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File 139285096997.jpg - (120.57KB, 850x601, on guard.jpg) [iqdb]
26370
Thread 1: >>/youkai/22769
Thread 2: >>/youkai/23061
Thread 3: >>/youkai/23345
Thread 4: >>/youkai/23651
Thread 5: >>/youkai/23942
Thread 6: >>/youkai/24231
Thread 7: >>/youkai/24553
Thread 8: >>/youkai/24863
Thread 9: >>/youkai/25150
Thread 10: >>/youkai/25419
Thread 11: >>/youkai/25690
Thread 12: >>/youkai/26039

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


"Hello, Lyrica," Hina says calmly. "It seems that you haven't been doing all that well."

I restrain myself. Hina said it herself; she needs to talk to Lyrica about this. And even if Lyrica has been holding a grudge against Hina, that still holds true. Granted, I'm not too thrilled that she is giving Hina a hard time over this... but I understand her anger. So, I'm just going to step back and let Hina handle things.

Unless Lyrica gets hostile and raises a fist against Hina. Then, I'm stepping in. But not until then.

"Gee, why the fuck would that be?" Lyrica growls, snatching off her sunglasses. I adjust my position to get a better look at her face. Lyrica's eyes are... haunted, for lack of a better term. Eyes that have seen hell, much like the look that was in Hina's eyes, and Kasen's. But they, and the others, got over their trauma, or at least learned to deal with it. Lyrica, on the other hand...

"It was hard for everyone," Hina says quietly.

"And I suppose you include yourself in those ranks?!" Lyrica snaps, getting right in Hina's face. To her credit, the misfortune goddess doesn't back down, instead remaining strong in the face of Lyrica's rage. "In case you've forgotten, you're partly responsible for all of that shit! Or were you not sucking Rinnosuke off, hm?"

"Lyrica, that's a little much-" Merlin tries.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP, MERLIN!" Lyrica screams, whirling on her sister. Merling cringes in response, looking genuinely hurt. Lyrica pauses, hesitating, before spinning back to face Hina. "Yeah. You had a big hand in what happened. And now you show up on my doorstep, like you're some kinda friend? Who the hell do you think you are, anyway?!"

"Someone who has suffered as much as you have," Hina says calmly. "Whether you understand that or not. But I accept your anger; I don't have much to say in my defense. I was angry, bitter; that made me do something that I will always regret. I'm just glad that we were all able to get out of that in one piece. And if you want to hate me for it, that's fine, Lyrica. But I can't just stand here and do nothing while something that I had a hand in is still hurting you."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Lyrica scoffs.

"That's what I keep saying," Lunasa sighs. "About you. I mean, I don't know what you're saying half of the time..."

"Lunasa, if I want your opinion, I'll damn well ask for it!" Lyrica snaps, causing Lunasa to flinch. Again, Lyrica hesitates, but goes back to glaring at Hina.

"Don't ever talk to your sisters that way," Hina says sharply.

Lyrica stares at Hina, eyes going wide. "What the hell did you just say?"

"You heard every word," Hina replies, coldly. She leans in close. "If you want to hate me, then do so. I acknowledge my wrongdoing, and nothing I can do or say will ever make things right. I regret every moment of what happened. But we all lived through it, Lyrica, and we're trying to move on with our lives. All of us, in our own way. Except you."

Lyrica bites her lip, but says nothing.

"I know this has been hard on you," Hina continues. "I can understand that. We all had nightmares. But it's not just that you're acting erratically. It's not just that you're talking like a lunatic. You are hurting yourself, and your sisters, and that is not something that I can simply walk away from."

"It's none of your business," Lyrica growls, voice low and threatening. I ready myself.

"It is my business," Hina asserts. "Since you blame me so much, that means that all of this is my responsibility. Hate me all you wish, if that makes you feel better. Rage against Yuyuko and everyone else, if that is how you vent the frustration. It's foolish, but if it's how you get things out of your system, then I can understand. But I absolutely will not stand by while you hurt your own family!"

Lyrica's eyes flare, and her hand lashes out at Hina. My hand is quicker, and it seizes Lyrica's hand before she manages to slap Hina on the cheek. The poltergeist's head whips around to glare at me, eyes blazing with fury... and a whole lot else. Fear. Pain. Frustration. I have to wonder just how Lyrica has dealt with the memories. Or if she's even been able to.

"Let. Go." Lyrica's voice is now now barely more than a snarl. I shake my head. "I said let the hell go!"

"Lyrica, calm down or I'll slap you." Lunasa's voice is like iron, but there's an undercurrent of worry behind it. She's frightened for her sister.

"Talk to us, sister," Merlin says gently. "We know you're hurting. Talk to us, please!"

"And what?! Get heaped with even more of your shit?! Fuck you, I'm done talking!" Lunasa and Merlin looked stricken and glance away.

"No more," Hina says icily. "You are not going to abuse your family any more, Lyrica."

Lyrica grits her teeth and glares back at Hina. "You fucking bitch. You have no clue, do you? You don't have a damned clue, so stop acting like you know anything and get the hell out of my life!" There's frantic desperation and rage in Lyrica's voice.

This girl... is a total mess. But at least she hasn't gotten too violent yet. Aside from an attempted slap, that is. Still, we need to get through to her if we want to make any progress. How the hell do we deal with this?


[ ] Emotionally unstable poltergeist, what do?
Expand all images
[X] Emotional group Cool-down hug.

Yeah, this is the best I got. Probably won't work, but still... Gotta try something, right?
[x] Attempt to use your experiences to try to get through to her. She isn't the only one who's been through a living nightmare and how she is now reminds you of yourself during that dark time.
[X]Hina knows. It's why Rinnosuke tricked her, after all.
[X]Sometimes, something terrible happens to you, something that you think no one else can understand. If you surrender to that bitterness, you become lost, and an easy pawn, like Hina (and me).
[X]Do you think your whole "revolution" is going to do anything? When you're just lashing out in anger? If anyone does take interest, it will be like how Rinnosuke took interest in Hina. Do you really want to go down that path?
[X]But there's another way. Every experience is unique, but that doesn't mean we can't find commonalities between each other, or take comfort in each other when we're hurt. It's the only way to move forward.
[X]So, it's up to you. We can't force you to do anything. But what do you really want? Do you want to stay lost, and miserable? Or do you want to seek out something more? It's a difficult first step, but we're willing to help, if you'll just stretch out your hand.
[X] Emotional group Cool-down hug.

How does this sound? Not sure if it's the right way to go about it, but it's a start. I'm open to changes and suggestions.
[x] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."
[X]Hina knows. It's why Rinnosuke tricked her, after all.
[X]Sometimes, something terrible happens to you, something that you think no one else can understand. If you surrender to that bitterness, you become lost, and an easy pawn, like Hina (and me).
[X]Do you think your whole "revolution" is going to do anything? When you're just lashing out in anger? If anyone does take interest, it will be like how Rinnosuke took interest in Hina. Do you really want to go down that path?
[X]But there's another way. Every experience is unique, but that doesn't mean we can't find commonalities between each other, or take comfort in each other when we're hurt. It's the only way to move forward.
[X]So, it's up to you. We can't force you to do anything. But what do you really want? Do you want to stay lost, and miserable? Or do you want to seek out something more? It's a difficult first step, but we're willing to help, if you'll just stretch out your hand.
[X] Emotional group Cool-down hug.

So just saying we have been through the same as you but we came out on top because we support each other and learn from the things that happened.
>>26374 and >>26376

There's an old saying: "Brevity is the soul of wit." That list of choices feels much too long. Plus, it feels very accusative, which isn't the best direction right now. If she doesn't get better, then maybe it's time to start breaking out the accusations and comparisons, but right now is a time to be sympathetic.

[x] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."

Or something like that.
[x] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."

This. Maybe something about how if she keeps pushing her friends away, they won't bother coming back.
>>26377

Well, it was a rough sketch for want of something better.

[x] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."
[X] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."
[X] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."
[x] "You know who I am, right, you know my reputation? Do you want to know why I was like that?
Because, for a very long time, I was alone. I had nobody to help me, nobody to tell me I was screwed up, nobody to put me back together.
But look at you! You've got sisters, a family, people who love you and care about you! And how do you treat them, how do you act when you need them most?
You push them away, and you hurt them."

I can't come up with anything that can top this, so bandwagon it is.
Vote called for that last write-in. I'll start writing later.
[x]>>26376
This write in is superior, no doubt.
>>26387
Sorry. On second thought, I'm going back to my own vote, even if it's too late. It was pretty complex, but I thought it made a lot of good points.
File 139294051332.jpg - (132.22KB, 850x612, a bit dysfunctional.jpg) [iqdb]
26390
Okay, things are getting critical, here. Time for me to step in. "Hey, Lyrica," I speak up.

The poltergeist turns her head to glare at me, starting to look a bit tired. "What?"

I let go of her wrist. "You know who I am, right?"

Lyrica looks at me as though I've turned insane. "I'm not that far gone, tengu. Yes, I know exactly who you are. Your paper sucked, by the way."

That's a low blow, but I decide to let it slide, being the magnanimous soul that I am. Plus, Lyrica clearly isn't in her right mind at the moment, and I can't let her words get to me. "I mean you know about my reputation, right? All of the stuff I pulled? How just about everybody in Gensokyo only saw me as 'that creepy tengu reporter?' You know what I'm talking about, right?"

Lyrica gives me a cautious look. "Yes... what about it?"

"Have you ever wondered why I was that way in the first place? I assure you, I wasn't always like that, and I'm trying to get as far away from that version of me as I can." I keep my eyes on Lyrica, keeping her talking. Hina catches my eye and gives me an encouraging nod.

"What, were you hooked up to a brain-sucking machine, too?" Lyrica scoffs. "Maybe you know a fraction of the hell that I went through?!"

"I certainly went through hell, and it broke me to pieces," I say firmly. Lyrica is looking more and more uncomfortable by the moment. It's pretty obvious that she was just putting up a front, but I have to wonder if there was something more than her experience on the outside that pushed her to such behavior. It was... pretty extreme.

"...What happened to you, then?" Lyrica asks, curious despite herself.

"It's because I was alone," I say quietly. "For a very, very long time I was all by myself. I had nobody to help me when I was hurt. Nobody to tell me how screwed up I was, and how bad my life was going. I had nobody there to put me back together when I finally went to pieces. That's what happened to me." Lyrica is silent, seeing where I'm going with this.

I look over at Lunasa and Merlin. Strangely, they're looking away from this with guilty expressions on their faces. Hm. Maybe they need a reminder of what they're around for as well. I gesture over at the two of them. "But look at you, Lyrica. Look at your sisters. Look at them! You're not alone; you have a family that loves and cares about you, sisters who want to help you! You don't need to fall to pieces and turn into this... whatever you call it! But what do you do when you need your family the most? You hurt them, punish them, drive them away! Why the hell are you doing that?!"

Tears start to streak down Lyrica's face. "I tried to turn to them. Above everything else, I just wanted my family to be there for me when I needed them. I trusted them. And they let me down."

...That brings me up short. What is she talking about? Hina looks surprised as well. As Lyrica hides her face and begins to sob silently, Merling steps forward, a guilty expression on her face. "Lyrica... we're really sorry, we-"

"I don't want to hear it, Merlin!" Lyrica wails. "All I needed was for you two to be there for me! And you treated me like shit!"

"That is not true!" Lunasa says angrily. "We never treated you like shit, Lyrica. When you came back, you were changed, scarred. And we were there for you. We hugged you while you cried. Held you when you had nightmares. Played some music to cheer you up, or help you settle down."

Merlin sighs. "We did our best. We really did. It's just... we wanted things to go back to normal, too."

Lyrica whirls on her sisters, tears streaming down her face. "I just can't balance the two of you anymore!" she screams, voice that of a woman at the edge of her wits. "I went through hell itself, and I can barely keep myself corporeal some days! But you still want me to do everything that I used to do! Balance the two of you, make bookings, organize practice, tend the finances, coordinate with Kyouko and Mystia! And I can't do that shit anymore! Not right now! I've got nothing left!" She takes a deep, shuddering breath. "You can't just clap me on the back and expect me to go back to how I used to be. Not after that. But that's what you tried to do. Goddamn, it makes me so mad that I just want to punch things!"

Well. That explains why she's started to imitate the punk stylings of her friends. But seriously, is that what happened? Hina looks over at the other poltergeists suspiciously. "Is this true?" the goddess asks.

Lunasa heaves a sigh. "...Yeah. Yeah, it is."

Merlin looks very sad. "We couldn't help it. I mean, Lyrica's the one who knows how to do all of this stuff! We tried to do it ourselves, but we just didn't know how! And then Lyrica got angry and jumped back in like she always did, but... it was different."

"We tried," Lunasa says weakly. "We really did. It's just that we barely knew what we were doing. And Lyrica felt that she had to take over again, and then she started acting... like that."

Lyrica closes her eyes. "I just wanted you guys to help me. That's all. Just help me, like a normal family would. Let me take a break from all of the usual crap. Just let me rest. Try to keep yourselves calmed down, and stop dumping all of that shit on me. That's all I wanted."

"We tried, but you just kept jumping back in all the time!" Merlin cries.

"That's because you kept doing it wrong!" Lyrica shouts. "And I still had to keep pulling you two apart! And I just... I just..." the poltergeist weakly falls to her knees. "I just... can't... keep on doing this." Her head falls, and Lyrica starts to cry to herself miserably.

......Godsdamn it, what a mess. This is probably what Hina would have turned into if I hadn't come along, huh? And it looks like all of the sisters share some of the blame. Lyrica was trying to keep things in line, like she always did, but Merlin and Lunasa weren't exactly making things easy for her. The two poltergeists have guilty looks on their faces, and keep gazing at Lyrica in despair.

I share a look with Hina, and we sigh together. What a fucking mess. I've heard of dysfunctional families, but this...

Well, we went and got ourselves involved. Now what?


[ ] Leave the sisters to work it out themselves.
[ ] Yell at Merlin and Lunasa.
[ ] Yell at Lyrica.
[ ] Enforced family hug.
[ ](Write-in)
[x] Enforced family hug.
[x] Suggest that they hire a manager.

Seriously a manager would solve pretty much all of their problems right now. Maybe Ichiro, he's pretty on the ball when it comes to paperwork and organizing things. The rock and roll might even help loosen that rod stuck up his ass.
I'm gonna second the manager idea, but for now, this would be a good time to bow out. This isn't the type of issue resolved in one sitting.

We should leave the sisters to themselves, but encourage Lyrica to seek out the either Hina or other survivors.
[X]Like Hina said, she can help you with what you dealt with back at Pleasant Meadows, if you let her.
[X]However, the rest is up to all three of you. You have to work together if you want to move on.
[X]Lyrica, even if your sisters haven't been the best of help, they still love you. Everyone makes mistakes, even when they want to help. So don't give up yet, okay?
[X] Suggest that they hire a manager.
[X]Also, Lyrica, even if you feel alone right now, that whole "revolution" idea of yours isn't the way to go. Even if it seems like no one cares, you have to remain willing to stretch a hand out.
[x] Enforced family hug.
-[x] "So everyone fucked up, here. Take some time off, you idiots, and hire a manager or something."
[x] Enforced family hug.
-[x] "So everyone fucked up, here. Take some time off, you idiots, and hire a manager or something."
[X]Like Hina said, she can help you with what you dealt with back at Pleasant Meadows, if you let her.
[X]However, the rest is up to all three of you. You have to work together if you want to move on.
[X]Lyrica, even if your sisters haven't been the best of help, they still love you. Everyone makes mistakes, even when they want to help. So don't give up yet, okay?
[X] Suggest that they hire a manager.
[X]Also, Lyrica, even if you feel alone right now, that whole "revolution" idea of yours isn't the way to go. Even if it seems like no one cares, you have to remain willing to stretch a hand out.

>[ ] Yell at Lyrica

Keymaster, are you seriously giving Anon the option to fuck her up worse?
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] "So everyone fucked up, here. Take some time off, you idiots, and hire a manager or something."

...considering who to be the manager...
>>26393
>>26394
[x]Both these votes combined sounds good to me

Also <Merling> I ignored this typo the first two times but now I have to ask if you secretly ship Merlin and Meiling cause you have made this same typo three times in three updates
In that case, I'll make a combined version:

[X]Like Hina said, she can help you with what you dealt with back at Pleasant Meadows, if you let her.
[X]However, the rest is up to all three of you. You have to work together if you want to move on.
[X]Lyrica, even if your sisters haven't been the best of help, they still love you. Everyone makes mistakes, even when they want to help. So don't give up yet, okay?
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] "So everyone fucked up, here. Take some time off, you idiots, and hire a manager or something."
[X]Also, Lyrica, even if you feel alone right now, that whole "revolution" idea of yours isn't the way to go. It doesn't help people understand your real problem, it just drives them away. Even if it seems like no one cares, you have to remain willing to stretch a hand out.
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] *sigh* "What a goddamn mess. How about you all take some time off, and hire a manager or something."
--[X] "I know a tengu who is good with that sort of stuff.

