” I do as she asked, and she nods a few times while keying in something on the camera-thing. “Ein, isn’t it? That’s a fine name, though I have to question the person’s lack of naming sense.” I don’t think Nitori’s going to be pleased when she hears what you just said, twin-tails.

“Right, got to go! Talk to you later, Ein! I’ll look for you whenever something trendy’s up, okay?” She heads off to wherever I imagine she’s going, and that’s my cue.



……

………

Here I am, standing near the waterfall and getting sprayed by the cascading water. No one seems to be around, and there isn’t any sign of the wolf girls either. The settlement is not far off from the waterfall, but I will not return there! Not after what they had tried to do to me! Step over my dead body first if you want to salivate over my fluffy tail, girls!

…I should calm down and sit down near water edge, pondering about my life. I lie low, allowing my head to hang over the boulder I’m sitting on as I watch my reflection on the water surface.

…it’s the man in the water again.

And just like the last time, his gaze is cold, melancholic and apparently devoid of affection. He also looks not pleased and— Wait a minute. Not pleased? Does that mean he knew that I blew my steam off at Momiji and wants me to apologize to her?

…what business do you have with me, face? You don’t know me, and I obviously don’t know you. What do you care about me? Heh, look at you. All stares and no talk. You should just disappear with the river flow right now. I don’t need you to be here. Leave already.

“Is that you, Ein?”

[ ] Ignore the voice. Continue arguing with the man in the water.
[ ] Turn to the voice. Greet whoever that is.

Short update is unbearably short. Please forgive this lowly writer.
[z] Turn to the voice. Greet whoever that is.
[X] Ignore the voice. Continue arguing with the man in the water.

This man...He mocks me...
[x] Turn to the voice. Greet whoever that is.
[x] Ignore the voice. Continue arguing with the man in the water.

Time to give this jerk a piece of our mind.
[x] Ignore the voice. Continue arguing with the man in the water.

Y'wanna peace o' me eh?

Let's make him sue for piece.
[x] Turn to the voice. Greet whoever that is.
[X] Ignore the voice. Continue arguing with the man in the water.
File 142871928248.jpg - (225.80KB, 400x1200, 599e9281c0fcd2ca88adfebf94fa64db.jpg) [iqdb]
29301
All right, then. We'll continue our argument with dude-in-water and show him who's boss. Writing.
File 143036663669.jpg - (425.93KB, 1169x827, d09fe916da3730a442f95df24bf05442.jpg) [iqdb]
29314
I forgot that I have this update to post, so lo and behold.

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

[c] Ignore the voice and continue arguing with man in the water.

The more I stare at the face, the more I feel irritated by it. In fact, its mere existence is more than enough to tick me off. It’s almost as if he’s created for the purpose of making fun of this lone wolf.

Goddamn it.

Just goddamn it.

Stop it, face! Stop mocking me with that shitty grin of yours! Do you think you can get away with it, taunting me while hiding in the water? Do you think you can hurt my feeling and not thinking of the consequences?

I’ve had enough of this. You’re going down!

SPLASH

Die!

SPLASH

Die, damn it!

SPLASH

Die, die already!

SPLASH

Why won’t you die!

SPLASH

“Ein, what are you doing?”

I stop. Turning around, I see Momiji and Garou approaching the river. Were they looking for me? I don’t certainly think so, and I don’t care if they do. I turn my attention back to the face, only to realize that he’s disappeared. Coward, I’ll get him next time.

“What do you want from me?” I ask as I approach them.

“Easy there, Ein. We have no intention whatsoever to look for a fight with you.” Garou steps aside and lets Momiji come forward. “Momiji wishes to seek an audience with you, so I suggest that you calm down and let her speak. That is, if you have something in mind to say first.”

A chance? It’s now or never! “I’m sorry.”

Neither Momiji nor Garou expects this. “Ein?”

“I said I’m sorry for being angry at you.” I swallow hard. I don’t like to openly apologize, but is there anything else I can do? “I realize what I had done to you was foolish and completely uncalled for. I should be ashamed of myself.”

“N-no, it was I who should apologize. My sisters should be responsible for what they did to you,” Momiji protests. “…uh, okay, I accept your apology. But if I may ask… why?”

“Momiji, I lost my family to poachers and almost got sold to the riches as exotic pet. I had to run across Siberia on my own to escape my pursuers, without knowing how long it would take. Then I came to Gensokyo without ever knowing why I would be here, or how long I’d be here. All I want after all those troubles I’ve had is a peace of mind, and your sisters just HAD to ruin everything. Do you think I can tolerate that? DO you?”

“He’s still bitter about his ordeal, Momiji,” Garou speaks. “Just do him a favour and leave him in peace. He’ll open up to you once you do.”

“I’m not saying that she should come into my pack,” I retort.

“Well, hurry up and form one; you have my permission. After all, wolves live in pack, remember?” Garou adds. “Come, everyone. Today’s a good day, why ruin it with worthless arguments? Let us sit under the sun and enjoy the scenery.”

I relent. There’s no use arguing over this matter anymore, especially with the presence of someone as experienced as Garou. Or Momiji, if that matters. “Fine. Whatever you want.” I join Garou and sit down next to him, throwing our sight to the open sky. Momiji is next, sitting in front of us and looking at the same direction.

“How do you like your new companions?” Garou asks.

