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File 124038096811.jpg - (235.38KB, 600x425, Muscial Sealing Club.jpg) [iqdb]
15493 No. 15493
A gentle shove brings you back to reality, and the light of the sun soon floods into your eyes. Looking at the one who woke you, you can see Renko wearing an apron and carrying a small lunch box, beaming happily as you sit up.

"Good morning!" Grinning widely, she acts in contrast to your sluggish morning routine. "I made you a lunch box today... So, let's give it our all, okay?"

"...Huh?"

You can only stretch and yawn after saying that, still half asleep. With one swift motion, Renko brings her face to yours, and fully awakes you with a kiss. You only sit there, caught off guard and still adjusting to the beams of sunlight which pour in from the nearby window. After another moment of sitting there like that, Renko pulls away and gives you her big smile once more, her hands now at her hips.

"Good morning!"

"...Ah... Um..." Perking up, you nod with determination. "R-right! Good mooorning!"

Renko just laughs as you get out of bed, and hands you a school uniform. Looking at it, it seems to be nice and clean... Much cleaner than it had been before. Setting your lunch down at the foot of your bed, she goes over to a nearby mirror and picks up a comb, brushing her hair in a swift manner. If you're going to keep up with someone like this... It will take some extra effort, and on your part, for that matter.

"It's still not time to leave, but I wanted to spend some time talking together..." Setting the comb down, she beckons for you to follow her as she makes her way into the downstairs kitchen. "I was wondering... Do you know what big event is coming up?"

"...Big event?" Shaking your head, you smile weakly as you descend the steps. "No, I'm not too sure what you mean... Oh, unless you mean that celebration they're having soon..."

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Renko flashes you a thumbs-up and nods, making a "ding-ding-ding-ding" sound as she performs these motions.

"Ding ding ding! You're the winner!" Laughing softly, she walks over to the small kitchen space, where she's already prepared a lunch box for herself. "With this event, we'll officially be welcoming in the summer months... Isn't it great? We're going to graduate soon, and then we'll get rid of those weird animal ear people..."

"...So we can spend the summer with each other?" Renko nods after you say this, and you smile as you think about what fun times you'll have... So long as this "Yakumo" situation is figured out. "That will be nice... Though, we should try and patch things up with Mary..."

A look of bewilderment is on Renko's face as you say this, and for a moment she seems to be entirely convinced that she heard you wrong. You can only give her a pleading gaze as she moves her lips, trying to say something but stopping herself each time.

"...That's true, but..." Finally finding the words she wanted to speak, her tone is a little less as enthusiastic than it had been a minute ago. "I really didn't expect to hear that sort of thing out of you, Aoi... Are you feeling okay?"

"...Me? Well, I'm not feeling sick." Scratching your head and shrugging your shoulders, you must look pretty unsure of yourself at this moment. "It's just that we should try and stick together... Somehow, I have a feeling that Mary might not be totally aware of what she did, so... well..."

Seconds pass by, and you still can't complete your thought. Renko just stares at you as you fumble for words, the smile on her lips growing wider and wider with every passing second. You finally just leave your statement at that, and Renko nods as you relax, lowering your arms to your sides.

"You're right... We should all try to remain friends." She's started to pour both of you some juice, and, for some reason... You almost wish that you could use the same glass. "That should make it much easier to get rid of that weird Yukari woman, right?"

"...Yeah..."

Finally calming down, you sip the juice while thinking to yourself. If the reason Yukari is here is because of Maribel... wouldn't Maribel be the one person who can send her away? That's right, she could even just "wish" for Yukari to leave and never come back, if only she could be persuaded...

...Thinking about Mary lead you to thinking about the mansion, and the awful scene you saw in your dreams last night. Turning on the TV, you flip through the channels until you find a news channel, which is reporting on a story about a dog saving a drowning boy... Not about the mansion. It was actually the Han mansion you expected to see on the news, with a story about some psychopath, who would be Yukari, tearing up the staff and scaring the guards... Taking a seat, you can only continue to wonder what will happen.

...She only took the staff, right...? There's no way Mary would ever let someone like that touch your mother, so... She must be safe. That would mean that you might run into her today, and you might get a chance to ask her if anything happened last night... If something did happen, then it must have been as a result of that strange woman's desires.

"...Hmm, I wonder what you're thinking." Leaning over you, and resting her chest against the back of your head, Renko smiles. "You seemed to be pretty deep in thought. Was it something that important, this early in the morning?"

"...Eh?" Lifting your head a little, you can feel her chest pressing against your hair... and it feels kind of nice. "I was just thinking about the mansion, and about that Yukari lady..."

Looking disappointed, Renko pulls up off of your head and walks around the couch, taking a seat right next to you. Taking your hand in her own, she smiles and shakes her arm, making you move a little. She... really must be trying to cheer you up.

"Don't be so worried, Aoi." Leaning over, she presses her head up against yours, and blows softly into your ear. "I'm sure that everything will turn out okay, and that we'll be able to smile constantly again..."

For a moment, the two of you just stay there like that, side-by-side and warm from the other's body heat. Closing your eyes, you take this scene in and sigh, sounding satisfied as you do so. If you could really have days like these, for the rest of your life...

Then that would be enough. There's no need to have lots of money, like your mother, or to have lots of knowledge, like Maribel, so long as you can stay like this with Renko, and so long as you can spend even more time together with her...

"...Well, anyway--" Pushing up off the couch, Renko lets go of your hand and stretches, trotting over to the staircase. "I'm gonna go get my bag ready to go... So, you can go ahead and get changed."

As she goes up the stairs, you notice that you had been carrying that uniform this whole time, even thought you thought that you had put it down. Looking around, you can only see the kitchen as a place to change without the risk of being immediately seen... Though, maybe you should change somewhere else.

[ ] Go into the bathroom to change.
[ ] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
[ ] Wait for Renko to leave your room, and then change in there.

------

By the way, an update was posted in the last thread after autosage kicked in, in case someone didn't notice it. >>15461
Expand all images
>> No. 15495
[ ] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
>> No. 15498
[z] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
[e] Tease Renko with a wink if she sees you in the middle of it. It's nothing she hasn't seen before... Perhaps she'd like to see more, later, however?
>> No. 15500
[X] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
>> No. 15502
{X} It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.

inb4 someone else sees Aoi
>> No. 15509
[X] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.

Delicious naked Aoi.
>> No. 15510
[x] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
>> No. 15514
[X] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
[X] Tease Renko with a wink if she sees you in the middle of it. It's nothing she hasn't seen before... Perhaps she'd like to see more, later, however?

I must vote for this.
>> No. 15518
>Though, we should try and patch things up with Mary..."

Jesus, Aoi. She only murdered four people.

>"You're right... We should all try to remain friends." She's started to pour both of you some juice, and, for some reason... You almost wish that you could use the same glass. "That should make it much easier to get rid of that weird Yukari woman, right?"

Yeah, I'm sure we can get Mary to drive away the person she delusionally thinks of as her mother.

>...She only took the staff, right...? There's no way Mary would ever let someone like that touch your mother, so... She must be safe.

She had her own father killed. Why would she express compunction over her stepmother?
>> No. 15523
>>15518

It was never stated that Mary murdered anyone. As for the "Yukari=mother" thing... Renko doesn't know about that, I don't think. It was also never shown that Mary was happy about her father being one of the sacrifices, but she could be really happy about it, for all we know...
>> No. 15525
[B] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
[B] Tease Renko with a wink if she sees you in the middle of it. It's nothing she hasn't seen before... Perhaps she'd like to see more, later, however?
>> No. 15530
[x] It's fine to do it out here. Even if Renko sees you, it should be fine.
>> No. 15531
>>15523
>It was never stated that Mary murdered anyone.

Didn't Yukari essentially tell us that Mary had been sacrificing people to get her to grant wishes?
>> No. 15566
Sorry about the lack of updates. I've been feeling sick all day, and anything I write like this comes out wrong. I'll update once I'm feeling better.
>> No. 15598
File 124063222289.jpg - (427.78KB, 2144x1232, Japanese Streets.jpg) [iqdb]
15598
On second thought, it wouldn't make too much of a difference if you changed out here in the open. After all, there isn't anything you have to show which Renko hasn't seen before... Still, being slow about it might be a little stupid. Moving just a bit faster than you're accustomed to, piece after piece of clothing fall to the floor as you perform your rapid changing technique.

Down to nothing but the underwear, you move with haste, still feeling a little nervous about Renko seeing you like this. Just as you zip it up, a gasp coming from the top of the steps grabs your attention. Up at the top of the steps is Renko, who has suddenly turned red with embarrassment.

"..." Even though you feel a little flustered to be in this position, your mind doesn't stop working. Despite the red hue coming to your face, an idea suddenly enters your head, and you follow it to the "T".

Placing one hand on your hip, you swing your hips gently, sending the rim of the skirt up a bit. In the process, you close one eye and wink, feeling extremely strange while doing all of this. Could this be how it feels to... "Flirt"? You've never really done it before, and it's kind of silly to do it with someone you're already so close to... but that doesn't make it feel any less as good.

"Ah... Ahaha..." Trying to laugh it off, Renko turns around, waving a hand towards you as she stands at the top step. "Well, then... Go ahead and keep changing. I'll just be looking over here..."

...You can't help but smile contently at this reaction. Snatching up the top of the sailor uniform, you slide the garment on while thinking about how you could make up for last night. If there's one thing you're sure of in this situation, it's that both you and Renko need some support to hold each other up, and to make the other one feel comfortable.

"Okay, I'm finished!" Calling up to her, you start to look around for your schoolbag. "It's safe to come down now."

Turning around once more, Renko looks at your fully dressed form and nods, looking a bit relieved. You continue to search for your schoolbag as she descends the steps, checking behind the table and inside of every nook and cranny of the apartment.

Finally deciding that you should check upstairs, a sudden pressure meets with your back.

"Ah... This is...?" Turning around, you accept the pack from Renko, who has been smiling brightly while you were searching. "...Oh, so it was up there, after all?"

"Yeah, it was." Walking over to the front door, she checks her bag before swinging the door open, letting light pour into the room. "There's still some time before school starts, so let's go look at the shops, okay?"

You merely nod as you trot over to her, taking her hand in yours. Her unwavering smile grows a little bit, then shrinks again as you step out and lock the door behind you. Pocketing the key, you follow after Renko, who has already gotten a head start.

"Hey, don't be slow!" With that same broad grin on her face, she starts to run backwards, waving at you as she does so. "Hurry up! We need to hit all the stores we can, right?"

"Ah... W-wait a second! I'm not that fast!" You can't help but whine. It's not fair, how she speeds on ahead of you, even while going backwards.

She slows down like you had asked, and the two of you enter the shopping district with plenty of time left. The stores in this district are all rather familiar to you, form the clothing store to the general gift shops. Looking up at the blue sky, you can see only a few clouds passing overhead, moving quickly, much to your surprise.

"Hmm... I don't know which one we should go to today." Rubbing her chin, Renko takes a look at a large map which is centered on a bulletin board, which is, of course, behind glass.

The two of you are actually a short ways into the district, much to your surprise. It seems that they had recently added a few shops in the empty building a short ways back. One of those building appears to be an ice cream shop, and another seems to be... a liquor store. Those may not be the sorts of shops they normally add, but something new is always nice.

"...Hey, Aoi?" Putting an arm around your shoulder, Renko beams merrily as she speaks. "Since I can't make up my mind, why don't you decide? Which one of these places should we go to first?"

[ ] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.
[ ] A clothing store would be nice... Even if you went to one a few days before, you could always look for something new in a different store.
[ ] A general shop sounds about right. Maybe you could find a present for Renko, or possibly even something to try and win Mary over?
[ ] ...You don't want to actually go in, but you really want to have a look at where that new liquor store is. Really, why did they build another one so close to some older ones?
>> No. 15599
[ ] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.

Gotta get the kind that has conjoined straws and is all heartsy and cute.
>> No. 15608
>[ ] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.
Renko points?

>[ ] A clothing store would be nice... Even if you went to one a few days before, you could always look for something new in a different store.
...or panties?

It's a hard choice, but there's time for sexual deviance later.

[ze] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.

I can't help but imagine the two of them sharing a malt, 50s diner style.

>>15599
I did not even see this before I posted the first time. But I see we think alike.
>> No. 15610
[X] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.
What >>15608 said. We can always go to clothing store later.
>> No. 15617
[x] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.

The liquor store is VERY tempting but they probably wouldn't sell to a "schoolgirl".
>> No. 15618
[x] The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.
>> No. 15620
{X} The ice cream shop sounds good. Plus, a snack might be a good motivator for the day.
>> No. 15639
File 124071639758.jpg - (85.46KB, 639x641, Group snacks.jpg) [iqdb]
15639
"...I think that the ice cream store would be nice." Holding your hands behind your back, you think of what flavor you might get if you go there. "A treat is always a good way to start the day, right?"

"...Yeah, that sounds like a great idea." Grabbing your hand, Renko starts to backtrack with you in tow. "Come on! We should get there fast, so we have plenty of time to eat!"

Smiling, you manage to keep your steps in tune with Renko's. The two of you fly through the shopping district, passing by a few stores you normally visit. As you wind through the streets and search for the store you're looking for, something catches your eye.

On a nearby fence, sitting there and watching you... Was it really that same cat, with her two tails? It's hard to not be shaken up by this, so you keep an eye open as you run, making sure that the animal isn't tailing you. Surely enough, the two of you find yourselves at the ice cream store, and you walk in after Renko has opened the door for you.

Looking around the store, it seems to sparkle like a fairly new building should. There are a few red tables and stools positioned in areas of the store, and some of those larger seats, which line up along the walls. Panning your gaze over to the bar, you notice something odd about this scene.

Seated at the bar, facing away from you, are Yukari and two other girls. One appears to be the same age as Yukari, and is alternating between laughing and eating bite after bite of ice cream. The other girl seems to be much younger than those two, and less as hungry than the larger unnamed friend. Unlike her counterpart, the small grey haired girl is slowly licking an ice cream cone, which has mostly been eaten by this point.

