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File 154110977895.png - (459.09KB, 800x900, fd1e0e8c7cde7696b6d7d3e5c1cfe83c.png) [iqdb]
30643 No. 30643
[x] Wait patiently.

Hina leaves you two to yourselves as she heads off, teapot in hand. After she's out of earshot, Sanae leans in close to you.

"This is weird," She whispers, "What kind of goddess doesn't have a shrine?"

You look around. There's definitely nothing resembling a shrine around, not even a small one. Nor is there anything resembling a path into or out of this small clearing. In fact, when you look to where Hina just walked off to you notice that the underbrush doesn't seem disturbed at all.

"Maybe it's somewhere else?" You whisper back, "We'll just have to ask."

She doesn't seem satisfied with that. "Hmm."

After a few minutes, Hina returns, carefully cradling the now heavier pot. With a wave of her hand, she makes a small bit of flame near the center of the stumps. Much to your unease, it's a bizarre whitish-purple color rather than a more normal orange.

"That's... scary," You mutter.

"It is." Sanae agrees with a nod, carefully focusing on it. "But I... think it's safe."

Hina just smiles. "Well, it won't hurt the tea. Just don't touch it yourselves, OK?"

"Hina," Sanae asks, as the three of you wait for the tea to brew, "Where is your shrine?"

Hina looks puzzled by the question. But after a few moments, she responds. "This isn't quite like the outside world. I can gather faith directly, without a shrine."

"Oh?"

"It's easy to believe in something you can see, right?" Hina giggles, "I just have to make sure to wander close to the village every once in a while. But I try not to get too close. I gather misfortune and curses, but sometimes they get loose from me."

That sounds dangerous, especially when uttered around that purple flame. Sanae, however, doesn't seem to pay it any mind.

"But, there's at least one major shrine here... are you saying goddesses like you don't need even a minor one?"

"That's right," Hina nods. "By the way, do you mean the Hakurei shrine?"

Sanae nods. "That's right. Do you know where it is?"

That's your first time hearing of any of this. A competing shrine would be trouble, wouldn't it? Maybe Sanae thought it wasn't important to mention, but it definitely seems important.

Hina laughs. "Why, would you go there? I wouldn't recommend that. The shrine maiden doesn't take kindly to troublemakers."

"I think you have to answer my questions now, right?" Sanae laughs, deflecting the question. "Or else I think I'm allowed to beat you up again."

Hina sighs a little in resignation. "Well, that's true. It'll make more sense if I start with what's between here and there. First, let me start with this forest..."

You sense your chance to ask about this other shrine slipping away, but maybe it's best not to bring it up right now.

[ ] Ask for more information about this other shrine... from both of these two.
[ ] Let Sanae continue with her questions.
206posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 30860
[x] Taunt them into coming up.
>> No. 30861
[x] Taunt them into coming up.
>> No. 30862
[X ] You think you've still got that nice compass...

Appealing to her pride will work but we can do this without harming our future relationship... much
>> No. 30863
[x] You think you've still got that nice compass...
>> No. 30865
Rolling 1d2 => 1
>> No. 30866
[x] Taunt them into coming up.

You wonder if they can hear you down there? Rather than finding an entrance yourself, maybe making them come to you would be better.

"If they weren't such cowards," You start, "We wouldn't even have to look."

Sanae gives you a strange look, as if she wasn't expecting you to get angry like that. It's non-verbal, but you give her a slight smile to tell her not to worry too much about that or what's coming next.

"I mean, they couldn't even manage to drag one human under," You continue, turning to Sanae, "And those grapple devices looked pretty flimsy. Did you even do much to them?"

"Not much," She says, looking honest. "They were pretty weak."

"Why even bother, I wonder? Maybe they're just too scared to show themselves---"

"We are not! We'll drag you down right now if you're not careful!"

A voice calls out in protest from the river. Turning to look, you see three heads bobbing in the water looking at you with fiery eyes. All three of them are wearing various caps. Well, you got them to come up - but maybe you overdid it?

"Sanae!"

"Yep!"

Again, that vicious wind displaces most of the water in a dramatic downburst. You manage to brace yourself this time, half-expecting it, but the kappa are not so lucky - the strong gust pushes them onto the river bank just downstream of you. It's far enough that you don't feel in any danger.

The one with the large backpack manages to get back on her feet first.

