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File 126170618283.jpg - (323.67KB, 725x1024, hime-sama.jpg) [iqdb]
18781 No. 18781
Previous thread >>17620

“There is something else actually.” You say, voice coming out strangely steady. Your buddy looks at you with something of a reserved expression. She seems hesitant to even mouth the logical followup question. You don't let the initiative wither away from you and into awkward silence. At least not yet.

You suggest something again, not joking in the least.

“We should go. Leave together.”

Time seems to stop in the room. Matt walls and equally dull floor are suddenly more vivid. You think that it may be an illusion; Kaguya looks still, remarkably so, like the quiet visage usually found in an old photograph. Your suggestion is out in the open. And for what may have been either an hour or a few seconds she seems to try to make meaning of your words, as if they were said in a foreign language.

It goes without saying that you can't tell what she's thinking at first - If anything at all.

“The others are waiting for us.” She finally says silently, as if you hadn't said anything at all.
“We should leave. Just the two of us.” You repeat yourself.
“This isn't the time to be joking.” She smiles awkwardly.

You get up, offering your hand to her.

“I'm not joking.” You say with a straight face. “Does it look like I'm joking?” Normally, after saying something like that, you'd feel like smiling, but you're all business now.
“...You really mean it, huh.” She mumbles just loud enough.
“Yeah, I do. Let's go out, have fun, make some memories. All of that. It's not a bad idea I'm sure.”
“What about the others?”
“I don't really care right now. All of that stuff can wait, what's important is our having fun together.” You shrug, adding, “They'll understand. And Eirin always seems to have everything covered.”
“You'd really leave them all without a second thought?”
“I'll even carry you if I have to.”

And while you keep your intent clear, you return to the previous playful tone. She seemed to enjoy that.

“Milady, let us spirit ourselves away posthaste. Excitement, adventure, and merriment awaits.”

You extend your hand to her again.

“We really can't.” She says.
“What we really can't is pass this chance up.”
“I know you're stubborn, but like I was saying earlier...”
“I don't really care about that stuff right now. All I know is that I want to spend time with you and all of that is starting to sound like it'll mean just the opposite. Dealing with lunarians?” You put forward your perspective, “I don't know what exactly is in store, but it can't be easy. I know that we won't be able to spend our time however we like it. That's reason enough to have fun instead. It'll be just the two of us, no one else, and we'll be able to be ourselves.”

There's no real telling what she's thinking at the moment. Soft breaths are all you hear from her as she lists her head forward, probably in thought. Cerise lips curl and pout momentarily, soon relaxing again. She grabs your hand firmly, looking at you silently.

“Well, have I convinced you then milady?”
“Just be sure to do it properly.” She whispered, standing up.
“Properly?” You grin. Quickly grabbing her legs and back, you lift her up and carry her. “Like this you mean?”
“It's a start.” She holds her hands to her chest, looking away from your face.
“Glad to hear it.” You carry her towards the hallway – she's lighter than she looks. You realize that preparations really are in order.

Kaguya is silent, her breath almost completely still, as you carry her to her room. Her hair drapes down, and you're careful to keep her high enough against your chest so that her hair doesn't touch the floor. Not being used to carrying much with your arms, you feel the strain on your muscles by the time you get to her room. You put her down gently and she stands.

“Please gather things that you'll need buddy.” You tell her. “I'm going to arrange things for us and be back in a bit.” She nods, and you leave. You try to keep level-headed, not letting the almost surreal situation get to you. Kaguya's silence is a bit miffing, and you can't figure that out, but you try not to think much about that. Procuring supplies is your task.

Conveniently enough you can follow the smell of smoke to who you're looking for. Tewi is smoking another fat cigar by the courtyard, a bright smile.

“Weren't you busy with work?” You ask.
“Weren't you busy doing something stupid?” She retorts.
“I'm on it. I need your help.”
“What kind of help?” She takes a large puff from her cigar, making the tip glow vividly red.
“Just the kind you offered earlier.”
“So you are doing something stupid. Nice.” She laughs, reaching into her dress. “Cigar?”
“No thanks. Smoking is bad for you.”
“Running away on an impulse is also bad.”
“I'm not running away. Just... leaving for a bit. Things are intense here and I want to spend some time with her.”
“Gotcha.” She put the cigar away. “So what exactly do you need from this business mogul?”

You tell her what you had in mind. She listenes to you patiently, smoking all the while. It felt very wrong to see someone as small and, well, lolita-looking as her doing that. At this rate her beautiful white ears would become black from the smoke. She tapped her foot as she thought.

“I can help you no problem. I'll have everything in less than an hour.” She stamped out her cigar stub. You are surprised that she would be able to deliver on such a short notice. When you ask, she explains that as a businesswoman she had all sorts of assets. “Diversity is key in this economy. I'll get my executives to grab the things from our stores and you'll be set.”
“That's unbelievable. How can I repay you?”
“Just have fun.” She said, being more direct and forthright than I had imagined she could be. “It's a nice thing to be young like you. I sort of wish it were me that you were taking, I'm jealous.” She jabbed playfully, “I could ride you piggyback instead of in your arms.”
“Ah, you saw?”
“Maybe. Anyways, I should get going. Meet you here in an hour.”

You return to your room, getting your own things ready. It all fits in a small bag you find in the closet. It's not much, but it should be enough. You return to check up on Kaguya, passing by the dining room. The sounds of questionable health education movies still come from within. Those within are still busy with that.

Kaguya is trying to close a piece of hard-skinned luggage, a small suitcase. It looks to be absolutely full. She notices your presence and manages to clamp the suitcase before you can get close. She holds it protectively, keeping it firmly held by both her hands.

“I'm ready.” She says, looking a bit red and sounding out of breath.
“Did you take everything you need? Leave anything that you won't use, otherwise it'll just be useless weight.”
“Oh I need everything in here.”
“Then let's meet up with Tewi, she has the rest of the stuff we need.”
“I left a note.” She says fidgeting slightly. “So that they won't think that something bad has happened to us.”
“That's a good idea.” You try to take her suitcase from her, she stubbornly clings to it.
“I don't mind carrying it.”
“Are you sure? I don't mind carrying it either.”
“I'll tell you if it gets hard for me to carry it.”

She walks at your side down the hallway. You feel that you're being stared at. From the corner of your eye you see that she's trying her hardest not to be too obvious about looking at your face.

“Is something the matter?” You ask her. She fumbles a bit, almost dropping her suitcase.
“Nothing's wrong.” She says meekly.
“You can tell me if there's something up.” Maybe there's something on your face.
“There's nothing up. I was just thinking about what we're going to do, that's all. Seems unreal.”
“Nothing unreal about it. You'll see that it's very real and fun.” You smile at her, and she bashfully smiles back, nodding in agreement. Feels good.

Tewi delivers. More accurately put, a horde of bunnies does. A large rucksack stuffed with everything that you asked for is what you get. You thank her as you inspect your supplies, impressed at how utterly thorough she was. There's enough food, tools, and equipment for many an eventuality. You couldn't be happier with what you got. Kaguya looks impressed at how everything is coming together. It adds to your confidence.

And as an added bonus, Tewi offers to have a couple of her bunnies lead you out of Eientei.

“Because it's night and I couldn't have you kids getting lost just like that.” She explains.

You're not about to turn her down at this stage and accept.

Tewi bids her goodbye, tiptoeing to whisper you the best of luck and giving you advice – depositing something furtively into your rucksack as well. You thank her again and are off.

It's a cool evening. Refreshing more like. Clouds hide the moon and stars for the most part, filtering their light out. The rabbits lead from a rear entrance into the bamboo forest. You end up carrying everything except Kaguya's suitcase – she still stubbornly clings to that. It's not too bad though. High spirits make the weight feel like nothing and you leave Eientei behind with a smile on your face. And judging by your buddy's pleasant expression, you figure that she's feeling something along the same lines as you are.

You walk for a long time, occasionally struggling through stiff stalks of bamboo. The group doesn't follow a trail, you're dependent on the rabbits' sense of direction. It's moments like these that you wish that you could understand the little guys. Patiently following them is tricky in the dark, and you grab a flashlight from your rucksack to follow them closely. You make sure to keep Kaguya close to you, by having her walk between you and the rabbits.

It's an arrangement that works out, and eventually you reach your destination. Shelter for the night, as Tewi promised. A small wooden cabin stands in a small clearing. You've never seen it before, and it looks to be completely empty. The rabbits lead you to the door and urge you inside. Their work done, they scurry off leaving the two of you alone.

“I didn't know there was a cabin out here.” Kaguya remarks, putting down the suitcase and looking at the surroundings.
“Neither did I.” You close the door, thinking that the bamboo forest truly is a mysterious place. “It's not very big either.”

You look around, using the flashlight for illumination. It's a simple, single-environment cabin. A large space with a table and chairs in one end and not much else. There's an old-fashioned stove as well as what may be a chimney covered by a pile of logs. There's a single door besides the entrance, one that you find leads to a minute storage closet.

“It'll probably be best if we set up away from the table in the empty spot there.” You suggest. “It's not that bad as a pit stop. The door bolts securely and the windows have curtains.” You find a lamp on the table and check to see if it has enough fuel in it. Luckily it does, and you light it and turn off the flashlight. The cabin is now illuminated with a soft yellow glow. “Feels cozy, right?”

Kaguya says nothing, bringing her things to a clear spot. You sit at the table casually.

“I'll get the sleeping bags from the rucksack in just a moment. You're not sleepy yet, are you?”
“Not really.”
“Hungry? I think we could probably use the stove to heat stuff up if we wanted warm food.”
“I'm fine.”
“Suit yourself.” You say. “Don't hesitate in saying what you want. We've no reason for shyness between us.”

She chuckles, obviously amused by your choice of words and slowly makes her way over to the table. She sits across from you, the lamp giving her eyes more twinkle than they might really have right then.

“I'll ask then.” She smiles, “What happens with us now? What are we going to do?”

She got to the very pith and marrow.

[]

--
We'll see if it's possible to get regular updates going.

I would suggest that anyone reading this story read the comments and thoughts after the last update. I apologize for the more emotive content, but stress the importance of the ideas stated. Anyone who doesn't understand the issues touched upon (disagreement is another issue and is fine) frankly shouldn't be reading this story. I would prefer you not to, as it's a waste of time for both me and you.

Wiseman – I outright don't want you reading this or anything else I might ever write. I am completely put off by your non evolving ways. I hope that not being wanted is enough to discourage you from being here. I don't care about your opinions elsewhere, I don't want you here.
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>> No. 18782
Glorious updates.

It looks like we have a rucksack of fun to pull out whatever we want. So far it's produced a flashlight.

I'm thinking s'mores, hot cocoa, and ghost-stories. Also, does anyone think a board game of some sort would work? Like "Lost Cities" and "Jambo".

I'll put up a proper write-in tomorrow-ish if no one has a better idea.
>> No. 18783
Glad to see you back. As soon as I can come up with something decent, I'll provide it.
>> No. 18784
>Deluge of a Lunar Fantasy; 14
Must be seeing things, once i am no longer drunk i will read it
>> No. 18785
>>18781
It's a Christmas miracle!

Anyway, it's pretty impressive that Kaguya has been so compliant, only offering a token amount of resistance and letting herself get caught up in this scheme. For a bit I was afraid that she was merely entertaining us, letting us have our way for a bit before things get real and we won't have much say anymore. But I dunno, even for all the hesitance, she seems oddly committed to this: packing her bag so earnestly, enjoying herself, taking our plan seriously, etc. Her reservation, combined with her agreement, make for a weird demeanor that is tough to interpret. Ultimately, though, our best bet is to be true to our original intent: having some fun and making memories with Kaguya.

So yeah, I guess I need to phone the author and ask how much meta-knowledge we can exercise for this write-in? The me as an anonymous participant has plenty of ideas for what we can do? Me as Shirou who hasn't seen much outside of Eientei am a little more constrained. Until I get an answer, I'll go with something like this:
[X] First up: geek out. Revel in our collective nerdiness until we pass out. Tomorrow, we take her shopping. Hopefully we can get to the village early enough to enjoy the farmer's market for a while. After that, and maybe lunch, we're going to see about finding a cave to spelunk. Seriously, the day won't be over until we've seen at least one stalactite.
[X] When you get a free moment, pull the battery out of your PDA and lose it in your rucksack; you don't need that distraction right now.

Probably a little selfish to try and hit both ends of the spectrum in one day(normal daily life and adventuring), but I would rather aim high and fail than go low and suffer under the question of whether we could have done more.

Also:
>“Just have fun.” She said, being more direct and forthright than I had imagined she could be. “It's a nice thing to be young like you. I sort of wish it were me that you were taking, I'm jealous.”

Tewi confirmed as our bro.
>> No. 18786
>>18785
I generally don't like metaknowledge as it's often used to cheapen experiences and create a certain bias in the way things play out. Do not expect Shirou to know how to get to the Moriya shrine or that there are people living in the underground. Anything that's easily found out by asking others or looking it up somehow is fine. Of course the query has to be reasonably logical (ie: where the nearest library is - not something like asking where voile is). You should figure out how character interaction figures in into it and think what it means to arrive with Kaguya somewhere at some time.

Take your time, it doesn't have to be perfect nor all-encompassing. Yours is the first proposal in over a day since the post.
>> No. 18787
>>18786

It's beautiful ;_;
Welcome back you faggot.
>> No. 18788
File 126181709943.png - (1.97MB, 1647x1534, 55e47cf5eaf28865a2452183bbb60af0.png) [iqdb]
18788
I really did not see things there. Glorious Kaguya is back!
>> No. 18789
[x] Inventory

First things first. If we're lucky, we'll find a Monopoly board or something.
>> No. 18790
>“We should leave. Just the two of us.” You repeat yourself.
>“Yeah, I do. Let's go out, have fun, make some memories. All of that. It's not a bad idea I'm sure.”
>“I'm not running away. Just... leaving for a bit. Things are intense here and I want to spend some time with her.”
Well, since we choose this let us stay on course and enjoy the time with her. It doesn't need to be something big, just enjoy the time with her and of course try to make her have fun too. But at the moment she doesn't seem to enjoy it very much. So why not try to light up a fire in the chimney, if possible, to add a bit of a better mood here. The rest of the evening should just be spent talking with her, just some buddy talk, nothing serious, just whatever comes to mind. I have some ideas for the night, but that would not fit in good with the current situation.
Put a [x] before the whole thing.
>>18785
Not so fast, don't put up a vote to decide the whole day. We take one step after the other. First the evening/night, then the morning and then the day. We must squeeze as much as possible out of Teruyo.
>> No. 18791
>>18789
You have everything you need in the rucksack. Tewi saw to that. A direct question was asked, and rummaging through stuff instead does not seem appropriate.

>>18790
So is that a concrete proposal (vote) or not?

Bear in mind that the desire to write is inversely proportional to the amount of time I don't write. After more than a day and a half I can confide that the desire plummets rather quickly. I am only human and have other things that vie for my attention, doubly so when I'm bored. Being timid, claiming to want to wait and see, and not putting forward ideas in the meantime hurts the story.
>> No. 18792
>>18791
Yep.
>> No. 18794
>>18790
This. Plus this:
[x] Take out the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to make s'mores.

Talking is fine for now, but I added the s'mores in to at least compensate and do something we couldn't do at the Eientei. Shirou as a character doesn't really need anything elaborate to have fun. Quality time will be had. Though I have to admit, things would be easier if we had a romantic relationship with Kaguya.
>> No. 18797
[X] Revel in our collective nerdiness until we pass out. Tomorrow, we take her shopping. Hopefully we can get to the village early enough to enjoy the farmer's market for a while. After that, and maybe lunch, we're going to see about finding a cave to spelunk. Seriously, the day won't be over until we've seen at least one stalactite.
>> No. 18801
[x] Take out the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to make s'mores.
[x] Revel in our collective nerdiness until we pass out. Tomorrow, we take her shopping. Hopefully we can get to the village early enough to enjoy the farmer's market for a while. After that, and maybe lunch, we're going to see about finding a cave to spelunk. Seriously, the day won't be over until we've seen at least one stalactite.

For now, I'll go with what's been contributed and combine to two. This seems like a good way to start this adventure. I'm hoping Kaguya provides some feedback regarding tomorrow's plans. If she disagrees, adapt.
>> No. 18802
My will to write has already frazzled away. So much for the best laid plans and good intentions. I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.
>> No. 18803
>>18802
I'd say it's a bit naive to expect a large turn out with the explicit demand only for, as far as I've understood, "elitist readers", regardless of your plans that could have hinted for a more consistent update timestable (however the hell that works). Not to mention it's the day or two after Christmas in which the anon here are either far away from the internet, wasted, sleeping in or all the above and more.

Another thing and I have forgotten if it's been mentioned before but, most do come here to, as the saying goes, take it easy; and that's actually possible with serious cyoas believe it or not.

But when you take things such as a delay in a turnout of votes way too personally and instead just try to enjoy writing, having unfounded feelings of self pity only hurt your efforts more than simply only seeing a few readers. Whatever happened to those statements of simply being satisfied in seeing the more engaged of readers even if they only number in a few?

I actually like reading your stuff and I'm already about call you out on crocodile tears.
>> No. 18805
>I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.
Deluge of a Lunar Fantasy - now with 60% more emo.
>> No. 18811
Take it easy, everyone knows that forced write-ins take a long time to make.
>> No. 18813
File 126195354876.jpg - (73.59KB, 720x720, 3c6c13bc892ec2d9c469d1e2a968abd4.jpg) [iqdb]
18813
You ever suggest going somewhere or doing something, only to find once you're actually there or in a position to do it, that you have absolutely no idea where to go from there because you didn't really think it would happen and thus didn't think that far ahead?

Yeah.

So then, what does happen now? What are we going to do?

Well, if the question is being asked in the more broad, general sense, then I suppose the appropriately broad and general answer would be to do anything and everything we can to enjoy ourselves and each others company, and create as many joyous and fond memories as possible in the span of time we can afford to be away. Though Shirou is probably expected to have some ideas of his own on how to carry this out, I would hope that the Kaguya has plenty of ideas of her own. Besides, sometimes it's only proper to let the lady take the lead on things.

As for the more short-term, specific question of what to do now...I'm not so sure. Sleep is out for the moment, and food isn't needed right now, either. So, aside from maybe unpacking some things, perhaps sprucing up the place to feel more comfortable, then clearly we need to some ideas for activities. And there are so many things a young man and woman can do together, inside, in rather tight quarters.

Like playing card games. Like poker. Strip poker.
Or maybe chess. Strip chess.

Of course, they could just do what old buddies are wont to do, knocking back drinks while reminiscing about days gone by.

I would assume, by the rather vague assertion that we have "everything" we need, that pretty much anything we mention will be in the rucksack, within reason. If we want to play cards, there should be cards in the bag, for example. If we need to draw up a map or something, there should be paper and writing instruments of some sort in the bag. If we want to get drunk, then surely we must have at least some sort of booze in the bag, as well.

We would not, on the other hand, be likely to have need for things like an inflatable sheep, leather bondage gear, or a book-on-tape edition of the Kama Sutra as narrated by James Earl Jones, and thus would not find such items in the rucksack. Kaguya's suitcase, on the other hand...


I have to say, these write-in ONLY decisions are always a bit painful for me. I understand wanting to give the readers freedom to go any which way they choose, but it's a lot like plopping you in the middle of some place with no roads, no signs, and being told you can go anywhere you want. Even if there's a particular destination you want to go, say Disneyland for example, it doesn't help much if you're not sure the way you think you want to go is the best way to get there.

Of course, it also doesn't help if it's been two months since the last real update, and thus two months since having to actually think about what's happening, but oh well.
>> No. 18814
>Kaguya's suitcase

Am I the only one who thinks that Kaguya brought a laptop and a bunch of other gear inside that thing?
>> No. 18815
>>18814
Possible, but I'm not so sure.
If it was just her basic NEET essentials, I don't think she would be quite so protective of it, apparently not wanting Shirou to even see what's inside, let alone carry it for her.

Now, why would she not want Shirou to see what's in the suitcase? I can only suspect it's either something that would be embarrassing for her to have Shirou see, in which case she probably shouldn't have brought it along if she was running away with him, or it's something for Shirou that she wishes to keep a surprise.

Or, better yet, a little bit of both. Something that's for Shirou, but is still kind of embarrassing for Kaguya to reveal she has.

Given their hobbies, I can't imagine that if all she was packing was computer and gaming equipment that she would have any reason to keep it a secret from him. She had him play an eroge in front of her, for crying out loud.
>> No. 18817
My internet has been out for the better part of the last day, which unfortunately meant that I couldn't reply to the last thing I saw here. If you'll excuse me, if only to justify the time I wasted typing it up I'll post my original message anyways.

>>18803
>>18805
I actually meant the last bit sarcastically.

Though, may I remind you, despite my self-depreciative streak I've never been anything but honest with my readers. As such, I would appreciate it if what I may or not feel wasn't the target of assumptions.

The truth of the matter is that I had expected a long while before being able to write as I was appearing out of nowhere. However, as I said before, the longer that goes by without me updating the less eagerness and assuredness I have. Especially if, save for one or two exceptions, a majority of the posts in the first day or two are basically "I'll actually discuss or post ideas later". This is something that irks me. I do not mind waiting if there's something constructive going on. Voicing, at the least, conjecture and if not general ideas of what the vote is to be is not that time-consuming nor bothersome. Even if you don't know how to phrase a vote or what to change, chances are that either someone else will improve upon it or I will understand the intent professed by the readers and reflect that in my writing.

And that is a reward unto itself.

Just as anon may F5 a thread for updates, I do the same for votes/comments/whatever. Just like (I believe) most people like status reports and a feeling of connection with the reader, the reverse is also true. Even if you think that your comment or impressions are a bit inane it may lead to something else with tweaking (or discussion, if it happens), or at the very least serve to show that there's actual activity going on.

As an addendum, >>18803 you're quick to judge but haven't put forward your own thoughts nor a vote until this moment.

And that's that. Returning to the present, now that I've been able to see the replies that have occurred in the last 12+ hours;

>>18813
You are right in assuming that anything within reason is in. Though I frown upon your quick dismisal of the possibility that such a glorious work of narration wouldn't be considered an essential, your reasoning is sound.

You shouldn't view a write in only option as such a confounding enterprise. Rather, simply let your thoughts and desire manifest (if only in a basic explicit form) and the rest will fall into place neatly. When appropriate there will be additional pauses in order to steer the direction of things along. Both general and specific ideas are welcomed and will be utilizing if not immediately, then in the long run.

tl;dr speak up, put something forward.
>> No. 18819
>>18813
What this guy said. He made a better point and explanation than me.
>> No. 18821
>>18817
>>Though I frown upon your quick dismisal of the possibility that such a glorious work of narration wouldn't be considered an essential, your reasoning is sound.

Frown not, good sir! I did not mean to state that that such a wondrous thing as the ancient knowledge of knockin' boots as narrated by the rich baritone of James Earl Jones was not in any way an essential, just that Shirou might not consider it an important thing to bring along for this little excursion.

Fortunately, I'm sure a certain kindly little bunny would have thought to add in anything our boy might have neglected to mention.
>> No. 18827
>[x] Revel in our collective nerdiness until we pass out. Tomorrow, we take her shopping. Hopefully we can get to the village early enough to enjoy the farmer's market for a while. After that, and maybe lunch, we're going to see about finding a cave to spelunk. Seriously, the day won't be over until we've seen at least one stalactite.

I like lighting up the chimney and making s'mores (optional) to set the mood, but the proceeding parts don't sit well with me.

Nerding out is just a cop out used to skip to the next day. "Let's escape from Eientei and then proceed to act like we're at Eientei. Whee." I'm really tempted to vote for the strip poker suggestion just for the sake doing something impossible in Eientei (without horrendous consequences, at least), but that's way too much of a non sequitor.

A visit to the village would be nice, if only we weren't hiding out at the moment. We'll probably end up bumping into Reisen or something. Even if we don't bump into anyone from Eientei, news of our dynamic duo's little excursion into town would spread quickly. Visiting one of the various other "houses" (Hakurei/Moriya shrines, SDM, etc.) would kill any intimacy between Kaguya and Shirou and I, personally, don't really want new characters getting involved this late into the story.

Spelunking... I'm not even going to bother elaborating on why this is a stupid idea.

Despite my grievances, I have no alternative suggestions. If I did I'd imagine they would go along the lines/goals of:

1. Pass the night somehow while entertaining our princess. Might be a bit early to attempt a "deep" conversation with her, but this is a vital chance to convince her that this escapade wasn't a mistake, so I wouldn't try to brush it off either.

2. Spend the day(s) together without getting caught. Ideally, the activities are intimate and fun for both parties.

3. Find out whether Shirou's gonna get friend-zoned or not. I wish we could somehow directly confirm the nature of Kaguya's feelings for Shirou without resorting to "[x] Pledge your undying love to Kaguya."

1 is the only important step at the moment and the one least likely to cause Anon to get angry and disagree with me, so let's focus on that for now. Right now, I'm getting a mental image of Shirou preparing to run the 100m dash and falling flat on his face after the first step. We really should've thought the escape plan through before choosing it.
>> No. 18828
I'm thinking and trying to decide what to do.