[x] And if you still want to be "gangster," then I know some guys from the human village who can help.
[X]Like Hina said, she can help you with what you dealt with back at Pleasant Meadows, if you let her.
[X]However, the rest is up to all three of you. You have to work together if you want to move on.
[X]Lyrica, even if your sisters haven't been the best of help, they still love you. Everyone makes mistakes, even when they want to help. So don't give up yet, okay?
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] "So everyone fucked up, here. Take some time off, you idiots, and hire a manager or something."
[X]Also, Lyrica, even if you feel alone right now, that whole "revolution" idea of yours isn't the way to go. It doesn't help people understand your real problem, it just drives them away. Even if it seems like no one cares, you have to remain willing to stretch a hand out.
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] *sigh* "What a goddamn mess. How about you all take some time off, and hire a manager or something."
--[X] "I know a tengu who is good with that sort of stuff.

[x] And if you still want to be "gangster," then I know some guys from the human village who can help.

Some of the write-ins seem too accusative and/or dismissive.
[X] Enforced family hug.
-[X] *sigh* "What a goddamn mess. How about you all take some time off, and hire a manager or something."
Vote called for enforcing hugs.
File 139302341354.jpg - (195.34KB, 500x980, shaddup.jpg) [iqdb]
26407
So, there I am, right in the middle of an honest-to-goodness family feud. On one side, we have a workaholic poltergeist with post traumatic stress disorder, currently on the ground crying her eyes out. On the other side, we have a pair of panicking sisters who have no idea how to really support a family member going through tough times. It's the kind of thing to bring a tear to your eye, really. Though whether that would be a tear of sympathy or frustration, I'm honestly not too sure.

But it's at this point that I realize that Hina and I can't really do much here. Lyrica doesn't actually have a problem with Hina; she has a problem with what happened, and is venting at whatever comes into contact with her. This is something between family members, and we really have no business being here any longer. Still, there is at least something that I can do to get the ball rolling.

Calmly, carefully, I pull out my fan and quietly walk around Lyrica, making sure that my angle is right. Hina sees what I'm doing but says nothing. While Lunasa and Merlin shift awkwardly, I draw my arm back, take careful aim, and-

*SWOOSH*

- launch a gale-force wind that sends a screaming Lyrica flying through the air and into the startled arms of her sister.

"Hina?" I ask.

"On it, Aya." Almost casually, the misfortune goddess flings out her hand, launching one of her ribbons at the group of stunned poltergeists. The ribbon curls around and knots, tying the three sisters together. "Done."

I raise an eyebrow and eye Hina suspiciously. "You know, you are way too skilled at that for comfort. Been taking some lessons from Yamame?"

Hina smirks back. "Maybe I'll tell you one day. Or show you~."

Now there's something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, Lyrica is starting to struggle against her bonds. "Buh... wah... what the heck?!"

"Um, hi there, sis," Merlin says, a bit embarrassed.

Lunasa glances over at me. "Is there a reason for this?"

"Yes," I say flatly. "Now, I'm going to say this once, so listen to me carefully. You're all a bunch of numbskulls."

"Huh?!" The Prismrivers say in stunned harmony. They really do work well together, at times.

"Allow me to elaborate," Hina says politely. She eyes the bound spirits. "Lyrica, you have been forcing yourself back into your old role of your own volition, and have no right blaming it on your sisters. Lunasa and Merlin, you clearly have no been doing nearly enough for your sister. Lyrica has been through hell. This is something that all of you need to work together on to get through, do you understand me?"

"And you haven't because every single one of you fucked up, here." I heave a sigh. "Look. This is clearly a bad time to try and go back to 'how things were,' or whatever. My advice? Take a break. Gensokyo will still be here later. But you need to relax for a while, or Lyrica is going to absolutely lose her mind. Don't let that happen, any of you."

The Prismrivers don't respond, just trying hard to look at nothing. Kind of difficult when they're all so close to each other, but that's part of the idea.

"Anyway, think about getting a manager or something if you need help getting organized," I continue. "It sounds like you could use the help. Either way, just take the time to put yourselves back together. The last thing Gensokyo needs is for poor Lyrica here to go off the deep end. Even more than she has, that is."

"Lyrica, if you want to talk to me about what happened, I'd love to," Hina says gently. "If you genuinely despise me, then I understand, and can accept that. But at least go speak with somebody else, like Kasen. Still, even if the three of you haven't been doing well together lately, you're still family. You still love each other. Remember that, and try to show it, okay?"

"And Lyrica?" I add. "Seriously. Cut it out with the thug act. It makes you look ridiculous."

"...I know," Lyrica says quietly. She closes her eyes.

Lunasa gives Lyrica a gentle look and wraps an arm around her sister's head. "Sorry, Lyrica. I guess we haven't been doing the best job, have we? Can you give us another chance?" Merlin joins in the group hug and strokes Lyrica's hair gently.

The blue-haired Prismriver looks up hesitantly. "Um... we understand now, so can you take this ribbon off, please? It's a bit embarrassing to be seen like this..."

"Nope," Hina says airily. "The magic will wear off eventually. Until then, consider this an opportunity to bond. Farewell, now!" Hina spins elegantly and begins to stride off, while the sisters stare at her in horror.

I take a look at the touching scene and hold up my camera hopefully. "So... can I take a picture for posterity?"

"NO!" the embarrassed Prismrivers shout back.

"Crap." Slumping a little bit, I follow after Hina. Oh well. At least I asked.

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

Hina and I make our way back to the shrine after that, leaving Lyrica and her sisters to work things out between themselves. Meanwhile, we began to plot out our meeting with Yuyuko that evening. Gifts had been offered, contact made. Now it was just a matter of convincing the ghost princess that we were worth supporting. While Minoriko and Shizuha went over clothing choices with Hina, I found myself mulling the situation over with Sukuna in the living room.

This was it. The big one. The benefits could be huge, but Yuyuko wouldn't be swayed easily.

"So, can I come?" Sukuna asked, interrupting my thoughts. I give the inchling a careful look.

Can Sukuna come?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No

Also, do you make mention of Lyrica's situation?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No


>>26398

Nonsense! I secretly ship Merlin and Wakasagihime. Merling, the trumpeter of the sea!

>>26396

I wondered if anyone would actually go for it.
Can Sukuna come? 
[X] Yes

Also, do you make mention of Lyrica's situation? 
[X] Yes  

Sukuna's just as much a part of the shrine as we are and I'm sure Youmu would love to see her again. She should be on her best behavior however. I also can't see how at least mentioning that Lyrica won't be a problem anymore could hurt us.
[X] Yes
I want more of her.

[X] Yes
It seems like a problem to her so mention it.
[X] Yes
[X] Yes
[X] Yes
[X] Yes

As long as she wears a matching miko outfit, Sukuna can come along anywhere. (Well, seriously, it's mostly just so she doesn't give off the appearance of "hey, we invited a friend along", but to show that she is an actual part of our entourage.)

And the fact that Lyrica have calmed down a bit and probably won't be trying to "overthrow" "the tit-tyrant" anyone anymore is just good news in general.
It would be noticeable eventually anyway, but just in case Youmu was about to give her a stern talking to we might want to mention it so there are no unnecessary complications.
[X] No
[X] No

Based on Sukuna's previous actions, I doubt she can control herself. And this is a mostly private matter with Lyrica, so they don't need to know.
[x] Yes
[x] Yes

I think Yuyuko would find Sukuna to be a joy to have around (she might even try and steal her away, so we'll need to keep an eye on that)
[X] Yes
-[X]But make it clear that she needs to behave.
[X] Yes
[x] Yes.
-[x] But she absolutely MUST control herself.
--[x] Unless Yuyuko teases her. Which she will.

[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
[x] Yes.
-[x] But she absolutely MUST control herself.
--[x] Unless Yuyuko teases her. Which she will.

[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
[x] Maybe.
-[x] But only if she agrees that she absolutely MUST control herself.

[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
[x] Yes
- [x] Attempt to be behave herself. (That means no Lupin diving into Yuyuko's cleavage)
[x] Yes
- [x] But only mention it's getting better.
[X] Yes.
-[X] But she absolutely MUST control herself.
--[X] We Mean It.

[X] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[X] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
[x] Yes.
-[x] But she absolutely MUST control herself.
--[x] Unless Yuyuko teases her. Which she will.
---[x] Even then, she should keep it reasonable.

[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
Why are people so relucant to mention to Yuyuko that things are getting better? It'd likely tilt her opinion towards us.
yeah, it's not like we have to be arrogant about it. I really doubt Yuyuko's going to be upset that Aya and Hina helped someone that Hina would have felt obligated to help regardless of whether it was a problem for Yuyuko or not.

Seriously, we're not going to get punished for doing good deeds.
[x] Yes.
-[x] But she absolutely MUST control herself.
--[x] Unless Yuyuko teases her. Which she will.
---[x] Even then, she should keep it reasonable.

[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
So, mostly unanimous for bringing Sukuna along, while it's tied for whether or not to mention Lyrica to Yuyuko. Next one takes it.
[x] No, unless Yuyuko brings it up herself.
-[x] And even then, don't brag. Simply mention that we spoke, and things seemed to be improving.
Tie breaker reporting in.
>>26424
>>26426
It would seem like taking advantage of a poor situation for personal gain. We didn't help Lyrica to gain favour with Yuyuko, we did it because it was the right thing to do.
Yuyuko will likely find out on her own soon enough.
File 139310867196.jpg - (117.90KB, 850x1200, her finest.jpg) [iqdb]
26431
"...Yes," I finally say. "Yes, you can come with us, Sukuna."

"Hooray!" the inchling cheers, throwing her hands into the air and bouncing around happily.

"However!" I add, raising a finger. "This is under the condition that you control yourself! As in, no unrestrained flirting with anybody there, and most certainly not Yuyuko! We need you to be a perfect little lady, understood?"

Sukuna puts her hands on her hips. "Is that a crack against my height?"

"No," I reply.

Sukuna blinks, a bit deflated after her retort was short down so quickly. "What if she comes on to me and starts teasing me? You know how hard a time women have keeping their hands off of me."

I blink, a bit taken aback at the sheer audacity of this remark. Then again, I can absolutely see Yuyuko getting charmed by Sukuna and hugging her tightly to her regal bosom. I mean, look at how Youmu reacted, and how Yuyuko acts around Youmu! "If that happens... please keep it reasonable. That's all I can really ask."

Sukuna salutes me. "Gotcha! I will keep things down to a reasonable level!"

...This doesn't reassure me somehow. Oh well, maybe it'll be a point in our favor.

Regardless, a few hours pass as the five of us get ready for our meeting with Yuyuko. The Mikami finally decide to wear some very fine kimonos to the meeting, with Minoriko in an orange kimono decked out with images of vines and berries, Shizuha wearing a red one with orange leaves, and Hina in a green kimono with delicate green spiral patterns. It's a lovely combination of humility and elegance, hinting at subtle influence. Pretty much perfect for visiting Yuyuko, given what the ghost herself usually wears. Sukuna changes into a rich kimono of her own, while I put my shrine maiden uniform back on.

We make for quite the traveling party. Honestly, it really does look like a group of noblewomen traveling to a meeting with a pair of servants in tow. Still, preparations can only do so much. It's time to go and visit Yuyuko, and hopefully make a new ally in the process.

We take to the air that afternoon, making a direct line for the gate to the netherworld. Along the way, we quietly discuss our plans for speaking with Yuyuko. Things are quiet, understated, with each of us trying not to succumb to nerves. We all know just how important this could be for us. Even the normally excitable Sukuna is acting very serious. I just hope that holds in the face of Yuyuko's... ghostly health, let's say.

As we come to the gates, I notice that Lyrica's graffiti is noticeably absent. I'm not entirely sure if this is because the poltergeist came along and cleaned it up herself, or if Youmu or one of the ghosts came by and took care of it. In any case, at least I don't have to worry about the Mikami seeing Lyrica's rather 'creative' illustrations.

Awaiting us on the other side of the gates is a mostly formless, vaguely humanoid blob of a ghost, which bows as soon as it sees us and seems to gesture us to follow it up the stairs. We do so, and the spirit hovers to the side as we land in front of Hakugyokuro, greeted by Youmu in what has to be her nicest kimono, green with a white flower pattern, swords tied to her waist.

The half-phantom bows as we approach. "Honored guests. I welcome you on behalf of Lady Yuyuko. Please, feel at ease here and enjoy your stay. Lady Yuyuko wishes to greet you herself and take a meal with you, should it be to your liking."

The Mikami bow with equal formality, as do I and Sukuna; the inchling thankfully seems to sense the seriousness of things and is playing along. "We are honored by your warm welcome, and would be very pleased to meet with Lady Yuyuko," Hina speaks for us.

"Then I ask you to follow me," Youmu responds as we all straighten up. "She awaits you just ahead." The gardener turns on her heel and leads us further into the grand mansion, and I think I see the hint of a smile on her lips. Yep, Youmu's definitely enjoying all of this.

If anything, the gardens of Hakugyokuro are even more dazzling than they were during my previous visit. Everything seems just slightly better-trimmed, as though to show off all of its charms. The sounds are more soothing, and I'm certain that I hear some form of music off in the distance; not the Prismrivers, but rather some manner of flutes.

"This place is looking even better," I comment out loud.

"I made sure that the gardens would be perfect to greet such honored guests," Youmu replies with a trace of pride. "I also tracked down some ghost who retained some musical talent. The Prismrivers... are not currently available." In other words, Lyrica's been acting up.

I momentarily share a glance with Hina, who shakes her head. I incline my own head in understanding. No reason to seem like we're bragging, or using Lyrica to curry favor. If Yuyuko finds out on her own, then all to the better, but it's not something we could crassly use for advantage.

Youmu leads us into the main building, and then into a tastefully-appointed sitting room. Yuyuko herself rises as we enter, a warm, friendly smile on her face. "Ahhh, the Mikami! Gensokyo's newest faith! Please, consider yourselves welcome here!"

I take a step backwards with Sukuna as our group bows. "We are grateful that you saw fit to receive us, Lady Yuyuko," Shizuha says politely.

Yuyuko chuckles. "Please, Lady Shizuha, no need to be formal! This is a friendly meeting, after all! I want us all to relax, and speak freely!" In other words, she wants us to let our guards down, and tell her what's really on our minds. Fairly simple stratagem.

As we straighten, Yuyuko's eyes travel over us, and then flick down to Sukuna, who causes the ghost princess to start a little bit. Sukuna just smiles sweetly. "Lady Yuyuko, greetings!" the inchling chirps. "You're even prettier than I thought you'd be." Sukuna gives an absolutely dazzling smile, and Yuyuko actually stops for a moment, a silly smile starting to cross her face as even the ghost princess is momentarily overwhelmed by the sheer cuteness of Sukuna.

Then Yuyuko shrugs it off and returns to a courtly smile. "Please, be seated! I was thinking we could have a cup of tea before we ate! I want to be a good host, after all." Moments later, we are all seated around a table as Youmu delivers us tea, regarding one another cautiously.

Okay. Show time. Time to get Yuyuko on our side.



What do each of your party say or do, if anything?

[ ] Aya
[ ] Sukuna
[ ] Hina
[ ] Shizuha
[ ] Minoriko
Youmu sure loves and and I am glad we brought Sukuna along.
[X] Sukuna
-[X]Casually chat with Youmu if it does not distract the others. Time to take a more subtle approach to seduction!
--[X]Ask if perhaps Youmu has made any poetry herself. If she recites any, compliment her.
--[X]Discuss more about your shared interest in swords.
---[X]Show Shining Needle to her.
----[X]Don't get mad if Youmu seems dubious about your weapon at first. Act mildly affronted and point out the positive qualities of your sword.
---[X]Suggest that the two of you have a spar later. Not quite as serious as a duel, just so the two of you can get a better feel of each other's styles.
-[X]Above all, stay out of trouble.
--[X]Unless the host suggests otherwise. After all, it's perfectly all right if the host permits!