"Rude! You two are just rude! Do you think you can treat the kappa genius like this?"

"You weren't going to come out otherwise, were you?"

"Why's it matter?" The kappa asks, straightening out her clothes and hat. "We've got no business with you."

They don't seem to be bailing back into the river, so maybe you've got their attention now.

[ ] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?
[ ] Take a deep breath. Need to settle down a bit.
====================================================================
I forgot to collect the writing prompt suggestions last night (see >>30831), so here they are. I'll count the votes Friday, around update time. Please pick up to two:
[ ] Aunn hears about the presence of other 'dogs' in Gensokyo and demands Reimu take her to meet them.
[ ] Chen and Orin decide to set up Crino and Utsuho on a picnic date.
[ ] Someone asks an un-interested virginal Reimu for romance advice for the winter holiday.
[ ] Yukari bullies Reimu into performing the Kagara. Alice ends up involved with fabric. (???)
[ ] Alice rescues someone, and they leave a few days later. Rumia probably doesn't eat them.
[ ] Rumia and Chen on a playdate.
[ ] Amu and Chen on a playdate.
[ ] Earth spiders go to the hotsprings.
[ ] (Write-in)
>> No. 30867
[x] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?

[x] Alice rescues someone, and they leave a few days later. Rumia probably doesn't eat them.
>> No. 30868
[x] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?

[x] Aunn hears about the presence of other 'dogs' in Gensokyo and demands Reimu take her to meet them

bork bork and such
>> No. 30869
[x] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?


[x] Someone asks an un-interested virginal Reimu for romance advice for the winter holiday.
>> No. 30870
[x] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?

[x] Aunn hears about the presence of other 'dogs' in Gensokyo and demands Reimu take her to meet them.

The fact that it has Aunn already influenced my vote.
>> No. 30871
[x] Take a deep breath. Need to settle down a bit.


[x] Someone asks an un-interested virginal Reimu for romance advice for the winter holiday.
>> No. 30872
No particular reason (well, ok, it's probably low sleep), but I feel like I need a rest today. Resuming tomorrow.
>> No. 30873
[x] No business? Didn't you just try to eat me?

"No business?" You ask, "Didn't you just try to eat me?"

"You looked tasty!" One of the kappa calls out, "It's a compliment! I still wanna suck that---"

"H-hey," The leader says, turning around to quiet her companion, "Yeah, I mean, we did - but we're done with that now. So we've got no business with you. So, we'll just be going..."

"Hold it," Sanae says, as you consider your options, "I'm Sanae, the priestess of the Moriya shrine. We're trying to make this path safe. If you're going to make it unsafe, we've got business with you."

"I'm Nitori," The leader says, resigning herself to staying a bit. "Kappa inventor extraordinaire. This is Midori, and this is Kiyori."

"Hi!"

"Hello."

You greet them in kind, although you're unable to ignore that these are kappa and they just tried to drown you a minute ago. Sanae seems to want to try her luck with diplomacy, so you just resolve yourself to fuming a bit.

"What do we need to do to make it so no humans would get attacked here?" She asks, eliciting a laugh from all three kappa.

"Not gonna happen," Kiyori says, "Is it?"

"Nope," Nitori says, "Kappa do what they want in kappa lands. And that's where you are right now."

"How far from the river do you claim?" Sanae asks.

"The whole valley is ours, up to the waterfall and down to the edge of the forest."

"Isn't this trail for trading, though?" Sanae asks, "I can't imagine you get much trade if you just eat everyone."

"We don't eat everyone," Midori butts in, "Just some who look really tasty! Like your friend. And that trader from earlier, for example---"

"Quiet," Nitori says, "Yeah, we don't eat everyone. Not even most! Actually, we're pretty peaceful as far as the mountain goes! Eating no humans is ridiculous, but we leave most of them alone."

Kappa, what they eat, and those pants from earlier... ah. A wave of realization washes over you. That might solve that mystery, then. The poor guy probably wandered up to the river like you two did, and, well, didn't have someone like Sanae nearby.

[ ] Speak up. That's not cool.
[ ] Keep quiet for now.
===================================================
These names probably do not make sense and would not be real names, but oh well.

Reminder that the note on >>30866 runs through Friday (I will post this every day until then, sorry).
>> No. 30874
[x] Speak up. That's not cool.
>> No. 30875
[X] Speak up. That's not cool.

