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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
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Thread 11: >>/youkai/25690
Thread 12: >>/youkai/26039
Thread 13: >>/youkai/26370



I listen to Reimu's voice carefully, realizing that her mental faculties are rapidly plummeting, and I'm still buried to my neck in the soil. "Can you dig me out now?" I ask quietly.

"Not one of the options!" Reimu shouts, whacking me on the head.

"Ouch..." I whimper.

"Eh, quitcher bitchin," Reimu grumbles. "It was only, like, a single... not-hard-hit thingy to the head and all. So yeah. Anyway!" Reimu belches. "Customer servicizing it is!"

"I already know about customer service!" I say brightly, trying to struggle out of my earthy prison. "It's all about paying attention to the customer, listening to what they want, and then providing that service."

Reimu points an accusing finger at me. "Wrong! Totally wrong, Miss Tengu-head. Wroooooong! Because ya see... customers... they're dumb."

I frown. "That's really bad way to think of your patrons, Reimu."

"Well, yeah," Reimu admits, visibly leaning to one side. "I know. I know it is. But Aya? I was broke for years. Cuz nobody was givin' me any money. From that, we can logically infer what?"

I pause. "That customers are stupid because they didn't give you any money?"

"EXACTLY!" Reimu shouts, bouncing happily in place. The motion seems to make her a bit ill. "Urk. Any... anyways! Yer smart and all now, so outta the ground, Miss Potato!" Drunkenly, Reimu starts to help me out of the ground, thank the Mikami. "Yeah, so, people didn't give me money 'cuz they're dumb, and don't get me, and are dumb, and not giving me money. You dig?"

I start brushing myself off. "Yeah, you always got a raw deal there."

"An' a lotta raw food too," Reimu says glumly. "Because I was too poor to cook it. And alla the people who visited me were too cheap to bring food. 'Cept for Marisa sometimes. And Remilia. Yeah, Remi..." Reimu sighs. "She makes sure I eat real good. Then she helps me stay in shape by dueling with me. And working out with me. I mean, you should see that girlie in a leotard~! So hot!" Reimu hiccups. "Plus: sex. Lotsa and lotsa sex. Damn, so much good seeeeeex." The shrine maiden keels over to the side. "I'm dizzy."

Unable to help myself, I kneel down beside my instructor. "Missus Reimu? Please tell me all about it." I can't help it. I'm just too curious!

The shrine maiden rolls her eyes at me. "Remi can fly, has a lot of strength, is flexible, and doesn't get tired. And she has a... collection. Heh."

Oh. Wow.

"So, howzabout you?" Reimu tries to prop herself up on an elbow and fails. "Do you, like... get it on with your spinny goddess?"

"Yep," I nod.

"Cool. How'd that happen?"

"Had some help from an earth spider," I grin, remembering that intense experience.

"Huh. Howzabout that." Reimu eyes me. "Ya know, that spider was givin' you and her both the eye. She totally wantsta bang you both."

I gulp. "That... doesn't really surprise me," I admit.

Reimu giggles. "Everybody's bangin' in Gensokyo these days. Me and Remi, but not now, 'cuz she's a jerk. Koa and her guy, in the chandelier the other day. Meiling keeps up half the house some days, with her girls. Friggin' Patchouli brought two guys home one night, just to show she could. Yukari and her Shinny... Shinko... Shinki. Marisa, I think. Errybody's bangin'. But not Flan, which is a relief."

If I still had my newspaper, this would be column gold. No! Bad Aya! You're reformed now! But still curious! So keep talking!

"So... what did Remilia do that pissed you off so much?" I ask. "I mean, you love her, right? And you wanna 'bang' her, right? So why so angry?" My hand twitches, instinctively wishing for a pen and pad of paper.

Reimu sniffles, rolling over until she faceplants into my lap. "She's such a jerk. So, ya know how Flan-Flan wants to have kids... I mean, wants us to have kids, so she can have kids that are nieces? And nephews, but probably nieces with her method?"

"...Yeah?" I hazard, patting Reimu's head in a comforting manner.

"Well, Flan keeps on making up these weird diagrams. To 'help,' so she says. And the last one, she shows it to me and Remi when we're relaxing and shit. And it's, like, you gotta be hovering and flexible and all kindsa shit to make things work. And you know what Remi says?" She peers up at me.

I think about it. "Was she curious to try it!"

"Totally!" Reimu screams, pounding the ground in frustration. "I mean, there's all this pervy shit, and she's just like, "Well, I sure wouldn't mind giving this a shot,' and it's so embarrassing, and I'm sick of people pressuring me to have kids when I'm not ready, so I snap at her, and she teases me, and I get mad, and she gets mad, and calls me on my attitude, and then we have a fight and I stomp outta there, and I totally overreacted and now she haaaaaates meeeeee!" Reimu starts sobbing on my lap.

"Aw, Reimu," I coo, stroking her hair. "There, there. It not's all your fault. Remilia shouldn't have let Flandre pressure you like that. She's your wife, she has to look out for you, right?"

Reimu sniffles, burying her face in my lap. "But... but... we were so mad at each other, and were fighting, and I miss my Remi!" The shrine maiden chokes unhappily.

"Shhh, shhh," I shush her, rubbing Reimu's back reassuringly. "Look, it's clear that this is your first big fight, right? Just sit down and talk it over with Remilia; I'm sure she feels just as bad as you do! But it's clear that you need to talk this through, all right? Let her know what you're feeling, and see how she's feeling too. That's how all the most successful relationships work. So don't cry, okay? Dry your tears, sober up, and we'll talk to Remilia together if you like. How about it?"

Reimu doesn't answer.


Reimu snores loudly.

I sigh. "Oh well. At least I think I've got the advice thing down." Shaking my head, I stand up, carrying Reimu in my arms and flying her back to Mikami Shrine. Maybe we can do something for her state there.


Oh crapbaskets.

The Mikami are out front, smiles plastered on their faces. Wary smiles. Sukuna look very hesitant, which is surprising, given the beautiful woman now in front of the shrine. Then again, given that the woman in question is Sanae Kochiya, I feel that the inchling is justified in feeling a bit wary. In the end, Moriya Shrine is one of the biggest dangers that we face right now. Sanae could very well be here to issue an ultimatum, to mark herself as a serious rival to our faith...

"This place is so great~!" Sanae squeals, eyes shining as she twirls around in wonder. "Wow! Good job, you guys! You're so awesome~!

...Or not?

"I mean, you've got the shrine, and the services, and the location! Argh, I'm so jealous of the location! But then, I kinda like the view we have, too... Oh, hi there, Aya!" The excited miko waves enthusiastically at me as I land, a broad smile on her face. "Congratulations on the new shrine! This place is so... cool... um, what's wrong with Reimu?" There is honest concern on Sanae's face.

I look back at her.

[ ] "Drunk."
[ ] "Remilia wore her out."
[ ] "Meditative trance."
[ ] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
[ ] "Not telling."
[X] "Drunk."

Sanae has genuine concern, we'll respond with an honest answer. Secrets are not to be shared openly, unless they hide a far greater truth.

Romance isn't big: "Everybody's bangin'."
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."

Come on, you can't expect me to not vote for this.
[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
[x] "Remilia wore her out."

Both technically true and likely to cause the most amusing reaction.
[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
[X] "Remilia wore her out."
What a kooky ho, boy Tony Day.
...And don't get tripped up by the punctuation.

[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
- [x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

The irony here is that the continuation of the Hakurei line technically is a matter vital to the security of Gensokyo.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."

We're not lying~.
Best lies have a bit of truth.
[X] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."

Unless Sanae's dumber than a hammer she'll smell the booze quick enough. May as well have a little fun with her till then.

Potato teaching should definitely be included in some way though.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

All the mikos are in one place. Surely this can only be a good thing.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

Is it wrong for me to want this to lead to Sanae trying to be a potato?
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

No, it most certainly is not. I'm with you on this.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

Pfft, you guys sold me on this.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
You know, what would be the absolute best thing to do would be to actually end up creating some sort of potato-based ritual or teachings that we can hand down to others or make future clergy/shrine maidens/priests we recruit go through, partly as a hazing ritual, partly as some sort of Mr Miyagi-esque manner of teaching something, but more as an inside joke/a way of never letting Reimu forget this "incident".

"Phantasmagoria of Potato Planting" Anybody?

Actually, after a little bit of thought though, one potentially could use the humble potato in some form of serious (if odd) lesson about Minoriko or the Mikami's worship if you really wished to. After all;
- It's a staple food crop (a potential symbol for/something grown by farmers, the group who would make up the majority of Minoriko's followers)
- There's pretty much a million ways to cook potatoes and you can even make some forms of alcohol out of the things (Good food and drink)
- It's a reliable, hardy crop (depending of the variety), but you yourself still need to work hard to take care of it (field prep, planting, care as it grows, harvest)
-If you tilt your head and squint you could sort of say potatoes also embody perseverance, cyclic change and good fortune.
-- Even with modern varieties of potato crops, there's usually a good couple months of waiting before there's anything worth harvesting, during which time the plant can be said to create a cycle of potato-plant-potato (seed potato develops into potato plant, which eventually produces more potatoes, which after harvesting can either be cooked and eaten, or kept aside and planted again as more seed potatoes/next years crop, allowing the cycle to repeat).
-- While things like the weather, soil quality, species, and what not will usually determine what sort of yield you have, one could add in the good fortune aspect to things as you never really know how many potatoes you will actually get from a plant until the moment you pull it out of the ground.

Symbolically it actually kinda works (abet while looking pretty damn odd), though I have no idea what "lessons" one could really give about "being a potato" that would actually be relevant in day to day life. Zen and the art of Potato? Minoriko: Enter the Mikami? Buried Tuber, Hidden Miko? Way of the Farmer?

Also, this is potentially the weirdest train of thought I have ever had/followed. 
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."

Also this
[X] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[X] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
--[X] Potato rituals. Potato rituals everywhere.

Well, it's not even a lie, it just depends on your perspective.
Reimu's sex life is definitely a secret, and as we just saw it has a major effect on her mood, which indirectly affects the security of Gensokyo because she is the main Incident resolver. And if she's drunk out of her mind she can't do her work, which means that Gensokyo's safety would be affected if anything were to happen while she's drinking.
[X] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-[X] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
--[X] Potato rituals. Potato rituals everywhere.
[x] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
- [x] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
[X] "Drunk."

Sanae's trustworthy (as much as any of the Moriya are) and more importantly she's one of Reimu's few actual friends.
[x] secret vital for etc
[X] "Secret vital to the security of Gensokyo."
-Subtly stress that this is the "official" explanation, and that you're doing this to protect Reimu from further embarrassment. Sanae should get the the picture pretty quick.
-[X] "She was teaching me how to be a potato, then she fell asleep."
--[X] Potato rituals. Potato rituals everywhere.

Added the second piece to make it clear that we're not trying to deceive Sanae. Sanae's pretty sharp, so she'll probably understand. If she wants to know more, she can ask Reimu herself when she wakes up.
Vote called for secrecy and amusing write-in. I admit it, it made me laugh.
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I thought honest and silly was the way to go.
File 139414979420.png - (369.53KB, 590x700, helpful.png) [iqdb]
"Secret vital to the safety and security of Gensokyo," I say with a serious face. Without another word, I carry Reimu over to the shrine, leaving Sanae to gape at me in disbelief.

"Secret... what?!" she squawks.

"A secret vital to Gensokyo's safety," I emphasize, passing Reimu over to Minoriko. I lean over to whisper in her ear. "Drunk as a skunk. Can you so something for her?" Minoriko doesn't miss a beat, just giving me a serious nod before turning to march into the shrine.

"Wha, why is Lady Minoriko carrying her inside now?" Sanae asks, looking more and more baffled by the moment.

I sigh, turning back to face her. "Sorry. But as I said, this is a top-level secret. The safety of Gensokyo is sure to be impacted, here." All technically true. Reimu sure wouldn't like her personal details being spread around, and the propagation of the line is certainly something of concern to the land itself.

Sanae clasps her hands together and gives me a pleading look. "Oh, pleeeeaaaaase? I'm worried about Reimu! She's a friend of mine, and if there is anything that I can do to help her, I'd really like to!"

She seems sincere. I guess Suwako was being straight with me earlier. But on the other hand, I can't just up and tell Sanae that Reimu was getting drunk due to a marital spat. Or rather, I could, but I can't help but feel that this would only make things even worse.

I clear my throat. "You see, I probably could tell you, but Reimu would get so mad..."

"I'll take all the blame!" Sanae insists, rushing forward and grasping my hands in her own. "It's just... if there is something, anything that I can do in order to ease Reimu's burden, even a little, I would be more than happy to do it! I know that Reimu has it tough at times, and I was so thrilled when she found love! So, please... even if you can't tell me what you were up to, at least let me know what I can do to help!"

Wow. There are actual tears in Sanae's eyes. She really must care about Reimu. Either that, or she's really hard-up for friends. Then again, given that she lives on the top of a mountain, behind a screen of isolationist tengu, and is generally regarded as being a bit... 'off,' she probably considers every friend she has to be something of a small miracle.

I kinda feel sorry for the poor girl in light of that.

Coughing awkwardly, I try to think of something that will set her at ease. "It's nothing like that, it's just... I happened to be able to help Reimu with something, and she took a nap. She's been busy, and got played out. That's all."

Sanae frowns at me. "Oh, please. That story tells me almost nothing. Now, come on! I don't think I'm asking too much to know just what has made her play herself out so much. I mean, if it really is none of my business I can understand, but..." the blue-white miko bites her lip, looking frustrated. I feel for her. I know what it's like to want the truth, but be frustrated in its pursuit (though Sanae isn't a reporter in search of a story). Still, what can I tell her that wouldn't violate Reimu's privacy?

Of course. The truth.

"She was teaching me to be a potato, then she fell asleep," I say with a straight face.

Sanae's jaw hangs open. In the ensuing silence, a few leaves blow in the wind. Shizuha, Hina, and Sukuna all stare at me. I notice Yamame coming out of the shrine, frozen in mid-step.

Sanae finally gets a hold of herself and stares at me. "Okay. Now, there's no need to be a jerk about this, and give me some sort of-"

"I'm telling the truth," I reply, giving Sanae an honest expression. "Haven't your goddesses taught you how to read people?" Knowing them, of course they have.

Sanae stares at me, reading my features. After a moment, she gets her answer. Her response is to look terribly, terribly confused. "Wha... buh... huh?" I can practically see the gears in her head spinning wildly, stripping themselves as they futilely try to understand my statement. "That's... but... what?" She tilts her head to the side as she stares at me helplessly, an innocent girl on the cusp of understanding something she just isn't ready for.

I step forward and wrap an arm around Sanae's shoulder. "You see, Sanae, potatoes are a very healthy food," I say confidentially. "They're loaded with nutrients and easy to prepare. Now ask yourself this: in case of some sort of incident involving a famine or a drought, what kind of foodstuff do you want stored away?"

"...A potato?" Sane says hesitantly, looking terribly, terribly confused. "But-"

"Exactly," I say with a smooth smile. "Now, what is the identity of one of the goddesses I serve?"

