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File 122897829921.jpg - (243.09KB , 530x804 , suwako114.jpg ) [iqdb]
13286 No. 13286
[X] "Nerve? I'm all THRILLER, baby-girl."
[X] Press on. Dance like you MEAN it!

***

Well, this just got interesting.

"Nerve?" Your voice comes across like a distorted growl, and you give yourself a silent congratulations for successfully making zombie speak even remotely understandable. "I'm all THRILLER, baby-girl."

The imperious woman's eye twitches, and the slits of her pupils thin like those of a serpent.

"You did not just call me baby-girl." Her voice comes out in an angry hiss. "Nobody calls me baby-girl!"

Four beams of light erupt from the pillars around her, arcing towards your group so fast that barely have to flinch. Good grief, you're going to die. Again. Actually, that's an interesting line of thought to consider: can ghosts really die, per-say? After all, that wouldn't make much sense...

The beams slice through several members of the horde, turning them into harmless wisps of blue flame and sending them hurtling into the fog. At least the poor spirits seem unharmed, which is a relief... you don't like the idea of costing someone their afterlife. Still, looks like this could be over; if the horde can't stay together, then--

That line of thought comes to an end as an inhuman chorus of groans fills the air, and several new faux zombies actually crawl up out of the ground. Nice effects there, Yuyu! Looks like the show can go on, and that means...

The tables have turned.

Fighting to keep the grin from your face, you take a small step forward and slide your other leg over to follow, falling into a familiar old dance step. Yuyu and the haunted host follow your lead, and you begin a slow advance toward your victims, dancing all the way. Yasaka's eyes widen, and she casts up her hand, directing the pillars to fire at you again.

Several more rounds of energy send small groups of your companions scattering, but they are replaced just as quickly as they are dismissed. As the leader of the troupe you manage to avoid most of the blasts withsome quick sidesteps and turns, and Yuyu is dancing right behind you, which keeps her just as safe. You've got the advantage.

"What the... why isn't this working! Back! Stay back!"

The woman cries out in desperation, stumbling backward, Sanae still clutched protectively to her. As you boogie on toward them, they continue backing off, until they trip over the steps to the main shrine building, tumbling to the ground in a fuss. They quickly scramble back and end up bonking their heads into the donation box out front, which they simply lay against, curling up into one another in panic. Yasaka makes a few more demands for your group to retreat, but her somewhat shaky voice can't command your attention at the moment; instead, the appearance of a new girl concerns you.

Standing just in the entrance of the shrine, taking in the whole scene in curiosity, is a... girl? Maybe she's more like a woman? It's kind of hard to tell; she's short enough that you might mistake for being a little younger than Sanae, but her proportions are definitely those of an adult, and her features seem a little too sharp to be a teen. She has a rather mature sort of beauty to her, actually. Short, straight blond hair with a neat fringe, from beneath which peer confused green eyes. Her clothing choice is simple but odd: a purple dress decorated with frog designs, with white sleeves that appear to have been stitched on after the garment's first conception; resting atop her head is the strangest hat you've ever seen, something like a straw sunhat with big googly eyes attached to it. For a second you lose your rhythm; you could swear that hat just blinked, but it has to be a trick of light. Weird.

The girl frowns, and an iron ring materializes in the air beside her, where it begins to spin slowly. Nothing further happens on her end for a moment, and she just watches you intently. After observing you for a bit, a look of recognition dawns on her face, and she waves her, dismissing the iron ring. She glances quickly between your approaching hoard and the girls on the other side of the donation box, who still haven't noticed her. A knowing sort of smirk appears on her face, and she leans against the door frame, bringing her sleeve up to hide her smile. Looks like she got the joke.

"I'm warning you!" Yasaka's voice rings out unsteadily. "Turn back right now!"

Perfect timing, baby-girl. This is the part of the dance where you turn and stalk away for the moment, which you do so with relish. Yasaka sees this, and you hear her shout a few jeers at your back, her voice regaining a little bit of its confidence. Then you whirl back about, and her smug expression drops back into one of despair. Just as planned. You can see frog girl, as you've decided to call her for now, is struggling to contain her laughter.

As you approach again, Yasaka and Sanae curl up tighter, clinging to one another desperately. They flinch with every shuffling step of your dance, refusing to look up at you as you draw in. A couple stray whimpers escape the two of them, and they close their eyes tightly. Damn, you really have pulled one over on them.

Before too long you draw in so close that you could reach out and touch the two frightened women, Yuyu and the other ghosts in a half-ring all around you. They're boxed in. You venture a look at frog girl, and she holds up her hand, gesturing for you to wait as she clutches at her stomach. When she manages to get her suppressed laughter under control, she looks up and mouths out a phrase to you: "touch them!"

[ ] Well? Reach out and touch somebody.

[ ] Oh, oh! Dismiss the ghosts, and then have you and Yuyu return to your normal appearance before touching them! That'll really get them!

[ ] Oh, come on now! That's just mean. Time to come clean.

>> No. 13287
[X] Moonwalk
>> No. 13290
[x] Well? Reach out and touch somebody.
>> No. 13291
>>13286
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

Gattai da?!
>> No. 13292
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
>> No. 13293
Changing vote because this is much, much better.

[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
>> No. 13294
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

I think Reimu might have to wait a little longer. We need to hang out with the awesome froggy goddess for a while when we're done with our dance routine.
>> No. 13295
[x] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[x] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[x] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[x] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

Oh lawd, this'll be awesome.
>> No. 13296
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

We are the motherfucking King of Pop.
>> No. 13297
[✗] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[✗] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[✗] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[✗] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
>> No. 13298
[x] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[x] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[x] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[x] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
>> No. 13300
File 122899742036.png - (239.18KB , 1075x1516 , 1214891139411.png ) [iqdb]
13300
>>13286

>For a second you lose your rhythm; you could swear that hat just blinked, but it has to be a trick of light. Weird.

THE HAT IS A LIE.
>> No. 13301
[x] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[x] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[x] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[x] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

The look in their faces when they realize what happened will be priceless.
>> No. 13302
[ODIN] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[ODIN] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[ODIN] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[ODIN] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

This. This is the only path.
>> No. 13306
A ghost trying to touch a holy spirit? I don't think that would work well.
>> No. 13307
[x] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[x] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[x] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[x] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
>> No. 13314
[%] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[%] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[%] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[%] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"

This entire scene makes me chuckle
>> No. 13323
[X] "Sanae, are you okay? Will you tell us? That you're okay?"

Last minute addition.
>> No. 13324
Patchwork really needs to update more, as much as I love the "working the weekends" story, it just feels like it's an excuse to not update HLA even on non-weekends.
>> No. 13326
[x]Rickroll dance
[x]"We're no strangers to love, you know the rules and so do I!~"
>> No. 13327
>>13324

Yeah, I know, I'm slow. Cut me some slack this week though, as I have a good excuse for once: it's pre-finals week, and none of my teachers seem to believe in dead week. I've had projects to turn in all week, and I've still got some to do.

Expect an update later today, but don't expect it to come really soon.
>> No. 13335
File 12291138944.jpg - (198.57KB , 512x600 , 964908.jpg ) [iqdb]
13335
>>13323
Seconded!

>>13327
Slowdown is expected this time of the year due to exams. Rather have a temporarily busy writer than one in despair over failing a class. Good luck and take it easy~
>> No. 13358
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns.
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion.
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws.
[X] "You've been hit by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
[X] Lean like MJ.
>> No. 13359
[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns.
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion.
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws.
[X] "You've been hit by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
[X] Lean like MJ.
>> No. 13392
[x] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[x] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[x] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[x] "You've been hit by, you've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal"
[x] Lean like MJ
>> No. 13410
cupcakes?
>> No. 13423
File 122955612245.jpg - (108.18KB , 500x500 , patchy111.jpg ) [iqdb]
13423
>>13410

Tomorrow for sure. I've finally finished all my finals and all the papers I had to right, and I'm a little burned out right now. Just give me a day to rest and you'll have your cupcakes.
>> No. 13425
>>13423
Thanks for the reply.
>> No. 13429
>>13423

hooray!
>> No. 13463
File 122972596085.jpg - (293.21KB , 850x1200 , KanakoIsObscene.jpg ) [iqdb]
13463
This took longer than I expected, but here you go:

***

[X] Reach out; just before you touch them, reshape your outfit: white fedora, dress coat, pants, and tie. Your dress shirt is the same shade as Yuyuko's robe with the same cloud patterns
[X] Wink to Yuyuko; try to get her to dispel the zombie illusion
[X] You are a dancing machine; dance to drop their jaws
[X] "You've been struck by..." (flourish) "...a smooth criminal."

***

Another brilliant idea comes to mind, and with a silent gesture you motion for the frog girl to wait. A quick turn to Yuyu, and you attempt to give some indication that she should dispel the illusion; she seems to comprehend at an almost surprising speed, and shortly the ghosts all dissipate and wander free, with the fog beginning to roll out immediately after them. With that taken care of you draw upon your phantom clothes once again, spinning a new set of threads.

Frog girl barely contains the laugh that threatens to escape.