As it stands, there's a rather big failing here. Nothing here is specific enough. Not in the short term (ie: now) nor in the long/mid term (ie:the day after). Having both isn't necessary right now, but at least the short term should be covered by something a little less vague.

A complaint that has been leveled against me is how some scenes seem to go by without enough chance for interaction. Well, this may be why. When given a chance, it doesn't seem like there's much impetus from you.

In case every single comment I've made for the last few months has been too subtle (as it sometimes seems): grow a pair and go with what you want to go.

Your opinion is nice, insightful to others maybe and whatnot, but unless you actually make up your mind and state something it's just a bunch of thoughts. Again, in case I am being too subtle, I am referring to posters such as >>18827, >>18813, and several others. You can't possibly hope that everything that you want will happen unless you directly intervene. I'm sure a lot of people agree with your sentiments and logic.

The same goes for everyone else. State what you want directly by voting. Comments and analysis are useful for supporting those votes (or disparaging them) but if used by themselves I'm afraid we'll just continue to arrive at impasses such as these.

I perhaps am starting to get depressed now. It's been 4-5 days and of the last 20 posts, I've contributed too many of my own (that haven't been updates). This is interactive Touhou fanfiction, not rocket science. It's important to have everyone represented, but I truly can't see how in heaven's name it takes more than 10 minutes (or maybe an hour or two while waiting for feedback on an opinion) to decide upon a vote for a story.
>> No. 18830
There. Finally caught up.

[x] "No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
[x] Search cabin for hidden treasure.

It's a bit mushy but I like it. And it's true, I have no idea how we ended up in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere but we're with Kaguya so it's all good.
>> No. 18831
File 126209334822.jpg - (146.88KB, 800x600, dawwwwwwww.jpg) [iqdb]
18831
>>18828
Take it easy.
>> No. 18835
File 12621202323.jpg - (74.84KB, 475x500, 9d68ef29672f4deb614e12ac180497b8.jpg) [iqdb]
18835
>>18828
We could ask her to shave
>> No. 18836
[x] "No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
[x] Search cabin for hidden treasure.
>> No. 18837
[x] "No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
[x] Search cabin for hidden treasure.
>> No. 18838
[X] "No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
[X] Search cabin for hidden treasure.

Well, at least it's honest, I guess.
Though what I'd really like to do, seeing as we're already part-way there with the whole "running away, just the two of us" thing would be to do the Gensokyo-equivalent of going to Vegas, renting a chapel and priest (dressed like Elvis, natch) for half an hour, and gettin' hitched.

Of course, that would be way too sudden, to say nothing of the fact that we don't even know if our dear bwuddy would want to take things that far.
>> No. 18839
File 12621359921.jpg - (21.65KB, 460x356, Buddies.jpg) [iqdb]
18839
[x] "No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
[x] Search cabin for hidden treasure.

Shirou: Well, while we're waiting, why don't we search for treasure?
Kaguya: Oh good idea, let's search for treasure.
>> No. 18840
Yeah going to try to update in an hour or two, depending on how long this takes me to write.
>> No. 18841
File 126215167631.jpg - (384.53KB, 480x678, ksloa.jpg) [iqdb]
18841
“Well?” She asks again, eyes focusing on you. A soft smile manifests itself on her lips, curling up and betraying her nascent excitement and expectation.

The lamp seems to reach out and light up only the immediate area, casting few shadows on the cabin wall. It's like a private sphere of light, holding you, the table, and her inside. Outside you can hear the calls of night birds and a few nocturnal insects. It's like you're in the middle of nowhere. You figure that if you took a look out into the bamboo forest, you would be totally lost. It dawns upon you how you're really alone with her. Alone with Kaguya. It feels like no one nor nothing could interrupt this.

"No idea, I'm just making it up as I go. But, as long as I'm spending time with you, then it's time well spent."
“That's corny buddy.” She flares a bold smile, her face lighting up. “But appropriate under the circumstances. Just about what I'd expect from you.”
“Ah well, I guess I'm just too easy to read.” You grin in return.
“And then some. But,” She places a hand gently on her chin, framing her head neatly between it and the dark strands of hair, “You know it's the first time in a long while that I've been all alone. Well, without Eirin hovering around anyways.”
“She doesn't really seem to intrude on us much though.” You can't really of any occasions where Eirin has been 'hovering around'. It's obvious that she cares about Kaguya's well-being but her role seems to normally be more subtle than that.
“Well, that's not really important right now anyways. Like you said, we're here.”

You get up, stretching your arm.

“Mind if I light the chimney?” The chimney was practically begging for it, firewood neatly stacked up nearby.
“Sure, go ahead. It'll make the place cozier.”

She watches as you get to it, her eyes following your every move. She smiles placidly when by chance your eyes meet, saying nothing.

The chimney proves to be more trouble then you initially reckoned. For starters, there's a metal plate blocking the exhaust, with no way of opening it from the inside. You have to unbolt the door, stepping out into the quiet night and circle around the cabin. It distresses you that to unblock it you have to climb to the roof. With the help of a conveniently placed ladder you manage. It's easy enough to remove the metal plate, it slides off neatly from its slot and you bring it back with you inside. You buddy waits patiently, somehow amused at your antics.

Getting a fire started is another issue to contend with. It takes some improvisation with easily burnable non-essential items but you finally get the fire to take to the kindling. It's a nice fire, with a nice soothing glow that augments the mood in the cabin. It's not particularly cold outside, but just cold enough to justify something like a fire.

“That's really nice. Feels like we're in a chalet up in the mountains.”

You look at her with an amused look on your face.

“Have you ever been to a real chalet. I mean, no offense, but from what I understand you've spent most of your life at Eientei...”
“A significant portion of it anyways.” She says, not in the least looking offended, “And no, I haven't ever been to a chalet. But I've heard things and seen images. Seems like a fun place to be. Up in the mountains, snow everywhere, sequestered like we are, telling jokes, having fun.”
“Well, I can't do much about the snow, but we can do all the rest just fine I think.”

You smile and reach into your rucksack, rummaging around. There's a lot of stuff in there, more than you would have imagined that you were carrying – or could even fit in the first place. After pulling out a few wrong items, you find what you were looking for. Tewi really did pack everything that you needed.

You give Kaguya a mug. It's a cutesy pink thing, with a drawing of a rabbit hopping over a smiling moon on the side. You have something a bit more sober, bit still cutesy – a blue mug with a golden stylized rabbit prints running around it.

“What's this for?” She asks, unsure of where you're going with this.
“Just wait and watch.” You make it over to the stove, having grabbed a small pot from the rucksack. The stove is as temperamental as the chimney, but you get it going with a little less effort.

A water, the right amount of powder. Heat, stir, taste. Add a bit of sugar. In a short while you've managed to make hot chocolate. You serve yourself a helping and then serve Kaguya some.

“We don't have any milk, so I made it with water. Hope that's alright with you.” Some people prefer their hot chocolate in different ways, made with real chocolate instead of powder, but you can't complain much given the present circumstances.
“Thank you.” She nods and takes a sip. “It's just as if we were in a chalet now.”
“That's the idea.” Well, there's a lot missing. The heavy winter gear, the mountain wind, etc. But Kaguya's happy, so you're happy with your little induced taste of the wintery mountains.
“When I close my eyes, it's as if I'm really far away from Gensokyo, out there having fun with you.”
“It doesn't matter where we are.”
“So you say.” She laughs softly, “But you haven't been here for as long as I have.”
“Well, if you wanted...” You suggest half-joking, “we could always travel the world together. I'm not really rich or anything but I'm sure that we could still go places.”
“Hm. That does sound nice. Seeing the outside world that is. Earth is a fascinating place.”

Though she was smiling, it sounded like she was convinced that it could never happen.

“The others could come too. Riding with the top down in a convertible, enjoying the feel of the wind as we went down the highway, going wherever our heart tells us to go. Sounds nice, doesn't it?” You allow daydream about the possibility. It's not the worst idea that you've had.
“Right. I think I could manage, but can you imagine Eirin in a car? She'd probably be frowning.” She laughs, picturing the scene vividly. “Or the others. They'd stand out like a sore thumb with their big ears. I'm sure we wouldn't get far without arousing suspicion.”
“We could manage somehow.”
“It is a nice dream, I'll give you that.” She sighs wistfully, sloshing around the last of her hot chocolate.

You get more hot chocolate for the both of you. And it's might be a bit too much chocolate, but you procure a chocolate bar and split it with your buddy. It's a while yet that you talk about silly road trip fantasies and about the greater outside world. You'd never imagined Kaguya as an eager traveler, but there she was talking about SCUBA diving, skydiving, and getting to see the far corners of the world.

In the end, you're not sure how the conversation gradually changed. But you're left talking about something pointedly and completely different. You diplomatically answer her first few questions, but you don't know if it's the chocolate boosting her energy or what, but she seems particularly excitable.

“All those moonrabbits are ever so waifish. They look appealing at first, but then it's all the same, you know what I'm saying?”
“I'm not sure what you mean.”
“It doesn't matter. It doesn't seem like it's a big deal right now and all.” She lets her voice trail, as if debating whether it is a big deal or not. She makes up her mind and continues. “The Earth rabbits are the same, of course. They're lovely, and I've grown attached to them, but to others they may not be so appealing.”
“Well, Tewi helped us out, so to me she's appealing.”
“Sure, in that way.” Her words keep having that ambiguous double meaning that you're not exactly able to latch onto. “Say, Eirin seems dependable to you right?”
“Yes. Why?”
“Like, she is in control all the time, right?”
“That's certainly true.” You agree. There practically hasn't been a single moment of even slight vulnerability for as long as you've known her.
“It would be interesting to see her not be in control, right? Like see her wild and letting her emotions show, right?”
“It... would be something alright.”
“More than just 'something'.” She seems to change subject again, veering with no hesitation. “How would you react to that?”
“Me? Well.. I don't really know.” It's not something that you've given that much thought to.
“Well, maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves here.” She says with a small uncertain chuckle. She leans in on the table, bringing her face closer to you. “Maybe if you were to tell me how you felt about her in the first place, then I could ask a more precise question.”
“How I feel about Eirin?”
“That's right buddy.” She smiles, flashing her teeth, “Surely you can clearly tell me your opinion of her. I mean we're friends, right? And I'm not going to tell her or anything, so don't worry. It's just to know how you're getting along with others.” She continues on, saying something of a non sequitur, “I brought you here, didn't I? I'm your host and all, so it's important to me to know just exactly you're getting along with the others.”
“I-”
“Take your time buddy. Just think and tell me the truth.”

[] “Eirin is a very captivating person.”
[] “Eirin is Eirin. That's all.”
[] “Does it matter what I think about them? Isn't it more important to know what I think about you?”
[] Other/write-in
>> No. 18842
[X] Eirin is...complicated. In a way that kind of makes my head hurt. She's wise, dependable, , and would probably win a vote for title of "Most Likely to Give Someone an Inferiority Complex" by a landslide. Also, kinda scary, when she wants to be. Her thoughts and actions are hard to figure out, and while that would make anyone else seem suspicious or unreliable, she still manages to give the impression that you can trust in her and things will be alright, even if you don't understand how or why. But then, that's Eirin for you.

I think it could use some work, perhaps some expansion or condensation, but that's all I can think of for now.
>> No. 18843
>“It would be interesting to see her not be in control, right? Like see her wild and letting her emotions show, right?”
I am not sure if i would want to see this. There could be a monster underneath that mask. Ready to torture and devour Shirou.... hmmmmm, doesn't sound so bad.
[x] “Eirin is Eirin. That's all.”
[x] “But does it really matter what I think about her? Isn't it more important to know what I think about you?”

I am not really sure if this is the right choice. You could either avoid the question a bit and throw her out of concept or be truthfully with her and give her a clear answer on how you see the others and what kind of affection you have towards them. She seems kind of jealous, or maybe just playing, so why not skip the first parts and go directly to the main topic.
>> No. 18845
[x] >>18842

Pretty much this, wise and dependable but a bit overwhelming at times.
>> No. 18846
[X] Eirin is...complicated. In a way that kind of makes my head hurt. She's wise, dependable, , and would probably win a vote for title of "Most Likely to Give Someone an Inferiority Complex" by a landslide. Also, kinda scary, when she wants to be. Her thoughts and actions are hard to figure out, and while that would make anyone else seem suspicious or unreliable, she still manages to give the impression that you can trust in her and things will be alright, even if you don't understand how or why. But then, that's Eirin for you.
-[X] But her losing control? I am not sure if I would want to see this. There could be a monster underneath that mask... or not: I've seen her kind side and it's much warmer than one would believe at first glance.
-[X] Yeah, she'd definitely be my second choice as a partner for a deserted island trip, just behind a certain black haired girl who seems to get really excitable when on a sugar overdose
>> No. 18847
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18847
>>I am not sure if i would want to see this. There could be a monster underneath that mask. Ready to torture and devour Shirou.... hmmmmm, doesn't sound so bad.

Oh, I don't think she would be that bad. For all we know, beneath that normally composed exterior she has, she's really a sensitive girl who seeks to be in control of herself and her surroundings to either cover or compensate feelings of insecurity she secretly harbors.

As much as she's known to be the one to come up with the plans, and assure others that all will be okay, perhaps there's some part of her that wishes someone would do the same for her? To have someone hold her, tell her everything will be okay, that there's no need to worry or be afraid, and to be able to believe them?
>> No. 18848
File 126216041629.jpg - (200.76KB, 500x1500, doc.jpg) [iqdb]
18848
>>18847
Nothing wrong with wanting to see what's underneath it all. Perhaps to be so bold as to reach out and...
>> No. 18853
[X] Eirin is...complicated. In a way that kind of makes my head hurt. She's wise, dependable, , and would probably win a vote for title of "Most Likely to Give Someone an Inferiority Complex" by a landslide. Also, kinda scary, when she wants to be. Her thoughts and actions are hard to figure out, and while that would make anyone else seem suspicious or unreliable, she still manages to give the impression that you can trust in her and things will be alright, even if you don't understand how or why. But then, that's Eirin for you.
-[X] But her losing control? I am not sure if I would want to see this. There could be a monster underneath that mask... or not: I've seen her kind side and it's much warmer than one would believe at first glance.
-[X] Yeah, she'd definitely be my second choice as a partner for a deserted island trip, just behind a certain black haired girl who seems to get really excitable when on a sugar overdose

A wise summary of Eirin methinks. It gives her proper amounts of praise while keeping our buddy in perspective with a little tease at the end. I like it.
>> No. 18863
Looks like waiting a full day or so before writing so people had a chance to vote wasn't worth it. Ah well, update coming soon.
>> No. 18864
>>18863

In my defense, I was trying to come up with something other than the current write-in to say, as I'm really not feeling it.

Then I got a copy of AC2 and sort of drifted off.
>> No. 18865
You give Kaguya her reply, keeping an almost playful tone as you go along. You can't help but smile as you tell her what you think,

“Eirin is... complicated.” Kaguya nods subtly, as if tempted to say something about the understatement you just made. She doesn't say anything. “In a way that kind of makes my head hurt. She's wise, dependable, , and would probably win a vote for title of 'Most Likely to Give Someone an Inferiority Complex' by a landslide.”

Another nod. Even less pronounced than the previous one. You get the feeling that the reason for this one wasn't the same as the reason for the first.

“Also, kinda scary, when she wants to be. Her thoughts and actions are hard to figure out, and while that would make anyone else seem suspicious or unreliable, she still manages to give the impression that you can trust in her and things will be alright, even if you don't understand how or why. But then, that's Eirin for you.”

You find that you're shifting in your seat without realizing it. For some reason this conversation seems to have something about it that's making you feel uncomfortable. You think about Eirin, and how she would react if she heard what you were saying. Or what you're about to say.
She did ask about picturing Eirin losing control. And you avoided the question. Well, said something vague. Which is the same thing as far as she's concerned probably. Still, it comes back to you like some sort of powerful afterthought. It's not really what she's asking now, so you keep the confusing and ambiguous thoughts to yourself for now. You're a contradictory idiot you realize. Nothing new there.

Still, you've got a good conclusion lined up. One that your buddy is sure to appreciate.

“Yeah, she'd definitely be my second choice as a partner for a trip to a desert, just behind a certain black haired girl who seems to get really excitable when on a sugar overdose.”

She raises her eyebrows, acting out her bit. “She'd be my first choice, ahead of a certain absent-minded person who likes to do the strangest things on a whim.” She smirks, her appearance implying amusement at light teasing.

“My choice remains the same. It's part of being stupidly stubborn.” You smile, not at all concerning yourself with her reply. She rolls her eyes, maintaining quite a bit of her previous excitable spunk.
“I can't very well expect you to act a way contrary to your nature.” She adds coolly. “All I can do is hope that you'll be as responsible as you can be with what matters.”

You watch her prod the bottom of the empty mug with her index finger. She gathers the sugary slosh at the bottom on her fingertip. The brown mix of chocolate and undissolved sugar finds its way to her lips. She sticks her finger in, sucking at the tip for a second before taking the finger back out and into the mug again. It's a small and insignificant cycle that she repeats, but it steals away some of your attention.

“What are we going to do tomorrow?” She asks, pouting slightly as she finds that after a fingertipful or two there's not much slush left on the bottom of the mug.
“Like I said before, I'm winging it.” You gently nudge your mug towards her. She takes the hint and happily scoops up the concentrated remnants from your mug. She stares at her finger before licking the tip clean.
“I understand that. But there's bound to be an idea or two that you've thought of. Perhaps something that you prefer?”
“What about you? Would you like to do something special?”
“Something special?” She looks up from her task with a shrug. “Leaving Eientei is special enough. Especially with... well... you dragged me along so it's your responsibility to choose.”
“Dragged you along?” You let it slide, “So you're saying that I should choose everything? What if you don't like it.”
“I'll tell you then.” She states with a somewhat snarky tone.
“Fine fine.”
“One thing though, are we going to stay in this cabin?”
“I don't know. I mean, I don't really even know where we are. And if we leave how we'd find our way back.” Sure you might be able to get your bearings tomorrow, but it's no guarantee. “We are relatively close to Eientei here, but it shouldn't be a problem I think. Tewi wouldn't have taken us here otherwise.”
“Um, well, it's your call and everything.” She engages you in a roundabout way. “I don't really mind it here, and we probably have food and water so it's fine as well. And it's fine as a base camp, but... the other living arrangements aren't exactly comfortable.”
“'Other living arrangements?'” You look around. “You mean sleeping in sleeping bags or something?”
“Not exactly.” She looks at you with an intense stare, as if trying to see if you get her meaning without her having to say it. “Normal daily stuff, it doesn't look like we can do it here easily.”
“Um...”

You stare at her, trying to figure out what she's getting at. You check off the things that you can do mentally. Cooking, sleeping, it's shelter... what else? It's only her fluster when you press further with a followup that allows you to connect the dots. There's no bathroom in the cabin. And by extension, no bath. That is an issue. The former is easier for you than her you suppose, but you appreciate the latter's implications fully.

You don't really know how to fix that. There's likely a public bath in the village. The other alternative is going back to Eientei for that. But that would mean returning. If there were a nearby river or something that could also work, you figure. Sure there's another way past that probably but you're drawing a blank. It's not something you have to solve right away and can wait until tomorrow you decide.

“Well,” You assure her, “we'll see how to best deal with it tomorrow.”

You get up and leave a flashlight by the door. The implications for its purpose there are self-evident. You see that Kaguya doesn't seem too thrilled with those implications but doesn't voice her thoughts on the matter, instead choosing to frown. You're sure that she could have made any number of comments about this situation.

You try to take her mind off of it, bringing up the next day again,

“Depending on where we go we can either do many different things or just a few.” It has to do with the distances as well. How far she's willing to walk also factors in. You have some money, but it's not like Gensokyo has a rent-a-car service available. The best you can do with your cash is spend it on other things.

“I guess we should also decide whether or not to come back to this cabin.” If you don't come back, you have to carry the rucksack all day and find a new place to end the day in. There's an inn in town, and probably plenty of places where someone could spend a night (caves, more abandoned houses, places like that). Even if you do come back, you're aware that you need to solve the bath issue somehow.

Kaguya has changed her frown into something more neutral as you speak, possibly in an attempt to reinforce that you're the one in charge here.

Leave Cabin
[] Yes
[] No

What to do/where to go ?

[] Write-in

(At first or for the whole day - any choice does not mean lack of interaction during these events. Nor right after this choice. Suggestions of possible places to go are available upon request, but really this is something that I shouldn't have that much of a hand with)

-
>>18864
Personally I didn't think that this was the best response either. But hey, I work with what I get. And if I get a few posts after my update and then a single additional vote after that hours later I can't help it. I waited a day even though I originally wanted to wait half a day max. This is why you should make your feelings known instead of not saying anything.
>> No. 18867
[X] Yes
[X] First order of business: head into town and see about procuring some disguises, and perhaps scope out potential places to spend the next night.

Staying at the cabin could be rather cozy, and it would certainly give the two a definite feeling of being alone together. However, comfort is important, and a proper bathroom would be a big plus.

As for what to do, I'm just thinking that perhaps a goal of this outing is to do thing they wouldn't normally be able to do back at Eientei. Trying to disguise themselves opens a few fun possibilities, I think. They could play up the whole running away thing, and pretend they're on the run. Or they could just mess with people, and see how many fail to recognize either of them. Bonus points if you can actually fool Mokou, though that would of course be Lunatic level difficulty.
>> No. 18871
File 12622735339.jpg - (640.58KB, 800x1000, 03c4254acc730c9a82e51b3de225a6e7.jpg) [iqdb]
18871
Happy New Year Teruyo!
I will make another miserable write in tomorrow.
>> No. 18873
File 12622792042.png - (716.95KB, 800x800, fireworks.png) [iqdb]
18873
>>18871
Happy New Year anon. I hope 2010 is a good year for the site.

You may not want to take very long; As soon as I take a sleep a bit/metabolize the champagne I'll look to this thread and write with whatever I've gotten. Hopefully it'll be more than just the one vote. If not, well, that'd be a shame.
>> No. 18875
[x] Yes.
[x] Go spelunking.

Let's do it. Unconventional fun, crawling around in small places. Who knows, we might even encounter a certain ground spider.
>> No. 18878
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18878
>>18865
[X] Yes
[X] Go to the human village and ask around about any hot springs.

You have to take a bath.
You have to take a bath.
Can't you feel it? During the night, while you slept, it came upon you. Grease. Grease, on every centimeter of your skin, from your fingertips to your face. Touch your cheek, quickly now—quickly! Surely you feel it now, how slippery, how utterly vile it has become. Everywhere. Everywhere.

...

Full speed ahead to the obligatory onsen episode!
>> No. 18879
A question: Would both of these characters like to disguise themselves, or would they prefer staying as is? Perhaps pretending to be newly arrived outsiders might make certain things easier.
>> No. 18880
[X] Yes
[X] Go to the human village and ask around about any hot springs.

Pretty sure Kaguya would stand out in the village, since her unearthly beauty is one of her defining features. Getting her a good disguise has to take that and her extremely long hair into account.
>> No. 18881
I'll begin to write in an hour or two (edging more towards 2). If anyone is on the fence about voting or making a write in, now is the time to just go for it and do it.

>>18879
I think the better question is "could they?". It's not like the village will have a special costume shop complete with wigs and fake scars/whatever. Best they can hope for is either a change of clothes or to dress up as peasants. How convincing would that seem? Maybe if they knew someone who liked to dress up. Or I also hear that magic can influence perception. As for 'would they like to?', asking and talking about it is the proper way to find out.
>> No. 18882
[X] Yes
[X] Go to the human village and ask around about any hot springs.
>> No. 18886
File 126231448714.jpg - (290.53KB, 634x836, klwa.jpg) [iqdb]
18886
A moment of reflection gives you your answer.

“I guess we'll leave tomorrow, so don't unpack.” You look to your rucksack, trying to convince yourself that it won't be that much of a pain to carry it around all day long. The weight of the contents, the uneven paths, the sun, they won't bother you. You're as stoic as stoics can be. Or so you desperately want to believe. “We'll look for another place to stay.”

You then add, almost as a side note,

“We'll be going into the village tomorrow.” If you can find it that is, “I'm going to ask around where we can find a hot spring.”
“Eh? What for?!” She asks incredulously. Her strong reaction surprises you.
“Boil eggs. Gotta love eggs boiled in mineral-rich water.”

Kaguya gives a dark look that shows that she's less than amused with the joke. You feel like teasing her further, but decide that risking her snapping isn't worth it.

“Well, I thought we could bath. Hot springs tend to be relaxing and soothing. Plus, it solves some of our other problems if we bathe at a hot spring.”
“How am I supposed to take a bath at a hot spring?”
“Normally by taking off your clothes and getting into the water.”
“I know that!” She snaps, cheeks puffing up. “What I meant was that how am I supposed to get into a public hot spring? I didn't bring the proper clothes for that!”
“Proper clothes? It's water. Usually people get in without their clothes on.”
“But it's a public place. It doesn't behoove me to be naked with strangers. I should be modest and wear at least a bathing suit. Even then, it's not something I'm comfortable with.” She raises her chin, embarrassment and pride conflicting. She then adds, sounding like she's mentioning the unthinkable, “I can't deign to imagine if such a place had mixed bathing.”