That should do for Sukuna. Now to figure out what to do for the main group.
A show match between Youmu and Sukuna might be good for just before we leave, but other than that I've got nothing.
>>26433
This. Not sure about the others, though...
-[X]Casually chat with Youmu if it does not distract the others. Time to take a more subtle approach to seduction!
--[X]Ask if perhaps Youmu has made any poetry herself. If she recites any, compliment her.
--[X]Discuss more about your shared interest in swords.
---[X]Show Shining Needle to her.
----[X]Don't get mad if Youmu seems dubious about your weapon at first. Act mildly affronted and point out the positive qualities of your sword.
---[X]Suggest that the two of you have a spar later. Not quite as serious as a duel, just so the two of you can get a better feel of each other's styles.
-[X]Above all, stay out of trouble.
--[X]Unless the host suggests otherwise. After all, it's perfectly all right if the host permits!

Not really sure what might be best for the others, other than to be good guests in general and roll with the conversation as it goes.
[X] Sukuna mingles with Youmu.
[X] Each Goddess explains how they can help the ghosts arriving to Hakugyoukoro have as few regrets as possible.
-[X] Food and fertility will make sure a life is strong and healthy.
-[X] Art and creativity with make sure a life is rich and fulfilling.
-[X] Managing the scales of fortune will make sure a life can fully realize it's potential before it's time comes to an end.

Because that was our big selling point last time. Aya only outlined it in a short "sales pitch", so the Goddesses are going to do the real negotiation now.
-[X]Casually chat with Youmu if it does not distract the others. Time to take a more subtle approach to seduction!
--[X]Ask if perhaps Youmu has made any poetry herself. If she recites any, compliment her.
--[X]Discuss more about your shared interest in swords.
---[X]Show Shining Needle to her.
----[X]Don't get mad if Youmu seems dubious about your weapon at first. Act mildly affronted and point out the positive qualities of your sword.
---[X]Suggest that the two of you have a spar later. Not quite as serious as a duel, just so the two of you can get a better feel of each other's styles.
-[X]Above all, stay out of trouble.
--[X]Unless the host suggests otherwise. After all, it's perfectly all right if the host permits!

I think this might need to be one of those times where we handle the event in several small updates as opposed to a few large ones, since trying to come up with who of five people should or shouldn't be saying or doing what in a situation where we don't really have a lot of context to glean ideas from seems a little intimidating, especially if we're worried about possible failure.
(I am so tired and I hope any of what I just typed makes any sense)
>>26438

Yeah, I can do that. We'll let Sukuna break the ice, then.
File 139319346631.jpg - (40.00KB, 499x701, the mighty warrior.jpg) [iqdb]
26440
In the middle of a tense situation, it shouldn't surprise me that Sukuna is the one to break the silence with all of the subtlety of an exploding sledgehammer. After stealing several glances Yuyuko's way, the inchling pipes up with a voice so excited and energetic that it actually makes the rest of us jump.

"So, Youmu!" Sukuna chirps. "Did I ever tell you that I'm a poet?"

Youmu looks a bit startled, shaken out of her formality by Sukuna's sudden exclamation. "Ah... are you?"

"Yep!" Sukuna puffs her chest out with pride. "I'm happy to say that my skill with the sword is equaled only by my skill with the pen!"

"Oh, is that what drew you to the Mikami in the first place?" Yuyuko asks, eying the inchling with interest.

"Ah..." Sukuna flushes a little bit, and I remember just what it was that brought her to the shrine in the first place. "N-not exactly, your ladyship. It was something else, but! I have most certainly found that Lady Shizuha's guidance has greatly increased my skill at poetry! Yessir!" She seems quite eager to change the subject. "Anyway! I don't think that I have introduced myself to you yet, Lady Yuyuko! I am in fact Shinmyoumaru Sukuna, elite swordsman and poet without peer!"

"A warrior-poet..." Yuyuko muses. She gets a mischievous smile. "You know, Youmu experiments with poetry herself, from time to time!"

"Eep!" Youmu squeaks, flushing deeply.

"I knew it!" Sukuna cheers, turning her full attention to Youmu. "I knew you were a kindred spirit! Say, we'll have to exchange poetry one day! I'd love to see what you write!"

"Er, uh, n-no that's not really..." Youmu flusters, frantically trying to backpedal out of the situation her mistress has thrust her into.

"Plus, we have totally got to have a duel one day!" Sukuna insists. "I've heard about your blades, and would love to test my Shining Needle Sword against you!"

"...'Shining Needle Sword?'" Youmu echoes. With a proud flourish, Sukuna draws her mighty blade out, and presents it to Youmu and Yuyuko.

They consider the weapon for a long moment. Then they glance at me from the corner of their eyes. I nod silently.

"...A truly fearsome weapon," Yuyuko agrees with a benign nod.

"I can see the craftmanship," Youmu adds hesitantly, looking incredibly skeptical. I know how they feel. You kind of have to be on the receiving end to really appreciate the power of Sukuna's weapon.

"Yes indeed!" Sukuna says. "This weapon was forged of the purest metals to form the strongest of alloys! A master inchling weaponsmith slaved over its construction for over a year! The blade never gets dull, and can cut the very wind itself, and I don't even notice the weight! With this weapon, my ancestors were even able to fell the Oni!"

This gets Youmu's attention. "Really? The Oni? You know, my own weapons have their own history..."

"Oh, I'd really love to hear all about it!" Sukuna gushes. "By the way, wanna have a duel later? I'd love to test my swordsmanship against your own!"

"That sounds lovely," Yuyuko giggles, eying Sukuna with fascination. "Perhaps we can have an exhibition match later in the evening?"

"I... I'd love to!" Youmu finally brightens up at the prospect of a match with Sukuna, and the two swordswomen immediately enter into a discussion of their respective styles and weapons. Yuyuko giggles as she watches the two of them, eyes sparkling.

Okay. Good job, Sukuna! Now we need to capitalize on Yuyuko's good mood.


Next up (include what she says):

[ ] Aya
[ ] Hina
[ ] Shizuha
[ ] Minoriko
[X]Aya- Personally attest to Sukuna's prowess with her sword, as you learned in your duel.
-[X]If Yuyuko asks why you were in a duel with her to begin with, try to squeeze past that issue by saying that it happened in the underground, and that everything got a little crazy during that trip.
--[X]As an example, accidentally bring up how Shizuha got into that drunk dance at the bar.
[X]Shizuha- Blush with embarrassment and try to defend yourself.
[X]Minoriko- Lightly tease your sister.
[X]Hina- Calm everyone down and say that the underground was really cool to explore.
[X]All- Segue into discussing your various adventures in the underground.
-[X]Bring up some of the different people you met.
--[X]Make it clear (but not directly) that you were interested not simply in getting their worship but in finding new friends.
-[X]Reflect on how the oni really have come a long way.
--[X]Lead into your visit to the oni museum and the spirit encounter there.
[X]Hina- Carefully (to hide embarrassment)ask Yuyko if she has any advice on how to better handle absorbing misfortune from spirits, given her...digestion issues the last time.
[X]All- From here, shift into discussing how the Mikami can help the ghosts reach Hakugyoukoro with full, satisfying lives.

How's this look? It's a little dependent on causality, but I think it's a pretty good mix. I'm open to suggestions.
>>26441
I don't have any major complaints.
>>26441
Looks good to me. This is one out of my expertise.
>>26441
I am not good with write ins so I guess this does not look that bad. It looks more like a normal conversation instead of asking for help to me so that should be fine.
>>26441
Sounds good to me, although I hope our decision not to train Sukuna doesn't comeback and bite us now.
Well, my plan with this is sort of to ease into the negotiations. Yuyuko will probably be interested to hear about our tales of the underground, and it let us build the kind of camaraderie image we want and show that we're interested in friends along with allies without being too blunt about it. In the process, we can demonstrate some of the strengths each member of the Mikami has, and then we can gradually shift into discussing how we can benefit Yuyuko as well.

I'm not too worried about Sukuna. The duel is more of a way for the two to see each others' abilities, so as long as Sukuna makes a good showing things should be fine.
[x] Let Hina explain the origins of the faith and how the three goddesses united.
-[x] Each god should explain its role.
--[x] Subtly hint at which skills are compatible with both of them: evil spirits manipulation, food and cooking, arts, hard work, luck and, most importantly in an afterlife transitional place: acceptance of changes.
-[x] Finally, lament at the status of Faith in Gensokyo and the recent "war" (Tohou 13.5) where you are either a subordinate or an enemy.

Just throwing this out there. We first explain how we came to be, what can we do and how can it help this place (hell, we could be guiding lost souls into accepting the afterlife and controlling rebellious spirits by the end of the week) and all of its residents.
Finally, after gradually explaing who we are and what we can do and how that can help her we explain what we want from her: protection so we can be left the fuck alone.
>>26447
That actually sounds pretty good too. I'm not sure which way to go now.
>>26447
Going with this, but also:
[X]Explain how the waning faith in Gensokyo might be due to the religious leaders' lack of humility, turning people away.
>>26449
Not so sure about the addition, at least insofar as that Byakuren doesn't really fit the bill of 'lack of humility.'

The others, sure, but she could stand out as an arguing point in the discussion.
I agree that the later addition is a little problematic. The comment seems too generic and therefore somewhat offensive, which might push Yuyuko away slightly.

I'm okay with 26447's idea, but I still think that my strategy is pretty good too. Is there any way to mix them together? I'd also be willing to reconsider 26447 for the next vote after this one.
Yeah, not really liking that add-in either. It makes us seem waaaay presumptuous, especially given that Byakuren seemed pretty nice back when we ran into her that one time.
>>26449 Here...
>>26450
Durrrr. I had a different character on the brain when I made that write-in.
OK, I'm withdrawing that part. Just concentrate on >>26447's idea.
Looks like we have two competing ways to go about this, so I'm gonna put it to a vote. People can have another day to think about this, and I'll probably update tomorrow.

[x] >>26441
[x] >>26447

Of course, new write-ins are still welcome, assuming they get enough support.
So we're doing a new vote, then?

[x] >>26447
>>26454
New vote!
It goes to:
[x]26447
>>26455

Yeah, for clarity's sake.
[x] >>26441

I am all for this.
[x] >>26441

Keep in mind, I'm willing to go with 26477's option in the next vote if things go well this time. I just think that my way helps us transition better.
[X] >>26441

...I'm picky about how I format my votes.
Both are bad, but I'll be damned if I ever vote an option that has 'blush' as an command.

[x]26447
>>26461
Any suggestions for improvement then?
>>26441 seems like we're sort of dancing around the issue, it's bringing up stuff that relies on understanding their powers, which should be one of the main topics of conversation. We can get to that stuff later, after we have more context.

[x] >>26447
[x] >>26447

I think it's better to keep it relatively simple and be honest with our intentions.
Looks like >>26447 has a majority. So, vote called!
File 139336871459.jpg - (115.24KB, 850x531, shes evaluating you.jpg) [iqdb]
26466
I carefully watch Yuyuko's expression. Sukuna's antics seem to have amused her, so that's a point in our favor; she's in a good mood. As Youmu rises and excuses herself to check on the meal, I hazard that it's time to get to business. I nod to Hina, and she nods back. Clearing her throat, the misfortune goddess speaks.

"Have you ever heard how our faith formed, Lady Yuyuko?" she asks.

Yuyuko turns her attention back to Hina. "I fear that I have not. I must be quite the story, though!"

Hina smiles. "I admit, I was in a bit of a bad state for a while. I was frustrated with the way my life was going, and then there was the Pleasant Meadows incident."

Yuyuko sighs, a sad look crossing her face. "I've heard all about it. Yukari told me. The poor woman really had to pull herself back together from the indignities she suffered. But then, it seems that you yourself suffered a great deal as well, no?"

Hina shrugs. "Maybe. It was certainly one of the harshest experiences of my life. Little did I know that a Tengu would be my salvation." She gives me a playful smirk, and I just chuckle in response.

"Yes... I had heard a great deal about your own exploits, Miss Shameimaru," Yuyuko notes, looking at me.

"A shameful stage of my life that I wish to put behind me," I shrug. "But I'm glad that I was able to help Hina let go of her past."

"I wanted to do more for people, for all of Gensokyo," Hina continues. "And that eventually lead me to the Aki sisters. We have a great deal in common, you see; we're all quite close to humanity by nature."

Yuyuko nods. "But willing to accept youkai, I notice."

"We believe in living life to its fullest," Minoriko explains. "Youkai live their lives too. We see no reason for any conflict."

Yuyuko sips her tea, regarding the Mikami thoughtfully. "So I had heard. You believe in living life to its fullest, as you said. In fact, you believe that all people should do so. You credo then is one of good food, removing misfortune, and...?" she looks at Shizuha. Of course, Yuyuko likely already knows what our faith stands for, but this is all part of the negotiations. Selling ourselves to a potential ally.

Shizuha responds. "We stand for many things, but what we mainly deal with is helping people manage their day-to-day issues. But there's more to us than just that, as well. I help people express themselves, be it though art or poetry or some other medium. Hina removes misfortune, and has also shown herself able to neutralize evil spirits." Yuyuko's eyes flicker at this, but she says nothing. "My own sister stands for good living in the form of good food and cooking, but she also represents the fulfillment of a hard day's work. That's what we're all about; helping people to live their lives to the fullest by making the highs of each day more pronounced, while smoothing over the valleys."

"And something else," Hina says. "We're even more than just day-to-day goddesses. We're the goddesses of change. And we help people deal with that hardest trial of all: change. We help people to deal with, and accept those changes, be they minor, or something life-changing."

Or life-ending, I think to myself.

Yuyuko clearly gets the message, and stares down at her cup, deep in thought. I decide to change the subject and stretch a little bit. "Of course, these are all nice words and all, but I can't help but worry about the state of faith in Gensokyo," I say with a sigh. "I mean, I might have been imprisoned at the time, but even I had heard about how... mercenary things had become."

"You mean the recent 'war,'" Yuyuko replies. She shakes her head. "Foolishness, really. Everyone was so eager to demonstrate the supremacy of their faith, to lure followers by nothing more than the strength of their arm. Really, I think most people just took it as a form of entertainment, and a chance to lay some bets."

"That's what I heard," I reply, shaking my head. "I mean, really... that's what things have come to in Gensokyo. As far as the faiths are concerned, you're either a subordinate... or you're an enemy. Not much chance for simple friendship in that environment."

"True..." Yuyuko muses. "Then again, could it not be said that success in combat is representative of the strength of your faith? After all, faith is power in Gensokyo. If you are successful in battle, does that not mean you have the strongest faith, and thus are the most worthy of having followers?" Yuyuko looks at us, clearly expecting an answer.


[ ] Respond.
This response is mostly based around Aya, though the others can take part too.

[X]Is strength the only important thing though?
[X]Strength can be a factor in considering the worth of people, but it is not the sole factor, nor should it be.
[X]Point out that worth can be found outside of battle. In the food you eat, the natural beauty you admire, and the many stray chances that flavor life. Raw strength does not necessarily benefit these things, and may even hinder them. But those things are still wonderful, and deserve to be considered as worthy in their own right.
[X]Reflect on how the tengu and oni were both focused on power through strength in the past, and the cost of that violence. Unrestrained strength hurts everyone, even those who use it (possibly reflect on yourself and "Big Papa"). The oni have at least tried to recognize the price of their actions and forged something greater, while the tengu elders refuse to recognize their mistakes and move forward.
[X]Point out that the spell card system is built on the recognition that power alone should not decide everything. Through it, Gensokyo has entered a new age of prosperity and relative peace. But we still need to keep moving forward, toward something better. We have to believe in the future, and that means that we cannot simply rely on violence as a crutch.
[X]That is the true faith we should be looking for. Let our talents speak for themselves. Though wars may never truly end, we need to look for a sense of life that is not bound to the battlefield. In the end, miracles of life, even things as simple as having a good meal among friends, are just as precious as victories forged on pain and violence. That sort of faith, enduring regardless of the physical winner and loser, is the true strength we wish to embody.


How does this look? If it's a little rough, I can polish it up according to suggestions. Overall though, I think this is the answer we're looking for.
[x] “We have a Stage 6 boss and we’re not afraid to use her!”
-[x] “Also, Kokoro likes us and she was able to whup three of the religious leaders at once!”

Or we could go with something more philosophical (>>26467).
[x]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
[x]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side.
[x]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.

Along with >>26467 I think the goddesses could elaborate on these points.
I've never made a write-in before so sorry if it's a little rough and lacking substance.
I don't think we should boast of our strengths, though we might want to bring the matter up. Maybe add something like this to the end of my set:

[X]And if push comes to shove, those seeking to take control of us be force will see that favoring peace over violence does not imply vulnerability. Should conflict come, we will stand our ground and fight, not for any victory or glory but simply so that our true faith will endure.
>>26469

Your ideas are pretty good too. Maybe we should combine them in a way.