Sanae looks at Minoriko. "A harvest goddess..." she muses, understanding dawning upon her.

"And I am a priestess of such a goddess," I remind her. "In case of emergency, how am I going to encourage the growth of many potatoes? Not all rituals involve chanting and dances, Sanae."

The Moriya maiden is nodding in understanding, jaw set with determination. She looks at me. "Then please teach me this ritual as well!"


"Huh?" I ask, wondering if I've gone too far.

Sanae turns to face me full-on, hair blowing in the breeze. "In the case of an emergency, is it not our duty to join hands for the good of all? One of my goddesses is a goddess of the earth. Surely, my power can aid you in this endeavor! Please, teach me this ritual, in case it ever becomes needed! Better safe than sorry, right?" Sanae gives me such an innocent smile that I feel a bit guilty.

"Well... you see-" I'm about to come clean when Sanae gives me an absolutely heart-melting smile.

"Pleeeeeaaaaase?" she asks me. I take a moment to think it over, and decide to simply throw caution to the wind. Screw it, whatever gets her off my case. If all else fails, she can just complain to Reimu.

"Okay," I say slowly, then cast my gaze over to Yamame. "Hey, Yamame, could you lend me a hand here?"

And that is how Sanae winds up buried to her neck in the ground. I am so going to hell for this.

"And then you just try to focus your energy into the ground. To help crops grow." I forcibly keep a smile on my face. Oh gods, I feel so bad right now. Oh gods, I'm about to laugh so hard right now. I am a horrible person, and this is the greatest thing ever."

Sanae's head smiles confidently from the ground. "Don't worry! I, Sanae Kochiya, will do my best to learn this secretive rite! You made the right decision to entrust me with it, and I won't forget this!"

Then Sukuna walks up, a confident swagger to her gait. She strides over to Sanae, with whom she is now at eye-level. "Hi there," she says suavely. "So. I never did ask what a pretty girl like you was doing over here at our shrine. I'm sure glad you came, though." She winks at the buried shrine maiden.

Sanae gapes at Sukuna, a smile breaking out on her face. "Ohmygosh you are just too cute!" Sanae's reaction is getting familiar, and Sukuna preens in the face of the praise. I just shake my head. This is turning out to be a very strange day.


I turn at the sound of a cough to see another familiar figure standing a few feet away. She is dressed finely, in a very well-cut red and black dress, with a ribbon in her hair instead of her trademark hat. It makes her look a great deal more mature, somehow.

"Am I interrupting anything?" Remilia Hakurei-Scarlet asks, looking at us with well-disguised curiosity.

[ ] Yes. Go away.
[ ] Special training. Go away.
[ ] Potato ritual. Go away.
[ ] Reimu said you're a jerk. Go away.
[ ] Reimu is mad at you. Go away.
[ ] No, not really.
[ ] Reimu is very upset, you know.
[x] No, not really.
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.

Just another average day tending the crops.
[X]Nah, this is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago.
-[X](In reaction to the inevitable "What?")She stopped over to do some of the miko training we discussed.
[X]She's been rather excitable today. Kind of a mixture of laughter...and tears.
[X]She's inside resting right now, getting the alcohol out of her system.
[X]You're staying. The two of you need to sit down and work things out once she gets sober.
[X](If Sanae gets upset about the deception) I apologize for not explaining upfront. However, this is a personal matter for Reimu. I'm trying not to be as gossipy as I once was. I wasn't going to take advantage of her inebriated lapse.
-[X]That said, you're her friend, so maybe you could talk to her when she wakes up.
-[X]And we're keeping the potato ritual. No buts.
[X]Nah, this is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago.
[X]If you're looking for Reimu, she's inside.
-[X]Make subtle hints about the true situation via gestures to Remilia without alerting Sanae.
-[X]Stop Remilia if she tries to leave. If it reaches this point, get serious and explain the full situation.
One more thing to add to the other parts:

[X]Try to listen in on Sanae's conversation with Sukuna. Don't act obtrusive, just keep yours ears open.

Sukuna did ask why Sanae came here, and in her current excitement over Sukuna Sanae might let something slip. If anything, it may give us a better idea of why Sanae is here, and why Kanako may have sent her.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

The most hilarious part of all this is that, with Sanae's power of Miracles, the Potato Ritual could become a very real and powerful thing.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[X] "No, not really."
-[X] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[X] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

Drunk shrine maidens, bullet-hell diplomacy, religious politics, and a wind priestess taking up an insane ritual.

Such is life in Gensoukyo.


You may be onto something very big here.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[x] Special training. Go away.

We don't have any place in this, it's a marital dispute they need to work out for themselves. With that in mind, do we REALLY want the two of them talking while Reimu is drunk off her ass? (Hint the answer is no). Therefor we should have Remilia leave while Reimu sobers up, snd we should do this without mentioning Reimu or Remilia might start... insisting, on seeing her
[x] "No, not really."
[X] "This is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

Potato-Analysis Guy here. This is amazing. Even better, you actually figured out a (possible) practical application for this "Potato Ritual" (at least if it were real ritual).

Oh man, if Sanae inadvertantly ends up using her powers and turns the Potato Ritual into a legitimate faith powered miracle/ritual that all the mikos can use, that would be the greatest.
[X]Nah, this is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago.
-[X](In reaction to the inevitable "What?")She stopped over to do some of the miko training we discussed.
--[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
[x] (Straight faced) Can I help you with anything?
[X] Nah, this is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago.
- [X] Bury yourself next to Sanae-this ritual may actually work.
[X] If you're looking for Reimu, she's a bit indisposed at the moment.
[X] No, not really.
-[X] Reimu is very upset, you know.

Short, simple, and avoids doing even More embarrassing things to Sanae. She's eager and adorable, I dislike pouring water on her.
You know that there will be hell to pay for this once Kanako and Suwako hear about this. Or when someone clues Sanae in.

No, I'm not voting against it, I'm just checking if everyone is in agreement with this detail.
[x] No, not really.

Yeah this will not end well. Once Sanae realizes what is going on there will be shit to pay.
I think we'll lessen the load when we make it clear that both:

1. Reimu started it.

2. Regardless of the origin of the practice, we firmly intend to make it a part of our ceremonies.

I think that as long as we make it clear that we're also following the whole potato idea, I think Sanae won't be too upset. Kanako, on the other hand...
Actually, I think we should add this to the end before going off to discuss things with Remilia.

[X]Tell Yamame to get ready to set you up too when you get back.
[x] "No, not really."
[X] "This is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
As Aya said, we're probably going to hell for this, but seeing as this arc so far has mostly been lighter and funner in tone, I'm hoping that will mitigate whatever consequences there are. It also helps that we can always just foist part of the blame onto Reimu if we really need to, seeing as she technically did "teach"/help us create this Ritual while we were attempting to humor her during her period of inebriation.

On the more hopeful side of things, if we cross our fingers and pray [spoilers]for a miracle[/spoilers] there is the small chance that something might actually happen and make this "Potato Ritual" become a real one, hopefully "vindicating" us, allowing us an easy excuse for this little bit of silliness, and potentially even earning us some brownie points with the Moriya Shrine for "sharing" a potentially useful ritual/miracle with them.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[x] "No, not really."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

We should also remind Sanae to think potato-like thoughts or potathoughts during the rest of the ritual training.
Feel the potato flowing through her.
Become one with the potato.
Be the potato. Only then can she truly master the Ritual and the Way Of The Potato.
[X] "No, not really."
[X] "This is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago."
-[X] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[X] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.
[x] "No, not really."
[x] "This is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago."
-[x] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[x] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

Make it clear that this embarassing nonsense is drunken Reimu's, and by extension, sort of Remi's fault. It'll give us more leverage in the following serious talk.
[X] "No, not really."
[X] "This is just a potato ritual Reimu taught me a little bit ago."
-[X] Casually grab a watering can and sprinkle water on Sanae.
--[X] Then lead Remi away and talk about stuff.

Poor Sanae. I hope she doesn't take this joke too seriously.
I feel like it less the impact in Sanae if we bury ourselves as we'll. It was a mean joke, after all.
Okay, pretty clear consensus on the vote! Consider it called.
Wow, what chucklefucks thought that messing with Sanae like this is going to have any good result at all?

Talk about just asking for an asskicking.
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I stare at Remilia. Remilia stares at us. Sanae coughs, clearly feeling a bit self-conscious. The only sound is the leaves rustling in the wind as the whole bizarre situation unfolds before the visiting vampire.

Then I shrug, deciding to roll with things. "No, not at all. Welcome to Mikami shrine." I kneel down next to Sanae. "So, how are things going down there? Not too uncomfortable?"

"Oh, not at all," Sane says, sounding vaguely pleased. "Actually, and I know this sounds strange, but I somehow feel a bit closer to my goddesses now. I mean, the connection to the mountains and all. This is a really good meditative technique, all told. It forces the body to be still, and you can do nothing but contemplate the environment."

Hm. When she puts it like that, it does seem like I feel a bit closer to Minoriko. After all, it's well known that there is a certain power in soil, what with its ability to nurture life and what the hell is wrong with me?

Remilia walks towards us, slow and careful, like she's afraid that we'll start gibbering and acting like lunatics. Or acting more like lunatics, depending on her viewpoint. "Might I ask just what you are up to?" she asks, a bit too lightly.

"It's a potato ritual that Reimu showed me," I reply, telling the absolute truth.

"And now Aya's showing it to me!" Sanae speaks up happily. Hina walks over, a warm smile on her lips, and a watering can in her hands. Cheerfully, she begins to 'water' Sanae, letting a gentle drizzle fall over the shrine maiden's features. Sanae hums cheerfully at the treatment, and her lustrous green locks seem to sparkle in the sunlight.

...How the hell does Sanae get her hair to look so good, anyway? I'm jealous.

"...Ah," Remilia says slowly, managing to keep her composure. "Well, I'm glad that you're getting along with my darling, then. Speaking of which, do you know where I can find her? I was told that she was last seen heading this way."

"She's inside resting," Sanae speaks up before I do. "She taught Aya all sorts of things, and then she fell asleep. Aya must have worn her right out." She winks at me.

An aura of unspeakable menace emanates from Remilia.

"Um... that is... I didn't mean..." Sanae starts to panic as she starts to realize just how her words could be taken.

"The ritual," I say quickly. "The ritual that Reimu showed me. That's what Sanae meant, Remilia. Just that, and nothing else."

"Sorry," Sanae says weakly.

The aura of menace recedes, and Remilia heaves a sigh. "Of course. I knew that. It's just, well... can I see my wife, please?"

I glance over at Hina. "Would you help Sanae out with her training, please?" The misfortune goddess gives me a mischievous grin, and I gesture for Remilia to follow me. She falls in step with me, and I leave the others behind, walking out back where we can get some privacy.

"So, you two had a fight, huh?" I decide to cut to the heart of the matter.

Remilia looks crestfallen. "I'm afraid so. So she is here, then?"

"Reimu came in here earlier grouchier than I've ever seen her and started drinking her head off," I report. "She had some nasty things to say about you, as well as some very sweet things. Overall, the problem seems to be some sort of things Flandre did, and your reaction to it. It sounds like she didn't take things very well."

Remilia rubs her eyes tiredly. "No. No she didn't, and I acted like a fool."

I shrug. "Well, for what it's worth, Reimu thinks that she overreacted a bit. What happened, anyway?"

The vampire sighs. "Well, for a long time now, Flandre has been preparing increasingly detailed posters indicating the best way for us to go about conceiving a child. Not that we need any help with the mechanics, mind you," Remilia chuckles a bit, "But Flandre is convinced that we just need a bit of a nudge to get started on making her an 'auntie.' Yukari's been helping her out as of late. I think that she's worried about the fate of the lineage. Anyway, this one had some positions that were a bit... intriguing, so I made a joke about it to Reimu, and she exploded on me. This lead to a fight between us, and she stormed out." She sighs. "Once I calmed down, I came looking for her. I hope she can forgive me. I didn't mean to upset her."

"Do you know why she's angry?" I ask.

"Of course I do." Remilia frowns a bit. "Reimu doesn't want to be pressured into having children. She's still young, she wants to enjoy her youth and, dare I say, our married life. She's been getting more and more irritated with Flandre and Yukari, and I just happened to make a joke at the exact wrong time. And, well, things went from there." She shakes her head sadly.

"You know, if that's the case, you might want to get Yukari and Flandre to back off a bit," I point out.

Remilia looks awkward. "I know, but... Yukari isn't pushy about it, she's more of an overly interested aunt who just keeps making pointed queries, and you feel bad for telling her off. Flandre is just trying to be helpful, and I'd feel so bad for being hard on her. I mean, she means well, and she's trying to get more involved with the world..." The vampire lady heaves a sigh. "Family is complicated."

I pat her on the shoulder. "Still, I think that you should talk things over with Reimu. Maybe sit your sister down and get her to use just a bit less pressure. That sort of thing. You know what I mean?"

Remilia sighs again. "I know, I know. I just hope that she is willing to speak with me."

"Oh, I'm sure she is," I tell her. "She was worried, while in that drunken stupor, that she'd gone too far and that you hated her now."

"Oh, Reimu," Remilia's voice softens. "I really do need to have that talk with her. It's far, far overdue. But may I please speak with her?"

I nod, and lead Remilia back to the front of the shrine. There, Sanae has been dug out of the ground and is talking animatedly with a bemused Minoriko, looking quite pleased with the whole affair. "Hey guys, where's Reimu?" I call out.

"Right here." Reimu steps out of the shrine and locks eyes with Remilia. The two stare at one another for a moment as I step back to give them some space. Finally, Reimu steps down from the entryway and speaks. "Remilia-"

The vampire sweeps forth, dropping to one knee and holding Reimu's hands between her own like it was a precious object. "Beloved, please forgive me."

"Eh?" Reimu squeaks, face turning bright red.

"I angered you. I am sorry." Remilia starts to nuzzle Reimu's hand. "I was only trying to make a joke, and stepped on a nerve I should have known well enough to avoid. I'm sorry, Reimu, I should have known better."

"No-no," Reimu stammers, "You were just making a joke, and I overreacted-" she is silenced when Remilia affectionately kisses her palm, going rigid with shock.

"But I know why you were really angry." Remilia sighs again and starts to kiss her way up Reimu's arm as the shrine maiden starts to swoon. "Beloved, I know you are not yet ready for children, and I would not force such a decision upon you. Nor would I allow anyone else to force such a decision upon you. Rest assured that we will only take such a step when the two of us are ready to do so. Flandre and Yukari will simply have to be patient." She's now looking Reimu lovingly in the eyes, hovering a bit off the ground.

My jaw is hanging open. Good gods, Remilia's practically bleeding charisma right about now.

"Um... you promise?" Reimu asks weakly. Remilia nods. "Good. W-well, let's just forget about it, okay? It was a silly thing to fight about in the first place, so... yeah."

In response, Remilia slide her hand around the back of Reimu's neck before suddenly dipping her low, bringing their faces close together. Her wings obscure what is happening immediately thereafter, but there is visibly a lot of activity going on. A lot of happy squeaks and moans, too.

