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File 124226154391.jpg - (233.70KB, 600x656, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16030 No. 16030
Life.

It’s a very fickle thing.

You start it with seemingly unlimited potential. But the passing of time is always there to give it a limit. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second; every moment that passes is a moment you could have been doing something. Knowing that, you should strive to make the most of your life, and make a difference, right?

Too bad so many people choose not to, wasting what limited time they have. They were given that opportunity to live as best as they can; some decide to waste that opportunity, while others become too entangled in that struggle to live that they forget to enjoy life.

That’s a real pity.

Because in the first place, the “potential” that they started with was much more limited. From the moment that they were born, it was decided that they would be one thing, and not another. Whether they were to be a human, or a beast, or a youkai was never their choice. It was the choice of the higher beings, those who exist in a plane beyond the mortal coil.

They put one more limit on the guys below. That is, their lifespan. Very few beings are exempt from the inevitable end, after all. It’s one of the higher beings’ jobs to calculate and predict when things die.

And I’m the one who has to go tell them they’re dead.

============

“You’re dead.”

“W-what…?”

“You deaf? I said you’re dead. You’ve been dead for about uh…”

I slipped out a cell phone, flipping it open to check the time.

“… three hours already. Actually, according to this, you should have been dead a week ago. Looks like somebody screwed up. Oh man, the guys at the office are gonna get a real chewing out.”

The “dead” person I was talking to was a boy, no older than fourteen at most. Tragic, really, his was a short life. I think he got hit by a car or something like that.

“… I see, I’m dead.”

Oddly enough, he didn’t really seem all that sad about it at all. Well, maybe the kid was depressed before he died; you saw a lot of those cases.

“Yup. Sorry to break the news to you, little man. Anyway, you’re coming with me. I’ll take you to the next worl- Woah.”

My cell phone’s screen flashed as it let out a loud beep. On the screen was a picture of another person, as well as their name and location. Looks like someone else bit the dust.

“Another one, huh. Sorry, kid, but I’m gonna have to do this quick. I’m severing your connection to this world. It’ll only take a second.”

I raised the large, imposing scythe I had been leaning on. On the end of the scythe’s handle was a chain that was wrapped around my right arm, which I wore mostly for looks, although occasionally they served a different purpose. The boy looked a little afraid, but that was understandable.

“Now, don’t move, alright…?”

I then swung the scythe, collecting the soul of the boy.

------------

The Grim Reaper. The Harvester of Mankind. The Absolute End.

So many names for a figure that represents Death.

But I prefer the term shinigami. I’ve been one for eons, after all. To be specific, I’m the classic type of a Reaper. I go around guiding the recently dead to the afterlife, sometimes by force if I have to.

The other guys have their jobs, too. Some work at the office, calculating and recalculating the lives of humans in the world. I’ve heard it’s a very stressful job, and I just can’t imagine sitting at a desk for thousands of years. Anyway, when they’re sure someone will die soon, they forward the information on the soul to us field-workers, and we go out and retrieve the soul. After we bring the soul in, it’s up to the ferrymen to get those souls over to Higan, where they’re judged by a Yama.

As for me, well, I was never a fan of equations, so even though I had enough merit to be promoted to work at Higan, I refused. It just isn’t fun. And besides, I found the outside world pretty damn entertaining, and I kept a collection of some of the stuff I secretly took from there, anyway. Still, people died pretty often, so I was usually busy running around all day. I thought things would stay that way forever, until the end of time.

I was wrong.
Expand all images
>> No. 16031
------------

“Yo, Lord Enma. You wanted to see me?”

I ran a hand through my hair as I sat down on a chair. I’d put my foot up for comfort, but I wouldn’t dare disrespect the old guy like that. He was damn scary when he was angry, and he already looked kind of pissed, so that was even more reason not to fuck around.

“You’re getting demoted.”

The old judge said simply, his back turned towards me.

“Is that so- wait, what?! Why?! How?!”

I damn near leapt out of my seat. I’m already working the bottom job, how the hell can I get demoted further than that? What’d I do?

“I don’t believe you have the professional attitude for the job.”

“Bullshit, you know I get the job done on time everyday. It’s not my fault if some idiot at the office screws up-“

“I know how efficient you are at the job!”

He turned to me, slamming his hand on the desk in front of him, shutting me up pretty quickly.

“I’m talking about your tendency to go into the outside world without authorization.”

Oh. Well shit, they found me out.

“You’ve been warned for this before. Twice.

I kept silent, scowling. There was really nothing I could say about that when it was true.

“Normally, I’d have you scrubbing the floors of this place for eternity, but you’re in luck. A special request came in from Yamaxanadu.”

“Yamawhaddawhat?”

“The judge of the branch of Higan that governs over Gensokyo and several parts of Japan. The populations of humans have been increasing in Gensokyo, so she’s put in a request for another shinigami.”

“… Gensokyo? You’re joking. You have to be joking! You’re sending me there? That backwater place?!”

“Would you rather spend the rest of eternity scrubbing my bathroom clean?”

“… Oh come on, Great Lord Enma! Have some mercy! I’ve never heard of a shinigami being transferred from divisions! I’ll be a laughingstock if word gets out!”

“There’s always a first for everything.”

“L-let’s discuss this over drinks! My treat!”

“You should know better than to try to reverse the decision of a Yama.”

He then smiled at me. He smiled. Why I oughta…

… Damn it.

------------

“Oh, you must be the new arrival.”

Sitting at a desk was a woman with green hair, wearing one of those fancy Yama hats. She was wearing a pair of reading glasses, pouring over a thick set of documents. Just my luck, seems my new boss is one of those stern and strict types. … Pretty attractive, though.

“… Hmm, well, I was hoping for someone who would be a little more cooperative.”

She frowned as she scanned the paperwork, no doubt reading about my unauthorized forays into the outside world. Hey, I didn’t choose to be assigned here either, you know.

“But I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. I believe some introductions are in order, yes?”

Yamaxanawhatever took her glasses off, folding them with one hand and setting them on the desk as she lowered the documents.

“I’m the Judge of Paradise, Shiki Eiki. I hope it’ll be a pleasure to work with you.”

She folded her hands together, looking at me expectantly as I scratched the back of my head, frowning. Bah, she should already know my name from the paperwork, but whatever. I’ll play along.

“… I’m…”

[ ]
>> No. 16032
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16033
[X] Kariya Koki
>> No. 16034
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho, Kito for short.
>> No. 16035
[x] You could tell right away she was one of the few who were true believers. The dangerous kind, who saw the celestial bureaucracy as a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself. It's no wonder that she was stuck way out here in the sticks.
[x] "J. Wellington Wimpy, the Cheeseburger in Paradise. You could call me Susan for all I care, Ma'am, respectfully."
[x] "I'm not here to have fun; Enma made sure I knew that before I got here. You do your job, I'll do mine, and we'll get through the next few millenia with a minimum of unwanted unpleasantness."
>> No. 16036
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16037
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16038
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho

Good as any.
>> No. 16039
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16040
[x] Steve Irwin
>> No. 16041
[X] Kitoshirozawa Sho

Well this is off to a good start.
>> No. 16042
>>16041

Yeah. Much better than the typical shit that infests this board.
>> No. 16043
File 124226977011.jpg - (11.74KB, 300x470, spark.jpg) [iqdb]
16043
[x] Steve Irwin
>> No. 16044
[X] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16045
[x] Kitoshirozawa Sho

And just the other day I was thinking how nice it would be to have a reaper CYOA. I expect great things from this.
>> No. 16046
Between the way that this character had no idea who Eiki was, and his considering Gensokyo to be backwater, I get the feeling that he is distinctly not Japanese. Therefore, instead of a Japanese name...

[X] Alden Arkwright

"Old friend of the chest maker."

Of course, by chest, I mean coffin. In this context, anyway.
>> No. 16047
>>16046

That name would work if it didn't make me think of "Will Wright" so easily... Besides the guy could have just picked the name out of interest rather than actual name.
>> No. 16053
[ze] Jimmy K

Simple, uncomplicated, unpretentious, no references.

The K stands for nothing. Just K, like Harry Truman's S.
>> No. 16054
[B] Alden Arkwright
>> No. 16063
[X] Tyrael
>> No. 16065
[X] Gig
>> No. 16066
File 124231671596.jpg - (257.73KB, 626x800, 0a62390d4c3a9e34520c956f9ec8cb53.jpg) [iqdb]
16066
[X] Kenken Ichigo
>> No. 16067
[Q] Alden Arkwright

Story looks great. I'll be following it with interest.
>> No. 16069
[X] Gig

I agree with not having a japanese name, but I really didn't see anything else that appealed to me.
>> No. 16070
[X] Alden Arkwright

Why not..?
>> No. 16071
>>16069
[x] Vigilance
>> No. 16072
[X] Kitoshirozawa Sho
>> No. 16073
File 124234295978.jpg - (299.10KB, 545x800, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16073
===============

“… Kitoshirozawa Sho.”

You know, if I had the opportunity, I’d like to say something smart or witty, but I’m all fresh out of wit here. Might be part of that “nervous breakdown” thing. So since I was stricken with a lack of creativity, I decided to just say my name and otherwise keep my fat mouth shut.

Yamawhateverhernamewas stood up from her comfortable looking chair, walking around to me. Her slender, lithe legs were of immediate notice to me. Nice. I’d rate them nine out of ten. Her skirt was pretty cute, too, and made for a killer combo with those thigh-highs. She was definitely easy on the eyes, not like that wrinkled, angry old guy I used to work for.

“Well met, Kitoshirozawa Sho.”