You realize that this is an unexpected problem. One that's not going to go away. No matter what you say or do, you realize that Kaguya is dead set in her ways. You try to compromise.

“Alright, alright. We'll skip on the hot springs. IF! And only if there's people there. If it's just the two of us, it's fine right?”
“I can't get in at the same time as you...” She says weakly, trying to keep her eyes from darting up to meet yours.
“Haven't you offered to take a bath with me in the past though?”
“I've never done that!” She's riled up. You enjoy that.
“Sure you have. I'm sure.” You smile, “In any case, it's not a problem if two good buddies soak a bit while having fun is it? I'm sure if I asked any of my other friends they'd agree.”
“You're absolutely insufferable!” She pouts, looking worked up. “I'm not about to put up with your foolishness.”

You chuckle, feeling good on being on the dispensing end of the teasing.

“In any case, I'm sure that we'll figure something out so don't worry. They'll probably have a men's side and a women's side or something.”

You stifle her protests with assurances that it'll be fun. She puts up a fight but eventually tells you in no uncertain terms that 'if you mess up she will go back home'. Your buddy is a scarily stubborn girl. At least as much as you can be sometimes.

It becomes late, and in the spirit of getting an early start you propose going to bed. Kaguya agrees.

She works her way to her suitcase, popping the lock with a satisfying click. She looks at you through the dim lighting with an impatient look.

“Well?” She asks.
“Well?”
“I'm going to get changed, would you mind not looking?”
“Ah sorry.” You were looking more at her luggage so you didn't realize what she was about to do.

You turn away and stare at the wall. Kaguya waits for a moment before rummaging through the suitcase, the rustling of clothes clearly audible. She finds what she's looking for and presumably begins to change silently. You hear how her skirt comes off her with a whoosh and a light thump as it hits the ground. It's so quiet in the cabin that all you can hear is your own breathing and the crackling of the chimney. Several more rustles later and you're pretty sure that your buddy is naked.

Or nearly naked. It's strange, but it's something that you can't stop thinking about. It's probably your close proximity. She's standing just a couple of steps away. It feels like you could feel her breathing gently disturbing the air around you if you tried really hard.

Which of course is ridiculous. You realize that. Of course it is.

It's just that this situation is, well, quite special. Regardless of how you think you feel about your buddy, the sweet friend that you adore, you're still a man and she's a woman. And like Kaguya said before, this is like a chalet – a cabin up in the mountains. You imagine a blizzard. Snow falls ceaselessly outside. You're snowed in, no contact with the outside world. No signs of civilization anywhere. Outside is a pristine snowy wonderland. It's just the two of you stuck together in a relatively small space, day in and day out. It's truly something out of a romance novel or a galge.

By now, you're not sure what you're feeling. About yourself, about her, about everything. You hear Kaguya emit a soft sigh, but you haven't heard the telltale sounds of clothes being put on yet. Blood is pumped furiously to and fro your heart, and your thinking is clouded. Your brain is too busy half-imagining what might be going on behind you. There's no way of knowing – or so you tell yourself. So it's no use thinking about it. Probably. Most definitely. Maybe.

Just maybe...

[] Take a peek
[] Don't
>> No. 18887
[x] Don't
[x] Start humming a tune.
>> No. 18891
[x] Take a peek.

A simple choice at first glance, but it may belie something else. What are our motivations for taking a peek? Are motivated simply by a fleshly urge? Or by an attraction to our buddy? Will Kaguya take it as a sign that we're interested in her? Or will she change her opinion of us? If she regarded us as simply her buddy and nothing more, wouldn't her attitude towards mixed bathing with us be different?
I don't know, it's hard to decide. I'd say 'no' based on principle alone, but will the message that choice says reach her the way we want it to?
It's a risk, but it's also a risk I think is worth taking, we tried to play it safe and gotten nowhere.
I really don't know what to think, I feel like this story hasn't exactly been consistent when it comes to risk taking though. In the end, it's a shot in the dark for me.
>> No. 18892
>>18873
Sorry, missed the deadline.
[x] Don't
[x] Start humming a tune.

No, keep your urges in check. She may be cute when she acts like that, but she wouldn't like it. Besides, there is enough time for that later on.
>> No. 18894
I'd like to update as soon as possible, but failing that I'll give it several more hours. Perhaps 3-5 hours more (I wish to get something in before I sleep).

>>18891
The story has been pretty consistent about risk taking - rather, the lack thereof. I can think of several situations off the top of my head where gambling or taking a risk was shrugged of. Even when the downside was obviously mild at best. The only situation that I can think of right now where a risk was taken is, well, now. Running off with Kaguya.
>> No. 18895
>>18894
Risk? don't know. I'm running on the naive theory founded upon many a CyoA that Eirin is infallible. The only reason we are in a cabin the middle of the woods is because she has allowed it to happen.
She's probably tracking our PDA.

Anyway, my vote:
[+] Don't
>> No. 18897
[X] Take a peek

There are reasons why doing this could be a bad thing, sure. But what if it's not a bad thing?
What if she actually wants Shirou to peek at her, thus showing he possibly does view at her as a girl, and not just as his platonic friend.

This could also figure into why she was asking Shirou what he thought about Eirin, possibly trying to gauge what he feels about her by seeing what he feels about someone else.

Of course, I could be horribly off-the-mark here, and this will just end really badly, but what the hell. We may as well make the most of the chances we have.
>> No. 18898
[X] Take a peek
I'm curious, that's all. No good reason.
>> No. 18899
File 126234122011.jpg - (113.63KB, 850x599, good heavens.jpg) [iqdb]
18899
Well, calling it. Even though it's tied, I want to move on. Tired and whatnot. So I flipped a coin. Something real soon.
>> No. 18900
Your head turns ever so slightly. Like a herbivore scoping the surroundings for predators, your eyes look around quickly and nervously. It's no good just turning a little bit. You can't see much except a shadowy shape. So you turn your head more. The shadowy figure begins to take a definite shape, light defining arms, legs, and so much more. And some more. Until you can see what you wanted to see.

Fair skin illuminated by firelight. Exposed flesh in front of a curtain of long silky black hair. Delicate and appropriate curves in the right places further accentuated by clothes still stubbornly clinging on. Despite of the noise that you heard earlier, Kaguya stands with her blouse tenuously draping mostly on her arms and coasting on her sides. Where fabric and buttons are supposed to be on her chest is just bare flesh and undergarments, both as pink and vital as in your wildest imagination. She is not naked. Nor is she dressed, or even half-dressed. She's exposed in that moment, in so many ways completely on display.

Kaguya's long and shapely legs are completely bare, her skirt forming an uneven puddle at her feet. You follow their silhouette from bottom to top with a slow pass of your eyes. The elegant pair of legs join her pelvis and another pink undergarment preserves her dignity. Your mouth is dry as you run your eyes up and down, attempting to better comprehend the reality of the finely sculpted legs before you. Flickering shadows play around her chest and crotch, reducing her underwear to mostly dark spots on otherwise truly delectable skin. The sight in that you're witness to is something rare even amongst the most rare of female specimens. It approaches what you realize with a jolt may just be perfection.

It goes without saying that your anxious heart is going wild. If it was in overdrive before you turned to look, now it's somehow at least three times as frantic in its beating. You stop to breathe, feeling the oxygen in your lungs being rushed out to every extremity in your body with undue pressure. Something somewhere is close to bursting.

Regardless of however you normally see Kaguya, you are aware that part of this excitement is due to the taboo of it all. Of not being supposed to look. Whatever the feelings of guilt that you're supposed to be feeling for looking, they're drowned out by what you feel now. You stare at the whole of the scene, absorbing as many of the little details as humanly possible. The way her hair drapes over her bra and around her thigh. The unreal coloration of her skin, as illuminated by the warm fireplace. How close she is, and how if you only took a couple of steps you could reach out and touch her. And how you ever want to reach out. It's an animal response, completely divorced from any rational process.

In a word (or more!), despite the fact that you're not seeing the whole of her, she is just simply enthralling. Exhilarating. Exciting. Enrapturing. Exquisite.

You notice that her eyes are locked to something on the ground. Her suitcase.

With what looks like an almost wistful expression she stares at an item of clothing sprawled over the top. A virtually transparent pink nightie with black lacey rims and a ribbon affixed playfully to the neck. Her look intensifies as she reaches down and picks up the nightie, hair moving like a silken wave. She examines it, feeling the materials with her hand and pressing it up against her face and shrugs off her blouse. It looks so soft. A perfect match for her fair and beautiful skin.

But she doesn't put it on, instead returning it to the suitcase almost ceremoniously. She folds it carefully and puts it under a pile of unseen garments.

You stop looking, aware that your peek has long since transformed into a ravenous stare. For a while your heart is loud enough to muffle the sounds of clothes being cast off and being put on. A thunk and click means that the suitcase has been closed again. It's quiet for several moments before muted footsteps find their way to your side.

“I'm done getting changed.” Kaguya announces. You look to your side and find her dressed in a comfortable-looking pair of pajamas. A loose buttoned white top and baggy pants is what she's wearing. You note the stenciled bunny looking nice and happy on the left breast.

You can't really find any words to say to your buddy, nodding much too quickly for an innocent man. It's then that you get ready for bed, observing that your buddy seemingly has more courtesy than you when it comes to not peeking. Or so you think. You have your back to her most of the time out, unable to face her out of embarrassment.

The lamplight is extinguished before you get into your sleeping bag. Kaguya is already snug inside of hers, looking towards the wall and away from you. It's a quiet night and you presume that she's already sleeping. You listen to the crackling of the burning wood for the longest while, trying to let your senses ebb away into blissful sleep. Unfortunately you toss and turn for a while yet, unable to let yourself go.

You bump your leg into Kaguya's suitcase, causing a dry thump to resonate. It smarts a bit, further compounding the issues keeping you awake. The more still that you try to be, the more awake you seem to get. You know why. But you choose not to acknowledge the reason behind it all. It's not a good thing to acknowledge. Especially when you're just within arm's reach of her. You've become very aware of her pleasing scent, how it seems to permeate all about. No matter where you turn your head you can feel it.

You stare up into the ceiling. You need to rest. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day.

[] Check if Kaguya is awake (and if she is?)
[] Leave the cabin for some fresh air
[] Do nothing
[] Other...?
>> No. 18902
At first we should try to relax the situation. Kaguya is probably as nervous as Shirou, which was shown in the last update. At least we know that she hopes to improve the relationship with him.
A joke or something should work. I can only think of one thing, which is incredible stupid.
Well, we should try to make this an exciting night, Teruyo gave us free hand to do so.
>> No. 18905
...Well, I can see that I won't be much use right now. Been out all night, haven't slept yet, won't be any use. Also, repeating myself. Would appreciate it if someone could whip up something to write-in for talking to Kaguya in my stead. Even if not, will be be awake again to vote tonight.

Also, vote moar, people. This story deserves your votes.
>> No. 18907
[ ] Fap

[x] Check if Kaguya is awake.
- [x] Tell bad jokes to help her relax.

I'm no smooth criminal so I have no idea what to do.
>> No. 18908
File 126237095430.png - (772.71KB, 1000x900, 7364539.png) [iqdb]
18908
>>18900
Oh gods, why did she pack that nightie? Of all the things she could have packed, why bring that? Is she going to wear it? Would she wear it? For us?

Oh gods, what do we have to do to get her to wear it, Teryuo? Money? Women? Booze? Arms? Legs? First born? Souls? Whatever.

She needs to wear that before we go back. We're not going back until she wears that nightie. I think we can all agree on that, right Anonymous?

[X] Check if Kaguya is awake
-{X} "Thank you, Kaguya. For everything."

I think we really should thank her for going along with our little scheme. Even though we're doing this for her, it all hinged on her trusting us enough to agree to leave in the first place. Besides, I don't think we thank our buddy enough for being awesome, letting us stay with her, and generally being the best thing to ever happen to us. Gotta be grateful for the best things in life, after all.

Is there room for a corny joke about this being a chalet on top of a mountain in the middle of a blizzard, and that if she gets too cold, we should cuddle to share body heat? Perhaps.
>> No. 18909
[X] Check if Kaguya is awake
-{X} "Thank you, Kaguya. For everything."
>Is there room for a corny joke about this being a chalet on top of a mountain in the middle of a blizzard, and that if she gets too cold, we should cuddle to share body heat
Plus that.

Perfect! First a bit mushy, but then follow with a corny joke.
>> No. 18910
[X] Check if Kaguya is awake
-{X} "Thank you, Kaguya. For everything."

This works for me.
>> No. 18911
>>Oh gods, why did she pack that nightie? Of all the things she could have packed, why bring that? Is she going to wear it? Would she wear it? For us?

Well, is that nightie the sort of thing someone wears for themselves, or is it the sort of thing they wear for someone else?

>>She needs to wear that before we go back. We're not going back until she wears that nightie. I think we can all agree on that, right Anonymous?

Oh, I think we can agree on more than just that. However, that will depend entirely on what we do from here on out.

We must be wary of what our goals are, and not try too hard to accomplish them, to the point that it's actually counter-productive.
Our objective must not be simply "get Kaguya to wear that nightie". It must be "get Kaguya in the mood to wear that nightie"!

To that end, we might do well to keep in mind the reasons why Kaguya feels the way she does about Shirou, just as well as why we should keep in mind the reasons why they're such good friends in the first place, and why they have such a strong bond.


[X] Check if Kaguya is awake
-{X} "Thank you, Kaguya. For everything."

Though, I'm not sure if it should matter if we know she's awake for this or not. If anything, I imagine such a from-the-heart thing being said even if we think Kaguya is asleep.
>> No. 18912
[X] Check if Kaguya is awake
-{X} "Thank you, Kaguya. For everything."
>> No. 18913
Writing now. We'll see if we can get even more updates in today.
>> No. 18914
File 126239054411.jpg - (180.89KB, 783x782, kslg.jpg) [iqdb]
18914
Rolling to your left and right ceaselessly isn't the best way to fall asleep. Nor is staring at the ceiling. Or any other thing that you do to pass the time. Counting sheep obviously does nothing as well. In short, you're screwed as far sleeping goes.

Your eyes have become more than accustomed to the flickering light coming from the fireplace. You can see everything in the cabin rather well; the thick legs of the heavy table surrounded by smaller sets of chair legs, the black stove resting on the opposite side of the room, the windows looking like two velvet-covered squares and the lone door cutting away a wall section – it's bolt securely fashioned in place. And that's just one side of the room. The storage space is not worth looking at, and the only other thing besides yourself is the long wrapped lump that is Kaguya.

The only visible part of her body is her head. More accurately, the back of her head. That is to say her hair. Some of it spills out of the sleeping bag, the fine strands sprawled about the wooden floor. You watch her for a while. You may be imagining it, as hearing over the crackles of the fire is probably difficult, but you think you hear tranquil rhythmic breathing. Certainly the sleeping bag seems to move ever so slightly in tune to every breath. You observe for the longest while.

Getting out of your own sleeping bag, you first realize the sharp contrast in temperatures. It's not that it's really cold in the cabin but compared to the warmth of the sleeping bag it's chilly. You make your way towards your buddy carefully; The floorboards creak despite your best efforts to not make any noise. You're on all fours, slinking on like some sort of animal. When your hand feels the lightest brush of hair you stop. Your head and torso hovers over her and you keep still, shifting your weight equally between your hands and legs.

You see her face.

Her eyes are shut and her mouth is pinched close naturally. She breaths through her nose and you are more sure that you can follow her as she draws breath and exhales a few moments later. She looks to be sound asleep. She's completely relaxed and defenseless and you can't help but stare at her appreciatively for a while. Even in the relative dark you can see the healthy pink glow of her cheeks. It seems to call to you and you're more than tempted to brush your hand affectionately. You check yourself, letting her be. Disturbing her would be like a crime - It's as if she hasn't got a care in the world.

You mutter something, whispering it as not to disturb her, “Thank you, Kaguya. For everything.”

After a while you crawl back to your own sleeping bag. From the moment that you got out to go check on her, you've been aware of her soft scent. When you stared over her it almost caused you to enter a state of rapture and even now it pleasantly tickles your nostrils. It's like some sort of comfortable and mellow high. Sleep doesn't come easily but it comes eventually all the same. You hear words almost like an afterthought. “Staring is embarrassing. But thank you too.” Your tired mind likes to speak out a little too much you figure before you're wholly gone into the dreamworld.

Morning comes soon thereafter.

You're not the first to wake. Looking around you see that the fire in the fireplace died out some time in the night and only char and soot remain behind as proof that a fire once burned. The scant light in the cabin comes from leakage from the windows – the curtains don't cover the glass panes completely. A draft of cool air hits your face as you sit up and see the door opened. Your buddy comes in, still dressed in her pajamas.

“Morning.” You rub your eyes.
“Ah! Good morning Shirou.” Your vision is sort of blurry but you see her hide something she was holding behind her back. She quickly closes the door and sits behind her open suitcase, places something in it and closes it.
“Is something the matter?” You ask, brain dulled by sleepiness. You stifle a yawn.
“Nothing's the matter. I'm sorry if I woke you up.”
“I don't think you did. And I had to get up anyways.”

You stretch your arms and a yawn escapes you. Before getting up you fix your bed hair sloppily, running your fingers through every which way.

“Are you ready to move out?” You ask. “I'll make us breakfast and then I'll get changed.”
“Um... take your time. You don't have to make breakfast now.”
“Not hungry?” You look down at her sitting form, wondering if she's feeling alright after all. You're not sure if you have the appropriate medicine if she's feeling sick.
“Oh, I'll eat.” She places a hand on the left side of her face, covering her eyes slightly with her fingers. She tries her best not to look at you.
“Then what?”
“It... just looks like you have more important things to take care of first.”

Her beating around the bush isn't making much sense to you. For a buddy that's supposed to be frank and direct she sure has her moments of indirectness and meandering.

“I don't have anything else important to do. I want to cook breakfast for us.”
“Oh!” She says blustering and pointing somewhere roughly around your midsection. “Just go take care of yourself already!”

You look down and at once get her meaning. The normal morning spectacle juts out pointedly in your sleeping clothes. It points directly ahead, and consequently at Kaguya. It's right at her eye level. Funny how you didn't even feel like going until she brought it up. Your physiology plays tricks on you.

“Sorry.” You mumble and quickly turn away. You say something else in a hurry and step outside as soon as you can.

You go into the bamboo thicket and find a secluded spot. It's there that you relieve yourself quickly, but nervously, completing your normal morning function.

In your hurry to get out you forgot your shoes and the damp earth feels cold under your feet. You look up into the sky while standing outside the cabin, the day isn't particularly a nice one. Thin grey clouds dominate and the morning light is hazy. In your thin sleeping clothes you feel a bit of cold. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to be caught outside for extended periods of time today.

You walk back into the cabin casually, finding that Kaguya's gotten dressed in the time that you took outside. She's done more than get dressed actually, you find that a pot and some food items have been taken out of the rucksack already. All of her things seem to be inside of her clamped suitcase and she's placed it near the doorway for quick retrieval. You grab a bit of water to was your face and hands and tell your buddy that you're going to get changed. She obliges by turning around and you quickly get ready.

Breakfast is simple. You open up a can and add a few of the perishable items you have. It's not a fancy meal but neither you or Kaguya complain as you chow down. It's a bit silent during mealtime and almost all the conversation you get across is in monosyllable form.

“Sleep well?”
“Yes.”
“Cold?”
“No.”
“Good.”

After you pack everything up and are ready to go things return a bit to normal. Kaguya hums softly as she watches you put away the last few things. You hoist your things to your bag and go. You leave the cabin as you found it.

“Do you want me to carry that?” You point to her suitcase.
“It's alright. Thank you.” She clutches the handle tightly, jealously.
“I don't want you getting tired if it's heavy. We'll be walking for a while. I can handle it.”
“I'll let you know if it gets too much for me. For now I'm more than capable of handling my things.” She smiles, “It may look bulky, but it's really light.”

So you let her be.

The bamboo forest seems to go on forever. Every direction you look tall, leafy stalks obstruct vision. While you are confident that you can get to and from the village and Eientei, you're feeling a bit lost now. The times you've gone to the village it has been through well-hidden, but all the same existent, paths. Right now you're walking through brush on a general hunch. You wish that one of Eientei's rabbits were here to guide you. Those guys know the forest like the back of their soft furry paws.

At first you hear the sound of running water and after walking for a few minutes more, come upon a stream.

“Are we lost?” Kaguya asks, looking at you. She stops by the stream's bank.
“Not really lost. Just... not exactly where we need to be.”
“That's fine. It's not like we're in a rush.” She closes her eyes and listens to the sound of running water.

You look up at the sky. The day is ambiguous. You may not want to dawdle too long. You look around and see that the bamboo thins out as the stream progresses. It's a safe bet that you'll eventually find a road or path if you follow the stream. Maybe even the village itself. And just like that your next course of action is defined.

You put your hand into the stream and feel the cool water slipping by your fingers. You decide to rest for a few minutes and tell Kaguya as much. She crouches by the stream and watches the odd leaf float by. Her suitcase stands at her side.

[] Watch silently
[] Suggest that she could take a bath here if she wanted
[] Talk (about?)

--
This took longer than I expected. In part because of delicious inappropriate thoughts about pure innocent sleeping Kaguya. Those kept distracting me. Making me write... things. Things that won't be shared right now. If ever.
>> No. 18915
>>18914
[X] Talk: "Buddy, I know this is coming out of nowhere... and it's probably a very personal question. I mean, you don't have to answer, if I'm prying too much, or if it's something you can't tell me. But... it's been bothering me for a while now, and I need to know: why settle down in the middle of a bamboo forest?"

I think a few fidgets, pauses, and embarrassed looks would sell the build-up too. This is pretty random, but I am curious, we don't get a lot of chances to ask Kaguya anything we want under drama-free moments, and it's a round-about way of learning a little more about her.

But saying nothing and soaking up the atmosphere has a nice appeal too, so whatever. No bathing, though. The logistics simply don't lend themselves to it.

I think it's pretty impressive that Kaguya's hiking through the bamboo forest like it's nothing, despite her clothing and habit of not leaving Eientei all that often. Either she's a pro, or she has a lot more fortitude than I thought. Speaking of which, I also wonder if we shouldn't check out her suitcase at some point to see how heavy it really is.

>Making me write... things. Things that won't be shared right now. If ever.

If any of those things involve Kaguya and that nightie, you have a moral obligation to post them immediately.
>> No. 18916
>>18915
I'm pretty sure that Shirou has heard the whole story about running away from the moon and it's not hard to guess why someone would settle into the "Bamboo Forest of the Lost" as a result.

[x] Tease her about the suitcase.
>> No. 18917
Two votes in as many hours is not something that I would claim is encouraging. My plans are to write in an hour and a half more with what's there. I don't wish to tarry despite the weak showing.
>> No. 18918
[x] Tease her about the suitcase.

I do think we have heard her tale before ... Let's have a little fun, seeing embarrassed Kaguya is great.
>> No. 18919
>>18917
Yeah, I kinda wish there were more votes too. I was actually F5-ing that last one, which is the first time in a very long time that I've done that.
>> No. 18920
[x] Tease her about the suitcase.
>>18917
>Day after New Years
>> No. 18921
Well, with an overwhelming majority of 2 out total 3 votes I'm off to write. Don't know how long it'll take with my current mood. Maybe an hour, maybe more.
>> No. 18922
>>18920
>day after new years, christmas, thanksgiving, midterms, finals, spring break, summer holiday
The list is interminable. Try something valid next time.
>> No. 18923
>>18922
Passed out from too much drinking? too drunk to read properly? the party is STILL going on? Personally, I somehow end up visiting in between your voting and writing sessions. I have to get my literary clock back on Teruyo time.
>> No. 18924
>>18921
Late response, but I'd like to show my support for
[x] Tease her about the suitcase.
>> No. 18926
You unburden yourself of your rucksack for the duration of the rest. Sticky perspiration on your shirt trace the spots were the straps were. Feels good to shed the weight for a while. It had been weighing you down a bit.

Kaguya keeps staring at the flowing water, lost in thought. You position yourself adjacent to her and join in her silent admiration. Not for very long. Her suitcase catches your eye. You look at its unassuming rectangular shape and wooden handle. There's no telling how much it weighs; Its hard shell won't deform or bulge regardless of the contents within.

“You should really let me carry that thing.” You break the silence, tilting your head lazily at her luggage. “You must be tired of lugging it around.”
“There's no need for you to do that.”
'Hm? Don't you think that you're being just a little bit too protective of that thing?” You prod, “Geez, if I didn't know better I'd say that my buddy is trying to hide something from me.”

Kaguya stands up, stiffening up and clutching at the handle.

“Why, that sort of dishonesty is hard to contemplate. But I'm sure it's not the case, right?”
“I don't ask you to show me your things do I?” She reacts defensively, her nose twitching slightly.
“No, but you're more than welcome to take a look. I don't keep any secrets when it comes to my bestest buddy in the whole wide world.” You add, smirking, “Besides which, I'm pretty sure that I've seen a lot of the things most people would find embarrassing lying about in your room.”
“Just lay off, ok?” She gets more excitable as she's backed into a corner.
“I wonder what sort of thing you'd hide from me...”