Wow. Remilia is an expert at getting Reimu to cool down. Color me impressed.

"Wooooow..." Sanae breathes from next to me. "I'm so glad I came by to say hello. This is so sweet~! I'm kinda jealous."

"Is that why you came by," I ask, watching the Hakurei-Scarlets make up. They're getting a bit frisky, over there.

"Yeah, I wanted to come by earlier, but you guys just seemed to busy." Sanae gives me a beaming smile. "I wanted to congratulate you on doing so well for yourselves! I'm really excited for all of you, and I hope your shrine does really well!"

There isn't a trace of deception in her voice or appearance. Sanae just came by to make friends. All of a sudden, I feel like such a jerk for doubting her, and for playing that prank on her.

The green-haired shrine maiden giggles. "Oh wow, look at those two~! I've really gotta talk to Miss Akyuu the next time I see her, and get her to write something nice about them."

I blink. "Sorry, what's that about Akyuu?"

"Oh, she's been a frequent guest of ours these days," Sanae says brightly. "Don't tell anyone, but Lady Kanko finally got through to her, and she's pretty much a worshiper of ours now!"


"I mean, she isn't thrilled with some of the things we do, but she's a lot less hostile against youkai than she used to be, so she doesn't mind that we have a lot of youkai worshipers. Yeah, Lady Kanako was pretty pleased to get her on board." Sanae smiles brightly.


"Is that... so," I say carefully, trying to consider all of the ramifications of this revelation.

"Yeah... um..." Sanae starts to blush as the Hakurei-Scarlets begin getting a little bit noisier, now very much in the swing of 'making up.' Among other things. "Wow. Uh. I'd probably better get going, huh?" Reimu moans loudly, and her blue-white counterpart blushes massively. "Uh, yeah. OhIhearLadyKanakocallingbye!" Sanae blurts out, and is off like an embarrassed shot, leaving me there with the Mikami, Yamame, and Sukuna, not to mention and extremely affectionate married couple.

"...Something to consider," Shizuha notes, looking after Sanae.

"Yeah, but for now..." I sigh heavily, looking at the couple. "Do we have a garden hose?"




[ ] Relations with the other faiths
[ ] Investigate the tengu village
[ ] Recruit some followers
[ ] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times
[ ] Train with your sword
[x] Recruit some followers

Well shit. Seems like they want to play it that way now. We need to be faster or we will lose the human village and all the possible faith.
[x] Recruit some followers
-[x] Keine

Losing the possibility of recruiting Akyuu is actually terrible. Kind of miffed we never got a hint it could happen.
Now we basically have to focus on Keine if we want any sort of long-term ties to the Human Village without having to deal with diplomacy bullshit.
Not so sure if mindlessly going after Keine is the greatest idea, but then again I don't have any better ideas as for all we know whatever we do, will be one upped.
Oh noes, Kanako has a hack chronicler. EVERYBODY PANIC!

Honestly, I had no clue that Akyuu would join the Moriyas beyond Kanako’s good behavior during the Symposium. I’m not personally worried since while Byakuren was arguing theology and Miko was badmouthing Byakuren, Kanako was basically giving a TED talk. I don’t see the Mikami being targeted…unless Akyuu has a grudge against Aya for telling her she sucked as a chronicler.

Oh wow, yeah, I can totally see Akyuu being petty.

Still, let’s not panic. Maybe Kanako will focus on developing her brand as goddess of technological innovation, or act as more of a corporate underwriter than a divine patron. Regardless, we need to get our own press started.

[x] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times
I see several possible reasons Kanako has recruited Akyu:

1. Digging up dirt on the Mikami.

2. Bargaining tool to get us to submit. As it's been pointed out, losing our access to Akyuu is going to cost us. Kanako might be willing to let us work with Akyuu, assuming we switch our allegiance to her.

3. Trap. She's let Sanae spill the news to us, and is then planning to trip us when we react. Not sure what that trap would be, but best to keep that in mind.

4. A mix of these ideas.

I think Keine might be a good idea (plus, we haven't seen much of Mokou in any of Keymaster's stories). That said, I think our first action should be the following:

[X]Make a social call to Akyuu.

We shouldn't try to start anything, but I think we should at least get an idea of what's going on. Maybe have Reimu come along for a discussion of the whole misunderstanding thing we talked about before, so we have an excuse. In any case, I think we need to get an idea of the situation. Then we start taking counter steps.
Yamame, too.
Good point.

Forgot to add one little thing to my vote:

-[X]In the human village.

I think making a visit to the Moriya Shrine is kind of risky at the moment. Could very well be a trap, and in the process of getting up there we could get caught up in the tengu issues.
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[x] Train with your sword
Every day
[x] Recruit some followers
-[x] Keine
[X] Recruit some followers
[X]Absolutely do NOT practice the sword.

I'm dead serious. Aya laying down her sword was quite possibly the first notable piece of opposition to might-as-right in regional history, and the symbolic consequences of taking it up again - even peace-bonded - outweigh any possible benefits by a factor of altogether too much.
[x] Recruit some followers
- [x] Remember to make a social visit to Akyuu later.
I think we should try to make a social call to Akyuu first, if only to get better bearings on the situation. We're still not sure what exactly Kanako is up to.

I'm in favor of talking to Keine, but we should sort out things with Akyuu first.
[x] Recruit some followers
-[x] Keine

Keine will be mandatory if we wanna get through to Akyuu.
[x] Recruit some followers
-[x] Keine

Honestly, I'm not sure we can confront Akyuu about this without being seen as being hypocritical and very faith-grabby. We went to her asking her to be nicer to youkai, and that she already did - in a way hostile to our current interests, yes, but she has no obligation to be nice to us.

The only thing we can try to convince her about is to stick to the Truth! (tm), and we can't really say anything about that until she published her next edition and we can see what she says in it.

In regards to the third possibility, it might be that Kanako is actually following up on what she accomplished when the Mikami visited with Yuyuko. Kanako wants us to be involved in some sort of faith war, here, because that would empower her as a war goddess.

The Trap, in this instance, may be that we're responding by trying to grab up more faith to try and match her power. By playing by her rules, Kanako wins. We can't just jump for the obvious counters. We need to think outside the box... There's no need to assume that the human village is a complete write off because Akyuu's backing Kanako. She has a lot of political acumen, to be sure, but she does not represent everyone in the human village. Villagers already come to the shrine, and we get a steady stream of faith from the underground already. Whatever we prioritize, Faith is one of the few things that are safe for the moment.

What objective should we focus on then?
It might be a sign of Mikigami disrupting the balance and Kanako taking steps to counter it.

I have serious doubts about our ability to really run a shrine well in the face of Gensokyo politics, especially considering all the things on the plate (follower gathering, faith issues, clean up from the Pleasat mellows incident, tengu stuff)

I'm tempted to look into talking to Miko or Byakuren and solidifying things with Reimu some more. That or see about getting Hatate as a follower considering her newspaper is held in decently high regard.
Yeah, I'm going to have to echo the sentiment regarding Faith Wars. We already spoke to Yuyuko at length about this. The Mikami should endeavor to avoid those kinds of things whenever possible.

[x] Check out the Tengu Village

Because this is a thing we need to do, guys.
[x] Investigate the tengu village

This still has me worried. We haven't seen Momiji or Hatate in a while. It's a bit of a stretch, but it's possible that after our article in the Kakashi, the village started putting a lot of social pressure on them just for being our friends.

We've put a lot of effort into gaining more faith, gained followers, powerful allies, and made a damn good impression on Reimu and Remilia, which is a wonderful thing in its self, but at the same time it gives us another person to try and get a hold of Yukari through, both for political reasons and just because of Pleasant Meadows.

We've done a lot for the Mikami already. But now it's time to go check up on our friends who we knew we were potentially putting in a tight spot.
[ ] Investigate the tengu village
maybe so but that's not to say other factions won't. And considering how the Moriya bunch got Akyuu on their side, we're effectively at their mercy PR wise.
[X] recruit more followers.
[X] keine.
[X] Time to expand further. Shizuha can use what faith she has now to expand her realm of progressive change to include children, education and teaching. What stronger forms of change are there than the growth and learning of the common child? Use this to not only get through to Keine but also into the village's field of education.
[X] involve Nitori's printing press in selling our plan to Keine. Imagine all the textbooks, farming pamphlets, etc. We could spread quickly and for free too (in return for faith).

So Kanako has one writer. Well we have control over what the entire village learns.
PR? What PR? The textbooks and pamphlets all say we must respect and make use of change. I read them everyday. Gensokyo chronicle? Who goes all the way to the Hieda house to read that these days? Besides, lady Kanako doesn't help me with my homework. Lady Shizuha does! Whenever I forget to do it I just pray to the shrine in the corner of the classroom and suddenly I can do my homework faster than miss Keine's keen eye.
In addition to this vote,
[X] consider Kozusu Mootori. She runs the village's largest repository of knowledge and loves youkai. Promising her a steady supply of free books fresh from the press in return for her faith and her endorsing our books would do lots in our favor.
[X] also, something on the side for later, consider that Marisa and Pam now run the village's general store....
[x] Check out the Tengu Village

We've been putting this off for quite a while now, and even if there is nothing bad happening, it would probably be a good idea to check in with Momiji and see what she's learned about the rest of the Tengu's feelings surrounding the Elder's Leadership. Other thing's that might be a good idea to do while in the Tengu Village include checking up on Hayate and maybe visiting Ichiro to see how he's doing (maybe even pick him up as a Follower?)

We might also be able to dig up some infomation on whatever is going on with the Moriya's and Akyu while on the mountain, but for now out main course of action should be to check in with Momiji and see what she's learned, with the possible side objectives of checking up on Hayate and Ichiro. Once we're done with that, our goal should definitely be Follower Recruitment, though I'm unsure what would be best.

On the one hand, advertising somewhere like the Human Village main gain us more followers quickly and help the Mikami gain power, but also attract the attention of the faiths already prominent in that area (the Buddists, Taoists, and Hakurei Shrine). On the other hand, targeting someone important to get them on our side may better secure our political situation and ability to react to things, but it may take a while or require some wheeling and dealing.
[X] recruit more followers.
[X] keine.
[X] Time to expand further. Shizuha can use what faith she has now to expand her realm of progressive change to include children, education and teaching. What stronger forms of change are there than the growth and learning of the common child? Use this to not only get through to Keine but also into the village's field of education.
[X] involve Nitori's printing press in selling our plan to Keine. Imagine all the textbooks, farming pamphlets, etc. We could spread quickly and for free too (in return for faith).
[X] consider Kozusu Mootori. She runs the village's largest repository of knowledge and loves youkai. Promising her a steady supply of free books fresh from the press in return for her faith and her endorsing our books would do lots in our favor.

I can get behind this one. It's not engaging in the faith war in the usual Gensokyo sense seeing as we're appealing to the public, not duking it out with Kanako in battle. And while I agree investigating the tengu village is important, it is not as time-sensitive as dealing with Kanako gaining a massive foothold. From the past few posts it is clear that events unfold in the background in the Keymasterverse. If we go investigate the tengu village now who knows how much more of a hold Kanako might gain on potential followers.

We don't have to worry about Kanako taking hold of the Tengu village as the Tengu already worship her. Kanako will also not be able to use the tengu against us as the tengu have decided to respect Hina's privacy and not interfere in her affairs any further. Tengu are proud, they're not the type to go back on their word.
[X] Check out the Tengu Village.

Aya doesn't need to do everything just because she happens to be the shrine maiden. The Mikami can talk to Kozuzu and Keine just as well as Aya, and it's really time we go catch up with Hatate and Momiji.

Also, I stand by my previous decision to leave the sword alone. The spoilered votes to pick it up again almost feel like you're just troll-baiting us to restart that whole argument again.
I know you're not... Probably. But we did reach a majority vote to not do it, even if it was a heated discussion all the way to the end.
So far only one person has been attempting to bring it back, and with a vote that implied a slight level of sarcasm, at that.
Everyone else is currently focusing on other things.

I'm not worried that restarting the argument may lead to the majority vote swinging over the other way and Aya picking it up again (well, okay, I worry where that might lead and how it will affect the story, but I meant that I don't care about it in a "stop liking what I don't like" kind of way). I would just rather enjoy the story than bring back an argument that's already reached a conclusion, even if only narrowly.
[x] Re-start the Bunbunmaru Times

If Kanako has her own pet PR expert, then we'll just have to match her!

While I wouldn't mind getting Keine on our side, I dislike how we are basically just trying to grab her for the politics, and turning her against her friend. I especially dislike the plans for indoctrinating the children, it just seems really skeevy and makes me feel ill.

Remember, we don't need to beat Kanako, we just need to be good enough that she can't crush us underfoot. We don't have to win, just be able to fight. That's why we need to give Gensokyo an alternative source of information, so Kanako can't just poison the well without opposition. Aya could even release something similar to her own version of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, masked as a who's who gossip article or some other form of plausibly deniable article.
I've seen a couple of votes for Kozusu. I'd have to advise against that since Mamizou, who's with Myouren, has taken an interest in her.
It wouldn't be indoctrination, it'd be reaching out and helping people and giving out blessings that help with learning and education. It's common godly practice. Faith will simply come as a by-product.

The Bunbunmaru times is directly linked to Aya. Her being shrinemaiden to the Mikami would raise suspicion regarding her bias towards the Mikami in any report involving them. It wouldn't be the best PR tool. If anything, getting Hatate as a permanent follower would be a better move in that regard.

As for Mamizou, she may be an old friend of Nue but ZUN's printed work and HM suggest she's moved out and is pretty much her own faction now, looking out for the newborn tsukumogami youkai. Tsukumogami are everyday common tools and utensils that develop into youkai. The Mikami are gods of the common folk. Not a big stretch to get Mamizou on our side too.
Guys, Shizuha is the goddess of natural change, which gives her power over the inevitable cyclic changes of life. A baby growing into a child and eventually becoming a man would be an inevitable and natural change. There is nothing inevitable or natural about becoming educated.

Education is a product of study, determination, and hard work. What you get out of an education is only as much as you put into it. Minoriko is the one you want in this case. Assuming Keine uses multiple choice tests, even Hina would be more relevant than Shizuha.

The best Shizuha could do would be to help high schoolers get through those awkward teenage years when their bodies are changing rapidly and they start having the hots for teacher. Even then that's more a social problem than an educational one.
I'm still worried that Kanako is expecting us to overreact. After all, she made sure via Sanae that we know, so it could be a trap.