Now, yes, now it would be appropriate to reveal your ruse to your hapless victims. Decked out in full 1930s mobster garb, white and pristine, with exquisite shirt and tie; this will be priceless. You give Yuyu a silent signal, and the two of you lean forward in unison. Simultaneously, the two of you plant a single finger each on one of the frightened women, before tracing a soft line down each of their backs. You're rewarded with twin high-pitched squeals of terror, so shrill and whining that you can barely hear them.

Give them a minute...

When no further harm comes to the cowering women they each crack one eye open, staring nervously out at you and your partner. Their brief period of timidness transitions into a rather profound looking confusion as you and Yuyu offer them innocent smiles. Their mouths begin to work uselessly, words escaping them.

"Wha?"

"I..."

"Buh?"

"Who?"

The noises all come confused and weak. A grin breaks along your face, and you start to move before you've even realized it.

"You've been hit by..."

Clap, clap.

"You've been struck by..."

Step back, quick spin, tip your hat and make a flourish with one arm.

"A smooth criminal!"

Snap your fingers once, and give them a wink to top it off.

An awkward silence follows your proclamation, Yasaka staring at you in total confusion. A look of understanding crosses her face moments later, and it quickly transitions into an expression best described as a cross between embarrassment and rage. Her eyes flash dangerously, her pupils focusing into slits, and she points a finger at you in accusation, the unsteady digit trembling in anger.

"You! You son of a--"

She's cut off by a sudden roar of surging laughter as frog girl finally stops holding back. Yasaka spins about at the sound of the laugh, her face flushing a bright red as she does. Frog girl doesn't seem to notice that she's become the center of attention, too busy doubling over the donation box while clutching her sides to even care.

"Stop it! Stop laughing Suwako! It's not funny!"

Frog girl, Suwako apparently, looks up with tears in her eyes, and tries to stop laughing long enough to speak.

"Yes it... yes it is!" She cackles cheerfully. "He got you with Thriller!" She slams a fist down onto the donation box in emphasis. "Thriller!" That seems to be all she can take, and she erupts with laughter again, rolling sideways off of the donation box and collapsing to the floor in the process. She wipes the tears away and struggles to right herself, still clutching her sides. "Oh, man, I miss music videos... and television... and video games... and the Internet..."

Suwako finally seems to have herself under control, though an occasional heave of laughter escapes her.

"It's not funny, Suwako!" Yasaka stamps her foot in an almost childish display of ire. "Not all of us are technology fiends like you! I was really scared!"

A sort of taunting sneer snakes its way across Suwako's face.

"It's okay, widdle Kana, I understand! Dead bodies are really frightening to kids!"

Yasaka seems taken aback, sputtering and completely nonplussed. Like a snake, she coils back and springs at Suwako, pulling the girl into an impromptu wrestling match. The two of them begin rolling back and forth along the porch of the shrine, tangling themselves up in eachother as the rough-house.

You watch in amusement, and turn your eye to the mostly forgotten shrine maiden, whose green eyes now bear a haunted, empty look. Her voice escapes her in a wispy husk of its previous vibrancy.

"Lady Yasaka... Lady Moriya..."

A few hollow chuckles escape her, and she promptly falls over on her side, peeling slowly off of the donation box. The hollow laughs continue as she lays there motionless.

You turn to Yuyu in satisfaction, and find her smiling up at you as the chaos unfolds. She was right, messing with shrines is fun.

---

It takes some time for everything to calm down after your elaborate prank, but soon enough you find yourself seated at a table with Yuyu at your side, the shrine members seated opposite. Proper introductions are dispensed with over some tea - Sanae Kochiya is the priestess of this, the Moriya shrine; Kanako Yasaka is the goddess of the sky, and one of the goddesses of the shrine; Suwako Moriya is the goddess of the earth, and the other goddess of the shrine. You can't help but notice that each of them treats you differently; Sanae has a hopeless but forgiving air about her, Kanako is a fair bit more irritable, and Suwako is rather jovial. You can't quite work out the relationship dynamic between all of them, but they all seem like good people.

"Anyway, I thought that's why you loved Gensokyo, Kanako! Something interesting every morning, right?" Suwako smiles happily as she pops a teacake into her mouth.

Kanako pouts and puffs her cheek out, looking rather indignant. She kind of reminds you of Yuyu when it comes down to it - she looks rather mature at first, but she has a childish demeanor.

Sanae laugh nervously, turning her attention to you and Yuyu, and doing her best to ignore the combative aura of Kanako.

"So, you two, can I ask what really brings you here today?"

[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 13470
>>13463

[x]"Just visiting."
>> No. 13474
[x] "Honestly? Pranking shrine maidens."
[x] "On that note, do you have any ideas on how to go about really pissing off the Red-White?"
>> No. 13475
No, no, Anon.

[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
>> No. 13479
File 122975220880.jpg - (325.85KB , 533x713 , 4e0aa9395eb0e4b6de23cbf7f2e28428.jpg ) [iqdb]
13479
[!/] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"

>Sanae has a hopeless but forgiving air about her.

Isn't it sad, Sanae?
>> No. 13480
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
>> No. 13485
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
>> No. 13486
[x] "We would like to invite you to our next party"

They weren't at the last one.

[x] Inquire about their "miracle work"

Need soul for Yuyko Good End.
>> No. 13487
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
>> No. 13488
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
>> No. 13489
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"

Well, aren't we?

[X] Inquire about their "miracle work"

Hmm.
>> No. 13499
[x] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
[x] Inquire about their "miracle work"

ok
>> No. 13505
[x] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
[x] "We would like to invite you to our next party"
>> No. 13508
>>13473 here. Vote change.

[x] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
[x] Inquire about their "miracle work"

Though the wording makes it sound like they specialize in make-overs.
>> No. 13509
[x] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
[x] "We would like to invite you to our next party"
>> No. 13513
[x] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"
[x] "We would like to invite you to our next party"
[x] "Honestly? Pranking shrine maidens."
[x] "On that note, do you have any ideas on how to go about really pissing off the Red-White?"
>> No. 13520
Merry Christmas, Patchwork!
>> No. 13538
IOSYS presents Thriller as performed by Orin?!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Mno92bXT4&fmt=18
>> No. 13571
File 123060399210.jpg - (281.07KB , 877x750 , AllTiedUpWithRibbon.jpg ) [iqdb]
13571
>>13520

And to you too, sir. Have a slightly belated Yuyu.

In other news, time to fire myself up and shift gears from Machi-Machi Lazy to Machi-Machi Hotblood. Update incoming.
>> No. 13573
File 123060411392.jpg - (425.86KB , 406x2170 , DailyLife.jpg ) [iqdb]
13573
[X] "We're on a wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!"

***

"Ah!" Yuyu claps her hands happily. "Today we're on a--"

"Wonderful daytime snack tour of the land!" You interject cheerily, prompting a blink from Yuyu.

"Eh? Were we?" Yuyu looks a tad confused by you answer.

"Must have been." Suwako nods as if certain.

"Yeah," Kanako says somewhat smugly, "that sounds about right for Yuyuko! Always got food on the mind!"

Sanae sighs softly, looking downcast at the news. "Please go easier on us this time, Miss Saigyouji."

"What? Why are you acting like all I do is eat?" Yuyu pouts.

"That is all you do." Suwako replies frankly.

"Is not." Yuyu puffs her cheeks out indignantly.

"Yeah it is. Constantly. Eat, eat, eat, then eat some more!" Kanako grins. "It's a good thing spirits don't have to worry about their weight!"

"Mean! It's not the only thing I do..." Yuyu sniffs and turns her gaze on Sanae. "Tell them, Sanae!"

Sanae looks down at the table uneasily, and hunches over a little in an attempt to make herself look small. "Please, Miss Saigyouji... I... it was very expensive having to buy all our groceries again after the last time you visited..."

"Sanae." Yuyu whines loudly. Grabbing your arm again, she snuggles up and sniffles loudly. "Fine! Since none of you want me here, I'll just go, and then when the Bon Festival comes around there won't be any spirits coming around here, and no one will come to the shrine, and--"

"Hey!" Kanako thumps the table and glares at Yuyu. "That's extortion!"

"Yuyuko." Suwako speaks up. Removing her hat, she flips it over and sets it on the table. Making an elaborate gesture with her arms, her floppy sleeves flutter above the hat, and when she pulls them away...

A red lollipop lies in the hat.

"It's a magic trick!" She proclaims with a smile.

Yuyu claps giddily and snatches the lollipop from the hat, bringing the candy to her lips eagerly. She smiles and cuddles up to you again, evidently quite satisfied with the treat.

"Ah, I remember that!" Sanae claps happily, her mood improving drastically for such a short span of time. "You and mom--"

She suddenly claps her hands over her mouth, turning a bright shade of red. Suwako grins at her, and Kanako is suddenly just as bright a shade of red as her priestess is. A warm silence fills the room for a moment as Sanae and Kanako try to avoid eachother's gaze embarrassedly. When Sanae finally does speak up again, her voice is substantially softer, though still happy.

"You and Lady Yasaka always used to do magic tricks for me when I cried. It's been a long time since I've seen that..."

Suwako smiles and gestures at her own sleeve, reaching inside it briefly, then motioning for Sanae to do the same with her sleeve. The priestess smiles as she does so, withdrawing a lollipop that you would suppose wasn't there until now from her sleeve with a giggle. Suwako leans back with a satisfied look on her face.