You start to enumerate things on your fingers, sticking out your tongue pensively.

“I think that I can narrow it down to two categories.” You smile. “One, the most obvious, that there's something that you don't want me to see no matter what. Something that private. Or, well, something that you're keeping for me that you don't want me to see before you give it to me. Those or the only things that I can think of.”

“You're a thick-headed cretin, you know.” She huffs, neither confirming nor denying your claims. “Just let things be.”

Her cheeks are red and she looks flustered. Probably angry, feathers ruffled by your teasing.

“Hey, I call them as I see them.” You laugh, reaching out to flick her forehead. She flinches. “Don't let it get to you buddy.”

She begins to say something in her defense but you playfully cut her off.

“We should get going, we've rested long enough I think.” You wink and go get your things.

Kaguya sighs and stands still, eventually following you when you get going. She carries her suitcase with renewed purpose. If before there was any chance of you going ahead and carrying it for her, now there's definitely none. She keeps with your pace bravely as you follow the stream out of the bamboo forest.

Your gut feeling was right. You eventually intersect a small wooden bridge and dirt road. Despite still being mostly overcast, the day's gotten warmer. You feel more sweat forming on your body as you stop to look around. Kaguya looks tired as well, though she tries to look as unaffected as possible when you look. Probably still upset with your teasing. But you see how her arms sway with the weight of her suitcase.

You say nothing, figuring that the village is beyond the bend to your left. Probably just fifteen minutes more or so of walking. You feel optimistic about this venture. Despite Kaguya's intermittent sullenness she still talks to you some. To her credit she doesn't complain about the poor road quality nor any of the physical hardships.

After an additional half hour you arrive at the far end of the village. You've never been here before. There's not much activity in the fields. Undoubtedly because of the season. Not much will grow in the coming weather. You see villagers off in the distance, walking about their homes and businesses.

It's then that Kaguya springs her surprise on you.

“I don't want to go to the village.” She says firmly. She finds a spot on the side of the road under a tree, places her suitcase and sits on it.
“What are you saying? We've walked all this way.”
“But I don't want to go to the actual village.”
“And what are we supposed to do then?” You look upon her incredulously. “If this is about earlier, I'm sorry. But don't behave like a kid.”
“That didn't bother me at all!” She claims defiantly, eyes lighting up. “I just don't want to walk around the village. You go ahead. I'll stay here if I have to.”
“Isn't the point of this spending time together?”
“And we are. But I don't want to go into there.”

You try some more arguments. It's all in vain. She's adamant about not going.

You sigh.

“What am I supposed to do about the hot springs then?” You ask.
“I don't know. Ask around if you must.”
“Are you willing to go if I find one?”
“As long as it's not full of people.”
“Come on, why don't you want to go to the village? We won't be long.”
“I have my reasons.” She says. It's very evasive of her. But her body language is defiant and reinforces her obstinate stance. You almost feel like you're privy to a glimpse of yourself in her, when you're being stubborn. It'd be worth respecting if it weren't absolutely annoying insofar your plans are concerned.
“Which are...?”
“Just trust me on this one. I don't want to be there.”

Again. Another sigh. You hadn't counted upon your plans hitting a brick wall like this. You have no idea what's gotten into her. And all attempts to ask her why she doesn't want to go are met with simple evasion and refusal.

You're wasting valuable time like this.

[] Change of plans
[] Go asking around alone
[] Drag her along if you have to

--
>>18923
Don't be snide. My response simply means to say that there's always going to be something that people will cling to as an excuse. If this excuse is present nearly all of the time then it's no longer an excuse, it's normalcy incarnate. In a statistically large sample at least some will always be inconvenienced. As for 'Teruyo time': Academics haven't recognized my genius yet. As such simply checking at least once every day is enough. Especially since I explicitly announce when updates/writing will occur and am generally true to the estimates.

>>18915
>If any of those things involve Kaguya and that nightie, you have a moral obligation to post them immediately.
If only you knew about the things I've put into writing, not just this...
>> No. 18929
File 12624103414.png - (1.06MB, 850x1169, ksna.png) [iqdb]
18929
I should mention that conversing is also possible but probably not going to be very constructive. Which is why I didn't leave an option for it. If you want to, go ahead, but I don't expect anon to be able to get to the bottom of things with just words right now. Maybe I should show more faith.

I wish to update sometime later before going to bed. At least, that was the original plan. But that's looking more and more doubtful as time passes. We'll see.
>> No. 18930
Shirou said he'd wing it, so it's time to adapt. This was an adventure for two; although Shirou could go into the village and investigate, leaving one's companion for god knows how long for unquantifiable gain seems like a waste of time. I'll go ahead an add an extra thought of mine and see if it takes with the rest of the voters.

[x] Change of plans
[x] Suggest a disguise and go elsehwere.

I know the idea of disguises was brought up before, but maybe we should revisit this idea.
>> No. 18931
[X] Change of plans
[X] If the village is a no-go, then offer to let Kaguya pick somewhere she would be willing to go.
[X] Failing that, ask her to pick a general direction for the two of you to go in, and see where it takes you.

She says that it's our responsibility to pick where to go, and we did say we were going to wing it, but considering she shot down one of the things we wanted to do, I think it's only fair and proper for her to offer an alternative, especially since she is more knowledgeable about places to go in Gensokyo than Shirou is bound to be.
Besides, it's no fun it the guy leads all the time.
>> No. 18932
[X] Change of plans
[X] If the village is a no-go, then offer to let Kaguya pick somewhere she would be willing to go.
[X] Failing that, ask her to pick a general direction for the two of you to go in, and see where it takes you.

Pretty much sums up my thoughts better. What's the point of leading the way if no one's willing to follow.
>> No. 18933
I think the reason for so few votes is skepticism. Not a bad skepticism, but you've been on and off for quite some time, and we're a little shocked at seeing 'Teruyo' on the top of the page with so many updates in such a short time. Like if Scorn started writing again in forest, I think we'd be cautiously pessimistic. Optimistic, whatever.

Of course, this isn't an excuse, so vote you raging faggots. Anoymously Terrible and Serial ATA both have gotten many posts in recent threads so don't even try telling me it's because you don't check eientei. If you guys plug in roughly an average of ten votes for 'I, Youkai' of all things you can take the time to do so here.

[X] Change of plans
[X] If the village is a no-go, then offer to let Kaguya pick somewhere she would be willing to go.
[X] Failing that, ask her to pick a general direction for the two of you to go in, and see where it takes you.
>> No. 18935
>>18926
[X] Grin: "Heh, if you don't mind me saying as much, you're adorable when you pout like that."
[X] Change of plans: "Anyway, if you're energetic enough to fight with me so vigorously, then I think we can head back to the stream from before and see where it leads. Maybe we'll find ourselves somewhere comfortable to take a bath."

Buddy, I love ya, and if this isn't cool, I'm all for changing it up, because in the end, I'm doing this for you. But honestly, lemme know a little in advance if you're planning on putting the kibosh on my plans.
>> No. 18936
I can't speak for many other anons here since I've only been here for less than a week, but regarding Teruyo, I think I can understand his need to update.

I'm an author that happens to update sporadically depending on the mood and feeling. If I'm not feeling inspired, nothing gets done, but if I am, 15 pages in 15 minutes. It's frustrating for me, but I adapt.

Now, that's not to say Teruyo's like this, but I will say that it seems to be similar in a way. When he feels like writing, he wants votes to be in.

Here's my vote.

[x] Go asking around alone (but only briefly).
- [x] If a bust or success but full of people, return and change plans.
--- [x] Let Kaguya know, but still suggest another direction to go.
- [x] If successful and it's not full of people, return and let Kaguya know.
--- [x] Keep in mind to stay away from a forceful nature but still try to persuade her to go.

It's more likely that the lower option won't happen. Just in case it does work, sure, continue on. But I think it's a mistake to let Kaguya to be the one to decide the next area. It's your idea to leave, take responsibility; she's already nervous about the entire ordeal. Letting her take the lead is a sign of unpredictability on your profile, something that I feel Kaguya doesn't like.
>> No. 18939
>>But I think it's a mistake to let Kaguya to be the one to decide the next area. It's your idea to leave, take responsibility; she's already nervous about the entire ordeal. Letting her take the lead is a sign of unpredictability on your profile, something that I feel Kaguya doesn't like.

You may have a point there, though I wouldn't think "unpredictability" is exactly unexpected of Shirou in this case, especially since he's already admitted that he's just making up plans as he goes along. Still, continuing on to do something else would be a good sign of his flexibility and willingness to adapt while still being able to maintain control of a situation.

Then again, I would argue that asking for Kaguya's input on alternative places to go wouldn't necessarily be a negative depending on how it's done. Though it could be a sign of lack of responsibility and a willingness to dump your problem onto others because you don't want to deal with it yourself, it could just as easily be a sign that you care about what she wants and value her opinion in a matter that concerns the both of you.

Besides, it is somewhat a matter of fairness. If you expect to be able to have veto power over the choices someone else presents, it's only fair that you, in turn, must be ready and willing to put forward your own as alternatives.
>> No. 18940
[X] Change of plans
[X] If the village is a no-go, then offer to let Kaguya pick somewhere she would be willing to go.
[X] Failing that, ask her to pick a general direction for the two of you to go in, and see where it takes you.

Can't vote when I work.
>> No. 18941
>>If you expect to be able to have veto power over the choices someone else presents, it's only fair that you, in turn, must be ready and willing to put forward your own as alternatives.

Granted. But considering that when judging a typical interaction between a female and a male, you can usually throw that expectation out the window. This is a male protagonist with a male mindset, regardless. Also, keep in mind Kaguya is a lunar princess; her upbringing has lent her some odd tendencies.

>>You may have a point there, though I wouldn't think "unpredictability" is exactly unexpected of Shirou in this case, especially since he's already admitted that he's just making up plans as he goes along.

I wouldn't be surprised if that's half the reason Kaguya's nervous; Shirou's unpredictability has a huge range. Yes, it'll definitely depend on how it's done.

Hopefully, if it's done with an attitude consisting partly of "Just as Planned" and "Mystery". And of course, any "it's your fault" scores negatives.
>> No. 18942
“Well,” You look at your buddy, almost scratching your head with confusion about the sudden turn of events. “if you're going to be like this... I guess we have to have to change our plans.”

She looks at you inquisitively, asking with her eyes just exactly where you're going with this. You choose to sit next to her, sitting by an exposed root under the shade. Your rucksack presses up against your back, and you free yourself from the straps. The road is absolutely empty except for the both of you. If it weren't for the overcast sky it would be a nice and crisp day.

“Look if you don't want to go to the village, I guess that's fine.” You begin to explain. “This is supposed to be something we do together, so it's no good if you don't want to do it.”
“I told you, you can go ahead and I'll wait.” She replies, shifting her look to the far off shapes moving in the village.
“All the same, I'd rather spend time with you. And since the village is out we have to change plans. What would you like to do?”
“You kidnapped me, you get to decide.” She says simply.
“Hey, I didn't kidnap you.”
“Maybe not. But I can say that you did sweep me off my feet.” She lets out a small laugh. You can still feel her weight in your arms.
“I'm not sure that I can decide. I mean, I brought us here and you don't want to go on. I don't want to do anything that you don't like.”
“How kind of you, but like I said it's up to you. I'll tell you if I don't want to do something.” She didn't have to add 'like I just did', the implications were more than clear.

You think, this time stopping to actually scratch your head. There's not much that you can think of. Catering to your buddy is tricky. You feel more than tempted to simply grab her hand and tell her to tough it out and let herself have fun. The next exchange just reinforces that opinion.

“Well, if you don't have something special you want to do, then let's just walk.”
“Walk? Where?”
'I don't know. Pick a direction and we'll go.” You point off to the distance. “I haven't seen that much of Gensokyo but in every direction there seems to be something interesting. Like over there, there's a mountain. And over there's a lake I'm sure.”

Kaguya frowns. The idea doesn't appeal to her at all.

“I don't want to walk with no end objective. It may sound good on paper, but in practice it's a lot of work with no guarantee for returns.” She points to your rucksack. “Are you really going to carry that heavy thing for hours and hours without getting tired?”
“Well we can take a break and take our time you know.”
“My feet are starting to hurt from walking all the way from the cabin. I'm not used to this sort of thing. I'm just going along because you want me to.”
“Geez buddy, talk about raining on my parade.”

Still, she had a point. I wasn't going to hold up forever carrying a heavy load, and I was sure she couldn't either. Especially if she kept insisting to carry that suitcase herself.

--
I wasn't going to update, but then decided to do so anyways to help you put things in perspective and consider your choices. There are some things mentioned in comments that merit attention.

The choices I put forward from the last update still stand, creating something new is also fine, as if modifying/reaffirming another of the write ins if you think it's good.

I'm definitely going to sleep and will give this a bit of time to sort things out. At the very earliest 11-12 hours from now. Sooner in the unlikely event of a wave of productivity.

>>18933
I'm not sure that I agree with the skepticism claim. Outright ignoring isn't the same thing as being skeptic. Besides which, I'm sure any writer will tell you that that sort of thing goes both ways.

>>18936
It's not exactly about being inspired. I've written several of the things that I've gotten 4 or less votes for in an inappropriate mood. Have no illusions, this is a forced attempt to instill a little life and excitement in a moribund site. Failure to do so has its repercussions. I am human and if things continue to be bad I shall eventually give up altogether. That's not a threat by the way, it's a simple reality.
>> No. 18943
Okay.
So, if we're going anywhere, we need to have a definite destination in mind, preferably one that isn't too far away, lest the two get too tired and achy. Since the village isn't going to work, at least not if we're sticking with Kaguya, that leaves us with going...I don't know where. We also need to worry about how easily we will be able to find shelter for the night, eventually.

I'm going to have to sleep on this one, I think, because I'm otherwise thinking we might have been better off just staying at the cabin. I doubt we can count on being able to find it again without another bunny escort, however.

So, what's in a close enough walking distance, might be able to provide a place to sleep for the night, or at least is close to such a place, and preferably has a bathroom of some sort that Shirou would know about?
>> No. 18944
lol updates. I got really confused when i saw that many of them. It felt like we really moved forward a bit, to breathe life into the story once again, slowly but steady together.
And i wanted to praise you for putting your personal feelings and pride aside just for the sake of writing and the few reader that you still have left but then i read
>It's not exactly about being inspired. I've written several of the things that I've gotten 4 or less votes for in an inappropriate mood. Have no illusions, this is a forced attempt to instill a little life and excitement in a moribund site. Failure to do so has its repercussions. I am human and if things continue to be bad I shall eventually give up altogether. That's not a threat by the way, it's a simple reality.
I am really disappointed in you Teruyo.
>> No. 18945
[X] Go asking around alone
-[X] Make it quick and dont get distracted, Kaguya is waiting

If she doesnt want to go in or travel randomly, and Shirou has no ideas of his own, we may as well see if any villagers can solve the problem. While it will leave her alone for a bit, we would otherwise just be sitting/debating with her.
>> No. 18946
File 126245160918.jpg - (319.76KB, 800x600, 0f1096d3a5abd33d163a17ce2a138bbe.jpg) [iqdb]
18946
[x] Go spelunking.

This is my last try. Don't expect to see any more of this option after three failed tries.
>> No. 18947
Feels like very snowball fight in here. Actually, visiting Hakugyokurou might not be a bad idea albeit there is the climb and the fact that we probably don't know that the Netherworld is our neighbor. If worst comes to worst, our next night is spent at the Hakurei Shrine; I hope Reimu has her hot springs in this continuity;, if things really go awry, the best we can hope for is blindly walking into Mayohiga; but, this is all meta-crap.

[+] "You're the most intractable hostage I've ever taken."
[+] Admit your poor knowledge of Gensokyo landmarks and see what input she has.
[+] Pull out your map (of course Tewi didn't send you off without a map and compass, right?).
-[+] If she has no objections, aim for the Hakurei Shrine as at least a waypoint.
>> No. 18948
>>Actually, visiting Hakugyokurou might not be a bad idea albeit there is the climb and the fact that we probably don't know that the Netherworld is our neighbor.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure you have to be able to fly to even get to the entrance. Plus, with that whole "being there is the same as being dead" thing that place has going on, I would worry about potential reality-shattering paradoxes arising from an immortal going there.

[X] Admit your poor knowledge of Gensokyo landmarks and see what input she has.
[X] Pull out your map (of course Tewi didn't send you off without a map and compass, right?).
-[X] If she has no objections, aim for the Hakurei Shrine as at least a waypoint.

Though I can understand wanting to tease her about her being difficult, the fact of the matter is that we share some of the blame for not having out abduction planned thoroughly. She might not be an easy hostage to work with, but neither are we being a particularly good kidnapper.

Still, the rest is good, I think. We should have a map and compass, at the very least, and from that we should be able to figure out some basic places to go.

The only potential problem is if Kaguya's aversion to going where people are continues being an issue. She had a good enough reason for not wanting to go to a public bath, but to not want to go into the village at all suggests there's more than just her modesty she's concerned about. Though it could just be she doesn't want to risk running into Mokou, it could also be that the very presence of other people in general is a problem for her.

Then again, it's the Hakurei Shrine. Unless there's a party going on, people is one of the few things you can be sure won't be there.
>> No. 18949
[X] Admit your poor knowledge of Gensokyo landmarks and see what input she has.
[X] Pull out your map (of course Tewi didn't send you off without a map and compass, right?).
-[X] If she has no objections, aim for the Hakurei Shrine as at least a waypoint.
>> No. 18950
[x] Admit your poor knowledge of Gensokyo landmarks and see what input she has.
[x] Pull out your map (of course Tewi didn't send you off without a map and compass, right?).
-[x] If she has no objections, aim for the Hakurei Shrine as at least a waypoint.

But most importantly for me
[x] Lighten the mood somehow.

I'm not getting any fun vibes from the two. Maybe talking about some old shared interests their adventuring spirits will become more apparent. Perhaps poking fun and criticizing the production values or writing styles of certain studios, etc. Just a suggestion.
>> No. 18951
Writing now. I think that it's been 12 hours or so. It doesn't matter actually since the turnout was good.

>>18944
Get over the fact that I'm not a machine. As I said before: if anything, I try to be honest. There's nothing like pride keeping me from writing. I'll keep doing until I can't bring myself to anymore. Simple.
>> No. 18952
>>I'm not getting any fun vibes from the two.

Yeah, that kind of worries me. Even if they're spending time together regardless, doing it while getting tired out from aimlessly walking isn't likely the best way they could be spending their time. Of course, doing anything else won't amount to much, either, if it's not something they both can enjoy.

I know Shirou's supposed to be the one taking responsibility here, and so we should be more certain about what we're going to do, but dammit that girl's not making things any easier.

I mean, really, if she agreed to go along with Shirou, there must certainly be something she wants to do or get out of it. If she truly didn't care what they did or where they went, there should not be much reason to outright reject something like going to the village.

So then, the question arises, what does Kaguya want?

She's got a suitcase filled with who knows what, including at least some rather sexy nightwear. This whole trip was proposed to her as running away, just the two of them. Plus, she's blatantly rejected an idea that entails dealing with any other people.

So, unless we want to deal with the princess getting progressively more tired and achey, we should probably find and settle upon a place that's comfortable, secluded, and lends itself well to two people just staying there and bonding.
>> No. 18953
“I really don't know much about Gensokyo,” You admit. It's strange but even though it's something that should be fairly obvious you feel ashamed of admiting it. “All the landmarks, places of interest – know only a little bit.”
“Well you can hardly be blamed for that.” She shrugs. “It's a complicated place to be.”
“This is sort of why I was asking you for your preferences. I can't take us anywhere without knowing what there is out there. Or how to get there.”
“I'm sorry to say that I can't help you there, Mr. Kidnapper.” She closes her eyes and a sly smile curls up on her lips, “I don't know much about that sort of thing either. I don't go out much.”

The Mr. Kidnapper quip almost makes you say something. But it's something that you might regret saying later and you're prudent enough to keep your mouth shut. Regardless, pressing her for any points of interest yields barely anything. Kaguya's spent most of her time confined to Eientei so it makes sense that her knowledge is very limited. If she's happy there, what reason would she have for wanting to know about her surroundings?

You decide to turn to a real reference tool. You dig into your rucksack. Tewi packed a lot of things, perhaps too many. You can't imagine a situation where a small abacus would be useful. You find what you're looking for tucked in about halfway, a curled up roll of paper. You unfurl it and take a look.

The map is... interesting. More than just interesting - that's an understatement and you know it.

At first glance the map looks complete and useful. Important landmarks and nexus of travel are all clearly marked out with standardized coloring and highlights. You find what is almost definitely this village and see most of the major paths leading to and from to it, including some indication of the hidden trail inside the Bamboo Forest. But then you start to notice the small details. Like how some landmarks seem to 'wrap' around the map – as if going further in a direction would bring travelers to the other side of the map entirely. The cartographer that made this map was clearly insane. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's not just the ludicrous warping that it's implying that occurs; some of the landmarks and points of interest are entirely divorced from reality! Simply put: some places are unreachable by most means you can fathom. You could understand if it was a cave or something (there's an elaborate underground system mapped out on the reverse side) but that's not even the case here. Those features are clearly the result of an unsound mind.

Yet that's not the worst part. Not by a long shot. The confusing runes, that hurt to look at, probably get the doubtful honor of second place. The worst are the little illustrations. Like how there's a smaller village further north around the lake supposedly. There's a skull and crossbones on it and a giant deformed (fat!) severed head looking highly pleased with itself. In a section of the map where details become a rarity the same type of severed abomination hops happily engaging a proud and fluffy armored bunny in combat. You get the impression that the rabbit is something of a paladin. There's a caption to it, which you can't read, that you think says the equivalent of 'Here be dragons'. You shake your head at the realization that the map has a lot of similar... extras along with unreasonable amounts of terram incognites.

“Anything the matter?” Kaguya asks looking at you quizzically. You hadn't realized that you were shaking your head in dismay.
“It's nothing. Just that the map has a bit of an unexpected, um, format.”
“Hm?”
“Don't worry about it princess.” You smile confidently, “I've got it all under control.”
“I don't like it when you call me that.” She pouts. You are fully aware that she doesn't.
“You've been most intractable your divine highness. Consider it payback.” You grin and bow as low as you can humanly go.
“Payback?” She mumbles something, nose twitching and cheeks puffing. She's upset, but if you know your buddy (which you think you somewhat do) she'll take it in stride.

You feel like poking her cheeks but that may be playing with fire. You'll definitely get burned if you go that far. So instead you announce the revised plan.

“If the most venerable princess has no objections, I should like to set our next destination. The Hakurei Shrine is close and I am confident that I can get to it with no problems.”
“I said cut it out with-”
“Come on buddy,” You offer your hand cutting her rant short. A smile and a nod, “Let's not waste time. We'll have some fun yet.”

After a moment of thought she puffs up her cheeks more and reluctantly takes your hand. You help her to her feet gently. You get your rucksack and soon are on the road again.

“Why are we going to the shrine?” Kaguya asks after a while of mostly ceremonial sulking. You know that she's in a somewhat better mood despite outward appearances. Probably because you ditched the village outright.
“It's close by and it's the only other place I know.” You say with a shrug of your shoulders. You don't say that it's because there's a low chance of there being villagers there. “Besides which, I'm sure that the shrine maiden knows all about the interesting and secluded spots in Gensokyo.”

Kaguya doesn't object to that line of reasoning.

The day gets darker as the sky gathers thicker clouds. The thread of rain is more present than ever. Momentarily a few drops fall haphazardly from the sky but no constant drizzle or downpour follows. You're not sure that you've got an umbrella packed. Kaguya doesn't say anything but you can tell that she is hoping that it doesn't start to rain.

The worry is somewhat alleviated with your arrival at the shrine.

There's not a soul in sight as you walk up the steps and under the torii. You stand under the roof of the main building about to ask Kaguya what she thinks you should do when an annoyed voice comes from around the corner.

“This isn't funny! I'm looking everywhere and can't find it. I swear that if you damaged it somehow I'm going to thro-”

The shrine maiden stops dead in her tracks as she comes out of the corner and see you. She's red in the face and looks like she's in a poor mood. You smile and wave a silent greeting nervously. She regains enough composure to address you with some manners.

“If you want to pray and make a donation go ahead.” She looks at Kaguya with a disdainful look.
“We're not here for that.”
“No one ever does come for that.” She sighs and starts to turn away, ignoring you. “I'm busy so don't get in my way. I don't want more trouble.”
“I wanted your help though.” You say, trying to think fast to keep here here. You get an idea. “I wouldn't mind donating if you helped us out.” To prove your intent you produce a large denomination from your reserves.

She hesitates.

“I'm really busy. And you look like a handful.” She looks at Kaguya. “One of yours was here earlier. Didn't say anything but with you here I can tell something is up. I want no part of it.”
“We're not here to cause trouble.” Kaguya smiles a smile that would turn anyone's heart into soft mushy butter. It has little effect on the miko.

She shrugs and heads on in inside, returning to her previous task. Leaving the two of you ignored.

