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30922 No. 30922
[x] Modesty is best.

You briefly consider taking credit for the whole thing, but decide not to.

"Well, I just mentioned the idea," You say, "Sanae agreed that it might be good so we went to discuss it."

Kanako seems a bit more appreciative of that answer. "Showing some initiative, I like that. Sorry, continue."

Feeling a bit awkward after being praised by a god, you take a few moments to recount where you were. "Right. So after the reporter left, we decided to make our way down to the village..."

Your retelling of the day's events echoes over the calm lake as Kanako and the frog listen. Neither seems bored, so perhaps you're doing a good job. You recount your encounter with the worshippers, Minoriko, and your trip to the village.

"... so, we ran to investigate and found the smith building on fire."

Just as you get to the part about the fire, Kanako speaks up.

"And then, a miraculous rain-storm put out the fire, right?"

"Oh," You say, "I guess you would know this part already."

"Actually, no," Kanako says, "I was just working away up here. Sanae asked for some heavy rain, so I sent some. She doesn't usually ask lightly, or think to tell me why half the time. Was my guess right?"

You nod. "It showed up in a few moments and put enough of it out that the villagers could handle the rest. We pretty much got overrun by a mob after that. They clearly knew Sanae did it."

You can see the old god's eyes light up at that. "Again, good work! That's exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing right now. How many will be coming?"

"They seemed pretty put off by our location," You say, frowning a bit, "We scouted it on the way back, mostly by foot, and can see why."

"How was it?"

You detail the attack, the dead youkai, your attack, and your subsequent dealings with the kappa. Although you try to give a neutral telling, the bit surrounding your attack and the fact that they seemed pretty happy about killing a man causes some anger to bubble back up.

Upon hearing this, Kanako stops listening and clearly starts thinking, looking across the vast lake as she does.

"Did you find the man's body?"

You think about Kanako's question for a moment. "No, but they admitted---"

"I wonder if he wasn't already badly wounded," Kanako continues, "These Kappa aren't supposed to be too troublesome. I'm not sure I believe they're randomly attacking merchants."

"They did mention something about him being an outsider," You say, "But we met at least one other person like that in the fields today. It would be bad if the kappa were randomly attacking those."

"Yes, it would," She says, looking back to you, "That's why I'm wondering if that wasn't just part of it."

[ ] Reiterate that they attacked you, too. It's a serious problem.
[ ] It could just be part of it, you guess.
27posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 30954
[x] Examine the mini-shrine.

Clearly, there's something about this shrine that's drawing them to it. Since you're just sitting around anyway, you decide to check this thing out a little more thoroughly.

It's looks to be carved out of solid rock, and incredibly old to boot. It's been pitted by years of sitting outside, the rain taking away little bits at a time. It's shaped a bit like a an old lantern, but with a small figure inside, and the inside is only open on one side.

"Ribbit."

... although, it's not clear who or what the figure is. Human-ish, you think, but it's very old. Like something you'd see in a museum. You're sure the artist was good for their time, but it's more like something a child would put together these days.

"Huh."

Beyond the small figure, there's nothing of note in the design other than being a bit fancy. At least, nothing that you can see. And certainly nothing that would draw all these frogs up here. You peer inside again, looking for a spider web or something, but nothing. It's disturbingly clean. Sanae, or someone, must be doing upkeep on it.

"Ribbit."

"What's so interesting about this shrine for you guys, huh?"

"Ribbit."
"Ribbit."
"Ribbit."

You scratch your head. Mysterious. But, you really don't think you're going to figure this one out on your own. Still, it's a shrine and it clearly has some place in the Moriya shrine, so you decide to offer a prayer to the unknown one inhabiting it.

... and, although you're not quite sure what you expected, nothing happens. Opening your eyes, you see all three frogs blankly staring.

"Well, that's that then---"

"Hey, thanks!"

For just a second, you hear an unknown voice. You look around, but see nothing. And you're not even sure you heard it, after thinking about it for a bit. It was more like the sound appeared in your head.

[ ] Spooky!
[ ] Neat!
>> No. 30955
[x] Neat!

I've been waiting for this!
>> No. 30956
[x] Spooky!
-[x]But also Neat!
>> No. 30957
[x] Neat!
>> No. 30958
[x] Neat!
>> No. 30959
[x] Neat!

You can't help but grin a bit. What the heck? There's really never a dull moment here, is there?

"Hello?"

No response, aside from one of the frogs blinking slowly. But given that this is a shrine, and you now have a vague understanding of how this faith stuff works, you decide to investigate further.

Again, you kneel before the shrine, and offer a prayer to this unknown god. Several, in fact, because you sit there for quite a while.

... and nothing happens.