"Ah... Oh hey, it's that girl." Following you into the store, Renko looks at the three of them and nods before waving at them. "Hey! What are you doing here so early?"

This successfully grabs Yukari's attention, making her turn her stool around to look at the two of you. Instead of acting like someone just interrupted her fun times with friends, she continues to smile while motioning for the two of you to come over. At first you hesitate, but you obediently follow Renko as she takes up the offer.

"Ah, Yuyu, this is..." Pointing to Renko, she stops for a moment, as if thinking of something. "...Oh, right. What was your name, again?"

"Ah, my name is Renko. Renko Usami." Extending a hand, she grabs the gluttonous woman's free hand and gives it a shake before pulling her gesture back. "Nice to meet you, Yuyu..."

"Yuyuko Saigyouji." Finishing off her ice cream, she smiles warmly and leans back a little, allowing you to get a better look at her companion. They really are different, considering how one is colorful with pink hair, and the other seems collected with grayish hair. "This is my... cousin. Her name is Youmu Konpaku."

The small grey haired girl bows her head politely, looking both you and Renko over with her agile eyes. After a few more moments, Yukari gestures towards you and grins, as if about to reveal something big to her two friends.

"This one is Aoi." Cocking her head slightly, she grins in a way that sends shivers up your spine. "He's that one I had told you about. You know, the one who--"

"Oh, so this is him!" Clapping her hands together, Yuyuko grins widely while looking at you in a more careful fashion than she had before. "Yukari has told me a lot about you. Is it true that you're a boy?"

"He is, he is!" Laughing obnoxiously, she pulls out the usual fan and opens it up, starting to fan herself as she speaks. "What's more incredible is how much he looks like Layla! It's almost a mirror image, isn't it?"

As the two loud friends laugh with each other, the younger of the three merely keeps her cool, looking at you sympathetically. It's then that you notice something odd about the third member of this group... Which would be a large, translucent blob floating around behind her. Though you at first believe it to be Nyom, you notice how it makes no motion which suggests it noticing or caring about your presence.

"Oh, who is this Layla?" Smiling, probably for the sake of appearing friendly, Renko points her question at Yukari. "Is she another friend of yours?"

"...I suppose you could say that." Both Yuyuko and Yukari have calmed down now, each looking oddly composed for acting so silly a few seconds before. "...Oh, we'll have to see you later on. We need to get going, right, Yuyu?"

The pink haired woman nods happily, returning to her former carefree disposition. Youmu runs ahead of them as they make their way towards the exit, and opens the door for them to walk out of. In an instant, the former energy of this place has all but vanished.

With only you and Renko left at the bar... It feels really calm and quiet, in comparison with the previous situation. Making quick use of your time, the two of you order some ice cream to take outside, intent on catching up to that trio. Renko orders a strawberry bar, and you order something you hadn't had in a while, which is one of those ice cream bars that has the character's face made with two gumball eyes.

Exiting the store, you look around for the three of them, and see no sign of the trio in any direction. This is odd, though, because of how few places there are to go to here... Walking along silently, you and Renko peer into a few stores while eating your ice cream bars, but you still see no sign of them.

"Wow, they must be extremely fast..." Finishing off her strawberry ice cream bar, she looks in every direction again before letting her shoulders fall. "I... Guess that they somehow lost us, or something..."

[ ] "Well, she said that we'd see them later, right? Let's just head for the train station and see if they show up at school."
[ ] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"
[ ] "No, we should keep searching for them. I'm sure that we'll find them soon, if we look around enough!"
>> No. 15640
[ ] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"

Don't feel like. Go back home Yukari and take your friends with you. I don't want to be your creepy maybe reincarnated student or friends with you.
>> No. 15642
[ ] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"
>> No. 15645
[X] "Well, she said that we'd see them later, right? Let's just head for the train station and see if they show up at school."
>> No. 15658
[x] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"
>> No. 15672
[X] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"
>> No. 15694
[x] "Yeah, there's not much of a point to looking for them... but, I wonder why they seemed to tense up when that Layla girl was mentioned again?"
>> No. 15695
Sorry about not updating lately. I've been busy catching up on sleep.

Anyway, I'll be updating AoD later on today.
>> No. 15699
>>15695

hooray!
>> No. 15709
"Yeah, there's probably no point in looking for them..." Saying this, you're actually relieved to not find them. If there's one thing that you don't want to experience twice a day, it's Yukari's presence. "Let's just go to the train station, and... Maybe they'll show up at school?"

For a moment, Renko merely considers this option, holding her hand to her chin as she thinks. She eventually nods, looking off in the distance with a look of longing. She's probably longing to know more about these strange people that keep showing up... You'd rather not know, though. The thought crosses your mind, that ignorance really might be bliss.

"Well, let's get going."

Renko says that as you finish off your ice cream by eating the mid section, which has the two gumballs in it. Rolling them around in your mouth, you can taste the flavor of the shells, though it's hard to know just what flavor they might be after eating the ice cream itself. With the sweet taste in your mouth, you almost don't notice something pressing up against you as you roll one gumball to the front of your mouth.

Bringing her arms up under your own, Renko's face comes up to yours, and she presses her lips against your own. Caught off your guard, you merely feel a heat meet your cheeks as she starts to kiss you, prematurely running her tongue into your mouth. You lose yourself in ecstasy for a moment, before you realize that she's letting you go just as quickly as she grabbed on.

"What... What was that about?" Grabbing the rim of your skirt, you speak more out of confusion than protest. "Why did you do that, all of a sudden..."

Your answer comes with Renko rolling something around in her mouth, and then holding a gumball between her teeth. Closing her mouth once more, she gives you a thumbs-up as she sticks her tongue out, making her look much more silly than she usually does.

"Thanks for the treat, Aoi." Almost singing your name, she takes a hold of your hand and starts to pull you along, showing that she really is a person who has a routine.

Following behind her, you smile in a strange way, feeling a bit better about the day. The two of you eventually reach the train station and continue your usual schedule by talking about small things as you make your way to school. The train eventually comes to a halt, and the two of you exit, only to hear what sounds like an improved band club.

Standing in the center of a crowd, each with her own instrument, those same three sisters you saw in your sleep the night before are busy playing their songs. They don't really notice you as you walk by, staring at them alongside Renko, though you could swear that one of them looked at you for a split second before returning to playing her trumpet.

Since you really are early, the two of you make your way over to the club room and start to look through the files concerning the dreams Mary used to explain to you. Even though the trip had passed almost wordlessly, you and Renko had silently agreed to search for information regarding Yukari and her friends, to confirm that they were the people that Mary saw in her dreams before.

"Ah, found it!" Holding a paper up proudly, Renko start to read aloud as she scans the sheet. "'Yuyuko Saigyouji, the ghost princess of a floating mansion called Hakugyokurou. Friend of Yukari Yakumo, who has Youmu Konpaku as her caretaker.'"

"So, that girl is supposed to be some kind of ghost woman?" Resting your head on one balled up fist, you yawn before continuing. "If that and the other files are true, then that means that Yukari brought a ghost, a half ghost, a fox demon, and a cat demon to out school."

"What a strange person."

Almost humming that line, Renko continues to look at the files, remarking with small "Oh!"s and "I see"s as she reads.

[ ] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[ ] Yukari mentioned... A small demon? Ask her if there's anything like that in there.
[ ] Excuse yourself and go to your first class of the day.
>> No. 15711
[X] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[X] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[X] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.

Renko~. Love you~.
>> No. 15712
[X] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[X] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[X] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.
>> No. 15713
[X] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[X] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[X] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.
>> No. 15715
[d] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[a] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[z] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.
[e] "Renko~. Love you~."

Yes.
>> No. 15716
>>15715
..unless we should be saying something else.
>> No. 15717
[X] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[X] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[X] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.
>> No. 15720
[X] Ask her to look up the files on the three... no, four Prismriver sisters.
[X] Get up and stand behind her so that you can read over her shoulder.
[X] Snuggle as you read. Press yourself close to her, and speak in whispers.

This is just too lovely.
>> No. 15729
Whoever came up with that write in is a genius. Expect an update later on tonight.
>> No. 15739
File 124109302239.jpg - (101.70KB, 500x700, Group Picture.jpg) [iqdb]
15739
"...Hey, Renko?" Rolling your head off of your fist, you stand up and take your place behind her seat, so that you can look at what she's doing. "Could you see if there's three... no, four files about some people called the "Prismrivers" in there?"

"Ah? Oh, sure thing." Flipping through the whole collection, she holds on to one page, though only one. "...Well, I found a general page about all of them, but no individual ones. Have a look."

As you lean over her to look at the article, you press yourself up against her, probably making a complete reversal of that time a few days ago when she leaned over your shoulders. Your chest meets her head, and you decide that you've leaned far enough after meeting that landmark.

Taking a look at the file, you can see four names listed. "Lunasa Prismriver", "Lyrica Prismriver", "Merlin Prismriver", and the recently popular "Layla Prismriver" are listed. The article is pretty vague, but you can gather a few things from reading what Mary had jotted down at that time.

Apparently, Lunasa is the oldest of the sisters, and Layla is the youngest one among them. Merlin is the second oldest, and, in a similar manner, Lyrica is the second youngest. Each sister, Layla excluded, has some musical instrument attached to their description, and each sister has a slightly different version of the same outfit.

"...Huh, that's strange." Reaching to scratch her head, Renko accidentally taps your chest, which sends her hand flying back down. "The youngest, Layla Prismriver, died of natural causes. That being true, her other sisters are apparently alive and well."

"That is kind of weird." Talking in a more hushed tone, you shift positions so that your head is now beside Renko's. "Maybe she died from a disease, or something?"

Renko just shrugs her shoulders, and continues to read the article. You don't bother, though, since you already know that it will turn up nothing all that interesting about the sisters. Or, at least, it won't turn up anything that you don't already know about.

"Oh!" Holding the paper out in front of her, Renko looks shocked when reading its contents. "Layla was apparently devoted to learning about the occult, just like Mary! Isn't that a strange coincidence?"

You nod, not really shocked by Renko's revelation. Even if it's true that they shared interests, you haven't heard many bad things about Layla. Then again, knowing that she was somehow related to Yukari, she might have actually been a vile person that Yukari just portrays as kind and friendly.

"...Hmm, there isn't a lot of interesting stuff besides that." Shuffling the papers back into the stack, Renko lets a sigh loose. "Three flying girls who perform magic using instruments that play themselves. There isn't much other than that there."

Still close to her, you look at the files that she flips through. You notice that one is about Ran, but it's quickly turned over. Just as you're about to suggest looking at Ran's file, a warning bell rings.

"Oh, looks like we stayed in here too long." Flashing you a smile, Renko starts to clean up her mess. "You can go on ahead. I'll have this done in no time."

"...No, I'll help." Gathering a few files that were left laying around, you help sort them back into their proper places. "It's fine this way, so..."

Renko nods, beaming as the two of you clean up the mess. You can't help but feel happy, working alongside her like this. Before you know it, the late bell has rung, and you've rushed off to class, eventually separating from Renko, who had a class in another area of the building.

Walking into the classroom, you can see that the teacher was in the middle of saying something. Giving you an odd look, they point to your seat, which you hurry over to. Sitting down, you notice a pink haired person in the back of the classroom.

"As I was saying, please welcome our new transfer students." Giving someone a gesture to stand, the teacher coughs a little before speaking again. "Please state your names."

"My name is Yuyuko Saigyouji. I like boiled eggs, flower viewing, and butterflies." Turning around, you see the pink haired girl from earlier speaking with a mischievous look in her eyes. "Please be gentle."

It's kind of hard to spot the second transfer student at first, but you soon see her to Yuyuko's right. The second one of these new students is that grey haired girl, who still has that thing that looks like Nyom following her around. As she stands in her place, it wiggles about and does a back flip, as if saying "Despite appearances, this girl is very excited".

"My name is Youmu Konpaku. I enjoy gardening, training with swords, and working as a waitress." Taking a deep bow, she looks a bit out of place in this pool of delinquents. "Please treat me kindly."

"With introductions over, let's begin today's lesson."

As the teacher opens his book and starts to speak about today's subject, the front of the class groans and the back of the class buries their heads in their arms, ready to go to sleep.

A while later, after attending a few more classes, you've finally got some free time to eat, or do whatever else you might want to do. Packing your things up, you can see that Ran, Youmu, and another short pink haired girl were in this class, and looked out of place among the regular student body. As Nyom presses against your shoulder, you wonder just what you should do.

[ ] Introduce yourself to the pink haired girl.
[ ] Go to the club room for a snack.
[ ] Pull Ran out of the classroom and ask her about Yukari's true intentions.

-----

Sorry about the delays. I fell asleep while writing last night.
>> No. 15742
That was ...hmm.

Needs more snuggling.

On the upside:
>As Nyom presses against your shoulder, you wonder just what you should do.
Nyom~

...in fact...

[ze] Ask Nyom to choose.

I love that ghosty blob.
>> No. 15743
[X] Go to the club room for a snack.

Want to stick with Renko, just because I want to protect her a little. I'm not sure I trust the forces at work to keep away from her without our intervention.
>> No. 15744
[x] Go to the club room for a snack.
>> No. 15745
[x] Go to the club room for a snack.
>> No. 15746
[X] Go to the club room for a snack.
Yeah, this is fine. And what >>15742 said.
>> No. 15747
[x] Go to the club room for a snack.
>> No. 15748
[X] Go to the club room for a snack.
>> No. 15774
File 124132653946.png - (122.07KB, 400x500, Myon~.png) [iqdb]
15774
Ignoring the new students, you exit the room with the intentions of going to the club room. Nyom clings to your shoulder as you walk along, pointing ahead and making numerous soft "myon" sounds as you walk. Looking out of the windows, you notice Renko making her way across the open ground of the school, heading towards the club room herself.

Moving swiftly, you make your way down the stair steps and towards an exit. Heading out of the main building, you're somewhat surprised that Yukari isn't suddenly showing up and interrupting your fun...

