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File 144503263540.png - (648.30KB, 935x935, Nitori2.png) [iqdb]
You are Nitori Kawashiro, a young and rather shy engineer. You live in your workshop, which you have yet to name, along the Turtle River, in the Valley of the kappa. You are acquaintances with many of the Kappa of the Valley, being one yourself.

In the local area, you have become quiet friends with Momiji Inubashiri, as her patrol route takes her close by your workshop. You're not sure that she actually knows where it is, but the two of you enjoy getting to talk to each other.

You have some proficiency in magic based off of the manipulation of water, mostly taking the form of limited hydrokinesis when you concentrate. Using this magic, you have learned a crude method of flight.

You have significant amounts of talent in the field of engineering, though you recognize that practice will be needed to refine your talent into skill. Using the tools of your workshop, there isn't much that is beyond your ability to create, though some projects are certainly more difficult than others.

Your main limitation in terms of making things is resources. It is a rare day when you can say that you have all that you want.
It is 111/6/13, and you turned seventeen years old today.

You are currently in good health.

There's no place quite like home, but the Village of the Kappa was certainly a close second, especially on a day like today.

Today is a market day, when kappa from all over the valley congregate on the Village to show off their inventions and engage in trade. There may even be a few of the more adventurous humans here today, though for the most part they stick to their village.

You yourself are here with a gearbox you completed on commission for Kaji, who could probably fix his shaking hands if he spent less time complaining about his lack of aptitude for detail work.

Combined with the chance to try out your recently completed Optical Camouflage, how could you not come? Well, there's also the issue that you need to restock on food. Despite what some would say, a small cucumber garden is not sufficient to you.

Finally, you are technically supposed to fill out some paperwork to register your new invention, especially since it's the first thing you've built completely on your own. You're not particularly looking forward to that.

The smell of fried cucumber and fish is in the air, the weather looks good, and you've got a full day ahead of you.

What to take care of first?
[] Go deliver the gearbox, it'll give you more money to work with.
[] Paperwork. What is it good for?
[] Follow the smell of good food, make sure you'll have something for the next few weeks.
[] It's market day, time to go shopping!
[X] Go deliver the gearbox, it'll give you more money to work with.

Shopping would be fun, but first we need dosh.

Don't think I've seen a Nitori story before, looking forward to seeing where this goes.
File 14450370673.gif - (26.43KB, 420x248, 1443918683462.gif) [iqdb]
[x] Paperwork. What is it good for?

In b4 someone steals her invention due to not having everything in order.
[X] Go deliver the gearbox, it'll give you more money to work with.

We could be responsible and handle the paperwork right now, but screw it, money comes first.
[X] Go deliver the gearbox, it'll give you more money to work with.
[x] Paperwork. What is it good for?
I see three votes for delivering the gearbox, one for standing in a line for reasons you aren't sure of, and no voters for either variety of shopping.

Going to lock the voting now and put on some music while I write.
...make that two votes for line-standing.

I'll try to get this one out in good time.
File 144504706835.png - (225.22KB, 2400x2400, TFW no duel.png) [iqdb]
Sup new story.
[3] Deliver the gearbox, acquire additional money.

Well, you have this gearbox in your backpack, may as well get rid of it. That way you won't need to put up with the connector rod poking you in the back all day.

Kaji's apartment is pretty near to the village's center, the benefits of having wealthy parents you suppose. Or parents at all, rather than ascending directly from the river turtles.

This strikes you as an excellent opportunity to try out your newest investion. Activating it with the press of a button, you fade from sight and begin making your way through the small village.
You reflect that that might not have been such a good idea. People don't try to avoid what they can't see, and it probably took you longer than it could have to get here... but you're here.

Knocking loudly on the door, you go ahead and drag the twenty or so kilogram monster out of your backpack and mentally go over what you did with it. When the door opens, you launch into an explanation, before he can even start trying to flirt.

You just aren't interested. Left no opening in between your explanations of exactly how much torque is expected and the ratios he'll see between the input shaft's rotations and each of the six outputs, he simply retrieves the payment.

Stepping out of the apartment, you reflect on his improvement. Five words in this time, a new record, though three of them were a quick 'thank you, Nitori' as you left.

You are now six-thousand yen richer, putting you at 7500 in total, and if you're not mistaken he'll be seeking you out for help again within the week to build another part for the construct you saw taking form in another room.

From here, you can see a fair portion of the village, including the main road where it looks like a pair of wagons are making their way towards the markets, and the central office, which appears to be sprouting a line of kappa.

[] Join the line; you can't quite make out the grumbling from here.
[] Your pockets are full of money, and there's a market full of things to spend it on.
[] You can't see the food market from here, but you can smell it!
[X] You can't see the food market from here, but you can smell it!

Blue Kappa needs food bad.
[X] Your pockets are full of money, and there's a market full of things to spend it on.

Who knows what we will find.
[x] Your pockets are full of money, and there's a market full of things to spend it on.

Kappa bazaar? Yes, please.
[X] Your pockets are full of money, and there's a market full of things to spend it on.
[x] Join the line; you can't quite make out the grumbling from here.