That's why I feel we should have our first priority be meeting up with Akyuu to see if we can get a better idea of what Kanako's game plan is. I'm in favor of some of the recruiting ideas- Keine and Kosuzu sound like interesting possibilities- but I think we should get a better idea of what's going on first.
[x] Check out the Tengu Village

We've put this off long enough. The Moriya business, on the other hand, just screams "bait".
[x] Check out the Tengu Village

Eh, time to see what's going on in my opinion.
[X] Check out the Tengu Village

Our whole alliance with Yuyuko was to prepare for upcoming trouble with Kanako, so I think we can afford to rest on the recruiting for the moment. We're not ahead any more, now that Akyuu's with Kanako, but we're still an equilibrium. Given that, and my continuing suspicion that Kanako wants us to react to the news about Akyuu, makes me think we should let this sit. Might as well deal with the tengu now.
[x] Investigate the tengu village

I'm curious to see how things have been going there.
[X] Check out the tengu village

The funny thing about all this, I think, is that we've learned more about mikoing from a handful of sentences from Sanae than we did from a few hours of training with Reimu.
[X] Investigate the tengu village

Kanako wants a conflict, don't give it to her.

>...How the hell does Sanae get her hair to look so good, anyway? I'm jealous.
>"I'm so glad I came by to say hello. This is so sweet~! I'm kinda jealous."
Did Parsee secretly follow Yamame here?
To be fair, Reimu was staggeringly drunk at the time.
Righto, and by my count, visiting the tengu wins it with a sudden victory from behind!
I'd like toss this out there: What if the Akyuu/Moriya thing is a coincidence that has nothing to do with the Mikami? Consider this:

1.Akyuu decides to take Aya's advice and wants to consult someplace friendly to humans.

2.She has a handful of choices. Besides Kanako, there would've been Remilia, Marisa, and maybe Alice, Nitori, or Mokou. She rejects Mikami because Aya made her look bad.

3.Kanako catches wind of this, and tries to coax Akyuu into becoming a devotee of the Moriya Shrine. (If I remember correctly, in SoPM, Akyuu pretty much figured out that Suwako does the heavy lifting, and Kanako is just he mouthpiece-- not sure how much of the rest of human village knows).

4.Kanako is successful and Akyuu becomes a devotee of Moriya Shrine, ergo, "mission accomplished".

If Kanako wanted to dominate Gensokyo politics, then why didn't she do something before Hina and the Akis joined forces? She probably never regarded Hina and the Akis as threats, before the Mikami Shrine was founded, they were still goddesses, and still had potential to siphon followers away from Kanako-- there's a chance that she still might not consider us a threat.

Also, remember that one of the tengu-- either Aya, Momiji, or Hatate-- felt like Kanako "keeps shoving technology down our throats". There might be a little bitterness there.

I suggest we remain calm, and pretend like nothing's wrong, but remain active.
then what explains such a thing happening now? It suggests something has been knocked out of balance and Kanako's taking advantage of it while the other factions are busy with their own things.

There's no time like a supposedly peaceful time to be launching a sneak attack/etc. Just look at the Tet offensive.

That being said, I have no idea how to counter it as they have the advantage of far less crap to deal with.
Okay so I've been thinking about worst case scenarios, and they are fucking terrifying.
Basically, Kanako might be preparing for an all-out war. Not war of faith, or war of words. honest-to-goodness proper war.
She wants Akyuu for propaganda, obviously. Propaganda will improve the general populace's opinion of her; improved opinion will lead to more followers; more followers means more people willing to follow her order, and fewer that will stand against her.
And I'm certain Akyuu will have never even considered this a possibility.
But I guess we're ignoring the whole thing so whatever.

Keymaster, could we have ever prevented Akyuu from joining Kanako?

I think that we were in a no-win situation. If we went after Akyuu first, Kanako might have found some other ally.

Still, in hindsight it's kind of bad. I guess we all assumed that Akyuu was already in our basket.
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Some time later, I'm sitting around having a drink with the Mikami, Sukuna, and Yamame. Yamame has positioned herself close to myself and Hina, and keeps sending the two of us friendly looks. And occasionally sultry looks. Sukuna is sipping her own drink on the table, and keeps sending fascinated looks Yamame's way. Shizuha and Minoriko look amused at the spectacle.

Mino breathes in deeply. "I can almost smell the pheromones in the air," she quips.

Yamame looks offended. "Can I not visit two dear friends of mine without everybody getting all suspicious?" she asks. "Besides, I helped get them together. The way I see it, I'm entitled to know how they're doing."

"Pretty well, judging by the sounds at night," Minoriko says with a grin.

"Ooooh!" Yamame coos, leaning over the table to much delight from Sukuna. "Do tell~!"

"You know, you could just ask me directly," Hina says mischievously, causing Yamame to snap back eagerly, much to Sukuna's dismay.

"Hell with that, let's give her a live show!" I say with a salacious grin, causing Yamame to smile brightly and Hina to squeak with embarrassment, turning a bright shade of red. "...Or maybe not," I say with a shrug, laughing as Hina punches me in the shoulder.

"I walked in on them once by accident," Shizuha says lightly. "They were in the bath at the time. We set down some ground-rules after that."

I cough, but try to rally. "What, weren't you intrigued by the sight before you?"

"No, I was worried that you were using up all of the soap and getting the water dirty," is the bland reply.

"I feel vaguely insulted by your lack of interest," Hina comments, glancing at Shizu.

"Well, as long as Aya doesn't start burying herself in my fields, I don't much care," Minoriko grunts. "Seriously, 'potato ritual?' What?"

"Well, Reimu was drunk out of her mind at the time," I point out.

"I keep missing out on all kinds of things," Yamame notes, looking at Sukuna. "I need to visit here more often."

Sukuna nods seriously. "Yes. Yes you do." Horny little inchling. Not that I'm in any position to criticize.

"Can we move to the more pressing issue at hand?" Shizuha asks with a sigh. "In case you've forgotten, Sanae just let it slip that the Moriyas are allied with Akyuu Hieda. Doesn't this bother you?"

I think about it. "Not overmuch," I reply.

This brings Shizuha up short. "Are you serious? Given Akyuu's influence in the human village..."

"It's not absolute influence, though," I point out. "I mean, okay. Maybe Akyuu starts saying some nice things about the Moriyas. Good for her. But we already have a proven reputation among the people of Gensokyo, especially with Akyuu having recanted her former position on Hina. As long as we keep ourselves involved with the common folk, any attempt to tarnish our image will blow up both her and the Moriyas' faces, and they know that all too well, if they were even thinking of it in the first place. No, they just have someone pulling for them now, much like we do. I'm not all that worried about it, really."

"Still, maybe we should look into things?" Hina suggests. "It might not hurt to speak to Akyuu and see what the nature of their relationship is."

"Or we can try to convert someone close to Akyuu, like Keine," Shizuha suggests. "Something to counter this move by the Moriyas."

"No, no, no. Stop." Minoriko covers her face with a hand and waves us down. "Everyone, calm down. Shut up. I'm with Aya on this one. This is nothing to worry about. I mean, Akyuu decides to support the Moriya Shirine and suddenly everyone is ready to start declaring doom and gloom? All of a sudden we're going to start intriguing against the Moriyas? What, are we the Taoists now? They have an ally, so do we. In fact, I'd say that our ally is a lot stronger than theirs. So let's just calm down and see this as a challenge: to stay close to the common folk and let our actions speak a lot louder than the written word. Okay?" The harvest goddess huffs, glaring at us.

Sukuna starts applauding. "Wow, Lady Mino! That was good!"

Minoriko just shrugs. "I believe in doing, not sitting around and fretting over what's probably nothing. Look, we're in a good position here. Let's just keep it up, okay?"

"I agree to that," I say, standing up. "The shrine is doing well. Let's just stay the course, and IF something comes up, we'll deal with it. But unless Akyuu starts writing smear articles about us, which I highly doubt, we can't exactly get on her case for deciding to worship somebody other than the Mikami. Anyway, I'm stepping out for a bit."

"Where ya going?" Yamame asks as I move away from the table.

I grimace. "I asked Momiji to keep an eye on things at the village while I helped get the shrine set up. Then things got busy. Now that we're secure, I want to make sure that things are going well with her and Hatate. Not to mention checking up on my people."

Hina gives me a serious nod. "Of course, Aya. You've worked hard for us; feel free to take some time for yourself, with our blessings." Mino and Shizu nod their agreement, and I feel a bit of warmth inside. Their blessings, or just pleasure at their support? Either way, it feels good.

"Yeah, I wanted to have a talk with Hina, about a bunch of things," Yamame comments. "I'll keep her company, no problem!"

I point at her. "No seducing my girlfriend," I scold her.

Yamame shrugs. "On to plan B then. Uh, but seriously, I would never do that to either of you, Aya." Her eyes have a certain intensity to them, like she really wants to get this across.

I nod, smiling. "I know. Just be patient; operation 'gang up on Yamame,' is still in the works."

"Give us two weeks," Hina says with a straight face.

"Wait, what?!" Yamame yelps as I leave the room.

"Nothing. Just forget about it," Hina says airily.

"You can't lave me hanging like that!" Yamame sputters. I just chuckle as I head to my room.


After changing into my comfortable old reporter's garb, I take to the skies and head towards Youkai Mountain. It feels good to do this; I haven't spoken to Momiji and Hatate in a very long time. Besides, I've been meaning to follow up on things with the village for quite a while; no time like the present.

As I soar towards the tengu village, I can feel the eyes of the guards upon me. Whatever. It's not like they're going to stop me or anything. I do wave cheerily to a few of the wolves on patrol, who are trying to keep themselves concealed. Most jump a little bit, surprised that I can see them. A few cheerfully wave back. Hm. Now that's interesting.

Anyway, I make my way over to the village and land, walking confidently through the streets. I feel the residents' gazes upon me, but for the first time in ages, I don't shrink away from them. I fact, I wave cheerfully to people whenever I notice them looking at me. Some blink in surprise, and some turn their noses up at me. A few give me private smiles. Whatever the response, I just laugh and carry on my way. Any disapproval that I feel rolls off my back with the knowledge that I have a home with people who love me. In the face of that, any distaste on the part of the tengu becomes hilarious to me.

You know? If this place built a casino or something, we'd be rolling in money up here. Maybe put a few of the crows and wolves in bunny costumes or something, have a nice view of Gensokyo... I mean, all the potential for business!

Shaking my head and chuckling to myself, I walk up to Momiji's door and rise my hand to knock... when I hear a devastating crash come from inside. My heart leaps up into my throat. Did I wait too long?! Is Momiji in trouble?! Have the elders decided to crack down on her?! I rip open the door and start rushing through Momi's house. "Momi! Are you okay?! Where are-"


She's in the kitchen.

With Hatate.

Specifically, Hatate is on top of Momiji, while a mess of pots and pans lie scattered around them, a meal still sizzling on her stove. It looks for all the world like Hatate is pinning Momiji down, and is about to have her way with the wolf.

As the two stare up at me wide-eyed, I realize that there is only one thing to stay in this case:

[ ] "Threesome, anyone?"
[ ] "Make sure to use protection!"
[ ] "Yay! I'm gonna be an auntie!"
[ ] "S-Sorry for interrupting!"
[ ] "Time for a photo-op!"
[ ] "...Want me to go grab Hina, make a double-date of it?"
[ ] (Insert your one-liner here)

Fun fact: I kept trying to misspell 'turning' as 'turinging.' I mean, repeatedly. What the hell, brain?

All this paranoia is so much fun to read.
[x] "...Want me to go grab Hina, make a double-date of it?"
In hindsight, I'm glad my vote for meeting Keine didn't go through. Not just because of this intriguing development, but because a lot of us are being too paranoid. Minoriko has a point.

Meanwhile, I highly doubt this is what it looks like, but hey. Make a joke out of it.

[x]"Woo-hoo! Take it off!"
-[x] Wolf whistle
>Wolf whistle
Was that pun intentional?

>[x] "...Want me to go grab Hina, make a double-date of it?"
[x] "...Want me to go grab Hina, make a double-date of it?"
-[x] Make sure the food doesn't burn.
[] "Make sure to use protection!"

For Comedy!
[x] Assume Lovely Sensei Aya-chan pose.
[x] "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
>Was that pun intentional?

[x] Assume Lovely Sensei Aya-chan pose.
[x] "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
changed to
[x] "Threesome, anyone?"
[x] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?"
Please let this happen. Aya/Momiji/Hatate is one of my OT3s.

Is it a good omen that Aya seems to have gotten a better reception than usual? Maybe Momiji has been spreading the word like we asked...
[x] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [x] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
[x] Wolf whistle
[x] Assume Lovely Sensei Aya-chan pose.
[x] "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."

Considering the situation, wolf-whistling should definitely be involved in some way.

So many good choices, so little time.
[x] "Yay! I'm gonna be an auntie!"
>the tengu wins it with a sudden victory from behind!

>Hatate is pinning Momiji down, and is about to have her way with the wolf.

We probably should have seen this coming.

[x] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [x] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
[x] Assume Lovely Sensei Aya-chan pose.
[x] "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."

[x]"And then the Shut-in was an exhibitionist."
[x] "Yay! I'm gonna be an auntie!"
The auntdre virus is expanding
Damn it! So many good options, I just can't vote here.
[x] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [x] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."

That sounds so Aya I can't not vote for it.
[x] "Yay! I'm gonna be an auntie!"

This is reasonable enough.
I don't think we want to make Reimu Momiji angry at us.
[X] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [X] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."

Hah, I'll take this one.
[x] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [x] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
[X] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
- [X] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."

well played, and this is perfect.
[X] "Um, hey, guys. Mind if I join you?" (beat) "For dinner?"
-[X] Later: "Never get into it while cooking! You'll burn the food and end up hungry. I speak from experience on this one."
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I was a bit disappointed that there were no Sukuna-related shenanigans in the Hakurei visit.
it means she's making progress, that and I think her sights have focused on Youmu.
Vote called for amusing write-in!
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I smile at the two, slowly, seductively. "Um, hey there guys," I say with a sultry croon to my voice. I reach up and start to slowly unbutton my shirt. "That looks like a lot of fun. Mind if I join you?" I wink, chuckling throatily. The temperature in the rooms seems to skyrocket as I expose more and more of my cleavage, giving Momiji and Hatate a smouldering, sensual smile.

Momiji's mouth works, shock and embarrassment warring on her face. Hatate raises her hands, about to say something when I interject.

"For dinner?" I finish in a perfectly innocent tone of voice. I stand up straight and start to fan myself. "Whew, that stove is blazing hot. I nearly had to take my shirt off! So, you two gonna make sure the house doesn't burn down?"

Momiji's shock gives way to a flat stare. "Fuck you so much, Aya." Hatate just groans and lowers her face into her hands, sliding off of Momiji.

I can't help it. I have to run with it. Opportunities like this don't present themselves to you every day, you know! With a playful twirl, I lean over, giving a playful wink and throwing out a peace sign. "Hey, everybody!" I call out in a high-pitched voice. "It's time for another lesson from Lovely-Sensei Aya-chan!"

Hatate goggles at me. "What," she says flatly.

I bound up straight and point at them with a stern expression. "Now, today's super-important lesson is to never get into it while cooking! As passionate as it may sound, such activities are actually quite dangerous! You're for more likely to burn the food, burn yourselves, and worst of all, wind up going hungry! Trust me, I speak from personal experience on this one."

"You do?!" Momiji yelps, giving me a wide-eyed stare. Hatate jerks a little bit, looking at me with fascination.