Before long, you've found yourself outside of the club room. Moving quietly, you push the door open and peek in, seeing Renko sitting at the table. What surprises you, though, is her guest. Also sitting at the table, and now looking directly at you, is the girl who introduced herself as "Youmu Konpaku".

"...Ah... How did you...?"

"I'm very fast, despite my appearance."

With her hands folded on the table, she directs her attention at something other than you, but in your direction. Looking behind yourself, it at first seems like there's nobody to catch her attention... It's then that you realize that she's looking at Nyom, who is still laying on your shoulder, swaying a bit.

"Hey, Aoi. This girl says she wants to join our club." Propping her face up on one hand, Renko grins widely. "Her name is Youmu Konpaku, and she just 'transferred' here. Do you think that we should give her the test, or just say no?"

...That's right. Even when you joined, Renko and Mary had you take a "test" to see if you'd be any benefit to the club. It was a test of going to a site that was supposed to have supernatural activity, and trying to help them in some way. In the end, you somehow found a spot which glowed purple, even though they couldn't see it.

The spot had concealed some strange rock behind a fake brick, which convinced them, somehow, that you were useful... If this girl could pass that test and prove to not be entirely on Yukari's side of this issue, then maybe she could help you.

"...Yeah, that's a great idea!" Throwing your hands up in the air for an increased effect, you cheer. "How about we visit that shrine after school, and see if she can do something there?"

"...Hmm, I'm not sure." Rubbing her chin, Renko looks up thoughtfully as she speaks. "That shrine isn't one of the most interesting places to go to. I think we might do something else if we can come up with a better location."

During this whole exchange, Youmu just sits there, looking at you... Or rather, at Nyom. Her own blob like ghost flies around behind her, giving off the feeling of being curious, but she remains still. Renko seems to notice this, and addresses is immediately.

"If you don't want to come along for the test, you don't have to. You need to pass it to join our club, though, so..."

"..." Looking down for a second, a slight blush comes across Youmu's cheeks as she seems to think. "...I'll do it."

Renko nods approvingly, and you just give Youmu a small smile. The thing that surprises you, though, is that she... smiles back. Fidgeting around a little, she looks out the window and towards the clouds, which are rolling by somewhat quickly.

"...It's a beautiful day, isn't it..." Breathing in deeply, Renko nods approvingly once more as she gazes out the window. You also take a seat next to Renko and look out the window, watching the clouds go by. "...It's a shame to be cooped up in school on a beautiful day like this..."

"...Yeah, it is." Choosing your words carefully, you nod. "I kind of wish we could go outside and play around, and maybe go to the pool..."

For a while, the three of you just sit there, gazing out the open window. From the corner of your eye, you can see Nyom and Youmu's ghostly companion "looking" at each other, and floating in a circle, giving them the appearance of a ghastly yin yang ball.

"...Okay then!" Jumping out of her seat, Renko rushes over to the window and looks around outside before turning to you and Youmu. "It's decided! Let's leave school and show Youmu around for the rest of the day!"

[ ] "...Wait, huh? No, Youmu couldn't possibly..."
[ ] "...Yeah, that sounds like fun. Though, Youmu, are you okay with that?"
[ ] Remain silent, and stare disapprovingly.
>> No. 15775
[X] Remain silent, and stare disapprovingly.

I really don't want to make friends with this girl.
I really really really don't want to make friends with this girl.
She's probably been assigned to us, to keep an eye on us, spy on us, report back anything interesting, right? Well, if she's going to do something like that, you might as well stay in school.
>> No. 15777
File 124132900522.jpg - (206.47KB, 800x600, Pretty Youmu.jpg) [iqdb]
15777
[X] "...Yeah, that sounds like fun. Though, Youmu, are you okay with that?"

Youmu is one of the girls I would trust. She's straightforward and lacks the both the cunning and the heart for deception and betrayal. She's honorable, and befriending her is likely to make her reluctant to harm us, even if ordered to; of course, her mistress isn't the likeliest to try killing us anyway.

Plus, she deserves some friends. Poor girl isn't the most social butterfly.
>> No. 15778
[x] "...Yeah, that sounds like fun. Though, Youmu, are you okay with that?"

Want to learn more about Nyom. Also, we have a history of playing hooky.
>> No. 15779
[ze] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."

Time to cut the shit, Youmu.
>> No. 15780
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."
>> No. 15781
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."
>> No. 15782
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."
>> No. 15783
[x] Remain silent, and stare disapprovingly.

The mental image I got of this is too adorable to pass up.
>> No. 15790
[X] "...Yeah, that sounds like fun. Though, Youmu, are you okay with that?"
This doesn't really seem like a place for that write-in.
>> No. 15791
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."
>> No. 15793
In light of >>15777 and >>15778 , I guess I'm not feeling as negative toward Youmu as when I first wrote >>15779 .

That's still no guarantee she'll be nice, or even honest.
And do keep in mind that her loyalties lie first and foremost with Yuyuko.

In other words, Aoi shouldn't come across as an accusatory jerk, but he shouldn't dance around the issue. Speak honestly and bluntly with her, but keep mostly civil.

If all goes well, then perhaps they can show off their ghosty companions before those 5 minutes are up.
>> No. 15798
[X] "...Yeah, that sounds like fun. Though, Youmu, are you okay with that?"
>> No. 15799
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble."
>> No. 15841
[x] "I think I need to have a talk with her for a minute. If we're not done in 5 minutes, then I'm probably in trouble." wins.

I'll have an update up before the day is over.
>> No. 15848
>>15841
Hooray!
>> No. 15860
File 124157881918.jpg - (165.57KB, 850x1416, Youmu.jpg) [iqdb]
15860
"...Wait..." Feeling a bit hesitant, you momentarily avert your gaze as some doubts push up from the back of your mind. "...Is it okay if I talk with her in the hall for five minutes?"

Both of the girls look surprised at first, but Renko slowly and reluctantly nods, shrugging her shoulders back as she looks out of the window. Opening the door of the clubroom, you exit with Youmu and shut the door firmly, walking a small distance away from it. For a moment, the two of you just stand there, confused.

"...Why are you trying to be a part of our club?" Cocking your head to a side, you place your hands on your hips as you speak, being careful to not sound too judgemental. "I have nothing wrong with you, but... It's understandable when you hang around Yukari, isn't it?"

"...Yes, I understand. Please excuse me for my rude behavior." Bowing deeply, she hangs her head as her hair points towards the ground, before rising back up to stand. "I know that Yukari worries you, and that's one reason why I found this place. I was hoping to assist you in opposing her, if at all possible."

Taking a second to think, you consider her offer. While it's true that she was following Yukari and Yuyuko around, she didn't seem to have any friendly relationship with Yukari... She also seemed to be more interested in yourself and Nyom than she was in Yukari or the other girl. If what she's saying is true, then it would make sense that she doesn't like Yukari, since she's shown no signs of liking her.

"...Okay, but I have to ask you one thing. What's your relationship with Yukari and Yuyuko?"

"...My master is Miss Yuyuko, and her friend is Yukari Yakumo. My only relation to Yukari is as an acquaintance that brings her tea and cookies to eat."

...If what she's saying is true, then the worst thing would be Yuyuko ordering her to be a spy, which might be the case. She doesn't really seem like the spying type, though that may just be a good front to confuse you. If anything, you'll have to keep an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't do anything suspicious.

"...Okay then, what about that?" Pointing towards the two ghostly blobs, you shake a little, realising that you can't tell which one is Nyom. "Why do you have one of those following you around, too?"

"...I was actually wanting to ask you the same question." Placing a hand on her chest, she speaks calmly and honestly, with no sign of hostility in her expression. "I know that you already believe in the existence of demons, so I'll be blunt. I am half-ghost and half-human, and that is my ghost half. For a moment, I thought that you were one, too."

"...You thought that I was also a half-ghost?"

Shaking your head, you laugh a little. Youmu brings a finger to her lips and looks away, slightly disappointed. The two ghastly creatures stop floating around each other and make their ways back to their "owners". As Nyom settles by your side, Youmu continues to speak.

"I thought that, but I can see that I'm wrong, now. Even if that is half of a soul following you around, you have a full soul, so it can't be your own." She puts her hands behind her back, and looks over to the door of the club room before speaking again.

"...I think our five minutes is about up, isn't it?"

"...Oh! You're right!"

Bringing one fist down softly into your hand, you nod. The two of you enter the room once more, finding Renko looking out the window, watching the school grounds. Turning swiftly, she gestures to you with one thump up, smiling as she usually does.

"Okay then, let's get going!" Grabbing her hat, which was laying on the desk, she takes one more look out of the window before speaking. "You know, another place we could take her would be that one weird place with all the houses... Should we really go to the shrine, Aoi?"

[ ] "Yeah, we should keep it simple for now and just go there."
[ ] "Actually, that little village sounds like it'd be more fun to look at."
[ ] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15861
[ ] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15865
[ ] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15867
[x] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15868
>"I know that Yukari worries you, and that's one reason why I found this place. I was hoping to assist you in opposing her, if at all possible."

Fate deals Aoi a good hand, finally. At least now we don't have to fear we'll be carved up by Chen in a fit of disobedience.

[x] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15869
[x] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15873
[X] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."
>> No. 15879
[ze] "The graveyard isn't too far away, and there's one area of it that only Mary looked in."

Well, I'm glad to see I was ...probably wrong about Youmu.

Also ghost blobs playing together made me hnnnnngh
>> No. 15894
File 124175394928.png - (337.65KB, 357x480, Maribel isn't actually in this update.png) [iqdb]
15894
"Actually... the graveyard is closer, isn't it?" Placing a finger to your chin, you become thoughtful, considering all the possibilities even after making your decision. "Maybe we should just keep it simple, and go there. Besides, Mary never told us what she saw in that cave, right?"

"...Well, I guess that works." Looking out of the window once more, Renko sighs before grabbing you and Youmu by the shoulders, and leading you to the door. "Anyway, come on! We've got a test to run!"

You struggle a little, but give up and let Renko lead you on in this way. You're surprised to see that Youmu complies, though. Even while you were struggling, she just remained obedient and let Renko lead her on, not caring about how she was being pushed around. Sneaking out the back door of the club building, the three of you silently slip off of campus, leaving the school behind.

It feels strange, though. Even as you leave the school, it seems like somebody... or rather, a few people are watching you. Shaking this feeling off, you continue to sneak away, running off towards the small business area nearby.

Walking along the edge of the sidewalk, the three of you must look strange, being out in school uniforms at this time. As you approach a coffee shop, something catches your attention from behind. It's the sound of a man shouting, and as you turn to look... You notice that it's a police officer.

"Hey! Heeey!" Rushing up to you, he makes his way to the front of your group and holds one hand to his side, using the other to adjust his cap. "What are you three girls doing out of school at this time? Are you skipping your classes?"

"...Uh..." Rubbing the back of her head, Renko looks to be at a loss of words. "...Um, no, we're just going to... the library, for an assignment."

Folding his arms over his chest, the man raises an eyebrow suspiciously. Looking between the three of you, he frowns and shakes his head. Youmu's ghost half spins in its place all the while, looking rather agitated until Nyom starts to spin with it, helping it relax.

"If you're going to the library, shouldn't you have a teacher or some other chaperon with you?" Nodding his head in answer to his own question, he smirks. "That's right, you should. If there's no teacher, then I'll have to take you with me to the station. Come on, you thr--"

"Ah, excuse me." Stepping up from behind you, the red headed maid, who is no longer in her uniform, smiles graciously. "My students got a little ways ahead of me, you see. I hope that there were no misunderstandings."

"...No, I suppose that everything's fine." Tapping his cheek, the officer looks rather embarrassed. "I'm sorry for interrupting. Please continue on ahead."

Bowing curtly, he makes his way across the street and rushes off to the police station, his metaphorical tail between his legs. Looking up at the "maid", Koto, you wonder why she decided to help you out there. The four of you continue to walk towards your destination, and Renko stands beside Koto as she starts to ask these questions.

"...So, does Mary have you spying on us?" Tipping her hat back, she gives the "servant" a mildly accusatory stare. "Or are you following us for different reasons?"

"No, Maribel does not have me spying on you. I was never truly working for her, anyway." Her hands in front of her, Koto smiles as she speaks, looking a bit daring. "I came here of my own will, to help fend off false law enforcers!"

Renko merely nods, and Youmu continues to stare at the ground as the four of you make it to a certain bundle of trees. Walking through them, you pass through a short brush before arriving at the grave yard, which looks oddly lively in the day light. It's then that another rustling catches your attention, causing you to spin around to see...

The Prismriver sisters, looking guilty as they're noticed. For a moment all seven of you just stand there, looking at each other uncomfortably as the two ghost blobs spin around like two magatama. A moment later, Lunasa speaks up, bowing slightly as she does so.

"My name is Lunasa Prismriver, and these are my sisters, Lyrica and Merlin Prismriver. We were wondering if we could... Join your group."

"...If you wanted to, you could have just said so." Puffing her lips out, Renko holds the back of her head with both arms as she speaks. "We're about to be in the middle of something, though, so maybe you could just... Wait out here until we're done?"

[ ] "Actually, could I wait with them? Maybe I can introduce them to what our club is about while you're giving Youmu the test."
[ ] "Koto, could you wait with them? I think they could enjoy some company while we're doing this."
[ ] "Why not have them come along, too? Maybe they can be useful right away."
>> No. 15896
>Youmu's ghost half spins in its place all the while, looking rather agitated until Nyom starts to spin with it, helping it relax.

Awesome

[x] "Why not have them come along, too? Maybe they can be useful right away."
>> No. 15897
[x] "Why not have them come along, too? Maybe they can be useful right away."
>> No. 15899
[z] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[e] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."