[X]Is strength the only important thing though?
[X]Strength can be a factor in considering the worth of people, but it is not the sole factor, nor should it be.
[X]Point out that worth can be found outside of battle. In the food you eat, the natural beauty you admire, and the many stray chances that flavor life. Raw strength does not necessarily benefit these things, and may even hinder them. But those things are still wonderful, and deserve to be considered as worthy in their own right.
[X]Reflect on how the tengu and oni were both focused on power through strength in the past, and the cost of that violence. Unrestrained strength hurts everyone, even those who use it (possibly reflect on yourself and "Big Papa"). The oni have at least tried to recognize the price of their actions and forged something greater, while the tengu elders refuse to recognize their mistakes and move forward.
[X]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
[X]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side.
[X]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.
[X]Point out that the spell card system is built on the recognition that power alone should not decide everything. Through it, Gensokyo has entered a new age of prosperity and relative peace. But we still need to keep moving forward, toward something better. We have to believe in the future, and that means that we cannot simply rely on violence as a crutch.
[X]That is the true faith we should be looking for. Let our talents speak for themselves. Though wars may never truly end, we need to look for a sense of life that is not bound to the battlefield. In the end, miracles of life, even things as simple as having a good meal among friends, are just as precious as victories forged on pain and violence. That sort of faith, enduring regardless of the physical winner and loser, is the true strength we wish to embody.
[X]And if push comes to shove, those seeking to take control of us be force will see that favoring peace over violence does not imply vulnerability. Should conflict come, we will stand our ground and fight, not for any victory or glory but simply so that our true faith will endure.
>>26471
Definitely this.
Also, I'm not adding to the conversation, just tossing this out there...
"To goddesses like us, faith isn't power, it's lifeblood. Much like youkai wouldn't exist if humans didn't believe in them, gods would cease to be if they lost their followers. Much like learning how to use a sword or a bow, it's what you channel that power towards that matters. We don't want to change people's lives, we just want to make those lives worth living."
I also kind of want to throw in,
"We don't want to tell people how to live their life, because we're not those people."
Eh... Thoughts? If nobody likes the idea, consider this just a vote for >>26471.
I so want to add, "An ideal whose time has come can't be stopped by any army or any goddess," but that WAY too grandiose.
Well, I could change things around slightly:

[X]To goddesses like us, faith isn't power, it's lifeblood. Much like youkai wouldn't exist if humans didn't believe in them, gods would cease to be if they lost their followers. Much like learning how to use a sword or a bow, it's what you channel that power towards that matters. We don't want to change people's lives, we just want to make those lives worth living.
-[X]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
-[X]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side. We don't want to tell people how to live their life, because we're not those people.
-[X]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.

Should I change that part of the vote set or leave things as they were?
>>26471
This is mostly okay.
[X]Is strength the only important thing though?
[X]Strength can be a factor in considering the worth of people, but it is not the sole factor, nor should it be.
[X]Point out that worth can be found outside of battle. In the food you eat, the natural beauty you admire, and the many stray chances that flavor life. Raw strength does not necessarily benefit these things, and may even hinder them. But those things are still wonderful, and deserve to be considered as worthy in their own right.
[X]Reflect on how the tengu and oni were both focused on power through strength in the past, and the cost of that violence. Unrestrained strength hurts everyone, even those who use it (possibly reflect on yourself and "Big Papa"). The oni have at least tried to recognize the price of their actions and forged something greater, while the tengu elders refuse to recognize their mistakes and move forward.
[X]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
[X]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side.
[X]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.
[X]Point out that the spell card system is built on the recognition that power alone should not decide everything. Through it, Gensokyo has entered a new age of prosperity and relative peace. But we still need to keep moving forward, toward something better. We have to believe in the future, and that means that we cannot simply rely on violence as a crutch.
[X]That is the true faith we should be looking for. Let our talents speak for themselves. Though wars may never truly end, we need to look for a sense of life that is not bound to the battlefield. In the end, miracles of life, even things as simple as having a good meal among friends, are just as precious as victories forged on pain and violence. That sort of faith, enduring regardless of the physical winner and loser, is the true strength we wish to embody.
[X]And if push comes to shove, those seeking to take control of us be force will see that favoring peace over violence does not imply vulnerability. Should conflict come, we will stand our ground and fight, not for any victory or glory but simply so that our true faith will endure.
I can't vote yet, these are just too big. I don't want a 2 sentences vote, but at least try to tone it down
>>26466
[x]Yes, faith is power, but that does not mean that all power is faith. I don't seem to recall the Hakurei shrine seeing many visitors outside of those recent fighting exhibitions, for instance.
[x]I've walked down the road of the sharpest sword before, if you'll pardon my choice of metaphors, and I've seen where that road leads. There's nothing at the end but suffering on all sides.
[x]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
[X]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side. We don't want to tell people how to live their life, because we're not those people.
[X]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.
>>26471
I think I'll throw my vote behind this
>>26477 here.
>>26483 is perfect, I think all we need to do is add a dash of >>26470. Amending my vote to this:

[x]Yes, faith is power, but that does not mean that all power is faith. I don't seem to recall the Hakurei shrine seeing many visitors outside of those recent fighting exhibitions, for instance.
[x]I've walked down the road of the sharpest sword before, if you'll pardon my choice of metaphors, and I've seen where that road leads. There's nothing at the end but suffering on all sides.
[x]We're not warriors or conquerors. Our aim isn't to subjugate the land or achieve unrivaled power.
[X]We don't want to be the kind of faith that people only follow because they're afraid we or someone else will try to destroy them if they don't pick a side. We don't want to tell people how to live their life, because we're not those people.
[X]Our ultimate goal is to help humans, youkai and anyone else live happier and fuller lives, not strong arm them into serving us.
[X]And if push comes to shove, those seeking to take control of us be force will see that favoring peace over violence does not imply vulnerability. Should conflict come, we will stand our ground and fight, not for any victory or glory but simply so that our true faith will
endure.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

I have another quote, but I think I'd better stop while I'm ahead. Still, it feels almost like a Revolution is imminent...

>>26490

Seconding this. So what do we think guys?
>>26492
I think Yuyuko used an obvious logical fallacy as a test of our intellect, and we failed.
File 139350144680.jpg - (185.42KB, 600x800, this traps the mouse.jpg) [iqdb]
26495
>>26490
I really dont like the true faith part and the whole thing lets us seem like some kind of crazy zealots.

>>26493 is right.
>>26493
>>26496
You want to tell us the correct answer, then, or are you just here to shitpost? What's the "obvious" fallacy?
>>26497
I said we failed the test, not that we gave an incorrect answer.

>you have the strongest faith, and thus are the most worthy of having followers
This was the fallacy; the worth of a faith has nothing to do with its strength, only the benefits it brings to its followers.
We failed in that we didn't point out that it was a fallacy, but gave the correct answer by stating why it was a fallacy, even if we didn't realise it.

I didn't want to point it out sooner because gloating over having solved Yuyuko's riddle would have torpedoed any chance we had of recruiting her.
>>26477/>>26490 here.
>>26496 >>26498
So, what, just simply and explicitly tell Yuyuko, "We don't think strength equals faith"? Because I thought we addressed that by saying we want to enrich people's lives instead of control them. Granted, I think we could've been even less grandiose, and I think we all might be thinking too much about possible contingencies....
So, >>26496 & >>26498, what would you say? How would you phrase it? Not like, "like so-and-so, but less full of ourselves," but what exactly would you tell Yuyuko?
Also, I really need to get a handle or something so I can stop saying, ">>XXXXX here"
>>26498
>gloating over having solved Yuyuko's riddle
So you think "failing" is solving the riddle but not gloating about it? I don't quite understand your logic in declaring "we failed" earlier when you apparently meant "we correctly answered but didn't smugly call her out on a logical flaw."

I definitly agree the write-ins are overdoing it, they're too long and sound too defensive and/or evasive. We need to cut this down to a more straightforward answer, then elaborate only if necessary.
May I suggest an alternative write-in?

[X] Thanks for the strawman, Lady Yuyuko, but there are two flaws with your argument(don't actually say this).
-[1] Saying that the most faith means the most combat power is like saying the largest sword means the most combat power.
-[2] Might does not make right.

A write-in speech that just gets copy-pasted in the update would feel boring here. These are just points that we need to hit.
>>26506
[X] "I'm sorry, Yuyuko, but we don't think so. We think the power of our faith should be measured by how many followers we have, how devoted they can be, and how much we're able to help them."
-[X] "If we gather faith through a show of force, who's to say our followers aren't actually afraid of us, afraid of what we'll do if they stop following us? That's not what we want."
We say we disagree with Yuyuko, and we say why, short and sweet.
I honestly dont know what to make of these wall o votes after reading through them again.

We spend the entire time just kinda saying how our faith is for the everyday man, complaining about other faiths and expressing concerns about how they act when it comes with the partnering choice, act like everything is peachy and peaceful and we dont want trouble and then these votes.
Despite everyone voting against Aya picking up a sword, which was totally outta context and explained with her horrible warfilled past we get these votes that make us seem like a crusader and reek of passive agression.

"We dont really want to fight and faith isnt power but if others challenge us we will not back down and totally wrek thier shit because our faith is the true faith", that really is whats between the lines in most of the votes, and the only difference to the other faiths in gensokyo is that they are up front about it while we hide it.
[X] "I'm sorry, Yuyuko, but we don't think so. We think the power of our faith should be measured by how many followers we have, how devoted they can be, and how much we're able to help them."
-[X] "If we gather faith through a show of force, who's to say our followers aren't actually afraid of us, afraid of what we'll do if they stop following us? That's not what we want."


I think this is the best so far. No giant wall of write-in to copy/paste, instead it's just straight the point we want to make:
We don't want our faith by, or to be used for, force.
The Mikami isn't some old testament fire and brimstone and pillars of salt kind of faith. It's just the little everyday things like objects getting stuck in drawers.

A more aggressive kind of god (like e.g. Bishamonten) would see worth in the faith gathered by a show of force, but we've literally just finished telling Yuyuko that the Mikami is about living a full life without sudden bumps on the road to overturn your metaphorical cart.
Any faith that is by, from, or about force is almost always responsible for causing such overturns rather than solving them.
>>26506 here, replying to >>26514 now that I have a bit more time to fill out my ideas. Also clarifying my vote at the bottom, but not deleting my post so that others can trace the flow of the discussion.

Yuyuko is setting up a straw-man of Kanako right now. The arguments we use should be the ones that we will use upon the inevitable confrontation with Kanako. My general strategy for an argument is to first break apart what my opponent is saying, then state my own views. I am not going to claim that this is always the correct approach, but I think it is in this case. Yuyuko has made two propositions that we can attack right now.

First (paraphrased):
> A large quantity of faith means high combat power.
This is generally true for Gensokyo, but there is one main issue with that. Kanako is a war goddess, so I expect that it is significantly more efficient for her to use faith for combat than it is for Shizuha. Kanako proposing a duel is about as fair as Minoriko proposing a cooking contest, so if one wants to measure the faith that a goddess has, combat is not a fair measuring stick. Proposing a different method of measuring faith is a debate for another time, and the different roles that deities play may make such measurement impossible.

Second (also paraphrased):
> The strongest faith deserves the most followers
There are two problems with this. First is that a strong faith will have many followers, so a snowball effect could be created, where one deity controls all of Gensokyo's faith. Second and more importantly, a philosophy of "might makes right" is the opposite of what Gensokyo stands for. The purpose of Keymaster's Gensokyo is to promote coexistence among humans and supernatural beings. If the strongest party is correct, then why can't youkai eat those that are weaker? Suggesting the possiblity of rule by fear is incorrect in this case, because it implies that Kanako could be ruling by fear. This is a serious insult that is not necessary to win the argument.

tl;dr: Yuyuko does not believe what she is saying right now, and we should keep that in mind in our reply.

Clarifying my vote to:

[X] "I suppose it's only fair that you test us a bit, Lady Yuyuko. Here is our reply."
-[1] Saying that the most faith means the most combat power is like saying the largest sword means the most combat power. A war goddess will be naturally more skilled in combat than one of the harvest.
-[2] The purpose of Gensokyo is coexistence. A faith that grows by destroying its competitors is a direct attack on this purpose.
[X] "I'm sorry, Yuyuko, but we don't think so. We think the power of our faith should be measured by how many followers we have, how devoted they can be, and how much we're able to help them."
-[X] "If we gather faith through a show of force, who's to say our followers aren't actually afraid of us, afraid of what we'll do if they stop following us? That's not what we want."

Short but sweet.
[X] "I suppose it's only fair that you test us a bit, Lady Yuyuko. Here is our reply."
-[1] Saying that the most faith means the most combat power is like saying the largest sword means the most combat power. A war goddess will be naturally more skilled in combat than one of the harvest.
-[2] The purpose of Gensokyo is coexistence. A faith that grows by destroying its competitors is a direct attack on this purpose.

Works for me.
>>26514 here. I guess I'm amending my vote to:

[X] "I suppose it's only fair that you test us a bit, Lady Yuyuko. Here is our reply."
-[1] Saying that the most faith means the most combat power is like saying the largest sword means the most combat power. A war goddess will be naturally more skilled in combat than one of the harvest.
-[2] The purpose of Gensokyo is coexistence. A faith that grows by destroying its competitors is a direct attack on this purpose.

>>26517 is right, and I think I got all riled up with this write-in. I freely admit, I had a vision in my head of the Mikami overtaking Kanako, and, well... That's what I want, not what the Mikami wants.

But I guess in hindsight, that might mean that, back when we were planning for contingencies, we got all riled about Kanako for nothing. (I hope.)

>>26541 is a more prudent vote.
Wow. That's a lot of discussion. Which is a good thing!

Anyway, I'm gonna leave things be for a few more hours before I call the vote and start writing, so keep it coming!
>point out the trap
>point out WHY it's a trap
>everyone dogpiles the fucking trap
not to self: never say anything ever again
[X] "I suppose it's only fair that you test us a bit, Lady Yuyuko. Here is our reply."
-[1] Saying that the most faith means the most combat power is like saying the largest sword means the most combat power. A war goddess will be naturally more skilled in combat than one of the harvest.
-[2] The purpose of Gensokyo is coexistence. A faith that grows by destroying its competitors is a direct attack on this purpose.
Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and call it for the short and sweet vote. Which is kind of a relief, since just copying and pasting a big write-in is kind of a cop-out.
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26529
I meet Yuyuko's eyes. "No. As a matter of fact it doesn't."

She raises an eyebrow in response. "Oh no? It seems like fairly clear logic to me. The stronger the representative, the stronger the faith, is this not so?"

"It sounds like an easy answer, doesn't it? Too easy." I speak carefully, watching the ghost princess. This is obviously a test. She's prodding us, trying to get a response. She wants to know what we think, how we feel about matters. I don't even know if there's a genuine 'right' or 'wrong' answer here. But I will give her the Truth.

"What you're talking about is Might Makes Right," I point out, speaking carefully. "But that isn't always the case. The most faith leads to the most combat power? Maybe. But that's like saying that the largest sword means the most battle prowess. And I've known a few knife-fighters in my time who would just laugh at someone with a huge blade."

"Indeed, there are far deadlier things than a massive sword," Yuyuko agrees with a mysterious smile.

"Agreed. So we are to measure faith purely by one's combat ability?" I snort. "Naturally, a war goddess will be more capable on the field of battle than a goddess of the harvest. But who does the war goddess ultimately turn to in order to feed her troops? Without that harvest goddess, her army starves, and her power becomes meaningless."

"Then power becomes meaningless in that context, doesn't it?" Yuyuko idly sips at her tea. "The ability to fight somebody with flash and panache becomes pointless in the face of more pressing matters, like keeping a full stomach. Even mighty Reimu feared starvation up until her marriage."

"I don't deem the ability to fight to be a good unit of measurement of personal worth," I assert. "It's not pointless in and of itself, and being able to defend yourself is certainly a virtue. But believe me, in my time, I have seen people with the ability to fight wish dearly that they didn't possess such skills." Participating in a massacre makes you rue the day you first picked up a sword. "No, there are more important things. The ability to help people. The ability to care for others, and to aid them. And we are to lure others to our side by force of arms? To intimidate them into a mockery of service? Or gain some sort of fleeting, fake approval by looking impressive in a duel? No. That isn't our way."

"Of course it isn't," Yuyuko says idly. "Because you do something that so few others do. You offer to help people. You offer to make their lives better with no strings attached. You don't force your philosophy down their throat, you merely ask for a donation of belief in exchange for your aid. That's quite admirable." The princess looks up sharply. "And potentially threatening."

"Threatening?" Hina echoes.