“What should we do?” You ask Kaguya. “Do you think we should leave?” Though where, you're not sure.
“It's your call. But I don't feel like walking much more.”

You neither, truth be told. You body is already feeling a bit sore from the weight it's had to carry. Lunch will help a bit, but it's not going to revitalize you.

[] Talk to the miko yourself (placating her how?)
[] Have Kaguya talk to her

Inquire about (check all that apply):

[] If you can spend the night at the shrine
[] If there's any secluded spot you can set up in somewhat nearby
[] If there's an inn somewhere
[] Any nearby hot springs
[] General news
[] Anything Kaguya and can do together
[] Other

Note that Reimu's replies depend on how well-disposed she is. Which is dependent on the first part of the choice.

Once again my aim is to update as soon as possible. So either as soon as there's enough votes or after 5-6 hours. Granted this is extended if there's legitimate debate and concerns being addressed.
>> No. 18954
Bear with me on the following:
[x] Kaguya should take some rest. Ask if she'd be willing to help Reimu in order to have her assist them.
[x] Talk to the miko yourself
- make a donation and offer assisting her (with Kaguya if she agrees, or by yourself if she doesn't).

Think of our offer for assistance as a side-quest during this adventure. I'm hoping talking to Reimu will allow time for Kaguya to rest and also increase the chance of the miko calming down and assisting us. Then, inquire about:

[x] Any nearby hot springs
[x] If there's any secluded spot you can set up in somewhat nearby
[x] General news

I choose these because I imagine the folks back at Eienti are already looking for the runaways and Reimu doesn't want to deal with both of them at the shrine.
>> No. 18956
>>18953
[X] Talk to the miko yourself; donate first, offer your assistance, then talk.
Inquire about:
[X] Any nearby hot springs
[X] General news
[X] Anything Kaguya and can do together
[X] Other: if she can think of anywhere a couple of runaways could stay the night, preferably away from the masses or prying eyes.

Reimu's a no-nonsense lady for whom actions speak louder than words. Loosen her up with some funds, elbow grease, and a promise to keep the drama level (relatively) low. She's stressed out and is predisposed to having a negative outlook when things get weird (rightfully so), but she's not unreasonable. Appeal to that, and I think we can expect a better outcome.

>>18954
>Ask if she'd be willing to help Reimu in order to have her assist them.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I don't think asking Kaguya to do anything for Reimu would be all the wise. She's aching from all the hiking, and seems ill-advised to ask our lovely hostage for anything but her understanding and willingness to roll with our half baked plan. Unless you mean in the general sense of Kaguya helping in terms of agreeing to letting us (Shirou) help, in which case we're pretty much on the same page.

Heh, this trip seems to be fighting us every step of the way. Oh well, nothing worth getting is ever easy. Stay positive, keep your eyes on the prize, and never give up Anonymous. We will have nightie clad Kaguya by the end of this, come Hell or Hakurei shrine maiden.
>> No. 18957
>>18954 here.

In response to >>18956, yeah, I didn't really specify the type of assistance, but I did keep in mind Kaguya's state. I meant for any assistance on her part to be of the 'only option/last resort' type. What if Reimu needed help with something that she feels Shirou should not be involved in? It could be magical or feminine in nature. At the very least I assumed it wasn't something dangerous or exhausting, but merely something mundane and not too taxing on the body.
>> No. 18959
>>18956
>>18957
I'd like to emphasize this in case I wasn't clear enough but it is rather important to placate Reimu. I'm not saying that donating is bad (or you votes good/bad by extension), but the devil's in the details. Having Kaguya talk to her is a way of giving up that responsibility - as she may do better or worse than any suggestions by you. Just putting that out there.

Getting just the two votes in the several hours is somewhat pathetic. The input I've gotten is appreciated but I find it harder and harder to justify writing so much to myself. Especially when I make a point to announce when things will occur and follow the schedule faithfully. It looks like this will come down to another coinflip. I'll begin to write in an hour and a bit more regardless. After I get a bite to eat.
>> No. 18961
Here's a vote for ya, Teruyo~

[x] Talk to the miko yourself
- [x] Offer a donation, but don't push her mood

[] If you can spend the night at the shrine
(I don't think this is a good idea since it's supposed to be the two of you bonding.)
[x] If there's any secluded spot you can set up in somewhat nearby
(Definitely make sure it's just you two.)
[] If there's an inn somewhere
(People, people. Absolutely not an option.)
[x] Any nearby hot springs
(Just in case.)
[] General news
(This could be useful, but unless it's done during the whole talking right after the donation, I won't vote for it.)
[] Anything Kaguya and you can do together
(Bad, BAD idea.)
[x] Other
Thank Reimu, regardless of her help/nonhelp.
>> No. 18962
[X] Talk to the miko yourself; donate first, offer your assistance, then talk.
Inquire about:
[X] Any nearby hot springs
[X] General news
[X] Anything Kaguya and can do together
[X] Other: if she can think of anywhere a couple of runaways could stay the night, preferably away from the masses or prying eyes.
>> No. 18963
[X] Talk to the miko yourself; donate first, offer your assistance, then talk.
Inquire about:
[X] Any nearby hot springs
[X] General news
[X] Anything Kaguya and can do together
[X] Other: if she can think of anywhere a couple of runaways could stay the night, preferably away from the masses or prying eyes.

Makes more sense, just keeping things simple and transparent would be good considering they're probably being tracked down by now.
>> No. 18965
[X] Talk to the miko yourself
-[X] Give a donation
-[X] Offer assistance for her problem
Inquire about
[X] If you can spend the night at the shrine
if not then
[X] If there's any secluded spot you can set up in somewhat nearby

Whatever we end up doing, money probably wont be very necessary since the village is out. Reimu will appreciate it and become more agreeable.
Staying at the shrine might be a good idea. Its somewhat secluded (even if it is popular) and has its own facilities.
>> No. 18967
I've begun writing. Hopefully won't take too long.
>> No. 18968
File 126250028320.png - (10.73KB, 300x300, 1199842945344.png) [iqdb]
18968
[X] Talk to the miko yourself
-[X] Offer assistance for her problem
-[X] Give a donation

Inquire about
[X] Any nearby hot springs
[X] If there's any secluded spot someone may or may not be able to set up camp in.

[X] If anyone asks, she never saw either of you.

Figures. Once again an update comes shortly after I've had to depart for work, and once again there is dissatisfaction at the lack of votes within the period of time I happen to be gone and completely incapable of voting.

I have to say, it's both disheartening and frustrating to know I'm part of a problem that I can't do anything about.
>> No. 18969
>>18968
I hear ya man. I F5 for a while, wander outside to shovel the driveway, then BAM; an hour behind and having to compose a vote. Probably should have seen that coming considering the +/- on my timezone, but I still haven't taken the time to try and calculate board time and relative writefag time.

THP was simple: post clock was PST. I think TH-P is GMT, but without HY or AD (or any consistent writefags with defined timezones/physical locations) posting regularly anymore, figuring out when is when for who is mind boggling.
>> No. 18971
>>18968
Don't beat yourself up about it. If you're not there, you're not there. What I'd hope for is people who are around to check. Especially when I'm generally faithful to the times I forecast. Unfortunately the situation in THP is that there's little reader fluidity between stories and boards so no one elsewhere would even care to read or check.

>>18969
Times are all in GMT. I myself am currently at GMT +8 but most of the year am +12/13 GMT. I, however, make an effort to post whenever there's people around. Which happens to be (no surprise) afternoon/evening for EST. In general, the site sees the least amount of traffic between 10-12 GMT. There are exceptions of course but the rule holds true over large samples of data. I don't have that many readers so maybe the general rule of following traffic doesn't apply but eh. Sadly the other boards aren't really very active right now either. Right now /eientei/ is the second fastest board (for the last couple of days at least) and the average time between posts is a bit less than an hour - that says a lot, don't it?

tl;dr I try to post when there's people, but am not psychic. In general the times I post are accurate.

Also I've taken time to write this which could have been spent hammering away at the update. But don't worry, it's coming along well. Can't be that much longer.
>> No. 18973
You tell Kaguya to stay put. She does so gladly, sitting with relief on the wooden porch with her suitcase by her side. You'd really like to help her with that thing but now's not the time to bring the matter up again. You leave your rucksack by her and follow the miko into the building.

You track Reimu down by the sound of footsteps and storage closets being upset. She's working her way through a pile of futons when you meekly approach her. She ignores you even when you clear your throat.

“When I find it I'm going to make sure she pays...” She hisses.
“I want to make a donation.” You try to sound nonchalant and ignore her altered state. You swear that you can see plumes of smoke, embodiments of anger, coming from her head.
“The donation box is outside!” She has no patience with you.
“Giving to the shrine maiden directly just seems like a better idea.” You produce a respectable amount of money in your hand. You patiently show her by crouching down next to her. “I wouldn't want this to be stolen before it got to you.”

Reimu stands up suddenly, stamping her foot once. She looks at you and clicks her tongue but takes a more diplomatic tone now.

“Fine then. Thank you very much for your kind donation.” She takes the money from you and give a polite bow. Well, polite if it hadn't been so quick. “I'm sure that you simply love your local shrine and wish to see it prosper, which is why you wanted to donate. Not because you want something from me.”
“Can't it be both?” You put on a stupid smile for show.
“Like I said I'm busy right now. And you look like trouble.”
“I'm not trouble, I promise.” Your gentle smile does little to help her relax. She's really worked up about whatever it is she's looking for. You cordially offer your help, “I know! How about I help you find whatever you're looking for. Surely you'll be able to spare me a few minutes afterward, right?”

She looks at you from head to toe with a scowl. And shakes her head.

“This is a personal issue. I don't want your help.”
“Just offering. Two people can cover more space.”

The shrine maiden sighs. She shrugs, probably figuring that there's no helping you.

“Tell you what,” She proposes something – extends an olive branch so to say, “When I'm done looking I promise that I'll talk and tell you whatever it is that you want to know.”
“Thank you then. I'll wait outside.”
“No, don't.” Her manners are slow in coming, but they're there, “Wait in one of the empty rooms. It's going to rain soon and the porch gets wet with a little wind.”

She shows you a room and then motions you to follow. She takes you to the kitchen.

“I'm going to keep looking, but feel free to make some tea for yourself.”

You thank her and go back to Kaguya. You tell her about what's happened and she nods in approval. You move inside just in time too. Rain begins to fall in earnest. The day had teased you with the threat of it, and now the threat became reality. It's a good thing that you weren't caught outside in the downpour.

You take Reimu up on her offer and go make some tea.

As you finish your second cup with Kaguya excitement explodes inside the shrine. Shouting and running is heard. You manage to catch a glimpse of the commotion. A really short girl runs by full throttle with her arms in the air laughing madly. A girl with horns that you first mistook for a gag but look quite real. Behind her Reimu shouts and gives chase.

“Ahaha~! I'm going to tell everyone!” The girl shouts, highly amused with herself.
“Come back here you little-!” The shrine maiden is completely livid and looks like she's about to shoot something at the girl. The small girl is much too fast for her though, she weaves through the hallways deftly and runs outside into the rain.
“They'll never believe it!” Her voice trails in the distance.

Reimu gives up, refusing to follow her into the downpour. She shakes her fist angrily and curses the girl. “I swear I'm going to kick you out when you come back for good!”

By then the other girl was too far away to reply. So the shrine maiden has to content herself with her half-mumbled curses.

Out of curiosity you follow her back inside, at least hoping that you haven't overstayed your welcome. You find that she comes back to a messy room. It looks like a stampede of wild horses tore the place up. You watch as she scoops up an item from the floor and pauses to inspect it. You can't see it with her back turned to you. It's probably what she was looking for. She picks up a small wooden box and lovingly places the item inside and closes the box. She notices that you're standing there.

“What?” She turns around with the look of a kid caught stealing from a cookie jar. Her face is flush.
“Found what you were looking for?”
“Yes. I'll be along shortly ok? Give me a moment.” She answers quickly and nervously. You shrug and let her be.

Back in the other room Kaguya asks what all the commotion was about.

“I don't know.” You shrug, pouring yourself another cup of tea, “she's going to come to talk to us now though. That's all that matters.”
“So she found what she was looking for?”
“Seems like it. She was looking at something like it meant the world to her.”
“Good.” Kaguya smiles, satisfied. Her sense of empathy rears itself at strange moments you think.

True to her word, the miko comes shortly after. She looks happy and hears your questions patiently.

“Do you know if there any hot springs nearby?” Kaguya groans at your question but you pretend that you didn't hear her do so.
“Am I some sort of tourist guide now?” She blinks and raises her eyebrows but answers all the same, “The closest one is near the village. It's some ways away from it and there's an inn there. Or was. I'm not sure if it's still open for business. Other than that...” She thinks and shakes her head, “There's another up in the mountains. About half a day's walk from here.”

The walking half a day bit doesn't appeal to you. And certainly not to Kaguya. You continue asking questions,

“How about places to stay? Somewhere away from prying eyes. Where we can be alone.”
“Hm...” Reimu ponders her answer. And follows up with a question of her own, “I take it you two are running away together for some reason?”
“Yes... we are.” You say hesitantly but decide that there's nothing to be gained from hiding the truth. You're curious to see Kaguya's expression but out of embarrassment you keep from looking.

Reimu's next statement catches you completely off guard. You think that it surprises even herself a bit. It's a honest reaction though.

“How romantic!” Her eyes twinkle. Then she blushes, realizing what she just said. You don't know what to say to that. “Ah. Well, that's none of my business.” She laughs nervously, trying to forget what she said – all the while blushing.
“So... know of anywhere?” You strain to speak, feeling your cheeks burning up.
“There are eyes everywhere in Gensokyo. You best bet is to either find a cave in the middle of nowhere or stay somewhere in the village hidden away. If no one sees you arrive you'll be able to keep to yourself.” She hesitates in offering the last solution, “I also have an old annex, no one has used it for generations. You could stay there for a while if you wanted. But I take it your friends from earlier were looking for you, so it's probably not a permanent solution since everyone comes and goes here as they please.”
“Do you know of anything fun that we could do around here? That's the point of our being together.”
“Um... things a couple can do...” The miko looks at you and Kaguya and then turns as red as her outfit.
“I didn't mean it that way.” You let out a nervous laugh. “I mean like things to see, places we could go, you know have fun like that.”
“Ah, of course.” She's still red and simply shakes her head, not knowing what to say, “I don't go out much except for when I have to. I don't know about that type of thing.”

And 'that type of thing' is left ambiguous. You tell her it's alright and move on to your last question.

“Heard any news?”
“About?” She's still looking flustered from earlier.
“Just general talk.”
“I don't know what you mean. I haven't heard anything. And if you mean about you two, that's also not been talked about.”
“Ah, I see. Thank you then.”
“If you're going to leave, you should wait a bit.” She offers her advice, “The rain will let up soon. Probably for a few hours. It's still early, it's just now lunchtime so there'll be sunlight left.”
“Yeah, we'll do that then.” You finally look to Kaguya who simply nods in quiet agreement.
“If you don't mind me asking, what are you going to do?” She says, likely figuring that she's this involved so she might as well make it her business.

Both sets of eyes are upon you, looking expectantly. She means for later, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to decide what you were going to do while waiting for the rain to let up either.

[]

-
>>18971
Actually the site is slowest between 12-14 UTC, not 10-12.

I'll update in 13-14 hours more at latest. Or, in the rare event of enough votes, as soon as possible.
>> No. 18974
[x] Get a hat and an umbrella.
[x] Prepare a show they will never forget
[x] Singing in the rain
>> No. 18975
Hm. Not sure if that was a success or not with Reimu, but the brighter mood she appeared to be in near the end makes me think we did alright. Especially if she's actually offering to let the two stay in the shrine's annex. Hesitantly, but willing just the same.

As for what we're going to do, staying at the shrine for a little bit should be fine. If someone from Eientei came to the shrine already, they probably won't be back too soon. As for where to go from there, unless Kaguya feels up for a sneaking mission to infiltrate the village and find an abandoned house to squat in (possibly under cover of darkness), it seems like the two might really have to go spelunking after all. And there is a map of the underground in Shirou's possession, apparently.

If I didn't think it would be a futile effort, I would suggest asking Kaguya which she would prefer, or at least find less unbearable. After all, whatever her reason for wanting to avoid the village like the plague may be, it has a far greater chance of giving them shelter that has an actual bathroom than a cave would.
So, we must take that into consideration when deciding where to go.

Well, I think that can wait just a little bit longer to decide. For right now, though:

[X] What are the two of you going to do? Why, the same thing you always do; try to take over the world!
[X] Take up Reimu's gracious offer to use the old annex for now. Even if it's only a temporary solution, at least you can rest with roof over your head.
[X] For right now, though, offer to make lunch, using your supplies if need be. Both you and Kaguya should be getting hungry again by now, and it's only right to do something to thank Reimu for her hospitality.
>> No. 18977
If anonymous doesn't want to decide mid-term plans right now I guess you could put it off until after the rain stops. And so the next scene would just be waiting for the rain to stop at the shrine. Or not. Whatever makes you more comfortable. Either way is fine.

>>18975
>If I didn't think it would be a futile effort, I would suggest asking Kaguya which she would prefer, or at least find less unbearable. After all, whatever her reason for wanting to avoid the village like the plague may be, it has a far greater chance of giving them shelter that has an actual bathroom than a cave would.

You could always, you know, ask her opinion whenever you think is appropriate. Or present the pros and cons and ask her to consider it. Be persuasive or try to find out what she's thinking. Or perhaps why.

>>18974
Bah. Bah. Next thing you know you'll be suggesting something even sillier like the moon walk or extracts from the erotic journal of a sexually frustrated tengu reporter.
>> No. 18978
>>18977
I know you want to write it, you can't lie to me. And besides, it wouldn't be the silliest thing you ever wrote. You already wrote plenty of such things and they always used to give me many good laughs.
>> No. 18979
[X] Take up Reimu's gracious offer to use the old annex for now. Even if it's only a temporary solution, at least you can rest with roof over your head.
[X] For right now, though, offer to make lunch, using your supplies if need be. Both you and Kaguya should be getting hungry again by now, and it's only right to do something to thank Reimu for her hospitality.

Can't think of anything better, per usual.
>> No. 18980
>>If anonymous doesn't want to decide mid-term plans right now I guess you could put it off until after the rain stops. And so the next scene would just be waiting for the rain to stop at the shrine. Or not. Whatever makes you more comfortable. Either way is fine.

Not being entirely sure what you mean by "mid-term plans", I would like to say that considering it is about lunchtime, my vote for staying at the annex is with the intent of staying there until at least just before nightfall. As night travel is probably a bad idea, what comes after would depend on which of the two options, the village or a cave, Kaguya would prefer they try to seek out. If the village, sneaking it in the evening would probably be fine, but if it's the cave, then staying at the annex for the night and leaving early in the morning is the way to go.

As for waiting out the rain, that's fine if it's a post just about that. Provided it's while Shirou and Kaguya cuddle up while doing so.
In fact, I'll even make it official. I amend my vote in >>18975 to include the following:

[X] Regardless of what happens for lunch, set up shop in the old annex, propose to your buddy that the two of you grab a big blanket, sit in front of a window or open door, and discuss your plans while watching the rain fall.
[X] Ask Kaguya what she would prefer to do. Seek out an abandoned house, perhaps in a quiet area, in the village? Or find a cave and camp there? Remind her that whatever her reasons for wanting to avoid the village are, they should be weighed against the fact that the village does provide the best possible chance of staying somewhere with a proper bathroom. A cave, on the other hand, would certainly be more private in some regards, but would have even fewer comforts than the cabin in the forest did.
[X] Propose the idea that, if she were willing to risk it, they could attempt to sneak into the village while it's darker, and thus less likely for there to be fewer people around who might see them. This might also make finding an unoccupied house easier.
[X] If the idea of the village is still a problem for her, seriously ask her why she is so against it. Is it because she doesn't want to be seen by anyone at all? Or, just someone she doesn't want to risk being seen by?
[X] If she still does not wish to talk about it, then ask her to at least just consider the options, and let you know what she prefers before evening. If you're to head to the village, it would be best to do so while the night is still young, but finding a proper cave should wait until early tomorrow morning, at the soonest.
>> No. 18981
[X] Regardless of what happens for lunch, set up shop in the old annex, propose to your buddy that the two of you grab a big blanket, sit in front of a window or open door, and discuss your plans while watching the rain fall.
[X] Ask Kaguya what she would prefer to do. Seek out an abandoned house, perhaps in a quiet area, in the village? Or find a cave and camp there? Remind her that whatever her reasons for wanting to avoid the village are, they should be weighed against the fact that the village does provide the best possible chance of staying somewhere with a proper bathroom. A cave, on the other hand, would certainly be more private in some regards, but would have even fewer comforts than the cabin in the forest did.
[X] Propose the idea that, if she were willing to risk it, they could attempt to sneak into the village while it's darker, and thus less likely for there to be fewer people around who might see them. This might also make finding an unoccupied house easier.
[X] If the idea of the village is still a problem for her, seriously ask her why she is so against it. Is it because she doesn't want to be seen by anyone at all? Or, just someone she doesn't want to risk being seen by?
[X] If she still does not wish to talk about it, then ask her to at least just consider the options, and let you know what she prefers before evening. If you're to head to the village, it would be best to do so while the night is still young, but finding a proper cave should wait until early tomorrow morning, at the soonest.

Cmon Kaguya, it's not as if the village is infested with shibito during the night so a sneaking mission would at least be a fun, if not an exciting experience.
>> No. 18982
[x] >>18980
Glad that there are people like you because i was really out of ideas this time.
>> No. 18985
[X] Take up Reimu's gracious offer to use the old annex for now. Even if it's only a temporary solution, at least you can rest with roof over your head.

[X] For right now, though, offer to make lunch, using your supplies if need be. Both you and Kaguya should be getting hungry again by now, and it's only right to do something to thank Reimu for her hospitality.

[X] Ask Kaguya what she would prefer to do. Seek out an abandoned house, perhaps in a quiet area, in the village? Or find a cave and camp there? Remind her that whatever her reasons for wanting to avoid the village are, they should be weighed against the fact that the village does provide the best possible chance of staying somewhere with a proper bathroom. A cave, on the other hand, would certainly be more private in some regards, but would have even fewer comforts than the cabin in the forest did.
>> No. 18986
>>Remind her that whatever her reasons for wanting to avoid the village are, they should be weighed against the fact that the village does provide the best possible chance of staying somewhere with a proper bathroom.

Kaguya can easily appeal to the fact that she wasn't really supposed to be with you in the first place. A "kidnapping", as she put it. Even if you appeal to the amenities, there's still the point of "this wasn't supposed to happen" to contend with.
>> No. 18987
Writing now(ish). Update to follow in an hour or so I reckon.
>> No. 18989
File 126255999010.jpg - (571.89KB, 900x1200, knyp.jpg) [iqdb]
18989
“If you don't mind I'd like it if we could stay in the annex for a while.” You look at the miko, smiling, “You know, until the rain stops.”
“I suppose I can open up for you. Though my offer was more for the night.” Reimu shrugs, her ribbon flopping about as her head moves. Something as big as that looks awkward to wear, as do the two red things holding strands together on either side of her face. The big ribbon is similar to Mokou's and, now that you think about it, might not be as awkward as wearing something like Keine's hat. At least a ribbon is tied on – with Keine it looks like it's a permanent balancing act.

You stop Reimu from getting up just yet with a hand gesture.

“If you don't mind I'll make us some lunch. As thanks for your help.” The shrine maiden doesn't object. Neither does Kaguya. “I'll use our supplies to cook so if I may use the kitchen I'll get started.”
“Well, you can use some of my rice as well. I don't mind.” She gets up and urges you to come along. “I'll show you where I keep it.”

Reimu is definitely more well-mannered than initial impressions would betray. You decide as much while cooking a simple meal for three. You have the simple misfortune of running into her every time that something's bothering her. You're the only one in the kitchen, having insisted that you could handle everything by yourself. Reimu is with Kaguya, maybe talking. Outside rain continues to fall without restraint, the downpour sounding like an uninterrupted shower.

Once lunch is done you call the others to dig in. Your simple cooking meets with success and the shrine maiden approves. As she puts it, “it's nice to eat something besides rice and miso.”. You make some polite conversation with her but it's nothing that engaging. Likewise Kaguya also makes a few remarks but it's nothing but niceties and smalltalk. After you're done you help clean up and Reimu goes and fetches her keys for the annex.

The annex is a separate building several meters away from the main building. It's nestled away between tree and terrain and can't be easily seen from where you are. If you didn't know it existed, you'd likely remain ignorant even if you were a regular visitor (or resident) of the shrine. To get to it Reimu produces a large umbrella and provides cover for everyone to cross over protected from the rain. You're not completely covered and find that the rain soaks your left shoulder. It doesn't matter as long as the other two are covered you figure.

A large lock keeps the gate leading to the annex closed. Reimu fumbles around with a keyring until she finds the one that opens the lock. The gate creaks as it opens. The annex itself looks to be like any other building here, if maybe a bit older and worn than the rest. It's a single-storey edifice with a small porch and at least several rooms inside. According to Reimu, in the past the shrine used to have people living in it and the old annex housed the priests' families. You can believe that, seeing as how it looks more like a home than a sacred building. There's something about the layout that makes you think that. It's also the type of place that's bound to be haunted, you tell yourself with a small chuckles.