PRISMRIVEEEERS
YOU GOT SOME 'SPLAININ TO DO
>> No. 15900
[x] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[x] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."
>> No. 15903
[x] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[x] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."
>> No. 15906
[x] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[x] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."
>> No. 15907
[x] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[x] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."
>> No. 15940
[X] Say, sweetly, "Oh, they can join. They can certainly join."
[X] "After all, I believe we have some things to discuss, they and I. In fact, I believe they owe me a few favors. The least they could do right now is provide some pleasant company."
>> No. 15942
Sorry about the lack of updates. A certain file I had to turn in by 11:59 PM last night completely drained me, so I was too exhausted to do anything. Expect updates later on today.
>> No. 15944
>>15942

hooray!
>> No. 15972
"Oh, no. They can join." Showing a fake smile, you laugh lightly. "They can definitely join. After all, I think there's some thing I have to discuss with them. Actually, they might even owe me some favors, so they can at least be some pleasant company for now."

"..." Looking uncertain, Renko glances towards the strange tomb Mary had entered before, and shrugs. "Ooookay, I guess that works. Come on, let's get going."

Obeying her command, the five of you, Youmu, the Prismrivers, and you yourself, follow after her. Koto stays behind, but you decide to not mention it. For all you know, she may be afraid of grave sites. As the six of you enter the tomb, Renko reaches into her bag and pulls out a flashlight, illuminating the place.

Instead of seeing a coffin or some other vision of death, what appears is a blank rock wall, which slopes down to the right. Entering behind Renko, you can see that it forms a staircase, dropping to about ten feet underground, at your estimate. Just looking for a moment, you find yourself awestruck at this discovery, until Renko speaks up in the gloom of the apparent sepulchre.

"Haha! To think that she didn't tell me about something this interesting!" Taking the first step, Renko starts to descend the stairs, and you follow after her. "I thought this would just be some normal little grave, not a full blown grave site!"

"Maybe it isn't a tomb of any sort?" Now standing next to you, Youmu speaks up while adjusting her hair ribbon. "It wouldn't be surprising if there was a Buddhist shrine down here. It may not even be Buddhist, but Shinto. If we're lucky, some tools of a priest might remain."

Finally reaching the bottom, the three of you enter before the Prismrivers, slightly shocked at what you find.

In the place of a Shinto shrine, a strange chunk of rock sits in the center of the room, with that same magic circle from before resting on top of it. Blood has been spilt on the circle, and around the room are statues of strange, unearthly beasts, which could only be described as demons by your own mind.

"What is this...?" Stepping further into the room Renko takes a look at the "altar", and shudders at the blood spill that has dried up on it. "Don't tell me that Mary... When she was down here, she...?"

Looking at all of the statues, Youmu's eyes buzz with curiosity. One of them, a strange creature who has legs sticking out in every direction around its body, has something that catches her interest. Reaching in between two of its legs, she pulls out a scroll, which she brings over to you and Renko.

"What's this?" Accepting the item, Renko looks it over and stops when a name shows up on the surface. "So, this belongs to Mary..."

Opening the thing up, a scritch-scratch writing meets your eyes. Despite the poor penmanship, you can still read every line of text, and understand what the thing is saying.

When the night has come, lift up an offering of blood upon the altar. This is the first step of summoning the one with no limit.
When the night has grown longer, offer a second blood sacrifice upon any altar. This is the second step of summoning the one with no limit.
When the night grows old, she shall appear, and shall take up her first sacrifice. This is the first step in receiving the demon's blessing.
When the morning drags on, two more will be lifted up as sacrifices for the pure and perfect magic. This is the second step in receiving the demon's blessing.
When the night approaches once more, a final soul shall ascend as a sacrifice. This is the next to last step in receiving the demon's blessing.
Finally, the one asking for the blessing must lose something precious. This is the final step in receiving the demon's blessing.
As she has no limits, the demon can grant any wish, but only one. In the chance that the wish is rejected, it will be given to the next one with the demon's favor.
She shall praise the wise, and will give unto them additional blessings. Sleep forever sweetly, my dear Yakumo.

Wrapping the paper back up, Renko shakes her head sadly, probably not wanting to accept that this is what her old friend now believes. You wouldn't believe it yourself, if you hadn't already heard about it from "the demon" herself, and from other books that Maribel owns... One thing sticks out in your mind, though.

"My dear Yakumo"? With that line, it sounds like the one writing this had some close relationship to Yukari, as opposed to just being a follower of the occult. Shrugging this off for now, you turn your attention to the Prismrivers, who are looking desperately for something to prove their worth.

"...That's enough for now, you all pass." Pocketing the item, Renko sighs and makes her way towards the exit. "Come on, let's get going. There's still a lot of sunlight left, and I don't want to let it waste by playing around in a cave."

The five of you follow her up the steps, and walk out into the open air once more. After being in that cave for so long, the smell of fresh air is a welcome scent. Koto walks over to your group, and bows politely as Renko focuses on her.

"Where is Maribel right now, Koto? Is she at the mansion?"

"...No, nobody is left at the mansion." Rising from her bow, she looks solemn as she speaks. "Maribel and Ms. Han are now at a hotel, waiting for authorities to tell them that they can reenter the mansion."

Both you and Renko pause after hearing this, while the other four brush themselves off to get rid of the dust from that cave. Raising a brow, Renko reaches into her pocket as she speaks, touching the scroll to make sure that it's still there.

"What happened to the mansion? Why aren't they there?"

"...A certain strange phenomenon occurred at the mansion, and the staff was killed. The police are currently checking the mansion for a murderer, though they've yet to find anything."

Half-heartedly, Renko tips her hat at an angle, hiding her eyes from the maid. Holding your hands together, you try to think of something to brighten the mood, but most of your ideas don't make much sense. Still, you want to find some way to cheer Renko up, even if it means embarrassing yourself...

[ ] "...I'm sure that it's nothing. Let's go to the shopping district, okay?"
[ ] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."
[ ] "...Youmu, Lunasa... We're going to go home for now. See you later."
>> No. 15973
[x] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."

Hmm.
>> No. 15986
[x] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."
>> No. 16001
...Is that all? I can update with two votes, but that awful thing called pride make me want to wait for more...
>> No. 16005
[x] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."
>> No. 16007
[x] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."
>> No. 16010
>She shall praise the wise, and will give unto them additional blessings. Sleep forever sweetly, my dear Yakumo.

Finally some hint at what Mary's wish is. One way or the other, she intends to end the line of demon summoning. Whether as a direct effect of the wish, or by seeking to take the secret to the grave.

>When the night approaches once more, a final soul shall ascend as a sacrifice. This is the next to last step in receiving the demon's blessing.

The is the last human sacrifice, so...

>Finally, the one asking for the blessing must lose something precious. This is the final step in receiving the demon's blessing.

So this last sacrifice is of some other nature. A possession? A limb or eye? Or something less concrete?

I guess we're about to find out.

[x] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."

We have to resolve to stop keeping obvious secrets from Renko. It's hard enough getting her to tell us everything, and here we are keeping her out of the loop, just like Mary did.
>> No. 16011
[z] "...Youmu, Lunasa... We're going to go home for now. But, is there some way we can contact you or get in touch quickly?" Get a way to get ahold of them, should you need to.
[e] Talk with Renko. Do something with Renko. SOMETHING RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

ARGH

FUCK

STORY GOING TOO FAST

Also, too many people at once is too many. We really DO look like a group out on a field trip. Need to spend more time with Renko, and probably tell her more of what's going on.

Also, assuming here that they don't have cell phones (unless Yukari gave them some).
>> No. 16012
>>16011

Your mother is with your insane, murderous sister--who has a massive Mother complex herself by the way--who is about to do something terrible in order to be granted a wish to do something even more terrible.

You want to flirt with your friend.
>> No. 16014
>>16012
>As she has no limits, the demon can grant any wish, but only one. In the chance that the wish is rejected, it will be given to the next one with the demon's favor.

This concerns me. It could have been your mother all along. She has at least some reason to do this: The death of her first husband. She also seems to know Yukari already and hates her with a passion. I think it was obvious that she did not love Mary's father, by Mary's implication that she was having an affair, and because his bigotry tore her son away from her. If that is the case, then obviously Mary has been helping her, either to get the wish herself or simply to be near her "real mother" Yukari.
>> No. 16029
[X] "Maybe we should go see them. They must be wanting to see us by now."
>> No. 16049
File 124227454799.png - (128.29KB, 526x600, Renko_055.png) [iqdb]
16049
"..." Cheering her up may be impossible right now, but you can work on it, slowly. Reaching a hand out to touch her shoulder, you smile and nod at Koto, finding your chance to speak. "We should go and see them. They've probably been wanting to see us for a while now."

"...Yeah, I guess you're right, Watako." Turning to look at Youmu and the Prismrivers, she smiles a little as she speaks. "Are all of you planning on following us?"

The four of them look at each other, and the Prismrivers start to whisper into each other's ears. Youmu just nods and steps over towards you and Renko as they do this, and it seems that they've soon enough reached a conclusion. Stepping forward, Lunasa clears her throat before speaking.

"We actually had somewhere we had to go, right now. We'll see you at school tomorrow, though." As her sisters start to walk off, she follows and gives you a quick wave. "See you later."

You wave back, and watch as they vanish into the streets before you. Looking back to Renko, you can see her looking between Koto and Youmu, first nodding at Youmu, and then turning her gaze to Koto.

"What about you, Koto? Do you plan to tag along?"

"...No, I need to get to the mansion. If I know that outlaw like I think I do, she'll probably be up to something suspicious soon." In a mock-act of what Lunasa did, she turns around, walks a little, then waves. "Seeya later!"

You wave to her, and then look at Youmu. Her determined look confirms that she intends to stick by you and Renko, though she starts to look slightly less serious when her ghost half floats over and plops down on top of her head. Nodding, the three of you start to walk towards your destination, moving quickly so that you don't waste too much daylight.

"So, Youmu..." Slowing down a bit to walk beside her, Renko smiles as she speaks. "We already know that Ran and Yukari are demons... So, I was wondering. Just what are you, anyway?"

"I'm... Half-ghost, and half-human." You also start to slow down to walk beside Youmu, who has a slightly serious look on her face. "My father was the same, though my master is a whole ghost."

Turning her eyes upwards, Renko looks curious, puffing her cheeks out a little bit. It's then that you notice a slight red hue on Youmu's face, and you also notice that her hands are twisting her skirt a bit as she walks. It seems like... It may be Renko, or it might be you, but she seems a bit more bashful around one of you.

"Hmm... Where is your father now? Is he here too?"

"No." Shaking her head, Youmu only sounds slightly sad as she says this. "He left on a noble journey to find enlightenment a long time ago. If he ever returns, then... Then I..."

Laughing lightly, Renko keeps Youmu from saying too much. It's probably best that she doesn't talk about her father too much, if he vanished when she was small... Actually, thinking about it, you don't know what her actual age is...

"...Hey, Youmu? I was just wondering, about how old are you?"

"Hmm?" Cocking her head a little, she nods as she thinks, coming up with the number. "By now, I'm about... Sixty-four."

Both you and Renko start to laugh at this ridiculous number, though you come to a slow when you see that Youmu isn't kidding. Swallowing hard, you smile as best as you can and think about the matter. If Yukari is some ancient demon that looks like she's seventeen years old, and Ran is a great old fox who looks like she could be twenty or so, then it wouldn't be too much of a shock for Youmu to be oddly old, too.

"So... Half-ghosts live to an old age, then?"

"...Yes. There aren't too many like me that I know, but they all look to be about my apparent age..." Breathing in, she exhales in a sigh before speaking again. "...Could we... talk about something else?"

Nodding, you feel a little taken back by her desire to change the subject, but more by the strange things that happen here lately. Youmu, Yukari, Ran... All of them have entered your life so quickly, but they're already key factors in the future of your life...

...Thinking about it, is it summer already? If your memory isn't hazy, then there's something important about youkai related to summer... Maybe something about them... being more active when the summer comes? You can't help but wonder if it's Yukari's mating season after thinking about that, though your mind quickly snaps off of this subject as Renko points up at a tall building.

"Hey, Aoi! We're here already, isn't that nice?"

She's right. This is the hotel you had been at before, that had raised some of your suspicions about your mother and Mary... It might be best to put suspicions aside for now, though. Stepping through the large doors, the three of you enter the hotel and go up to the desk. Renko taps the bell twice to get the attention of a man behind the desk, and he comes over to you with an exaggerated smile on his face.

"Hello, how may I help you girls today?"

"We were wanting to see Ms. Han and Maribel Han. We had gotten a message that they were currently staying here, you see..."

The man nods, fiddles with buttons and calls someone for confirmation, and then tells you the floor to check on. The three of you walk over to the elevators and wait for one to reach your level, boarding it once it has. As the doors close, you feel a slight pressure on one arm, and then on the other.

Looking to one side, you see Renko hooking one arm around yours, smiling all the while. On the other arm, you see Youmu's ghost half bumping against you, making those same "myon" noises that Nyom likes to make. Smiling, you get ready to pet it, then hesitate.

[ ] Go ahead and pet the ghost. It's practically asking for you to do that much.
[ ] Ignore it for now, and talk to Renko and Youmu.
[ ] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.
>> No. 16050
[x] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.
>> No. 16051
>>16012
I'm thinking long term on a different track. We'll be having to deal with Maribel anyway, so I've been thinking of other stuff in advance.
>> No. 16056
[B] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.
>> No. 16057
[X] Go ahead and pet the ghost. It's practically asking for you to do that much.
[X] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.

I like both.

Myon~.
>> No. 16058
[ze] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.

>though she starts to look slightly less serious when her ghost half floats over and plops down on top of her head.
D'awww.

>Ran is a fox. And looks like she could be twenty or so.
Fixed.

>You can't help but wonder if it's Yukari's mating season after thinking about that
Suddenly imagining the price for Maribel's ritual being that Yukari fathers children on Maribel.
what with all her mommy-issues, this would be the ultimate in hilarity.
Also kind of hot.
>> No. 16059
[X] Go ahead and pet the ghost. It's practically asking for you to do that much.