"Gensokyo has worked under the premise of Might Makes Right for a very long time," Yuyuko notes. "And now you seek to stir up the status quo. There are more than a few people that will take offense to that, and see you as a danger. What will you do when they come calling?"

"Except that what you say is false," I say calmly. Yuyuko looks at me in surprise. "Once, maybe, this place was all about rule through greater strength. Once. But these days, Gensokyo is all about coexistence. Of remembering the past, but moving forward despite it. Of working together. People won't take seriously a faith that tries to assert itself because such actions run contrary to that purpose. I mean, can you imagine Byakuren trying to persuade people onto the path of peace and harmony by busting their heads?"

"It has a certain comedic element," Yuyuko chuckles.

"Maybe. But people don't care about which faith can field the toughest fighters. They care about which faith can provide for them. Which faith can stave off hunger and help them through the long days. In a land where anybody can use some magic to fly around and make magical fireworks, combat ability becomes less and less a way to show your competence. And it's meaningless in terms of demonstrating the value of a faith."

"Precisely." Yuyuko looks me dead in the eye, suddenly very serious. "And therein lies the threat. You approach people by looking out for their interests. By offering not to take care of them, but by offering to help them take care of themselves. It's something faith in Gensokyo hasn't done in a while, and it is something that will appeal to people, attract them. Attract their faith. And there are those in Gensokyo who will covet that very faith."

I smile. "That's the glorious part of Gensokyo, Lady Yuyuko. The spellcard rules make for an ideal means of settling disputes. They're about hard work, artistry, and a bit of luck. Remember who we have on our side."

"Except that it's better not to have such treacherous disputes to begin with," Yuyuko says, speaking openly. "Which is why you want a patron, An ally. Someone strong to ward off powerful foes who would take advantage of you, or even destroy you."

"And so here we are," I say with a shrug.

"Indeed. You are." Yuyuko stares at me silently. I stare back. The room is very quiet. The silence stretches out until it is broken by an awkward-sounding cough.

"Dinner is served," Youmu says quietly from the entryway.

Yuyuko immediately regains her bubbly exterior. "Wonderful~! Shall we break for a meal, ladies?"

"We'd be honored," I say quietly. The five of us rise, and follow Yuyuko to supper.

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

The meal passes in relative silence. A bit of small-talk goes back and forth, but for the most part, it consists of Yuyuko staring at us enigmatically while we stare back, wondering what is going on in her mind. Youmu seems to sense the tense atmosphere, and practically leaps to clear the table afterwards. Sukuna takes one long look at us before rushing off to help Youmu. Soon enough, it is just me, the Mikami, and Yuyuko, sitting quietly in the empty dining room.

"Let's cut to the chase," Yuyuko says at last. Her face is stern, serious. Gone is the bubbly, cheerful ghost. Now, we gaze upon the face of a noblewoman, one who has ruled the dead for centuries. "You have a worthy cause, I will admit. You honestly want to help people, rather than demand their reverence in exchange for high-handed dictates. You understand the pointlessness of raw power, as well. I will tell you this: Yukari has maintained Gensokyo for so long, not through power, but through her ability to keep people pacified, through careful words and diplomacy. Power only goes so far; after a while, it becomes nothing more than an infantile way of showing off." She smiles coldly. "Honestly? In some of the courts I have attended, the mighty of Gensokyo wouldn't last on hour. In those places, an open display of power is nothing less than a pathetic display of weakness."

"Which does not change the fact that we need to be able to defend ourselves," I point out.

Yuyuko shrugs. "I won't offend you by suggesting otherwise. Yes, the wise falcon sheathes its talons... but it always has them ready in case of need. Yes, I see that you are wise enough to understand this. But I have a question for you." Yuyuko's eyes bore into my own. "You have a worthy cause, and the wisdom to back it up. But what if you found a problem you weren't expecting one day?"

"What kind of problem?" Shizuha asks.

"You are devoted to helping people, yes? To easing their burden in life?" Yuyuko's gaze is sharp. "Fine. Assume then, that your place is secure. That you have established a peace with all rivals. That you are secure in your place, and have a steady supply of faith. Now, assume that one day, a girl comes to your doorstep, in tears. She has a terrible curse: all those around her sicken and die due to a foul miasma that clings to her. This miasma cannot be dispelled; it is part of who she is. Her very existence brings her torment; she is causing people to die just by living, and she knows it. The only solution seems to be suicide, but she doesn't want to throw her life away. All other priests have turned her away, and now she comes to you.

What do you say to her?"

[ ]

Last one. Good luck.
Aww shit, things are getting personal! I hope somebody has something good for this, cause I got nothing.

I mean obviously we should say something about helping her, but I have no idea how best to phrase it.
I'll do what I all too often do: wait for someone(s) to make a good write-in, then consider creating a modified version of those write-ins if none of them suit my fancy.
I am on my cell now.

"Did you not say that death is a natural progression?"

"For such a person, I would recommend making your curse a gift. Instead of focusing on the trouble you bring, focus on helping people come to terms with death.

Hina- I used to see my ability as only a curse. But I learned that from a new perspective I could help people.

Shizuha- Sometimes gifts are not obvious, until you take the time to appreciate them.

A little rough, but you get the idea. Hopefully you guys can polish things out.
[X] We are friends with youkai, too.
[X] Send her to live with those who can live despite her powers - whether through power, or through conceptual immunity. (The Yama? The Celestials?)
[X] If none exist, make the effort to cure her.
[X] And in the end... if all else fails, send her to live among the dead.
[x] "Death is only the beginning."

There are many theories as to the nature of the afterlife, and in Gensokyo, several are true. Heaven, Hell, Higan, her own Netherworld, and others besides. The end of one's life is not, necessarily, the end of their existence.

In this specific, exceptional example, entreating the Yamaxanadu for assistance may be the best course of action. Ending one's own life not for one's own sake, but instead for the sake of others, may be grounds for special judgement. Reincarnation, becoming an earthbound spirit, even service as a ferryman on the Sanzu River.

The only alternative may be to change the girl's very nature, and that could easily be seen as a fate even worse than death itself, and a feat beyond almost anyone in Gensokyo.

Ultimately, the Mikami would be powerless to do anything themselves, other than comfort the girl.

I couldn't resist the quote. It just fits so perfectly.
I immediately think of Hina and Yamame. More Yamame though. Maybe she could learn to manipulate or suppress her "curse" over time. Her living among those that are unaffected by death or dying is also a solution.
[x]Is death an end or a transition?

[x]You would help her make her curse something that can help people. Help them come to terms with death or deliver them from pain.

[x]Hina- I thought my power only brought misfortune, but I learned that I could help people.

[x]Shizuha- You need the right perspective. Something seemingly insignificant can become wonderful if you notice it.
[x]If she still cannot find a positive use, we will do out best to save her (Yama, etc.)

[x]And if we cannot do anything to help her, we we will be humble and apologize. It is the least we can do.
> "You are devoted to helping people, yes? To easing their burden in life? [...] Assume that one day, a girl comes to your doorstep, in tears. She has a terrible curse: all those around her sicken and die due to a foul miasma that clings to her. This miasma cannot be dispelled; it is part of who she is. Her very existence brings her torment; she is causing people to die just by living, and she knows it. The only solution seems to be suicide, but she doesn't want to throw her life away. All other priests have turned her away, and now she comes to you."

Uh oh, Yuyuko's talking about herself now.
[X] If there is some convenient way out, like Hina's powers or living with people who are immune, take it.
[X] "But that's not the point of this exercise, is it?
-[X] "I know a ghost princess you need to talk to."

I know that this is Yuyuko talking about herself here, but our response should not only resolve the specific case. It is better to show our approach to solving any situation that seems hopeless. In the ideal future Gensokyo, coexistence will have given way to interdependence. There are many experiences and powers to be found in this land, and there is at least one other person who truly understands any situation. If the goddesses cannot solve the problem or provide appropriate counseling, they will do whatever it takes to find someone who can.

Also, fun fact: Hina never regarded her own powers as a curse. Others perceived her powers to be a curse, and this misunderstanding was what caused her bitterness.
I thought it'd be a cold day in July before I'd find a fanfic/doujin writer who gave Yuyuko memories of her past life. Thank you, Keymaster.

[x] Is death an end or a transition?

[x] You would help her make her curse something that can help people. Help them come to terms with death or deliver them from pain.

[x] You need the right perspective. Something seemingly insignificant can become wonderful if you notice it.

[x]"I know a ghost princess you could talk to..."

[x] If she still cannot find a positive use, we will do out best to save her (Yama, etc.)

[x] And if we cannot do anything to help her, we we will be humble and apologize. It is the least we can do.

We should give no weight or emphasis to any of the answers except the last one. I think this might be a Kobayashi Maru-- Yuyuko might shoot down every answer we have, giving us no chance of helping this girl, and judging how strong our character is by how well we accept failure. And while we should do everything in our power to try to help, we must eventually accept defeat at some point.
>>26539
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the correct answer is "I am sorry. Is there anything I can do to help you die at peace?". Unfortunately, I can't resist trying to cut that knot in a way that will surprise yet satisfy Yuyuko.
">If the goddesses cannot solve the problem or provide appropriate counseling, they will do whatever it takes to find someone who can."

I think we should probably definitely emphasize this point. It stands to reason that during a search, we'd likely wind up having to deal with groups that might take issue with us.

A good example would be Sanae; her power over miracles would be a great starting point, but having to deal with the rest of the Moriya house would be a big hurdle for obvious reasons.

Even if they wound up being unable to help, the willingness to go to those lengths for a request isn't something to be taken lightly.
[x] "Well, skipping past the part where we try various things to solve or work around her problem and you shoot them down..."
[x] "You're not going to like this answer, but I think it's the right one."
- [x] "I'd send her to you."

Yeah. This is Yuyuko trying to ask "what would you have done for me?" But that was then and this is now; and then didn't have Princess Yuyuko Saigyouji, and now does.

And that matters as much as Yuyuko matters.

And anyway, what some hypothetical version of the Mikami who had never met Yuyuko would do isn't important; we're not asking Yuyuko to endorse a hypothetical Mikami. But if she insists -- or asks us what we would do in the event she were powerless, unreachable, or more dead than usual -- >>26534 has some reasonable suggestions.

(And on a more cynical note, even if one of those other options would have worked for Yuyuko, she isn't going to want to admit it. She sounds too invested in her past despair and lack of agency. Saying that she, as she is now, can help, imbues her with agency in the present, rather than chiding her for mistakes in the past.)

So I guess basically I agree with everything >>26538 says except possibly the specific phrasing, and then only because I had to write this before I understood it. (That may be more due to it having been half-past-early-o'-clock than any inclarity in the post, however.)
>>26542
Argh, can't edit. Make that
> [x] I'd take her to you.

(The distinction is relevant.)
[x] first of all, we have to remember that she's a living being, not a problem. We'd try to give her comfort and assure her that it is not her fault. It's good that she isn't suicidal- but if she considered it, then it's obvious that the guilt is overwhelming.
[x] First of all, We'd try to seal her curse regardless. We have a God that specializes in that- and we can't help but try one more time. What happens after that is up to her.
[x] She can live in an isolated house and communicate to other via letters. She is free then to pursue a career in the arts. Her curse only affects people near her right?
[x] if she doesn't wish to live alone she could enjoy the company of beings that are strong enough to resist the curse or are simply beyond death (the celestials, poltergeists and other Youkai come to mind)

She's asking what she could have done better in her life. Sending it to Yuyuko is not a option because the person she's talking about is herself!
[x] Attempt to remove curse

[x] Try to see it as a gift and use it for good

[x] "Send her to talk to you"

[x] Send her to live with some one who cant die (yama, celestial, immortal)

[x] Ask if she will be willing to live alone and pursue the arts or something.

[x] Ask other big wigs for ideas (yukari, yama, erin...)

[x] Erin's shady medicine is worth a try

[x] Failing all this apologize and ask if there is anything that we can help with

In this case, never stop trying to help even when there is nothing you can do.
[x] We would never stop trying to help in any possible way we can, no matter how much we fail or how unlikely our potential solutions are to help. Even if this just means being there for her when she needs us.

BREVITY

And I think this is actually what she wants to hear, not our ability to hastily dig up solutions to big and complex problems on the spot.
>>26545
>attempt to use a killing curse for good.

Laughingfairies.jpg
People keep suggesting all these possibilities in an attempt to cope with the situation. When she was alive, Yuyuko probably went to countless religious groups in an attempt to manage her curse. The response of those groups was probably very similar to what people are saying now: "We have all these ideas, and we won't stop trying until you can live life without hurting others." Priests would try all kinds of things, and she would stay with the group for a while. Then people would start dying. It would seem innocuous at first, but as the death toll of priests and other worshipers grew, so would Yuyuko's despair. Eventually, she would either leave or be asked to leave for the cycle to begin again. When the hypothetical girl reaches the point where she comes to the Mikami, she will be very cynical towards religious organizations. Showing the same initial response as everyone else is not going to help.

The point here is that Yuyuko was told many things in her life that were meant to inspire her to keep living, but in the end, nothing worked. There are only two groups that may have told her something meaningful: Yukari and the last group she stayed with. The only thing that I can think of is that they said something that allowed Yuyuko to end her life with dignity instead of despair.

Also, it is widely believed that Yukari knew Yuyuko in life. If Yukari could not do anything about Yuyuko's power, then it would take an enormous amount of power to seal or lessen the curse.

tl;dr: Trying various things without giving up will simply increase the body count. Sometimes closure is more important than a cure.
[X] If there is some convenient way out, like Hina's powers or living with people who are immune, take it.
[X] "But that's not the point of this exercise, is it?
[X] "You're not going to like this answer, but I think it's the right one."
[x] "I'd send her to you."

Kind of a merger.
[X] "Well, skipping past the part where we try various things to solve or work around her problem and you shoot them down..."
[X] "You're not going to like this answer, but I think it's the right one."
- [X] "I'd take her to you."
-- [X] If that's shot down, "I'd take her to the Yama."

This is the best answer that comes to mind. As others have mentioned, what Yuyuko would have needed is closure. The best person to provide that closure would be someone who had been in the same position. If she shoots down that idea, on account of "if she were not there", to the Yama, for a similar reason: while she hasn't been in the same position, she understands the girl's history, possibly better than the girl herself. In addition, both can resist dying to death butterflies, because of either already being dead, or because of a ridiculous level of power. (remember what she has done to an eldritch abomination beyond space and time.)
[X] "Well, skipping past the part where we try various things to solve or work around her problem and you shoot them down..."
[X] "You're not going to like this answer, but I think it's the right one."
- [X] "I'd take her to you."
-- [X] If that's shot down, "I'd take her to the Yama."

Throwing my vote behind this.
Mmmkay, there's a lot of debate going on right now, but it looks like folks are going for a fairly brief, to the point answer. So, consider the vote called for getting right to the point. Gonna start writing now.
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26554
There's a long silence at Yuyuko's words. The ghost princess just stares at us blandly, awaiting a response. Me, I feel vaguely like I'm staring down the business end of a crossbow, with a head enchanted to explode. I mean, what the hell do you say to something like that?!

Hina is totally blank, and can clearly think of nothing to say. Minoriko opens and closes her mouth a few times, speechless. Shizuha frowns, lost in thought and definitely troubled by the prospect. Nobody seems to have an answer to the dead woman's question.

...But then there really isn't an answer, now is there?

I close my eyes. "We'd try," I say quietly

"Hm?" Yuyuko inquires.

I open my eyes and look back at her. "I said we'd try. We'd do everything that we could for her. But what you're talking about is a hopeless scenario. A truly doomed young girl. What you're really asking us is what we would do... when there was nothing that we truly could do. Aren't you?"

Yuyuko doesn't respond.

"But of course we'd try," I shrug. "We'd do everything we could think of. Try to get Hina to absorb the curse. Try to tame its power, use it as something good. If all else failed, we'd try to get her comfortable living alone, communicating with people by notes. But of course, none of those is the 'right' answer, is it?"

"No," Yuyuko says flatly. "This isn't a simple bit of misfortune that can be sucked away. Great magics were used and could not seal this power. It was an instrument of death, with no purpose but to give somebody an early grave, and that is a terrible burden to foist upon a young girl. And living alone is exactly what she feared the most. Aside from hurting others, that is."

"That's what I mean," I reply. "There is no right answer. There is nothing that we could do. But we'd try anyway. We'd try to help her, even if it was a doomed effort, just to show her that there were people who cared. That's what we would do." I pause. "Though perhaps there is something else that we could do for her."

"And what would that be?" Yuyuko inquires.

I look the ghost princess right in the eyes. "I'd send her to talk to you."

That makes her jump. "Wh-wha...?"