But it's where you and Kaguya settle down. You step inside the first room you find, barren except for a small worn table, and plop down. Reimu disappears for a while and comes back with cushions. She mumbles something about it being stuffy in here and opens a door leading to the porch. Unlike the main building, the roof extends further out and the trees protects from wind, so it doesn't get wet with the rain.

The miko leaves you alone after a while, telling you're free to stay for a while. The both of you stare out into the rainy landscape for the longest while without saying a word. Fat drops of water splash down everywhere; Every raindrop makes a small plop as it hits the ground, and together they form a gentle symphony of sound. It's relaxing to listen to and watching it allows you to lose yourself. Almost makes you feel like springing out there and singing a merry little ditty.

“After the rain stops, what would you like to do?” You speak to Kaguya while keeping your eyes firmly on the rain outside.
“You mean we're leaving here?”
“I suppose.” You shrug. There's no guarantee that you'll be left alone here. Well, anywhere you go actually. “We could look for a cave somewhere and set up there.” It'd have to be sizable though in order to give you enough room to sleep and protect you from the elements. “It's probably our best option for privacy, I don't think that many people come looking for others in caves.”

Of course, that's no guarantee if someone persistent is looking.

“We can always look for an abandoned house somewhere quiet in the village. That'd probably be more comfortable. Better facilities than a cave too.” Most likely a bathroom. You're not sure if indoor plumbing is standard in the village. You hope that it is.
“And finding an abandoned house is easy? What happened to all your enthusiasm for a hot spring?”
“I don't know, you didn't seem all that interested.” You shrug. “Unless you're telling me that you are now?”
“I was just wondering where that went since you've been making a big deal out of it. Nothing else.”
“Hm.” She did only outright refuse being with other people. You look at her. She's staring out into the rainy terrain. You wonder if she actually kind of wants to go. You don't want to be forceful but it sometimes seems like that's the best way to get things going. Maybe it'd be for the best. It's a thought that you don't voice. “I don't know how easy it would be to find someplace empty in or near the village. But if we go at night it shouldn't be too hard to tell which places are occupied and which aren't.
“I have my reservations about breaking in and squatting.”
“It's for a good cause.” You smile.
“Ours is a good cause?”
“Of course it is buddy.”
“Well. I'll once again leave it up to you. You're responsible for all of this so act like it and take the lead.” You can see that she smirks but doesn't turn to face you, “Fantasizing about kidnapping people is one thing, actually doing it begets a certain degree of personal commitment and responsibility.”
“Yeah, yeah.” You answer dismissively.
“If you want to keep a low profile then I suggest avoiding people altogether. It... won't be good if others find out.”

You sigh.

“So again anything's fine as long as I don't unknowingly do something that you don't want me to do?”
“That's about right.” Her deadpan answer makes you sigh again.
“But, as it stands, there's nothing that you seriously object to in any of our alternatives.” You try to confirm.
“I don't think so. Unless you start wanting to climb a mountain or run through the rain.”
'Good. Those aren't in my current plans.” Though you bet that if your hostage were dead tired from exerting herself she wouldn't have the energy to object to anything you wanted to do.

The intensity of the rain diminishes slightly. It might be a sign that the rain is going to take a break soon.

[] Stay in the annex tonight
[] Move out to find a cave
[] Find somewhere to go in the village
[] Hot springs or bust

-
Took me a bit longer than forecast. Mostly because I started getting distracted with some things that may never come to pass in the story.

Update as soon as there are enough votes or an a couple of hours more.
>> No. 18990
[X] Stay in the annex tonight.
-[x] Hot springs or bust
--[x] Perhaps find a cave that may be close by to said hot springs.

It could not have been too long since the search party had visited the shrine, so a night of stay couldn't hurt. After that though, may as well hunt for hot springs to freshen up; perhaps find a cave near the hot springs as well to camp at.
>> No. 18991
[x] Stay in the annex tonight.
-[x] Hot springs or bust

I agree with staying at the annex for the night. Traveling through the countryside right after rain usually isn't the most pleasant of endeavors. As for looking for hot springs, it sets a clear goal for this wandering adventure. Aimless drifting will probably increase Kaguya's urge to return to Eientei.
>> No. 18992
[x] Stay in the annex tonight.
-[x] Hot springs or bust

>Mostly because I started getting distracted with some things that may never come to pass in the story.
Okay, now i am curious. If it will never happen, just tell us all about it.
Last vote from me tonight, too tired to wait until you are in the mood again or feel satisfied with the attention you are getting.

But seriously, even if you are complaining an awful lot, i like your "new" update speed. Things really improved here since you picked up the story again. Good Work.
>> No. 18993
[x] Stay in the annex tonight.
- [x] Hot springs or bust.

I don't see a need to go against the flow. Yet.
>> No. 18994
So anon would rather put off going to a nice intimate hot spring for a night and instead opt for spending the night in a rickety old building alone? That's... something alright. With another kind of potential. But those on a lamb seldom have the luxury of making longer term plans without considering those who are looking for them. Not that I'm saying the current vote is bad. I'm just putting that out there because I get bored not writing (and end up watching bad shows or anime). This is me speaking with no convenient author's knowledge so don't look for hidden meaning.

I mean, hey, if I were writing this only regarding what I wanted we would have hugged Kaguya when we first met her and never let her go. And Eirin would dispense sensuous life lessons with a hands-on approach while Tewi and Reisen joined for a show of bunny skill and dedication. But hey, I'm a bit off in the head.

>>18992
It's not about the mood, friend. That helps with the writing but hasn't kept me from updating.

And no, no spilling the beans of things that might happen. Things that won't happen are not even that okay because they can be used in the future for something unrelated or another run. Like jell-o wrestling Keine and Eirin. Or Mokou and Reisen fighting over their territory (read: you) in skimpy outfits clawing and reaching out in a display of mad love. Or Kaguya and Tewi joining hands in order to discipline Shirou and make sure he understands what's so great about Eientei.
>> No. 18995
- [x] Hot springs or bust.

Did I miss something? Well, here's my vote.
>> No. 18997
[X] Hot springs or bust

I hope I got home in time.
>> No. 19000
“I'm going to head back to the shrine.” You tell Kaguya. “We'll be staying here tonight.”

She just kind of shrugs and continues to watch the falling rain. You take a moment to find something with which to shield yourself from the rain. A helmet is the best you can do. It's good enough for the short distance between buildings and you cross over quickly and feeling only slightly wet.

You find the shrine maiden cleaning up the mess from earlier. Well, not quite. It looks like she was cleaning up earlier but you find her sitting crossed-legged in the middle of the room with the box from earlier in her hands. She's popped the lid and is staring at the contents with a silly smile on her face. She's gets startled when she notices that you're there. She quickly closes the box and gets up, her face red.

“Sorry if I surprised you.” You apologize. “You should keep that in a hidden place if you odn't want it to get stolen again.”
“Ah, it was in a hidden place. That didn't stop the scamp from finding it.”
“Lack of privacy is annoying, I'd know.” You think of Tewi and the many times she's messed with your stuff. Lovable little vandal though.
“Just another burden to bear.” She shrugs. “I thought you were going to stay until the rain stopped. Change of plans?”
“No. Well, a bit.” You are finding it weird to impose on her. She doesn't really owe you anything after all. And it looks like she has enough excitement in her life without having to harbor runaways.
“I won't bite. I'm no youkai” She grins, teeth flashing, “It's rare enough to deal with pretty normal people so out with it.”
“I'm flattered to be considered normal.” You chuckle. “Well then, I was just thinking on taking you up on your earlier offer. About spending the night. That is, if you don't mind.”
“I don't mind at all. Feel free to use the old place. There's a small bath in there as well as a tiny kitchen if you want to use it.”
“Thanks. You're a great help.”
“I promise not to get in the way either.” She makes a hollow nervous laugh. “Your privacy is guaranteed. There's bound to be people coming over here and so I'll stay away so they don't come looking.”
“I, um, appreciate that.” You figure that clearing any misconceptions might be too complication.
“And, uh, there might be someone else coming over here later.”
“'Someone'?” You think you get what she means. “Oh. Well, I won't bother you either then. I take it has to do with that box?”
“Something like that.” She reddens at the mere mention of it. “How did you know?”
“I'm not as stupid as I look.” You smile. “I can notice these things. I hope the best for you.” Sometimes at least. You're bluffing but hell, you sound cool and that's all that matters. The god of charisma has surely blessed you. Or is about to strike you down for your impudence. The thought makes your insides brace themselves for an omnipotent foe. Luckily the god is probably too busy being charismatic to care.
“I'm just getting ahead of myself here and-”
“It's okay. You don't need to say anything more. I understand.” Good for the shrine maiden. It must be a good thing that she's got going on for her to react like that. You'll admit that you're curious, but not rude enough to pry.

The miko gives you tea and a couple of other things so you're comfortable in the annex. You thank her for the kindness again and are off back on your way.

“Hey buddy, Reimu gave me some tea and other-” You walk in on something and are cut off midspeech. Your buddy was rifling through a pile of her unmentionables. Needless to say she shoves them all hastily into her suitcase. It's a whirlwind of white, pink, black and oh so many other colors. Naturally you weren't able to see much. “Sorry about that.”

“It's ok. I was just looking for something and then got too caught up.” She apologizes. “What's this about tea?”
“Um. Yeah, well I got some tea and a couple of other things.” You show her your haul, trying to continue as normal. “Reimu also says that there's a bath in here and a small kitchen so we can cook.”
“Ah that's good news.”
“Yeah. I'll go check it out now see if I can't get things working.”

To be honest, you felt a bit awkward there. You're aware that your buddy is a girl. But it's reminders like those that make your heart pump like crazy and your mind race like a skateboard with rockets attached to it. So that's why you offered to take a look around. To clear your mind and forget about soft delicate undergarments. How they fit snugly in all the right places and add a certain air of...

Back to looking around. You shake your head and start opening doors. There are two multipurpose rooms opposite each other in the middle of the corridor. Probably bedrooms. A storage closet here and there and, like Reimu said, a bathroom at the end of the hall. Not too shabby either, a large bathtub and a small room before it for clothes and changing. Like everything else in this annex the bathtub looks old and a little under-maintained. But it's made of sturdy wood and ceramics – promising to still work. Probably.

You begin to clean the bath with a cloth you find in a nearby storage closet. While you can't get the sparkle back in just like this, removing the layers of dust makes the whole operation look more respectable. And testing the pipes shows that water does flow in from somewhere else. Hot water too. Lucky that.

Satisfied you inspect the kitchen, a small room nestled in the far end of the annex. There's what might have been once a living room adjoining it and marks on the tatami that suggest that a table once sat there. The kitchen has an old-fashioned stove that works by burning wood and some of the kitchen utensils are still there. It's more than you'll need for a short stay anyways.

You notice a door leading from the kitchen and decide to check it out. It's a small pantry. Completely bare of any food or items except for a chest in a dark corner. You've come this far so you decide to open the chest.

It's a wonderful surprise. Stacks and stacks of different bottles. All of them full. And all of them containing some sort of alcohol. The labels on some of them are worn and faded, but you can tell that most of this is really good stuff. If there's a patron god of drinking then he's been looking out for you. You give a short sincere and solemn prayer of thanks. You doubt that even Reimu knows about these. The temptation to pop open a bottle and drink is great, almost too great for you to contain. But you close the chest and leave, having finished your inspection.

“That's a stupid look there buddy.” Kaguya remarks on your sloppy grin. You can't hide it very well so you just shrug.
“Yeah, well. You know. Are you happy being here?” You tell her about the working bath.
“I've been kidnapped. I'm not supposed to be happy about anything.” She teases. Yet still manages to admit, “But it's not the worse place where we could have ended up.”
“Glad to hear it then.”
“So what are we going to do all afternoon. And evening? You've got ideas, right?”
“Oh I've got ideas.” You lie. You don't really know. But lying for now gives you a few moments to come up with something on the spot.
“Well then. Out with it.” She looks at you with a smile in her eyes. “You seem happy so that means something good for us.”
“This might be worth getting dressed up for.” You buy some more time while thinking.
“Dressed up?” She looks at you inquisitively. Like asking what kind of thing you have in mind.
“Well maybe.”

You play down the hype just a little bit before you settle down on a plan of action.

[]

---
Anything you want the writefag to say?
>> No. 19001
Aiyah~

Well, I guess my vote'll be:

[x] Dinner for two at the annex. Make it seem formal.
- [x] If needed and if possible, add a bit more mood to the dinner via decor or supplies from Reimu.

If it works out, it's a good chance for some 1-to-1.

The anons out there that are more inspired than I am right now can elaborate further, but that's the idea.
>> No. 19002
>>19001
That's fine for later. But you forget that they had lunch recently. It's still early/mid afternoon. Even if you suggested baths and all that there'd still be a lot of time of doing nothing.
>> No. 19003
Writefag-in-training (me) fail.

Heh. Well, then...

[x] Put off the issue at hand, alluding to it as a long-term thing.
[x] Propose an outing with just the two of you, away from trees.

I still think the main objective is a 1-to-1 sort of thing, but if they just had lunch, then what's needed is something to get the minds off of food (and the situation, something that still seems to bug Kaguya [though this w-i-t doesn't believe that's the case]). A Walk To Remember might change all that.
Definitely I'd like for Shirou to get talking to Kaguya. The aim is for a personal level talk, but that won't be in reach for now.
>> No. 19004
>>19003
Oops, forgot one more thing.

I think it's best if the walk stays away from trees and bamboo. There's no need to remind either of you of Eientei. At least, for now.
>> No. 19005
[X]Consider exploring a bit away from the shrine; get a better lay of the land as well as preparation for the next move later on
-[X]Try making conversation about (I don't know, no inspiration just yet/Talk about the possibility of camping out in a cave being the next choice/possibly head towards the Magical Forest avoiding the village)
I forget how close/how far the Bamboo Forest/Eientei and the Magical Forest are from each other so...

later...

[x] Dinner for two at the annex. Make it seem formal.
- [x] If needed and if possible, add a bit more mood to the dinner via decor or supplies from Reimu.

Just trying some ideas, not sure really.
>> No. 19007
Is it still raining out? We should probably just stay inside and relax together, though I have no idea as to specific things appropriate for the situation.
>> No. 19008
>>19007
I thought it letting up was a sign that it would stop raining soon.
>> No. 19009
Let's see, activities...

I'd say if we're going to wander about the grounds, now is as good a time as any. If Reimu is having company over later, we'll want to be nice and secure in our little hideaway before they arrive, both for our sakes and for Reimu's (here's hoping the little miko gets lucky).
In terms of things to do indoors, I'm not quite so sure what our options could be. I would think that the need for entertainment would have been among the eventualities Shirou would have wanted to prepare for, and thus there should be something we could use to pass the time in our handy-dandy rucksack. Of course, just doing stuff that could just as easily have been done back in Kaguya's room at Eientei is kinda pointless, so it should be something special.

In fact, I would think that should be the theme for this whole outing, the doing of things they couldn't normally do back home, have wanted to do but never found the time, or anything else they might want to do that they might never have the chance to try again.

Considering our current location, I can think of something...

[X] An old building, locked-up and unused for generations? This calls for a TREASURE HUNT!

Of course, Shirou already found some treasure, but maybe there are some other things to be found in this place that has been untouched by human hands for possibly decades, maybe even centuries.
>> No. 19010
I don't like the Treasure Hunt idea. Would ruin the dinner plan IMO.

I say that we stick to the outdoors, and avoid referencing Eientei in any way. A.k.a. no Forest of Magic.
>> No. 19011
Well it doesn't look like I'll be updating within the next hour or two. So it's drinking and watching crappy tv shows instead. And then feeling bad for watching really bad shows. I guess I'll have enough to go on sometime in the evening server time. Hopefully.
>> No. 19012
>>19010
Well, we would steer clear of the pantry, natch. There are still the other rooms as well as the storage closets that could be investigated, however.

I would also point out, there are potential problems with the walking around outside idea, as well. Especially if you're deliberately moving out in the open and avoiding trees.
I would like to remind you that Eientei is searching for us now. I would also like to remind you that, despite all the walking we're doing with Kaguya, the main mode of travel in Gensokyo is flight. If we're walking out in the open, it wouldn't be hard for just about anyone to spot us from the air, especially if they're actively looking for us.

In case Reimu's talking about keeping herself away from the annex to prevent anyone else from coming near it, too, to say nothing of Kaguya's own explicit warning on the matter, we don't want people to find us. And the simplest way to keep people from finding us is to avoid doing things that would allow them to find us, or at least make such finding easier for them.

If you still want to go outside, by all means go for it, but it would be far safer to stick near the trees, rather than avoiding them. If nothing else, they provide enough cover to make it difficult to be spotted from the air.
>> No. 19015
>>19011
This is a good idea. Going to wait until evening for some late votes.
>> No. 19016
[X]Consider exploring a bit away from the shrine; get a better lay of the land as well as preparation for the next move later on

[x] Dinner for two at the annex. Make it seem formal.
- [x] If needed and if possible, add a bit more mood to the dinner via decor or supplies from Reimu.
First a bit of wandering around in the nature and then later the dinner.
>> No. 19017
[X]Consider exploring a bit away from the shrine; get a better lay of the land as well as preparation for the next move later on

[x] Dinner for two at the annex. Make it seem formal.
- [x] If needed and if possible, add a bit more mood to the dinner via decor or supplies from Reimu.
First a bit of wandering around in the nature and then later the dinner.
>> No. 19018
You want to go out and get a feel of the surroundings? Let me put this in perspective:

• It is currently raining
• The day is already anything but bright, it will definitely be darker later
• You wish to make Kaguya walk further today on wet terrain with no end destination
• There's also the fact that you're relatively unknown in a place that you've never been before.

Thus, with these thoughts in mind (plus others some previous poster pointed out) I'd urge some of the people here to reconsider and think through their course of action.

The current vote (as the previous one) is open-ended because of the demand for greater autonomy and interaction. I have no problem in simply moving things along, but then what would have been the point of spending time alone in an old disused building? The way I see it, seclusion is the main appeal of that choice. It would have been better to have insisted on going to the village and finding a hot spring if you wanted something else.
>> No. 19020
>>19003
>>19010

Well, that puts things in perspective. Changing my vote.

[x] Wait for the rain to die down.
- [x] Converse meaningfully with Kaguya in the meantime, declaring the dinner as an activity to do later in the day.
>> No. 19021
>>19018
I meant the last point to read "There's also the fact that you're in an unknown part of Gensokyo."

Or something to that effect. Can't really remember what I was going for. Just waking up and typing does that.
>> No. 19022
>>19018
ah okay I see the timing then.

Considering the weather and time of day...

[X]Consider holding off exploring a bit away from the shrine to get a better lay of the land as well as preparation for the next move later on [b]till weather permits[b].

[X]Offer a game of "Lost Cities"; (Card game version or boardgame version. Which ever author feels comfortable writing with) All that plotting about possible camping in a cave as well as finding 'treasure' within the annex has sparked your interests in spelunking with Kaguya once again, if only in fun.
-[X]While playing the game consider offering the alternatives but suggest staying at the annex for at least three days as a short break from trekking.

later

[x] Dinner for two at the annex. Make it seem formal.
- [x] If needed and if possible, add a bit more mood to the dinner via decor or supplies from Reimu.

Just an idea...
>> No. 19023
Had a little idea of some plausible dialogue if and when she brings up the whole "being kidnapped" in a really angry/forceful way.

"Kaguya, I hope you understand that I really didn't kidnap you. I was thinking that the pressure of the last few days has been heavy on your mind, so I wanted to get your mind away from it. What better way than to spend some together? It's a chance for us to be alone, and be buddies. Isn't it what you wanted?"

Please do ignore if such circumstances don't happen. Writefag-In-Training here, so hopefully the dialogue's up to par.
>> No. 19024
>>19018
Forget my vote then. I am no good if there are no given choices.
>> No. 19025
File 126264566254.jpg - (930.61KB, 850x1185, hopping aboard may be hazardous to your health.jpg) [iqdb]
19025
Alright. At this rate I'll never get to writing.

Does anon want me to railroad for a while? If so note that I assume no responsibility if conditions end up being a bit tainted biased with my own personal expectations.

[] Yes
[] No
>> No. 19027
>>19025
And yet again things don't work out. I'll be away several hours now. Thus be unable to write. There go my plans for updating twice a day. Dammit, it seems that no matter what I do I'm relegated to the same fate.
>> No. 19029
[x] Yes
>> No. 19030
[X] Yes! Yes! Yes!

We chose to leave our secluded little shelter in the middle of nowhere only to wind up taking refuge in a slightly less-secluded shelter behind one of the major landmarks of Gensokyo. After finding shelter from our aimless wandering, we're leaning towards killing time with more aimless wandering.
At that rate we're going with us in control, we'll be found out and dragged back to Eientei before we get anywhere close to accomplishing whatever it is we hoped to accomplish by running away, and well before we got anywhere near being able to see Kaguya in some of the oh-so-nice things she has hidden in her suitcase, to say nothing of doing anything else with her beyond that.

I don't know what we're capable of if we actually got our ducks in a row, but at this point I'm inclined to trust you to take things in a better direction than we could hope to, at this particular moment.
>> No. 19031
[x] Yes
>> No. 19033
[x] No
Fuck railroading.
>> No. 19034
>>19030

Completely disagree. On the contrary, I think the focus should be on Kaguya and not Eientei. The relationship should be more important than the whole "running away" thing.
>> No. 19035
[X] Yes
>> No. 19039
[x]no
>> No. 19040
[x] No
>> No. 19041
File 126267072473.jpg - (159.72KB, 500x500, f7d819503a7d509255aaa71c65fc0c56.jpg) [iqdb]
19041
>>19034
I don't think I said anything about focusing on Eientei. In fact, my only mention of it is about how, left to our own devices, we'll probably wind up getting discovered by Reisen or whoever is looking for us, and dragged back there.

I want us to focus on Kaguya. We should focus on Kaguya. However, I find it hard to deny that so far we've spent just a tad more time trying to figure out what we can do with her than we have actually doing stuff with her, and I'm worried that this is going to be a continuing trend.

I mean, hell, we have the perfect set-up with the annex as it is; alone, secluded, with the only other person who knows we're even there intentionally staying away and focusing on her own business. Business that entails other people coming to the shrine.
So, we have this nice, cozy place that has been unused for decades, that no one has any reason at all to even go near, thus making it the perfect place to hide out in. Then, between the weather, the people who will be close by in the shrine, and the fact that someone is actively searching for us, we pretty much have every reason to stay inside this handy little hideaway.

So, naturally, we start leaning towards doing the complete opposite of that, and going to tromp around outside for a while.

What troubles me that most is that what made some reconsider going outside (at least right away) wasn't the risk of being seen by anyone who was coming to visit the shrine, or even being spotted by someone who was actually looking for us, no, it was the fact that it was still raining.

At any second, with even a single mis-step, we could find our little adventure in princess abduction brought to an abrupt end, and yet it's the risk of getting wet that's the deal-breaker.

Which brings me back to my point that, maybe, just maybe, a little railroading might not be the worst thing for us right about now. Being able to pick exactly where to go is fun and all, but if it's getting you nowhere fast, then sometimes you just need to let Daddy handle the wheel and take us where we need to be.
>> No. 19042
>>19041
I'll grant that I didn't think of those things.
Part of why I'm still in-training.

I'm torn now. Part of me still believes that Kaguya doesn't like a back-and-forth attitude and the whole flip-flop on the bathhouse idea is a strike against us in her opinion in my mind. That's why I kept pushing the outdoors.
However, those two points make sense too...
>> No. 19043
I'm disappointed with everyone in this thread, exempting our writer. Teruyo, railroad this before we hurt ourselves.
>> No. 19048
File 126267721282.jpg - (637.77KB, 850x700, I like trains.jpg) [iqdb]
19048
Railroading it is. All aboard the Lunatic Express. Enjoy your luxurious ride in our stately private cabins and socialize with the other distinguished passengers. Dinner will be served at seven. Please feel free to indulge in our wide range of services.

The train will depart soon, as soon as our conductor finishes his well-deserved drink and rests in order to forget a particularly difficult day.

On behalf of Gensrail and its parent company YakCorp we hope you'll have a voyage that you'll never forget!
>> No. 19056
File 126270754439.jpg - (365.98KB, 1132x1600, 014.jpg) [iqdb]
19056
So when do we get to reenact this with the contents of Kaguya's suitcase?
>> No. 19058
>>19048
I just hope we get options, ranging from good to very bad consequences.
>> No. 19065
File 12627559221.png - (530.57KB, 600x800, this sums it up.png) [iqdb]
19065
Hi there. This writefag has been very very naughty. Not written anything at all! Now I could justify that I had probably the worse day in recent months just yesterday and a sabbatical was necessary but that still shouldn't have kept me.

So, sometime soon I'll actually get to writing. As well as share a little something about someone neglected that needs love too. Hopefully it'll be enjoyable.
>> No. 19068
>>19065
Who's that again?
>> No. 19070
>>19065
takeiteasy.jpg

That sucks about your day, hope tomorrow works out better for you.
>> No. 19104
File 126293888033.jpg - (530.98KB, 1000x734, help me.jpg) [iqdb]
19104
“I'm sorry.”

