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Unrelenting Faith. Thread 1 | THP - The destination for Touhou fans
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30359 No. 30359
"... what?"

Not more than an hour ago, you'd set foot on a short hike through the forest. A forest nowhere near a mountain. And here you are, standing on the edge of a massive mountain ravine?

"The old guy never mentioned this..."

This is not how you thought you'd be spending your day.

At dinner last night you found yourself parked next to a talkative old man. The guy was clearly there to talk to anyone who would listen, and you don't mind catching an earful from a local when you're visiting a new place. By the time you finally stumbled back to your hotel he'd told you not only the nearby attractions, but the entire history of the town since he was a lad.

One thing in particular kept coming up, though - the nearby shrine. He was insistent on you seeing it. Every anecdote or story he told somehow came back to that shrine.

The hike up to it sounded interesting, so you decided to take that in as part of your vacation. You're not much of a believer in spirits and gods and that, but if the shrine was even half as wonderful as this guy said it was worth seeing. The two hour walk there and back wouldn't be a bad way to start the morning either, and after that, you could see some of the other more normal touristy things you had planned on.

Initially the trail was a bit difficult to follow. It clearly didn't get much use, much like the old man said. But after you got deeper into the forest the undergrowth stopped crowding it out and you were able to follow it easy enough. Stone markers guided you along most of the way.

After a while, though, you lost the markers, so you tried to backtrack. It was clear that you'd lost the trail, as the brush behind you was much thicker than you thought when you first passed through. Eventually, you thought you'd spotted a clearing through the thinning treeline, but... well, here you are - face to face with a several thousand foot drop that shouldn't be here in any reasonable world.

"Jeez!"

A stiff gust of wind from behind catches you by surprise as you're peering over the edge. You steady yourself fine, but that ravine suddenly seems much closer. That's... a long way down. You back up a bit to calm your nerves.

Is this a dream? It feels too real for that. The void calls, saying that you could confirm easy enough by taking a few dozen steps forward. You shake your head. You've been lost before. Nothing like this of course, because this is nonsense - but the principals are the same regardless. Don't panic. Stabilize your situation first, and worry about getting out later. All you really have is a light backpack with some snacks, a fair amount of water, your knife, and a compass.

Not ideal, but probably enough for today if you don't waste it. At least you thought to wear your boots before getting sucked into a temporal rift, or being blasted back in time, or being abducted by aliens, or...

...focus.

After gathering your courage, you get close up to the edge again. There doesn't seem to be an easy way down from here. You're pretty close to the top of this... mountain. Definitely a mountain. Why the hell are you on a...

... doesn't matter right now. Focus.

You're on some kind of ridge, and it looks like whatever brought you up here was cruel enough to put you above the steep part - the slope going down is a lot greater than the slope going up. Maybe you could get a better look up there? It's probably not more than a mile. Going up would be a waste of energy if you can't find a better way down, though. Maybe you should just cut back into the forest and see if the other direction is better.

It almost looks like a person moving around up top... but at this distance, it's hard to be sure. What else could it be, though?

"HELLO! OVER HERE! I NEED HELP!"

You muster the biggest voice you can, trying to get their attention. It certainly seems like they should be able to hear you, but the only answer you get back is a disturbingly loud echo. Strange acoustics here. You get the idea to use your compass to catch their eye and continue yelling.

After a few minutes of that, the figure moves behind the peak. Or in front of, maybe - it's hard to tell when they aren't silhouetted by the sky. It's not clear that they heard you, so you...

[ ] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.
[ ] Start trying to make your way up. One hiker probably means more, and being closer makes you more easily heard.

===============================================================================
I'll be updating this at least once a week. Eventually I'll be trying to stick to a specific day but for now I'm going to see where it naturally lands. I hope you all enjoy.
>> No. 30360
[x] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.
I wouldn't count on help but a little recon is important when you're trying to gather your bearings. Though risking getting a bit more lost when climbing also sounds tempting.

Also, welcome back dude.
>> No. 30361
[x] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.

Holy shit you're alive. Welcome back man!

Still hoping beyond hope for a continuation of Creeping Shadows, but a new story is good too.
>> No. 30362
CLASSIC START MY DUDE

[x] Start trying to make your way up. One hiker probably means more, and being closer makes you more easily heard.
>> No. 30363
[X] Start trying to make your way up. One hiker probably means more, and being closer makes you more easily heard.
>> No. 30364
[x] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.

Safest option.
>> No. 30365
[X] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.
>> No. 30366
[x] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.

Ah, a classic start. Getting some Fragmentation of Memories vibes too.
>> No. 30367
Called. Update... in a few days.

>>30361
Creeping Shadows is dead. I can safely say that I won't make the mistake of trying to raise its corpse again.

I did keep world notes, though, so maybe I could put together an eulogy of sorts that has the ending. Might make a good short if I feel the urge to write one, and more practice never hurts.
>> No. 30369
[x] Do some scouting, but don't stray too far in case they are getting help.