Sorry, but that's not gonna fly with the new sheriff in town.
>> No. 30876
[x] Speak up. That's not cool.
>> No. 30877
[x] Speak up. That's not cool.

[X] Aunn option
>> No. 30878
Gonna not do one today either, sorry. Back tomorrow, I think - I'll write the update in my head during my travels.
>> No. 30886
[x] Speak up. That's not cool.

"Wait, you murdered him?"

The question just kind of escapes from your mouth without too much thought. It's one thing to see it, or hear it talked about in a distant way. But, it's quite another to be talking face to face with people who just killed less than an hour ago.

"Hm?" Kiyori asks, "What's the problem?"

... and apparently one who don't care.

"He was an outsider, so it's fine~" Midori muses.

"Gah," Nitori frowns, "Come on. It's not really murder if it's killing for food, is it? Don't get the wrong idea."

"I don't think it's a problem," Sanae says, turning to you, "Gensokyo is a dangerous place. We just need to make sure it's not too dangerous."

Suddenly finding yourself in a one against four situation, you decide to drop it. Yeah. It's really fortunate you ran into someone like Sanae - a miracle, in fact. Presumably the one that dragged you here in the first place.

"So," Sanae says, "If it's not going to be a problem, I guess we don't really have any other business. Can you think of anything?"

You can't really think of anything else right now, so you just shake your head. Nitori looks disappointed at that, though.

"Really?" She pipes up, "You're not even going to keep us here against our will?"

Sanae looks to you, confused. You probably look about the same. What is this person even talking about.

"You're not," Nitori says, scratching the back of her head. "Huh. Well. I'm gonna test it anyway. Kappa Smoke Screen!"

With a yell, she pulls some kind of rip cord on her pack, causing a massive plume of fog to roll forth from it. Within just a few seconds, it coats the entire area, leaving you unable to see more than a few inches in front of your face.

[ ] This is dangerous.
[ ] This is amusing.
=======================================================================
Almost didn't, but then I did. Low sleep is not good though. Please try to get enough if you aren't already.
>> No. 30887
[x] This is amusing
>> No. 30888
[x] This is amusing.
>> No. 30890
[x] This is amusing

So +2 Bravery
>> No. 30891
Back tomorrow. Bit of a silly week.
>> No. 30893
[x] This is amusing.

"W-what the heck?" You say, fruitlessly trying to wave the odorless fog from your face, "What is this? Get back here!"

Sanae starts giggling, and the giggling is apparently infectious because you soon start as well. Yeah, there's no reason to be too angry about this. This is a different world, so you should expect different things to happen even if they are ghastly. And those kappa are ridiculous.

In about a minute or so the fog clears, leaving just you two alone on the bank. Strangely, the pants have also vanished.

"Well," Sanae says, trying to regain her composure, "That's that then, right?"

"I guess so," You say, "They ninja'd right out of here. Kappa ninjas. Imagine that."

"I didn't even get to beat them up," Sanae says, laughing, "Maybe they saw that coming?"

Yeah, you're feeling a bit better now. "You don't have to beat everyone you meet up, do you?"

After a bit of unwinding, the two of you feel energized enough to continue along the trail. You try to put the thought of the dead man out of your mind. Poor bastard, but you guess that's why Hina was so insistent on getting you to the village.

You scare a few deer and get agrily chittered at by some squirrels, but nothing dangerous happens along your trek. The terrain quickly shifts from forest to steep valley, and at the head of the valley is a massive waterfall.

"So this is the valley Hina was talking about," You pant, the steepness of this terrain making you tired. "Pretty."

"It is," Sanae says. She sounds a bit tired as well, "I think we can fly now. There's not much for trees here."

Indeed, the trail winds up a rather steep cliff for a ways, but you can mostly see where it goes from even the ground. You wouldn't want to carry a pack of goods up there, but it looks doable and at least somewhat maintained.

"Yeah, I don't wanna walk up that either."

It's certainly much easier by air, you decide, as that familiar feeling lifts you up the cliff.

As you head up, you get the feeling of being watched again. That's right, this is tengu territory now. Although you should have a free pass to move through here, you suspect they're gonna watch you closely.

[ ] Land at the top of the cliff.
[ ] Keep moving, back to the shrine.
=========================================================
For the next week I'm going to shift these to lunch-time updates, rather than evening ones, and see how that works out.