See line, stand in line.
Locking in the vote now, update should be done in a few hours.
File 144512264941.jpg - (1.45MB, 2000x1125, Nitori10.jpg) [iqdb]
[3] Going shopping.

Standing in line doesn't seem particularly appealing at the moment, and you can eat when you're done shopping.

Consulting the list you've made, you see that you'll need some structural material for repairs. Copper is probably the best, if you can find it. Some more charcoal for fuel would also be quite nice to have.

Beyond that, there's nothing you really need unless you decide on another project to work on. Still, it surely can't hurt to browse!
Stepping into the market is like stepping into a wall of noise. Any one noise individually, be it a kappa shouting about their new munitions, the whir of an electric screwdriver, or a distant explosion, wouldn't be too bad. Everything at once? You'll definitely enjoy being somewhere quiet after this.

The first stall to really catch your attention, perhaps because she's a little louder than the rest, is Mimi's Missiles... at least until you see the price tag. At one-thousand yen each, you'd go broke quickly if you tried using them in any capacity beyond a one-off.

Stepping back away, you catch sight of one of your more frequent stops; one of the junk traders who travels Gensokyo and scavenges the lost artifacts that tend to end up in the least accessible of places.

"Hey Hiroi, find anything interesting lately?" you call as you step into lot. The kappa, still setting up the stall, looks to have a few new rips in her coat that do nothing to dull her smile.

"Hey Nitori! There was a crashed vehicle in the Forest of Youkai last week, which I got to first. Probably the most exciting thing so far." It's an eclectic collection of junk, but there are occasionally some working parts among it, and what isn't working you can usually repurpose. You'd think that you could get just buy the materials directly, but you've yet to find anyone selling.

Besides, it's cheap. You can't quite get enough heat out of your workshop to really work with the iron, but there are plenty of other materials available here. You note the prices on several pieces that you're interested in, and move on.

It takes you a while to find anyone selling charcoal, but after a kappa spends several minutes trying to get you to buy an explosive nearly as big as you are you finally ask for directions.

Thus, you find a pair of wagons parked on the edge of the village, filled with wood and charcoal. Prices are... a little high, honestly. You should probably keep back at least two-thousand for food and miscellaneous expenses, which gives you 5500Y to work with.

[]Structural materials (Need ~4 kilograms for repair work.)
-[] Copper (400Y per kilogram)
-[] Iron (350Y per kilogram)
-[] Wood (200Y per kilogram)
-[] Plastic (1500Y per kilogram)
-[] Glass (800Y per kilogram)
[]Fuel (Can never really have enough.)
-[] Wood (200Y per kilogram)
-[] Charcoal (250Y per kilogram)
-[] Cordite (30000Y for fifteen kilograms)
[]Anything else?
-[]Write in (subject to approval).

[]Where to next?
-[] Paperwork. What is it good for?
-[] Food, can't work without it!
-[] Home, until your ears stop ringing. A loud grumble from your stomach interrupts this thought... when did the sun get directly overhead?
-[x] Copper 4kg
-[x] Charcoal 2kg
-[x] Wood 1kg

I'm not sure if it would be better to spend most of the money on things we could use or save it for other stuff

-[x] Food, can't work without it!
[5] Kilograms of copper - 2000
[1] Kilograms of glass - 800
[8] Kilograms of charcoal - 2000
[2] Kilograms of wood - 400

Are we to assume the ration of price to efficiency is the same across all the structural materials/fuel?

Does cordite come in quantity less than 15 kilograms?

Are these all the materials available at today's market?
File 144513136217.jpg - (1.00MB, 1920x1200, Nitori11.jpg) [iqdb]
>Are we to assume the ration of price to efficiency is the same across all the structural materials/fuel?

Nope. Some materials are better than others, depending on what you're using them for. The repair work is a general mix of things, replacing a part on the water-wheel, repairing a damaged pipe, etc.. Anything beyond the 4kg she estimates will be needed to complete the repairs will be put into storage for use in future projects.

Generally speaking, copper is workable with the tools Nitori has, and is reasonably water resistant. Other materials, she's willing to try but isn't as familiar with.

>I'm not sure if it would be better to spend most of the money on things we could use or save it for other stuff.

There'll be another Market in two weeks, or you might get other opportunities to spend or make money. Nitori isn't precognizant though, so who knows?

>Does cordite come in quantity less than 15 kilograms?
See the attached image for the package in which the cordite would be coming, were Nitori able to afford it.

>Are these all the materials available at today's market?
No, but these are the materials Nitori is aware of being available, and might be interested in buying.

... even if only out of morbid curiosity as to why something was built.

Anyway, I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please ask whatever comes to mind.
-[x] Copper 4kg
-[x] Charcoal 2kg
-[x] Wood 2kg
-[x] Glass 1kg
[x] Copper 4 kilos
[x] Wood (structural) 4 kilos
[x] Charcoal 2 kilos

Not too spend-thrifty, not too cheapo.

[x] Paperwork. What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing!

Also [X] Food for Blue Kappa
-[X] Food, can't work without it!
-[X] 1 gram of plastic
-[X] 1 gram of glass
[X]Anything else?
-[X]That sweet looking pen in his pocket. 75Y

You can't work without food, can you? And a sweet pen has all sorts of uses! A weapon, a writing utensil, a source of that tiny little spring that fits just right on that tiny piston you've got in that machine you're building if it's one of those retractable pens!