... decide it best to stay put. Mostly. A bit of scouting won't hurt if you can find something useful like the trail, but wandering too far probably isn't wise. If they noticed you, you want to be where you were seen. Not to mention that you're not even sure you can get there from here.

You scan the peak and the surroundings for a little bit longer, but don't really notice anything else interesting. Time for a bit of bushwhacking, then. Not wanting to get lost, you take out your compass and make a mental note to not get turned around or move too fast. You grab a walking stick too, for good measure.

The brush is thick, but once you get back from the cliff the trees provide enough shade to keep it manageable. Had you been paying attention earlier rather than just walking, you'd have notice that it's different than the stuff you had at the start of your walk. Not entirely different, so you're probably in the same geographic region, but not the same either.

Still no sign of the trail... or anything else useful. No water and not even a few berries or something to munch on. You scout for perhaps an hour, confirming that you are indeed on a relatively flat plateau of sorts, when a fog rolls in. Fog? You guess it's low clouds this high up. So much for the sun, you guess.

You take a seat on a nearby rock to reassess. This situation hasn't improved in the slightest. Not that it would have likely improved had you tried to bushwhack straight to the peak either, given these clouds.

"Seriously, what the hell!?"

Your frustration gets the best of you. This is completely stupid. Absurd! Completely---

"Seriously, what the hell!?"

"Jesus!"

Your heart starts pumping as you jump to your feet. Something like your voice echoes out from the mist, but... it's way too loud.

"Jesus!"

Instinctively, you grip your walking stick with both hands. This is not your day. Voices calling out from the mist while you're alone in a forest... what is this, a horror film now?

"Who's there!?" you demand, trying your best to not freak out completely.

It replies in your voice all the same. "Who's there!?" This time, though, it's close. WAY too close.

[ ] Fight.
[ ] Flight.
===============================================================================
I'll look to call this one early next week again, because bite-sized updates don't actually take long to write. This week was kind of abnormal and I screwed around on my one somewhat normal day.




Also, I dunno where that post went asking why I dropped CS (and sorry for the delayed response), but short answer: low mental energy and stressful stuff in real life.

Longer answer:
I stalled that out the first time because I had just left college and ended up in a job that wasn't ideal for myself. Playing corporate politics is really taxing for me and I was pretty stressed in general. Not a good environment for writing, and trying to force it just made more frustration.

Failed restart was me trying to get into a hobby again to distract myself from my job. Not a good idea - I should have sorted my issues with the job first - which I did about a year later by getting a new one elsewhere.

Those aren't really generic pitfalls but maybe there's some wisdom there. It was funny because I'd taken care to guard against the pitfalls that killed other stories of mine, but found a new one anyway. There's always one to stumble in to and let fester until it becomes unreasonable to continue.
>> No. 30370
[x] Fight.
I think running away in a fog is probably a bad idea, like out of a horror movie. But I guess I wouldn't fight either, just cautiously stand your ground for the time being.
>> No. 30371
[x] Fight.

We gonna get eaten by Kyouko
>> No. 30372
[x] Fight.

dumbyamabikosayswhat
>> No. 30373
[X] Flight.
>> No. 30374
[X] Fight.

Stand your ground.
>> No. 30375
[x] Fight.

Running + fog + clifftop = bad idea.

> dunno where that post went asking why I dropped CS

I realized I was beating a dead horse story and tried to hide the evidence. Thanks for answering anyway. I'll shut up now.
>> No. 30376
Called. Shooting for tomorrow or Thursday.

>>30375
No worries my friend.
>> No. 30378
[x] Fight.

This isn't right. Nothing has been right since you ended up wherever this is, and now something is seriously trying to mess with you. You've got nowhere to back down to and a body full of adrenaline. The image of your knife flashes through your mind, but you're not sure you're hands would listen if you told them to stop gripping the stick.

"Come out!"

"Nope!"

Another response, and still fairly close. You sprint a bit in the direction of the sound, but... there's nothing there, and you saw nothing moving around as you ran up. Some kind of ghost? Demon? Slipping into hell seems a bit far-fetched, but you guess anything's possible.

"What do you want with me?"

"What do you want with me?"

The voice sounds a whole lot further out this time. You... don't go after it. No sense. Is it backing down? You can't tell with the visibility like this.

"Hello?", you call out one last time for good measure.

"Hello!"

Whatever the hell "it" is, it's back to sounding more like a strange echo than an immediate threat. You think you're safe from it for now, even if it's going to take your body a little while to calm down. Even if your head is still buzzing with "why?".

You're basically out of options at this point.

"Oof!"

Something smashes into you from behind. The brush bites into your face on the way down and you lose your stick in the process. When you try to roll over, something firm pins your shoulder down. A roll in the other direction fails as well as the weight on your shoulder shifts. Before you can try anything else, you feel something cold - and sharp - press against your neck.