"Yeah, Minoriko scolded me and Hina something fierce," I shrug. "So! The lesson is important! Mixing food and sexy-time can be fulfilling and erotic, but never do it at the stove! Wait until you're at the dinner table! It'll be a lot safer, and a lot more fun!"

"It isn't like that!" Hatate finally wails. "You've got it all wrong! Momiji and I aren't dating!"

"Oh, so you're just engaging in casual sex?" I suggest.


"Friends with benefits?" This is fun.

"No! Dammit Aya, we aren't having sex, cuddling, or anything! Get your mind out of the gutter!" Poor Hatate is flushing redder than roses, flapping her arms in embarrassment.

"We were just cooking dinner, and kind of bumped into each other," Momiji informs me, cleaning up the mess and making sure that the meal isn't burned. "And then you happened to come in at exactly the wrong moment. Your journalistic instincts must have kicked in, or something."

I puff my chest out proudly. "I am a follower of the great Lady Hina!" I inform her. "Good fortune such as this only naturally comes my way!"

"Well, if you say so," Momiji says with a shrug.

"So, you two cook together often?" I ask, buttoning my shirt up and seeing if there's any way that I can help.

Hatate and Momiji look at each other for a long moment before Hatate heaves a sigh. "Actually..." the younger crow says carefully, "I live here now. My parents kicked me out."

My heart falls into my stomach. "Oh, Hatate..."

"Yeah." The reporter shrugs. "The elders were putting some pressure on me, and I was being resistant to them. My parents took me aside and tried to talk me around to seeing things their way, but... I refused to let them do that to me. So, I just told them flat-out. No. I wasn't going to be the elders' puppet. I was going to keep on writing the Truth, no matter who it made angry. And then my folks kicked me out." Hatate shakes her head.

I'm floored. How could a family do this to their daughter? Speechless, I walk over and wrap my arms around Hatate, hugging her tightly. After a while, she returns the hug, clutching me to her with all of her strength. Momiji watches the two of us grimly.

"In their defense, I think that her parents were starting to panic a little," the wolf comments, turning the heat down on the stove. "The elders have really been putting the screws to them lately, trying to get them to turn Hatate to their line of thinking. To them, cutting Hatate loose might have been the only way to preserve the family honor."

"Family honor?!" I snarl. "They threw out their own daughter, for fucks sake! What were they thinking?!"

"They were scared," Hatate sighs. "I could see it in their eyes. Afraid of the elders ruining them. Of the elders ruining the family. And I was scared too. But I couldn't let them control me like that. I couldn't shame myself and my work like that." She sighs, squeezing me tighter. "So they threw me out."

"I took her in as soon as I heard," Momiji replies. "This happened just last week. Hatate still has printer rights, but they're really trying to force her into line. At this rate..."

I can't even bear to think about it. Hatate's just a girl, young and inexperienced. The thought of her being exiled, of being thrown out of her home, is just horrible to me. But it could happen. It could totally happen. The elders are just the sort of people who would do such a thing.

"I need to know what happened. What's happening around here." I direct my statement at Momiji as I stroke Hatate's hair. The young Tengu is trembling a little bit, eyes filled with sorrow.

Momiji looks out at the sky, at the sun getting closer to the horizon. "...Later," she says. "It's been a long day for both of us. Patrols, reporting... other stuff."

"Yeah, I hear ya," I say, thinking back to my encounter with Reimu. "Well, when can we talk about it?"

Momiji smiles at me. "How about after supper? You're staying, right?"

I laugh, "Wouldn't miss it for the world!"

"Good!" Hatate wipes her eyes and beams up at me. "You can tell us all the details of your love life. And I do mean all of them." Her smile turns mischievous.

I look at her in mock-horror. "Hatate! Are you trying to imply that you might violate my precious privacy?"

"I would never do such a thing!" Hatate gasps. "As long as you fill my innocent head with so many salacious stories that I simply can't think about reporting some juicy gossip, you have nothing to worry about!"

I nod slowly. "Hm. Not bad, kid. You really know how to wring the information out of people."

"I learn from the best!" Hatate says primly.

"Then do I have a story for you," I say with a huge grin.


Despite the circumstances, dinner turns out to be a pleasant affair for all of us. Between bites of food, I bring Hatate and Momiji up to date about what I've been doing with the Mikami. They nod, impressed at my stories. I've done well in establishing the goddesses.

I also fill their heads with all sorts of salacious stories. Hey, I've gotta brag about my exploits to someone, after all!

"...Woooooow..." Hatate breathes, her eyes wide and her face red. "That's... wow. I just... that's so awesome, Aya. I mean, I can almost see it in my mind, and... Eeeee!" Hatate squeaks and claps her hands to her cheeks, trembling with excitement. "It's like kinky, forbidden love!"

"Now look at what you've done, Hatate's gonna be up all night with perverted dreams," Momiji scolds me. But despite her words, the wolf is listening to me with rapt fascination, and her tail is wagging hard enough that I'm surprised she hasn't attained flight.

"Yeah, I needed it," I say, stretching out a little bit. "So yeah. Me and Hina. I've totally gotta introduce you two to Yamame, by the way. I mean, she could totally teach you two a bunch of things." Momiji coughs at that. Hatate... looks thoughtful. I can't help but feel protective towards her when I see that expression. Not my innocent little Hatate, dammit!

I sigh. "Okay. I've been neglecting things here in the village for way too long. Now, I want you two to tell me everything."

Momiji looks out at the dark sky. "Everything? It's been a long day, and we're both kinda tired... can you stay the night?" She yawns for emphasis.

I nod. "Yeah, I'll pray to the Mikami and let them know what I'm up to. I really want to get things in the village squared away. It's been far, far too long."

Momiji sighs. "Well, we've only got a little time before I've really got to get some shut-eye... what do you want to know?"

[ ] How has Momiji been?
[ ] What has Hatate been up to?
[ ] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[ ] The elders' activities.
[ ] Has Momiji found any support?
[ ] Any information on the Moriyas?
[x] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[x] The elders' activities.
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

These three seem the most mission-specific. We can figure out how Momiji and Hatate are from bits and pieces of the three above, and the Moriyas are a different topic altogether.
[x] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[x] The elders' activities.
[x] Any information on the Moriyas?
Because I fully expect to get interrupted in the morning.
[X] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[X] The elders' activities.
[X] Has Momiji found any support?

Might as well get down to brass tacks.
[x] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[x] The elders' activities.
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

Ignore the Moriyas for now. Unless they're actively manipulating things in the Tengu village, we have more important things to worry about. And if they're doing anything important in the Tengu village, we'll hear about it when we ask how things are going around here.

>>26816 is right in that we will probably get interrupted in the morning.
[X] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[X] The elders' activities.
[X] Has Momiji found any support?
[ ] How has Momiji been?
[ ] What has Hatate been up to?
[x] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[x] The elders' activities.
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

Well shit. At least it's not as bad as it could have been, but I figured there was probably some possibility that Hatate was staying at Momiji's for reasons other than the romantic kind. Makes me wonder how bad things would have gotten if we had held off visiting any longer, considering exile is beginning to look like a possible consideration for poor Hatate. Looks like we might have to make good on that offer of shelter/residence at the Mikami Shrine if things continue to head south.

If we're lucky, it'll just be Ichiro turning up to investigate our presence in the village at the request of the elders. If we're less lucky, it'll be a bunch of random Tengu guards here to tell Hatate she's been exiled and now has a couple of hours to get her stuff and leave the village.
[X] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[X] The elders' activities.
[X] Has Momiji found any support?
Hey Keymaster, as far as Aya knows, is Kanako aware of the Tengu's history?
[x] How has Momiji been?
[x] What has Hatate been up to?
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

Hard choice but I think asking about how they have been doing has higher priority.
That's a very good question, and it kind of gives me an idea...
Keymaster, how close is the relationship between Kanako and the Tengu? (She represented them in Being Meiling, but I thought I'd ask.)

[x] How has Momiji been?
[x] What has Hatate been up to?
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

I agree with >>26828. I'd like to go about more official business, but Momiji and Hatate are our friends.
>>26830 Good point

>>26818 Here. Changing my vote to
[x] How has Momiji been?
[x] What has Hatate been up to?
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

I want to know how they're doing.
[X] How has Momiji been?
[X] What has Hatate been up to?
[X] The elders' activities.

Metaphorical bro's before less metaphorical fucking assholes.
But I feel the elders' activities are more important than whether or not Momiji has found any support.
Support won't help if we don't know what's going on. Being surprised that we have more help than we knew is better than being surprised about what our "opponent" is doing.
So my plan for dealing with the Elders basically involves going to Kanako and asking her for help.
We get a Tengu society that isn't stagnant and doomed to irrelevance, she gets worshippers who actually worship their goddess, rather than simply tolerate her.
That's actually far, far better than the idea I had in mind.

Two questions, though: Will the Tengu be willing to listen to us, and does Kanako have a positive relationship with them?

If no, then there are two ways we can amend that:
1) Convince Kanako to change. She was originally a war goddess, and chances are, all of her actions-- moving to Gensokyo, starting the Subterranean Animism incident, and becoming a technophile-- are because she has a deep-seated fear of losing relevance, and therefore, faith. It might be difficult convincing her, but the Tengu would be a perfect match for her.
2) Convince the Tengu to change. We've already started on this one, and Momiji seems to have gotten some supporters already. I think this one might be harder, though, because the Tengu elders are probably more stubborn than Kanako.

I prefer the former option.

If we play our cards right, and are extremely lucky, we can get into an alliance with Moriya Shrine. Making peace with a potential rival and improving an isolationist society-- Goddesses of Change, indeed.

Now, what about the Taoists...?
>Will the Tengu be willing to listen to us
The Tengu people? Sure, that's what we've got Momiji working on.
As for the Elders? Fuck 'em. They've kept Tengu society stable and strong for a thousand years, but the time for stagnant isolation is long-gone. They need to accept that fact.
>does Kanako have a positive relationship with them
Pretty sure that was already addressed; the Tengu basically pay her lip service and little more, due to her stance on advancement.
I'm also fairly certain that one of Kanako's domains was Change.
Going to Kanako for help? Has everyone forgot that a good number of the Incidents from Mountain of Faith onwards were caused by her? You really think she won't just use this as a platform to subvert the Mikami? Seriously, think about what you're saying for a moment.
Let me go down the list...
-Mountain of Faith was actually as she intended, outside of the whole losing part.
-Subterranean Animism was an unintended consequence, caused by Kanako being irresponsible and headstrong.
-Undefined Fantastic Object was an unintended consequence OF an unintended consequence, and blaming it on Kanako is somewhere in the same deep, dark depths of Jedi bullshit as saying that Rinnosuke set up the Aya/Hina pairing.
-Ten Desires was caused by the reawakening of Toyosatomimi no Miko, which was on a timer and actually had nothing to do with the Myouren Temple being on top when he-now-she finally got done with being dead.
-There was no Moriya representative in the religious war.
-Double Dealing Character didn't involve any Moriya Shrine presence, either.

So, Kanako... has not exactly made a case for herself as a mastermind. To put it gently.
I tend to agree, to be quite frank (Kanako is one of my least favorite Touhous due to her ineptitude and her huge ego), which is why it was nice to see people rein in their fervor for trying to compete with her (including myself, heh). However, that doesn't mean we should yukkuri shiteitte ne; after all, "The best swordsman in the world only needs to fear the worst, because he has no idea what that idiot will do."
As I mentioned before, all of Kanako's actions are most likely because she has a major fear of losing faith. If we can relax that fear, we can neutralize her as a threat.
[x] What's the atmosphere in the village?
[x] The elders' activities.
[x] Has Momiji found any support?

Calling it for these three, since they seem to have the most votes. Also, I see some people are finally getting over their baseless paranoia of Kanako.


>I see some people are finally getting over their baseless paranoia of Kanako. Splendid.
He just said that we've gotten over our baseless paranoia. Not the paranoia we have that does have a basis for existing.

>baseless paranoia

That's just what Kanako wants you to think! [/baselessparanoia]
You ever consider that maybe Keymaster is just trolling us? I mean, come on, pretty much from day one, we've been sweating the presence of not only the Moriya Shrine, but the Divine Mausoleum as well.

And before you say, "(S)he wants to lead us down the merry path so things will get all FUBAR," I'd like to point out that Keymaster was more than happy to throw the Parsee fans a bone when she narrowly lost the popular vote to Eiki in Pleasant Meadows. Of course, I kind of think it soured the ending a little, but that's neither here nor there.
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I think about it for a moment. "...What's the atmosphere in the village like, overall?" I finally ask.

Momiji sighs, leaning back. "Divided is how I'd put it," she says slowly. "Your latest exploits have have had an effect, and people are talking an awful lot. There are three camps, roughly. First of all, there are those that support the elders unquestioningly. Second, there are those that want to see things change, that want the tengu to become something more than what we are right now. And of course, there are a ton of people who are just... on the fence about everything. They don't like how things are, but they're afraid of challenging the elders."

"Everything is very tense," Hatate speaks up, leaning forward. "I don't know if you noticed it, Aya, but if you just walk through the streets of the village, you can feel it. People aren't happy. They know that there's more out there, and they don't understand why we have to keep doing the exact same thing, day after day, while the rest of Gensokyo is clearly thriving. I mean, the kappa are full of stories, and people are listening! Then there are those who keep spreading stories about you, and well... there are quite a few tengu who don't think that we need to keep going on as we have been, you know what I mean?"

"Which is mixed in with a lot of fear," Momiji points out. "Fear of change. Fear of the elders' disapproval. Things are at the breaking point, but those in power are forcefully holding everything together, hoping that all the dissatisfaction will just... go away on its own."

I think about it. "Will it?"

Momiji shrugs, looking tense and nervous. "I dunno. That article Hatate wrote about you... the elders tried to suppress it, did you know that? But it was too late. A bunch of the crows started passing it around, and people started talking, and things just built up from there."

"It was after that article that I really started to feel the pressure from the elders," Hatate notes. "They can tell that people are dissatisfied, and they're reacting just how you'd expect."

I run a hand down my face in frustration. "In other words, by trying to pretend that there isn't really a problem, and hope the issue goes away on its own. Again."

"Don't forget the massive pressure on people to act like everything's normal," Momiji quips.

"I take it you've gotten some of that?" I ask.

The wolf nods solemnly. "It's no secret that I'm a friend of yours. I've been keeping a pretty low profile, just keeping my ears open. I may have said a few less than complimentary things about you to certain people. I'm sorry about that; I just didn't want to give them any reason to doubt me too early." Momiji lowers her ears, looking a bit ashamed.

I reach over to pat her shoulder. "Don't worry about it," I reassure her with a gentle smile. "That's pretty much what I wanted you to do. So anyway, are there any lines delineating these divisions? Young, old, that sort of thing?"

Hatate speaks up. "Not really. I mean, there are some older tengu who are staunchly pro-elder, and some who are sick of the whole damned thing. Then there are younger tengu who want to be free to go and explore, and some young ones who don't want to question the wisdom of their elders. Overall though, the wolves seem a little more fed up with things than anyone else."