And, since an average pen is normally about 100Y, haggling it down to 75Y seems pretty reasonable.

Plastic and Glass seem like they'd be just a bit tougher to get a hold of in Gensokyo, but that's just me assuming things. Besides, there's no reason to spend all our money at once. If we run into a shop later selling something we need, it'd be better to have some money on hand.
Going to assume an accidental triple-post, there.

That said, calling votes now. Looks like 4kg of copper and 2kg of charcoal is fairly non-contentious, and I'm seeing three votes for buying an assortment of glass shards you can make use of later.

There's also one vote for a pen that I'm going to go ahead and take, because it seems like something Nitori might do.

Finally, we seem to be going for some food. Yay, food.

I'll assume that was an accident, so I took care of deleting the extras for you.

Thank you kindly. I didn't even notice.
Did it died?
Just college spiking my workload for a week.
College is done, my notes are... I was probably half asleep when I wrote them, but they aren't lost.

I have the outline for a chapter in front of me, and writing has begun. An update is imminent.

Thank you for being patient.
File 145102396439.jpg - (387.87KB, 513x680, I'm Back~.jpg) [iqdb]
Sorry for taking so long with this. Still adjusting to the fact that I'm no longer grazing my way through deadline hell.

Let's see... getting supplies, then food, then throwing out my notes on the economy because by the gods what was I thinking!? For now, I'm going to just suspend the numbers while I work out something that doesn't involve Mokou supplying 100% of Gensokyo's charcoal, or other such absurdities.
After a bit of consideration, you decide that you really don't want to spend everything you have right now. Much better to save it for use later.

Still, there are a few things you want to get now. Charcoal is quite good for producing heat, which is useful for working with metal, cooking... quite a lot of things, really. Your stockroom isn't exactly low on it, but it never hurts to have more.

Fortunately for you, the merchants seem to have packaged the charcoal into rough cloth bags already. Though you couldn't fit more than one in your pack at the moment, tying them on is trivial.

Then there are the copper scraps. Copper is usually in pretty high demand around here due to its use in wiring and pipes, and you have a number of projects planned that could make use of it.

As you heft a copper statue that had caught your eye earlier, you try to judge whether it's solid all the way through, but it's kind of hard to tell. You throw it in your basket with the rest of the scrap; even if it isn't solid, there's still a fair bit to it.

The resulting basket full of scrap is rather heavy, after all is said and done. Not something you want to lug about for hours. Hiroi offers to hold onto it for a while, an offer you gladly take advantage of. While doing so, you notice something you had missed your last time through: a plastic pen, the cartridge visibly still full of ink, just resting amidst the scrap.

It might not be what you're here for, but you throw it into the basket anyway. It's cheap, and you suspect you'll find a use for it eventually.

Leaving about half the payment for the scrap and pen behind, you step outside and note that the sun is a fair bit past directly overhead. As though invigorated by the reminder of time's passing, your stomach chooses to remind you that you haven't eaten yet today.

The Line, on the other hand, only seems to be getting longer. You decide that waiting in that line with the medley of scents playing through would be an unnecessary torture.

As you enter that section of the market, you try to figure out what would be best to get, both for the next few weeks and for right now.

(Choose one in each category)
[X]To take home:
-[] Plain rice from the Human Village. Filling, cheap, incredibly bland.
-[] Supplement the rice with some local specialties. (Cucumbers~)
-[] Write in?
[X]At the village:
-[] An out of the way noodle bar. It's good food, and quite quiet usually.
-[] A new place right on the street, serving fish and rice. Looks popular.
-[] A mobile skewered chicken stand. You don't often see humans around here.
You're back!

[X]To take home:
-[] Plain rice from the Human Village. Filling, cheap, incredibly bland.
-[] See if you can find any spices to flavor the rice. (Try not to spend too much!)

[X]At the village:
-[] A new place right on the street, serving fish and rice. Looks popular.

As much as I love Mystia, I'm curious about the other options.
[X]To take home:
-[X] Plain rice from the Human Village. Filling, cheap, incredibly bland.

Our taste buds are a much lower priority than invention.

[X]At the village:
-[X] A new place right on the street, serving fish and rice. Looks popular.
[X]To take home:
-[X] Supplement the rice with some local specialties. (Cucumbers~)

[X]At the village:
-[X] A mobile skewered chicken stand. You don't often see humans around here.

Hey welcome back. Deadline hell is a stressful place.
[X]To take home:
-[] Supplement the rice with some local specialties. (Cucumbers~)
[X]At the village:
-[] An out of the way noodle bar. It's good food, and quite quiet usually.
[X]To take home:
-[x] Plain rice from the Human Village. Filling, cheap, incredibly blxand.
-[] Supplement the rice with some local specialties. (Cucumbers~)
[X]At the village:
-[x] A new place right on the street, serving fish and rice. Looks popular.

A brilliant mind is useless if the vessel isn't fueled.
[X]To take home:
-[X] Supplement the rice with some local specialties. (Cucumbers~)

[X]At the village:
--[x] A new place right on the street, serving fish and rice. Looks popular.