She said to me, extending out her hand. Now that she was close up, I could see that she was quite a bit taller than I initially thought she would be. I assumed her to have a petite body type from her, well, lack of assets, I suppose.

“So, what do I call you?”

I said as I took her hand into mine, giving it a half-hearted shake.

“Your Honor? Or how about Your Highness?”

“You may refer to me by my title.”

“Right then, I’ll call you Boss from now on.”

“That’s acceptable.”

She said, showing only a brief glimpse of a smile.

“Your work will officially start tomorrow. The ferrywoman in our branch is Onozuka Komachi. I suggest you acquaint yourself with her as well as Gensokyo.”

Letting go of my hand, she returned to her desk and sat down, snatching up her glasses and putting it on as she picked up a pen, concentrating on the stack of paper in front of her.

“Now then, I still have to fill out these documents for your transfer, so…”

You want me to scram. Got it. Raising two of my fingers in a salute, I walked out of the Boss’s office.

------------

By the way, all of the Yama’s offices were located in an enormous palace in Hell. It’s where they work and live when they’re not in Higan’s courtrooms. The shinigami quarters were in the palace as well, so it was the place we returned to after a day of work.

The interior was divided into ten branches, same as the number of Yama that presided over the world. The quarters for us were divided by those branches as well. To be honest, I never bothered to associate with anyone outside of my own division. The outside world was much more interesting, anyway. Humans were always changing. We weren’t.

As I walked through the hallway of the palace, I noticed a group of fairies flying by, messing about with their cleaning tools. I was kind of in a bad mood, so I yelled at them to stop screwing around. Still, even working in the sticks out here was better than the alternative. If it weren’t for this transfer, I’d be leading that group of fairies in cleaning the entire palace! Imagine that, Kitoshirozawa Sho, the Grim Sweeper.

Pretty soon I was standing in front of my new room. Looking inside, I saw… well, the same room as I always did, actually. Piles of junk lay strewn aside on the floor, mostly electronics that I managed to scavenge from the outside world that didn’t even work anymore. I gotta say: I’m pretty impressed at how accurately they stashed all the junk. Looks just like home.

I made my way past the unholy heaps of trash and opened my wardrobe. Yup, brimmed with a bunch of clothes as usual. I closed it again.

I kept a lot of costumes around, mostly black cloaks and coats and other stuff like that. See, it’s easier to convince someone that you’re the Grim Reaper when you actually look the part. And nothing quite says Grim Reaper like a long black cape and a hood, right? I did have a few trendy clothes from Shibuya, though. Who says you can’t be grim and fashionable?

Throwing my cloak to the mess of a floor below, I jumped on top of my bed, letting my body relax. I felt kind of tired, actually, but it seemed like such a waste to just sleep the day away when it was still so young.

[ ] I think I’ll take a nap. I feel pretty foul, and the only cure for that is a good sleep.
[ ] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16074
[ ] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16075
[X] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16076
{X} Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16077
[x] I think I’ll take a nap. I feel pretty foul, and the only cure for that is a good sleep.
>> No. 16078
[X] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16079
[X] Maybe I'll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.

Meet Komachi, hit on Komachi, get hit by Komachi.

Sounds like a plan!
>> No. 16080
[X] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
Might as well meet our lazy ass coworker.
>> No. 16081
[Q] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16082
[ ] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16085
[X] Maybe I'll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16086
Suddenly, I see this becoming a cop movie.
>> No. 16087
[X] Maybe I'll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is...

>>16086

1920-50s Noir-like?

Dick Tracy (Warren Betty film) with wacky thugs, film-noirish look and wild fights with characters firing danmaku in a similar fashion to the thompson submachine gun..?

or a modern thriller flick..?
>> No. 16088
>>16086

one problem, they aren't exactly stopping criminals as they are more or less farmers or to be more precise, "harvesters" of souls that are to be crossed over for judgement...
>> No. 16089
[Yeah] Maybe I’ll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is.
>> No. 16090
>>16088
...I have no idea what you're rambling on about.

But what I was saying was that it sounds like the setup for a cop movie: Experienced Cynical Older Cop + Fresh Idealistic New Rookie

Except that while Sho certainly seems to be a Plays By His Own Rules who is desperately trying to look hip and cool, Komachi's just a lazy ass.

Maybe they'd be more like those cops in Superbad.
>> No. 16091
>>16090

Yeahhhh never saw superbad so I can't comment on that, however I suppose it just boils down to semantics. "cop-setup = cop training situation", where as this is more of a "relaxed" professional working along side self-preferential coworker.

Sho isn't really a rookie, as he's just some shmuck who had the luck of being transferred elsewhere among other things who has a penchant to finding/getting outside goods.
>> No. 16092
[x] Maybe I'll go kill some time, talk to that Onizuka or whoever the ferrywoman is...

Komachi's a drinker. Are we a drinker? If we aren't then we should be.
>> No. 16093
>>16092
I think we'd look better if we smoked instead of drank.
>> No. 16095
File 12424405304.jpg - (388.14KB, 800x1132, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16095
===========

Bah, lying around like this is depressing. Covering my mouth with one hand as I yawned, I stood back up. Leaning against my dresser was my trusty old buddy: my scythe. I snatched it up by the chain attached to the bottom of the snath, letting the blade dangle in the air as I wrapped the chain around my right arm. I gripped the shaft with the same hand, letting it rest on my shoulder as I walked out of my room.

My scythe is my pride and joy. I polish it at the end of everyday. While the rustic and wicked look would add to a degree of intimidation, I preferred the more clean, professional look. It was the symbol of us shinigami, after all. Everyone carried one around, even the office workers and the ferrymen. And it’s just badass.

Now then, I suppose I should go pay a visit to whoever was in charge of bringing the souls over to Higan, huh? I think the Boss said her name was Onizuka or something like that. I’m pretty bad with names. I’m surprised I still remember my own name, actually.

With that in mind, I left the palace of Hell, ascending to the world above. My destination, of course, would be the Sanzu River.

------------

The Sanzu River.

It’s a pretty well-known river separating the world of the living from the place of judgment. It’s a pretty desolate place. The only ones ever around are us shinigami and deposited souls.

I also happen to hate this place.

It’s so quiet. And foggy. Seriously, I can’t see with all this mist around. It’s so thick you can never tell if it’s day or night. You never hear anything either. The river barely flows, so you can’t even hear the sound of running water. Just us, occasionally, when we decide we want to be loud.

I touched down on the bank, on the side of the living. Bending down, I plunged my hand into the slow current of the water, as a spectral form of a ruined fish passed through my hand. Everything in the river was already dead. Even the soul-devouring monster fishies.

If the living tried to swim or boat their way across, they’d sink right to the bottom, to either drown or be consumed. If they tried to fly across, they would be lost in the mist until they were forced to go back the way they came, lest they remain to wander around forever. No living being has ever made across to Higan.

Standing back up, I turned away from the river. Let’s see… I’m pretty sure this was her designated area, and I see her boat there on the bank. She should be around here somewhere.

… After about twenty minutes of aimless searching, I found her after taking a look inside of her boat. She was lying there, just snoring her troubles away. Fabulous, my new coworker is a slacker. Whatever, not my problem. Could be worse. She could be an old, ugly hag, which she wasn’t.

She was a woman with short, reddish pink hair, wearing a colorful outfit consisting of a blue and pinkish-white dress. Wrapped around her waist was a belt with a large coin tied at the center, which really helped to accentuate… the most notable part of her body.
She sure looked carefree, even though surrounding her was a bunch of souls that needed to be ferried. That kind of irked me. Why was I the one that got demoted when this one wasn’t even doing her job very diligently?

As I turned my gaze away from her drooling face, I noticed a small wrapping at the end of her boat. Out of curiosity, and totally not ill intent, I guarantee you, I opened it up. Inside were neatly packed rice balls. You know, come to think of it, I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Well, since she was being so defenseless, I may as well teach her a lesson…

I grabbed one of the rice balls, biting off half of it in a single chomp. Hmm… pretty bland. Could use a little more substance in it than just rice. I turned away, leaning against the side of the boat as I looked out to the river while chewing what I had in my mouth.

“Mmmnn… ah…”

Eh? Oh crap, she’s waking up. Quickly, I stuffed the rest of the rice ball into my mouth, almost swallowing the thing whole. Argh, I’m choking!

“Ahhh… that was a nice nap. Eh, who’re you? You okay there?”

Pounding my chest, I turned around. Damn, I nearly died there! Or at least, as close as I could get to dying, anyway. The ferrywoman was sitting up now, rubbing her eyes as she took a closer look at me.

“…Yo.”

I said, raising my scythe in greeting. But goddamn, that was embarrassing. First impression I make on her is nearly choking to death. But at least she didn’t catch me eating her lunch… yet.

The woman let out a loud yawn as she stepped out of the boat, carrying her own scythe with her.

“Eh? Another shinigami? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before… Did something happen?”

She said, walking closer to me, balancing her scythe on her shoulders. What, wasn’t she informed about me coming here?

“… I’m the new reaper here. Didn’t your boss tell you anything?”

I said, cracking my neck as I gave her a puzzled look.

“Huh? Ehhh, she might have said something yeah, but if she did, I don’t remember.”

Totally reliable, this one.

“Anyway, I’ll be working with you from now on, so I thought I’d drop by and say hi.”

“Oh. Well, nice to meetcha. My name’s Onozuka Komachi.”

Giving a friendly grin, she extended her hand to me, which I took and shook.

“Kitoshirosawa Sho.”

“Kitoshirowha? That’s kind of a mouthful, so can I call ya Sho?”

“Sure, why not. I hate it when people say all of it, anyway.”

Saying that, I grabbed a soul that was floating by near me. It was cold to the touch, but felt very soft. It started squirming in my hands as I tugged and pinched it.