Also, Aunn option clearly wins, even if it is still a little early to call technically. I'll go request it.
>> No. 30894
[x] Keep moving, back to the shrine.
>> No. 30895
[x] Keep moving, back to the shrine.
>> No. 30896
[x] Land at the top of the cliff.

We're not friends but it doesn't mean we're enemies of the Tengu.
>> No. 30897
[x] Keep moving, back to the shrine.

After cresting the cliff, you recognize where you are - right on the tengu's front doorstep. Sanae doesn't seem to be heading any particular direction, opting instead to take in the view.

"Back to the shrine, then?" You ask, after a bit. "We probably shouldn't linger here too long."

Sanae nods, and the two of you start moving in that general direction. "Sounds fine to me. I think I'm going to take a nap when we get back."

"I don't know about a nap," You say, "But yeah, I'm gonna take a rest myself."

You don't see any Tengu on your return, but you do still have that odd feeling of being watched the entire way up.

On your return you see that Kanako has been busy. The torii and the path itself are all pristine, and there's a good hundred steps or so leading up to them now up the steep part of the slope. All stone.

"Wow," You say, "This looks pretty much done. I guess I didn't mess it up too badly."

"Yep, this is pretty much back to normal," Sanae says, "We didn't have a huge slope in our old location, so we only had a few steps."

"Good to see I didn't disrupt things too much."

Sanae laughs. "Kanako was just giving you a hard time, you know? Even if you hadn't appeared, we'd have some cleanup to do."

The two of you land in the courtyard.

"Haa... I really do think I'm going to take a nap," Sanae says, letting out a big yawn, "You'll be alright by yourself, won't you?"

"I think so," You say, "Doubt anyone is going to come up here just to eat me."

With a wave, she heads off towards the living quarters. Yeah, she deserves that nap... you decide to kill some time by poking around the shrine grounds, rather than making too much noise inside the living quarters. You've still got maybe an hour or two of daylight left.

[ ] Wander the perimeter.
[ ] Check out the lake.
[ ] Hang out near the shrine building.
>> No. 30898
[x] Check out the lake.

It is a quite lake
>> No. 30899
[x] Hang out near the shrine building.
>> No. 30900
[x] Check out the lake.

that's a nice lake
>> No. 30901
[x] Check out the lake.
>> No. 30902
[x] Check out the lake.
>> No. 30903
Back tomorrow, ended up a side-tracky kind of day. Should be set now though, not much left to do and I have supplies for a while.
>> No. 30905
[x] Check out the lake.

You've been meaning to check out the area behind the shrine. From the air, it looks like quite a big bit of water - a large pond or a small lake. Now's as good of a time as any.

Although the shrine grounds are on "top" of the mountain, there's an area just above the top that contains the lake. It reminds you a bit of one of those old volcano lakes. There is a brick paved trail leading up, but it's not nearly as grand as the one leading up to the shrine.

The trail ends at the rim of the lake basin, terminating in just a small platform with an even smaller shrine on it. Said shrine is not even as large as you are. Although there's a wind blowing, the water remains like glass.

Curiously, it seems to have grown perhaps a hundred log pillars over the course of the day, all of them adorned with rope. You don't think you would have missed them from the air, so they must be new. Clearly, this is part of the shrine, too... so you get the feeling that you shouldn't head down and take a swim.

Well, this is as good of a place as any to take your rest. You take a seat on the cool stone, just beside the mini-shrine, and take in the sight. You hear a few frogs croaking, but aside from the wind, there's nothing else. Serene.

"Ribbit"

You turn your head. Seems not all the frogs are down in the lake. There's one all the way up here, watching you from its' perch in the mini-shrine.

"Ribbit."

[ ] Seems lost. Return it to the lake.
[ ] It's just relaxing, too. Leave it be.
=============================================
I'd forgotten how big the lake was, so disregard most anything I've said about it up until now other than "yeah it exists".
>> No. 30906
[x] Seems lost. Return it to the lake.
>> No. 30907
[x] Seems lost. Return it to the lake.
>> No. 30908
[X] Seems lost. Return it to the lake.
>> No. 30909
[x] Seems lost. Return it to the lake.

"You lost, little guy?"

The frog looks at you blankly. How did it even end up that far off the ground, anyway? It's not like frogs will climb.

"Come on," You decide, "We'll get you back into the water."