Fish = brain food. This option can only succeed.
Going to call the votes in eight hours or so*, then start writing.

*Read: when I wake up.
Did I say 'in eight hours?' Because it seems that I accidentally meant 'in two days or so.'

Sorry, writing now. Looks like Nitori'll be getting some local specialties (though staying on the cheap side) and visiting the new place.

Probably going to write the rough draft tonight, sleep on it, then proof and post in the morning.
Nevermind, who needs sleep?

[3] Rice with supplements
[4] New place
Taking in the smells, you decide that just having plain rice for weeks will do nothing for your motivation. Stopping in at the bulk supply shop, you arrange for a cart to be prepared with several bags of rice, and a bag of assorted items - smoked fish, cucumbers, a small amount of spice - nothing of any particular quality, but enough.

You leave somewhat wincing at the price, but it'll be worth it, and its not like you spent everything. Though you would typically head to your usual noodle-stand on market days, today something catches your eye: a bar you do not recognize, titled Grilled Silver.

Looking through the flaps, you notice that it seems less crowded than most, mainly being visited by younger Kappa. Seeing that the prices are reasonable, you step inside. What's life without trying something new every once in a while?

Taking a seat and placing a small order, you find the table before you occupied by a small newspaper, purporting to 'Keep an eye on the times!' On the back, you find an offer to pay for delivery to your home, which would certainly explain why they're being handed out here, but the information is... well, it's certainly interesting, even if it isn't citing many sources.

Reading it while you wait, you find much of it to be filled with speculation regarding the new Hakurei Shrine Maiden, who will apparently be inheriting the position soon. The article doubles back on itself often enough that you aren't even sure what the writer's opinion is, but you can remember stories of the last one, who died just under eight years ago now.

It was, by all accounts, a reign of terror as she violently crushed any attempts at making trouble, and from what you've heard, you count yourself lucky to have not been around back then.

All of that is put from your mind when your food arives: grilled fish served on a bed of fried rice. Thanking the proprietor, a Kappa by the name of Kenji, you begin to indulge in the surprisingly good meal.

Surprisingly short, too, or perhaps you simply lost track of time? Either way, you feel pleasantly full as you pay and step out, seeing the sun heading towards the horizon. Nightfall is a few hours away, yet, but you still have things to do, like paperwork.

At a glance, the line isn't particularly shorter than it was, still stretching out of the building and into the plaza, though the individual faces are different. At a rough estimate, it would take you an hour to get into the offices if you're lucky, and the Kami know how long after that.

[] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.
[] Forget the paperwork, your getting your food and scrap and heading home.
[X] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.

Both choices seem like they'll bite us one way or another. Nitori's not clear on the purpose and consequence of this choice, but it'd really suck to discover someone else registered it first and we have to pay licence fees or something to use our own invention.
[X] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.
That sounds infuriating
[x] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.
[X] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.
Based on previous voter turnouts, I think it's safe to say that paperwork has won. Just to be sure, though, I'll leave things open for another few hours.

It's Nitori's first solo invention, nobody would even know unless we do something to bring it to light.

[X] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.

Something to bring it to light, like having it short out before taking on the Hakurei Shrine Maiden.


Yea that must have been pretty awkward for Nitori.
Update is going to be rather late. Sorry.

All I can say is that writers block is being a problem, and forcing the issue seems to be producing around 1.5 (barely) acceptable words an hour at the moment.
[Everyone] Get in line to register your Optical Camouflage.
Not happy with this, but it's something.
Growing up, there was always this assumption that if you made something new, you registered it. You never got an answer why, really, but then you never asked.

Stepping up to the end of the line, you try being patient with it. Every few minutes, the line stumbles forward a little, kappa stepping up and more joining the back. All the while, the sun nears the horizon.

You last perhaps ten minutes before swinging down your pack to rummage through it, looking for the pad of paper you've been using to keep track of your ideas. After five more minutes, you conclude that it isn't in your bag.

You checked, three times. You'll need to remember to bring it, or at least something to do, next time you come here. As it is, you have basically nothing, unlike those around you. You're tempted to speak up and try to make a conversation, but they look to be content with what they're doing... or at least too engrossed to be distracted.

So you keep quiet. Soon, your mind begins to wander. You know you'll not remember everything, but at least it is something to keep your mind busy.

You are perhaps halfway through figuring out a basic design for a power supply to go with your backpack that hopefully won't risk setting it on fire, when you find yourself surprised by the propped open door. Looking inside, you find yourself faced with - wonder of wonders - more lines. Beside you, a device slides out clipboards with several sheets of paper and a pen attached, which you can see the kappa ahead of you have already picked up and are filling out while they wait.

Doing the same, you pick yours up and give it a look over. The first page seems to be mostly biographical details, though nearly half of it is taken up by a statement saying that everything you're entering here is true. Simple enough.

The next pages you need to re-read several times to make sure you get everything, but you think you understand. Three pages of check-boxes to mark that categorize your invention based on a number of criteria, followed by a fourth page that uses those categories to determine if more paperwork needs to be done.