“… By the way, shouldn’t you be working already? You’ve got plenty of souls here to ferry over.”

I said absentmindedly, tossing the soul away like it was a baseball.

“Oh, right, right!”

She put on a good natured grin as she walked back over to her boat.

“I was just putting it off ‘til after I had lunch, you know? Can’t work on an empty stoma- Wah!”

Komachi quickly jumped back into the boat, crouching down with a distressed look on her face.

“Something wrong?”

I said, looking as innocent as I could as I walked over to her.

“Ahh… someone stole part of my lunch!”

She exclaimed, looking tearful. Oh come on. It was one rice ball. If you get so upset, I’m really going to feel like crap.

“That sucks.”

I managed to say with a straight face. It broke my heart to do so. Really.

“Ah well.”

She quickly regained her spirits as she picked up the two remaining rice balls with her hands, jumping back out of the boat.

“Here, you want one?”

Komachi said, offering one of them to you. Urk. Way to further rub in the guilt, lady.

“… Nah, I’ll pass. I’m not hungry.”

“Well, alright then. More for me!”

She said brightly as she bit into a rice ball, happily chewing it. Well, she was certainly a bright and carefree person, wasn’t she? Still, I gotta wonder if she really doesn’t suspect me of stealing her food at all.

Well, now that we were introduced…

[ ] I should continue on beyond the mountains, right?
[ ] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16096
[x] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16097
[x] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16099
[x] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16100
[x] Compliment her good looks. And then strike up conversation.
>> No. 16101
[x] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16102
[ze] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.

>>16095
>Everyone carried one around, even the office workers and the ferrymen.
Can't help but think of the Dead Like Me opening credits ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM7xSSDd7TQ )

>And it’s just badass.
Sho sounds like he's about 15-17: Determined to look stylishly cool, no matter how cliched. Poor kid.

>>16093
What.
>> No. 16104
[x] Compliment her good looks. And then strike up conversation.
>> No. 16107
[x] Compliment her good looks. And then strike up conversation.
>> No. 16109
[X] I should stay here, and maybe strike up a conversation or two.
>> No. 16121
[x] Compliment her good looks. And then strike up conversation.
>> No. 16123
============

“Well, I don’t really have anything better to do. Need company?”

I said, brushing some of my hair out of my eyes.

“Suit yourself.”

Komachi shrugged, climbing back on top of her boat and taking a seat. I myself leaned against the boat, with my elbows resting on the edge.

“You seem pretty laid back about your work.”

I said, turning my head around to look at her, who was still eating her lunch. She waited until she had swallowed what she was chewing before responding.

“Yup. I get to choose my own hours. But because of that, I always have a lot of workload!”

“Because you’re lazy?”

“Hey! I worked hard to get up to this position, you know!”

“Oh?”

I couldn’t help but grin as Komachi proudly puffed out her chest.

“That’s right! I was a field reaper before a ferrywoman. I worked hard and hard, and when enough humans inhabited Gensokyo, Eiki-sama had me become the new ferrywoman for the region!”

She said, thumping her chest enthusiastically before reaching down for her last rice ball.

“And it’s paid off, too. This kinda job is really relaxing, you know?”

Komachi then bit into the rice ball, chewing on it.

“In other words, you worked really hard so you could slack off.”

“Gahahahaha! That’s a funny way to put it!”

You know, I normally don’t talk to my coworkers much, but this one I couldn’t help but think that it’s going to be really easy to get along with. And not just that, either. She’s pretty gorgeous. Especially her…

“Is being a ferrywoman really all that interesting? I never saw the appeal in it. I hate being confined to one place all the time.”

I said. Like I said before, I enjoyed the outside world too much to appreciate being stuck at a river or inside an office.

“It’s pretty interesting, yeah. It all depends on what kinda passenger is taking a ride.”

“Oh. You mean how the river changes depending on who’s on the boat?”

“Nah, that’s just one part of it. See, I enjoy talking with my passengers. I like to listen to their stories.”

“But souls shouldn’t be able to talk by then, right? Unless it’s gained awareness as a ghost. It’d be a pretty one-sided conversation.”

“That’s right. But see, while we’re ferrying across the river, the shining mist shows us the events of the former life of the soul. It’s not just for me, either. Its purpose is to give the soon-to-be-judged soul a chance to reflect on their life. A virtuous soul will see only a glimpse of their life before they reach the other end of the river. A soul that’s committed a lot of vice will see their each of their evil actions in detail.”

“Oh. I didn’t know about that.”

Then again, I didn’t care for much other than completing my own job and watching the outside world grow.

“Anyway. It’s why I enjoy doing my job. The bad guys always have interesting stories, so I ferry them across first.”

There’s probably something wrong with that, but I’ll be damned if I said I cared. Good for her.

I let out a loud yawn, and brushed away the water in my eyes as I stood back up. Today’s been a tiring day. As much as I hate to take naps, I wasn’t going to be able to stay awake for much longer.

“You heading back?”

I heard Komachi talking behind me. I acknowledged her with a wave of my hand.

“Yup, I’m gonna go crash in my bed. First day of work starts tomorrow.”

“Ah. Good luck with that then. We should go drinking sometime!”

“That sounds nice.”

Saying that, I left the Sanzu River, making my way back to Hell, and to the palace.

------------

Bleh. I can’t believe I actually ended up sleeping all day yesterday. I must’ve been more tired than I thought I was. I fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed, and didn’t wake up until dawn the next day.

Anyway, I’ve been spending the last few hours just sitting around digging through some of my stuff. Most of the stuff I had lying around didn’t work. They were either broken or out of juice. That was a damn shame. I missed having that CD player around.

It wasn’t until late in the morning that I finally got my first mission. Beep, beep, my cell phone rang. I flipped it open, inside was the photograph and profile of some aged old guy. Let’s see, his name was…

Konpaku Youki.

Well now, there was my first mission! But before I head out, I should make sure I look my best. New post, new threads. What should I wear while working here in Gensokyo?

[] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
[] Something casual and modern. Pants, shirt, jacket.
[] How 'bout the traditional Japanese style, with the hakama and robes?
>> No. 16124
[] How 'bout the traditional Japanese style, with the hakama and robes?
>> No. 16125
[X] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.

This is the only choice. Seriously.
>> No. 16126
[] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
>> No. 16127
I love this story. Keep it up, writefag.
>> No. 16128
>>16127

Second.
>> No. 16129
[x] How 'bout the traditional Japanese style, with the hakama and robes?

>Konpaku Youki.

Oho, this won't be easy.
>> No. 16130
[X] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
>> No. 16131
>>16129
Maybe it won't. If that's the case, we might as well be comfortable and prepared. We also might come off as arrogant, making it the classic cliche of a young man and an old master having it out with each other, laden with verbal abuse.

[x] Something casual and modern. Pants, shirt, jacket.
>> No. 16132
[x] Something casual and modern. Pants, shirt, jacket.

Grim Reaper attire can blow itself. We're incredibly lame trendy.
>> No. 16133
[x] Oversized black hoodie. Gold chains. Sunglasses on, always.

Reapers have sticky fingers.
>> No. 16134
[x] How 'bout the traditional Japanese style, with the hakama and robes?
>> No. 16136
>>16133

The mental image made me laugh.

[X] Something casual and modern. Pants, shirt, black hooded jacket.
>> No. 16137
[X] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
Classic style works best.
>> No. 16138
[X] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
>> No. 16144
[B] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
>> No. 16145
[] The classic Grim Reaper style, of course! Long cloak, hood, etc. Looks intimidating.
>> No. 16148
============

Well, can’t go wrong with the classic Reaper attire, right?! Since this is the first day of my job, I’d better make a Hell of a first impression in this backwater corner of the world!

Grinning with excitement, I leapt to my feet, nearly skipping over to my dresser. Slamming it open, I rummaged through the mess of clothes and found just what I’d been looking for. Actually, there were like ten of them in the wardrobe, but that was beside the point.

It was a long, black hooded cloak. The edges were intentionally frayed and tattered, so that it would look more sinister. I threw the thick cloak over the clothes I was wearing. The right sleeve had been ripped out, so that it was less of a hassle to wrap my scythe’s chain around my arm.

As I left my room carrying my scythe, I casually ran my other hand through my hair, and as it reached the back of my head, I pulled the hood on, and continued down the hallway, heading for the exit of Hell’s Palace.

------------

I ran into Komachi as I passed through the bank of the Sanzu River. Yup, I was right when I figured she was a slacker. She was chilling out in her boat. At least she wasn’t asleep this time.

“Hey there! Heading out for work?”

She waved at me as I landed next to her boat, flashing her a smile as I lowered my hood.

“Yup. And I see you’re not doing yours.”

“Ahahaha! That’s okay, ‘cuz I’ve got plenty of time to do it!”

She laughed. Even so, there did seem to be a lot of souls around. Did she even do any ferrying yesterday?

“By the way, you sure are wearing a lot of black.”

She said, eyeing my outfit.

“What can I say? I like the image.”

I retorted, shrugging.

“Seems to me like you need repairs done on your clothes.”

“It’s stylistic.”

“Heh. Well, see ya after work, then.”

I gave her a two-finger salute as I took off from the ground, soaring into the sky. Let’s see, Gensokyo was just beyond the mountains from here…

But while I’m finding the damn old geezer, let me explain a little about how a field shinigami works. There’s two ways in which we collect souls. One is through a natural death of a living thing, and the other is to collect the soul of an already deceased being.