She looked at the girl with a blank look, as if she didn't understand why she was apologizing. For the girl, it was strange to see her master at an apparent loss for words. Her lip trembled slightly and then she repeated the apology again. There was an awkward silence in the room before the taller woman finally decide to respond.

“There's no need to apologize, Udonge.” She said in a perfectly calm and level voice. It betrayed nothing of what she might really think about the situation. As usual. “It's not your fault.”
“B-but still!” Udonge blamed herself like any good subordinate would, “It's been days and we haven't found it, it's my responsibility that-”
“I said that there is no need to apologize.” The woman cut in, with a cool semblance of warmness coming from a half smile. “You've done well. Go and rest now, we'll start again in the morning.”
“Yes. Of course.” The girl slumped her shoulders forward but didn't argue. She knew it was pointless. When master said something, she meant it.
“Tell the rabbits to all come back for the night. They won't find anything in the rain.”
“We'll find them tomorrow for sure!”

The woman dismissed the girl with a casual wave, smiling reassuringly as the girl turned at the door to look at her one last time. She kept the smile for a while yet, long after she locked the door. She stared out into the darkness of the evening, hearing more than seeing the rain still falling furiously outside. It hadn't seemed to let up, despite the small lull in the afternoon. The rain was uncharacteristically out of season.

With slight hesitation she drew the blinds. She could still hear the rain coming down as she prepared a cup of hot tea. Its sound was dulled by the sound of the boiling water. She sighed as she quickly reviewed the information gathered that day on a wall-mounted display. There were about twenty pages of reports and schedules for the upcoming day and she navigated the information via deft flicks of her finger, commanding the holographic display to focus on pertinent points of information. She multitasked as well, bringing up map overlays and accessing computer models for prediction of movement.

She almost forgot about the tea. Luckily the electric heater had a cut off temperature and shut itself down before water violently bubbled up and made a mess. It wasn't like her to get so caught up so as she forgot about what was going on around her. In fact, she usually prided herself in being able to handle any number of things at the same time. She was flustered. In her own way deeply embarrassed. Thank goodness that Udonge or the princess weren't around to see her like this. Nor him.

She wouldn't want them to see her absent-minded and stressed out.

Serving herself a cup, she sat down in her chair. The tea was placed on her desk, cooling a bit, as she gathered her thoughts.

It wouldn't do to be absent-minded. She needed to focus. Keep her objective in mind. She leaned back on her chair, looking towards the ceiling. She thought of what was a stake and why she was doing what she did. She was right. As she always was. Sure, popular perhaps not. But in the end justified. Correct in her assumptions and course of action. There was no denying that. After all none of this would have been possible without her.

She looked around, noticing the oft-neglected things in her office. The pile of charts and books n her desk, waiting for her to sift through the knowledge compacted within. Or the diagrams of human anatomy on the walls, besides the locked cabinets full of drugs and chemicals. The key was in her third drawer, kept securely under lock whenever she left the room. She prided herself in her inventions. The quantum seals, the special locks, the encoded devices. They served to keep her assets and way of life secure.

The way of life of everyone here.

She did it even those who didn't always appreciate it.

That was a harsh assessment. She knew that they all enjoyed living like this. That is, even if they wouldn't readily admit it. But under the present circumstances she felt like blowing things out of proportion a little. Letting herself be a little bit emotional. There was nothing wrong with that. Every once in a while at least. Letting go would be relaxing.

Outside, the rain had taken on an almost rhythmical quality. It seeped into her subconscious, and she found that her mood was being directed by the far off thunder and strong precipitation. In other words, she was becoming upset. It only took a brief instant to occur as well. One moment she drank placidly from her tea and then... and then came the transformation.

Having been directing everything for so long had stressed her more than she first realized. She had given orders, observed, worried. And without even stopping to acknowledge it, had felt angry. An anger that came from having to do all of this in the first place. It was more than just being fair. She felt her blood pressure rise as she thought about the circumstances. It was irrational to think about this, to think about how they left. Just up and went. Without a single thought about her circumstances.

It was rude. Inconsiderate. They shouldn't have done it. Her hands shook faintly as she unbuttoned her top. She was feeling hot. Probably from the tea. They had no right to just up and go like that. Who did they think they were. She cringed as she thought of him and her together, laughing, smiling innocently without a care in the world. She had no idea what exactly went on in their minds. Perhaps she had underestimated how they felt.

No. That wasn't possible. She would have picked up on it if that were the case. She was confident of that.

But what if she was wrong? And they frolicked and laughed together? Maybe going further than that, taking their little escape as a chance to explore things. Each other.

She withdrew her hand from her chest, suddenly aware that she had discarded her top and was in the middle of unhooking her black satin bra. Without even realizing it she had undressed, leaving herself clad in little more than her shoes, stockings, and undergarments. Thin beads of sweat coalesced on her neck and chest, slowly trickling downwards.

The heat from the tea had made her do that.

Her thoughts turned to the couple again. Of how they must be in some cold, run-down place. As a matter of course. Somewhere full of people and they would have been spotted. So they must be huddled over a source of warmth, maybe even going as far as pressing bodies together for heat. How unfitting for the princess, she thought. It wasn't a situation she would enjoy. Unless she had actively initiated it. But that was unlikely. Very unlikely. Or so she hoped it was. The alternative was something she would rather not think about. It wasn't right at all.

She caught a moan emerging from her throat. Her body seemed like it was on fire.

Again, without noticing, her fingers had moved over her shapely assets and had engaged in dextrous work. A pair of erect nipples poked through her bra, and her fingers plucked on each one slowly and deliberately, heightening their sensitivity. She continued to think about the scandalous things that the couple might be doing alone late at night as her breath began running quicker. A whole palm was and one of her legs tucked up onto the chair, she saw the delicate designs of her garter belt and how it deformed slightly as she flexed.

She ran her other hand on the smooth fabric of her legs and hips, appreciating the delicate embroidery as she thought how a similar scene might be unfolding right then somewhere in a dark dank place. It was completely inappropriate and she loathed the possibility. She hated the idea completely. Yet her fingers continued their fine dance, touching the sensitive skin of her inner thigh slowly and sensuously. She didn't even notice that she now had a pen in her right hand, touching and prodding the region around her panties.

The pen, with its top on, drew shapes on the black fabric. Sketches of her genitalia with firm and bold strokes. It traced the areas encompassed by her fine pubic hair, lingering where prickly sensations of guilty pleasure shot through. She had pushed down her brassiere, exposing her large breasts and excited nipples. She saw that her skin was flush, and her breath was definitely anything but composed.

The idea of those two infuriated her. Her anger was as great as her excitement and she attacked her lower mound of flesh with a vigor seldom seen from her. Indecent squelching came forth as a reply. Her underwear was completely soaked from the juices she excreted in her angry state. They may be caressing, kissing, doing heaven knows what. That was more than she could handle. It shouldn't be happening - it couldn't be happening.

There was no way that the would embrace, joining together in a passionate kiss – their tongues dancing around. Their shy, yet paradoxically bold, act of pure lust would begin then. Exploring their bodies, grasping and feeling the pleasure from having a partner. They would be overjoyed, their hearts going wild. He would be engorged and she would be excited. And soon they would be ready to engage in a unified expression of pleasure.

She felt tears welling up in her eyes as she assaulted herself without relent. The pen was an unsatisfactory substitute for the real thing and even with her overabundant natural lubrication it felt like she could do so much more. Like him. She fantasized about how he would come in, catching her in the middle of the act. Without hesitation and with that stupid smile he was so fond of sporting, he would tease her – likely calling her a petty and lewd woman. She would fight to remain in control, her pride putting up a brave front, but ultimately at his first touch she would be his. She would cherish as he kissed her all over, playing with her now oversensitive mammaries.

She would moan as her fondled her, as he discovered to his delight just how flooded she had become. And she would enjoy how he would grin and tell her that he guessed that it couldn't be helped. How he had to take responsibility for causing all of this. It was his fault, after all. He would plunge deep and mercilessly, stirring her up as indecent squelches echoed through the room. He would not rest until he was as caught up as she was. As insane and gone as she was. They would go at it like wild beasts, seeking pleasure until they both erupted. His delicious essence poured intimately within her waiting insides.

She attacked her sensitive spots, rubbing expertly as muscles all over her body began to tense up. Her leg muscles in particular felt taut and her feet arched uncomfortably. She was aware that she was thrashing about violently, but expertly. Unashamed moans erupted in a husky voice, somehow exciting herself even more. To be denied of what she dearly wished for was cruel. Definitely unnecessary as well. But she could do nothing about it except work even harder. That would help.

The play was continuous. She blamed them for all of it. How dare they go, how dare they leave her?! Ugly feelings of envy spilled forth, shaming her even as she finally brought herself to a powerful climax. Her legs cramped up to an unbelievable degree and her chest heaved about violently. For an eternity her mind went blank and she convulsed. Her tongue drooped out of her mouth, saliva dribbling inelegantly on her her as fluids gushed out from elsewhere. She moaned and tried to catch her breath for the longest while.

It took her forever to come somewhat to her senses. The rain was less intense than before she realized as she finally could hear above her ragged breath.

She had ruined her chair. The leather bore the full brunt of her lewd play and was undoubtedly going to be of no use. She would have to get rid of it without anyone noticing. And she'd have to go into town to get a new chair from somewhere. Udonge would never get it right.

It hurt to move her fingers, her still quivering sensitive spot was receptive to further play. They were sopping wet and sticky with her fluids. Anxiety and distress still remained at the forefront of the brain. She had forgotten it as she orgasmed, but now it was there like an ugly and shameful reminder. Her thoughts couldn't turn away from them. The envy, she realized disdainfully that it was nothing but jealousy, burned within strongly.

She sighed, realizing that only doing it once wouldn't banish her complicated thoughts. The only way to get rid of this feeling was to bury herself in work. Try to forget it with dedication. It was no use to mull it over. To think about his naked form together with hers, glistening as they both pleasured each other. Or to think how they might go at it all night, and into the morning, with that youthful energy that they were sure to posses. Maybe it was love. His ignorance angered her more. She was a veritable vortex of anger, shame and guilt. And overwhelming desire. Jealous desire that made her lust after him.

And that made her erogenous zones call out for her touch again.

Her pulse quickened again as her fingers got back to work. She would drown such thoughts out one way or another.
>> No. 19105
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19105
I'm not sure what to make of the fact that my first reaction wasn't "this is so hot" so much as "poor Eirin". If only we had gone and abducted her instead of Kaguya. Or abduct her with Kaguya. Just ditch Reisen, Tewi, and the rest of the bunnies with Silver, leaving them a note simply reading "You're on your own!"

I get the feeling Shirou had better brace for one hell of a cold front when he finally returns.
>> No. 19106
>>19105
This isn't canon at all. Should have pointed that out. Well... some of the elements and thoughts maybe but the scene as a whole not. It's not something created in a vacuum.
>> No. 19107
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19107
>>19106
Oh.

Well.

Okay then.
>> No. 19112
>>19106
his point stands. Shiro did something foolish. Even if Eirin doesn't feel like she did in the above post he's going to face some opposition when he does eventually return.

Speaking of returning, We should maybe plan out the trip. Just a short one. Pick a destination and more importantly a return. Shirou did say he was just leaving for a while and it'd be best if they both returned unharmed and happy.

I vote they visit the underground for a day. Make some friends, see some pretty rocks, then at the end of the day, head back. Follow the map. Tewi's smuggling routes will be good for staying out of site.

Then with a plan it becomes a 3 day trip with an obvious goal and conclusion, not a willy nilly run about the country like a couple of lost runaway teens who return home once faced with the harsh cruelty of life.

[X] The above.
>> No. 19117
Really? Nothing? It feels like I wasted my time foolishly. It's like getting soaked with ice water after doing something that I thought was interesting.
>> No. 19118
>>19117
I read it. Just because i don't always voice my opinion it doesn't mean that i don't read it.
Just waiting for the story to pick up again, i want to earn my Kaguya... if that is still possible.
>> No. 19120
>>19118
You'll excuse me if after spending a long time writing 2000+ words I expect some reaction from those who read it. Especially after about a day after posting it. And after everything else gets movement except me. I don't always expect a deep analysis of something born out of foppery and whim a simple 'I enjoyed that' or basic critique will do. Otherwise, like I said, it feels like I wasted my time.

It's bad enough that when I'm updating it takes forever to get votes even for the simplest things - I could have been updating faster. Or that people seem to completely overlook the easter eggs and little nods that I try hard to put in to make things more enjoyable. It sucks when I go through a lot of effort and it just gets ignored. I have around nine or so readers from what I've noticed so it's not much, but since you're here I assume that you care at least a bit. I'm not comfortable with the dull and jaded outlook that's prevalent on the site and, no, 'taking it easy' is not the answer. Inaction leads to nothing changing. And your writefag doesn't feel confident in writing more either.
>> No. 19122
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19122
>>19120
asdgadsgsdghasdgcvkjlasgdjalskdmasldgjasdgealsjkdasdgaskögdsdglkjasgalsgdkagdsasdg

Yep, that sums it all up.
>> No. 19124
I'm just waiting for the railroading. If there's a vote, I'll vote.
>> No. 19125
>>19120
At first I thought it was awesome seeing another possible side rarely seen on Eirin, but then soon as I read your comments at >>19106 it suddenly whittled away any thoughts that would have inspired conversation. Not saying it should have been canon but... it sure is a mood killer learning it was just in fun rather than in fun and part of the story; especially if it's believable..
>> No. 19128
Once again Anonymous is ruining it by being unappreciative. And obnoxious. If you have time to complain about insignificant details, you have time to plot out what you wanted to do with Kaguya after we get back from the railroading session, if that is still an option by then.

And to Teruyo: thanks for that sexy omake scene.
>> No. 19129
Sorry, I don't usually make comments except while voting and I'm not planning on changing that anytime soon.

For what it matters, I had a silly grin stuck on my face while I was reading the latest update.
>> No. 19130
Actually, I'm glad to know the scene is non-cannon. As hot as the notion of someone being so into you that they furiously masturbate at the thought of you doing things with someone else is, the knowledge that you ditched that someone to run off with your friend who may or may not feel anything remotely similar kinda kills the buzz a bit.

I really would be curious about how this "running away" scenario would play out differently if we had absconded with the good doctor, instead. Perhaps, unlike with Kaguya, they don't succeed in getting to shelter before the rain comes down. By the time they do find refuge from the elements, the two of them are thoroughly soaked. Knowing quite well what can happen if one were to remain cold and wet for long enough, Eirin would take charge of the situation, and the two would find themselves removing their wet clothes and huddling up together under a blanket. After all, sharing body heat is the most efficient means of keeping each other warm, of course. And, naturally, in order to maximize the effectiveness of this, they would have to have as much of their bodies in contact with each other as possible, of course. And, if that is still not providing enough warmth, the perhaps the two would then have to begin rubbing against each other. After all, friction is an excellent way to produce heat, and with their two mostly-naked bodies rubbing against each other, they should easily be able to produce enough to remain comfortable. Oh, what heat they could produce! Of course, even in times like that, she must remain true to her profession as a healer, so if anything unusual should pop up with her companion, it would be only right for her to conduct a thorough examination right then and there. And after that...well, not even medical science can predict the outcome of every event, now can it?
>> No. 19132
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19132
>>19104
Ha ha, oh wow. I was in despair and found that incredibly hot. Despair boner... I don't know if that's a good thing or not. But more than anything, I really wish her imagination matched our reality, even just a little.
>> No. 19133
>>19132
>Despair boner... I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
I'm not sure how you could read this story without one.
>> No. 19134
Update almost done, but it may be a while before I finish it. It's my birthday and I've got things to do and places to be.

>>19125
Something not being canon doesn't make impossible that similar things may have happened. Or similar thoughts and feelings.

>>19130
'Kidnapping' Eirin would have been quite something alright.

>>19133
Oh look an ignorant and uninformed opinion/troll attempt from someone who doesn't even read the story. Lovely. Back in your box now.
>> No. 19135
>>19134
Best wishes on your birthday. Not sure if you behave similarly, but I always try to downplay my birthday in order to get some peace and quiet.
>> No. 19136
>It's my birthday and I've got things to do and places to be.

Lies! But happy birthday man. To another glorious year of writing Touhous.
>> No. 19137
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19137
Happy Birthday. There was cake for you, but it went missing.
>> No. 19138
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19138
Happy Birthday, Teruyo!
Hope nobody uses the fact that Christmas was not too long ago as an excuse for stiffing you on presents. My own birthday was this past week, so I can sympathize on that point.

...cheap bastards.
>> No. 19139
Have a nice birthday!
>> No. 19140
happy Birthday~!
>> No. 19145
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19145
Birthday is over, you even had your cake too. Now get back to work.
>> No. 19156
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19156
You are suddenly a man with direction. You find that a chuckle is raring to come up in response. But you hold it in. It's creepy to laugh for no real reason. Instead you let your eyes do the talking, looking at Kaguya square in the eyes. It's good to embrace this confidence, this sense of direction. It may not be there later down the road. You're a slave to progress.

So that's why you reach out and grab Kaguya's soft, soft hand with your own suddenly. Of course your buddy looks at you with a look of uncertainty. You can't blame her. But you beam a powerful and confident smile, every fiber of your being working towards looking like you have everything under control. It's what she wanted after all, isn't it?

“No, I'm not smiling like a stupid idiot for no reason again.” You preempt what was sure to come. This, in turn, makes Kaguya grin. You like it when she does that. Her pearly white grin is contagious, makes you feel like you could take the whole world on by yourself. “I've got things figured out.”
“Oh? Just how 'figured out' are they?”
“So figured out that you don't have to think about it. Of course.”
“The dressing up then?”
“Still dead on.” You squeeze her hand gently. “We're to have an enchanting evening, just the two of us.” You tell her about your discovery. “It'll be dinner, made by your despicable kidnapper, fine drinks, and such. But that's then. We need a now too.”

You let go of her hand. And pace around the room, putting on a bit of a show. Shoulders slumped, feet dragging, the works.

“After a lot of thinking I came to the following conclusion;” You pop your shoulders up and turn to her fully upright, “All that we can do here is have fun by ourselves. It's not worth going out in the rain.” Or being exposed to scrutinizing eyes that may be looking for you. “And it isn't like there's much going on in this old building either.”

Your showmanship is poor at best. Futures as a stage magician or performance artist are definitely out of your scope. It's not a matter of charisma either, so you hope. You can move people, make listen, but not ensnare them in elaborate shows. Well whatever it is it doesn't really matter right now. You know that Kaguya will listen to you. Whatever you say she'll hear and digest. To confirm your assumption you see her delicate and noble features formed into an expression of quiet and understanding patience. She makes an effort to really hear you out.”

“So what we should do is spend a little time having fun in a way we couldn't before.” That much is obvious, but it's all part of your act. The dithering slows as you get to the meat of the issue, “This is why we're going to do what any two buddies should do under similar circumstances.”

You transmit the gist of the wonderful ideas that you have.

It basically boils down to being loud and doing whatever you feel like. You're sure you throw around terms like “absolute freedom” though your examples of activities are a little bit more concrete. Things like playing card games and such are the mainstay of the afternoon. Sure, you hyped it up to hell and back, but it's not fundamentally unsound.

At first Kaguya listens with a calm and neutral composure to your proposals, nodding when appropriate. But, bless her, in the end she's looking forward to seeing you put your money where your mouth is. And so with a little bit of rummaging through the rucksack and slight preparation the games begin.

The constant rainfall is a peaceful backdrop to the playing. You don't really have any sort of conversation with your buddy as you play – things are spirited though. The talk invariably pertains to the games, chance, and things like bluffs. The latter being something Kaguya seems good at doing. It's a surprising hidden talent of hers. In a round of old maid or two you get suckered by her into picking the wrong card. She doesn't even need verbal bluffs to get you to mess up, changes in her body language make you make mistakes early on. It's something you try to pick up on as you go along, but find that her elegant frame is quite unreadable.

“You could always pass, you know.”
“Let me think, will you?” You look at your hand again. You're in a tight spot no matter how you look at it. Even after changing the game a couple of times you still find yourself losing more often than not. Trying to relax, you let your shoulders slump and lean back a bit. Your moves surely look forced and mechanical, no matter how hard you try to play it cool. Completely opposite from her. Every little move that Kaguya makes is naturally graceful. Her exposed neck and face betray no tension, the former looking particularly undisturbed with its long dignified lines. Those lines end in collarbone enshrined by the white cloth of the collar and the attached ribbon – on either side they end as they are transformed into barely exposed shoulder, all but hidden away.
“Passing isn't so bad.” She places a hand on her chin, long sleeves covering some of her neck in the process. It's times like these that you're not sure if she's bored or is messing with you; Your buddy has a part of her that loves to tease you. “I'll get a chance to go, but new opportunities will open up.”
“No thank you. I see how close to winning you are. I'd rather think.”

With a disaffected shrug she lets you take your sweet time. You look at her, trying to see if she's really teasing you or is simply trying to make you commit a mistake. There's no telling what her intentions are.

You ponder the situation, crunching probabilities quickly. There's only one or two sensible things that you could do. But she probably expects that. So you do something she doesn't expect.

“Alright. I give up. You win.” You put down the cards with a smile, trying to look like a graceful winner.
“Geez. And here I thought you were going to put up some sort of fight.” You're not sure if she's pleased with your move. She puts her cards on the table showing that she would have likely won anyways in a few turns.
“Sometimes it's better to cut your losses.”
“Not when playing just for fun.”
“I have my pride.” You tell her, not sure if that's really the truth.
“Hm, is that so?” She raises an eyebrow. “Maybe we should make this into a punishment game. Loser has to do what the winner says.”
“I hope you like taking orders from me then.” You reply with confidence.

Confidence that, at first, doesn't look misplaced. After agreeing to the punishment game you set up a couple of ground rules. Number of wins needed, all that jazz. You even change games, chosen randomly. And you're able to keep the results ambiguous. It's win-lose, lose-win. Neither you or her is capable of accumulating enough victories to gloat over the vanquished. At first.

Kaguya's luck hold out longer than your does. The cycle is broken and she wins and wins. You're the victim of the punishment game.

“This was inevitable.” She gloats, stifling a laugh behind a long sleeve of hers. Her behavior is regal, like that of a powerful sovereign dictating his law to some poor peasant. “As we agreed, you are to do whatever it is that I ask with no objections.”
“Of course princess.”
“Cut that out.” She reacts to her favorite pet name with a quick snap. “Your punishment is simple. You're to go to the shrine and confess of your heinous crimes of kidnapping and being a stubborn idiot to anyone and everyone that you may find.”
“Really? Is that a good idea-”
“You can't argue against the punishment. You have to be thorough too. No skimping on how big of a stubborn idiot you are.”

Thus the orders came.

It didn't seem like the best plan, as you didn't want to disturb Reimu or whoever else was at the shrine, but there was no arguing with Kaguya. What she wanted was that, so that was what she got. It was a good deal better than running around naked in the rain or a myriad of unpleasant things that you imagined could have happened.

Crossing the rainy terrain over to the shrine is the least of your worries. You're acutely aware of what Reimu said earlier, about expecting someone. You're only slightly wet as you get under the shrine's roof and nervously walk around. It feels like you're trespassing, the creaking of the wooden floorboards seem to be saying that you're not welcome. Day is becoming evening now. The sun, hidden by clouds for most of the day, is a source of light off low on the horizon. You wonder just how long the rain will continue to come down.

As you turn round a corner you smack right into someone. Horns graze by, seemingly almost piercing your chest.

You let out a small 'ow' as you look at who you hit.

A small girl with long flaxen hair and a ribbon tied to the back of it is the owner of the horns that almost impaled you. You recognize her as the elusive form you saw running away from the shrine earlier. She looks up at you, eyes slightly unfocused. She doesn't recognize you and raises her left hand. A chain on her wrist rattles as she brings a small bottle of sorts to her lips. She drinks calmly from it.

“Hi there.” You greet her, unfortunately remembering your mission.
“Haven't seen you around. Are you a rival?” She asks, eying you with apprehension. It doesn't look like she appreciates the idea of a rival much. You deny it categorically.
“I'm nothing like that. I'm just someone who needed Reimu's help.” You tell her, hoping she won't make a fuss. Remarkably she accepts the short explanation.
“Yeah. Okay. I need to go keep a lookout now.”
“Hold on a moment.”

It's then that you regale the small, strange horned girl with what you promised you would tell anyone you met. She listens to you without interrupting, drinking from her bottle from time to time. You tell her about being a good-for-nothing kidnapper and being the biggest stubborn idiot ever. When you're done she nods and a smile forms on her lips. Without saying a word she grabs you with surprising strength, the bottle she's carrying is pressed to your lips and you're forced to drink before you gag. The contents are unmistakably alcohol.

“Well then, I hoped that helped. take care.” The girl says simply, letting go. She scurries off before you're able to react further.

You stand around, trying to figure out why that just happened. Footsteps come quickly towards you.

This time you know the person. Reimu's joyous expression turns into a more neutral one when she sees you.