While you're filling it out, the line splits into five, and eventually reaches the desk of a kappa who looks to be rather tired of the day. She barely even looked at you, merely taking the clipboard and glancing over the papers on it before telling you you were free to go.

You had a few questions, actually, but she's already reaching for the next clipboard so you hurry to get out of the way.

Fortunately, there is no opportunity to get lost along the path leading out of the building, though it is to a different door than the one you came in. The sky is certainly a fair bit darker than it was when you went in, and unless you miss your guess the sun is going to be setting, at best, shortly after you pick up your purchases and leave the village.

On the bright side, you should still be able to make it home to your lab - the Valley of the Kappa is generally one of the safer areas of Gensokyo, even at night. You'd still be traveling after sunset, though, so there's little telling what you will encounter. Often, the less friendly of the youkai will come out at night, and if nothing else the moon rarely fails to get the fairies excited.

Or, you could try to find somewhere to stay for the night here in the village. You can't think of the last time a youkai was bold enough to attack the Village, defended as it is by the myriad creations of the kappa who live there and the promise of support by the Tengu. Without any prior arrangements, though, you don't know how much finding a place to stay here will cost. Unless you get lucky, probably most of what money you have left.

[] Take your things and go home.
[] Go looking for a spot to sleep in the village.
[X] Take your things and go home.

Thanks for the update. Most writers get writers block at one point or another.
[X] Take your things and go home.
I'll be closing the votes in twelve hours or so.

I'm only seeing two votes so far... is it because I forgot the image?
[x] Take your things and go home.
[x] Take your things and go home.
[x] Take your things and go home.
[X] Take your things and go home.

It'd be wise to be go home. Only so much money and all that.

Also, potential encounters!
Writing now. It seems that regular updates were a bit much to hope for, sadly.

Now, where did I put that lunar calendar... .
File 146087968370.png - (1.33MB, 700x1000, Nitori2.png) [iqdb]
It... has been entirely too long. All I can say is that I sincerely wish Writer's Block would go off and do something that isn't bothering me, and that college would let up. Hopefully the next update won't be three months late.
Home, you decide, is worth traveling at night. The village is nice enough, especially if it weren't so noisy -- note to self: some manner of noise reducing earplugs might be useful. You're getting distracted again. Home, would be by far better than here, and so you shall be going there as soon as you retrieve the things you purchased, sun or no sun.

Setting course for Hiroi's junk shop, you take note of the entirely different tenor of the market closing up. Shouting is much less prevalent, though if anything it is louder, especially from those who do not hold permanent stalls. Stepping around an industrious kappa who is busily removing the bolts from the steel frame of her stall, you enter Hiroi's shop to pick up your scrap.

The kappa who greets you, however, is not Hiroi. Young, if you aren't mistaken, and definitely nervous about being here, you don't recognize her. You remember being in that position, once, willing to take on any small job for a bit more in the way of resources. Your wave as you enter seems to break the clearly building panic, fortunately, or you would probably both have been awkwardly trying to open the conversation for a bit.

As it is, the girl spills out everything she can think of by way of greeting. You are reasonably sure you weren't this much of a motor mouth when you were younger, but you at least manage to catch her name and the fact that Hiroi had left for the central offices around fifteen minutes ago to deal with some paperwork.

As much as you'd like to stay here a bit to talk... alright, you don't really want to stay here and talk about things for several hours. You'd much rather be home, relaxing, and getting rid of your building headache. So you keep it brief, introducing yourself and handing over the copy of the note you got from Hiroi explaining that you'd put half-down on a basket of items. Paying off the other half, you leave the stall behind, and shortly after are making your way through the comparatively quieter parts of the village.

There, you find the the cart of supplies you had arranged for, its large central wheel giving it a fair degree of stability and ability to bear loads. You breath a sigh of relief as you set the basket down on the cart, and move to check in that you're taking it now. Honestly, you kind of wish there was a better way of doing that, but you just weren't sure of a safe way to efficiently carry a basket full of scrap metal. You'd seen a few people carrying baskets on their heads before, but that just seems like it's asking to snap your neck.

Still better than trying to navigate one of these carts through the chaotic mess that is the general market, though. The roads here, at least, won't cause the cart to sink into the ground as you try to maneuver, so maneuver you do all the way out of the village. After pretty much a full day of that noise, you're glad to be leaving it behind, even as the sky is tinged a deep red by the sunset. Looking around, you can just make out the moon peaking out from behind the mountains. A crescent tonight.

You don't generally pay much attention to the lunar cycle, but you're pretty sure that corresponds to a lower level of activity tonight by those youkai that care about such things. You're in luck, there, but to be safe you dig into your pack for what is currently your best tool for self defense, the Kappa Water Gun. It's a pretty rare exception that a kappa can't manipulate water to some degree, and you aren't one of those exceptions, so before moving out you built one. Yours is honestly pretty simple, as these things go, but quite effective. By simply pushing on the water contained within, the nozzle pressurizes it and turns the water into a cutting stream effective for cutting steel. You built yours with four chambers inside it, letting you fire the water gun four times before refilling it, which has been plenty so far.