Must pet Myon!
>> No. 16060
In before Youmu shrieks at our fondling of Myon.
>> No. 16061
[x] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.
>> No. 16062
[x] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.

Sorry, Myon. Nyom just tastes better. Light, yet filling.
>> No. 16064
[x] Speaking of Nyom, where is it right now? Try calling out for it quietly, and see if it comes to you.
>> No. 16083
I've figured out (or, had help figuring out) that I've mucked up AoD up to this point. I'm going to try and fix the problems without any retconning, which will be difficult. Please bear with me as I try to steer this back on track, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
>> No. 16084
File 124235464052.jpg - (11.33KB, 265x297, 1232257139781.jpg) [iqdb]
16084
>>16083
>> No. 16094
>>16083

It's alright. We appreciate your efforts.
>> No. 16115
Though it may not look it Nine's working hard at improving the story. It's going too far too fast which leads to those annoying retcons. Just give him some time to reflect on his work so far and AoD will be back.
>> No. 16116
>>16115

This is pretty much right on the spot. I really want you all to enjoy this CYOA, especially after putting up with me for so long. So I'll do everything in my power to correct my mistakes without backtracking.

Once again, I'm sorry for the delays. sage for nothing worthwhile happening.
>> No. 16141
Okay, I'm ready to go again. Expect an update some time this evening.
>> No. 16142
>>16141
Can someone put up some sort of "FUCK YEAH!"-esque image? I have none on this computer for expressing such a sentiment.

even a hooray!.jpg would be good.
>> No. 16143
File 12425994783.jpg - (174.02KB, 576x711, FUCK YEAH!.jpg) [iqdb]
16143
>>16142

How about this?
>> No. 16146
>>16141

Hooray!
>> No. 16163
A small postponing, since I was kept out longer than I had expected. I tried to keep writing, but I'm just too tired at the moment.

I'll try to write in the morning, or in the afternoon tommorow. Please wait warmly until then.
>> No. 16165
>>16143
Exactly what I needed. Thank you.
>> No. 16169
File 124264743117.png - (186.63KB, 450x600, Renko&Mary010.png) [iqdb]
16169
...No, it's better to not do so without permission, and you can't ask with Renko around, since she might not believe that she couldn't see such a thing... So, instead, you start to whisper beneath your breath, attempting to lure the white blob out.

"Nyom... Nyom, where are you...?" Still speaking in a hushed tone, you manage to avoid attracting Renko's attention, as well as the little spirit's. "Nyooom, come out and plaa--"

Suddenly, the little spirit appears and presses up against your arm, much like an affectionate puppy would. Smiling, you manage to lift the same arm up and get free of its bind, and you then stroke what could be called its "head", listening to the soft ghost like sounds that it makes as you do this.

Glancing over at Youmu, you notice that she's watching you pet Nyom, with a look of intense curiosity on her face. With an eyebrow raised, she also reaches out one hand, and then hesitates, looking towards you for the "okay" signal. Nodding in a short motion, you watch as she starts to stroke Nyom, who seem delighted to have two people petting it at once.

"Ah... It's squirming..."

"Hmm? What's that?"

Looking over at the two of you, Renko smiles unknowingly as the elevator doors open. Youmu quickly retracts her hand, and you do the same, leaving the confused Nyom to spin in its place, attempting to grab some more attention, vainly.

The three of you exit the elevator, Nyom and the other spirit in tow, and look around the hallway. For some reason, the atmosphere is more pleasant here than it had been not too long before, and the air seems a bit livelier. Making your way towards the room that Mary is supposed to be in, you knock lightly, and wait for a response.

"...Hello? Mary?" Knocking on the door, Renko leans in to listen for any sound, and a moment later she pulls her ear back.

Opening the door wide, a rather groggy looking Maribel emerges from the room, her hair a mess. Rubbing at one eye, she yawns and stretches before looking the three of you over, one after the other.

"...Huh." Blinking twice, she yawns once more then looks at Renko, only the slightest hint of concern on her face. "Who is this girl that's with you and Aoi?"

"Oh, this is Youmu Konpaku." Gesturing towards her, Renko nods for a moment before looking Mary over with a concerned expression on her face. "...Did you just wake up, Mary?"

That's right... In that dream... No, in that astral projection, you had heard about Mary and your mother being chased away from the mansion late in the evening... Or perhaps early in the morning. So, she couldn't get her proper amount of sleep, thanks to Yukari's mess before...

"...Anyway, why are you three here? I thought I had ran you off after our little scene in the basement..."

"...Well, you see..." Twiddling her fingers, Renko looks nervous as she thinks about what she should say. "Actually, we were thinking that the three of us should try and be friendly... We all have a common enemy, after all."

Maribel just stands there for a moment, rolling that idea around in her head as the the rest of you stand outside the door, waiting for some sort of response. As you wait, the two ghastly blobs encircle each other and start to spin, just like they had done a few times before. Youmu merely averts her eyes as this takes place, blushing slightly.

"...I guess you're right." Opening the door wider, she steps out of the way and beckons the three of you in. "Come in and sit down. We don't want mom to see that you're skipping."

[ ] Keep Renko from going in. Being friendly does not mean that you should go in any room she owns.
[ ] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.
[ ] Insist that it's fine, since the three of you were about to go, anyway.
>> No. 16171
{X} Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.
>> No. 16173
File 124265302933.png - (223.80KB, 500x600, fb682db1f02cd52316ad906086d2bd07.png) [iqdb]
16173
[x] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.

Trust~
>> No. 16176
[x] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person and not punching them in the face. Or grinding the enamel off your teeth. Or becoming nauseated at the sight of them.
[x] "Where is she, by the way, Mother? Or rather, my mother? You know, the one who isn't a demon?"
[x] "I think these matters would concern her more than her son playing hooky. And don't you dare tell me she doesn't know anything. I've seen enough, and I've heard enough, from the demon, her pets, the poltergeists, the police maid, the dreams, the murder of the house staff, the cryptic notes and whatever..."
[x] "I'm so tired and so sick of it, that I'm going to place my life, that of my friends, and all of my faith into your hands and your presumably good intentions. Years of mutual antipathy gone in an instant. We would be siblings in fate, if not in blood."
[x] "But... if you lie to me from this point onward, I will find out. And when I do, I will certainly find you. No matter what world or dream or mind you're hiding in; no matter what state of being--or unbeing--I myself have passed into. And then it won't matter what magicks you worked, or what monstrous alliances you've formed, or what traps and intrigues you woven so carefully, because on that day you sit on your gilded throne and you drink from the chalice of your ill-gotten gains, you will notice an unfamiliar imprint on the underside. The imprint will read: 'Et in Arcadia Ego'. And then it will be too late for forgiveness. Or bargaining. Or redemption. Or reason."
>> No. 16178
[ ] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.
>> No. 16179
[+] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.
>> No. 16192
[X] Follow Renko into the room and take a seat. Trying to recover a friendship means trusting the other person.
>> No. 16196
File 124270251413.png - (484.75KB, 600x502, Renko&Mary004.png) [iqdb]
16196
Looking first to Renko, who seems ready to go into Mary's room, and then to Youmu, who's still distracted by Nyom and its friend, you shrug your shoulders slightly and sigh. Recovering a friendship, or even starting one up, normally means that you have to trust the other person.

It would really be hard to befriend Maribel while thinking of her as the horrible person she is... So, so long as Renko's around, it might be okay to act as if Maribel has a clean slate to start on. Agreeing with your own logic, you nod to yourself proudly as you, Renko, and Youmu enter the room, following Maribel to a group of chairs.

"...So..." Crossing one leg over the other, Renko adjusts herself in her seat and looks towards Mary. "...You noticed that these people are all the same ones you told us about from your dreams, right?"

"Yes, I noticed as soon as I had seen one of them." Speaking with an unexpected cool, Maribel rests her hands on her lap as she speaks. "Even this girl, Youmu Konpaku, is from that world I saw when I was asleep..."

Hearing her name, Youmu suddenly looks toward Maribel with a new found interest in what she might have to say. Her ghost half also stands at attention, and almost as if to humor its "friend", Nyom copies this motion while floating towards you. A sliver of a smile meets your face as this occurs, and the whole thing distracts Youmu for a few seconds before she can speak.

"...Um, just what do you know about me?"

"I know a lot about you, and about a lot of the people you know." Tapping her finger to her temple, Mary takes a moment to think before speaking. "Youmu Konpaku, the half ghost that wields a sword which can cut anything. Your caretaker is Yuyuko Saigyouji, though you're the one who takes care of her. You were left in her care after your father vanished many years ago..."

Maribel raises an eyebrow after saying all of this, as if to ask Youmu if she's correct. Youmu merely nods in a silent stupor, an expression of surprise and astonishment on her face. Tapping her temple once more, Maribel swings one leg around a little before looking up to Renko, determined to speak her mind.

"She isn't the kind of person that's manipulative or randomly hostile... Unlike her master. We can trust her, but Yuyuko is something else to worry about."

"Uh... Who is Yuyuko, anyway?" Tilting her head, Renko looks a little embarrassed as she speaks. "I know that you told me before, but I honestly thought that it would never be important."

A proud smile comes to Maribel's face, and it becomes abundantly clear that she enjoys to be in the limelight like this. Renko seems slightly annoyed to have to depend on Mary for this information, and Youmu still looks as if she was violated by the fact that someone knows her better than she might know herself.

"Yuyuko is a ghost princess, who resides in a floating 'palace' called Hakugyokuro. Her background isn't too important, but in short, she's very wise. Her appearance would make you see her as a ditzy schoolgirl type, but she could easily be as evil as Yukari. She's a very secretive girl, despite what most who know her believe."

"...Is that so?" Renko looks away after swallowing all of that, seemingly unimpressed. "So, we should count her as being on Yukari's 'side'... Shouldn't we?"

Maribel merely nods, and then gets up to rummage through her suitcase. After pulling out a book, she sits down and starts to read, now apparently uninterested in what the rest of you are doing. It takes a moment, but you manage to figure out what you want to say next.

"...What relationship do you really have with Yukari?"

Mary pauses, her finger stopping in mid air just as she had gone to turn a page. Slowly shutting the book, she nods calmly, her eyes shut tight. Then opening one eye, she responds coolly and completely.

"I've put her on a chain, so that she can't go around and ruin any other people's lives... I know that the whole thing has caused a real problem for the rest of you, and I'm sorry."

Bowing her head, she breathes in deeply and then exhales slowly, apparently calming herself down a bit before continuing.

"...She may or may not be my real mother, like you might have heard me say, though I doubt that we're blood related. My father merely summoned her to be his lover, and she decided to introduce me to magic... That's the extent of our relationship."

[ ] "Wait, you mean that you could see me there? How is that possible?"
[ ] "So... Now that you have her 'on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"
[ ] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"

------

Sorry about these last two updates being somewhat small. I'll try and write more next time, so be ready for it.

Also, I hate to rain on anybody's parade, but I intensely dislike write-ins that try to be the update by themselves. If I had to write one, it would be half of the update, and, like most write-ins are, reworded so that it sounds like something Aoi might say.
>> No. 16197
[x] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"
[x] "So... Now that you have her 'on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"
>> No. 16198
[X] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"
>> No. 16200
[x] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"
[x] "So... Now that you have her 'on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"
>> No. 16201
[z] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"
[e] "So... Now that you have her 'on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"
>> No. 16210
[x] "Could you tell us more about her servants? What role do they play in all of this?"
[x] "So... Now that you have her 'on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"
>> No. 16223
If that's that for the votes, then I'll get to writing soon. Expect an update later.
>> No. 16225
>>16223

Hooray!
>> No. 16228
"...Could you tell us more about Yukari's servants?" Managing to not take a break in your words, a confident expression meets your face as you speak. "What roles do they play in all of this?"

"Those two are just what you thought they were; servants." Nodding to herself, Maribel looks at something in her book before speaking once again. "They serve Yukari faithfully, for the most part, and are bound by a contract of servitude. The actual name would be... 'shikigami'."

That's right, shikigami... As she says that, you start to remember what you had heard about them before, quite some time ago. All you can remember is that they're supernatural servants, and that they lose their power gained as shikigami if they aren't obeying their master's desires...

"...So, the only reason Renko was able to get the best of that one shikigami with the cat ears was because its master didn't wish for it to be there..."

"...Hmm? No, if I'm thinking about the same thing that you are, then Renko shouldn't have been able to hold her down even when she was a normal cat monster." Shrugging, Mary sighs and flips to another page of her book. "Maybe it had some other motives, that involved appearing weak..."

Her tone makes it obvious that she has actually become tired of this subject. Rubbing your brow, you attempt to come up with one last question to finish this session off, though it takes a minute to think of the right thing to ask. It eventually comes to you, though, and you snap your fingers as you start to speak.

"So, now that you 'have Yukari on a leash', what do you plan to do to keep her on it?"

"..." For a moment, she just looks at her open text, but then focuses on you, looking somewhat unsure of herself. "I'm not sure. I doubt she'd grant a wish that had to do with her eternally being put to rest, and she'd probably not like being kept around like a pet... So, I'll have to think about it."

With that, she shuts her book once more and sighs, making it obvious that she won't discuss the subject any further. Backing down, you wait for somebody else to speak in your stead, so that you can have a moment to reflect on what Mary just said.

Unfortunately, nobody else speaks up, so you have to ask something else on your own.

"...What are you going to do about the mansion?" Looking to the ground, you hope that someone would just interrupt and hijack the subject. "All those servants gone can't be any good."

"Your mother said that we'll call on a greater group of the servants that were away, once the police investigation is over. She said that this group shouldn't be as unreliable as the last was."

...If they aren't as unreliable, then wouldn't that mean that they could defend themselves against Yukari's magic? If that was the case, then it might raise the question of where such servants were being found. Ignoring this, you look over to the window, and notice the light starting to fade a little from the sky.

"Oh... It's getting kind of dark, isn't it?" Smiling, Renko looks somewhat wistfully at the slowly darkening sky. "...Mary, now that you're up... do you want to go with us to eat? Youmu can come, too!"