"Yeah, I didn't think that you would like that answer," I chuckle. "But I know what you're talking about. I've read the dossier on you, you see. I know exactly who you're referring to,there. But you are asking us what we would do if a young girl came to us... with the exact same problem that you had, long ago. Who better to talk to about it, then? Who else but somebody who had the exact same problem?"

Yuyuko is silent.

I shake my head. "Or maybe I could take her to the Yama herself, see if there wasn't something that we could do. Throw ourselves upon the mercy of the heavens themselves, plead with them for clemency. I don't know, Yuyuko. There isn't an answer to your question. But we'd try. So help us, we would try."

Hina nods quietly. Shizuha and Minoriko join her after a moment.

"And do you think that would be enough?" Yuyuko asks of me.

"Not even close," I admit. "But it's all we could do in such a case. At least, given the scenario that you've outlined. But it is something that we could do. Maybe it would make things a little bit better. Maybe not. But it's honestly the best effort that we would be able to give."

Yuyuko sighs. "True. In fact, there really isn't a right answer in this circumstance. Sometimes, things are just to difficult to wipe away with a smile and a blessing. Sometimes there really is no hope. That's something that you have to be prepared for."

"That doesn't mean that we'd give up!" Minoriko suddenly speaks up. "You say that sometimes there's no hope. Well, maybe, but that doesn't mean that you should just give up! Maybe if you try hard enough, you'll find something that will work! An obscure seal, some sort of cure, something! At the very least, you can try to live your life as best you can with what the world has given you." She sighs. "Easily said, maybe, but it's still better than just giving up."

"I didn't say that you should give up," Yuyuko points out. "Sometimes putting in the effort is all that you can do. Sometimes, that just has to be enough. At least then, you'll be able to tell yourselves that you tried. But you have to acknowledge that there are some things that will just be beyond your powers."

"...So be it," I say. "But that doesn't mean we'll take defeat lying down." I clench my fists and glare at Yuyuko.

The ghost princess just nods. "Good." She stares at me for a long moment. "You have to realize, by allying with me, things are going to get political. But this is something that you can't avoid. By competing for faith in Gensokyo, you are already having to deal with alliances and enmities with other powers. You already know that the other faiths are watching you carefully. Now here's what I would be getting, in exchange for my protection."

"I take it good food and nice art are less than important to you?" Shizuha comments with a raised eyebrow.

Yuyuko smirks. "I might bargain for such things. But what I really want is your understanding is that you will be a political tool. Don't misunderstand, I won't be slipping you notes or secret orders or anything like that. I won't become your secret master. What I will be doing is trading favors with Yukari. I will help her in exchange for certain favors by letting her point to my support of you as a way to keep the other faiths in line. As a reminder that the people of Gensokyo, both human and Youkai, have other options. It's something that will keep their excesses in line, and prevent a 'friendly' war from spreading into doctrinal bloodshed."

"...This was your interest all along," Hina realizes. "So why all of this? Why make us jump through all of these hoops?"

"Because she wanted to see if we were even worth her time," I say slowly. "To see if we were just a group of enthusiastic women, doomed to be a flash in the pan, or if we had enough sense to make things last."

Yuyuko nods. "Quite so. Now then, what say you to my terms?"


[ ] How are these terms to you?
Terms seem relatively fair, but I'd probably look into the possibility of a veto. I doubt that Yuyuko would ask for something that would need vetoing, but it's better to have the option and never use it, than to need it and not have it.
[x] "I fail to see how this costs us anything, since it was the entire reason we asked for your help in the first place."
-[x] "Though if you or Yukari ever want us to perform some sort of task for you, you'll need to convince us as to how it's in our best interests."
[x] Group huddle with the goddesses.

Despite being the head priestess she should talk it out with the goddesses, even if they all agree anyway, on such an important agreement.
[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
[x] "That's quite the caveat you're asking us to commit to. While I get the sense you're not a bad person, there needs to be a limit on what "favors" will be required."

Or something along those lines. If anyone can word it better, be my guest. It sounds like a good deal, but agreeing to do whatever favors asked without a say? That's asking for trouble.
>"Don't misunderstand, I won't be slipping you notes or secret orders or anything like that. I won't become your secret master."

you don't have to worry about being called on for unnecessary favors, I don't think. She's pretty much stated that anything we're doing for her is mostly to point out as a "yes, we have power if necessary." We saw Yukari's style of diplomacy in Being Meiling, I wouldn't worry too much.
[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
Something worth keeping in mind: Yuyuko is at least as at manipulating events as Yukari, as shown by Silent Sinner in Blue.

Overall, I don't see any problems with what Yuyuko is asking though. The essence of her condition seems to be "Yukari will drop your names in diplomacy, and you can drop mine".

[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
I predict that Yuyuko's/Yukari's schemes will involve the Lunarians in some way. How this would influence my voting I don't yet know.
>>26563
It should cause you to want to agree, simply so we can screw the moonbitches over ourselves.
[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
-[x] "Though if you or Yukari ever want us to perform some sort of task for you, you'll need to convince us as to how it's in our best interests."

She said that she won't be slipping notes or secret orders, but some veto is good.
>I will help her in exchange for certain favors by letting her point to my support of you
I'm not sure I'm parsing this right. She's going to use the simple fact that she's allied with us as political leverage to get favors from Yukari? Or she wants favors from us?

I think this is confusing people into making bad votes.
>>26568

>>26562 pretty much has the right of it. Yuyuko is just saying that she we charge Yukari favors in exchange for letting her name-drop the Mikami.
>>26569
oh. Well that changes things. Going to vote for this then

[X] "We don't mind. It's what we were hoping for in the first place."
Okay, seems like the consensus is to accept Yuyuko's deal. Vote called.
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26572
"Just to clarify," Shizuha says slowly. "The deal you're proposing is that we get to name-drop you to get the other faiths off of our back. In exchange, Yukari gets to name-drop us in order to help keep the other faiths in line."

Yuyuko nods. "The threat of your shrine suddenly receiving a great deal of backing, and thus accumulating ever more faith, is a threat she can bring to bear if the faiths start to move beyond their current polite rivalry. Nobody wants an actual doctrinal war here in Gensokyo. This will provide her with a means to limit to the others' aggressiveness."

"And in the meantime, you trade favors with Yukari whenever she needs to do this," I conclude. "I have to wonder what those favors may be."

Yuyuko smiles mysteriously. "We've been friends for a very long time. Yukari has ways of repaying me."

...Well now, that's gonna keep me up at night, wondering. Still, Yuyuko is offering us a pretty swell deal. Even so, there's something still on my mind.

"Just to make this clear," I say carefully. "The offer you make seems quite fair, but if you or Yukari ever want us to perform some actual task for you, we want to know what it is, why we're doing it, and why it is in our best interests."

"I doubt it will ever come up," Yuyuko shrugs. "You're mainly of use to her and I as a potential stick to use against overzealous faiths. But very well. I can't guarantee that we will tell you all of the details, but if we do require some service of you, you will at least get a fair explanation and recompense."

...That's probably the best we'll get out of her, I realize. I glance over at the Mikami, who stare at Yuyuko in silence. They seem to have a brief moment of communion with one another, and then Hina turns her head slightly to look at me. I nod, ever so slightly.

In the silence of the room, punctuated only by the sound of metal clashing against metal (Sukuna must be dueling against Youmu), Hina nods to Yuyuko. "We accept your terms, Lady Saigyouji."

Yuyuko smiles, all cheerfulness and light again. "Splendid! Then I look forward to our newfound friendship! Indeed, I'll have to make sure to pay your lovely shrine a visit, won't I?"

"I fear for my kitchen," Minoriko says wryly, getting a laugh out of all of us. Yuyuko has demonstrated firsthand that rumors about her appetite are entirely justified.

"Oh, I'm certain that with your cooking, you can easily satisfy me!" Yuyuko says magnanimously. "In any case, I'll have a word with Yukari, and she will start spreading word that you have my personal support. If you ever require anything from me, please do feel free to ask."

I quietly let out my breath. And that's it. We did it. We've successfully negotiated an alliance with Yuyuko Saigyouji. This should give us a little added security in case the Moriyas, or even one of the other faiths, decide that they want to put the squeeze on us.

"Now then, I'm sure there are details to go over, but how about we adjourn for now, and see what's going on outside, shall we?" She gestures towards one of the walls, beyond which comes the sound of an energetic duel.

"Why not?" Hina says perkily. "It sounds like fun!" And just like that, all of the tension in the room dissipates. Yuyuko and the Mikami get up and start chatting happily, like they've been friends forever. I leave them to it. Honestly, I've always hated these political debates. They remind me of endless haggling with the tengu elders, and the complicated web of privilege, alliances, and favors owed that characterize our highest levels even to this day. Oh well. At least the payoff was worth it. Shaking my head, I get up and follow the others out onto the porch.

Oh hey! Youmu and Sukuna really are having a duel!

"Taaake this!" the inchling shouts, bounding rapidly towards Youmu.

"Unlikely!" the gardener shouts back, leaping away from Sukuna's frenzied swipes and bracing herself against the ground. Almost fast than my eye can follow (holy crap she's fast), Youmu shoots across the ground, delivering a strike that should have sent Sukuna flying. Instead, the inchling manages to block the strike and use the force to send herself flying feet-first against a cherry tree, rebounding off and charging at a very surprised Youmu. The battle descends into a complex dance of strikes, blocks, and parries, with Youmu having a definite reach advantage, while Sukuna is an incredibly difficult target who keeps coming at Youmu from every different angle.

The two are clearly having the time of their lives. The battle keeps raging between the two of them as the rest of us sit down to watch. Nothing like a bit of entertainment after a tense negotiation, after all.

Yuyuko slides over next to me. "Um..." she says hesitantly, "Do you think that I could, maybe... borrow that sweet little inchling? She's so cute~!" The ghost princess giggles happily.

I smile sweetly. "Sorry!"

"Awww..." Yuyuko pouts.

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

AN ALLIANCE WITH YUYUKO SAIGYOUJI HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY SECURED.

MIKAMI STATUS: OPTIMISTIC

AYA STATUS: RELIEVED

SUKUNA STATUS: CHECKING OUT YOUMU

YOUMU STATUS: HAVING A WONDERFUL DAY

YUYUKO STATUS: POUTING




SELECT NEXT OBJECTIVE:

[ ] Relations with the other faiths
[ ] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
[ ] Investigate the tengu village
[ ] Recruit some followers
[ ] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times
[ ] Train with your sword










KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
[x] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times

It would be nice to have Aya do this. With the help of Hina and the others it will be a source of news. She really loved it so the time should be just right.
[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
We can worry about restarting the paper once we've actually become a miko worth mikoing.


"KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!"
Well that's slightly ominous.
>>26573

I disagree. Being a miko for a shrine housing a trio of goddesses will a full-time job. I think it's Hatate's time to shine. I mean, certainly Aya can write the occasional article or investigation, but maybe she should let it be published in the Kakashi Spirit News under her name. I wouldn't be adverse to Aya teaching Hatate some of her investigating tricks, though.

Actually, that's a good idea. A good potential sideplot is mentoring Hatate when we're not too busy with the shrine. Learning to be a teacher would be great character development for Aya, and Hatate's already told us that she always looked up to Aya before she went nuts, so there's grounds for Aya as a teacher. Now, to vote along those lines.

[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
I'd rather we merge the Bunbunmaru with Hatate's thing.
>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
Bitch you didn't do anything.
>>26576
You do not know what she did. While we were busy she was busy too.
[x] Investigate the tengu village

>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!

I'm worried. Let's visit Momiji.
[X]Investigate the tendu village.
[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu

>>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
Well that's totally not ominous at all. Or as Suwako pointed out a while ago, it actually might not be. Either way, until we have more infomation to go on, there's not much we can do about whatever the resident war goddess has planned.

Back to the vote at hand though, right now our two main focuses should be the shrine and the Tengu. As much as I want to get back to kicking off the Tengu Cultural Revolution and check in with Momji and Ichiro to make sure they're okay or not in trouble, visiting Reimu and getting Aya some actual training in being a shrine maiden rounds out the final neccessities for setting up and running the Mikami Shrine (having a person who can represent the shrine and perform whatever rights and duties shrine maidens/preists are supposed to do when not out solving incidents (or causing them)). The Bunbunmaru will just have to wait, as we've been putting off checking in with the Tengu Village for quite a while now, and really should do so after the shrine maiden situation is taken care of.
[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!

Let's see what the red-white has to teach about this whole miko thing.
[x] Teach me, Lady Scarlet!
(sounds much better)
>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
-[x] check the shrine on the way. just in case
[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
> KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!

Templates like that are forbidden.
[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
Oh shi... Kanako's up to no good, making trouble in the neighbourhood.
...

[X] Train with your (peacebonded) sword.
[x] Teach me, Miss Reimu
[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
>>26586
Greatly prefer blessed Maple Leaf Fan, personally.
[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
>>26572
>[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!

>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
It's always a Morija Shrine conspiracy, isn't it? Were they always planning on us allying with Yuyuko and hence rocking the power balance, or did they do something else why we weren't watching?
It'd be the ultimate irony if Kanako did something to the shrine while we were away, only to get notice from Yukari a few days later that she doesn't approve, and will be watching. Just have her "conspiracy" horribly backfire before it even happens.
[x] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times

This sounds fun.
[x] train with your (peace bonded) sword
There's an old saying in AA about letting your demons out ASAP because those are the ones that haunt you when your guard is down. And we all know she hasn't deal properly with her past yet
[X] Teach me, Miss Reimu!
>>26594

It's a bad idea for a recovering alcoholic to get anywhere NEAR alcohol, because there's a strong chance for a relapse.
>>26597

GodDAMN, there are people still hung up on that?
>>26603

They had finally SHUT UP about the whole goddamned thing because it hadn't been mentioned for several threads. Now that YOU mentioned it, the whole stupid thing will start back up again.

Get the FUCK out, you goddamned troll.
[x] Teach me, Mrs Reimu!


Remilia has made a respectable woman out of her, it's improper to still call her "miss".
[x] Investigate the Tengu Village

Because I too am worried about the lack of news
On the one hand, picking up a sword and getting Aya's skills back in order could be immensely useful if things were to ever hit the fan, and is the perfect plot-hook/set up for some epic moments either later on or for whatever finale Keymaster has planned, but on the other hand, there are now quite a few issues we might have to consider if we do wish to have Aya pick up the sword again.

The first and most obvious is of course Aya's own issues with using a sword. While one could say that picking up a sword again (or at least using her experiance to offer to train Sukuna) might be a good thing and could eventually help change her feelings on the issue, it would probably take a while before she would be anywhere near comfortable with carrying a blade again, even if it is a peace-bonded one.

The next issue however is that by this stage, getting Aya to take up a sword again could potentially have semi-political ramifications. Sure, most of the other faiths usually have somebody in the group who wields some sort of weapon, but the normal weapons for shrine maidens are usually just their gohei, ofuda, some abilities derived/gifted from their patron/s and whatever ingrained magic they naturally have. Normally this probably wouldn't be much of an issue, and considering Aya is the definition of "odd Tengu/strange in general", I don't think anybody would be surprised if she basically kept our original fighting style and weapons as they are (wind magic and leaf fan). But then there is the fact that we are trying to run a Faith that focuses on everyday issues and is pretty peaceful in it's doctrine. While I don't think it would raise that many eye-brows or make life that difficult, Aya (a pseudo-shrine maiden in training) picking a up a sword could still get some interesting looks.

The final potential problem, and possibly the most awkward that could arise is that while to most in modern Gensokyo, Aya is likely just "the powerful but pervy Tengu reporter who went off her rocker and got arrested a few months back", certain people might remember that once upon a time, she did use a sword and was quite a different person back then. While the number of people who might know or even care of things that far back is pretty damn small, the main group who do know and could probably read badly into it or get the wrong message are the Tengu Elders. Not sure how they'd react about it, but likely more than a few bricks would probably be shat upon hearing that Aya, the fastest in Gensokyo, one of the only Tengu to ever stand up to Lord Tenma in a fight and a forgotten legend with the sword who they once utterly broke through 50+ years of isolation and exile, has now "flipped over a new leaf and turned her life around. Oh and apparently she's picked up the sword of all things as well."

Overall, I'd say getting a sword wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. These are just the issues I could potentially see cropping up, but hopefully with our recent backing from Yuyuko (and potentially by proxy, Yukari) most of them will actually be unlikely to want or be capable of making life that much difficult in the long run.