We shinigami have the ability to travel on a plane different from those of humans and youkai. Our kind can go beyond what normal beings can see. Uh, let’s see, think of it this way: a being from the third dimension can see a two-dimensional being, but a two-dimensional being can’t see the third-dimensional being. There are some exceptions, but generally, it’s how we shinigami can travel around the world collecting souls without being noticed.

Actually, because we can do something like that, we can also do things like enter a human’s psyche. They’re most vulnerable while they’re asleep, so we usually enter their dreams to get closer to the soul itself. Once there, we harvest the soul. That is natural death. Of course, the soul has a chance to try to defeat us, but a human is no match for the shinigami. After all, we have access to the deepest pain in their hearts. Even the mightiest of humans can’t withstand a mental attack from us.

Of course, we shinigami aren’t the only things that can kill people. Natural disasters, youkai, and even other humans take lives. In the case of animals and youkai, when they die, their souls automatically return to the Sanzu River. But it’s a different story for humans: when they die, their souls remain where they perished. If left alone, they develop self-awareness and become ghosts that haunt the earth. Our second job, aside from killing humans whose lifespan has run out, is to collect the souls of these earthbound spirits before they become ghosts.

In the outside world, I ended up doing a lot more of the latter cases. You’d be surprised by how few there are of people who die naturally, as opposed to being ran over, murdered, or committing suicide.
>> No. 16149
File 124260718727.jpg - (112.84KB, 640x480, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16149
…………

Finally, took forever to find this old fart. Who’da thought he’d actually be in the middle of nowhere in some nameless mountain?

The guy was muscular. Had long silver hair and a short beard with the matching color. Looked like those stereotypical wise old master types in martial arts flicks. Except this one had a sword. Two of them, actually. What, is he a samurai or something?

I couldn’t tell if he was sleeping, but he was sitting down with his eyes closed, as if he was in deep meditation. Well, if he really is in concentration, then it shouldn’t be too hard to enter his psyche and deal with him from there.

… What? I can’t enter?!

“… I know you are there, Death.”

The old guy said, standing up and drawing his sword, glaring at me. He can see me. Oh, what the fuck. Not this shit. Not on the first goddamned mission.

This one was Enlightened.

Enlightened humans like Celestials and this guy had the unique distinction of simultaneously existing within both the normal plane of existence, and the higher plane. In other words, they could see and interact with us even when we kept ourselves to the higher plane. We weren’t able to mess with their psyche because of that.

How troublesome.

“… Yo, pops.”

I said with a grin.

“My eyes are telling me you’re waaaaay over your lifespan.”

Of course, even Enlightened humans had a limited lifespan. But it’s because they defeat the shinigami coming for them that they are able to live so much longer than regular humans. But… this old geezer was odd. He had already lived for hundreds of years without an extension…

Oh, of course. He’s not fully human. There was a ghost floating about his body. A half-ghost. Yeah, I have no fucking idea how that works, either. It just does. They were always the oddballs among hybrids.

“Now then, how ‘bout you just come along with me quietly?”

I said, pointing my scythe at him. He didn’t even flinch as he took a stance. Just using one sword, eh?

“I have no intention of dying now. If you wish to take my life, then come as you dare.”

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve had a serious challenger, but…

“… Alright, you asked for it! I’ll just tear your soul from your body then! Both of them!”

I leapt at the man, swinging my scythe wildly. Expertly, he dodged and parried each of my strikes. This guy was good, I’ll give him that.

“Hahaha! That’s good! But how long can ya keep that up?!”

I taunted, bringing my scythe overhead with both hands, as if swinging down an axe. The old man brought up to defend with his sword, pressing it against the shaft of my sickle. But the blade was slowly inching down in the clash! I’m stronger than he is!

“You focus too much on your target, boy!”

Wha- Urgh!

Something crashed against my side, sending me rolling on the ground. Goddamn it, he used his ghost half to blindside me with a tackle. I quickly got up to my feet, jumping away as the old man closed in, attempting to slash me.

As I dodged his attack, blue light erupted from my hand. From the light emerged several skulls, engulfed in blue fire, cackling diabolically as they shot off towards the old man. Heh, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth, geezer!

Bah, he quickly cut through all of them in several well-aimed strokes of his blade. He then dashed at me with astonishing speed, forcing me on the defensive and he now aggressively struck at me with his sword.

But… crap! It’s really hard to move around in a thick cloak like this! Ack, hey! The fabric is very delicate, you know! All the tears and frays were coordinated by me for maximum aesthetic purposes! You’re messing up my cloak!

As I barely dodged another cut that left a nasty gash in my cloak, I nearly tripped on the edge of it. Fighting with this on was not going well at all. Gritting my teeth, I prepared myself for another onslaught when… the old man calmly sheathed his sword?

“… Go home. You are no match for me.”

He said, turning away from you.

“What? Don’t screw with me, old man! I’m just barely getting started!”

“I’ve fought reapers before, and you are the weakest one I ever faced. You are only wasting your time. Return from whence you came.”

… This is pissing me off. He doesn’t think I’m a threat, is that it?

[ ] I’ll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[ ] Bah. Too much effort for a first job. I’m pretty rusty, anyway, and it’s going to ruin my clothes.
>> No. 16150
[ ] I’ll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
>> No. 16151
[ ] I’ll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
>> No. 16152
[x] I’ll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[x]Lose the cloak, Castlevania Death Phase 2 Style.

NOW WITNESS MY TRUE FORM AND DESPAIR
>> No. 16153
>>16152

This better not involve turning into some retarded skeletal dragon.
>> No. 16154
[X] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[X] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.
>> No. 16155
That's a pretty good story if I do say so myself.
>> No. 16158
>>16153

Y'know, aside from circle of the moon I've never enjoyed a Castlevania game in which Death phase 2 is some crappy dragon.
>> No. 16159
>>16158

forgot to add "boss fight" in there, 'cuz I do like Symphony, but the fight with death is crappy.
>> No. 16160
[x] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[x] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.
>> No. 16161
[X] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[X] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.
>> No. 16162
[x] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[x] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.

How many fighting techniques Sho has, aside from shooting skulls and regular slashing?
Maybe he can throw his scythe like Elly, considering his scythe is chained.
>> No. 16164
[z] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[e] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.

>>16149
>But… crap! It’s really hard to move around in a thick cloak like this! Ack, hey! The fabric is very delicate, you know! All the tears and frays were coordinated by me for maximum aesthetic purposes! You’re messing up my cloak!

>>16123
>New post, new threads.
...Oh, you.
>> No. 16175
Meh, scythe's got to be one of the most useless "weapons" out there. Sure, it looks cool but it's so impractical, we should get something more awesome instead, like a gun that shoots scythes.
>> No. 16177
[x] I'll make sure he regrets that. Time to cut loose and show him just how strong I really am.
[x] Lose the cloak, it's only gonna get ripped to shreds at this rate.
>> No. 16181
>>16175

Touhou Soccer 2.
Komachi's Higan Retour.

Not so impractical when it's swung like that.
This is Gensokyo after all.
>> No. 16182
>>16164

Scythes are tools for harvesting.

This one harvests souls.
>> No. 16186
File 124268437315.jpg - (58.36KB, 600x800, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16186
============

You know, just because I was playing around a little, this guy thinks he’s way stronger than I am? Hahaha, no. I’m going to show him just how sorely mistaken he is. And then he’ll really regret ticking me off.

As the old man began walking away from me, I raised a hand and pointed a finger at him. It began glowing with an eerie blue flame, and as quickly as a bullet, a single beam of energy shot out from it, aimed precisely at the old man’s back. He reacted in an instant, drawing his blade with a flash and blocking the pin-point laser using the flat of his sword.

“I’m not done yet, gramps.”

I said, grinning. The old man narrowed his eyes, although he made no further moves. Well now, the first step to starting to take this seriously would be to get rid of this unfit-for-fighting cloak. Now, I could just take it off normally, which would be boring! Or, I can do it the badass way.

Gripping my cloak with my hand, I dramatically ripped it all away from my body, tossing it into the air behind me while glaring at the old man. Oh man, that was perfect. A++. Shame about the cloak, but I have like twenty of those anyway.

As the cloak landed with a heavy thud behind me, I took a moment to crack my neck and stretch out my legs. Now I was ready for some seriously ass-kicking.

“You know. Funny you should say that I’m the weakest reaper you’ve fought.”

I said, putting on the best shit-eating grin I could manage. While it may be true that I was a little out of shape…

“I’m actually one of the oldest around, boy.”

Dropping the grin, I kicked off from the ground and flew into the air, wielding my scythe with both hands. With great force, I brought it down, and simultaneously, several pillars of light descended from the sky, scorching the area below me. The old man weaved in and out of the pillars as I slowly released the chain around my arm.

With the chain fully unwrapped, I turned the scythe upside down, and let it slip through my hand, now holding it by the middle of the chain instead. I began spinning the entirety of the scythe. The rotation became so quick that it seemed to resemble a circular blade.

Of course, that guy wasn’t standing around just waiting for me to attack. After escaping the pillars I had sent to occupy him, he flew into the air. He made a slashing motion, sending a crescent shaped blast of magic at me. Useless. As it closed it on me, I reached out with my other hand, casually backhanding the blast away from me.

My turn.

Still spinning the scythe, I rushed forward, at a speed that surprised even the old man. I threw the chain with tremendous strength, and the circular blade rushed forward, cutting through the current of the air to reach its target. But… the chain wasn’t long enough to reach the old man.

Which is why my power comes in handy. It was power of all shinigami, after all: the manipulation of length. We all have different uses for it, but it’s a universally shared power nonetheless. The ferrymen use it to control the distance of the Sanzu River…

Us reapers use it to control the length of one’s lifespan. Whether we use it to extend or deduct from it… but either way, it’s a lot of hassle, and it puts more workload on the poor guys working at the office, so I usually never bothered with it, and never needed to, since I almost never have to fight someone who can beat reapers.