Youmu, who seemed to be nodding off a little, suddenly shoots straight up, her eyes wide open and alert. Her ghost half imitates this behavior, and Nyom once again follows suit as Renko smiles at Youmu. Mary looks a bit unsure, tapping one foot to the floor with no hint of patience in her being.

"I'm not too sure about that. I'd rather just stay here and read until we can go back to the mansion..."

Renko looks upset after hearing this, but not too upset. Glancing over at you, she smiles once more and tries to sell the idea to you with her eyebrows raising up just a little at a time, and lowering back down. Giggling, you hold one hand to your mouth and look back to the window.

"So, Aoi, what do you think? Mary should go eat with us, shouldn't she?"

[ ] "Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."
[ ] "...Youmu, you've been kind of quiet. What do you think we should do?"
[ ] "I think we should just leave Mary here, if she wants to stay here."
>> No. 16229
[ ] "Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."
>> No. 16232
[X] "Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."
>> No. 16237
[x] "Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."
>> No. 16239
[ze] "Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."

I'm sure Mary is totally not going to stab us in the back now.
>> No. 16259
[+] "...Youmu, you've been kind of quiet. What do you think we should do?"
Probably too late on this vote to do much good, but meh.

Youmu knows Yuyuko, Yuyuko knows Yukari. Her perspective on things is going to end up being pretty important, methinks. The more you know about the workings of Gensokyo and the power-players in it, the better. Also, Myon. You cannot ignore the Myon. Your Nyom demands it!
>> No. 16266
I'm behind on sleep and have some work that's keeping me occupied, but I'll update tommorow, and I'll have more time to update this weekend what with there being a holiday.

Please wait warmly until then.
>> No. 16300
"Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. We should go ahead and do it."

Renko nods, and Mary keeps herself from sighing. As the two of them get up and start to make towards the door, Youmu just looks down, seemingly unsure of something. Noticing this, you wait a second before holding a hand out towards her, inviting her to come along. Timidly, she takes a hold of your hand and stands up before following you out of the door.

The ride down the elevator is short, and the four of you pass up on the hotel's restaurant, since it seems just a bit too fancy for a normal get together of what should be "friends". Walking along in the streets, Renko spots a few restaurants, but most of them are rejected by Mary.

"...Hmm..." Rubbing her chin, Renko looks around before pointing one finger at a somewhat flashy building. "Oh, there's one! 'The Demon's Grill'!"

"...Huh?" Cocking her head to one side, Mary thinks about something for a moment. Most likely, it's about the restaurant's strange name. "...Oh, that's right. My father and I went to that place a few times. It was... Well, the food was okay, but they had more alcoholic beverages than they did options on the menu..."

"It's fine, it's fine!" Laughing, Renko nods reassuringly before giving Mary a firm pat on the back. "You didn't say 'no' to this one, so we might as well go, right?"

Mary silently nods, and you catch yourself doing the same thing as the four of you walk towards the restaurant. Stepping in, the first thing you notice is a large bar on one side of the restaurant, with a large plaster demon's face above it. Most of the people at the bar are large, muscular men... but one thing catches your attention.

"More sake, please!" Slamming a wooden cup onto the counter, a small girl with orange hair beams as she makes this demand. "I want to try every kind before the night slips away! Wahahahaha!"

The bartender, who has a nervous air about him, shifts his eyes around as he stands in one place. It's easy enough to read what's on his mind, which is his concern over this girl's apparent age. If she's already been drinking, then she must be older then you are... Though it's still odd to see such a small person swallowing large amounts of sake in single gulps.

"Ah... A drunk midget, awesome." Making an offhand remark about the situation, Renko nods before leading the four of you towards a booth, choosing your place to sit for the night. "Hey, Mary. How long did it take for a waitress to show up when you came here before?"

"It took just abou-"

"Hello there, may I take your order?"

Just as Mary was going to answer Renko's question, the waitress almost magically appeared at the edge of the table. Her outfit is obviously made to match the name of the place, considering how it's a leotard with black spots on a yellow fur. The outfit stuns you for a moment, but you quickly recover and get ready to place your order.

"I'll have... The 'demon and rice' plate, please."

Folding your menu up, you pass it to Renko, who says her order before collecting all the menus and watching the waitress leave. The three of them start to talk about something, which you think might concern you in some way... but you find your attention drawn back to the strange girl at the bar, who has now jumped up from her place and started to force other people at the bar to dance with her.

"That's exactly what he did, right, Aoi?"

"Huh...? Oh, right, right."

After suddenly agreeing with whatever Renko was saying, you find yourself looking at three blank faces, which all seem to turn a slight red in a quick manner.

"...I didn't know that Aoi was so daring..." Trying to hide her face with one hand, Youmu says this as her ghost half squirms about behind her, Nyom still copying what it does. "That's really... Oh, oh wow..."

"Ahaha... He's just kidding... right, Aoi?" Nudging you, Renko's smile leaks some concern through the cracks, showing you just how big a mistake you just made. "There's no way Aoi dressed like one of these waitresses before posing in the mirror for himself... Right, Aoi?"

"Ah... A-ah... No, I'd never do that!" Waving your hands frantically, you blush heavily at the mere though of wearing such a strange getup. "Don't even joke about that kind of thing! It's embarrassing!"

Renko just laughs it off, and the other two join her after a few seconds. Simmering down, you also start to laugh... and, out of the corner of your eye, you spot that strange girl again, now with three large men gathered around her. They all look angry for some reason, but she looks like she's far too drunk to care.

[ ] Ignore them, and remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[ ] Point the girl out, and remark on how strange her situation looks.
[ ] Just smile and laugh, and pay more attention to the conversation.
>> No. 16305
[~] If there's a girl like her in here (intentionally) who's tossing back liquor like that, the barman wouldn't be such an asshole as to let her be hurt. The last thing he needs is an incident.
[z] Keep her in your peripheral vision, but turn back to the people at your table. Remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[e] Pet Nyom at some point.

>>16300
>"There's no way Aoi dressed like one of these waitresses before posing in the mirror for himself... Right, Aoi?"
MustnotpostUsura
MustnotpostUsura
MustnotpostUsura

>> No. 16309
[X] If there's a girl like her in here (intentionally) who's tossing back liquor like that, the barman wouldn't be such an asshole as to let her be hurt. The last thing he needs is an incident.
[X] Keep her in your peripheral vision, but turn back to the people at your table. Remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[X] Pet Nyom at some point.

>Aoi dressed like one of these waitresses before posing in the mirror for himself
Oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man-
>> No. 16310
>"...Oh, that's right. My father and I went to that place a few times. It was... Well, the food was okay, but they had more alcoholic beverages than they did options on the menu..."

So it's somewhere that would be an expected stake-out spot.

[x] If there's a girl like her in here (intentionally) who's tossing back liquor like that, the barman wouldn't be such an asshole as to let her be hurt. The last thing he needs is an incident.
[x] Keep her in your peripheral vision, but turn back to the people at your table. Remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[x] Pet Nyom at some point.
[x] Draw on Renko's leg to signal the positions of your suspected observers:
-[x] Double tap with two fingers, for two people total.
-[x] Tap once with one for first person. Draw an arrow to the bar girl.
-[x] Tap once with two fingers for second person and draw an arrow to the waitress once she comes around again.
>Folding your menu up, you pass it to Renko, who says her order before collecting all the menus and watching the waitress leave. The three of them start to talk about something, which you think might concern you in some way... but you find your attention drawn back to the strange girl at the bar, who has now jumped up from her place and started to force other people at the bar to dance with her.

We're surrounded by Gensokyo people. I propose we call them 'G-men'.


>Just as Mary was going to answer Renko's question, the waitress almost magically appeared at the edge of the table. Her outfit is obviously made to match the name of the place, considering how it's a leotard with black spots on a yellow fur. The outfit stuns you for a moment, but you quickly recover and get ready to place your order.

Hiding-in-plain-sight is it, Sakuya? I could understand the Oni but...
>> No. 16311
[x] If there's a girl like her in here (intentionally) who's tossing back liquor like that, the barman wouldn't be such an asshole as to let her be hurt. The last thing he needs is an incident.
[x] Keep her in your peripheral vision, but turn back to the people at your table. Remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[x] Pet Nyom at some point.
[x] Draw on Renko's leg to signal the positions of your suspected observers:
-[x] Double tap with two fingers, for two people total.
-[x] Tap once with one for first person. Draw an arrow to the bar girl.
-[x] Tap once with two fingers for second person and draw an arrow to the waitress once she comes around again.
I like how you think http://www.touhouproject.com/border/res/15493.html#i16310 .
>> No. 16315
I'm going to go ahead and say it. The waitress is a useless background character, only important to show that Aoi and the touhous aren't the only people alive in the world. She isn't Sakuya, and Sakuya won't appear because this is a /border/ CYOA, not an /sdm/ CYOA.

I feel kind of like a jerk now, but I just had to say that.
>> No. 16317
>The waitress is a useless background character

Useless background characters should stay useless in the background, and not be in possession of teleportation, nor be clothed in a manner that suggests the wearer or the wearer's superior has a fetish for uniforms.

>She isn't Sakuya, and Sakuya won't appear because this is a /border/ CYOA, not an /sdm/ CYOA.

While Suika however is clearly /border/ material.

I see.
>> No. 16319
>>16317

...If you have so many complaints about the story, then just voice them. I'm all ears.
>> No. 16320
>>16317

>and not be in possession of teleportation

You're the sort of person that makes the writers think every anon is an idiot. She can't teleport. It's a fucking metaphor.
>> No. 16321
[X] If there's a girl like her in here (intentionally) who's tossing back liquor like that, the barman wouldn't be such an asshole as to let her be hurt. The last thing he needs is an incident.
[X] Keep her in your peripheral vision, but turn back to the people at your table. Remark that you'd only wear something like that if Renko wore one too.
[X] Pet Nyom at some point.
>> No. 16328
Writing now, though it most likely will not be ready until later on tonight.
>> No. 16329
>>16320
>It's a fucking metaphor.

I don't think you know what that word means.

What is, exactly, the metaphor here?
>> No. 16330
>>16320
>>metaphor
>>"... the waitress almost magically appeared at the edge of the table ..."

The word you're looking for is hyperbole.
>> No. 16334
>>16329
>>16330
Semantics and probably dickishness to boot~
>> No. 16337
>>16334

DURR
>> No. 16339
File 12433894976.jpg - (487.51KB, 823x600, It's a party night.jpg) [iqdb]
16339
Deciding that the situation will handle itself, you turn back to your "friends" while keeping the girl in your sights.

"So, is this place that different from the last time you came here, Mary?"

"Yes, it's changed quite a bit." Taking a quick look at everything she can, Maribel nods before looking to the drunk and then back to Renko. "They've done a real overhaul on the decor, and the waitresses didn't wear such silly outfits when I was younger."

After saying that, she smiles at Renko before looking back towards the strange girl, and you do the same. Staggering along, she waves her cup of what appears to be sake at the men, laughing her childish laugh as she does so.

"Nyahahaha! What's the problem, are you three some kind of damp matches? Liven up a little and party~!"

The three men merely shake their heads for a moment, before cracking their knuckles and preparing to attack the girl. Two guards step in, however, and grab two of the three. The third flies at the girl while the other two struggle with the guards, but his punch is evaded as the girl jumps up into the air and then lands on his now open hand, driving it down towards the ground with a crack.

"Ah... Aaaah! What the hell, that hurt, you bitch!" Holding his hand, which is now bleeding a small bit, the man swings at the girl again. His lunge is in vain, however, as the bite sized amazon dodges his punch and gives him a swing to the face, oddly enough knocking him down to the ground.

The guards, and the other two men, watch this with some level of fascination as the third stands up. His cheek now bleeding, he backs away slowly before motioning towards the other two. All at once, the three of them rush towards the doors with the two guards following after them, and the small girl merely stands in her place, laughing.

"Wahaha! It's been a long time since I fought such a big man, but he was such a wi~mp!" Pulling an odd gourd up from her belt, she takes a quick swig of it before walking back towards the bar. "Waiter~! More sake, please~!"

It takes you a while to realize that Renko is staring at the girl as well, having seen both you and Mary watching with some level of shock. Her head hovering next to yours, you take in a few quick breaths before laughing fakely, making her raise her brow at you.

"Um... Ah... Hahaha!" You rub your head as she pulls her own back, feeling extremely embarrassed. "Well... That was an interesting fight, wasn't it? Who would have thought that tiny girl could take on such a large man?"

"Yeah, that was something. I wonder what her name is..."

As Renko says this, Maribel's eyes suddenly shimmer with a familiar drive to explain things that only she knows. She's interrupted as Youmu's ghost half runs into her face, causing her to pull on it to try and get the thing to come off.

"That girl's name is Suika Ibuki." Taking Mary's precious chance to be the knowledgeable one, Youmu smiles a little as she explains. "Ironically enough, she's an oni with a strong love of alcohol. Despite her appearance, she's quite strong, and somewhat close to Yukari."

"Close to Yukari?" Cocking her head at an angle, Renko frowns a little at the thought. "Does that mean she's manipulative, too?"

"No, not at all. She's barely ever sober, so she's pretty horrible at scheming. The biggest threat she poses is misunderstanding someone and beating them to a pulp as a result, which is likely... To some extent."

Looking back over to the girl, it's true that she doesn't look intimidating. With her short legs, tiny body, and big eyes, she looks much more adorable than she does frightening. The only way such a girl could even be remotely frightening is if she had two or more large horns pointed at you, ready to charge.

"Here's your orders."

The waitress, once again sneaking up to the edge of the table while your attention was elsewhere, starts to set a plate down in front of everyone present. Maribel, who finally got the blobby ghost half off of her face, says a short prayer before eating her food, as does everyone else.

Most of the meal passes in silence, and before you could even realize it, everybody had finished their food. After paying the bill, the four of you just sit there, wondering what you might do next. Stroking Nyom's marshmallow-like surface, you listen to Renko and Mary as they talk back and forth to each other.