“It’s still too early for me to have a say on this.” Despite my retort, I know as hell I’m enjoying every moment I have with the girls I’ve met. Well, except for Aya because she’s annoying and cares nothing about my feeling. I can care less if she comes to me, begging all her life to let me be called ‘Fluffy’. Urgh, just thinking of that nickname makes me sick.

“Well, of course it is. A pack isn’t built in one day,” Garou adds. “If you need anything, come see me. I’ll help you along.”

Thanks for the concern, Garou, but I don’t think I’m ready to lead a pack – or have a family. At least, not for the foreseeable future. For now, I just want to bask under the sunshine and enjoy the company of these tengu wolves. The warm sunbath is so soothing, I feel like I want to take a nap right now and…

“Ein, can I ask you something?”

“What?”

“Does that mean you’re angry at me?”

“I just apologized. Is that not enough for you?” Momiji laughs nervously at my answer and says nothing afterwards. Come to think about it, have I gotten angry at the girls who have been very friendly toward me? Hina? Nitori? Shizuha? Kosuzu? Akyuu? Have I ever?

And that’s when a piece of paper lands on my face, blocking my vision. Struggling to get the offending material off my face, I hear a familiar voice followed by the sound of something landing in front of us. Gosh, just get off me you annoying piece of-- it’s the twin-tails girl.

“If it isn’t Himekaidou Hatate of Kakashi Spirit Publication,” Garou speaks.

“I thought I saw Ein from faraway, so I came to check it out,” ‘Hatate’ speaks. “Didn’t think I’d meet you and Momiji as well, Garou. Good day to you, too!”

“Ah, that means you’ve met him.”

“Ehehehe~ pretty much! I was bored and needed to take a break from counting the votes. That’s when I came across him. Ah, speaking of which!” She gives the same paper to Momiji and asks her to read it. “I’ve just finished the votes tally, thought you might want to be the first to know.”

“Votes?” Momiji scan the paper, while I take a look from over her shoulder. “Hatate… why are there names in here?”

“Huh? I thought you already knew, Momiji.” Hatate coughs once. “Anyway, those are the top five names from a hundred suggestions submitted by all the citizens across Gensokyo. And if I may add, the list isn’t final, as we’re going to do final voting tomorrow to decide which name will be given to Ein.”

“Isn’t it redundant to vote for names when Ein already has one?” Garou asks.

“I don’t know! It was Aya’s idea in the first place,” Hatate answers. “But anyway, I’ll read the results for you if you’re interested.” She takes another piece of paper and read its content. “In the fifth place, Takumi. In fourth, Mulder. Third place goes to Sirius. Kaede is second.” No mention of Fluffy? Hah! Serves you right, Aya!

“And we have a tie in the first place. With 33 votes each, Ein and Beowulf.” Beowulf? Oh, that’s right. Kosuzu suggested that I be called with that name. I never thought to see it listed in the vote, and tied with Ein on top of that, too.

“So that’s why Miss Aya was fuming about her choice not picked by the people yesterday,” Momiji says.

“Serves her right for calling me Fluffy,” I sneer.

“Well, yeah… everyone thought that Aya’s acting like a child again when she suggested the name,” Hatate adds.

“As expected of Shameimaru,” Garou muses.

“I should get going. I’ll see the three of you later today or tomorrow, especially you Ein!” Hatate waves the camera-thing at me. “Let’s take more pictures, okay?” She bids us farewell and goes off to wherever she’s headed to.

“Well, well. Looks like our lone wolf has acquired another special friend,” Garou says.

I find myself bothered by both Garou and Momiji’s amused look. “What?”

“Don’t be so insecure of yourself. You’re capable of making friends! You’re just very paranoid about letting people approach you,” Garou adds.

“Don’t make me repeat my ordeals, Garou. Just don’t. Didn’t you see what the girls were trying to do to me?”

“That doesn’t mean you have to walk the road not travelled for the rest of your life. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself wanting a companion beside you.”

“Master Garou, isn’t that a bit… too much for him to take in?” Momiji asks, slightly apprehensive over what she just heard.

“It’s alright, Inubashiri. He has the right to know my wisdom. Besides, it’s not that I’m going to enjoy the sunshine for another day.”

“Don’t say that!” I’m surprised when Momiji hurls herself at Garou and buries herself beneath the wolf’s thick fur. I didn’t expect to see this coming from Momiji. “Don’t say that like you’re going to leave me forever!” she moans.

“I’m old, Inubashiri. Someday, I’m going to kick the dust and go to the other side of the river,” Garou speaks. “Besides, there’s already Ein. Why don’t you become his friend?”

“But Master Garou…!”

“Hush now.” Garou rubs his face on Momiji as to sooth her. “I’m here, Inubashiri. I’ll be here for you.”

Maybe I should take my leave now.

[ ] Go back to Hina’s place.
[ ] Enjoy the company of Momiji and Garou some more.
[ ] Continue our (mis)adventure. And give Momiji and Garou some space, while we’re at it. Not in the way you’re thinking, you freaks!
[x] Enjoy the company of Momiji and Garou some more.

Let's try to bond some before going back to Hina's.
[x] Go back to Hina’s place.

Bored now.
[X] Go back to Hina’s place.
File 143096479638.png - (73.26KB, 500x500, a5ae3a38ce70e27093bca47efdb543cc.png) [iqdb]
29321
>>29315
Alright, we're at the end of this thread. Will post the update in a new thread, so please keep on voting.
[X] Go back to Hina’s place.
[X] Go back to Hina’s place.
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