But it’s very useful for extending, say, the length of a chain.

The spinning scythe missed the old man by a frighteningly close margin, almost nicking his shoulder as it flew past him. He had no time to rest, either, as I gave my chain a hard tug.

“Aargh!”

The old man cried out as the returning scythe dug into his back, leaving a nasty gash along it. Tch, it wasn’t deep enough to retrieve his soul. With the scythe back within comfortable range, I began spinning it again, and threw the spinning blade at him again.

He was better prepared this time, as he rushed past the scythe. Hah, so he means to try to take me on at close range while I’m unarmed, is that it? I didn’t flinch as he flew at me, swinging his sword down. Quickly letting go of the chain, I grabbed the hilt-guard of his sword with both hands, stopping it from cleaving me in two. Reaching back, I delivered a headbutt, seeing as how both us’ hands were occupied, sending him reeling back as I dived down and grasped the falling chain.

His ghost-half wasn’t standing around being useless, either. As the human body fell back, the ghost took on the old man’s form, right down to replicating his sword. I retrieved my scythe just in time to block a strike from the ghostly old man. As we were locked in a clash of blade-against-shaft, two more apparitions protruded themselves from the back of the ghostly body, making for a total of three phantom copies.

Heh, you really think more is better, old man?

As the three ghosts closed in to attack me, I dove down with a sweeping kick at the middle ghost, knocking him out of the clash. Holding onto the bottom of my scythe with my other hand, I swung the shaft so that the chain lengthened itself, coiling around the body of the second ghost. Spinning around, I smacked away the third ghost and the first ghost using the body of the second. Now that they were grouped together, I raised my hand, calling down a concentrated pillar-shaped blast on the ghosts, returning it to a singular, formless being and incapacitating it.

Now there was just one target left. He had a grim look on his face. Finally starting to fear me, eh, old geezer? Cackling madly, I rushed at him without a second thought, relentlessly attacking him.

“What’s wrong?! I thought I was no match for you! Hahahaha! COME ON, DANCE SOME MORE!”

I laughed, and I’m sorry to say I kind of lost composure there. It just felt so satisfying to show my power to someone who underestimated me. I hadn’t felt like that for dozens of years!

I gave a hard punch to the old guy’s gut, knocking the air out of him. Grinning manically, I fired a blast from the same hand, blowing him far away. Heh. This was almost too easy! He’s not even putting up a good fight anymore! I’ll give him a moment of reprieve.

“… It appears I was mistaken. You are a powerful foe indeed…”

The old man said calmly, despite there being a large scorch mark on the middle of his body. Haha, putting on the aloof act even to the end, huh? Well, I’ll respect that. Hm? He still intends to fight. The old man drew his second katana, wielding both of them in his hands.

“But I will not lose.”

Heh. Haha. Hahahahaha!

“You just don’t give up, do you, crap geezer?”

I said, mockingly sighing, before breaking into a grin as I shot off toward him with my scythe at the ready.

“Doesn’t matter how many swords you use!”

I yelled. The old man assumed a stance, with both of his swords poised for a counterattack.

YOU’RE FINISHED!
>> No. 16187
------------

“Hey there, finished with work?”

Komachi greeted me as I returned to the Sanzu River. My shift, as well as the shift of those other daytime shinigami whose names I never really bothered to remember, ended now.

“Yup.”

I said. I was totally beat. I hadn’t expended so much energy in a single day for a very, very long time.

Holding up my scythe, I released all of the souls that it had harvested, which wasn’t very many at all. The population of Gensokyo, after all, was much smaller than the outside world. There really weren’t that many souls to collect. The formless white beings flew out of the blade, coming to rest on the bank of the river.

“Weren’t you wearing a cloak when you left?”

“It was too good for this sinful earth.”

I said, shaking my head sadly. Classic reaper cloak, you shall be missed… and replaced.

“So, how was your first day of work?”

Komachi asked, smiling brightly.

“Terrible.”

“Mind telling me about it? Oh, but you looked tired. If you want, it can wait ‘til we’re back in Hell’s districts. We still have to get acquainted with a drink, after all.”

[ ] “Nah, I’ll tell you right now.”
[ ] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”
>> No. 16188
[O] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”
>> No. 16189
[x] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”
>> No. 16190
[x] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”
>> No. 16194
[x] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”

That was pretty awesome. Though, dick move on cutting out the best part.

I hope it gets exposition later.
>> No. 16195
[X] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”
>> No. 16207
[x] “Nah, I’ll tell you right now.”
>> No. 16216
[X] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”

Can't possibly go wrong
>> No. 16217
[†] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later."


Yay~ Machi-machi Route!
>> No. 16220
[Q] “Okay, let’s go with that. See you later.”

Dang, Sho is creepy when he lets loose.
>> No. 16221
>>16220

Creepy? Try awesome.
Since he isn't named Gig, this is the next best thing in my books.
>> No. 16224
>>16221
in b4 he somehow acquires Gig as a nickname.
>> No. 16230
>>16224

This is most certainly a sho' fine gig he's got going here.
>> No. 16231
File 124279277272.png - (16.92KB, 556x762, 1234938979418.png) [iqdb]
16231
>>16230
>> No. 16236
File 124281130255.png - (14.85KB, 343x284, what.png) [iqdb]
16236
>>16230
>> No. 16244
File 124285916574.jpg - (56.49KB, 800x523, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
16244
============

“That sounds like a good idea. Okay, let’s go with that.”

I said, covering my mouth as I let out a yawn. Sheesh, I slept most of yesterday away and I’m still this tired? I must be really out of it.

“I’ll drop by your room once I’m finished with work.”

Komachi said, grinning.

“You sure you’re gonna be able to find it?”

I asked, rubbing my eye. Well, the shinigami quarters weren’t exactly huge, anyway, especially compared to the mess you were used to back in the main judicial district.

“Probably.”

“Well then, see you.”

Giving her the usual two-finger salute, I lazily drifted up into the air, heading back to Hell.

After reaching the door to my room, I slid the door open with my foot. Navigating through the piles of junk on the floor, I made my way to my bed, tossing aside the scythe and chain as I practically collapsed on top of it. Haah… how tiring. That old man sure gave you a hell of a trouble. Ugh, and you’re going to have to process those forms and get ‘em to the office. What a pain in the ass.

Sighing, I stared up at the ceiling, just basking in the total silence of the room, aside from the sound of my own breathing. Slowly, I closed my eyes…



Did I understand mortality?

Even though I take away lives, did I really understand what it was that I was doing?

After all, I can’t die. Humans can. So did humans understand that they were mortal?

No.

Then is it because I can’t die that I can claim to know death?

I don’t know.

But I can see the remaining time of humans. I can see when they will die. They all… had such short lifespan. But despite that, they worked so hard to progress as a race, going beyond their physical limitations.

Even though only death awaited them at the end of their lives.

I wonder…

Back then, what was it that I felt when I watched those humans, knowing when their lives would run out?

Was it pity…? Or…

I can’t remember.

Would humans continue to progress even if they all knew of their own limited lives?



Knock, knock, knock.

“Heeeey! You in there, Sho?”

Komachi’s voice woke me up, and I groggily sat up on my bed. Stifling a yawn, I stood up, scratching my head.

“I’m here.”

I replied as I stepped over the mess on the floor, sliding the door open.

“Evening!”

Komachi greeted me cheerfully. Working hours were over, so she wasn’t carrying her scythe around at this time.

“Nice bed hair.”

She added. Oh, shoot, I should have taken a look at the mirror before opening the door. I quickly hurried over to the looking glass, patting down the hair that was sticking up at the back of the head down while simultaneously styling my bangs up.

“Ahaha! I like your room! Looks kind of like mine!”

“Ah! Hey, hey, hey. I didn’t tell you to come in.”

I said with a tone of annoyance, although I didn’t look away from the mirror as I watched her step in the room.

“It’s okay, it’s okay! I mean, we’ve known each other for a whole day already. No secrets between us!”

She laughed as she looked over some of the stuff lying around the floor.

“Sheesh, you sure are keeping a lot of weird things around.”

Komachi commented as she picked up one of my old CD players. Well, none of them worked anymore, anyway, so I didn’t particularly care if she touched them. Finally satisfied with my hair, I turned around.

“Yo, hey, a tour of my room wasn’t part of our plans.”

I said coolly, putting on a grin as I headed out the door, motioning her to follow.

“Aha, you’re right.”

Komachi smiled back, gently putting down the CD player as she followed me outside. You know, now that she was walking by my side, I noticed that she was fairly tall for a woman. I only had maybe half a head’s lead on her, and I have confidence in my height.

We made our way out of the palace of Hell, heading out into to what could only loosely be called a small city. Here, there were various restaurants, pubs, and entertainment centers for shinigami. Even Hell had to make money somehow, after all. Most of the employees in those places were either fairies or souls that weren’t quite evil enough to receive harsher punishments other than light servitude.

Speaking of Hell, it was like I said before: very desolate. The sky above was a dark nothing, and the streets were lit only by torches and occasional will o' wisps. I didn't like it much, but it was the only city for us.

“Anyway, let’s go eat something. You have a place in mind, or should I lead?”

Komachi said, looking at me for an answer.

[ ] "I know a place or two."
[ ] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16245
[ ] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16246
[x] "I know a place or two."
>> No. 16247
Considering he's usually a loner of sorts, try something different...

[X] "We'll go with your tastes."

What better way to learn about some one else..?
>> No. 16248
File 12428661933.jpg - (263.94KB, 1280x960, 1223277514584.jpg) [iqdb]
16248
[X] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16250
[x] "I know a place or two."