"Don't move," A female voice, this time. "How did you get past our guards?"

"Is this a joke?" you practically scream, "Are you serious?"

She presses the blade firmly against your skin. There's no doubt that it's a blade now, and there's no doubt that this is a dangerous situation. "The Tengu wouldn't be so careless as to let a mere human wander by. How did you do it?"

"Hello! Is someone over there?"

Another female voice, this one almost friendly sounding, calls out from... well, you're not in much of a position to see where. Whoever has you pinned seems to notice it, too - you feel her shift her weight and move that horrible sword away. In that instant, you...

[ ] Call out, but don't struggle.
[ ] Try to get out from the pin.
[ ] Remain still. She said "don't move".
>> No. 30379
[x] Call out, but don't struggle.

She said "don't move", not "don't yell".
>> No. 30380
[x] Call out, but don't struggle.

>The Tengu wouldn't be so careless as to...

Pff.
>> No. 30381
[x] Try to get out from the pin.
I'd call out but I'm afraid of tengu ninja showing up.
>> No. 30382
[X] Remain still. She said "don't move".
Not even sure if that woman is tengu or not. She referred to "our guards" before "the Tengu", are they humans sneaking by ?
>> No. 30383
[x] Call out, but don't struggle.
>> No. 30384
[x] Call out, but don't struggle.
>> No. 30385
Called. Update in a day or two.
>> No. 30386
[x] Call out, but don't struggle.

... let your desperation get the better of you, blade be damned.

"Over here! ---oof!"

The pressure on your back becomes almost crushing as it forces you into roughly into the ground, and the blade finds it's place at your neck again. By some miracle you do keep your head... at least for now. Whoever is out there responds cheerfully.

"Ok! I'm coming!"

"Calling for your friends?" Your assailant quietly states, "Well, that's fine. I'd have to find them anyway. Come on, up you go."

An arm grasps you around the chest and forces you back to your feet. She's strong. It takes almost no effort for her to get you up, even though her arms aren't burly by any means. At least they look like human arms and not some horrible demon arms.

Branches pop and leaves rustle as whoever you called out to makes their way closer. They're obviously not trying to be sneaky about it. Why would they? They don't have any reason to. They.... don't realize there's someone dangerous over here. Oh.

Well, you're not even sure what this person behind you wants. You're probably a bit cut up from the tackle, and you feel like some of the scratches might be bleeding, but you can't really check right now. But beyond that you'd be dead

"Hello?" The voice calls out again, much closer, "Are you over here?"

The arm around your chest squeezes a bit as your assailant leans in close. "Answer her."

"O-over here!"

Whoever it is, you hope they're as exceptional as the person behind you. Doesn't seem unlikely, considering what you've seen in the last few hours.

"Ok! Almost there!"

And sure enough, after a bit more twig snapping, she's there.

Definitely exceptional - exceptionally out of place, though she doesn't seem to be aware of it. Really, she'd look more at place in some kind of temple than out here. A long skirt isn't really mountain climbing material, much less. And she's got some kind of paper fan thing with her for no obvious reason. Weird hair doodads.

"Oh? There's two of you?"

She seems confused as to what she's managed to walk herself into. Not that you blame her. A weary smile creeps across your face. This is still absurd, but at least one of these two

"Oh, I think I get it!" She says, after thinking for a moment. "That's a youkai, isn't it? And you're being attacked, right?"

Youkai? I mean, you're being attacked, but a folk monster... well, you guess you were thinking demon before, so maybe she's coming from the same place. Before you can answer, your assailant pipes up.

"Not just 'a youkai', human. A Tengu!" She moves the blade a bit as if to make a point. "How did you and your friend make it past our watch unnoticed?"

"Hm? He's not my friend."

The tengu laughs. "You both got by undetected? At separate times? I find that hard to believe."

"Oh," the green-haired girl pipes up, "Well, we just moved our shrine here with magic! We probably didn't go past you."

"Morya shrine?" You blurt out, desperately trying to make sense of anything she's saying. She clearly recognizes that name.

Should have bitten your tongue. The iron grip around your chest pulls you tighter. "So, you DO know each other!"

"No. But, maybe... huh." The girl shakes her head. With a sudden fire in her eye, she points the paper fan over your shoulder. "Tengu, let go of him right now!"

This is starting to get dicey again. Not good.

[ ] Try to talk them down.
[ ] Try to make an opening for the girl with a distraction.
===============================================
...or three days, I guess. Got home yesterday and basically fell asleep so I didn't get this written.
>> No. 30387
[x] Try to talk them down.

Talking good. Crossfire bad.

At least, that's what I'd be thinking in this situation.
>> No. 30388
[x] Try to make an opening
>> No. 30389
[x] Try to talk them down.
Getting killed due to too much fussin' would suck. And there rare no police snipers around to take the shot.
>> No. 30390
[x] Try to talk them down.
>> No. 30391
Called, update in a few days.
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