"Yes, we are," Momiji growls. "After centuries of being told to 'stay in our place,' we're getting a little sick and tired of the elders condescending to us all the time. Honestly, the only thing keeping some of us around is the simple fact that we'd have nowhere else to go."

So the village is filled with dissatisfaction. Good to know. I bite my lip for a moment, thinking. "What exactly are the elders doing right now?" I ask. "Their activities, that sort of thing."

Momiji starts ticking points off on her fingers. "Well, for one things they're aggressively keeping dissent down to a minimum. I don't mean through overt threats, just the usual crap: implications of ostracism, that sort of thing. Honestly, I am sorta worried that they'll try to make an example out of Hatate. Secondly, they've been making a lot of noise lately about what it means to be a 'proper' tengu. Stuff about heeding your elders, staying close to the village, embracing tradition- as instructed by those who know better, of course- and otherwise doing whatever the hell they say. It's ridiculously heavy-handed, but again, people are afraid of being the nail that stands out." She pauses. "They've also been talking to Kanako a lot."

That gets my attention. "To Kanako? What for?"

"I looked into it myself, but everything's awfully hush-hush," Hatate says with a frown. "I don't know if they're asking for help, if Kanako is asking them what's going on, or if it's something totally unrelated. But you know that Kanako and the elders never meet for social calls."

No shit. They were not happy when Kanako moved in and declared herself God of the mountain. They tolerate her- what else are they going to do?- but most of them would be perfectly happy if the Moriya Shrine just vanished into thin air one day. It kind of makes me worry.

"And finally," Momiji concludes, "They've been paying an awful lot of attention to your new shrine. Keeping tabs on your comings and goings. Who visits your shrine, and for how long. That sort of thing."

"Not too surprising," I mutter. "What are they going to do? I mean, this whole thing started because they felt bad about what happened to Hina."

"Yeah, but if they tell themselves that you've been steering her the wrong way..." Momiji points out.

I grimace. "Do you think they'd act against us?"

"Openly? No. But they have a lot of ways to make your life miserable." Momiji shrugs. "The smart money is on them threatening you to keep your distance and keep your mouth closed, or they'll use their resources to make life hard for you. And your goddesses. That's kind of an old standby of theirs, you know."

My hands bunch into fists. "I know. So, at least tell me that there are some people who want to put a stop to all of this idiocy."

"There are," Hatate nods. "Momiji and I have been asking around, and there are quite a few people who would be open to a change in the village. Mostly wolves, but a few crows are getting eager to stretch their wings and explore a little bit." She smiles. "Actually, Ichiro has been a real help to us. He talks to a lot of people, and if it looks like they're fed up with what the elders are doing, he sends them our way."

"Still, even with his help, we only have a small number of people who would actually do something if we asked them to," Momiji points out. She sighs wearily. "If you want to change things around in here, you'll need to give more people a really good reason to shake up the status quo."

Oh, I think I have a few ideas to do just that.

Momiji yawns hugely and after a moment Hatate joins in. "Oh... sorry, Aya. It's just been a really long day. They've been running the guard patrols ragged lately."

"And I've really been busting my butt," Hatate adds, blinking wearily. "Mind if we talk some more in the morning?"

"Fine by me," I say agreeably. "Mind if I stay the night, then?" Momiji assures me that it's all right and lends me her other spare room. The wolf and junior crow head right off to bed; they must have really been worn out. As for me, I say a quick prayer to the Mikami, wishing for fortune in my endeavors, and settle down for the night.

It's been along time since I slept in the village. I figure it's about time to shake this place up now.

[ ] Wolf tail.
[ ] Little crow.
[ ] Reformed.
[ ] Drunkard.
I'd say that Wolf tail is about getting the wolves on our side, Little crow is about the younger generation of crows and Drunkard is about giving Tenma a swift kick in the ass.

Reformed is probably Ichi or getting out there yourself and talking to the general populace.

I'm tempted to go with Drunkard but I think that we're probably going to have to kick his ass for him to see reason. We should probably do that after we finally decide to pick up the sword again. I don't really see Tenma as listening to anyone but someone that could conceivably be his equal even with him being to deep in the bottle. In the past I think it's been said that if Aya hadn't thrown down her sword she probably would have been the leader of the Tengu rather than him.

So I see us with two good options here. Either we go challenge Tenma to an actual duel in a week or so and start training with a sword again. I think it would be a really strong opening move toward reforming the Tengu if we could get Tenma to be a leader again.

Or we could talk to the younger generation and try and get change moving through the younger generation.

As much as I feel for the wolves it just doesn't seem like they have enough power in the village to conceivably affect change.

Personally I'm going to go with

[ ] Drunkard.
My interpretation of the votes was that each corresponded with a character: Wolf Tail for Momiji, Little Crow for Hatate, and Reformed for Aya (not sure what Drunkard would be). On the other hand, you do make a good point, so I'm not sure.
[x] Drunkard.

>>26861 's logic seems valid. Start from the top of the heap.
[x] Drunkard.
[x] Little crow.

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Joke was that people becoming less paranoid of Kanako was all part of her plan, carried out from beyond the fourth wall. Once again my shitty attempt at humour goes unnoticed.

[x] Drunkard.

This is your wake-up call, Tenma. Don't make us take away your alcohol.
[x] Drunkard.

>Don't make us take away your alcohol.
Actually, I'm thinking we give him some alcohol. Made by Minoriko, to cure the effects of life-long alcohol abuse.

Also, so much for baseless paranoia. We need to talk to Kanako, soon.
[X] Little crow.
[x] Drunkard.

Holy shit, you guys have balls.

I know, 'High risk high reward' but shit
What? We chose the least-risky plan that would actually have results.

If >>26861 is right - and his/her/its interpretation seems as good as any - this is gonna be a hell of a thing. Maybe not right away, but word travels fast.
[x] Drunkard.

Well.... This can go either really well, or really badly. Either way it'll be interesting seeing Aya and (I'm hoping this is) Tenma interact.

Slightly worrying though is that by immediately heading to the top of the pile, we'll attract attention from the Elders far more quickly than if we were to discuss things with those lower on the totem pole like the wolves. But on the other hand, the Elders are apparently already watching our actions, so we can probably bet on them tracking our activities in the village anyway, thus we should probably just go after the most powerful potential asset as soon as possible.

If we really want to meet up with the lower ranking wolves or crows, they can always just sneak out and meet us at an undisclosed location on some other part of the mountain (not the Mikami Shrine since that is apparently now being watched), or we can communicate with them via secret letters or messengers or something. Tenma on the other hand will be a lot harder to contact if the Elders bar us from having an audience with him, or if we ever get kicked out of the village/exiled again.

Having Tenma's support (even if the Elders likely now wield far more actual administrative/governmental power than him) will go along way towards getting us some leeway with whatever we might attempt, help keep the Elders off our back and might also get us some of the fence-sitters on our side.
So, Kanako's probably encouraging the whole Aya thing. Remember, it's not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you. But on to the vote...Fuck it. Let's go for the "all or nothing approach.

[x] Drunkard

On a side note, the best way to attack Kanako is through Sanae. Get it across that she should be ashamed of Kanako's actions, and that they are designed to benefit her, even if it hurts others. Losing the approval of her own shrine maiden would do a great deal towards stopping Kanako, at least for a time.
The problem is that, as Suwako pointed out, Sanae will go along with Kanako's plans in the end. Because they're family.
[x] Little crow.
[x] Drunkard
[x] Reformed

I guess it's a Japanese thing, but I will go against my family if I disagree with them.
watch as drunkard doesnt mean anything like you people think it means
[x] Drunkard
I wouldn't be surprised. Non-clear things have this tendency.
[X] Drunkard

Because if the above logic is correct, I see no reason to disagree with the bandwagon (other than >>26861 apparently assuming that Aya picking up her sword again is just a matter of time).

Inb4 everyone was wrong. Cue nightmare of a drunk Reimu magically turning Aya into a potato.
"Come on! In the ground with you, like a good potato! You need to grow, because I'm always hungry!" And then she's just a giant faceless monster with a huge potato-devouring mouth.

I wouldn't say it's a specifically Japanese thing. More a case by case basis.

There are probably many Japanese families where someone goes their own way because they disagree with eachother, just as there are many western families who stick together even if they know that they're doing wrong "because they're family, you know?".
>>On a side note, the best way to attack Kanako is through Sanae. Get it across that she should be ashamed of Kanako's actions, and that they are designed to benefit her, even if it hurts others. Losing the approval of her own shrine maiden would do a great deal towards stopping Kanako, at least for a time.

What about stopping Kanako through Suwako, through Sanae?
Kanako's most likely going to ignore most suggestions that come through Suwako, and Sanae will be hesitant to listen to ideas that go against Kanako; but Sanae is Suwako's worshipper (and descendant) as well as Kanako's.
The inhabitants of Youkai Mountain-- Aya, Momiji, Hatate, Nitori-- they're the closest thing Sanae has to friends. If Kanako's plan might cause harm to them (like, say, plunging the Tengu into civil war), she might be inclined to sit on the sidelines.
I certainly hope so, Keymaster. There's enough portrayals of slavish Touhous already, I don't to see our resident good girl fall to this as well.
Or we could just speak directly with Kanako. Straightforward honesty was one of our aims, remember?
Occam's Razor: The simplest course of action is the most likely to succeed.

Go to Kanako, tell her you're concerned about what the Tengu elders might be doing. Give her a little of your backstory, and hopefully, she'll understand.

Of course, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We still have to make sure everything's OK with Momiji and Hatate.

Amazing. Keymaster told us not to worry about it, and yet we're still talking about Kanako, albeit with a different approach.

Anon, can we just agree on this course of action? I'd like to concentrate on one thing at a time.

That's not really what Occam's Razor is about, but you still have a point there.
(It actually just states that when you are trying to solve a problem, you should start by reducing your theory to the simplest possible form and start from there. The simplest answer not necessarily correct, but it is the best starting point because there are less details to muddle it up.)

Instead of double- and triple-guessing ourselves trying to figure out what Kanako is up to, let's just talk to her and explain our situation.
Aya is trying to help her people move forward, because the status quo is slowly killing Tengu society and she would appreciate if Kanako at the very least doesn't sabotage her efforts out of any feelings of rivalry with the Mikami or something.
They aren't really involved in this, it's Aya's personal business.

That's usually the one thing that would-be "Chess-masters" can't handle. Someone who just doesn't play the game.
If SoPM is anything to go by (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Bunbunmaru_Newspaper_6), Kanako isn't pleased with the tengu either. I imagine negotiations are going like this:

Kanako: What would it take for you to let my followers in?
Elders: Well, in so much evasive doubletalk, we want you to attack the Mikami.
Kanako: Or I could let Aya do her thing and preoccupy your wolves, thus letting my faithful in without me having to play the villain.

This is why I'm not worried about the Serpent of Suwa.
We should also note that at the end of Mountain of Faith, she offered to help find devotees for Hakurei Shrine, and at the end of Undefined Fantastic Object, she helped Sanae erect Myouren Temple for Byakuren and her followers.

Also, I sincerely hope none of you guys commented without voting. Without votes, Keymaster can't move the story forward.
Just my two cents, but it's entirely possible that Kanako's goals may possibly align with ours or she may actually be willing to help out with the Tengu situation if we ask her. The Moriya Shrine could potentially stand to gain quite a bit from a less isolationist and conservative Tengu society.

Afterall, one of the main things Kanako is always up to is attempting to introduce new technologies and ideas into the village, something that would be far easier in a more open minded atmosphere, and especially if the younger Tengu who have an interest in the world beyond the mountain and the Outside were able to openly come to her to learn about these things. Another thing is that by setting herself up as a supporter of Aya's ideas or as someone with similar intentions, she might aim to draw in those Tengu dissatisfied with the current status quo, though she most likely hasn't done so yet/probably won't without good reasons due to the possibility of the Elders potentially enforcing/stopping the Tengu from giving the Moriya's what little lip service they currently get from the majority of the Tengu. Lastly, there's the pretty obvious fact that if the Tengu were less isolationist and open to the rest of Gensokyo, it would probably be easier for the Moriya's to gain/have followers beyond the Mountain how can visit now actually visit the Shrine.

One final thing of note is that in the current political climate of Gensokyo the Mikami are now both somewhat difficult to remove and while there may be some slight overlap, the Mikami are not really much of a threat due to their doctrines focus or not so much being "guides of life" as "goddesses of the everyday people". We're now pretty well entrenched with most of our followers being from farmers and villagers who could care less about the overall "faith war" and are probably in it mainly for the blessing for their crops and crafts, some side worship from the oni, and we also now have the background support of Yuyuko (and by proxy Yukari). To move against us now would probably make them look bad and could invite numerous problems, all for what is in the grand scheme of things, one somewhat small prize and a second even even smaller but potentially uncontrollable one.

Of course, this is just all just educated guesswork at this point, and I could be completely and utterly wrong. Until we actually talk or discuss things with Kanako and the others (which might be a good idea to follow up on after we've dealt with the Tengu), we won't know where the Moriya's really stand in regards to the Mikami and the Tengu. They could want to get involved, our rampant paranoia might actually have been justified all along and they could be secretly moving against us, or they might not even care and just be out to peacefully secure their interests for all we know.
>Keymaster told us not to worry about it
Until he gives us a reason, that's not going to happen.
[X] Reformed.
[x] Drunkard.

Whatever this is, it'll probably end up amusing.
It's almost certainly Lord Tenma, since Aya has mentioned in the past that he spends all his time these days drinking while the elders run things.
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Damn, it's hard to find pictures of a male Tenma. Weird. This is the best I could do.


I wake up alone, which is something that depresses me a little bit. No warm, soft misfortune goddess snuggled up to me. No Hina stroking my hair and caressing my wings. Nobody to whisper gentle nothings to, playfully tickle and then talk naughty to. Feels bad, man.

Still, I bring myself to wakefulness regardless and stare up at the ceiling of Momiji's house. I mentally say a prayer to the Mikami and almost think that I get a warm feeling in response. Who knows, maybe I do. I mean, I am for all intents and purposes a shrine maiden now, right?

Distantly, I hear the sounds of Momiji and Hatate getting ready for their day. I should really go down and join them. I want to find out what they've been up to, and I want to know what, if anything, the Moriyas have been doing lately. Is my paranoia regarding them baseless, or is Kanako actually up to something? The debate rages in my head constantly. Still, I find that I just can't bring myself to get out of bed just yet. It's just so cozy and comfy, and a bit nostalgic as well. It'd be a million times better if Hina were here, but oh well. Just five more minutes...

There's knock on the front door. That's fine, Momiji can get it. I hear the shuffle of movement from downstairs as the lady of the house moves to respond. The opening of a door. A gasp of shock. A cry of "My Lord!" All pretty normal morning activities.

...Crap. Not that last one though, huh?