Chances are, we really do know a place or two. Some really good places. Probably places with cheerful, drunk apparitions and really good, cheap food. Sho seems like the type of guy for Mom and Pop restaurants, which I'm sure Komachi would enjoy. Especially if Sho knows the owners, who act like grandparents and dote over him bringing a girl there, as well as the friendly customers, thinking she's his girlfriend, which leads to a rather embarrassing meal.

Maybe I'm thinking into this too much, caught in a cliche... or maybe I'm hinting at the writefag. Who knows, who knows~
>> No. 16251
Sho has expressed his feeling that Gensokyo is the boondocks. Where would he know to go?

[X] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16252
>>16251
We transferred departments, not after-lifes. There's only one hell.
>I didn't like it much, but it was the only city for us.
>> No. 16253
[X] "We'll go with your tastes."

hooray for komachi
>> No. 16254
[X] "Lets go with your tastes."
[x]Though I could really go for some hotpods right about now.
>> No. 16255
[X] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16256
[X] "We'll go with your tastes."
>> No. 16257
[ze] "We'll go with your tastes."

I was almost going to vote for
>[x] "I know a place or two."
but then I remembered how immature Sho seems to sometimes be, emotionally, and figured his taste in food would mirror that.

>>16244
A tripcode is added.
>> No. 16261
[x] "We'll go with your tastes."
Is it just me, or does the protagonist come out as an insufferable, self-centered and vain prick to anybody else?
>> No. 16262
>>16261
Yeah, he is. I think that's intentional, though.

I sure hope it is, anyway. Cantus, you feel like talking about this, or were you completely unaware of it?
>> No. 16263
>>16261
Here's hoping to him getting better.
>> No. 16265
>>16261
Well, considering he is "one of the oldest" reapers, who has done his job perfectly but gets demoted for forgetting to have authorization to leave for the outside realm thrice(which, let's face it, was probably three times over the span of a millenium or more; those Yama take the job far too seriously) and gets sent to a place he hates. From there, he finds he has a lazy co-worker; has to fight an Enlightened on his first day of work at the new job, costing him a cloak, and he being so old, probably hasn't had a good fight in years(or had someone insult him so brazenly) so goes temporarily mad - all that and we still don't know if he even succeeded against Youki or not.

Now wouldn't you be slightly pissed-off if you were that guy? Self-centered, maybe. But I'm thinking he has more of a casual, laid-back personality. Just a senior shinigami trying to take it easy~
>> No. 16268
>>16265
Okay, sure.

But he still has the outlook of an attention-seeking rebellious teenager.
>> No. 16277
>>16268
Don't most Touhous on this site?
>> No. 16278
>>16277
No, not really. In this protagonists case the immaturity almost <i>oozes</i> from the text, if this is the intended characterisation, then good, but if it's not there's definitely something wrong. And even if it's intended, it's somehow not very appropriate a characterisation for a shinigami, but it's definitely a matter of taste and thus nothing I couldn't live with.
>> No. 16279
>>16268

I got more of the impression that there was a point where he felt there was a certain level of respect he deserves. There are as many adults as there are teenagers that would react the same way. Being goaded to the point of proving themselves, whether it's to their benefit or not.

To qoute one of Biff's incarnations,

Griff Tannen: "What's wrong, McFly. Chicken?"

Sho was basically goaded/embarrased enough, intentionally or not to go all out.
>> No. 16281
Yes, I am aware that Sho is a jerkass.

============


“We’ll go with your tastes today.”

“Alright, then. Leave it to me! I know a place that serves some great food and drink.”

Komachi said with enthusiasm. Well, it’s probably a place I already know, anyway. It’s not like this part of Hell was all that big. I heard the Netherworld’s grown a lot bigger than it some time ago.

“Lead the way.”

Cheerfully, Komachi took charge and began walking ahead of me. Her good nature was almost infectious, I’d say. With a slight smile on my face, I walked after her.



A few minutes later, we were standing in front of a noodle stand, with comfy-looking stools. Huh. I don’t think I knew about this one. Or was it just that I couldn’t remember? Well, doesn’t really matter.

“Huh? Looks like old pops isn’t around.”

Komachi said, looking into the stand’s mini-kitchen.

“Oh well, guess we’ll have to wait.”

She sat down on one of the stools, motioning for me to take a seat next to her. I started walking to take her up on her offer, when suddenly-

“Oi! It’s you again! I told you not to ever come back, you little shit!”

Eh?

Turning around, I saw an old man’s fist flying at me, punching me hard in the face with a loud crack. Wait, I recognize this guy’s voice.

“Screw you old man, I’ll do what I want!”

I yelled back, grabbing hold of the man’s arm as he attempted to punch me with his other hand. Turning around, I threw him over my shoulder, sending him crashing into the noodle stand.

“N-not bad… you’ve improved.”

The old man said with dramatic tension in his voice, slowly getting up while wiping blood from his mouth and nose.

“You two know each other?”

Komachi asked, as the owner of the noodle stand turned his head to her, noticing her there for the first time.

“Oh, Miss Machi! Didn’t see ya there. Here for the usual? I’ll get to it right away.”

His attitude did a complete 360 as he stooped over, rubbing his hands together. He quickly hurried into the kitchen of his stand, as his facial expression became far more friendly. Tch, what a dirty old man.

Walking over to the stand, I kicked up one of the stools that hard fallen over when I threw the old man, straightening it up before taking a seat on it.

“Yo, we’re customers. Get us some noodles, noodle man.”

I said with a sneer.

“Oh, you shut up. You’re only being served because you’re with Miss Machi.”

The old man grumbled, tossing a menu at me. I ordered the one that looked the most delicious, with a ton of meat and kamaboko on top.

“So what’s the deal with you and the old man?”

Komachi asked.

“Oh, him. I’m the one who went to reap his soul. I had to drag him literally kicking and screaming. Met him in Hell a few years later, and told him his noodles tasted like crap.”

“They taste fine to me.”

“Huh. Well, it’s been a good hundred years. Guess even this guy might’ve improved in that time.”

“Here you go.”

The old man returned, with two bowls of noodles in his hands. Well, even I had to admit, they certainly looked appealing. Komachi took her chopsticks, digging in.

“Well, I’ll be damned. This is actually pretty good.”

I said, after slurping up some of the noodle. It was definitely a lot better than the guy’s first attempt at this business, at the least.

“Told ya so. Now let’s finish ‘em before the noodles expand.”



“Hey, mister. Get us some sake!”

“Right away, Miss Machi!”

“Hey, old man, you got any snacks that go good with a drink?”

“I’ve got dried squid. You want some?”

“Yeah.”

Once we were done with the noodles, we went straight to drinking. The old man slammed a large bottle of sake between us, and gave us two cups. Komachi reached out and opened the bottle, pouring it into your cup, and then hers.

“Let’s have a toast to your new job here, eh?”

She said, holding out her toast.

“If you insist.”

Kanpai!

After touching our cups together, I drained the glass in one go, and slammed the cup on the table in front of me as Komachi did the same.

“So, you going to tell me what happened today? I love good stories, you know.”

She said, grinning as she poured more of the sake into her cup, taking a small sip before waiting for your reply. Hah, betcha she’s been waiting to hear the story the whole day. Well, I can’t say no to that, can I?

[ ] Let’s embellish the story a little. Add more details that make me look good.
[ ] Tell it like it was.
>> No. 16282
[x] Tell it like it was.

I like the protagonist being a dick, makes him "faulty" and when things go wrong for him it gives a nice sense of schadenfreude. If he were a completely likeable guy, and one of the senior reapers, he wouldn't really be in this mess.
>> No. 16283
[x] Tell it like it was.
>> No. 16284
[x] Tell it like it was.
>> No. 16285
[x] Tell it like it was.
>> No. 16286
[x] Tell it like it was.

I'd like to know what happened as well.
>> No. 16287
[x] Let’s embellish the story a little. Add more details that make me look good.
>> No. 16288
[x] Tell it like it was.
>> No. 16289
>>16278

Talking about Sho, I did get the impression that he was just like a character from another CYOA during the fight against Youki. Hmm...
>> No. 16290
[x] Let’s embellish the story a little. Add more details that make me look good.
>> No. 16291
[x] Tell it like it was.
>>16282
There's a line between being a dick, and being childish though, and I'm pretty sure Sho's crossed that a couple of times.
>> No. 16292
[X] Tell it like it was.

For all the faults he has, let Sho have one good moment.
>> No. 16313
[x] Update it like it was.
>> No. 16314
============

Well, the whole stupid day’s been really bugging me, so this was a good chance to rant and get everything off my chest. Taking a quick swig from my cup, I scowled as I began to speak.

“Well see, turns out the first freakin’ target I’m sent after is some old hermit guy. Enlightened and all, you know?”

I said, slamming the cup on the table in front of me as I tore off a piece of dried squid leg with my teeth.

“And he wasn’t even human. Well, he was part human, anyway. You know those weird hybrids, right? The half-ghosts?”

“Oh, yeah. They’re pretty rare.”

Komachi replied, chewing on a piece of the dried squid as she continued to listen intently to me.

“He was one of them, and of course to make my job harder, he refused to come with me.”

“So you fought him?”

“Yeah, and I hadn’t fought in a while, either. He came at me with a friggin’ sword. Messed my cloak up real bad, so I threw it away before I started fighting him for real. The guy pissed me off. Called me weak, the bastard.”

“What happened next?”

“Well, I pretty much went all out on him…”

……

“… And so it turned out it really did matter that he used two swords.”