You feel a bit awkward watching all this; it seems like it should be a more private moment. You elect to stay silent with Yuyu as the three women of the shrine share this little moment.

"I'm glad we had Suwako with us back then," Kanako smiles herself, "I'm no good with kids, but she always knew what to do with them."

"Of course," Suwako replies with a sly smile, "after all, living with you teaches people how to deal with children pretty quickly."

"You little..."

Kanako tackles Suwako from across the table, sending them into another squabble as Sanae looks on and giggles. Really, those two fight like a married couple... come to think of it, that's what these three remind you of: a family. A strange family, but a family all the same.

"I'm sorry." Sanae's voice draws your attention to her. She's given up entirely on hiding her smile, and honestly she looks much prettier for it. "Lady Yasaka and Lady Moriya can be very wrapped up in one another sometimes, and so we can be poor hosts."

"It's no problem," Yuyu answers for you, "lovers' spats are cute."

"Yes." Sanae smiles and sighs. "But why don't we take our tea outside all the same?"

---

In the end, you and Yuyu wind up sipping tea with Sanae on the Shrine's porch. This high up in the mountains it gets a little cool, but with the sun shining down and the fog cleared out, it's still reasonably pleasant out. The conversation has lulled, but the silence is mostly comfortable; as long as you're having tea, peace just seems to follow one way or the other.

"So," Sanae breaks the silence, setting her tea aside, "where do you plan to go next on your snack tour?"

[ ] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

[ ] Why not check out the rest of the mountain? There are supposed to be many youkai here.

[ ] What was up with that so-called magical forest?

[ ] The great lake sounds interesting.

[ ] Maybe the human village has some restaurants or something?

[ ] That bamboo forest still sounds odd.

[ ] The wastelands are probably pretty empty, but why not?
>> No. 13574
File 123060495599.jpg - (285.82KB , 600x703 , 2257bc394b9bfd612676a3798cf2e7ec.jpg ) [iqdb]
13574
>Sanae looks down at the table uneasily, and hunches over a little in an attempt to make herself look small. "Please, Miss Saigyouji... I... it was very expensive having to buy all our groceries again after the last time you visited..."

WHY YOU DO THIS?!

[!/]Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

LAKE is best left for last.
>> No. 13575
>She suddenly claps her hands over her mouth, turning a bright shade of red. Suwako grins at her, and Kanako is suddenly just as bright a shade of red as her priestess is. A warm silence fills the room for a moment as Sanae and Kanako try to avoid eachother's gaze embarrassedly. When Sanae finally does speak up again, her voice is substantially softer, though still happy.

Feels good man.

[x] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

Time to learn how to perform a real haunting. Between Mima and Yuyu, you should be in capable hands.
>> No. 13583
File 123061120099.jpg - (113.87KB , 618x850 , 122670612573.jpg ) [iqdb]
13583
>"You and mom--"
Damn. Beaten to the punch. Then again, my swing is so slow... orz

[X] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!
[X] Got any pointers?
>> No. 13584
File 123061219867.jpg - (262.49KB , 680x640 , 748e90f2140a795be65766ac9cb686f9.jpg ) [iqdb]
13584
[x] Why not check out the rest of the mountain? There are supposed to be many youkai here.

We should visit a couple more places before we hit the other shrine, otherwise it'll feel anticlimactic later.
>> No. 13585
[x] Why not check out the rest of the mountain? There are supposed to be many youkai here.
>> No. 13586
>We should visit a couple more places before we hit the other shrine, otherwise it'll feel anticlimactic later.

Wait, what?
>> No. 13587
>>Removing her hat, she flips it over and sets it on the table. Making an elaborate gesture with her arms, her floppy sleeves flutter above the hat, and when she pulls them away...

Dammit! You win this time, Patchwork. Now get out of my head!

Moriya Shrine Love is nice~


[x] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

I want drama!

[x] Ask Yuyuko if she minds inviting the Moriya Shriners to her next party.
[x] Inquire about Sanae's powers and miracles.

I don't care that you are giving us one happy day before it all comes tumbling down! There must be a way out!
>> No. 13590
[ ] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!
>> No. 13591
[X] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

I'm thinking it might be best to let the lady lead this next dance. She knows the target better, and I don't think it would be good to get Reimu too irritated.
>> No. 13592
[x] That bamboo forest still sounds odd.

Yakitori~
>> No. 13593
[†] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!
>> No. 13594
File 123065890634.png - (276.58KB , 600x600 , 2466829.png ) [iqdb]
13594
>>13587
>I don't care that you are giving us one happy day before it all comes tumbling down! There must be a way out!

I think they were present
>>5709
>A little more unnerving is that a few of the much younger looking girls try it - in particular, the little girl with bat wings, and the girl with the ridiculous googly-eyed straw hat.

[X] What was up with that so-called magical forest?
There's reverse-trap moe in them thar forests.
>> No. 13595
[x] The great lake sounds interesting.

The mansion is beyond the lake, right?
>> No. 13614
File 12307222368.jpg - (163.06KB , 800x1113 , ReimuLurvSuika.jpg ) [iqdb]
13614
Brief update, I think, but here we go:

***

[X] Time to bug the other shrine maiden! It's off to the Hakurei Shrine!

***

"There's another shrine waiting for us, and Yuyu said she'd teach me how to deal with shrines."

"That's right!" Yuyu snuggles closer to you, nuzzling her head against your shoulder happily. "You have to learn how to bug shrine maidens properly! Custom is important, you know!"

"Ah," Sanae looks at you with a somewhat helpless stare, "is that what you're actually doing? Learning to bug shrine maidens?"

You give her a sheepish look. "Well... let's put it this way: you're a shrine maiden, right? Is there anything in particular that bugs you?"

The priestess sighs heavily in response, hanging her head. "Please don't bother Reimu too much."

"That won't do!" Yuyu chirps. "It's just too much fun teasing her!"

With that said, Yuyu hauls you up with her as she takes to the air, turning about lazily and giving Sanae a cheerful wave farewell. You join her with a slightly weaker wave, content to let her pull you along as she departs. For her part, Sanae returns the gesture with an amicable but defeated expression on her face.

"Sorry," the priestess calls after you, "but our esteemed goddesses won't be able to say goodbye this time."

"It's alright," Yuyu calls back, "they'll be invited to the next party!"

"Next party?"

Yuyu snuggles close to you again as the two of you drift away. "I think it might be a wedding reception!"

---

You spend most of the journey back down the mountain in a reversal of your usual positions: rather than Yuyu clinging to you, you take the opportunity to cling to Yuyu as she leads the way at a sedate pace. It's kind of nice to just pull close to her, shut your eyes, and drink in her warmth and scent. You should let her take the lead more often.

The journey really doesn't take too terribly long, as the Hakurei Shrine turns out to be not too far from the base of the youkai mountain, but a look to the heavens shows that the sun is sinking into the afternoon position. Has it been that long?

As the shrine comes into view, in a clearing amongst a small patch of forest, you notice immediately that the whole structure is a good deal more humble than the Moriya Shrine. The path to the shrine is marked only by the stone stairs and pavement, a single torii being the sole decoration along the path; it's not even a particularly well maintained torii, as the red paint seems to be mixed with an earthy, wooden brown. The main building is a small, "L" shaped affair that looks only a bit larger than a comfortable house. Disconnected from the main building is a small side building off to the west, and a ramshackle hut setup in apparent haste, attached to a high wooden fence around what seems to be a hot spring of sorts. Well, that's one nice thing to have, you suppose.

Yuyu leads you down into the forest, murmuring something about Reimu always watching the sky. Makes sense. The two of you float through the underbrush quietly until you come to the edge of the shrine's clearing, where you duck into the bushes.

"There she is!"

Yuyu points to the porch of the shrine, and you follow her finger only to see...

Holy shit.

Laid out across the porch of the shrine are a dozen or so identical copies of that horned girl you met at the party - Suika, was it? It seems like she's been split into a handful of miniature versions of herself, each one clutching a sake bottle and sleeping soundly save for the occasional mumble. It's actually kind of cute, given how small each little Suika is.

But that's not what draws your attention.

No, what captivates you is the raven-haired shrine maiden sitting on the porch. She looks downright serene, a peaceful smile on her face as she watches the sky with half-lidded eyes. One miniature Suika is sitting comfortably in her lap, and she in turn seems to be holding the little girl close with one arm while stroking the little girl's orange hair with her free hand. An empty tea cup is at the shrine maiden's side, set atop a plain but still nice tea tray.

You rub your eyes in disbelief. This is unreal. What the hell happened to the ice queen you met at the party? This Reimu looks so content that she could lapse into a nap in a moment, and... dear heavens, if you strain your ears you can even hear her humming a cheerful tune. She yawns, her posture slackening as she pulls the small Suika in her lap even closer.

"Should we try and surprise her?" Yuyu's voice barely registers in your ear.

[ ] ... uh, yeah... yeah, surprise her. She... seems to have her guard down.

[ ] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

[ ] Come out and gawk at her. Seriously, what the hell?
>> No. 13615
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

No way in hell I'm voting to ruin that. Even if it's just a clever ruse, I just can't.
>> No. 13616
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

Some other time, it'd be a total dick move now. We want to mess with her, not ruin her happiness. And surprising a sleeping oni is a bad idea anyway.
>> No. 13617
File 123072775212.jpg - (142.84KB , 450x630 , 121019594529.jpg ) [iqdb]
13617
[!/] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
>> No. 13618
[x] Come out and gawk at her. Seriously, what the hell?
>> No. 13619
[X] ... uh, yeah... yeah, surprise her. She... seems to have her guard down.
>> No. 13620
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
I know we're supposed to bug her... god damn those shock and d'awwww tactics.
>> No. 13622
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
>> No. 13623
{X} Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

This is Reimu's anti-ghost tactic.
>> No. 13624
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

Damn you Patchwork.
>> No. 13625
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
>> No. 13626
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

You're too soft Hakunon.
>> No. 13627
[;_;] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

can't do it. dammit i'm weak
>> No. 13630
[X] Come out and gawk at her. Seriously, what the hell?
[X] Shout, "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR, RODRIGUEZ?!?"
>> No. 13631
[X] Come out and gawk at her. Seriously, what the hell?
[X] Shout, "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR, RODRIGUEZ?!?"
>> No. 13632
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

>You make any trouble in Gensokyo, and I'll seal your spirit into the first toilet I find.

While being in a toilet in a place so full of women might be intriguing for some, i think we should still pass...
>> No. 13633
[X] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
>> No. 13636
File 123083317011.jpg - (291.56KB , 554x800 , 2581891.jpg ) [iqdb]
13636
[X] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
[X] "If I were holding you like that, I certainly wouldn't want any undue surprises."

Oh god, moe Reimu and Suika moment? Love~
>> No. 13637
[X] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
[X] "If I were holding you like that, I certainly wouldn't want any undue surprises."


Perfect!
>> No. 13650
[X] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
[X] "If I were holding you like that, I certainly wouldn't want any undue surprises."
>> No. 13651
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
[x] "If I were holding you like that, I certainly wouldn't want any update surprises."
>> No. 13674
>>13651

>[x] If I were holding you like that, I certainly wouldn't want any update surprises.

>[x] I certainly wouldn't want any update surprises.

>[x] update surprises

epicfacepalm.jpg
>> No. 13675
>>13674
Look, I realize you're trying to anger people with your terrible posting, but you're just being an eyesore.
>> No. 13677
>>13675

Right, whatever. Like everyone here's a paragon of post quality.

Was a free country, and a free board last time I checked, as long as we're not trolling of doing anything illegal.
>> No. 13678
>>13677
Why does everyone always run for the "free country/free board" defense? I'd like to hear something original.

In his defense, however, I often do that for amusement and humor too, when the choice can be tweaked without distorting the words a lot and the next entry is taking its time.
>> No. 13679
>>13677
Yes, it is a free board/country/whatever, but I really don't see how that's relevant here. You're free to act like an idiot, but other people are also free to call you an idiot.
>> No. 13690
File 123113734770.jpg - (349.29KB , 600x600 , da23fb4a42a96cb8bdc1a064521ac81b.jpg ) [iqdb]
13690
[x] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.
>> No. 13707
>>13614
>Disconnected from the main building is a small side building off to the west, and a ramshackle hut setup in apparent haste, attached to a high wooden fence around what seems to be a hot spring of sorts. Well, that's one nice thing to have, you suppose.

Does this story take place before or after Subterranean Animism?
>> No. 13708
>>13707
During, Reimu coerced Yukari to go down and fix the problems so that she can have quality time with suika.
>> No. 13712
>>13708
First of all, the point of SA was that youkai can't go to the underground themselves, and second, we left Yukari in Hakugyokurou to pester Youmu.
>> No. 13713
File 123128900285.jpg - (377.99KB , 465x700 , MimaSama.jpg ) [iqdb]
13713
>>13707

Now that SA is out, I can safely say this is post-SA. It was already post-SWR, so that wasn't a hard thing to adapt to.

***

[X] Can you really break up that peaceful scene? Just approach her straight.

***

... that's not playing fair, Reimu.

"I don't think we should." You concede with a sigh. "That would be a little too mean."

Yuyu giggles, pulling you into a hug, and your head straight into her bosom. "Ah!" She practically squeals as she cuddles you. "Too soft! Almost as soft as Youmu!"

You can feel a smidgen of heat rising in your cheeks; you can't really deny that claim right now, but it's still a little embarrassing. All the same, you snuggle a little closer to Yuyu. "Well, I know I wouldn't want any undue surprises if I were holding you like that, so..."

Yuyu really does squeal at that, tightening her grip on you and robbing you of your balance, which sends you tumbling out of the bushes and into plain sight as she fawns over how sweet you are. While Yuyu's body obscures your view of the shrine, you're fairly certain that you spot Reimu and the little Suika she holds both turning a lazy eye to you and offering equally lazy waves of greeting in perfect unison. Even so, your attention is focused mostly on your beloved ghost, and though you stay silent about it, you're glad that breathing isn't really necessary for you right now.

It takes a few moments to escape from the iron grip of the snuggle machine Yuyu has become, and it's not really an escape - the most you can do is swing Yuyu around so that you can stand up and carry her bridal style. Not that it bothers you to have her being so clingy, given how nice it feels. Once you've got yourself straightened out a bit, you float your way over to Reimu while enjoying the feeling of Yuyu rubbing her cheek against yours.

"Hello." Reimu greets you with an airy tone, which fits with her relaxed image rather nicely.

"Hey."

"The Hakurei Shrine would like to let you know," she begins before you can get another word out, "that we're available for all sorts of ceremonies at a reasonable price. From festivals to funerals, the Hakurei Shrine will do its best to accommodate you. We even offer marriage ceremonies!"

She's clearly suggesting something with that, but it doesn't really bother you. Getting married to Yuyu would be kind of nice, really...

"But you need to remember," Reimu suddenly gives you a serious look, "that a shrine costs money to operate! We won't always be able to offer those services if we can't maintain the shrine! So," with a flourish and a cheerful smile, she waves her arm towards... "the Wonderful Donation Box of Paradise is right over there! Please help support us!"

Ah.

"I don't have money."

Reimu blinks, the smile dropping from her face and her arm falling to her side. "Oh." She turns her eyes toward Yuyu.

"The dead don't really need money, you know." Yuyu says pleasantly. "The only thing I pay for is groceries~! I wouldn't bring money to a dusty old shrine like this!"

Reimu twitches, and for a moment looks irritated, but she quickly deflates and returns to petting Suika. "Fine. Just don't break anything." With that, she turns her attention away from you entirely, instead occupying herself with watching the sky again.

"That's all we're worth, is it?"

"That's all you've donated."

Ouch, Reimu. You sigh softly in defeat.

A chuckle fills the air. "Is Reimu making you feel unwanted? Well, that's why this place never gets donations. How about I play with you? That's a good incentive, right?"

A second pair of arms drape themselves over those of Yuyu and around your neck, and something soft presses against your back. Breasts. Very familiar breasts, in fact. Yes, you'd definitely have a hard time forgetting this particular pair.

"Hello, Mima." You turn your head a bit to glance back, and Mima leans over your shoulder to greet you with a quick peck to the lips.

"Hey there! Did you miss me?" She bats her eyelashes at you innocently.

Well, actually...

"Yeah, a little."

She blinks in surprise, then proceeds to snuggle up to you in much the same way that Yuyu is, rubbing her cheek against yours affectionately.

"Aw, you're such a little sweetheart!" Mima grins and leans forward further, allowing her to look at Yuyu. "Better be careful, princess! An evil spirit like me might just steal your cute little boyfriend away if you're not careful!"

"Ah!" Yuyu tightens her grip on you and snuggles closer, fixing Mima with a defiant pout. It's more cute than intimidating, and Mima just cackles in response to it before pulling back and settling her head on your shoulder contently.

"So what brings you here, kid?"

"Date!" Yuyu answers the question for you, a slight whine creeping into her voice.

"Oh, that is just adorable!" Mima exclaims, nipping lightly at your ear. "Yeah, I definitely have to corrupt him now!"

A smile creeps across your face. It's kind of fun having girls fight over you, even if it's only in jest.

It is only in jest, right? Mima wouldn't really...

...

She might. You cough discreetly, and decide to change the subject.

[ ] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?

[ ] You haven't seen Mima in a while. What's she been up to?

[ ] ... what kind of snacks could you find here?

[ ] Something else? (Specify)
>> No. 13715
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one
>> No. 13716
File 123129131595.jpg - (327.48KB , 875x800 , 70232825f6b2406efee8eb9cebf16e2f.jpg ) [iqdb]
13716
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13717
[x] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13718
File 123129245177.jpg - (474.00KB , 1199x900 , 1ea2d3564a4746338d06255d26d3392f.jpg ) [iqdb]
13718
[!/] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[!/] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13719
[X] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[X] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13720
[x] "How about a three-way?"
>> No. 13723
{X} So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
{X} Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13725
[X] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."

Nicely quipped, Anon.

[X] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[X] Pay attention to the oni. Try to apprehend one. And pet it on the back of its head. And feed it a leaf.

Note to self: beret, suitcase, handcuffs.
>> No. 13728
[x] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13729
[x] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.
>> No. 13732
[x] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.