Sadly, you do end up needing to use it a few times to discourage curious fairies. It's almost comical, watching the enthusiasm drain from the soaking you give them. All desire to laugh, however, is drained when one pokes out of a bush right next to you, green hair blending in almost perfectly. It'll probably be a while before you forget the surprised look on her face, as halfway through "Hey! What'cha doing?" you get your water gun in line and in a slight bit of panic push entirely too hard for how close she was. Intellectually, you know that she'll be back before too long, but that doesn't do much to soften things now.

The faeries seem to become much more active after that, but you're nearly home anyways. Common wisdom says that if you don't keep provoking them, fairies will eventually calm down, and you put that to use now. Up ahead is the small waterfall that marks your lab, one of the dozens of such waterfalls in the area. This one is yours, however. Taking a quick look around, you don't see anyone in the immediate area, so you grab hold of the water pockets you know to be contained in what looks like a piece of the stone, and push it in. Were anyone watching, it might look like you had gestured in, then to the left with your hand and had a portion the rock-face respond.

To be fair, that is basically what you're doing, but you are cheating a fair bit. The outer two centimeters is natural stone from the area, but the next meter is just some sparse scaffolding holding water so you can move it effectively, and some wheels to make the hole process even easier. Or, if you're being honest, possible, since even with all of that moving the construct is a challenge.

Quickly wheeling the cart in, and replacing the door, you take a moment to simply unwind a little. You are home, you don't need to deal with people for another few weeks if you don't want to, you're free. For now, at least.

Honestly, your lab doesn't look too much different from what it was when you found it, but it is unmistakably yours now. Once, it was a simple cave with an opening concealed by the waterfall, but you moved in nearly a year ago now. From the small smithy you've set up in a rear chamber, where a carved chimney can evacuate the resulting fumes, to the bed, to the rough set of piles where you are unloading the cart, to the (currently) broken water wheel setup you built to try to make electricity, all of it is yours, and no-one else's.

What isn't yours, however, is a good night's sleep. It's been at least a week since you let yourself sleep properly, instead pushing to get your optical camouflage working properly for today. Now though...

[] Your grumbling stomach reminds you that it has been a fair bit since you ate.
[] You had several Ideas of varying merit today. Best to write them down before you forget.
[] It can all wait until you've had some rest. Sleep now, worry later.
[] Write-in?
[X] You had several Ideas of varying merit today. Best to write them down before you forget.

I'd almost given up on this.
[x] Your grumbling stomach reminds you that it has been a fair bit since you ate.
[x] You had several IDEAS of varying merit today. Best to write them down before you forget.
[X] Your grumbling stomach reminds you that it has been a fair bit since you ate.

Thanks for the update. I'm glad you're still doing this.
[] You had several Ideas of varying merit today. Best to write them down before you forget.
Well, closing the votes here. The next update should be up sometime in the next three months or so~
WHY!??? I didn't get to vote!
Sorry. Was planning on making an "actually three hours" joke, but that didn't quite pan out.

Currently writing, though.
File 146113477990.png - (407.85KB, 700x560, Nitori8.png) [iqdb]
Well, it's not three hours, but three days is a lot better than three months.
Two votes this time.
Dropping the basket full of scrap and materials next to your backpack with a dull thud, you resolve to sort through it all in the morning. For now, it's been a long day, and you want nothing more than to crawl into your bed and sleep.

Before that, though, you have something important to do. Pulling a small lighter from your backpack, you light a pair of oil lamps to give you light to work by, and retrieve your notebook, containing the various bits of Inspiration you've had.

Today, you got most of the way through making a design for a power cell that could fit in your backpack. It would need some electricity to charge it, which is a bit of a problem, but you're already working on it. The design itself would be relatively simple, burning combustible gases stored under pressure to spin a small metal rod with magnets attached. Perhaps you could get power in a simpler way, with a battery or something, but you're pretty sure that no battery will be able to match the energy density you can achieve with this.

Finally finished with sketching out the design, you take a moment to page through the rest of the notes and see if your idea could help with them. There are a few, admittedly. Once you fix up the problems that caused your wiring to burn out when you tested your design for harvesting electricity from the water wheel, having a good way to store electricity would be the next logical step.

Next, there are your various sketches for a better furnace. One of the big things holding you back is that your current design just isn't good enough. You need more heat out of it, and preferably get it to use less fuel. Thinking back to your problematic test run again, those wires produced quite a lot of light and heat before they melted... if you could harness and concentrate that, perhaps it would be enough? If it works, you could definitely get by with less charcoal, and with access to steel... well, a lot of engineering constraints will be rather less constraining then. You note that down as a definite possibility.

Then... then there's that one project you keep coming back to, which you're still not sure where to start with. You remember coming up with it during a lecture on how the barrier was formed, and while much of the talk about the theory was beyond you, somewhere in the talk on how many realms existed you latched onto the idea that with the proper lever you might be able to interact with the interface between worlds, or even pierce it. From there... well, you wouldn't need to worry about getting enough copper to work with anymore. You still don't know what kind of lever you'd need to cut through dimensions like that, or even if it exists, but the idea is a tempting one.

Ultimately, you have no idea if more power is even the way to go for that, and you know that if you let yourself get caught up in this you won't be getting any sleep tonight. So you set the notebook aside.