No voices, divine revelations, nada. You look around, still kind of expecting something, but you only see your three buddies sitting on the shrine.

[ ] Maybe the same prayers at the main shrine would work.
[ ] Keep trying. Can't have been a fluke.
>> No. 30960
[x] Keep trying. Can't have been a fluke.
>> No. 30961
[x] Keep trying. Can't have been a fluke.
>> No. 30962
Nothing today, back tomorrow.
>> No. 30963
[x] Keep trying. Can't have been a fluke.

Never give up, never surrender, never etc
>> No. 30964
[x] Keep trying.

Strange. Well, if it worked once it'll work again. Maybe you're just getting the process wrong or something. You definitely want to figure out who that was that you heard.

This time you'll get it for sure. Enthusiastically, you close your eyes again and begin to offer prayer to the unknown god.

...

Time passes. And not a little bit, either - you get so into it that by the time you open your eyes again, the sun has dipped below the crater containing the lake. But still, you hear nothing new in response. The frogs at the mini-shrine have taken to just staring at you now rather than making noise, although their family down in the lake have gotten quite chatty.

As you contemplate what to do next, though, you do finally get your response.

"Mmmm... I'm trying to sleep. Ask Sanae if you need something."

... you're not quite what you were expecting, but that's definitely the same voice - although a bit more groggy sounding than last time.

"Sorry."

"Sorry for what?"

Sanae's now familiar voice rings out from behind you. Turning around, you see her standing there - still with her apron on.

"The food's ready," She says, "Where's Kanako? She's not around the shrine."

"She, uh," You stand up, "Took off somewhere. I'm not sure to where."

"Huh. Should we wait?"

[ ] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper.
[ ] Pepper her with questions about this lake and mini-shrine.
>> No. 30965
[x] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper.
>> No. 30966
[X] Pepper her with questions about this lake and mini-shrine.
>> No. 30967
[x] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper.
>> No. 30968
[x] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper.
>> No. 30969
[x] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper

Happy New year!
>> No. 30970
Didn't manage to get around to this. I'll try for tomorrow night, but I'm guessing it will be Thursday noonish in reality.
>> No. 30972
[x] We can wait elsewhere. Wouldn't want to disturb the sleeper.

"Yeah," You say, walking back towards Sanae and the steps leading down, "We don't have to wait up here, though."

You've got question, but they can wait - at least until you're out of earshot. Or... well, whatever it is that gods use to sense things like prayer or presence.

Sanae nods. "Have you been up here this whole time?"

"It's a nice place to sit," You say, as the two of you descend, "Although the frogs and the shrine are a bit strange."

"The goddess of that shrine is a friend of frogs everywhere," Sanae says, "So it's not too strange that the frogs like it."

Thinking back to earlier, you run across one of the questions you've got queued up for Kanako. "It's not Kanako's shrine, is it? It must be that other goddess."

Sanae nods, but doesn't say much more. Definitely a topic for dinner, when everyone is there.

"I think I disturbed her earlier," You continue, "That's why I said sorry earlier."

Sanae laughs. "Oh, she sleep talks, I wouldn't worry too much about it."

"Really?"

"Really."

"She sleep talks about being asleep?"

"She sleep talks about everything," Sanae laughs, again, "I don't have to be up here to hear it either."

The two of you make idle chat as you return to the main shrine. You scan the sky, half-expecting Kanako to come swooping down at any moment, but instead you see...

"Is that a person?"

High above the shrine there's indeed a human-like figure silhouetted against the evening sky. They are definitely keeping their distance, though. Your mind again slips back to Kanako's note about the tengu spies, but... would one of them really be out in the open like that?

"I don't see anything," Sanae says, looking skyward. You raise your arm to point, but as you do, you take your eye off of it - and it's simply gone.

"Weird," You say, your arm slumping back down to your side, "I don't see it any more."

"What are you looking at?"

A loud, commanding voice rings out from behind you. Kanako, you can tell. It's still startling, but you're also becoming familiar with it.

"Illusions, I guess," You say, shrugging.

"Good timing! We're ready to eat if you are."

"Starved," Kanako says, "I hope you made extra."

Didn't she just say she only wanted a light meal?

"I always do! Even I'm starved today."

Confused, you follow them inside. She... wasn't kidding. This is even more food than last night. Just how long were you up there? Or is Sanae just that much of a professional?

As the two of you sit down, Kanako sets a few small glasses around the table. You see Sanae's smile fade just a little bit as she does, as if she knows where this is going.

"Drink?" Kanako asks, simply.

[ ] You'll pass.
[ ] Sure, but only because it'd be rude not to.
[ ] Fill er' up.
=============================================================
Forgot I was helping a neighbor with their computer around noonish today. I'll shoot for noonish tomorrow though.