Hahahaha, excellent.
>> No. 13737
File 123145849291.jpg - (186.10KB , 520x600 , 1209190018228.jpg ) [iqdb]
13737
But we didn't exchange vows.

[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one after Yuyuko lets go of you.
>> No. 13739
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one
>> No. 13740
>>13737
Ever heard of this thing called "telling a joke"? It's great, you should learn how to do it, people might consider you to be not-deuchebag when you do it properly.
>> No. 13741
>>13740
>when you do it properly.
The joke kind of falls flat when we were just discussing marriage like 10 seconds ago. And it's a terrible joke.
>> No. 13742
[X] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[X] You haven't seen Mima in a while. What's she been up to?
[X] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one
>> No. 13743
>>13737
>But we didn't exchange vows.

Rarely does one see a display of autism outside of /eientei/ so colorful.
>> No. 13744
[x] "Sorry Mima. When I exchanged vows with Yuyuko, it was till death do us part."
[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.

>>13741

It's not supposed to be a good joke.
>> No. 13745
>>13740
>deuchebag
I read this as deutschebag.

Anyway, it's a terrible joke. Let's not do it, okay?

[x] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[x] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one
>> No. 13794
No more cheesy than: "I have a date with death... and her boss!"
>> No. 13801
>>13794
Yeeeeah. I didn't vote for that one, either.
>> No. 13824
>>13794>>13801

Bah, I don't know what you two are talking about. That one was awesome.
>> No. 13892
File 123191382459.jpg - (82.57KB , 498x373 , Reimu106.jpg ) [iqdb]
13892
[X] So, what's up with Reimu being so much more peaceful than before?
[X] Attention to the Oni, try to pick up and pet one.

***

"At any rate, what's up with Reimu?"

Alright, admittedly not the best transition you've ever made, but it's hard to think when you're stuck between a roc-- well, okay, two soft places, but still! Fortunately none of the girls seem particularly interested in calling you out for the appallingly bad shift of subject; in fact, Yuyu snuggles closer, as if glad to take the chance to secure you to herself, and Mima seems to take immediate interest in the new topic, settling her gaze on the shrine maiden in question. If you didn't know better, you might think you could spy concern in Mima's eyes as she speaks.

"Oh? Is there something wrong with her?"

"Well, I mean," you stumble, the right word eluding you, "she's just so..."

You wet your lips, and make a sort of halfhearted gesture by turning Yuyu slightly in the direction of the shrine maiden. None of this really does anything to illustrate your point, but at least it makes you feel a little better at being nonplussed. It's difficult to phrase this nicely...

"She's not being irritable."

Good enough.

While your complaint isn't the most eloquent in the world, it somehow manages to prompt a laugh from Mima, as well as several pats on the back. Still, she looks somehow relieved.

"Is that all? You actually had me worried for a second! You hear that Reimu? You've even started convincing nice boys like this that you're just a grumpy little lady!"

"Don't care." The shrine maiden's response drifts dreamily out.

"That's why you'll never get married!" Mima throws back flippantly. Reimu smirks and seems ready to retort, but is kept from replying when Mima disengages herself from you and tackles the shrine maiden with enough force to throw her off balance. Reimu manages to keep herself from falling over, and Mima pulls the girl into a tight hug, once again rubbing her cheek against that of the target of her affection. "But it's okay, Reimu! You still have me!"

Reimu shuts her mouth, a pinkish hue tinting her cheeks. Is she actually embarrassed? You were beginning to think that wasn't possible.

"Blushing! So cute!" Mima chirps happily before tilting her head to look at you. "See! That's the kind of girl Reimu is. When she's relaxed, she's relaxed; when she's embarrassed, she's embarrassed; when she's irritable, she's irritable; when she's angry, she's angry; and most of all, when she's happy..."

"She's happy!" The little Suika in Reimu's lap speaks up, her eyes flying open as she looks up at Reimu with a grin. Without warning, the rest of the miniature Suikas littering the porch seem to evaporate into an eerie mist, which swirls about and coalesces around her. As the mist comes together it becomes a thick white cloud, which quickly dissipates to reveal a full sized Suika in Reimu's lap. That's...

Actually, you've seen stranger things.

"See, she's actually just a really simple girl." Suika hauls herself up to mimic Mima's pose, pulling Reimu into a tight hug and rubbing cheek-to-cheek. "But that's why..."

"We love her!" Mima and Suika declare in unison, each giving Reimu a kiss on the cheek, and causing the poor girl to blush almost as brightly as Youmu might. The shrine maiden scrambles awkwardly to her feet, Suika dangling from one side of her, and Mima floating at the other.

"I... I'm going to go make tea!" With that declaration, Reimu spins about and marches woodenly into the shrine, causing Mima and Suika to slam face first into the structure's walls. Surprisingly, Mima doesn't simply phase through the wall, instead crashing against it as though it were a barrier, then slinking to the floor as Reimu escapes her grasp. Similarly, instead of putting a hole in the wall, a violent burst of fog occurs as Suika impacts the wall, and a host of smaller Suikas are sent barreling away as though they were caught by an explosion. The little bodies fall all across the porch, though one lands directly on your head, and another lands conspicuously amid Yuyu's cleavage.

"Silly Reimu. You know you don't have to make your own tea." Mima giggles as Reimu disappears down the hall of the shrine. "Too cute!"

Well, evidently Mima's going to be alright. You allow yourself a small sigh of relief, and direct your gaze toward the Suika resting between Yuyu's assets. "You alright, too, Suika?"

The miniature girl nods, flashing you a thumbs up despite the way her head rolls about, suggesting that she may be just a tad dizzy. Yuyu giggles a bit herself, affectionately rubbing the little Suika's unsteady head with one finger.

"They both love her so much! It's just like Youmu and I, isn't it?" Yuyu asks while resting her head against your shoulder with a happy sigh.

"Is that it? Bugging people shows that you love them?"

"Of course," Yuyu chimes happily, "you have to be close to know how to push someone's buttons!"

"I guess that's true, otherwise I wouldn't have so much fun embarrassing Lyrica and Youmu." You admit with a chuckle. "Maybe I should start pushing your buttons, Yuyu?"

Yuyu flashes you a sly smile. "Only if I get to push yours..."

Oho...

"Hey, love birds," Mima speaks up, grinning despite still lying in a heap on the floor, "you two in a hurry, or do you think you have time to come in and have some tea with the four of us?"

[ ] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

[ ] Nah, you ought to move on...

***

No, "four of us" isn't a mistake.
>> No. 13893
[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

But I count five people...
>> No. 13895
>>13892

Awww, now that's love. Overwhelmingly cute. Bravo.
>> No. 13896
File 123191666576.jpg - (159.79KB , 850x680 , 1231732281330.jpg ) [iqdb]
13896
[!/] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!
>> No. 13897
[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

I suppose we can leave visiting the rest of Gensokyo for some other time. Both shines in one day is good progress.
>> No. 13898
[X] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

Why not? Surely this mysterious fourth person isn't going to result in some sudden shift from the laid-back and cheery tone we've had going so far today!
>> No. 13900
Yay, updates.

[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

Predicting Marisa, though that's probably the most obvious option. Who do you think it'll be, anon?
>> No. 13901
>>13900
Genji?
>> No. 13902
>>13900

The maid?
>> No. 13903
>>13900
Is this before or after SWR and/or SA? If after, then maybe Tenshi or Rin?
>> No. 13904
[X] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!
>> No. 13905
>>13903

>>13713

>Now that SA is out, I can safely say this is post-SA. It was already post-SWR, so that wasn't a hard thing to adapt to.
>> No. 13907
[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!
>> No. 13908
File 123207804020.jpg - (18.49KB , 291x240 , 76141.jpg ) [iqdb]
13908
[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

I love all of these characters. Needs more Mini-Suika, maybe even Mega-Suika.
>> No. 13924
>>13908

No. Just mini-suikas the are cute! I wanna take one home!
>> No. 13941
File 123238516253.jpg - (86.61KB , 800x800 , 03994993d30f4881c00ab1ebc96c4b11.jpg ) [iqdb]
13941
[x] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!
>> No. 13951
[X] This is TouhouProject.com, there's always time to not update.
>> No. 13952
File 123249586295.jpg - (9.87KB , 70x64 , 1232414842317.jpg ) [iqdb]
13952
>>13951
>> No. 13953
I know. Patchwork is Slowwork.

***

[X] This is Gensokyo, where there's always time for tea with friends!

***

"Good company and good tea sounds like a good deal to me. Interested, Yuyu?"

"Of course," Yuyu nods earnestly, raising a finger as if to lecture you, "no one turns down a tea party in Gensokyo!"

"Good, good!" Mima maintains her grin, and you can see her ghostly tail wag back and forth in excitement. Gliding along the ground like a snake, she slithers her way toward you, then up your body, winding around you until she settles back into position with her arms around your neck and her head at your shoulder. You're pretty sure you see her quickly flick her tongue out once she's comfortable, just as a serpent might. "Once you get some tea in her, Reimu warms right up, so don't hold back, and drink as much of her tea as possible. I guarantee she won't mind!"

Definitely one of her more dubious claims.

"Alright, Mima. You're the expert when it comes to self-indulgence, so lead on."