"...You know, I think there's an arcade nearby..." Rubbing her chin, Renko hums a little between her words. "I haven't been to one in a while, so it might be fun to go to one before heading back."

"I'd much rather head straight back. The mansion is most likely ready for everyone to enter it once again, and I'm anxious to see my library again..."

As Maribel says that, Youmu's ghost half threatens to ram into her face once more. She looks stunned until it stops in mid-flight, and Youmu gives you a thumbs up before giggling at Maribel's shock. You also laugh a little, confusing Renko as she looks between the three of you.

[ ] "The arcade sounds like a good way to spend some time. I vote for doing that."
[ ] "I guess we really should head back to the hotel if Mary is so excited."
[ ] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"
[ ] Excuse yourself for a second so you can have a word with "Suika".
>> No. 16342
[X] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"
>> No. 16343
[X] "The arcade sounds like a good way to spend some time. I vote for doing that."
>> No. 16344
[X] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"
>> No. 16345
[X] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"
>> No. 16347
[+] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"

Voting Youmu for the same reason as before. And what's up with Myon? Seems a little wild lately.
>> No. 16361
[ze] "I'm not really sure which sounds better. What do you think, Youmu?"

>>16347
Myon has found a friend~

>>16339
>she looks much more adorable than she does frightening. The only way such a girl could even be remotely frightening is if she had two or more large horns pointed at you, ready to charge.
...I only just now noticed this. Silly Nine. There's no way she would have horns. Girls don't have horns.
>> No. 16416
Updates?
>> No. 16447
Updaaaaate.
>> No. 16459
Sorry about not updating. Life has been pretty hard this past week, and I've been too big a whiner/wimp to go ahead and update. Please wait patiently until I can get myself to work.
>> No. 16629
File 124451755362.jpg - (109.49KB, 768x768, Youmu 005.jpg) [iqdb]
16629
"I'm... not too sure..." Considering the possibilities in your head, you once again turn your attention towards Youmu, who has brought her ghastly companion back to her side. "...What do you think, Youmu?"

"Ah-- eh?" Surprised at having everyone's attention shift towards her, Youmu looks around nervously for a few seconds before regaining her composure. "...Erm, actually, I was wanting to go home and get ready for bed..."

...That's right, you haven't seen where her, Yukari, or any of them are staying yet, have you? Her "home" must be temporary, unless they all go back to the places they came from once night falls... Which, seeing as Yukari normally stays out through the night, is likely not the case. Considering Youmu's words for a moment, you nod before speaking once more.

"Then, how about this? All of us can go to your 'home', and later on Renko, Maribel and I can leave. After we leave, Mary can go back to her home, and Renko and I will do the same."

"Hmm..." Now holding her head against one open palm, Renko seems lost in thought for a few moments before finally speaking out. "Yeah, I like it! In fact, you should stick around after we leave so we can show you our homes!"

"If one of us got into some trouble, most likely with Yukari, then it'd be best for us all to know where the others sleep, right?" Saying that, Mary nods as she continues. "I like that plan. As it is, I can still just stay at the mansion after we get there, as I already know where Aoi and Renko live."

"Then, it's decided!" Standing from her place, Renko laughs heartily as she lures everyone else out of their seat, you included. "Come on, let's get started on this home tour!"

With that, she takes off towards the door. It takes a second for you to realize that she's speeding on ahead with no destination she knows of, and once you have realized it, she's already gone out the door. All at once, the three of you rush out after her, and find that she's already made it a short ways off.

"Heeey! Hurry up, we need to get going, before we waste all our time! This way!"

Yelling that towards your group, Renko waves semi-obnoxiously, smiling widely as she does all of this. You can't help but smile a little as this occurs, though Youmu's reaction is somewhat different from yours. A smile on her face, she cups her hands over her mouth before yelling to Renko in response.

"That's the wrong way! We need to go in this direction!"

Before she even finished her sentence, Renko had sped back in your group's direction, quickly making her way to the three of you at the doors. An arm behind her head, she laughs once more as Youmu moves to the front of the group, leading the way to her "home".

After some walking, the area becomes more and more familiar. This is... the pathway to the graveyard? If Youmu is leading you in that direction, then she must have some other motive... Or, maybe something else she wants to show you back there?

It doesn't take much more walking to approach the graveyard. Judging from Renko's and Mary's faces, they're just as confused as you are about why you had been lead here. Something surprises you, though. Instead of walking into the graveyard, Youmu leads you up a small incline you had never payed much mind, and into a small path of trees.

This path is quick to open up, revealing a large, Japanese-style home. The bulky building, elevated off of the ground, has one lone cherry blossom tree growing in front of it, somehow retaining its petals.

"...Well, this is where I'm living at the moment. Please, follow me in."

After saying that, Youmu leads your speechless group into the large home. Removing your shoes, you follow her through a hallway and into a large room with a heated table, among other things. It looks slightly musty, but there is still a sense of freshness resting on every tabletop in this room.

It's then that you notice that familiar pink haired girl, sitting at the heated table. She glances over your group before smiling smalley, and turning her attention to Youmu.

"Ah, Youmu... I see that you brought some guests here with you? I recognize two of them, and one looks almost exactly like her. The main difference... Is the shorter hair, I suppose."

"Yes, Miss Yuyuko. What I had set out should be done thawing now, so I'll quickly prepare your dinner. If you'll excuse me."

Saying that, she turns back towards the door into the hallway, ready to leave you here with this friend of Yukari's. She may not be Yukari, true, but her presence holds some slight similarities... which unnerves you, just the smallest bit. Looking to Youmu, the selfish idea of following her into the kitchen enters your mind.

[ ] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
[ ] Follow Youmu out. For some reason, this woman is just unsettling.
[ ] Ask Yuyuko or Youmu if there are any other guests at this time.
>> No. 16640
[ ] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16644
[ze] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16652
[x] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
[x] Take the proactive role in conversation on behalf of your group, making sure introductions are made if they haven't already been.
-[x] Youmu referred to her as 'Miss Yuyuko' implying they are not family, so Miss Yuyuko is her guardian, her landlandy, or her employer? If the last, ask in what capacity Youmu is in her employ.
-[x] Note to Yuyuko that Youmu has displayed a laudable sense of responsibility and self-efficacy for one her age, and this is coming from one who lives estranged from one's family yourself.
-[x] Ask Yuyuko if there are any other guests or boarders in her household.
-[x] As she is presumably a recent resident of your city, ask how well she is adjusting to the life here, and how long she expects to stay. You, Ren, and Mary as long-time residents could tell her some of the more interesting places here, like favorite restaurants.
-[x] Ask if she (Yuyuko) has any other friends in the town.
-[x] Being that she is Yukari's friend, ask her if she's noticed any changes in Yukari's mood or behavior as consequence of her stay in your town. Your personal encounters, as well as your interactions with her servants and her other friends (mention the Prismrivers), have suggested that she's been under a remarkable amount of stress. For the good of all involved, ask if there is anything any of you could do as long-time residents, be done to relieve this stress.
-[x] If Mary or Ren make any untoward statements about her friend, interject that the events have put a remarkable amount of pressure on their personal lives as well; Mary for example has lost her father, her home, and some trusted friends, and has borne the weight of this almost completely unaided by friend or family.
-[x] If things turn uncomfortable, you can always check to see if Youmu needs any help in the kitchen.

Even if Youmu told us some of this already, they are still politenesses. She's Yukari's friend, so when pumping her for information, we should approach from an angle of sympathy.
>> No. 16715
>>16652
Long write-in is long, but... Eh.

[X] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16716
[X] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16807
[X] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16848
[Q] Stay here with Renko and Mary. Youmu shouldn't be too long.
>> No. 16867
File 124478860251.jpg - (390.30KB, 808x700, Yuyuko.jpg) [iqdb]
16867
Deciding that staying here with this other woman wouldn't be a bad course of action, you watch Youmu leave the room in silence. Taking across from the woman at the table, you take another look at her regal clothing, to examine it in detail.

Her robe appears to be heavy, and seems to have a butterfly pattern running across one section. The majority of the garment is a light blue, and the other parts are white, making for a bright and expressive thing for her to wear. As you stop observing her clothing, Renko and Maribel take a seat at the sides of the table.

"I see that you know my servant, Youmu." Bowing her head respectfully, Yuyuko sends her hair into a frenzy, flowing like water as it wraps around her head and falls back. "I must thank you for being friendly with her. She's been bound to me for some time now, so she hasn't had too many friends."

"Oh... Um, it's no problem?" Feeling caught off guard by her gracious words, you blush a little at the praise she gave you. "She really is a little awkward... She's one of the most responsible people I've ever known, though, so I guess that it's a fair trade-off!"

Covering her mouth with one exaggerated sleeve, the pink haired woman laughs and nods, gaining Renko's favor. As Renko joins in on the chuckling, you feel a little awkward, and you can tell that Mary feels the same way. The two of you endure this boisterous display, though, and ready yourselves for anything Yuyuko may say.

"You're a bit more entertaining than the other guests that brought themselves earlier." Folding her fingers, Yuyuko looks up wistfully, smiling slightly as she does. "They play such wonderful music, though. I suppose that's why I can enjoy their company so much..."

"Oh, are you talking about the Prismriver sisters? Those three are here right now?"

"Yes, they are." Quick to answer, Yuyuko nods her head. "It could be fun if we could get together at their mansion some time. I have to admit, having that one girl there really did wonders for their home. It went from being dusty and cracked to glimmering and new!"

If your suspicions are correct... This means that Yukari took Eliza for the sake of her maid capabilities. If that mansion you saw was the very same mansion, then she must have been hard at work... Or, she must have been working on places other than the foyer.

"So, do you have any other friends here in the town?" Cocking your head to one side, you give her your friendliest smile as you speak. "They all must be really interesting, right?"

"Ah, yes, yes. I have quite the collection of friends here." Touching her forehead, she looks up at her finger as she speaks. "There's Yukari, Suika, Satori, all of the Prismrivers... I suppose that's it as far as friends would go. Though there's also Ran, Chen, and Youmu, of course."

With all the strange people she listed as being present, there would be... ten people, including her. No... Thinking it over, it would only be nine people, seeing that Layla could only be dead. Noting this, you pause for a moment and think over how these people have acted, and which of them you've seen.

"...Have you noticed any significant changes in Yukari's behavior?" Being very blunt, Maribel is the first of the two others to start talking. "Ever since she's been here, she hasn't been the same as she had been in all of my dreams."

"...Ah, that's right. I've also wondered about that, especially since one of her servants, along with the Prismrivers, said that she has been acting strange lately. Is this true, or is she always so loud and pushy?"

For a moment, Yuyuko merely looks off at the door Youmu left through, which is when you notice something odd. On the walls, and on her robe, all those butterfly patterns are... "moving".

"...I suppose that she is acting strange. I've been concerned, so it's a good thing to know that I'm not the only one afraid for her well-being." Looking down, she puts her hands on the table before continuing to speak. "I think that... If you meet her, and she acts strangely, you should tease her and taunt her. Just acting like she's your dictator will do her no good..."

"Yeah... Things haven't been too swell for us, either." Propping her elbows up on the table, Renko frowns slightly as she looks at Yuyuko. "Mary lost her father due to this whole incident, and the three of us together have lost a close friend... So, I can't forgive your friend for what she's done. I'll help in any way if it means getting her to leave, though."

Yuyuko nods slowly, and then perks up while looking at the door, which suddenly slides open. Carrying an impressive amount of food on two plates, Youmu enters the room with a small trail of sweat on her forehead. Setting the plates down, she wipes her brows before turning her attention to Yuyuko.

"If this is a suitable meal for you, Miss Yuyuko, then these three and I have some places to be. I promise that I'll be back soon, though."

"It's fine to play with friends, Youmu! Stay out and play all you want, I'll be fine~!"

[ ] Suggest staying here to talk a little longer.
[ ] Stand up and lead the way out of the room, waving to Yuyuko as you leave.
[ ] Slowly get up so Renko or Mary can lead you out.
>> No. 16869
>"I think that... If you meet her, and she acts strangely, you should tease her and taunt her.
Wait, what?
>> No. 16870
[X] Stand up and lead the way out of the room, waving to Yuyuko as you leave.
>> No. 16873
[X] Stand up and lead the way out of the room, waving to Yuyuko as you leave.
>> No. 16878
>"I think that... If you meet her, and she acts strangely, you should tease her and taunt her.

Yes. It makes sense coming from Yuyuko, considering her manner of interacting with Youmu: If Yukari Yakumo is doing something you don't want her to, fluster her.

A remarkably absurd notion, but one which I don't doubt there is some truth to.

[x] Stand up and lead the way out of the room, waving to Yuyuko as you leave.
>> No. 16910
>>16878
Yeah, that might work just fine for Yuyuko.

Aoi, on the other hand, is not exactly a good, longtime friend of hers.
Admittedly, Layla --who is a friend of Yukari-- might be able to pull it off, but if she's not backing him up, Aoi will have to watch himself closely.
>> No. 16911
[x] Stand up and lead the way out of the room, waving to Yuyuko as you leave.
>> No. 16951
>>16910

We know from the magic Aoi that was able to use spontaneously to defend Kotohime that she is. Layla in fact told him as much before he woke up.

And I'm not sure if her relationship with her in this continuity was that friendly. Or, at least, there were bumps. Yukari only describes her as being 'strange' and possessing 'strange' magic, and she claims to not like 'strange' humans like Mary and Kotohime and the occult-empowered servants. Rather the quality of friendship that Yukari has displayed thus far is questionable at best. She loathes her 'daughter', and murdered her last lover as he tried to kiss her. Furthermore, Yukari doesn't speak happily when asked about her, and made an uncharacteristically humble admission that her role in the development of Layla's magic was 'small'. This combined with the recurring theme of contracts and bound subservience, indicates to me that Layla summoned Yukari in an effort to resurrect the dead, but the demon doesn't really grant wishes, it just takes orders. Layla remarked to Eliza that Yukari's methods were far too clumsy to bring about the 'perfect magic'.