You gently prod it with one of your hands while cupping the other. Unconcerned, it wriggles it's way into your hand and looks at you.

"Ribbit."

"Yeah," You ask, carefully bringing it down to the water. "Just a short trip."

There's no real path leading down to the water itself, and whatever process brought the whole grounds here didn't really bring any vegetation around the edges, so it's bare rock and dirt mostly. Difficult to navigate when one hand - but you manage.

When you near the water's edge, you see more than a few frogs watching you. They don't seem too concerned with your movements.

"Head back to your friends, now," You say, placing it near the waters edge. With a powerful hop, it heads back into the water and swims away.

"Talking to frogs, are we? Did Sanae break you while you two were out?"

A voice calls out to you, breaking the stillness of the lake. Startled, you look up. Perched on one of the nearby pillars is Kanako.

"He looked a bit out of place up there," You call back, "Thought I'd bring him back to the water."

It feels a bit odd, but after spending all day with Sanae, you feel much more comfortable with the idea of just casually talking with a goddess. Her presence still triggers something primal in you, but it's less like fear now and more... something else.

Kanako laughs heartily as she leaves her perch, descending to you, "I bet he was just watching you. The frogs here are known to do that."

She looks to be floating more towards the mini-shrine than you, so you do the same. The walk back up the bank is much easier with both hands.

"Well, who knows," You offer, turning back around to face her, "Did you do all this while we were out?"

"Who else would have done it?"

"... true. It's really impressive."

"Actually," Kanako says, shrugging off the compliment, "Rather than asking if you're broken, maybe I should be asking if you broke Sanae instead. I went to check in with her and she was fast asleep. Busy day?"

[ ] Be brief. You'll let Sanae give the full report later, and you've got other questions.
[ ] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap.
>> No. 30910
[x] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap
>> No. 30911
[X] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap.

Although if we can sneak in some disapproving commentary/questions about the kappas, we should.
>> No. 30912
[x] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap.

The kappas are troublesome I agree.

I doubt she will be concerned. They are a human problem that needs a human perspective. That's the value he can bring to this shrine. Well that ans clerical monk duties and gruntwork. For now.
>> No. 30914
[x] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap.
>> No. 30915
[x] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it after her nap.
>> No. 30916
[x] Full details. You'll spare Sanae the burden of recalling all of it in detail.

"Very," You say, gazing back out over the lake, "Are you busy right now? I could tell you about it."

"Busy, yes," She says, taking a new seat - this time, on the platform holding the mini-shrine. "But I could use a rest myself. Actually, that's what I was doing before I noticed you."

Feeling a bit odd being the only one standing, you also return to sitting. "Gods get tired too, huh?"

"Only when our priests and priestesses can't bring in enough followers," Kanako says, though it's clearly in jest. "You did manage to find some, didn't you?"

"Well... sort of. I'll just recount the whole day."

"Go on."

You decide to tell the whole thing, from beginning to end, starting with when you left the tengu village. First, you dealt with Hina, didn't you? You leave out the bit about the fairies, focusing instead on the battle and the rather lengthy education afterwards. You also mention trying to recruit her.

Kanako seems content to listen, nodding occasionally, so you decide to focus on the story and not your questions about the little things that came up.

Curiously, another frog seems to have taken up a spot in the mini-shrine. It, too, seems to be listening - although you're not sure how much a frog could understand. You continue.

Next was... lunch, and that tengu reporter, Aya. You recount the interview as best as you can, including the odd line of questioning. When you make it to the bit the opening event, the freebies, and the state of the path Kanako speaks up.

"That was smart," She says, somewhat suddenly, "Who's idea was that?"

"Both of ours, really," You say, shrugging, "We hashed it out in the back."

Unsatisfied, Kanako asks again, "No, how did you get from the interview to hashing it out?"

[ ] All you.
[ ] Modesty is best.
>> No. 30917
File 154525935574.jpg - (135.69KB, 600x600, Moriya_Suwako_full_59987.jpg) [iqdb]
30917
[x] Modesty is best.

Frogs are cute
>> No. 30918
[x] Modesty is best.
>> No. 30920
[x] All you.
>> No. 30921
[X] All you.

Honesty is the best policy.
>> No. 30923
>>30921
I didn't see this last one before I started writing. Sorry about that.

Anyway, new thread over at >>30922
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