"Of course." Mima flashes you a grin, and draws in close as she coos to you. "You know you can count on me to teach you all about indulgence..."

A shiver runs down your nonexistent spine at those words. Does she really need to skirt that close to revealing just how familiar the two of you are?

...

Stupid question.

You elect to stay silent, and simply start wandering down the hall as Mima chuckles quietly. You don't really know where you're going, but Mima steers you down what you hope is the right path, leaving you free to let your mind wander a bit; taking advantage of this, you let your eyes drift over to take a look at Yuyu, and observe her wearing an expression somewhere between neutral and contemplative. Curious, but you should probably wait until later if you want to ask. It turns out that you wouldn't have had much time to talk with her anyway, as you quickly find yourself stepping into the dining room of the shrine.

The dining room matches the outward appearance of the shrine, being simple and unadorned in the traditional Japanese style. Sitting at a small table in the center of the room is Reimu, who looks quite a bit more composed than she did when she left you at the entrance, though you think you can make out a faint pink tinge to her cheeks, even as she sips calmly at a cup of tea. Standing behind her is...

Who is that?

Just behind Reimu stands a young woman decked out in full French maid attire; she even has fishnet stockings, complete with garter belts fastened at just the right position to peek out from the absurdly short skirt and reveal just the slightest hint of bare flesh. Nice. The whole outfit seems tailor-made to play to the maid fetish, and it doesn't hurt that the woman herself is extremely attractive. She has a definite knockout figure, a smooth cream complexion, fine features, and emerald eyes and hair. She's... well, she's beautiful. There really isn't another word for it.

"Yo, Ruu!" Mima calls lazily from your shoulder. The maid makes an elegant turn to face Mima, offering the mischievous spirit a deep and graceful bow before speaking a word.

"How may I help you, Lady Mima?" The maid's voice comes soft and clear, and smooth as silk.

"It's teatime, isn't it? I'll have whatever Reimu's having today."

"As you wish, Lady Mima. Will Lady Ibuki, Lady Saigyouji, and your companion be joining us today?"

"You got it, girl."

"Hey, make me the stuff you usually do, okay Ruu?" The little Suika on your head speaks up, evidently having recovered from her brief stupor. "Your tea's the best tea!"

"I shall be certain to accommodate you, Lady Ibuki." The maid smiles warmly, then directs her gaze to you. "May I inquire as to what our guests will be having?"

You try to speak, but the words catch in your throat. Fortunately, Yuyu comes to your rescue.

"Green tea for both of us. It's tradition."

"Very well. I shall prepare it at once." The maid offers another bow, then turns around and heads, presumably, to the kitchen. You watch as she goes, and find yourself feeling thoroughly guilty for drinking in every last inch of her backside despite your commitment to Yuyu. It's just too hard to avoid; whoever this maid is, she's got an elegant stride, legs that go for miles, a perfect little behind, a shapely figure, a...

A nuclear hazard symbol emblazoned on the nape of her neck?

"This is holy ground you know. I'll seal you if you try anything inappropriate with Ruukoto." Reimu's voice snaps you out of your daze and leaves you scrambling to cover your tracks.

"I wasn't--"

A chorus of snorts fills the room, and all the girls give you a skeptical look. Even Yuyu, much to your dismay.

"There's no shame in checking her out, boy." Mima smirks at you. "Everyone does it. I do it all the time. Even your little girlfriend did it the first time they met."

You settle your gaze on Yuyu and raise an eyebrow, prompting her to look away with an embarrassed blush. She mumbles something about being hot, which you're fairly certain has more than meaning in it. At least that alleviates a bit of your embarrassment; on the other hand, it raises some very intriguing thoughts, and is certainly going to be giving you some interesting dreams one of these nights...

Let's just tuck that idea away for now.

"I... I see. So, just who was that?"

"Ruukoto." Reimu responds flatly. "She's my maid."

"She's the one who makes sure our home doesn't get messy." Suika supplies from atop your head. "She cleans, and she cooks, and she even does repair stuff."

"Between you and me," Mima leans in to speak in a conspicuously loud conspiratorial voice, "more people come here for her than for Reimu."

Reimu sighs.

"Even those guys who come here to try the old ten thousand yen service are hoping for her, you know?'

Reimu twitches.

"Ten thousand yen service?"

"Yeah, it's a great old rumor." Mima smiles mischievously. "Now, I have no idea where a rumor like this could start, of course, but somehow someone got the idea that if you donate ten thousand yen to the shrine then the employees will give you a special night of service, if you know what I mean. They always get sent home disappointed, of course. I feel so sorry for some of those boys; I'd love to make it up to them if only Reimu would give me the chance, but--"

"Are you just going to stand around all day, or do you plan on sitting down?" Reimu interrupts, looking mildly irritated in spite of the tea bowl in her hands.

"Sure, sure. Anyway, long story short, donations have gone up a bit." Mima shrugs, and Reimu's expression seems to soften a bit at those words, though she doesn't speak up. With that little conversation brought to a close, you try to find a seat at the table. After fumbling about a bit before sitting, it becomes painfully clear that neither Mima nor Yuyu have any intention of relinquishing their current hold on you, and you end up sitting with Yuyu on your lap and Mima still hovering at your shoulder.

Just a moment after you seat yourself, Ruukoto returns from the kitchen with a tray bearing your various drinks. Your vision fogs over suddenly, and a sudden weight on your head starts to grow heavier; it doesn't take much to realize that it's Suika resizing herself again. When the fog clears, you're presented with the interesting sight of frilly white bloomers for a moment before Suika hops off of your head and takes a seat at your side.

Standard thanks are dispensed with as Ruukoto distributes the drinks among you, before taking a seat for herself; oddly enough, she chooses to sit directly at your available side. Now that you're seated, you're free to use one arm, and you take a careful hold of the tea bowl set on the table before you; Yuyu is holding hers in her lap, and Mima has simply readjusted her position to let her hold her own tea.

With everyone present, a good conversation is inevitable.

[ ] Just try and make small talk.

[ ] Why not ask some more about the shrine?

[ ] You came here to bug the shrine maiden, right? Try and get under her skin a little.
>> No. 13954
>>13953
We're surrounded!

[x] Just try and make small talk.
>> No. 13955
[ ] Just try and make small talk.

[ ] Why not ask some more about the shrine?
>> No. 13957
[x] Comment on Ruukoto's interesting tattoo.
[x] Just try and make small talk.

Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.
>> No. 13958
[X] Just try and make small talk.
[X] Why not ask some more about the shrine?
>> No. 13959
[ ] You came here to bug the shrine maiden, right? Try and get under her skin a little.
>> No. 13960
[†] Comment on Ruukoto's interesting tattoo.
[†] Just try and make small talk.
>> No. 13961
[ ] You came here to bug the shrine maiden, right? Try and get under her skin a little.
>> No. 13962
[x] Just try and make small talk.
[x] Comment on Ruukoto's interesting tattoo.
>> No. 13963
[x] Comment on Ruukoto's delicious ass interesting tattoo.
[x] Just try and make small talk.
>> No. 13964
>[ ] You came here to bug the shrine maiden, right? Try and get under her skin a little.
Mima's got that covered. Besides, we'll come back for that another time.

For now, let's gather some intel.
[x] Why not ask some more about the shrine?
>> No. 13965
[X] small talk
[X] ask about the shrine
[X] DAT ASS that interesting tatoo.

Bill?
>> No. 13966
[x] State that VIVIT and Mech Hisui are superior.
>> No. 13968
File 123267214327.jpg - (87.78KB , 600x550 , 15a4b4b397f031053c0bf4250343cd3c.jpg ) [iqdb]
13968
[x] Just try and make small talk.
[x] Comment on Ruukoto's interesting tattoo.
>> No. 13974
[+] Just try and make small talk.
>> No. 14044
updates?
>> No. 14056
File 123321226312.jpg - (556.20KB , 799x728 , Shrine001.jpg ) [iqdb]
14056
>>14044

Updates.

***

[X] Just try and make small talk.
[X] Comment on Ruukoto's interesting tattoo.

***

Well, you might as well be the one to break the silence, then.

"Excuse me, Miss... Ruukoto, I believe it was?"

The beautiful young woman fixes her emerald eyes open you, and presents a pleasant smile.

"That is correct, sir. Ruukoto is the name gifted to me."

That voice of hers is really relaxing; not like the lazy drawl of Komachi, mind, but rather because of a soft and warm quality that seems to invite you to confide in it. Her way of speaking is kind of charming, too, with how polite it is, and-- you're getting off track. A nice, long sip of tea helps you regain your focus, the bitter liquid wasing your stray thoughts away.

Refreshing.

"Alright, I'm glad I got it right. Well, Ruukoto, could I ask you something?"

"Certainly, sir. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have."

The sincerity in those words is remarkable; she really seems dedicated to accommodating you, just like a maid should.

"In that case, may I ask why you have a nuclear hazard emblem marked on your neck?"

"Of course. It is intended to warn my user that my power cell employs the use of nuclear fission, a potential danger, and to encourage caution when handling my power system."

"Power cell?" What?

"Yes, sir. I am an OYMGN-223 model certified Maid Gynoid, powered by a Mark IV OYNFGN-173 model power cell."