>>30969
Indeed. Gonna be a good year I think.
>> No. 30973
[x] Fill er' up.

In Youkai Mountain, drinking is the true religion.
>> No. 30974
[x] Fill er' up.
>> No. 30975
[x] Sure, but only because it'd be rude not to.
>> No. 30976
Gonna punt on doing this today. I'll write it tomorrow morning instead.
>> No. 30977
[x] Fill er' up
>> No. 30978
... need another day. Back tomorrow evening I suppose. It's written, but I want to sit on it for a bit.
>> No. 30979
[x] Fill er' up.

Not that you drink often, but today seems like a reasonable day to have one. "Sure. What's the occasion?"

Before the words are even out of your mouth, though, Kanako has already procured a bottle from somewhere started to pour. Sake, you imagine. It's glass, with a modern cap - you imagine this came into Gensokyo with the shrine. After pouring all three glasses, she sets the bottle on the table.

"Our first real day in Gensokyo was a success," Kanako says, "So we're celebrating that."

Sanae looks to you questioningly. "What did you tell her?"

"Huh? Only what happened."

Kanako laughs, raising her glass. "I didn't say it was perfect, did I? But it was all better than it could have gone. Well done, to both of you."

You take up your glass as well. Sanae seems a bit hesitant, but she joins you two in celebration for the first round.

The sake is incredible, and coupled with Sanae's equally incredible home cooking you find yourself enjoying the best meal you've had in years. So, you have another helping - because Sanae seems keen on keeping your plate full. And, another glass, because Kanako seems intent on not leaving your glass empty for more than a few seconds.

... you go with it for a while, mostly listening to Sanae give a much lighter version of the day to Kanako. Hers is focused more on the goddesses she met and their abilities, and she seems relieved to have Kanako fill in most of the blanks by recalling your telling.

The sake is definitely starting to hit you, though. And you've started to lose count of how much you've had - not a good sign. But you count two bottles on the table now, one empty, and you can't recall Sanae's glass being refilled even once.

"This is all a lot to go on," Kanako nods, sagely. She's drinking at about the same rate as you, but seems completely sober somehow. "I wonder how many we'll get on our side."

"Hmm... they all seem pretty content," Sanae says, shaking her head, "But I think we could convince them eventually."

"You think?" Kanako says, reaching for the bottle. She tops off your glass as well as her own. "Well, I guess it's something for later."

[ ] <You start to feel a bit silly>
[ ] <You can hold your liquor well... enough>
=======================================================
Been a bit off this week, and tired this weekend. Apologies if this is even rougher than usual. It probably will be for another week or so.
>> No. 30980
[X] <You can hold your liquor well... enough>
>> No. 30981
[x] <You start to feel a bit silly>
>> No. 30982
[x] <You can hold your liquor well... enough>

This... is nothing! I can still... function!
>> No. 30983
[X] <You start to feel a bit silly>
>> No. 30984
[X] <You start to feel a bit silly>

normally I'd go with the whole stoic cool dude thing but we're dealing with a god and a god's descendant, so he's gonna need to be the funny guy instead of the straight guy
>> No. 30985
[X] <You start to feel a bit silly>

What good is our existence if we can't even amuse our patrons?
>> No. 30986
[x] <You can hold your liquor well... enough>

Sanae's weirdness can be balanced with his normalcy
>> No. 30987
[x] <You can hold your liquor well... enough>
>> No. 30988
Didn't manage to focus and I must sleep. Back tomorrow evening.
>> No. 30989
...not that I even focused well enough to call the vote yesterday. Heads being the first option
Coin flip: tails!
>> No. 30990
[x] <you can hold your liquor well... enough>

You feel your face start to flush a bit. "They do seem pretty... uh, happy on their own. Independent."

Kanako nods, sagely. "Most do."

Although you vaguely consider slowing your pace, like Sanae, you decide to keep it up. Worst case, you'll end up incoherent or asleep. Besides, how many bottles can she have stashed over there? It's not every day you can drink with a goddess.

With dinner absolutely destroyed, and you no longer stuffing your face, you decide that maybe you can get some of your questions out of the way now.

"So, if this isn't a thing to ask, stop me. But what's up with that mini-shrine? And the lake?"

"That's... a long story," Kanako says, "Even for a god."

You take another drink. Again, she fills your glass with amazing speed. No, maybe Sanae has the right idea after all.

"I'm, uh..." you stumble over your thoughts a bit. "How long?"

"Kid, Rome was still around when it starts," Kanako shifts her gaze to Sanae. "Think I should trust him?"

"I don't know," Sanae laughs, taking up her glass but only taking a sip from it. "What do you think? Maybe we should put him through some trials or something first?"