If we do have Aya pick up the sword again though, I would definitely say we should go for the peace-bonded option. What would perhaps be even better, would be if we can track down a sword that Aya either previously owned or used in battle. Most obviously, there would be the symbolic aspect of literally picking up a sword she once threw down but then peace-bonding it to the sheath, however there could also be some secondary benifits if we can track down one of Aya's old weapons. That she would have actually used it at one point might make it easier to wield and relearn her swordsmanship with it, but also, an object that old could possibly have some sort of magic or ability within the blade, either placed their by Aya (like her fan's it's ability to empower or influence the winds) or something it may have gained over time through events around it (best case scenario, the sword has already been magically peace-bonded into the sheath as a side effect of Aya refusing to ever draw it again. Worst case, it's some sort of evil blade that now hungers for blood and battle).

Of course, actually getting hold of any sort of blade Aya might have once owned could possibly be problematic. Any weapon that old and still in working condition will have to have been preserved or kept somewhere, and there's only really two places where that could have possibly happened. The first is the Tengu village, but I'm betting that after Aya's exile and her going pervert/nutty after she returned, a lot of those weapons and memorabilia were quietly taken down or put away, either by the Elders as part of the whole "forget/ignore the past" or just cause the person who once wielded the blade or appeared in that picture/tapestry/whatever was now a loony perv. Unfortunately the only other possible (though somewhat less likely location) would have been Aya's house.

If we're really lucky, Momoji may have found an old sword or two stashed away somewhere and shoved it in one of the boxes of stuff she hid and Aya brought with her to the Mikami shrine. If not, then our options are basically either buy a random sword from somewhere, or see if we can possibly track down and acquire one of Aya's old ones while we are checking up on the Tengu Village.
>>26594
>letting your demons out
Why does that require taking up the sword again? She has to go back to being a warrior to deal with her traumatic past as a warrior?
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26610
[x] Investigate the tengu village

>>26576
>>KANAKO STATUS: OBJECTIVE SUCCESSFUL!
>Bitch you didn't do anything.

But she did. She scared us enough to entangle ourselves in Gensokyo politics, setting the Mikami up as her pantheonic rivals and enemies in a battle for Gensokyo's faith -- thereby increasing her own influence as a deity of war.

And she did that merely by getting Suwako to come over and play on our fears, without Suwako even knowing that that was why she was sent.

It's worth pointing out that being a goddess of war doesn't necessarily mean that she's also a goddess of victory.
[x] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times
>>26610
Holy shit, that actually makes a surprising amount of sense. Could be wrong, or she might actually be up to something else, but this is would certainly have been an interesting and down right devious way to go about setting things up.

Even if seeking an alliance with one of the other factions is something we probably would have considered a good idea at some point anyway, if getting us embroiled in Gensokyo's religious/political scene so that she has more "adversaries" was her goal all along, she has most definitely succeeded.
>>26607

Actually, Aya does have her old sword. It's just at the bottom of a pile of stuff, where she can't see it.

>>26610

Oh, you'll learn what your friendly neighbor was up to soon enough. Her fortunes are rising! You should be happy for her!

Anyway! Calling it for being taught by Mrs. Reimu!
>>26612

In simpler terms, our hand got forced. Even if that wasn't her intention at all, she can come back and say "and that was my plan all along!" if it'll help her image, and it wouldn't technically be an untruth.

Politics being an image game, she either played that hand masterfully or got the devil's luck.
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26615
It's been a few days since we got back from Hakugyokuro, and things have settled down to a nice, peaceful routine here at the shrine. Every day, people come in to pray at the shrine and receive blessings. Some people want to get rid of some bad luck, or wish for fortune in an endeavor. Artists and poets come by to meditate and draw inspiration from Shizuha. Farmers, merchants and tradesmen stop by Minoriko's bar to obtain blessings and otherwise just enjoy the atmosphere (not to mention the refreshments). And yours truly is constantly working her butt off, trying to draw in ever more followers to the shrine.

It's not easy, and half the time I have no clue what I'm doing, but Sukuna helps by just being utterly adorable. Between the two of us, we make things work. Somehow.

Now, word has quietly spread that we have the backing of the princess of the netherworld, which has caused curious people to stop by the shrine, thus increasing our worshiper base. That's good. Also, today Yuyuko decided to stop by for a visit. That... is currently of debatable merit.

"Eeeeeeee~!" Yuyuko squeals, "I can't believe just how cute you are!" The ghost princess is currently hugging Sukuna tightly to her rather voluminous bosom, almost gleaming with joy.

"So, is this one of the hidden costs of our alliance?" Shizuha asks of Youmu, who is currently hiding her face in her hands.

"...I am so sorry..." the gardener says weakly. "She wouldn't stop talking about the little one, and insisted that we come visit. I was never expecting... this."

"Sukuna, you okay in there?" I call out as Yuyuko continues to hug and cuddle the tiny inchling against her. In response, Sukuna gives me a firm thumbs-up. "Yeah, she's okay," I nod. Youmu just groans in response.

"By the way," Minoriko says cheerfully. "You know how you said that you would be paying for any services independent of our agreement?" She points at a rather huge clutter of plates that once had food upon them. "You'll be paying for all of that, of course~!"

"Yes, I know," Youmu sighs. "I assure you, Hakugyokuro has a rather massive food budget."

Well, if nothing else, Yuyuko coming here is going to be great for funding.

"Hey, everyone, look who came for a visit!" Hina calls out cheerfully, leading Yamame in by a hand.

The earth spider is dressed fairly conservatively, but winks seductively at me. "Hey there~!" she sings. "I was just wondering how my favorite couple was doing, and if you needed any... help?" She runs a finger up Hina's back as she does this, making the misfortune goddess jump. Mino and Shizu roll their eyes. Youmu slowly raises her head, an expression of embarrassment and horror crossing her features.

"Miss Yuyuko, you're as soft and comfy as a cloud~!" Sukuna sighs happily. The ghost princess just giggles in reply.

"Aw, looks like someone already made herself the center of attention!" Yamame pouts, arm slipped around a blushing Hina's waist (in a teasing way, from what I can tell).

"It's cool," Shizuha replies. "All this activity is good for business, know what I mean?"

"I bet I can bounce on these things~" Sukuna squeals.

"Wanna try?" Yuyuko offers.

"Lady Yuyuko!" Youmu screeches.

"See?" Shizuha comments, pointing at the fascinated crowd. "These folks are guaranteed to come back in tomorrow." There are a few nods at this statement.

"...Well, damn," Yamame chuckles, "I better step up my game, huh?" She gives Hina and I a grin that really makes me wonder what her reason for stopping by was. Such speculation fills me with a combination of fear and anticipation.

Then an icy chill runs down my spine.

"Aya?" Hina says, looking at me in concern, "What's... oh." She feels it too.

Youmu looks up sharply, hands going to her swords. "Such a menacing aura..." she breathes. "Such killing intent. Who... wait. No, it couldn't be!" The half-phantom frowns, expression betraying her consternation.

I hear footsteps, slow, heavy footsteps, coming up the hallway. Everyone in the bar goes still. Yuyuko stops playing with Sukuna, both ghost and inchling going silent. The Mikami gather together, worried. I reach for my fan, while Yamame narrows her eyes at the corridor. A nearly palpable aura of menace seems to emanate from it, chilling us to our bones.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFiSHlda7-s)

And then Reimu steps into the room, expression the kind of carefully-schooled blankness that makes you want to run away screaming. Slowly, ever so slowly, the miko silently makes her way to the bar counter. Well, verbally silent, in any case. The way she stomps along the floor makes me glad that Yamame made this place Oni-proof. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that she would be leaving dents in the floorboards.

Reimu plops down in one of the barstools as Minoriko scrambles behind the counter to serve her. "Uh... Hey, Reimu! What can I get you?" Mino does a commendable job of being unflappable. Everyone else has taken a careful step away from the clearly wrathful shrine maiden.

Reimu slowly fixes the harvest goddess with a stare. "Alcohol," she replies, carefully enunciating the word. "Your strongest."

"...I have some stuff we imported from the underground," Minoriko says slowly. "It's Oni-made, and I've been learning the recipe-"

"Yes," Reimu replies.

"-but I have to say, it's awfully potent and-"

"Yes." Ever been intimidated by a single word? Well, I sure have, as of just now. And I wasn't even on the receiving end. Without another word, a visibly pale Minoriko scrambles to fulfill Reimu's order, placing a large, heavy bottle and a glass down in front of the shrine maiden. Slowly, Reimu pours herself a drink from the bottle and slams it back in one go. Then she slams the glass down on the counter hard enough to rattle it. This is followed by pouring herself another drink.

I suddenly realize that everybody is looking my way. Right. Shrine maiden (technically). Better do something about this. Slowly, as though approaching a ticking explosive, I make my way over and sit next to Reimu. It's like sitting next to an enraged lion. "...Hi Reimu," I say carefully.

"Mmf," Reimu grunts.

"Having a bad day?" I ask sympathetically.

Reimu freezes. Slowly, terribly, she turns her head to face me.

And then she smiles.

Oh sweet Mikami that smile. I think I hear somebody faint.

"Hey, Aya?" Reimu says quietly. "You know what I love about marriage?"

"...No." I admit.

"Me neither!" Reimu shouts, slamming back another frightfully strong drink.

"Ah..." I say awkwardly. "Trouble in the house of Hakurei-Scarlet, then?"

Reimu gives me a slightly crazed, slightly wobbly smile. "Why, whatever would give you that impression, Aya?"

DANGER. DANGER. TRAP DETECTED. EVADE, EVADE.

"Um, you might want to watch your intake there, Reimu," I say, desperately changing the subject. "It can give you one hell of a hangover."

"Yeah, Meiling told me," Reimu grumbles, glaring down at the drink. She heaves a sigh, then lowers her head to rest on the bar counter. "...dammit, can't even drink without worrying about a hangover, stupid booze gods, stupid booze, stupid Remi, who does she think she is, frigging being all like that, I swear..."

Uncertain what else to do, I gently pat Reimu on the back. She just sighs in response. "So... anything I can do to help?" I ask weakly.

"If you try to offer me marital advice, I'm shoving this up your... cloaca, or whatever," Reimu grunts, raising her gohei.

...My anatomy is perfectly human, thank you very much. Yeah, that's exactly what I don't say, seeing as it would likely lead to copious amounts of pain. Instead, all I say is a simple "Noted."

Reimu sighs, letting her gohei drop to her side. I think I hear her sniffle a bit, and rub her back a little more. Dammit, what more can I do?! Is it bad that I'm more worried about Reimu kicking my ass in a drunken fury than assuaging her marital woes?

Then Reimu raises her head, smiling at me sweetly. "Hey, Aya?"

DANGER. DANGER.

"Yeah?" I ask carefully.

"You remember how you wanted me to train you a little bit?"

DANGER AT CRITICAL LEVELS. EVADE, EVADE.

"...Yeah," I say nervously.

Reimu smiles sweetly. "How about now?"

CONDITION: ALL HOPE HAS BEEN LOST.


[ ] Reimu, you are scary.
[ ] Reimu, you are drunk.
[ ] Run away.
[ ] Fly away.
[ ] Cry.
[ ] Hide under your bed.
[ ] Get her drunk, maybe she'll pass out.



It's a mood shift, I'm trying to play this for laughs. Just saying.
[X] Cry.

Yeesss.
[x] Reimu, you are scary.

A true shrine maiden wouldn't abandon her goddess in her hour of need.
oh my god I want to pick crying so bad but it doesn't seem like the best way to move forward.
[X] Get her drunk, maybe she'll pass out.

You, madam, are no Flandre Scarlet.
[X] "Meep."
[X] Reimu: Take that as a yes.

(I am caught between d'aww and roflmao.)
[X] Reimu, you are scary.

Seems like Reimu really needs to let off some steam. Going along with her, even if it means pain, might at least improve her mood for the moment.

Besides, I'm not certain she won't interpret every response here as "time for an ass-whuppin'".
[x] Hide under your bed.
[x] Reimu, you are scary.
remi why
[X] Reimu, you are scary.
-[X] Reimu: assume that means "Yes."
Running and hiding is possibly the WORST decision. This is REIMU we're talking about here.

[x] Reimu, you are scary.
-[x] Reimu, you are drunk.
--[x] ...Do you want some alcohol?
[x] Cry. A little.
-[x] Sniff. "Ok"

Take one for the team, Aya. Give her a 'safe' way to vent.
[x] Reimu, you are scary.
-[x] Reimu, you are drunk.
--[x] ...Do you want some alcohol?
[x] Pee.
[x] "Reimu, you are drunk."
[x] Reimu, you are scary.
-[x] Reimu, you are drunk.
--[x] ...Do you want some alcohol?
Wandbagoning.
[x] Reimu, you are scary.
[x] Reimu, you are drunk.
Current votes:

Cry-2
Meep-1
Pee-1
Hide-1
Reimu is scary-4
Reimu is drunk-1
Get Reimu drunk-1
Reimu is scary and drunk-4

So, it's a tie between "Reimu is scary" and "Reimu is scary and drunk." Next vote, please be for one of these, and that will take it.
>>26633
Hi, I'm the former "Get Reimu drunk" voter (>>26619), and my altered vote is:

[x] Reimu, you are scary.
-[x] Reimu, you are drunk.
--[x] ...Do you want some alcohol?
>>26634

Aaand, vote called. Thank you!
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26636
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFiSHlda7-s) -the official theme of this arc.

I lean away from Reimu, eying her warily. "Reimu? Just to be clear on this... you are being really, really scary right now."

"Scary? Pshaw!" Reimu scoffs. "What could be so scary about little old me? It's not like I randomly go around busting heads!"

"That is exactly your style of investigation," I point out.

"Eh, it works," Reimu shrugs. "Gensokyo runs on that sorta thing. Whatever. The point is, I am absolutely not terrifying! I'm a happily," she practically spits the word, "married woman, and my wife is a lovely, centuries old creature of the night who doesn't realize what a good thing she has going!" Reimu slams back another drink, making me wince. "And my darling sister-in-law won't shut up about being an aunt! And making instructive diagrams which Remilia seems to love for whatever reason! Oh no, me and my new family? Nothing to fear there, unless you're worried about your godsdamned sanity!" Reimu's voice gets louder and louder as she talks, and finally the shrine maiden winds up gasping for breath.

"So... there is trouble at home, then," I observe.

Reimu gives me a bleary stare before lowering her head back to the counter top. "Fuck my life," she mutters, running a hand along her bottle of ferocious booze.

I rub a hand along the shrine maiden's back. "Come on, Reimu. You're just having a bad day. Just sleep it off, you can borrow one of our guest rooms, and everything will look better in the morning-"

"NO WAY!" Reimu hollers, springing to her feet. The miko wobbles on her legs, and I reach out my hands to catch her, but she manages to steady herself at the last moment. "I'm, like, totally fine!" She totally isn't. "I can handle the worst Gensokyo has to, like, throw at me! This is... is... nothing at all!" Booze. The one thing that can fell Reimu. "So, Aya. Aya... Aya..." Reimu gives me a bleary stare, struggling to find words.

"Reimu," I say carefully. "You're drunk. Very, very drunk. You need to lie down, sleep this off, and wake up tomorrow fresh as a daisy. We have some stuff that can kill your hangover, it's gonna be just fine..." When did I become the voice of reason trying to talk down Reimu? The world has truly run mad.

"Nah, I gotta be doin' somethin' right now," Reimu mutters, leaning heavily against the counter. "But not Remilia. Fuck her. But not really. 'Cuz she's a jerk. Totally. Anyway!" Reimu points her gohei at me, making me flinch. "You, uh, you got someone these days? You know, warming your bed, or whatever?"

"...I'm kinda with Hina," I shrug. The misfortune goddess raises her hand, and Yamame takes a respectful step away.

"...Huh." Reimu looks Hina over. "Not bad, Aya. Not bad at all. But anyway!" She points her gohei vaguely in Hina's general direction. "Hina! Spinny goddess-lady! My training... my training that I give to other people... it is guaranteed to increase flexibility and stamina by at least 50%! Think about it!"

"Oooohhh~!" Hina, Yamame, and Yuyuko coo in unison. The gardener shoots her master a dirty look. Sukuna gives Youmu a thoughtful look.

I raise an eyebrow. "Are you saying something about your own body, there Reimu?" I can't help but tease her.

"Girl, check out these abs!" the drunken miko hoots, lifting up her top slightly. Wow. Those are indeed some abs. Reimu is nowhere near as skinny as she used to be.

I peer up at her. "You've been eating right," I note, glancing briefly at the somewhat more pronounced swell of her chest.