It's nothing conscious, but you can feel one of your eyebrows arching all on its own. Maid Gynoid. It's not really anything particularly odd by the seemingly fantastic standards of Gensokyo, but it just seems anachronistic next to all the antique and ancient looking architecture you've seen. Still, it would explain why she seems to be such an impressive maid - she's probably designed to be the best she can be. It would also explain that ludicrously perfect body of hers - no way that could be possible through anything other than design... although, come to think of it, Yukari has about the same... wow, now that brings up some interesting questions abou--

You're getting off track again! Another sip of tea serves to get you back on track again.

"So, you're a gynoid? I have to admit I wasn't expecting that."

A very soft laugh escapes her, and she shyly hides her mouth behind her hand.

"Do I pass for human, sir?"

"You could fool me, at least."

When she pulls her hand away, her smile is wide, and her eyes have a faint sparkle to them.

"I am flattered that you would say that, although," the spark in her eyes dims a little, "I am the only gynoid in Gensokyo. It is unlikely that there are any who could guess what I am."

A very short, but very tense silence falls after those words, and the others seem uncomfortable. A faint frown is on Reimu's face, while Suika is biting her lip in a much more open display of worry, and even Mima has a worried look in her eye. Yuyu seems to be as unsure of the situation as you, and wiggles back against you a bit, one hand drifting from her lap to your side, searching for yours; you take her hand and give it a gentle squeeze. Fortunately, Mima, being Mima, doesn't let the foul mood last.

"Aw, kid, I expected better than that from you! Thinking she's human! Just look at that body of hers! Really..." Mima finally lets go of you, and quickly drifts over to Ruukoto. Wrapping her arms around the gynoid's neck, she rests her head against the maid's. Turning a lascivious little look on you and laying down in a rather provocative way, Mima practically drapes herself against Ruukoto. For a moment Mima's entire outfit blurs, and then...

It's replaced by a perfect replica of Ruukoto's maid uniform. You can't help but notice the one addition: a pet collar with a tag that quite clearly proclaims Mima to be your property. Yuyuko takes the opportunity to slide backward in your lap, assuming a position that ought to keep Mima from reclaiming her previous spot.

"This girl's got figure even more killer than mine!" Mima allows one of her hands to drift off of Ruukoto's shoulder, trailing it down the gynoid's side and tracing her impressive figure. "No way that's possible through anything other than design!"

Reimu rolls her eyes, Suika and Yuyu chuckle, and Ruukoto merely turns her gaze toward the wall bashfully. You allow yourself a quiet laugh as well; leave it to Mima.

Feeling a little more relaxed, you allow yourself to note that Mima looks damn fine in that maid getup. Actually, when she and Ruukoto are side by side like that, you could swear they were sisters. Twin sisters. Twin sister maids. Twin sister maids who have a really close relationship, and...

Yuyu glances back at you and shoots you an amused, if slightly dirty, look. You just give her a sheepish grin.

Now if you can just move enough to get that back under control...

---

Fortunately enough, the rest of the little tea party went surprisingly smoothly; Yuyu doesn't seem to have Lunasa's penchant for grinding her ass into your crotch, which made getting yourself together again less of a problem. Although Mima's borderline sexual harassment of, and overt sexual gestures toward, Ruukoto didn't make it any easier. Still, you managed to keep yourself focused on small talk, so bravo.

In the end, the whole shrine "family" of four are there to see you and Yuyu off at sunset. Reimu looks a bit apathetic about the whole thing, but Ruukoto and Mima seem to be in high spirits, and Suika... well, it came to your attention at one point that the little oni had been drinking some kind of alcoholic tea, and... "high spirits" would be one way to describe it. Another might be "so hammered that consciousness proves evasive."

"I guess we'll be going now." You take a hold of Yuyu again, the two of you hovering slightly into the air.

"Don't come calling." Reimu remarks flatly. Harsh words, but there's no real force in them.

"Please, come call on us any time you wish." Ruukoto gives you a bow, smiling all the while in spite of directly contradicting her master.

"Call me if you decide to have another party..." Suika's words are so slurred that, despite continuing on after that, they're totally indecipherable.

Mima, still clad in the maid outfit, flashes a grin and a seductive stare. Here we go...

"Call me if you two ever want a threesome."

You feel Yuyu tighten her grip on you. Reimu arches both her eyebrows at that, but just shakes her head silently and turns to walk back into the house, a somewhat pink-cheeked Ruukoto on her tail. More disturbingly, Suika turns a drunken, yet thoughtful, gaze on Mima.

"Threesome... remember the last time... drunk enough to try..."

Not wanting to hear any more of that particular story, you take to the air, giving Mima a brief wave. The mischievous spirit returns your wave cheerfully, before turning to Suika to discuss her no doubt colorful story. The two women stroll back into the shrine looking quite animated.

No sooner than you and Yuyu drift high enough to be completely out of earshot of the shrine, Yuyu abruptly stops, forcing you to stop as well. You give her a curious look, only to receive a harsh stare in return. Yuyu leans in close, and with a firm voice declares:

"No."

You blink.

"No what?"

"We're never going to have a threesome. Never. No. Not going to happen." Yuyu pouts at you, puffing her cheeks indignantly. "Don't want to share."

You laugh and hug Yuyu tightly, snuggling up to her as much as you can.

"Right. No sharing."
>> No. 14057
File 123321230195.jpg - (23.26KB , 300x463 , yuyuko281.jpg ) [iqdb]
14057
---

As you and your date drift out of sight of the shrine, you spot two vague figures in the distance heading straight toward it - one is black and white, and one is... white, blue, and green. Can't make out much more than that. Curious.

At any rate, you turns your attention back to the woman in your arms, the two of you spinning slowly through the air. Where to next?

[ ] Last chance to hit the village during daylight hours...

[ ] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

[ ] Speaking of forests, what grows in a magical forest?

[ ] Come to think of it, that lake near the forest must look amazing in the twilight.

[ ] Then again, the wastelands might be pretty, too.
>> No. 14061
[x] Then again, the wastelands might be pretty, too.

I'm starting to agree with the poster from back before we left on the tour who said this could be a chance to find out what happened to our soul.
>> No. 14064
[ ] Start digging a hole. To the underground!
Or alternatively:
[x] Then again, the wastelands might be pretty, too.
>> No. 14065
[x] Then again, the wastelands might be pretty, too.

>"We're never going to have a threesome. Never. No. Not going to happen." Yuyu pouts at you, puffing her cheeks indignantly. "Don't want to share."

Made me chuckle.
>> No. 14066
[X] Come to think of it, that lake near the forest must look amazing in the twilight.
>> No. 14068
[X] Then again, the wastelands might be pretty, too.

Whatever~
>> No. 14069
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

We passed up the chance to prank Reimu, so we have to make it up with this next stop. I'm thinking in the form of a letter to be given to Eientei's mistress, delivered in an elaborate looking envelope with an official-looking seal and everything, and within is a note with nothing but two special little words written on it. When you hear the scream from within the building, you know your work there is done.
>> No. 14070
>Feeling a little more relaxed, you allow yourself to note that Mima looks damn fine in that maid getup. Actually, when she and Ruukoto are side by side like that, you could swear they were sisters. Twin sisters. Twin sister maids. Twin sister maids who have a really close relationship, and...

I lol'd so hard at this.
>> No. 14071
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

Because of >>14069
>> No. 14072
[x] Last chance to hit the village during daylight hours...

Nobody will ever expect a ghost invasion during daytime.
>> No. 14073
>>14069

[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

Definitely this.
>> No. 14074
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

>>14069

THE GAME Kaguya for epic...epic...oh, whatever!

Begin Pranking already!
>> No. 14076
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.
>> No. 14077
>We passed up the chance to prank Reimu, so we have to make it up with this next stop. I'm thinking in the form of a letter to be given to Eientei's mistress, delivered in an elaborate looking envelope with an official-looking seal and everything, and within is a note with nothing but two special little words written on it. When you hear the scream from within the building, you know your work there is done.

HAHAHAHA! I remember Tewi slamming her head on the table!

>>14059 here; changing vote:

[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.
>> No. 14078
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

>>14069

Magnificent.
>> No. 14080
>>14069
This.

[x] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.
>> No. 14105
[x] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

I don't think we can wear this one out anytime soon.
>> No. 14114
>>14074
It was you, wasn't it? You brought these people here.

I hate you so much.
>> No. 14139
Update?
>> No. 14146
>>14139

There'll be at least one this week - I'll try for more, but the frayed charger I use for my laptop seems to be verging on unusable now, so I'm running on limited time. Cross your fingers until I get a replacement charger.
>> No. 14150
>>14146

hooray!
>> No. 14151
File 123381537011.jpg - (39.87KB , 427x302 , 1233805618255.jpg ) [iqdb]
14151
>I use for my laptop seems to be verging on unusable now, so I'm running on limited time. Cross your fingers until I get a replacement charger.
>laptop

More like FAILtop, amirite?!
>> No. 14152
>>14146
I've had that happen to me. Get a replacement one ASAP.
>> No. 14153
>>14152

Ditto. If it's fraying in the same way mine did, you may be able to wring some extra life out of it by stripping the wire and forcing the broken ends together with electrical tape or something.
>> No. 14156
>>14151
Shitty post, inexplicably adorable picture.
>> No. 14177
File 123400239563.jpg - (96.62KB , 800x1018 , DusklitYuyu.jpg ) [iqdb]
14177
[X] That Bamboo Forest still sounds strange, though.