The goddesses' gaze meets yours, as if she's looking to see what's behind your eyeballs. Hah. She acts tough, but yeah, she's definitely getting a bit drunk herself. You can see the mask starting to crack a bit. Not that you are much better - you find it physically hard to return her gaze.

Finally, she turns back to her own glass and takes a drink herself, seemingly satisfied. "Well, I'll give him the short version. But we'll need some snacks."

Looking strangely relieved, Sanae nods and stands up. "Should I get some more sake, too?"

Oh. You hadn't considered this possibility. That wouldn't be good. But, it seems Kanako had - and she sets another bottle on the table. "No, I've got that covered."

Sanae just laughs, "Wow. Were you really that thirsty?"

Even Kanako is starting to seem a bit drunk. "Absolutely. I worked hard today... but I'm not sure what his excuse is! And besides, something like this is fine every once in a while."

The only thing fearsome you find in this god now is her drinking habits. Strangely, you're perfectly at home with this kind of banter. "Yeah. And... uh, that's my excuse."

"Hey, that excuse isn't bad either," Kanako says, lifting her glass, "Cheers."

"Cheers."

Sanae takes the opportunity to leave the room, smiling and shaking her head. After she does, Kanako leans over the table towards you. You lend her your ear.

"She's incredible, but do you know her weakness?"

"Who, Sanae?"

"Who else would I be talking about?"

"... what is it?"

"No, no," Kanako says, "You have to guess."

"...mmm." You pause for what feels like a genuine minute. Alcohol, obviously.

[ ] Alcohol?
[ ] Tickling?
[ ] Nope, drawing a blank.
>> No. 30991
[x] Alcohol?
>> No. 30992
[x] Men?
>> No. 30993
[x] Tickling?

It, uh, could be!
>> No. 30994
[x] Tickling?

Hopeful wishing, I'd imagine.
>> No. 30995
[X] Tickling?
>> No. 30997
Thought I posted... anyway, gonna shoot for tonight.
>> No. 30998
...swing and a miss. Too distracted and sleepy this week - and that's why I was doing noonish updates for a while to begin with.

Since night isn't working, starting tomorrow I think I'm going to switch to morning updates. Grab a cup of coffee, some breakfast, and write after I've waken up a bit. Can't hurt to try it for a while.
>> No. 30999
[x] Tickling?

"Maybe she's ticklish?"

Kanako leans back, a puzzled look on her face. "... you know, I hadn't considered that. I wonder if she is?"

"You don't know? I figured you knew everything."

Kanako laughs. "No, I don't. It's a good question. Could you find out for me?"

You admit... you're a bit tempted by her offer, especially in your current state. But, no - none of that. No. Bad idea. It's several months too early for something like that.

"Find out what?" Sanae asks, returning to the room. Oh, those snacks look good. Perfect for sake and a story.

"Are you ticklish?" Kanako asks, bluntly.

"Am I what?"

"Ticklish."

Sanae looks to you, suspiciously. "What are you two talking about in here?"

You snort, unable to even give an answer to that. Yeah, no. You can't do this either. Too silly.

"We were discussing your weaknesses," Kanako says, playing it straight, "If he's going to be parterning with you, he'll need to know them."

"O-oh, I see."

Sanae sets the food down in front of you two. There's a moment of silence, but Kanako breaks it shortly.

"Well?"

"... yes," Sanae says, before looking up. "But are you?"

"What?" Kanako laughs, "What kind of god would just admit her weaknesses?"

"I bet you are, aren't you!"

"Wai--hahaha! No, stop!"

Sanae, sitting on the side between you and Kanako, has no trouble reaching the poor goddess and testing her theory. You aren't sure what to do when confronted by this scene, so you quietly take another drink and contemplate reality. A powerful, and very ticklish, goddess being subdued by her priestess. Fascinating.

"W--hahah--what about him?"

Both of them turn to you. Uh oh.

[ ] Apologize profusely for starting all this. You may be spared yet.
[ ] ... yes.
[ ] Not at all.
===================================================
That might have worked, had, well, work not got in the way bright and early today.

And as a side effect of a bad case of work flaring up, I'll be in various states of travelling through Wednesday night. Guessing I won't be able to update until Thursday next, but I may manage something Monday if there's time.
>> No. 31000
[x] Not at all.
-[x] but secretly yes.
>> No. 31001
[x] Not at all.
>> No. 31002
[x] Not at all.

Immovable, unshakable, unyielding.

>>30999
Take your time.
>> No. 31003
[x] "Not at all"
-[x] but secretly yes.

As if we'd fail for such a simple scheme!
>> No. 31004
[x] "Not at all"
-[x] but secretly yes.
>> No. 31005
[x] "Not at all"
-[x] but secretly yes.

A bold bluff is the best defence.
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