With the writing taken care of, you make sure that you're done before getting in bed. Tired as you are, you definitely won't be getting back up even if you did forget something. So, while the second wind lasts, you make sure that you put the food in the side chamber you designed for it, and that nothing is about to catch fire. Thankfully, nothing of the sort seems to be the case, and you can feel the heat being drawn from the preservation chamber into the stream. Satisfied that everything is working, you put out the lamps and crawl in bed.

As you fall asleep, you wonder what tomorrow will bring...
First vote: pacing. I'd like a bit of input on how fast you'd like things to go... not sure if I'll follow it, but it'd be nice to know preferences.
[] Another long day, full of things to do.
A vote for those who like to take it slow, and make the small choices that add up to big things over time. Basically, the pace so far.
[] A shorter day, with a few interesting things.
Days start off with voting for a general 'day plan' and further choices come up as interesting or unexpected things happen.
[] The week flew by.
Short time-skips between the interesting events. Since part of the reason why I'm writing this is to fill out the tiny, day-to-day details in my headcanon, I'd prefer not to go any more abstract than this.

Second vote: focus. Basically, what you're hoping to get done tomorrow, in broad terms.
[] Yes, I can build it.
-[] What would you like to work on?
[] Hunting down a rumor mill.
[] Seeking supplies.
[] Taking a day off.
[X] Another long day, full of things to do.

[X] Taking a day off.
Why don't we chat with Momiji or another friend.
[X] Another long day, full of things to do.

[X] Taking a day off.
[x] Another long day, full of things to do.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

[x] Taking a day off.

The best Ideas come when you're doing something else.
[X] Another long day, full of things to do.
[X] Hunting down a rumor mill.

I didn't come here to read a dang outline bro.
[X] Another long day, full of things to do.

The pace so far has been nice.

[X] Yes, I can build it.
-[X] Improved Furnace
Calling the vote here, since I'm just about ready to start writing. Looks like preference is for keeping the pace, and taking the day off.
File 146614711018.jpg - (137.79KB, 600x800, Nitori13.jpg) [iqdb]
The morning finds you sore, but with the greatly satisfying feeling of not having anything important to do today. Sure, you should probably organize your purchases from yesterday, but honestly? If you want to stay in bed as long as you want, you can.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you can stay under the covers forever, no matter how comfortable they are. You're thirsty, if nothing else. And so, you reluctantly pull yourself off the futon, stiff from yesterday.

Under the glare of the sunlight that can reach into your home, you take in its state. It is clear that you have been neglecting cleaning it for some time, too focused on getting the optical camoflage to work. And this morning, you just can't bring yourself to care as you step over a discarded shirt to grab a clay cup.

Slaking your thirst from the small branch of the stream you diverted to power your water wheel, you consider what you actually want to do today. Sitting around all day has never ended in anything other than boredom for you, but after that last project you don't feel like launching into another just yet.

As you take a seat, drinking slowly, you decide that, even if you're not sure what to do with yourself for the day, you can at least decide what to do after breakfast.

[] Clean up the lab.
Looking around at the clothes lining the floor, the disorganized tools, the spilled bag of charcoal by the forge... it could really use some cleaning. On the other hand, this sounds suspiciously like work.

[] Take the cart back to the village.
It's technically on loan, and you have a week or so to get it back, but if you have something to do in the village may as well bring it along.

[] Go ambush Momiji.
Her patrol route should take her by here today, and it's been quite a while since you've seen her. It'll also be a good opportunity to test your optical camoflage.

[] Swimming for fun and relaxation.
[i]The stream will eventually lead to a large lake if you follow it. Take a swim~

[] Write in?
[X] Go ambush Momiji.
[x] Go ambush Momiji.

Chatting with friends. Glad you're back.
[X] Go ambush Momiji.
Welcome back dude!
[x] Go ambush Momiji.
[X] Go ambush Momiji.
[x] Go ambush Momiji.
Good to see you again.
[x] Go ambush Momiji.

Fuck, let's be Gallus.
[X] Use your optical camo to patrol the seedy part of town and fight crime.
[x] Go ambush Momiji.
[8] Go ambush Momiji.
... more voters than ever. Welcome.

It looks like we're going to go talk with Momiji, so I'm going to start writing now. Writer's block permitting, it should hopefully be done in less than a month.
[yay] Go ambush Momiji.

Fuck, let's be Gallus.
File 146848604014.jpg - (567.21KB, 900x1200, Nitori9.jpg) [iqdb]
It has been a while since you've seen Momiji, hasn't it? The last time would be... around a week after you started work on the camouflage.

First, though, breakfast. Firing the stove, you begin to retrieve your selection from the supplies you bought yesterday. Some rice, a bit of bean curd, half a cucumber, and an egg for luxury's sake.

Setting the rice to steam, you consider what to do with the bean curd. When you grabbed it, you'd thought of frying it together with the egg, but dry as it is you're not sure that that will work out. Eventually, you settle for dropping some ground mushroom powder into water along with a bit of the fermented soy paste, making a basic soup, and dropping the bean curd in. The egg, you simply scramble after mixing in a little seasoning.