With a sigh, I force myself to get out of bed and reach for my clothes, getting dressed as quickly as I can. Partway through, there's a knock at the door and Hatate's timid voice calls out to me. "Aya? Um, downstairs, there's-"

"I know," I reply calmly. "I'll be down to see him in a minute." I take a moment to adjust my hat as Hatate murmurs a response. Seriously, I like my hat! I have no idea why so many people are so down on them. These hats are awesome! Shaking my head, I take a deep breath, straightening my back and readying myself. This has been a long time in the making. Satisfied, I exit the guest bedroom and head out to the main room.

Tenma is waiting for me.

Momiji and Hatate deferentially kneel by the wall. A pair of wolf tengu, old ones from the look of it, stand at attention by the door, dressed in full armor. But most importantly, the leader of the tengu stands in the center of the room, waiting for me, dressed in his most impressive finery. He looks at me for a long moment. I stare back.

"You look like shit," I note.

The entire room reels in shock.

It's kind of depressing, really. For all that we conflicted with one another, I always used to have a lot of respect for Tenma. He was a tall, powerfully-built man. Handsome, too, with a well-trimmed beard, short black hair, and a build that was both lean and muscular. The kind of presence that compelled respect from all that spoke to him.

Now he's a drunk.

Oh, some of what he used to be is still there. He still has the same impressive robes. Still has the same hairstyle, and much of the same bearing. But his eyes are no longer as sharp as they used to be, staring at me blearily through a haze of intoxication and bone-deep depression. His posture is arrogant, but slightly slumped as well, like he just doesn't care anymore. While there is a definite air of authority about the man, for more apparent is the smell of booze in the air. Tenma's been in his cups so long that he can never really be rid of the smell fully.

The leader of all tengu, Tenma. A man who gave up centuries ago.

Said leader just stares at me blearily. "Leave us," he barks, and his guardians leap to obey, holding the door open as Momiji and Hatate hesitantly step outside. As soon as the door closes, the old man shakes his head. "So. You really are back."

"Good to be back, too," I tell him, standing tall.

Tenma looks at me long and hard. "Leave, Aya. Just leave."

"No," is my response.


"Do I really need to use the same, tired old story?" I ask him. "Actually, scratch that. It's not the same old story. It's got a lot more weight now. The world is different, Tenma. The people are different. The fucking Oni are different, of all things."

He actually flinches at the mention of the Oni. "You've seen them?"

I nod. "I've visited their city. They've come a long way. We haven't."

Tenma closes his eyes. "How long have we argued this?"

"Oh, I've argued until I was blue in the face," I snort. "In fact, I argued my way into exile, and you saw what that did to me. But you? You just gave up and stuck your head in the dirt a long time ago. And your brain in booze."

His eyes flare, but our illustrious leader can't quite bring himself to look me in the eye. "Always the impertinent one."

"Yeah, well. I've never felt the need to kiss the ground you walk on. And you're wrong. You and your lackeys. Or whatever the elders are to you now."

He snorts. "They serve our people, as do I. We all serve in a way that has benefited out kind for so long."

"Only on the surface," I say. "We made mistakes. Shameful ones. And rather than face them, we hid away from them. Better to bear the shame, let it sear us and reforge us into something better. We're better than that, Tenma. We're better than this. There is so much that our people could do, I know it! Being afraid of mistakes, both past and present, will avail us nothing. We have to accept the Truth... and then move on. We can't be afraid of ourselves any longer."

He sighs. "The same words. Tempting words. But..." Tenma closes his eyes, shaking his head. "I remember those days too, Aya. The blood and death. No, we must stay the course and remain pure. If we let our discipline slack, let our bestial natures take over, then much harm will arise. I cannot permit it."

He hasn't permitted anything in years. Other than permitting himself another drink. "That's not you talking. That's the elders. You haven't made a choice in anything in centuries. For the love of all that is holy, Tenma, you're not the only one who's fucked up, okay?! I've fucked up, too! A lot! But I've moved on from my mistakes, learned from them and gotten stronger! We aren't getting stronger or maintaining anything by staying here, unchanging, all the time! We're diminishing year by year! And something has to be done before it's too late! Or maybe it is too late, and we need to salvage what we can, I don't know. But it has to change."

Tenma is unflinching. "We cannot. We cannot endure the shame that would befall us were people to learn of what happened so long ago. We cannot survive the collapse of morale that would happen were people to remember how blood-soaked our hands are. Our way may be... harsh, at time, but it guarantees that we remain in control. It is for our benefit, as well as those around us."

"Lovely words," I say quietly. "Spoken with no conviction. You don't even believe them yourself, Tenma. You're just parroting things that you have for ages, hoping that things will be okay. No, wait. You're not even hoping. You just have no spirit left, no will to do anything." I clench my fists, feeling rage well up in me. "I won't let you do this to us, Tenma. Not you or the elders. Even if it makes me a villain in your eyes, I am saving my people from this... slow death you're letting us slide into."

The lord of all tengu is silent for a moment, looking at me with his defeated, resolute eyes. "I loved you once," he says quietly.

I am silent.

"In my eyes, you were the best of us. Strong and free. Intelligent and willful. I wanted to take you as my wife."

Still I am silent.

Tenma shakes his head and turns away. "I will fight you until the end."

"Good," I say quietly. "It's more than you've done in centuries."

Tenma, wreck of a man that he is, walks away without another word. He won't fight me. He won't do anything. He'll just let the elders do everything while he drinks and mopes, as he always has.

Damn him.

After Tenma leaves, I just stand there, remembering the powerful warrior that I used to respect. The leader that I followed. I barely notice when Momiji and Hatate walk back in, looking at me with concern.

This has to change. Tenma is what will happen to all of us if I do nothing.

I won't let that happen.

I will not.

[ ] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
[ ] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.
[ ] Confront the elders.
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
Probably the easiest source of recruits. Maybe.
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.

Good starting point.
*looks at male!Tenma*

So, Raynor and Mangsk had a kid together…

Anyway, my vote:

[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
[x] Meet with the other religious leaders, get them to take dissenters in.

From what Momiji said the wolves are our biggest base of support. If only they had someplace to go...

So what we do is set up some places. Byakuren would love some lawful followers, and Hakurei-Scarlet is always looking for more security. More deserters means less guards in the way of Moriya faithful so Kanako wins regardless. Convincing Miko’d be tricky but she’s a machine politician so she’ll make up some face-saving reason to not be left out.
[X] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
[X] Meet with Moriya.

We can talk with the Buddhists and Taoists once we come down from the mountain. While we're up on the mountain though, we should try to meet with Kanako and get things sorted out. I'm hoping that, should things go well, we can reach a mutual understanding on the tengu issue at least. After all, both pantheons embody change, so I think they can find common ground. Just as long as we make sure that we don't get absorbed in the process.
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.

Wolf tengu need more love.
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.

Fluffy tails and ears brigade, assemble!
[x] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.

caw caw motherfucker
[x] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.

Strategy-wise, it'd be better for us to go with Momiji and rally up some wolves, since they're more receptive to change, and would probably give us some extra fighting power.

However, I think we should try to see if we can help Hatate out, since she's on the cusp of exile. We should have a heart-to-heart with her, and the crows might be more receptive if they hear it from their own kind (as opposed to Momiji).
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.

Well that was a bust. Seeing as Tenma is probably going to end up being more of a hindrance than any sort of ally, I guess the next best option is the wolves. They're likely to be the largest number chaffing under the current regime, though I'm also wondering how much support there is amongst the crows, considering the majority of the ones who would want change would likely only be among the younger ones.

> [ ] Meet with the other religious leaders, get them to take dissenters in.
Considering the potential for the potential for Tenma and the Elders to come down on us now, this is probably a good idea and something we might want to set up at some point, though I'm not sure how effective it would be, especially if the Elders were to put out something along the lines of "all those who leave the mountain or refuse to carry out their duties will be exiled". Either way, until there are large numbers of Tengu willing to leave or throw down their arms in passive resistance or because the situation turns ugly or something, we can always just extend the offer of shelter at the Mikami Shrine for now.
[X] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.

Since we have a bigger chance of getting together more people among the wolves, I think we should go there.
The Elders only way of staying in power is by threatening to exclude anyone who steps out of line, but if we gather enough support we can just start our own damn village and relocate "Tengu Society" there and let the Elders and their cronies sit on their crumbling chairs while we actually accomplish something.
(And we should totally have a sign that says "No Elders Allowed" in a childish handwriting.)
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
>Convincing Miko’d be tricky but she’s a machine politician so she’ll make up some face-saving reason to not be left out.

The impression I got from Symposium of Post-Mysticism is that Miko doesn't so much hate youkai as she is upset that the humans of Gensokyo are behind socially and technologically.

If we can round up some Tengu who're willing to do business with the humans, or teach them various trades, we can give the Human Village something of an economic boost (we can also probably do this by having the Akis make the rounds with the various Human Village shops, much like they did in the Ancient City, or enlisting, say, Yamame or Nitori to also teach various trades to the humans). The Tengu might think they're just trading one kind of subjugation for another, though...
Miko came off as more pro-human than anti-youkai. (Futo on the other hand is trying to get over her anti-youkai sentiment)
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves

Going to go with this one.
[X] Caw, Caw, Motherfucker.
I mean,
-[X] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.

Start there, then the wolves, then the elders.
File 139468078456.png - (18.81KB, 371x395, the caring continuum.png) [iqdb]
>who could care less
[incoherent rage]

[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves.
Unless I'm misapprehending the situation, it's largely going to be the wolves' task to enforce an exile order. If they won't, that leaves the elders with very little they can do to bully people.
[x] Go with Momiji on her patrols, and meet some wolves
[x] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.

It is time to change. Before going to the elders there needs to be support so let's get them from both sides. When the most people support this the elders can't ignore this anymore.
I remember a oneshot here on THP that had the Wolf tengu rebel rather violently. It was a bloodbath, with the wolves coming out on top, most of the casualties on the wolf tengu's side being from the wolves themselves, killing those who allied with the crow tengu.

This Gensokyo is not that dark, but to help avoid anything similar to that outcome, we should find Wolf Tengu allies before they take things into their own hands.

[x]Go with Momiji on her patrol, and meet some wolves.

Side note: If anyone could find that oneshot, I would appreciate it. I've been looking all over for it, but no luck re-finding it.
[X] Travel with Hatate, and meet some crows.

I have no time to check things right now, so I'll just leave a vote and some questions.

When did Tenma started drinking his life off? Is it possible that Aya is the cause of his current state, or is it the massacre that caused it? If so, maybe we are the one that has to guide Tenma personally to "salvage" him.

I'm probably thinking way out of the box.

>Side note: If anyone could find that oneshot, I would appreciate it. I've been looking all over for it, but no luck re-finding it.

Is it this one?

Im flattered someone remembers my story.

Actually, it works just fine if you assume it's meant in the sense of "I currently care more than my reasons suggest."
Or, just, you know, remember that's it's a common phrase not meant to taken literally like e.g. "head over heels".

So, like how the word Literally literally isn't used literally sometimes?
That is literally what I mean.
I hope Keymaster's alright. He's been shelling out these updates pretty fast...
I hear there's a nasty bug going around, called Darksoulitis. Survival rate is... not good.

I am familiar with this fatal disease. I was almost taken by it before it had mutated, when it was still demonsoulitis. I had been vaccinated by the good people at "threw my controller through the TV Inc." though.

Should we prepare for his viking funeral then?

That's literally stupid though, it literally annoys me that people literally abuse the word literally like that.
I think this conversation is starting to figuratively get out of hand, so maybe we should just figuratively cut it short here?

Oh, I'm fine, just a bit busy this week. I was too tired to write anything yesterday,is all. Probably later today.
File 139482308027.jpg - (95.64KB, 850x531, captain inubashiri.jpg) [iqdb]
I'm literally shaken back to awareness by Momiji, her hand on my shoulder and a worried expression on her face. "Aya? Is everything all right?" she asks.

I take a deep breath. "Yeah," I sigh. "Tenma just came here to tell me to piss off, basically. I'm not going to."

Momiji blinks at that. "No respectful honorific?" she asks, a slight chiding tone to her voice.

"Momi, when you've known someone for as long as I've known him, you just can't use an honorific seriously. Call him 'Lord' as much as you want. I'm not going to."

"So what will you do?" Hatate asks me. She looks worried.

I hesitate. "I'd like to talk to a few wolves," I say at last. "Just to see what their view on things is. How much work I have to do to reform this society, that sort of thing."

"You could come with me and meet some crows," Hatate offers, then pauses. "On the other hand, Momiji actually patrols with some wolves, so it might be a bit easier."

"It's fine with me," Momiji nods. "My squad is fairly receptive to what Aya has to say, though not completely. You have to understand, Aya; after generations of protecting this village, it's a bit hard to talk about going against it."

"I do understand," I tell my friend seriously. "But we've been through this before."

"I didn't say I don't agree with you, I'm just saying it doesn't come easily to me," Momiji shrugs. "But anyway. Let me introduce you to my patrol squad. I think you'll like them."

Hatate turns to leave. "Then I'll catch up with you two later. So long!" With a final wave, the young reporter takes to the sky and is off. Momiji and I follow her outside and take to the the skies ourselves, watching as Hatate fades into the distance.

"I hope she's alright," Momiji mutters. "I've been doing what I can for her, but..."

"She's tougher than anybody realizes, including herself," I reassure Momiji. "Don't worry about her. Anyway! You were going to introduce me to some of your folks?"

"Yeah, our muster point is this way," Momiji tells me, leading the way through the air. "They're quite a bunch. I don't know if they'd all agree automatically to overthrow tengu society, but just about all of us our dissatisfied with how things are done. They'll listen to you."

Momiji leads me through the air for a while before starting to descend back towards the forest enveloping the mountain. Standing around or sitting on a tall boulder, clearly some sort of local landmark, are a group of four white wolf tengu, two men and two women from the looks of it. They snap to attention when Momiji descends through the trees, immediately forming a line and saluting. I get a few curious glances, but for the most part the wolves remain disciplined. Not surprising; Momiji's always been big on military discipline.

"As ease," my wolf companion commands. "We have a special guest today, people."

I wave. "Hey. Aya Shameimaru, black sheep of the tengu, and sometimes exile. How's life treating you?"

A tall, grizzled man with a lieutenant's insignia gives a low whistle. "Oh boy. I suppose I should have seen this one coming."

The female sergeant folds her arms. "Should we be worried, Captain?"

Momiji shakes her head. "At this point, I don't even know anymore. But given that Aya was just talking to Lord Tenma on fairly even terms... well, I'd like you to meet her for yourself, and make up your own minds."

"Sounds like I've been a topic for discussion," I note wryly.

The lieutenant smiles wryly. "Oh, from time to time. Tends to be a tossup as to whether you get a scathing or a glowing review. Been a lot better these days, though."

"Though rumor has it you're up to some dangerous things these days," the sergeant adds, eying me warily. "Still, the captain seems to trust you, so that's earned you my attention at least."

"Hang on, let's do some actual introductions here," Momiji interjects. "Everyone, please introduce yourselves."

The lieutenant waves. "Hi. I'm the Captain's lieutenant, have been for... oh, a long time now, anyway. My name's Katsuo. Pleasure to meet you."