***

"Yuyu?"

"Yes?"

The two of you roll over in the air, allowing her to rest on top of you.

"That bamboo forest sounds like it would be nice to watch right now."

"Yes, that could be pretty. All the fog, and the sky... let's go there."

"Let's."

---

Wow, this place is... wow.

You had never heard of a real bamboo forest before this, and while you had certainly expected something befitting of Gensokyo's incredible landscapes, you never could have dreamed of this. You've never seen anything like it. Bamboo stalks do not simply extend above you, they tower above you, scraping across the sky like jagged, uneven claws. In every direction the thick stocks cluster together and form nearly impenetrable walls, navigable only through absurd, twisting paths and gaps, which wind around and double back on themselves aimlessly. A heavy mist pervades the maze-like forest, wrapping everything in a haze that distorts distance and muddles the senses; yet, through spotty holes in the ceiling of bamboo leaves and fog, a faded orange light seeps in and dyes the area a glowing near-gold.

It's beautiful.

"This is... amazing."

"Isn't it?"

Yuyu's soft breath tickles your cheek as she speaks, a pleasant warmth that melts away all your tension. She looks breathtaking in the light, pale skin glowing a faint gold, clothes and hair painted in lovely shades of orange. You tilt your head a bit, and for a moment you meet her eyes - the brilliant blue light of her pupils spills out as clearly as ever. The contented smile on her face grows slightly as she looks at you, before she turns her gaze back to the sky and you do the same.

Time passes in comfortable silence as the two of you watch the twilight gold of the bamboo forest fade into the dark blues of night.

A pleased sigh escapes Yuyu, and she rolls over to lay on top of you.

"That was really nice."

"It was."

You brush a strand of hair from her face, tucking it neatly behind one ear, then let your hand fall to rest in her locks and begin entangling it within the silky pink strands. She doesn't seem to mind.

"The bamboo forest is so peaceful at night, even with all the youkai here. Let's not go just yet."

"Alright."

Yuyu allows her eyes to drift shut, and you do the same. It really is peaceful here; you can hear the low hum of her spirit pulsing. You can feel it, too, like a heartbeat against you. The comfortable silence resumes, for how long you cannot tell.

"Let's stop somewhere here in the forest for a little bit." Yuyu speaks quietly, as if trying to preserve the tranquility.

"That sounds nice. Where should we stop?"

"Maybe at the yakitori stand run by the silly old health nut; or, we could visit the great old mansion out here. You choose."

Hmm...

[ ] Yakitori stand.

[ ] Mansion.
>> No. 14178
{X} Yakitori stand.
>> No. 14179
[ ] Mansion.
>> No. 14180
[X] Yakitori stand.
>> No. 14181
[x] Yakitori stand.
>> No. 14183
[ ] Yakitori stand.

Our master plan will have to wait.
>> No. 14185
[X] Yakitori stand.
Eientei and it's inhabitants are horribly boring, but fujiwaranomoko can be amusing.
>> No. 14186
[†] Yakitori stand
>> No. 14187
[x] Yakitori stand.
>> No. 14188
[x] Yakitori stand.

food food food
>> No. 14204
[x] Yakitori stand.

Mokou botheran gaems.
>> No. 14208
[x] Mansion
I like Mokou, but let's see Patchwork's Eientei.

>yakitori stand run by the silly old health nut
"My yakitori are the perfect snack for the fitness-conscious individual. Why, just look at me! I've been eating this stuff forever, and I'll bet I'm in such good shape that you could cut off my head, and tomorrow I'd be right as rain! Whaddya say, half a dozen sound good? I can wrap 'em up, no problem."
>> No. 14209
[X] Yakitori stand.

Not only is a pre-prank snack a nice idea, but perhaps Mokou would like to tag along with us on our mission.
>> No. 14214
[x] Mansion.


'Cause I'm not willing to lose the chance to prank Kaguya.
>> No. 14230
[x] Maybe you should try and back out of this for now.

I don't see much difference between the options, but this one seems less dismissive. I'm interested.
>> No. 14232
File 123442090731.jpg - (161.13KB , 800x903 , yuyuko065.jpg ) [iqdb]
14232
>>14230

!

You, uh... you never saw that, yeah?

***

[X] Yakitori stand.

***

"Alright. Feeling up to a little snack, then?"

Yuyu giggles, then rests her head on your chest with a smile and a sigh.

"Do you really need to ask?"

---

The meandering paths of the bamboo forest are thoroughly confusing to you, but pose no trouble to your lovely companion. Unsure of where to go yourself, you're content to allow her to take the lead, taking her usual position for yourself and letting her cradle you in her arms as you snuggle up to her. Comfy.

The two of you float slowly through the forest, ghostly wisps of blue flame flaring up in intervals, summoned by Yuyu to light your way through the rapidly darkening forest. Before long the blue light is replaced by a dim red glow in the distance, which turns out to be the light of several lanterns stretching to you from a small clearing. Once you arrive at the lit expanse you find the area littered with several hastily arranged tables, each capable of seating maybe six people, all overseen by a small hut that looks as though it has suffered from some neglect over the years.

Still, the little hut has a pair of the standard red lanterns hanging from the roof, proclaiming it a business stall, as well as a shuttered counter that looks as though it could seat a good three or four people comfortably were the building open for business. Atop the roof is a hastily assembled billboard bearing the single word "MoKo" in flowing, girly pink letters; the o's look sort of like hearts, in fact. Actually, as Yuyu pulls closer to the stall itself, you can make out some art painted across the walls and shutters, in a simplistic but pleasing style. The owner has surprisingly good taste in imagery considering how haphazard the maintenance of the stall seems.

Speaking of the owner, where are they? The whole place seems deserted. Yuyu continues on undaunted, however, and carries you up to the little stall without pause. Now you spot the little bell bolted to the counter, just like a service bell; glancing at Yuyu for confirmation, you ring the bell and wait for some response. No sooner than the high chime of the bell sounds, but an indistinct series of muffled grumbles arise from inside. A faint odor reaches your nose for a moment, then the shutter of the stall slides open, and--

...

Most people do not understand what it actually feels like to be hit by a truck, and utilize it as a rather poor point of comparison. You, on the other hand, have the dubious honor of having actually been struck by a speeding truck.

It feels something like this.

You blanch and move desperately to cover your nose at the sudden reek of booze that explodes out of the now open stall with an almost physical force, burning your nose and eyes horribly as it burrows into you and seems to shove you back. Even Yuyu seems put off by it, flinching and turning her head away in disgust. She floats backward, and you raise your own sleeve up to cover her nose for her, an otherwise awkward action that she nonetheless gratefully accepts.

"Hey..." A slurred voice calls from within the stall. "Who... who's there?"

You peer through watery eyes at the stall, and just make out a vaguely whitish figure inside, slumped over and partially splayed across the counter. The figure twitches a bit, fuzzy bits of barely visible red twitching in your vision.

"Mokou?"

"That you, Yuku... Yuyo... Kuyo... Yuko?" The voice fumbles its already slurred words. "What you want?"

"Um, well... I..." Yuyu's voice suddenly sounds a little small, and her grip on you tightens noticeably. She seems at a loss for words, and she turns a distressed gaze to you.

Her suddenly being that nervous is a little off-putting.

[ ] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.

[ ] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
>> No. 14235
[X] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.

It might just be that old feeling of fear she felt the first time those two met rising up, but you'd think someone as easygoing as Yuyuko would have been able to get over that by now.
>> No. 14236
...Mokou is not having a good day.
>> No. 14238
>>14236

It looks like she's been having a bad time of it on the boards in general.
>> No. 14239
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[x] Ask Mokou if she's all right.
>> No. 14240
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[x] Ask Mokou if she's all right.

Better.
>> No. 14242
Right, good choice.

[+] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[+] Ask Mokou if she's all right.
>> No. 14243
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[x] Ask Mokou if she's all right.
>> No. 14244
[X] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[X] Ask Mokou if she's all right.
>> No. 14247
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[x] Ask Mokou if she's all right.
>> No. 14248
[X] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.
>> No. 14249
[x] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.

>Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it.
Come on, she clearly wasn't expecting this. It's bad timing, unless you think Mokou does this every day?
>> No. 14250
[x] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.
>> No. 14251
[x] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.

Smells like hobo.
>> No. 14252
[X] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.

Normally I'd choose to stick around, but I feel uneasy about this.

Also something in the back of my head tells me Mokou hit us with that truck, but that's silly...

Right?
>> No. 14253
[x] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.
>> No. 14255
>>14252
>Mokou
>Truck
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 14261
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
>> No. 14262
[x] Something about this is making Yuyu uncomfortable. Let's split.
>> No. 14280
[x] Yuyu wouldn't have suggested the stand if she couldn't handle it. Stick around, it'll be fine.
[x] Ask Mokou if she's all right.

Running away after just meeting someone is rather rude, Mokou might not take that too well, drunk or not. Besides, we could always improvise if things don't go too well.
>> No. 14281
slow story is slow