I finished, draining my glass and slamming back down on the table, pouring some more of the sake in it. I drained that in one shot as well, resting my chin on the table in a slumped over position.

“So now I have to send all that paperwork to the guys at the office. On my first day of work. Ugh.”

“That’s tough.”

Komachi said, patting me on the back as though she was a long-time friend of mine. Oi, I know she means well and all, but I can’t help but feel like she’s patronizing me. I don’t like being pitied.

“So hey, you also took a look around Gensokyo for the first time, didn’t you?”

Komachi suddenly asked me, leading me to raise my head to look up at her and nod.

“Yeah. There were a few souls I needed to collect around there after that fight.”

“Feel like giving me your first impression of the place?”

“Huh, well…”

… To give an impression of it, I’d have to actually recollect where I went and what it was like. Ugh… the alcohol’s starting to work its effects. My memories are kinda foggy. Where did I go after fighting that half-ghost…?

[ ] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.
[ ] I went to collect a soul at the Road of Reconsideration.
>> No. 16316
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.

No battle exposition? You are a devil, Cantus.
>> No. 16318
[x] I went to collect a soul at the Road of Reconsideration.
>> No. 16322
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.
>> No. 16323
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.
>> No. 16324
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.

Did the man have any regrets?
>> No. 16326
>>16324
He had no regrets.
That was his only life.
>> No. 16327
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.
>> No. 16335
[x] I went to claim the soul of a dying man at a village.

Youki's a jobber~
>> No. 16336
>Youki's a jobber~

The end of the reaper's tale makes the outcome seem not quite so definitive.

>“… And so it turned out it really did matter that he used two swords.”

Besides, he'd just be back to Yuyu if he died.
>> No. 16338
>>16336

Crap, I read that as "didn't matter." My bad. Me am reading bestest.
>> No. 16346
[x] I went to claim the updates of a dying man at a village.
>> No. 16348
============

Oh, right. I remember now. There was a soul I needed to go reap shortly after finishing up that fight with the old man. Some guy at a village. I think he was dying or something, I dunno. I’m not a doctor. All I know is that he was more or less at the end of his rope, and I’d been to extinguish him and collect his soul.

Ehh… kind of not drawing any sort of impression here. Ugh, did I already drink that much? Anyway, I’ll need to dig a little deeper into my memory, I guess, starting when I got the guy’s profile…

…………

Beep, beep. Looks like a message came in. I reached into the pocket of my pants, slipping my cell phone out and flicking it open. The profile of another old guy, his location: the main human village. This guy had better not be another Enlightened human. Once already is more than enough for the day.

Frowning, I stood up from the rock I was resting on, picking up my scythe. I wasted too much energy fighting that guy. I’ll just take it easy with this particular job. I floated up into the air, riding the gentle current of the wind. Well, I can at least say the air here is a lot cleaner than the polluted cities. Been a long time since I’ve had air this fresh, actually. Kind of nice, I guess.

And wow. Fields of grass and flowers, and the majestic mountains that stood between the land of the mortal and the road to the next world. This is really quite a vision. The sort of view that you can’t see anymore in highly industrialized areas. It’s enough to make even me feel a little nostalgia, back when humans lived a lot closer to nature.

Then again, it also reminds me of how much I’m going to miss the bustling of the city, watching people going about their busy lives, changing all the time. Here, progress had been slowed to a standstill. Humans no longer developed technology. They forsook progress in manmade tools and relied on developing their innate abilities to survive.

And that’s why I hate this place so much. The things here wouldn’t change. The people wouldn’t change. The land had a major population of beings that could live for several hundred years. And they won’t change, either. The whole place was stuck in a time I’ve already seen. So boring. So uninteresting.

While flying high up in the sky, I spotted the village below. Pretty big to be called a village, really. I’m not surprised at the size, though. It’s to be expected, after all. The primitive villages that the age old exorcists founded all either joined one another to survive, or were wiped out by youkai. As the main human village, it was only natural that it’d end up being this big.

I touched down on the roof of one of the buildings. Below me, crowds of humans were walking down the dirt roads. Looked kind of similar to the city, but on a much smaller scale, of course. Well, can’t say it’s not lively here, at least.

I jumped down to the dirt road. Now, normally, I’d get a lot of strange looks from people. After all, I was wearing modern clothes at the moment. A pair of black jeans and a sleeveless grey shirt, to be precise. They’d probably think I was some sap from the outside world. But I’ve also got my scythe here, and that would probably tip off to everyone that I’m a shinigami, and that’s another set of problems.

Good thing they can’t see me, eh? Can’t do my job if I were always attracting attention, after all. Incidentally, this was also how I was able to swipe all those things in the outside world. That thing that fell underneath your bed or couch that you never bothered to look around for, and when you finally did take a look it wasn’t there? Yup, that was me alright.

Flipping open my cell phone, I checked the time. The old guy still had a few hours of life left. I don’t need to be on the dot exactly, anyway, since it was up to me to end the guy’s life anyhow. If I wanted, I could hold off of on killing him for days, although that wouldn’t be a good idea for obvious reasons.

[ ] I can afford to take a look around first.
[ ] Nah, time to get straight to the job.
>> No. 16350
[ ] I can afford to take a look around first.

Let him have his last few hours.
>> No. 16351
[X] I can afford to take a look around first.
>> No. 16353
[x] I can afford to take a look around first.

Somehow i get a feeling that write-ins are discouraged in this play.
>> No. 16354
[X] I can afford to take a look around first.
>> No. 16355
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the job.

Oh no. We start looking around, we'll run into trouble, and then the job never gets done.
>> No. 16360
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the job.
>> No. 16362
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the job.

Quicker job gets done quicker we can slack off.
>> No. 16363
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the job.
>> No. 16364
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the job.

May as well get the job done...
>> No. 16366
[ze] Nah, time to get to looking around first.

I'M HELPING
>> No. 16369
[x] Nah, time to get straight to the updates.
>> No. 16375
[x] I can afford to update the story first.
>> No. 16376
============

Right, time to get to work. Folding the cell phone and slipping it back in my pocket, I crouched down and leaped high into the air, taking flight. The village was large, yes, but it wouldn’t take me long to find my target. I’m confident when I say I’m a very efficient worker.

… Heh, well, isn’t that nice? I’m good at tracking down and killing people.

It only took a few minutes to find the target’s place of residence. Tch… All of these buildings… Simplistic. Made of lumber and straws. A fire would devastate the place, but I suppose they were designed to be easy to rebuild. Dry winters could easily result in a quickly spreading fire, after all. It’s almost impressive how persistent humans were.

Except I’ve seen all this, like, three hundred years ago. Modern buildings aren’t nearly as susceptible to fire, of course. The wonders of social advancement, huh? Yet these people were stuck in an era of the past. How pitiful.

Frowning, I let my body pass through the walls, floating inside. Physical walls can’t keep death out, after all. Not that you don’t know some people who have tried, though. Kind of hilarious, actually. Also very, very pathetic.

Lying down on a futon was an old man, clearly at the end stage of his life. Wrinkled, bedridden, with a young woman by sitting by his side, probably his relative. I descended down to the floor, hefting my scythe onto my shoulders as I watched over the dying old man.

“Then, I’ll be going now, grandpa.”

The young woman said, getting up from the floor.

“Ahh… Thank you. I’m sorry… I’m being such a burden on you.”

The old man wheezed. His granddaughter shook her head, responding with a sad smile on her face.

“You don’t have to thank me, grandpa. I’ll come back real soon, okay?”

And with that, the annoyance walked out of the house, leaving only Death and the old man in the room.

I crouched down next to the old man. He’s closed his eyes already. Probably going to sleep. Well, that just makes my job easier, then. Focusing, I entered the mind of the old man.

What awaited me when I next saw something was a field of grass. The sky was without clouds, and there was no breeze. Just the endless ceiling above, the sun, and the ground. A curious world. One without any colors but black and white.

The old man was there, sitting on the grass with a peaceful expression on his face. I walked over to him, standing in front of him.

“Yo, old man.”

I greeted, planting the end of my scythe into the dirt below, holding the shaft between my arm and my side. The old man looked up at me, and smiled gently.

“Oh, hello there. Are you a shinigami?”

He asked, still looking peaceful.

“Hoh? You can tell?”

“Of course. Shinigami are said to carry a wickedly large sickle.”

“Heh. Well, that’s somewhat refreshing.”

Saying that, I took a seat down on the grass, a little ways from the old man. My scythe I laid gently down beside me. He still had a few hours of life left, after all. I can kill him at any time, so before I do that, I wanted to keep the old guy company for a while. If I get bored of it, I’ll reap him then.

“So, I trust you’re going to come with me quietly, right?”

I asked, looking up at the dark, eternal sky. This was such a bleak world. Yet, because of that, it was also very peaceful. I’d get bored real fast, though.

“… Yes. I’ve lived a full life, after all. I’m fortunate to have been able to live this long. I… have no regrets.”

“… Well good for you.”

I said, tearing out some of the grass beside me and scattering it above me. Without wind, the pieces of grass merely floated back down, sprinkling the top of my head. I shook them off of me.

“Your granddaughter’s been taking care of you, huh?”

“Yes. She’s such a blessed child.”

“Don’t you feel bad about leaving her like this? You’re about to die, you know.”

“… Seeing my children and grandchildren living healthy and happy… it’s more than enough for me. And… after all… the journey to the next world is an adventure in itself, isn’t it?”

… I don’t understand. Humans are supposed to cling onto life as much as they can. I’ve seen people who accepted death like this before, but it’s always confused me. How can they… how can they be so calm about it like this? I’ll… probably never understand it.

What is it that makes one’s life full? Is it just having people who mourn you? Is it just being able to experience the struggles of living? I don’t know. All I’m supposed to do is take away lives, after all.