I eye his scarred body. There's a real network of them, and that's just on what parts of his body that I can see.. "You look like you were in one hell of a fight," I comment.

Katsuo shifts uncomfortably. "When I was a kid, I tried to show off by picking a fight with a youkai bear. It didn't go all that well. Learned a valuable lesson, though."

"Don't mess with Youkai bears?" I suggest.

"At least not without backup," he grins. "Anyway, this is the troop sergeant, Kyo."

The female sergeant nods. "Miss Shameimaru," she says carefully. I get a real feeling of disapproval and wariness from her.

"And over there are the relative rookies of this group, Naoko and Shuji," Momiji finishes, gesturing to two young tengu, one male and one female.

"Ma'am," the male, Shuji says, giving me a curious look. With his wide eyes and large ears, he looks endlessly curious.

The female, Naoko, smiles and me cheerfully. "Hiya, miss Shameimaru! I loved your paper! When you were still writing it, I mean!" I like this girl already.

"All right, everyone," Momiji says, hands on her hips. "Now that introductions are out of the way, let's get to business. We'll be doing a standard patrol this morning, relieving the night-shift patrol. Aya will be following along, seeing what we do in the wolf patrol."

"Ma'am, permission to speak freely?" sergeant Kyo speaks up. Momiji nods to her. "Firstly, we actually relieved the night patrol, so that's already taken care of. Secondly, there's no need to hide it from us. We know very well why you've brought Miss Shameimaru here. And with respect Captain, I want nothing to do with either her or what she's planning."

Momiji raises an eyebrow. "Duly noted, sergeant. Are there any other objections to Aya's presence here?" Nobody else speaks up, though I notice Katsuo giving Kyo a disapproving scowl. "Good. Then let's get to work. And yes, Aya will be talking to you. I would appreciate it if you at least gave her the time of day." There are a few nods at this, even a grudging one from Kyo.

I frown at Momiji as the trop starts to spread out. "I thought I told you to keep things quiet. What have you been telling them?"

Momiji waves me off. "Don't worry about Kyo. She's a loyalist, but she just wants everyone on the mountain to be safe. And I have been keeping quiet. But I have to talk to someone about this, Aya, to see what their feelings are. White wolf troops are very closely knit; we'd never tell tales on one another. I haven't breathed a word of what you're planning, but they're smart enough to have worked some of it out on their own. And if you want to get through to the white wolves, these are the people to do it through. They'll listen to you, even if it's only because they trust me. And word will spread through them, to the others. What do you say?" Momiji gives me a hopeful look, and I take a thoughtful glance at her squad.

[ ] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo
[ ] Talk to sergeant Kyo
[ ] Talk to private Naoko
[ ] Talk to private Shuji
[ ] Make a speech (specify content)
Speech time.
While it would be beneficial to have Kuo on our side, because an obvious traditionalist changing sides would do wonders, I think we should focus on the easier targets first. There's a chance we could alienate them if we come on too strong to Kuo. I don't think a big speech is the best idea, either. Let's bring them around one by one.

[x] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo

She seems to have known Momiji the longest out of the squad
Hmm. Katsuo seems to be mostly okay with us, though there's no real hints on his thoughts towards what we're up to. Kyo obviously does not like us, or the waves we have been making. Naoko I can probably say is already a convert, though that she liked the Bunbunmaru does raise a slight eyebrow (unless she was referring to the older version of it before Aya really began to go off the rails). Shuji seems to be possibly on the fence about us or is curious about what we are up to. Not sure what good a speech would do when apparently they don't know what we're up to and they may not entirely be receptive to it.

I'm thinking our best choice here might be to talk to either Shuji or Kyo. Shuji for the pretty obvious reason that he is curious about us and might be swayed to our side, and Kyo because while we can probably guess what her beef with us is, it'll be good confirmation for what we can expect from others who may not know what exactly we are up to or are not so easily convinced that change is the right thing.

Also, interesting to note that the rumors Kyo heard said we were "up to some dangerous things". I wonder where this rumor stated and in what context. Dangerous because we could be facing action from the Elders? Or dangerous because of what we may do to the Tengu?
[X] Talk to sergeant Kyo

I'd like to start by hearing her reasons for why she is against what we're trying to do.
Is it just blind loyalty to the Elders and/or tradition, or does she actually have a "proper" reason? (I.e. one that can be argued with, because indoctrinated loyalty can't be convinced, only de-programmed over time.)
Not really trying to convince her to switch sides (yet), just hearing out the opposite side.
[X] Talk to sergeant Kyo

Same as above, I'd like to know what the problem is first.
[x] Talk to sergeant Kyo
Ask her why she disagrees with Aya's intentions. And let the others listen in; we don't want people following Aya because she's Aya, but because they agree with her and want the same things.
[X] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo

Best way to interact with canines, or lupines, in this case, is to become part of the pack on some level. Just chat. Politics later.
[X] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo

Kyo is definitely important, but should not be either the first or the last person we approach.
[X] Talk to Lieutenant Katsuo.
Let's go in order by rank. Katsuo to make sure he understands Aya's intentions and agrees with them, and then Kyo to make sure she understands Aya and why she disagrees with her.

Keymaster, when you give a person's full rank and title, I'm pretty sure you capitalize the rank as well. Unless "lieutenant" is actually a position and Katsuo doesn't actually have a rank per se.
[X] Talk to sergeant Kyo
[X] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo

I wondered about that, but I wasn't sure. I'll keep it in mind from now on, thanks.
[X] Talk to lieutenant Katsuo
-[X] Ask what Kyo meant by "dangerous things"

The others actually interested in speaking with Aya will be disappointed if we don't address them right away and instead go after Kyo. I think we can get most of our answers from the others. If there are still unanswered questions at the end, we can talk with Kyo.
Okay, Lieutenant Katsuo takes it 6-4! Vote called.
File 139491469686.png - (256.89KB, 640x512, katsuo.png) [iqdb]
As we start to make our way through the woods, I can't help but note just how professional Momiji's troop is. Despite being in a low-alert status, their ears are perked and their eyes are sharp, continually scanning the environment for anything out of the ordinary. It's the kind of discipline that I can't help but admire; despite having likely gone through this whole procedure hundreds of times, they still keep themselves alert and ready.

I let my eyes wander over the five of them. Momiji, my friend. Katsuo, the scarred Lieutenant, who seems quite friendly. Kyo, who emphatically does not. Curious Shuji, and excitable Naoko. I'd like to learn more about them, like Momiji suggested, but I'm not sure who to talk to...

No. Scratch that. Katsuo is an obvious choice. He's clearly one of the more mature of the squad, and isn't openly hostile to me, like Kyo is. Nodding to myself, I float over to his side. "You guys know what you're doing."

He smiles in response. "Oh, yeah. I mean, don't let Naoko fool you; she may look a little excitable, like a small puppy, but she's in the Captain's private squad. She knows what she's doing." I do spare Naoko a glance. As bubbly as she seemed earlier, the small wolf girl looks completely focused on her task at the moment. That's Momiji's influence, I'm willing to bet.

I pause a moment to consider. "So. People talk about me, huh?"

Katsuo snorts. "All the time. You're one of the biggest sources of gossip in the village. Have been for ages." Figured as much. "Especially of late. I mean, all of a sudden you're helping out that new faith, you're from all accounts acting as professional as any wolf soldier, there's that story Hatate published about you... and of course, the Captain has been carefully asking us how we really feel about how things are going. Yeah, it's easy to start putting things together, you know?"

"I don't like how things are going," I say bluntly. "I never have, not for centuries. I've seen things which really justify those feeling too, Katsuo... er, I mean Lieutenant."

He chuckles. "Katsuo's fine. And yeah, I hate how things are, too."

I glance at him. "Oh, yeah?"

"Naturally," he growls. The white wolf glances around himself before shrugging and leaning against a tree, giving me his full attention. "Okay, it's like this. There are nine figures on the elder council, right? One of them is Lord Tenma himself, and he's a drunk, even if it's hard to think that. One of them is a wolf like us, and all he does is arrange the patrols. That means there are seven other members who are all crows, and who really run the village. If you're a wolf, your job is to follow orders... and that's it. You aren't supposed to do anything else, period. It kinda gets to you after a while."

"Yeah, the wolves have gotten a rough shake for the longest time," I frown. "It started a long time ago. Your ancestors, back when we were feral, were a lot more savage than the crows, and when we actively started to try and suppress those instincts, your folks had a harder time of it. The crows took control of the tengu, and never let go ever since. It was prejudice that got institutionalized after a while."

Katsuo gives a low whistle. "So that's how it happened... that's a lot different than the story we're given. You know, everybody in the place where they can do the most good and all that crap."

"There's a lot of stuff they've glossed over," I mutter. "The things I could show people..."

Katsuo gives me the eye. "Why don't you?"

I shrug. "Haven't gotten around to it yet. Plus, I'm not sure if people would listen to me, or if they'd just laugh it off as a bunch of fabrication. Kind of why I'm sounding things out right now, you know what I mean?"

Katsuo nods. "Well, there are a bunch of people who can be pretty damned complacent about things, I have to admit. Then again, the village is still home sweet home. Kind of hard to turn our backs on it, even if it is more like a cage these days."

"And what do you want, Katsuo?" I press him. "What's your take on things?"

He sighs, straightening up and gesturing for me to follow him as he walks. "What I want? I want to do my job and get some actual credit for it without some stuffy crow condescending to me. Er, no offense."

"None taken."

"Beyond that, I'd like to be able to walk around freely, and visit other parts of Gensokyo without somebody demanding why I do it. I've heard that the human village is a lot bigger that it used to be, and that there's a lot of stuff there. I'd love to check it out. I guess in the end... I wanna be free to roam. Heh, just like a wolf, huh?" He gives me a wry grin.

"Sounds reasonable," I admit. "Pretty much all I ever wanted for us, too. Kyo seems to disagree, though."

"Well... don't misunderstand her," Katsuo cautions me. "Kyo is wary of you, but as far as she's concerned, the village is her home. I mean, she gets even angrier than I do about all the intrigues, and all the restrictions the elders put on us. She wants things to change... but she thinks that you're moving way too fast, and will just cause things to collapse for us. She honestly thinks that you'd start a civil war given a chance, and she doesn't want that."

Huh. So it's more the methods than the end results that Kyo has an issue with. "What about the others?" I ask.

"Naoko's young," Katsuo replies. "She hasn't felt constrained just yet. But it's just a matter of time. As for Shuji, he's frustrated and wants to see what's out there, but he's intimidated by the thought of challenging the elders. You see, Aya, nobody's happy with how things are. But here are as many views on things as there are tengu, you know what I mean?"

I nod, thinking about it. Yeah, I guess in the end that I can't just classify people as being friendly or hostile towards me. Everyone has a different view on things, on what they want to keep or get rid of. I need to figure out a way to get through to the tengu as a whole, then.

Well, that was enlightening. I'm glad I talked to Katsuo first. So, what now?

[ ] Talk to Sergeant Kyo
[ ] Talk to Private Naoko
[ ] Talk to Private Shuji
[ ] Make a speech (specify content)
[ ] Go look for Hatate.
[ ] Take a walk and think.
[x] Talk to Sergeant Kyo

Well, now that we know what her issue is, we can probably set about alleviating those fears. Hopefully, even if we don't fully make a convert of her, she'll at least spread the word that we aren't looking to set off a civil war or any kind of open conflict.

Also, that Hatate vote now has me paranoid something's happened.
[x] Talk to Sergeant Kyo
[x] Talk to Sergeant Kyo

Better to know what the wary ones think first.
[x] Talk to Sergeant Kyo
[X] Ask Momiji to check on Hatate, just to be safe.
[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo
[X] Ask Momiji to check on Hatate, just to be safe.
[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo.
-[X] Get her opinion on strategy for this.

While Aya's a strong fighter, politics is her strength. We have all but declared war outright, so things are going to get nasty quick. Here's hoping.
[X] Ask Momiji to check on Hatate, just to be safe.
[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo

Seems good. Also removes any pressure on the wolves to act nice to Aya around their superior.

Also, we need to mention "setting down the sword for a mightier weapon" sometime. Maybe not now, but it would be good to work into a speech eventually.
Good idea.
[X] Ask Momiji to check on Hatate, just to be safe.
[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo.
-[X] Get her opinion on strategy for this.

"One can withstand the invasion of armies, but one cannot withstand the invasion of ideas."
- Victor Hugo
Aya Shameimaru R3volution!
(If anyone gets that reference, I'll be pretty surprised.)

[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo.

And suddenly paranoia appears.
More specifically, sending Momiji to do something means that she's not acting natural, and more people will know something's up.
[x] Talk to Sergeant Kyo
[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo.

Let her know that we don't want the village to go through a civil war. Despite their disagreements, the Tengu are still Aya's people. That's why she's going through the trouble of trying to change them instead of just washing her hands of it all and sticking with her new life with the Mikami.

No need to check on Hatate right now, it's not as if she was about to be put in front of a firing squad or anything.
To me, that vote feels more like "on second thought, maybe Hatate will be more interesting than the wolves" than "what if something is happening to Hatate? YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED IT!".
hard to tell, for all we know Keymaster added that choice just to mess with us, being the over-paranoid sorts that we are. Worst part is that we don't know if something was actually up or not.
The instant Keymaster brings writer-versus-reader bullshit into this story, I'm out. Paranoia is not entertaining to me whatsoever.
My thought on this is that, with things heating up, we should be using the buddy system with Hatate. Make sure someone is always with her, in case the elders decide to advantage of our absence. Ignoring the buddy system got Hatate captured in Pleasant Meadows, after all.
Except in Pleasant Meadows, Keymaster heavily implied that our voting would influence who the next victim would be. Since Hatate was the one who attacked Alfred when she suspected him of killing Yukari, everyone voted against her. If it wasn't Hatate, it probably would've been Lyrica or Hina.
Of course, Keymaster also said we were being too paranoid about Kanako not half a thread ago.
I'd rather talk to Hatate face-to-face than have someone check up on her; otherwise, we look cold and distant.
My suggestion? Continue talking to the wolves, and then go straight to Hatate and have a heart-to-heart with her. I wanted to do this when Aya first arrived in the Tengu village, but everyone else wanted to get down to business. I hope this doesn't come back to bite us in the ass.

Instead of worrying whether or not Hatate has been arrested or something, I'm wondering if we should worry about the elders trying to mess with her head like they did with Aya.

[X] Talk to Sergeant Kyo.
Eh, I believe that this story will not be as much "why didn't you save her?" as Pleasant Meadows. It's too far in the story to suddenly go full grimdark on us now without seriously breaking the mood of the story.
Sure, it's not as light and fluffy as Being Meiling, but it's not as if we need to be paranoid that someone will get hit by the body-snatchers as soon as we turn our back.
I doubt we'd be so paranoid if Keymaster didn't basically tell us the Moriyas went and scored themselves a victory while we were underground.
Okay, voting is pretty clearly in favor of talking to Sergeant Kyo. Called!
File 139500373437.jpg - (430.26KB, 614x750, suspicion.jpg) [iqdb]
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[X] Talk to Hiro.
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