"Shyeah, Remi eats me right," Reimu drunkenly shrugs. There is a moment of silence at this. "Makes sure I eat right," Reimu corrects herself, far too late. She glares at Yuyuko. "Th' fuck're you laughing at, ghosty?" Yuyuko doesn't reply, only clutching herself in a desperate attempt to restrain her giggles. Youmu looks ready to ignite from embarrassment. Shizuha shakes her head and takes a seat, enjoying the entertainment.

I cough to contain my own laughter. "Yeah, uh, you must eat like a queen there, huh Reimu?"

"Yeaaahhhh..." Reimu sighs, slumping back down into her barstool. "All this good food... and Remi'll... she'll, like, feed me the food sometimes? It kinda makes me feel pretty, you know?" The shrine maiden sighs dreamily before scowling. "And then it's just, like, what the fuck, Remi? Why you gotta be like that, huh?"

"Wanna talk about it?" I offer again. Oh, there's that part of me that just wants to snap pictures and make a story out of this. Be strong, Aya! Be strong!

"Naaahhhh..." Reimu sighs, "I don't wanna talk right now. Screw Remi. But not really. And Flan, always goin' on and on and on about us gettin' it on and poppin' out a kid or twenty, gimme a break here, and Yukari's even in on it too, what the hell, woman. I mean, what do you do when Yukari and Flandre are teaming up, trying to get you pregnant with your wife, ya know? Husband. Life partner. Unlife partner. Whatever." She just shakes her head.

I take a moment to process all of this. "Sounds tough," I hazard.

"Yeah." Reimu is silent for a moment. Then she springs to her feet, grabs my arm in one hand, her bottle in the other, and starts dragging me to the door. "Anyway! Trainin' time! Let's have fun now, y'hear?"

"Wayayayayayayaya!" I yelp, panicked. I wince in embarrassment. And here I thought I'd gotten over that verbal tic of mine. "Wa- Reimu, wait! I, I haven't agreed yet!"

"Suuuure ya did," the drunken shrine maiden reassures me, "You just didn't say it. Or realize it. Or think, it or whatever, but nevermind! You really did agree, and ain't nobody sayin' otherwise!"

"Why's that?" Minoriko calls out.

"Cuz I'm Ray-moo fuckin' Hakurei, bitch!" my drunken, loony captor hoots, breaking down into laughter. "Oh man, I always wanted ta say that!"

I groan. All hope is lost; all I can do is go along with the whims of my new 'teacher.' Mikami help me. Oh wait, the Mikami are waving goodbye to me right now. Dammit, guys...

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

Reimu winds up hauling me across Gensokyo, finally plopping me down next to a roaring waterfall. "Good. This's where Kasen took me that one time," she slurs. Gods, she's still drunk. Just what the hell did Minoriko give her, anyway? "Anyway! My training is guaranteed to increase revenues, and to... and to... boost yer love-life!" Reimu hiccups.

"My love-life?" I ask, intrigued despite myself. I mean, things are going great with Hina, but there's always room to spice things up a bit...

"Pfffhehehehe," the shrine maiden chuckles. "Haven't I ever told you what Remi's like in the sack?!"

...Okay, screw reformation, this is totally relevant to my interests!

Then Reimu frowns. "Actually, no. To hell with Remi. Stupid perv. No action for you, you hear me, Remi?!" my new instructor shouts at the skies. "Don't matter how damn god you are with your... everything! I'm cutting you off! So there!" Reimu hiccups before sitting down on a rock. "...I miss that stuff she does with her wings already," she says sadly, lowering her face into her hands.

I lean forward. Wing-play? "Please, tell me more," I ask her.

"Nah," Reimu grunts. Fuck. "Anyway. Training. So, there's a buncha stuff I gots to tell ya. Whaddya want to do first?"


[ ] "Customer service. 'Cause you gotta service customers. Unless they make that stupid joke 'bout bein' serviced by you. Then they can go fuck themselves."
[ ] "Keepin' the shrine. 'Cuz gods never get up off their lazy butts to do their own cleanin'. Stupid gods..."
[ ] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."
[ ] "Practical training. I'll show you how a shrine maiden fights."
File 139389043943.png - (718.81KB, 767x1600, Reimu's Abs.png) [iqdb]
26637
[x] "Practical training. I'll show you how a shrine maiden fights."

Also, I thought a picture from The 30 would be appropriate.
[X] "Customer service. 'Cause you gotta service customers. Unless they make that stupid joke 'bout bein' serviced by you. Then they can go fuck themselves."

I'd actually prefer the Rituals, but I think they'd be better taught when Reimu isn't drunk as hell.
[x] "Keepin' the shrine. 'Cuz gods never get up off their lazy butts to do their own cleanin'. Stupid gods..."
Gives us an excuse to talk to Genji the father or grandfather figure in her life after she passes out for help.
After all he's known Reimu her entire life.

I suspect he's the Dragon God of Gensokyo and she is his priestess so help there maybe.
[x] "Customer service. 'Cause you gotta service customers. Unless they make that stupid joke 'bout bein' serviced by you. Then they can go fuck themselves."

Most updates are good. Some are great. A rare few are comedy gold. This is the latter.
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."
This is really the only one we need actual help with. We can kinda figure the rest out on our own.
[X] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

'cause that's what's actually useful. Aya can handle a fight damn well, if PoFV was any indication. She knows how to clean. She knows politics well enough to adapt that to customer service. Aya has no bloody idea how to do the whole "be a shrine maiden" bit of being a shrine maiden.
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

Yes get the customer in here.
[X] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

Well, we're decent in fight, our goddess already like us, our customer service ain't that bad, so that left us...
[x] "Customer service. 'Cause you gotta service customers. Unless they make that stupid joke 'bout bein' serviced by you. Then they can go fuck themselves."

This is least likely to horribly backfire.
[X] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

I suspect this of being the best way for things to end in comedy.
[x] "Customer service. 'Cause you gotta service customers. Unless they make that stupid joke 'bout bein' serviced by you. Then they can go fuck themselves."

Reimu never had any customers, so this should be good.
[x] "Keepin' the shrine. 'Cuz gods never get up off their lazy butts to do their own cleanin'. Stupid gods..."

I'm not sure if we want Reimu to teach us any of the other stuff while drunk. Seems like we wouldn't get the full benefit. Surely Reimu can't mess up the cleaning, even while being drunk!
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

Seems legit. No way this can go wrong.
>>26650
You mean, like, youkai-exterminating rituals?
Because it's not like Reimu won't sap all of Aya's strength and end up passing out on top of her or anything.
That being said:
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."
[x] "Practical training. I'll show you how a shrine maiden fights."

Let's let her let off some steam.

The other options seem like they'll just drag up more annoyances from her daily life.
I went with customer service as Aya could use the social polishing, her combat abilities aren't lacking and rituals/etc, wouldn't they be better taught by the goddesses themselves?
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."
See, there are basically two ways any of these can go:

a) They blow up in hilarity and silliness, resulting in hilarious comedy.
b) They result in useful information.
c) Did I say two? I meant three. Both.

... So yeah, all wins!
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."


Because nobody says no to a drunk Reimu when she wants to teach you how to keep away evil. Like Remilia, fuck-her-but-not-really! Always being so.. so.. Remilike. (And at this point Reimu vomits all over Aya's shirt and starts crying.)
[ ] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

My money's on both. Well actually, my money's on a bank, but whatever/.
[X] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."
[x] "Rituals and shit. All kindsa fancy shit you gotta do to draw in customers and make wards and a buncha other stuff I don't care about."

We can probably work the rest of the stuff on our own or have already got something of a grasp on it. Rituals and stuff like wards are the things we need a better handle of, and even if Reimu's ones don't work for us or end in drunken hilarity, the experiance should still give us something of an idea for how to adapt/create our own ones for the Mikami.
Vote called for learning rituals!
File 139397761923.jpg - (94.88KB, 850x477, drinking ritual.jpg) [iqdb]
26661
I think Reimu's 'offers' over carefully. "I think... I'd like to learn about doing rituals," I say at last.

Reimu nods hard enough to unbalance her. "Thasha... that'sha... that is a good choice. The rituals, I mean. I'm good at rituals, I SPECIALIZE in rituals! And extermination. 'Cuz I'm a shrine maiden. Y'know?"

"Yeah, I know," I agree, feeling a bit nervous.

Reimu gives me a suspicious look. "Who toldya? Was it Yukari? Damn gap hag can't keep her stupid mouth shut, always talkin' about how that Makai goddess is doin' this and that with her... I got my own woman, 'cept she's a jerk... anyway! Why the rituals, which are a good choice, but why?"

I easily parse Reimu's rambling. Reporter, and all that. "Well, I think I've gotten pretty good at customer service on my own-"

"I'm totally good at customer service!" Reimu suddenly shouts. "I totally am totally good am... am at it... it am at... I can do it! S'just that people get all chicken cuzza youkai hangin' around! I could totally smack those youkai if they cause trouble! Which they do! And I smack them!" She sighs. "Guess things are goin' better these days, but still..."

Note to self: get Hatate to write something nice about poor Reimu. "And I'm already good at keeping the shrine. I mean, when one of your goddesses is all about falling leaves, you get really good at sweeping them up, you know?"

"Tell Shizuha t'cut it out around my shrine," Reimu grumbles. "Sakuya n' the fairies never do it right. And it's a pain. Stupid leaves..."

That's potentially blasphemous in my eyes, but I decide to overlook it. "And anyway, I already know how to fight, so..."

"Pfft," Reimu scoffs. "I could take you. I could take anybody!"

"I know that, Reimu," I say reassuringly. "We all know how strong you are!" I could totally take her. Really!

"'Course!" Reimu gloats, thankfully not capable of reading my mind. "Anyway! Rituals, yeah!" She stands up and begins to pace around. "So... rituals. You wanna do rituals, right?"

"Yeah," I say thoughtfully. "See, like you said, rituals are a good way to draw in the customers and get some faith, so-"

"WRONG!" Reimu roars, whirling on me, and almost falling over from dizziness. "Except right! But not totally. See..." she starts gesturing with her hands. "Rituals... they're a way of getting closer to your god. They're a meditative kinda thing, right? Form and pattern, prayer given shape with your body. It's a way you can, you can spread your connection with your god to other people. Goddess...es, whatever. Point is, rituals are a way to bring everyone closer to your goddesses and stuff."

Huh. That's a fair point.

Reimu topples down onto a rock again. "Pluuuuuus, they're pains in the ass to do, but they let you channel more power easily, so you can do all kindsa stuff with the faith you gather. Like, wards. And exorcisms. And channeling divine power to bless unions and give blessings, a lot more efficiently than your gods can do on their own."

Huh. So it's a way to help the Mikami conserve their faith. Never thought of it like that. "So, what kinds of rituals should I do?"

Reimu eyes her bottle of Oni booze mournfully. "Like... I dunno! I'm not giving you my rituals, get your own! 'Sides, they really should reflect your goddesses. Y'know? So, like... start spinning and stuff when doing things for Hina. And Shizuha... you got that wind fanning thingy right?" She hiccups. "So just blow some leaves around for her. And Minoriko..." Reimu draws a blank here. "Um... bury yourself... in the ground? While drinking booze. Or something."

Actually, aside from the advice about Minoriko, this isn't all such a bad idea. "Thanks Reimu," I say gratefully. "I think this'll really help!"

The shrine maiden sniffles in response. "I want Remi..." she whimpers.

"Aw, Reimu," I say gently, reaching out to stroke her back again.

"I want her to massage me with warm chocolate again," Reimu sniffles.

WHOA WHAT.

"And then lick it off. Stupid Remi..."

I lean closer. "Reimu, I think you need to tell me more about this. In detail. Right now."

"Remi is such a perv!" Reimu wails. "But not a fun perv anymore! She's a weirdo perv who's getting into her sister's weirdo ideas! Dammit, Remi, I'm too young for kids! I'm not ready!"

I sigh. "Your beloved getting eager for kids?" I ask.

"Nah, just the procedure for getting them," Reimu giggles. "Which is great and all. But, like, the 'directions,' Aya." She looks at me seriously. "Flandre had 'directions.' And they were... detailed. How the hell am I supposed to stand on my head for that long?! And what's with the hat?!"

I lean in even closer. "Please elaborate," I ask in fascination.

"Nah." Reimu stand up and gives me a psychotic grin. "For it's time fooooorrrrr... TRAINING!" She opens the bottle and takes a huge pull from it.

Oh gods.

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

"Spinspinspinspinspin!" Reimu giggles, forcibly spinning me as I twirl in place.

"Reimuuuuuuuu!" I wail. "This is too fast! I'm getting dizzy!"

"You have a spinny goddess' blessing or something!" she shouts back at me.

"It's not that powerful!" I howl, the world a blur around me. This is way faster than Hina's graceful spinning! I can barely make out what's around me.

My teacher considers me for a long moment. Then her eyes start to spin and she barfs on a rock. She then proceeds to refill her stomach with booze.

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

"Ahahahahahahahahaha!" Reimu laughs helplessly, kicking at the ground. "Thass funnyyyyy!"

"All I'm doing is blowing a few leaves into the air," I point out, waving my fan idly.

"I know! Ahahahahahahahahahaha!" Then she starts crying. "Awwwwww! I want my Remiiiiiiii!"

I try to comfort her, but Reimu yells at me when I stop blowing the leaves around.

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

"So... do somethin'" Reimu slurs, barely conscious.

"I'm buried up to my neck in the ground!" I wail. "What am I supposed to do like this?!"

Reimu thinks it over, looking at the bottle in her hand, then over at the waterfall. Awkwardly, she stands up, staggers over to get a handful over water, then comes back and crizzles it over my head. "Grow?" She suggests.

"...If it works, it'll take a while," I point out to the drunken madman.

She think sit over. "You... are now a potato. A potAyato!" Then she bursts into helpless laughter and collapses to the ground, rolling around for a bit before slowing to a stop. The shrine maiden hefts her empty bottle and sighs miserably. "I want Remi to hug me. What now?"

[ ] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
[ ] "Gotta keep that shrine, cuz it's mine. You can't have it, cuz it's in my damn FAMILY! But I guess that means it's kinda Remi's too, and she looked real hot that one time she wore a shrine maiden outfit, and I totally see why people like the armpits, you know? Yow. Anyway, get your own shrine."
[ ] "I can totally kick. Your. Ass. But it's a nice ass so I won't. But I have a nicer one. So does Remi. Gods, what a nice ass. All soft and smooth and squishy, so I can't kick that ass because that's like, prime property, you know what I'm saying? I shoulda spanked her. Wanna fight?"
[ ] (Inarticulate belch)
[X] "Gotta keep that shrine, cuz it's mine. You can't have it, cuz it's in my damn FAMILY! But I guess that means it's kinda Remi's too, and she looked real hot that one time she wore a shrine maiden outfit, and I totally see why people like the armpits, you know? Yow. Anyway, get your own shrine."

The beauty of this arc is I don't even care if what I vote for is chosen, it'll still be hilarious.
[ ] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."

Poor Reimu.
[X] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
-[X] (Inarticulate belch)

Dammit, now I want a cookie. AND I JUST ATE.
[X] Uh... could you dig me up please?

(I mean I know this will be part of the vote but I just think it'd be hilarious if Reimu went through the whole whatever-lecture with Aya buried up to her head.)
[x] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
[X] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."

What have we done...
[x] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
[X] (Inarticulate belch)
Uh-Oh, Mess butt tits crime store!
It's time for a... SNICKERCLISH RESTROOM!
[X] "Gotta keep that shrine, cuz it's mine. You can't have it, cuz it's in my damn FAMILY! But I guess that means it's kinda Remi's too, and she looked real hot that one time she wore a shrine maiden outfit, and I totally see why people like the armpits, you know? Yow. Anyway, get your own shrine."
-[X] (Inarticulate belch)
[X] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
-[X] (Inarticulate belch)

Well.... Considering this is Oni-alcohol, Reimu's probably gonna feel wonderful tomorrow.
[ ] "I can totally kick. Your. Ass. But it's a nice ass so I won't. But I have a nicer one. So does Remi. Gods, what a nice ass. All soft and smooth and squishy, so I can't kick that ass because that's like, prime property, you know what I'm saying? I shoulda spanked her. Wanna fight?"
Wanna see Aya's fighting while empowered by her goddesses.
[X] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
-[X] (Inarticulate belch)


>>26668
I see that You Don't Know Jack. And his ticklish testbums.
[x] "Customer service, cuz Remi totally knows about service and serving and getting served and oh god I love it when she rubs my feet for hours and then her WINGS and you know you gotta know all about service stations or whatever those things on the outside are. I wanna cookie."
Vote called for drunken rambling! Along with some belching! In a new thread!
File 139406686382.jpg - (152.43KB, 625x625, remi is a jerk.jpg) [iqdb]
26677
New thread:

>>/youkai/26676
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