… Goddamn it, now I’m starting to kind of feel bad. This is just like that one time… what time? I can’t remember anymore.



I stood up, picking my scythe up as I slipped my cell phone out from my pocket. I flipped it open, checking the time again.

“Time to go.”

I said with a hollow voice, raising my scythe and pocketing my cell phone as I walked over to the old man. To the final moment, he did not show even a look of hesitation or fear. He just closed his eyes, and waited for the end. And then I killed him.

I was back in the room. The old man had stopped breathing. He probably wouldn’t be discovered for a while. Feeling just a little bit melancholy, I left the house.



“It’s alright, I guess.”

I lied, taking a shot from my glass and draining it. I still hated the place, but I didn’t want to tell Komachi that.

“I see, I see.”

She nodded, drinking from her own glass.

“Hey, can I ask something else?”

“Shoot.”

“What’d you do anyway? You must’ve done something real bad if you ended up getting kicked out of a division.”

[ ] “Nothing really important. But anyway, tell me about your boss.”
[ ] “Well, see…”
>> No. 16378
[X] Well, see...

"Well, it kinda started when I went to the living world outside the border. It was simple. Just a megaphone, nothing wrong with that right?"

"But every time I went there after that, I had an undeniable urge to build huge junk piles where everyone could see it, and wrote weird things on plaques that I set as the base."

"That's how I became known as the 'Grim Heaper'."

>> No. 16379
[x] “Well, see…”
>>16378
...
>> No. 16380
[X] Well, see...

"Well, it kinda started when I went to the living world outside the border. It was simple. Just a megaphone, nothing wrong with that right?"

"But every time I went there after that, I had an undeniable urge to build huge junk piles where everyone could see it, and wrote weird things on plaques that I set as the base."

"That's how I became known as the 'Grim Heaper'."

>> No. 16381
>>16379

If the main character was named Gig or Vigelance instead of Sho, I couldn't have made that joke.
You reap what you sow after all~

>>16380

Wow, I didn't intend for that to be considered a write in, in all honesty, just a joke.
>> No. 16382
[x] “Well, see…”
>> No. 16384
[X] Well, see...
>> No. 16385
>>16381
I realized it was a joke but I really wanna see what would happen if it won
>> No. 16386
[X] Well, see...

"Well, it kinda started when I went to the living world outside the border. It was simple. Just a megaphone, nothing wrong with that right?"

"But every time I went there after that, I had an undeniable urge to build huge junk piles where everyone could see it, and wrote weird things on plaques that I set as the base."

"That's how I became known as the 'Grim Heaper'."

>> No. 16387
[x] “Well, see…”
>> No. 16389
[x] “Well, see…”
[x] "Three times; THREE TIMES, within the thousands of years I've existed, I forgot to get authorization to visit the outside world. Fucking Yamas always have a stick up their over-sized asses. Like no one is allowed to make mistakes every now and then. Even shinigami aren't perfect."
[x] Gulp down your drink, slam it on the table, and quickly refill.
>> No. 16391
>>16376
This update brings a little hope to my heart for this story.
>> No. 16398
[x] “Well, see…”
[x] She has to spill about herself now though.
>> No. 16403
[X] Well, see...

"Well, it kinda started when I went to the living world outside the border. It was simple. Just a megaphone, nothing wrong with that right?"

"But every time I went there after that, I had an undeniable urge to build huge junk piles where everyone could see it, and wrote weird things on plaques that I set as the base."

"That's how I became known as the 'Grim Heaper'."
>> No. 16409
[X] Well, see...

Interesting story. I think I'll join you guys.
>> No. 16449
============

“Yeah, well… I don’t think it was that big a deal, but see…”

I started, playing around with the cup that I was still holding in my hand. I didn’t really feel like talking about it, actually, but when it started coming out, it was pretty hard to stop.

“I went outside, you know? To the outside world, I mean, while I was off-duty. We’re not supposed to go outside without proper authorization, and I guess I got caught sneaking in and out.”

“Eh? That’s it? That really doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal to me. I go looking around Gensokyo all the time, and all Eiki-sama does is yell at me.”

“Yeah, Lord Enma told me I didn’t have the proper attitude for the job or some bullshit like that.”

I muttered angrily, pouring more of the drink into my cup and knocking it back as though it were a glass of water. That guy was an asshole. Just because he was around since the beginning of transcendental existence didn’t give him the right to be a jerk.

“Why did you go to the outside world so much then? Did ya find something interesting or what?”

“Ah, well… something like that, yeah.”

I said, looking away. The reason why I did frequent the outside world… was because I liked watching the humans, and because their advancement fascinated me. They never failed to amuse me. Oh yeah, and I also went there to swipe a few things, too. I’m a collector, you know. Even if most of my collection’s become a pile of useless junk and trinkets.

“So hey, what’s our boss like, anyway?”

I quickly changed the subject of the conversation. It was something that I had been interested in knowing, as well, so it was a convenient topic to switch to.

“Eh? Oh, Eiki-sama? Well…”

Komachi scratched the back of her head, as if she had no idea where to start. As I waited for her to speak again, I took another small sip from my glass. My taste buds were more or less dead by now, so it didn’t really taste much like anything anymore.

“She’s too tense, ya know what I mean? I mean, just because I take a little break for a while, she shows up and lectures me about diligence. All I’m doing is just working at my pace, see. It’s not like the souls are gonna run away to go play with the flowers if I’m a little late, ya know.”

“So she’s one of those strict by-the-book-types, then? Bleh. I was hoping for someone a little more lenient.”

I grumbled, scowling.

“She’s real proud about her duties, ya know. She worked hard to get to the title of Yamaxanadu.”

“That’s a pretty high rank in the Agency of Right and Wrong, isn’t it?”

“Yup. One of the highest, actually.”

Well, if she can make it to that high with such a… questionable subordinate, she must be pretty damn serious about her job. Feh. Whatever. As long as she doesn’t demand completely ridiculous things of me, we’ll get along just fine for the next I-don’t-know-how-many-freaking-years.

We figured that was enough for the night, so we left the stand after that. Ugh, my head felt heavy after all that drinking, and my vision was all blurry. I think Komachi had to support me so I could walk. Ah… she’s alright.

Don’t remember much after that, only that I ended up in my bed sometime after that. Guess she had to walk my sorry ass all the way there. Damn, that was so uncool of me. I should be able to hold my drink better than that.

Bah, whatever. My consciousness is telling me it wants a damn break, and is about to run away in protest. Uppity little thing… How dare it tell me to go to sleep? I ought to beat it up. Still, I’d better give in to its demands. I can’t refuse them, after all…



Watching, watching, and always watching. Nothing but watching. Because that’s all that I was allowed to do. But I was happy with that. Just watching.



… Goddamn, that’s a killer headache I’ve got. And my stomach feels like the inside is made of jiggling jelly. It’s damn uncomfortable. I don’t even feel like getting up at all.

Took me a few hours to finally feel normal. By then, I was busy getting myself ready for work. My work shift started in an hour or so, and it takes me about half that time before I’m satisfied. Throwing opening my wardrobe, I produced another heavy cloak, similar to the one I lost yesterday, and put it on.

Finished with the preparations, I leaned against a wall, jigging my foot while checking the time on my phone. …What the hell was wrong with those guys? Usually, missions came flooding your cell the moment your shift started. Oh, right, you worked in Gensokyo now. Goddamn, wasn’t there anyone who was going to die today or what?

Argh. Two hours into the shift, and not a single dispatch. What the hell is going on?! Agh… it drives me CRAZY when I don’t have anything to do. Damn it. Nervously, I paced around the room, constantly checking the time. My shift’s half over and not a single profile came in. Tch… Fine, if there’s nothing to do, I’ll just…

[ ] Go bother Komachi.
[ ] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
[ ] Take a nap or something.
>> No. 16450
[X] Go bother Komachi.
Bonding~
>> No. 16451
[ ] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16452
[X] Go bother Komachi.

So we go drinking and not ONCE do we hit on Komachi?

I AM DISAPPOINT.
>> No. 16453
[X] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16454
[x] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16456
[ze] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16457
[X] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16458
[x] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
[x] Swing your scythe at a few unsuspecting spirits. You feel like being an asshole today.
>> No. 16460
[X] Go bother Komachi.

>>16458

And then one of those sprits turns out to be Yuyuko or Mima...
>> No. 16461
>>16452
Well, not that we remember.

[X] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
This character seems to have wider interests than just women. We should explore them, and the world, a bit IMO.
>> No. 16462
>>16460
I'd laugh if that were the case, because I highly doubt that would happen(unless Cantus was really YAF in disguise). Even so, they'd probably go unharmed and we'd get sucked into their otherworldly hijinks.

If it were Yuyuko, imagine how Youmu would react when she hears we fought Youki. Totally worth it.
>> No. 16498
[x] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
>> No. 16499
[X] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
>> No. 16516
[x] Go exploring. Old habits die hard.
>> No. 16553
[x] Go bother Komachi.
>> No. 16812
Just started reading this.

It isn't half-bad, but between the language, the protagonist's attitude, and the character/plot dynamics seen so far, I can't help but feel like I'm trapped in some "by-the-book" shounen anime.

Am I wrong?
>> No. 16814
>>16812

What's the matter? Too POWERLEVELS for you?
>> No. 16819
Sorry about the lack of updates. Will do so tomorrow.
>> No. 16844
>>16812
No, I totally got that vibe, too. I'm hoping its intentional, and that we'll see him mature the fuck up.
>> No. 16863
Okay, hate to be a liar, but something came up today. I promise there will be a new thread up tomorrow.
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