Maribel's scratchings confuse the demon's wish-granting with the 'perfect magic', which I assume likely concerns true resurrection of the dead, being that it is a discipline that relies on the manipulation of souls. Or something else entirely, since Yukari remarked when Aoi used Layla's magic, it was something that puzzled her and troubled her, then claiming that Layla had done something devious (i.e., a result of the 'perfect magic' that apparently eludes Yukari).

Maribel may or may not be Yukari's daughter, but we know that he summoned her and kept her as his lover. Furthermore there are parallels to be drawn between Aoi's uncanny resemblance to Layla, and Maribel being misidentified as Yukari. What I believe happened in those videotapes, narrating her father's demise with no remorse, is the truth. The someone who looked like Maribel was Maribel. Her father had become obsessed with Yukari, such that when their contract was up, he demanded she leave something of herself behind. Whether this was a child, or some form of homunculus, is not known, but whatever it was, it was Mary. Combined with the other sordid details of the family cult, the rituals involving blood sacrifices and implicit murder, along with Maribel's frank apathy toward her father's death, the death of countless servants, and the murders whom Yukari had explicitly stated were along with Maribel's wishes, leads me to the conclusion that the Mary look-a-like was Mary, that her father was attempting to kiss her, and that she finally killed him after years of abuse, in a manner that could make it appear to your stepmother that it was Yukari. That's not entirely it, rather this was a part of a meticulously planned coup, using Yukari to kill all the servants that could be loyal to the former family head, a move that has mobilized the cult to action, Maribel now exercising ultimate control by the manipulating of her stepmother. This could also imply that it was not Mary's father that separated Aoi from his mother, but as the continuing result of Mary's desire to monopolize her stepmother's confidence.

Now we play a waiting game. The scope of Mary's project is unclear, she could merely be seeking power, or to use Yukari to wipe out the entire cult, herself included possibly. A recurrent part of the story the reader often forgets, and of which Renko is having to constantly remind Aoi of in this mess of intrigue, that of leaving Mary and the fantasy world behind, becoming an adult, and accepting his (male) identity as Renko's mate. Against this, Mary's prospects in finding happiness or reconciliation with what must be a monster are rather dim.

There are parts I don't get, like the seeming importance of Eliza and the promise made to not prevent her from 'being broken' as well as Layla's 'perfect magic' and what Aoi's connection to her is. But I'm hopeful that the story will continue to surprise me with its dark and compelling characterizations.
>> No. 16985
>>16951
>but the demon doesn't really grant wishes, it just takes orders. Layla remarked to Eliza that Yukari's methods were far too clumsy to bring about the 'perfect magic'.
Sounds sort of like Cheeky Angel.

>Combined with the other sordid details of the family cult, the rituals involving blood sacrifices and implicit murder, along with Maribel's frank apathy toward her father's death, the death of countless servants, and the murders whom Yukari had explicitly stated were along with Maribel's wishes, leads me to the conclusion that the Mary look-a-like was Mary
Well, no shit.

>that her father was attempting to kiss her
Wait, what?

>and that she finally killed him after years of abuse
...Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
This line explains a lot.

And goddamn, sir. It's people like you that I am thankful for, because some of this I'd forgotten, some of it flew over my head, and plenty more I never thought too deeply on.

I never really assumed Mary wasn't behind all this crap. The bitch has been guilty as sin from the start.
>> No. 17032
File 124495115051.jpg - (29.47KB, 400x310, Foyer.jpg) [iqdb]
17032
Standing up, you look once more at Yuyuko, who has spread out the contents of her dinner to inspect them, before moving towards the door. Giving her a small wave, you open the door slightly, and wait for a reaction. Noticing your gesture, she sticks her tongue out crookedly and gives you a thumbs-up.

Stepping through the door, you make your way down the hall with Renko, Mary, and Youmu in tow. After exiting the building, the four of you look between each other before looking towards the way you came here, then back to each other.

"...So, the plan is to go home first?" Not really asking for any confirmation, Maribel, taps her head and looks up at the sky briefly. "We should get moving if you plan to have her back here any time soon."

"Okay! Then let's not waste a second!" Yelling this, Renko charges forwards, causing the rest of the group to follow after her hurriedly. "Haha! Just watch, Mary! We're going to make record time, for sure!"

Not wasting any breath, the three of you follow closely after her, soon finding yourselves back in the city. It doesn't take too long to reach the mansion once more, and find that there are police officers leaving the scene and pulling down the yellow tape that had been an indicator for the potential danger of the mansion.

Maribel is quick to run ahead of Renko, albeit slightly. Running into the mansion, she leaves the door behind her open for the rest of you to enter through. Doing so, you find yourselves in the lobby, surrounded by the new maids and butlers, who all are wearing a pin with the family symbol.

"So, does this mean that the mansion is safe again?"

Holding her fists together, Maribel jumps up and down excitedly, talking to a figure up on the second floor. This turns out to be your mother, who slowly makes her way down the steps, nodding in confirmation. This causes more excitement in Maribel, which appears to be enough to suddenly hug your mother before darting off down a hallway.

"...Ah... Oh, my." Looking flustered, your mother brushes her dress off a little before turning her attention to you. "Ah, so you two came as well, and... who's that? Is that a friend of yours?"

"Yes ma'am. She's someone new to the school, Youmu Konpaku." Saying this, you urge Youmu to move forward, and she does so timidly. "We haven't known her very long, but she seems to be a good kid, so there's no reason to worry."

Looking the girl over, mother nods to herself before apparently stopping to think. After this, she lifts the rim of her dress up a bit and gives a curtsy, looking very lady-like to match with the appearance of the now blood-free mansion.

"I'm pleased to know that you're getting along well with my son, Miss Konpaku. Let me introduce myself." Resting one arm across her chest and another on top of that one, mother smiles as she speaks. "My name is Junko Han, the current head of the Han family. Pleased to meet you."

Taken aback, Youmu merely watches your mother for a moment before curtsying. Laughing lowly, Renko starts elbowing Youmu lightly, making her blush from the attention that has been placed on her. Mother watches for a moment with a smile on her face, before turning to a few servants and sending them off to watch over certain parts of the mansion.

You notice that she tells four of the servants to stand by the picture that has recently been hung, which shows that woman with the wicked smile painted on her face. Shuddering at a few thoughts that race through your head, you start to follow Renko and Youmu until a hand clasps your shoulder. Turning your head, you can see that it's your mother's hand.

"Aoi... Could you and Renko come with me? I have something to discuss in private." Bending down to whisper in your ear, she adds on to what she was saying. "It has to do with Maribel."

[ ] "It's fine if Youmu comes. She's just as involved in all of this as we are."
[ ] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."
[ ] "...Um... Could it wait for a while? I really wanted to see the pretty garden again, and we need to get Youmu home soon."

-----
>>16951
>>16985

~
>> No. 17071
[ze] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."

I think Junko suspects something, and we'd do well to listen. However, Maribel should NOT be left alone.

Also.
>Junko
Well, now we know where Aoi's trap genes come from.
>> No. 17083
[X] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."
>> No. 17089
>"Aoi... Could you and Renko come with me? I have something to discuss in private." Bending down to whisper in your ear, she adds on to what she was saying. "It has to do with Maribel."

[x] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."

For what it's worth, I don't think we should sell Mary out. She promised not to hurt you and your mother when by all appearances she could have done away with you both a long time ago, leaving herself as sole heir and head of the Han cult. Rather, we should attempt to convince her it would be better to step away from all this.
>> No. 17093
[X] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."
>> No. 17110
>>17089
Mary is a revenge-driven sociopath. The amazing power of friendship and love as used in a heartfelt speech is not going to help her back to humanity.

I mean, maybe she can be rescued. But really, once you start racking up a death toll, and don't appear overly concerned about or morally conflicted over the matter, you're kind of past the point of redemption.
>> No. 17125
>>17110

I understand that. However, this cult is something we know precious little about, and none of it good: It might be for the best that it's wiped out by Yukari.
>> No. 17139
[X] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."
>> No. 17249
[x] "I understand. Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back soon."
>> No. 17451
File 124536899415.jpg - (200.73KB, 592x623, Renko_051.jpg) [iqdb]
17451
"...I understand." As she moves away from your ear, you turn to face Youmu and continue to speak. "Youmu, could you go keep an eye on Mary for us? We'll be back in here soon enough."

Nodding, Youmu trots off in the direction Maribel went, her ghost-half floating around her as she runs. Watching her to be sure where she goes, you see that she goes down the staircase like she was supposed to. Nodding towards your mother, you follow her down the hallway at a slow and steady pace, making your way toward another room.

Something that strikes you odd is that all of the maids and butlers, unlike the previous ones, are wearing uniforms that are just like the one that Koto's friend had been wearing. Giving this no second thought, you continue to follow your mother as she ascends a staircase and makes a turn, before opening the door to one of the rooms in this hallway.

Walking in, you see that there's a desk, two bookshelves, two luxury chairs, and a file cabinet. Other than this, there's various things on the shelves other than books. Things such as a model ship in a bottle, some strange tag with a chain in one end, and a picture of some kind of mollusk. Taking a seat, you look forward as your mother sits at the desk.

"Sorry for making this look like a business discussion. I couldn't think of any other place to talk in, so I had to go with this room."

"It's fine, it's fine!" Laughing, Renko waves her hand as she speaks. "We all know what we're here to talk about, so there's no need to be too formal."

"...I suppose that you're right." A smile coming to her face, your mother nods. "Thank you, Renko."

Smiling and chuckling, Renko puts an arm behind her head. Your mother also chuckles, and soon you find yourself doing the same. After another moment of this scene, the three of you start to calm down so that Junko can speak.

"...Ever since the incident with Eliza and Mr. Han, Maribel hasn't acted quite the same." Averting her eyes, your mother drums her fingers on the desk as she speaks. "I hate to say it, but it seems very suspicious for her to have that sudden change of behavior."

"Yeah, Mary has been a little screwy lately." Propping her head up with both hands, Renko leans back in her chair a little as she speaks. "Then again, I can't blame her. She probably knows that we all suspect her for causing everything that's happened, and she might half-hate us as a result..."

Nodding slowly, you also think about how Mary usually acts and compare that to her behavior as of late. She's always treated you poorly, but even you would have to agree that she's been far too strange, and has earned the suspicion that's been placed on her.

"...It's for these reasons that I want you two to keep a close eye on her, to make sure that she doesn't act out, and to tell me if she does." Placing her arm at rest on the desk, your mother sighs before finishing her statement. "As a result, I would really appreciate it if the two of you stayed here tonight, and for the nights to come."

"...Huh? Why do you want us to stay so long?"

"...I'm afraid to say, Renko, that I've caught myself questioning Maribel's sanity. If she doesn't improve, I think I may have to send her away for a while..."

It's then that your mother's words really sink in. What she's suggesting is... to send Maribel off to a psychiatric ward, to try and get her mentally stable. That would be nice, to have her out of your life for a while, but... You probably need her here to get rid of that awful gap woman.

"I don't think you'll need to do that." Speaking up, you take your turn to talk before it leaves. "I think that Mary has been getting better... It's just a little, but I think being away from her family will mess her up more than being here with us."

"Yeah, Aoi's right!" Nodding her head, Renko smiles broadly as she speaks. "Mary is really unstable, and she needs a friend for now. So the most we can do is be there to help her, right?"

For a moment, Junko takes all of this in and considers it, seemingly unsure of what to do. You feel a bit nervous as this takes place, and for a moment you get ready to say another thing to support keeping Maribel around, but your mother speaks before you do.

"Alright, I suppose that the two of you are right." Smiling weakly, she seems to be embarrassed about her own words. "I shouldn't have suggested something like that... But, I still must insist that you two stay the next few nights here. Do you understand?"

[ ] "Yes ma'am, we just need to get Youmu to her home first."
[ ] "I understand. I still want to show Youmu where Renko and I are normally staying before we turn in, however."
[ ] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."
>> No. 17454
{X} "I understand. I still want to show Youmu where Renko and I are normally staying before we turn in, however."
>> No. 17455
[x] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."
>> No. 17477
[X] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."
>> No. 17521
[ ] "That works, but... Do you think that we could let Youmu stay with us, for tonight?"
--If yes:
[ ] Make sure Youmu knows the layout of the house.
>> No. 17528
[X] "I understand. I still want to show Youmu where Renko and I are normally staying before we turn in, however."

Having Youmu around seems like a good idea, but I have my doubts about delaying her return "home"...
>> No. 17537
[X] "I understand. I still want to show Youmu where Renko and I are normally staying before we turn in, however."

>That would be nice, to have her out of your life for a while, but... You probably need her here to get rid of that awful gap woman.
Aoi = True Neutral
>> No. 17538
[x] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."

~~~
>> No. 17539
>Something that strikes you odd is that all of the maids and butlers, unlike the previous ones, are wearing uniforms that are just like the one that Koto's friend had been wearing. Giving this no second thought, you continue to follow your mother as she ascends a staircase and makes a turn, before opening the door to one of the rooms in this hallway.
>Walking in, you see that there's a desk, two bookshelves, two luxury chairs, and a file cabinet. Other than this, there's various things on the shelves other than books. Things such as a model ship in a bottle, some strange tag with a chain in one end, and a picture of some kind of mollusk. Taking a seat, you look forward as your mother sits at the desk.

Mommy Dearest, what are you involved in?

[x] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."

So are we going to tell Mary that Mother sent us to be her Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Or do we wait for the execution?

I mean it's not like she won't realize it herself, considering how averse Aoi normally is to residing in the mansion and being near her.
>> No. 17540
[x] "That works, but... Do you think that we could keep Youmu here, with us? Only for tonight, that is."
>> No. 17582
Well, I think that'll be it for the votes. Considering the precious little space left in the thread, I'd say that it's about time for Thread 8. It'll be up later on tonight. In other words...

Writing now(ish).
>> No. 17583
>>17582
Hooray!
>> No. 17587
New thread is at http://www.touhouproject.com/border/res/17586.html
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