It's a fairly light meal, but it gets you going. With a frown, you note that you overdid it on the paste with the miso, but oh well. The rest of it came out well, at least, and it is definitely better than your first attempts at cooking. Your stove is of carved stone for a reason.

Standing, and grabbing your first proper Invention, you stretch out and plan where to go. You know that there is a clearing in the forest a bit northwest of your lab which is on Momiji's patrol route, which is the most likely place to meet her this morning, but you'd probably have better luck staying unnoticed elsewhere.

It is ultimately that which makes your decision for you. You simply aren't certain of your friend's patrol route, and might miss her entirely elsewhere. So you grab your pack, slide in a few cucumbers for the road, and take off.

It's about an hours walk from here, through the forest. Perhaps a fair bit less for an experienced forester, but you know the way at least. You can even practice something along the way.

Gathering a small amount of water into your boots, you begin to lift it against your feet. At first, it just makes your steps lighter, but as you concentrate on keeping it under your feet while lifting harder, less and less weight goes on the ground, until you are lifting yourself entirely.

For now, you need to maintain your focus on it, and you aren't too good at maintaining it, but you are getting better. The exercise makes for excellent practice; when you first started learning just forcing water into a ball in your hand gave you quite the headache. Now, you could fly with it for nearly fifteen minutes and counting before getting more than a minor headache from it. And you do, angling the force until you are moving forward at what would be a good jog for you.

A quarter of the way there, as you round a tree you remember by the distinctive gouge through its trunk, you force yourself to stop. Flying is fun, but it tends to distract from the building headache until its too late and it feels like you've been standing on your brain for the whole time. You could, in theory, have flown the entire way, but testing your Camouflage against Momiji will be rather pointless if she can just pick you out by your pained groans at every stray beam of sunlight and chirping insect.

So you walk, enjoying the sounds of the forest, the splash of water in your boots, and a cool breeze coming down from the mountain. Ideas come to mind for ways you could capture some of this feeling for when you are working, but for now you push them aside, simply enjoying the walk.

In what seems like no time at all, you arrive at your chosen clearing feeling more refreshed than tired by the walk. You are unsure how long it will be before your friend gets here, but you can hear the ringing of bells through the forest already. Tengu patrols are distinctive affairs by design, showing off that the Tengu military was protecting the area. It won't be too long, then.

Picking out a sturdy tree branch a bit higher up than you are tall, you take to the air so that you may sit on it, and wait under the cover of your activated Optical Camouflage. While you wait, you close your eyes to focus on the other exercise you've been practicing with. Using water pressed up against your feet and back, you work to keep your balance on the branch.

You aren't certain how long it is before you hear the bells enter the clearing, but when you do you open your eyes to see your friend, sniffing the air curiously. The sight brings to mind something she said a while back, about her boasting about being able to see things clearly from over a kilometer out. Granted, at the time it was over a game of shogi, but seeing her unable to see you now... you can't help it. You try to suppress the laughter that comes, but aren't successful, a small laugh escaping. Of course, she snaps right to you at that, but even more laughter comes as you see her squinting.

You aren't mean, though. At the second bout, you manage to switch your Device off, and still smiling you drop back to the ground. You can see her starting to smile as well, as she works out what happened. "Hey Momiji, good to see you."

"Good to see you as well, or rather smell and hear you. So you're not playing cave spider any more, Nitori? It has been a while since I've seen you out and about." Momiji is, in a word, happy. Oh, she's certainly loyal, disciplined, focused, and all the other traits you'd expect from someone on the job in the Tengu military, but stepping beyond that and getting to know her, you have found someone who lives life to enjoy it.

"Yes, my first Invention is finished, the Optical Camouflage! It took a while longer than I thought it would, but it works pretty well I'd say." You'd love to talk more about it, but there is definitely cause to restrain yourself here. Momiji is on duty, and while it wouldn't be too troublesome if you were to walk with her along the route, you know that it would terminate higher up the mountain, and you aren't too confident in finding your way back.

"Huh, so that's what that was. Anyway, I'm on patrol right now, but could we meet later this evening?" Now that catches you by surprise. Must be something she wants to talk to you about... did something happen? Eh, you'll find out soon enough. You respond by...

[] Suggesting that you meet at your lab.
You'll probably need to give directions, but if there's anyone you trust not to go telling random youkai where you live, it's Momiji. It definitely needs cleaning before she arrives.

[] Suggesting that you meet again here.
It's reasonably easy to get to, and you can continue putting off the cleaning.

[] Suggesting another location to meet.
-[] Write in.
You have an interesting idea.

[] Deny the meeting.
You can't think of any reasons off the top of your head to do this. You don't exactly have any plans for today.
[z] Suggesting another location to meet.
-[e] We can meet at Hina's place. And maybe eat dinner together.

Suggesting this.
[X] Suggesting that you meet at your lab.

If it's important she might want to talk alone.
Unfortunately, you've not yet met Hina.
Ah ok. >>29661 here, I'll change my vote to

[ze] Suggesting that you meet at your lab.
[X] Suggesting that you meet at your lab.
[x] Suggesting that you meet at your lab.
Erratic Writer, are you still alive?
pretty please?
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