“I thought you were someone else.” She remarked.
“The girl you were chasing after earlier went that way.”
“Ah really?” Her face clouds for a moment. “That doesn't matter.”
“Who is-” You begin to ask but then decide that you don't really want to know. “Nevermind. Sorry, you're expecting someone right. I shouldn't be here.”
“That's alright. It's not like I've been waiting all day long or anything so don't worry about it!” She says the line a little too enthusiastically for it to be a joke.

You respect her privacy. It's not something you have a right to ask or get involved in. Instead you tel her what you came to tell her. You repeat the same things you said earlier, adding a few choice adjectives that you had forgotten the first time. It gets a chortle from the shrine maiden. She doesn't say anything until you're done.

“Is there anyone else at the shrine? I've got to tell them as well.”
“It's just me here for now.”
“Then I guess I'm done.” You both ignore the memory of the small girl. “I don't think I'll be coming back tonight.”
“Oh.” She nods. “I understand. That's something alright.”

You don't dare ask what she's thinking there. It's not worth prying at this stage. You bid Reimu goodbye and trudge to the annex.

You report back to Kaguya. She listens to your brief description of what happened and nods with satisfaction. Your punishment is over.

But you are apparently hungry for more. It's debatable whether or not you're a glutton for punishment. The answer that you come up with is something you try to forget. You take up Kaguya on another round of games and challenges. Once again it's a repeat of the last time, with games being won and lost almost equally. It's like the result were dependent on a simple coin flip. A coin flip that you win this time.

It's your turn to gloat over Kaguya. She meekly accepts your winning.

“It looks like you get to exact revenge on me.” She smiles, looking confident.
“So it seems. Totally worth risking playing again.” So you say, despite at several points doubting the wisdom of your actions. You sit up, trying to roughly match your posture to the one that Kaguya held earlier. Looking regal is not easy. Maybe if you had a beard, a scepter, a purple mantle, and a crown made from gold encrusted with gems it would be easier to feel regal. A throne would also help.

Kaguya looks at you patiently, waiting for you to decree what you intend.

[] Repeat the same thing you did at the shrine
[] Cook one of the dishes for dinner
[] Allow quick peek into her suitcase
[] Nothing
-
The start of the journey on the tracks begins slowly.
>>19138
Being currently far from friends, I just got stuff from immediate family. And a nice meal out.
>>19145
My father's birthday is the day after mine, which translates into two busy days when we're together. Not much gets done.
>> No. 19157
[X] Have her cook dinner together with you

This is what we wanted earlier, no? She refused to it then, but I wonder if she'd refuse if it was part of a punishment game? After seeing us going through our orders without putting up a fight, I'd hope she'd cooperate just as well.

Anyway, happy late birthday, Teruyo. I've got one friend with their birthday on Christmas Eve and another friend with their birthday on the day after Christmas, so I feel especially sorry for them. My girlfriend's birthday was just two days before yours, too; but I'm rambling on. Anyway, have a happy (period after) birthday.

Also, it could just be me, but I think you write a bit better when you're writing what you want to write. This railroaded update seemed a bit higher quality than normal, I think. This, of course, is not implying that your writing is normally below acceptable quality; I'm quite fond of it, and it's just recently that I've started to feel guilty for being a lazy asshole of a reader who only reads and doesn't vote.

It's easier to speak out and harm someone than to speak up and help them out, no?
>> No. 19158
[X] Cook one of the dishes for dinner

This time we'll be able to enjoy it properly, while still hot and fresh.
>> No. 19159
I started voting maybe a week back?
But yes, most every author's work is better when not constrained. It's what each author does with constraints that help~

Anyways, my vote:
[x] Cook one of the dishes for dinner


[ ] Nothing
This vote smells of a trap. Kaguya doesn't like to be called (or treated as) a princess, and it's IMO that this option would be exactly the same way. And no, that's not teasing this time.

[ ] Allow quick peek into her suitcase
Implies you already know something; aka you broke the trust and actually looked. Oops.
Yeah, na no duh~

[ ] Repeat the same thing you did at the shrine
That only shows that you really aren't prepared beforehand. "Not having a clue of what to do; you decide to do what she did to you." That's called payback AND a lack of imagination.


Then again, the cooking option could be taken to mean that you're just going easy on her.
>> No. 19160
[X] Cook one of the dishes for dinner

I do wonder... Kaguya ever cooked for the experience and is secretly great at it or classically horrible at it..?
>> No. 19161
>It's then that you regale the small, strange horned girl with what you promised you would tell anyone you met. She listens to you without interrupting, drinking from her bottle from time to time. You tell her about being a good-for-nothing kidnapper and being the biggest stubborn idiot ever.

I laughed so hard I cried.

[x] Repeat the same thing you did at the shrine.

What you said earlier. Verbatim. I think Reimu will really get a chuckle out of it.
>> No. 19162
[X] Have her cook dinner together with you

I don't know, cooking with her just sounds... great.
It just sounds like fun and even if she is horrible, it just is something you might as well enjoy with her.
>> No. 19164
[x] Cook one of the dishes for dinner

Going with this. Leave the dish to be of her choosing.
>> No. 19165
I'll be going with [x] Cook one of the dishes for dinner. At the present moment I'm a bit busy. Writing will start in an hour or two and won't take long. Hopefully.
>>19157
Hah. This still isn't me going wild and writing what I want to write without a modicum of restraint. Far from it. If appropriate we may get there someday. The quality of my writing depends on too many variables to hold constant I'm afraid.
>> No. 19189
File 126337444782.jpg - (532.99KB, 800x900, yummy meal.jpg) [iqdb]
19189
The decree comes soon enough. Still sitting, poised as regally as you can manage, you dictate your terms.

“My punishment is way simpler than yours.” You declare with a shrug. “I think I'm just going to ask you to make something for dinner. A single dish for our feast.”
“Hmm...” She looks at you curiously, head cocked to the side, as if she didn't expect that.
“Not a problem, right?”
“Is... is this a thing?” She asks looking puzzled.
“A thing?”
“Having me cook something. Is it a thing with you?”
“I'm not sure what you mean by a 'thing'.” It's your turn to be puzzled. You sit cross-legged with arms supporting your tilted torso.
“Well, you know.” Her explanation is a bit vague, “If you're inclined to seeing me in the kitchen for some reason. Or working for you or something. Because it's a thing with you.”
“I'm just telling your punishment.” You can't follow her logic, so you just restate your message. “Make something, anything, it doesn't have to be complicated.”
“And... why?” She asks softly, eyes looking at your legs instead of face.
“Same reason you asked me to go to the shrine earlier.” A punishment game is about doing things that are amusing to others. That should be pretty clear.
“Oh. I guess that makes sense.”

Kaguya says nothing for a moment, and the room is draped in silence – the background of pattering rain soundly becoming more noticeable. And then, for a reason you don't quite get, she becomes talkative.

“If I'm going to do this I should do it before I take a bath.” She sates matter-of-factually. “I should probably do it now and leave it ready for later.” She gets up, looking energetic. You can't help but smile.
“I'll show you the materials that we have.”

It takes a while to get all the edible stuff in your rucksack. The variety of ingredients that you can use is surprising, given the limited space. You've still got some perishable foods, fruits mostly, relatively intact and ripe for consumption. You decide that even if Kaguya doesn't use them, you'll endeavor to use them up before they spoil. There's dried foods as well and quite a sizable stockpile of canned goods. The stockpile is further complimented by food stock and flavoring that Reimu let you have. All in all, the variety of food represented there is probably more than the average shut-in would have in his fridge.

Kaguya chooses a few oddly-matched ingredients from the lineup, weighing vegetable and fruit in her hands. She smiles to herself, apparently confident in her decision. You say nothing, simply asking what cooking utensils she'll need. Her answer makes you question the wisdom in having her cook to begin with.

“I just need a knife and a pot. Probably.”

You comply, not commenting. She remembers at the last moment to take spices for the dish and grabs a small sack containing several herbs and condiments. You make sure she's well settled in the kitchen before stepping out to wait.

Waiting anxiously. In a room adjacent to the kitchen. You slide open the partition leading to the outside, unmuffling the sound of rain.

You hear her let out a sigh, and you think that maybe she's not really into this whole deal. You did force her to cook. Anyone in that situation might feel a bit uninspired, or at worst, resentful. You lie down, trying to not think about it too much. The sound of rainfall helps clear your mind somewhat. It's soft melodic tune soothes you, dispelling all worries. It's more than soothing, it feels warm and special. You begin to wish that every day it would rain like this. The lazy lying about, all worldly concerns long forgotten.

It's blissful.

Chopping begins, dull arrhythmical intrusions on an otherwise lovely melody. It irritates you to hear it. It's a violation of harmony. You wish to exclude it from your hearing. But, as you try to focus harder on the background noise instead, you begin to realize that it wasn't the rain that was calming your soul. A cheerful and innocent tune comes from the kitchen, completely independent from the rainfall. It had combined with the the watery score to form the symphony you had given yourself into.

The coarse thunks of blade forcing itself through food is a sacrilege.

You are aware now that Kaguya is humming. She hums a mellow tune, unimposing and peaceful to the extreme. Her musical contribution had a powerful effect on you, you accept. Now aware of the cause for your relaxation you deafen yourself to everything but the humming. It makes you want to hum along. And you would, if you knew the song yourself.

You get up, deciding to pay the respect due for the calming performance. You go into the kitchen, finding Kaguya hard at work cutting ingredients into workable chunks. She hums joyfully, but the unequal intervals of chopping noises mar the performance. You sport a large and earnest smile as you approach her from behind. You notice that the chopped produce is divided into irregular chunks, the thickness and shape of each piece is unlike any other.

“I can show you how to do that properly if you want.” You whisper gently, as if afraid that talking will make the melody stop. It unfortunately does, causing her to try to spin around to look at you. You place your hands on her shoulders, swaying her to stay in place.
“Um, I don't need your help, thank you very much. I'll be fine.” You can't see her face standing directly behind her, but her voice betrays a sudden onset of anxiety. You feel anxious as well, cursing yourself for stopping the humming.
“There's no shame in learning. I'm no pro, but I can help you do this more efficiently.”

She's about to protest. Preempting that, you reach your arms around her and grab her wrists with your hands. Her wrist feels fragile and soft. She lets out a small yip, shivering once as if she'd touched a spark of electricity. She begins to mutter some sort of excuse or protest, but you dismiss it. You begin to gently guide her hands around by the wrist, manipulating them as if they were puppets. She doesn't resist, letting you move her easily. With a gentle verbal urging, you make her pay attention to what she's doing with her hands. You play with the hand gripping the knife, changing its hold to something firmer. You clasp your fingers around hers to make sure she's got a solid hold on the knife. You position the hands over a half-brutalized carrot, ready to cut. You move her hands gently downwards and then up, cutting a thin round piece of carrot. You shift the carrot towards the knife with her empty hand and then chop. You repeat the process several more times.

“See?” You chuckle, “Nothing to it. You try on your own now.”

You let go of her hands, and watch as she gives it a try.

“That's right.” She cuts up the rest of the carrot with much greater neatness. While not perfect, the pieces are more or less all round and of roughly the same thickness. “You've got the hang of it.”

You take a step back, giving her room to work. She stops, turning around gingerly. Her expression is complex – you recognize gratitude somewhere between her lips and eyes, but there's also a seriousness in her brow and something else, something invasive, around her check and ears.

“Thank you.” She nods slightly, holding the knife firmly in her hand.
“No problem.”
'This is a punishment though. So please leave me to do everything by myself.” She says solemnly, the tone actually taking you aback.

You half-grumble some sort of reply and offer to light the stove. You don't really hear her reply but do so anyways, adding lumber into the iron contraption and lighting it. You walk away, sitting on the sheltered porch in the adjacent room. You lose yourself watching the rain and the dark forest just next to the shrine. Most of the trees have full leafy canopies stopping the rain, but several trees along the periphery of the forest are barren – as fits the season.

The rain lets up as the last of daylight is gobbled up by cloud and horizon. A steady drizzle lingers for a while yet, a stubborn remnant of the earlier deluge. Large puddles of water and mud crisscross the terrain as far as the eye can see, and you feel glad that you didn't go out. It would be easy to get tired and bogged down, not to mention absolutely filthy by mucking around in the mud.

The waiting is just starting to get to you when Kaguya appears stealthily at your side.

“I'm done, I'm going to take a bath now.” She announces. She smells of... food you think.
“Let the hot water run for a while. It's not bound to be very hot at first.”

You look around to see her holding a towel and a small bag. Shampoo and soap you reckon. She goes off into the bath, walking stiffly. The walking around today probably tired her out more than she'd admit. Her muscles probably ache now – yours are sore from carrying the heavy rucksack all day long. You think about how incredible it was that she made all that effort. For you and your wacky spur-of-the-moment plans. She's a real troop and good friend. You can't think of any others who would have done the same with so much grace and no complaining.

There's no electricity in the annex, so you light a couple of candles and several lamps you find tucked away in a cupboard. There's plenty of fuel for the lamps and you place the shining beacons mostly in the areas where you are. You leave one by the bathroom door, telling Kaguya through the door that it's there for her convenience. There's little light from the twilight, but the lamps are more than enough to make things cozy.

You get to your place in the kitchen, beginning the work on the lavish banquet. You do your best with what supplies you have, dreaming up improvised dishes. They'll be good, you think. You hope rather. There's no telling just how mixing fresh food and the sickly-looking canned goods will turn out. Spices will go a long way in disguising the taste any unfortunate failures.

Chopping and dicing is easy enough. Like you told Kaguya, you're no pro at it, but you can do it competently. You separate ingredients and ready the pans. You'll have to cook, sautee, and broil. One thing at a time, done efficiently. Most of it done before the meal, and you'll add the finishing touches and finish the last few minutes of cooking just before serving. That way all the tastes will be fresh and most appealing. Overcooked food tends not to be as perfect as you want everything to be, so you take the necessary precautions to get everything just right.

You'll take a bath after Kaguya and get dressed up, and you won't leave anything simmering by itself.

It's while caught up in the spirit of cooking that you notice the pot that Kaguya used sitting on an unopened burner. The lid is on and the pot perspires condensation. You keep on cooking, doing your best, but from time to time look at the pot in curiosity. Kaguya used up all the materials she took. Every single item, fruit and vegetable alike. You haven't seen scraps or garbage, meaning that they went all in there. You come closer to the pot while stirring another, smelling the same scent that you noticed on Kaguya. You're not sure what it is.

With no intended disrespect to your buddy, you pop the lid. You see that the contents are still bubbling, plumes of heavily-spiced steam rise up. It smells... interesting. You can't tell if your own reaction is good or bad. The insides themselves contain what looks to be something similar to a risotto. You stare at how there are dark chunks of... something lined up on the surface forming a pattern. A face in fact, a smiling face. A face with an exaggeratedly big line of pieces of whatever as a smile. You blink, recognizing vaguely a face that you see very often. In the mirror every morning in fact. Your face. You're an island of points, forming lines, given shape on the surface of the soggy substance.

You reach out a finger, feeling the hot steamy tendrils almost burning your flesh. You stop short of coming in contact with the surface, partly debating whether you should try it and partly concerned with the possibility of your finger melting off on contact. You pull back, deciding it's not worth risking your beautiful finger just yet. Truth is, you're in awe of this. You're sure that Kaguya will want you to eat this. No doubt about it.

Your attention turns away from the confounding concoction and to your pan, where mushrooms are almost burning. You remove them quickly, averting a culinary crises narrowly. You tend to your cooking for a while, thinking about what to do. And the how exactly the mysterious dish would affect your perfect evening. You're anxious, thinking all sorts of wild thoughts. If some force greater than man gets in your way, you'll feel like you've failed. Big time. And there's no telling how Kaguya will feel either. She has a point, you're responsible for all this. Then again, it's her creation. Still, it's nothing that couldn't be corrected with a spice or two and some care application of heat.

You sigh, sprinkling a bit of spice over the congealed contents of a can before putting in the skillet. The evening may have only just started, but time is passing quickly. You'll have to bath, change, and do other things soon. Find an appropriate drink for all of this in that chest as well. That's an important duty.

[] Make sure Kaguya's creation is edible, fixing it
[] Ignore the dish
-
Stressful things came up earlier. But I'll probably resume faster updates.
>> No. 19190
[x] Make sure Kaguya's creation is edible, fixing it

But only if she doesn't see. It'd be a huge problem if she did.
>> No. 19191
File 126337505846.jpg - (309.67KB, 1024x1024, f5e48dae4646aa55d2d8c8277374fe9e.jpg) [iqdb]
19191
[x] Make sure Kaguya's creation is edible, fixing it

Good work fixing the site Teruyo. He works without food and sleep, he just runs on complains and resentment.
>> No. 19193
>>19191
The situation hasn't been resolved completely yet. It's a ddos attack that affects more than just us (or another target server) since we're on a vps. All I can really do is route to drop malicious packets and hope the hosting company gets its act together. At least the site is accessible now. If not still sluggish.

And yeah. Serious lack of sleep, no food in quite some while and resentment does drive me somewhat.
>> No. 19194
>>19193
Less thinking, more writing. More updates, more votes.
But you must believe in Anon, who believes in you!
>> No. 19195
[X] Ignore the dish

Going the honest route. If it's awful, we'll tell it to her straight, buddy to buddy. If we're not unconcious on the floor from the taste. Besides, Kaguya said to leave her to do this alone.
>> No. 19196
[X] Ignore the dish

Can't be that bad, if anything it may be surprisingly good and meddling with it may actually ruin it.
>> No. 19198
[X] Ignore the dish

Only path, no regrets, etc.
>> No. 19200
>>You stare at how there are dark chunks of... something lined up on the surface forming a pattern. A face in fact, a smiling face. A face with an exaggeratedly big line of pieces of whatever as a smile. You blink, recognizing vaguely a face that you see very often. In the mirror every morning in fact. Your face.

D'AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

[X] Ignore the dish

I don't care how edible it actually is, to interfere with such a from-the-heart thing as this would be akin to defacing a piece of fine art with a Sharpie. Can't you see it? This dish is not just a meal for the stomach, it is a meal for the heart and soul! To taste it is to taste the very feelings in Kaguya's heart!
>> No. 19201
>>19193
Nice work.

[X] Ignore the dish
HONESTY IS THE NEW BLACK
>> No. 19203
[X] Ignore the dish
>> No. 19204
[X] Ignore the dish

This makes me smile inside.
Great update.
>> No. 19206
[+] Ignore the dish
Let's be frank: we helped and saw her assemble all of the ingredients she selected. If there was anything she could have put into it or that we thought would be harmful, we'd already know. Besides, honesty comes first.
>> No. 19207
I'll be writing now. Though my weary mind slows me down somewhat. I'm not sure whether to revise and cut something, we'll see how it develops as I write.
>> No. 19208
Everything is neatly squared away and just as you want it to be; Under the present circumstances, there's only so much that a man can expect from gelatinous blobs of originally congealed canned foods. Your cooking certainly looks edible, which was the main point. And from what you sampled, it tastes deceptively good too. You leave the stove smoldering just a little so you can easily light it up again later and place lids on pots and pans.

With arms akimbo, you look at Kaguya's contribution again. Even with its cover on, it's as if you can still see the stark coloration of the food within. You can certainly smell it, that distinctively unique smell that sets itself apart from the other dishes. No amount of species could hide it. It's enough to make you grimace.

But there are other matters that occupy your mind.

In the empty pantry, you inspect the check by lamplight. Your earlier look was enough to confirm that it was indeed alcohol contained in those bottles. And that it looked to be good quality stuff. But now you truly examine the contents of the chest. Bottles clink as you pick them up, disturbing their neighbors. They were all snugly fit together a long time ago. It's all very dusty.

The top layer of bottles is comprised of expensive-looking varieties of the more usual spirits. Shouchu and sake make for good drinks, you'll admit, but it's not exactly what you had in mind for an evening meal. You dig in deeper, finding some honest-to-goodness genuine scotch. The kind that you would see going for hundreds of dollars at specialty retailers. Maybe not quite. Given the age of the particular bottle, the only way to get it would be in an auction house. The bottle weighs heavily in your hand, and you put it down gently, treating it like it were about to break. While it my be a guaranteed sublime drink, you don't feel that it would be appropriate to drink it; This collector's item is best left alone – karma would decide who would get to taste it.

It's near the bottom of the large wooden chest that you find something appropriate. Bottles filled with dark liquid line the chest. They're extremely dusty and you have to blow the dust off before you can even read the label. You're pretty sure that it's exactly what you need.

Château Écarlate – Grand Reserve

The elegant label bleeds an assuming sense of sophistication and elegance. Looking at the contents against the light, you find that it radiates refinement and quality. It's quickly and without doubts that you decide that this will do. A fine red wine to accompany an elaborate meal.

You're careful to leave everything else as it was, packing the chest full of assorted bottles. The wine you pick out remains next to the chest, ready to be retrieved quickly when you need it. Before closing you pick out a bottle of sake as well as an alternative. The wine's selection makes you happy. Though you had never heard of the vineyard and, though a lot of the label is worn away by time and illegible, something about it just oozes suitability.

Kaguya emerges from the bathroom as you pass. She's barely half-dressed with clothes haphazardly sprinkled on and a towel still wrapped around most of her. Her skin has a flush glow, glistening with droplets of water clinging on stubbornly to her skin. She barely breaks her stride to look at you and hurry on past. She probably forgot to take some piece of clothing, preventing her from getting completely dressed inside the bathroom.

Following her would be inappropriate. So you decide to not waste time and take your own bath, You left a towel and clothes by the bathroom's door. You pick it up and head on in inside. Steamy warmness greets you along with mediocre lighting. Kaguya placed the lamp by a side of the bath, making parts of the room dark. The air in there is really warm, and even as you strip you feel the moisture making your clothes damp and stick to your flesh.

Before you're completely naked you decide to leave your change of clothes just outside the door again, so it doesn't get affected by the miniature climactic zone in here.

The old wooden bath does a good job. Even after the years of probable neglect it still manages to be a useful and sturdy place. You draw water and wash, slip in, relax. It's quite easy to do. Knots of muscle spasm slightly on contact with the hot water, tension melting away as you unwind. Your feet and legs aren't very pained, but your shoulders and lower back bother you the more you let go. With the hubbub of the day, you haven't noticed just how tired you really were. You think aloud, declaring that you'll be getting a good night's sleep at this rate.

Lingering around in the bath doesn't seem prudent so you get out before you feel lightheaded. You're as clean as a whistle and, paradoxically enough, both revitalized and dead tired. Energy comes from being relaxed; The day's burden weighs you down all the same. It's not time to quit yet, definitely not before having dinner.

You get dressed. Your attire as formal as you can manage under the circumstances. A buttoned white shirt and black muted pants. You didn't have much in the way of clothes in Gensokyo. Tewi, despite the tactical genius shown in organizing your rucksack, had not furnished you with formal wear. A dinner jacket or something equally smart would be too bulky to carry. And you would have needed to have been fitted beforehand as well.

To your absolute delight Kaguya has taken your call very seriously. She's not wearing an evening dress or anything as luxurious as that as she stares out into the night. Instead she wears something similar to kimono, a delicate eastern dress with a large ribbon tied around her waist. The red cloth has golden highlights – patterns and designs much like the ones on Kaguya's normal skirt. A thin trim of white accentuates the border of the clothes, and makes you keenly aware of where the clothes end and her skin begins.

She glances to you, smiling slightly as the fabric swishes while she turns. You notice that her hair is still damp, and it looks even darker than usual.

“That's not very formal.” She raises an eyebrow at you, joking. “The least you could have done was wear a tie.”
“I don't have any here. Ties are rare things in Gensokyo.”
“If Udonge can manage then you can. No excuses.”
“Yes yes, I'm deeply sorry then.” You think to Reisen and her habitual tie. You hadn't thought about it much before, but it strikes you at odd that she would wear a tie. Especially while wearing a short skirt. It sends contradicting messages you decide.
“I'll let it go this time.”
“You're most kind.” You say dryly. You notice that she's wearing makeup. A discrete shade of lipstick, almost the same tone of her flush skin, adorns her lips. Nothing else really, no eyeliner, rogue or any other item of makeup. It's strange to see her with lipstick, even if it is subtle. “That's a nice shade there.”
“Oh.” She brings a finger to her lip, almost touching. “Thank you. I normally don't see the point but you said to dress up so I did my best.” Further justification follows. “It was a gift from Eirin too, so I was curious to try it.”
“I see.” You nod. She looks... different, but not bad. It's unexpected that's all.

Outside, the rain starts up again. It's like a violent bursting of a water-filled balloon and water comes crashing down on the Earth.

“Oh, that's a shame, I thought the clouds were going to clear up and we could see the stars.”
“Maybe they will later. After this torrent is over.”
“It's not that big a deal. If it rains, it rains.”

Kaguya slinks back from the porch, closing the door halfway. You observe as her her swings with less fluidity than usual, being drawn together by moistness. Hair like that probably takes a long time to dry after just toweling it.

“It's pleasant enough to sleep with rain in the background, so it's not a big deal at all.”
“Yeah, it's relaxing listening to it.”
“Mm, it practically welcomes a deep and relaxing sleep.”
“Sorry to change the subject, but would you like to eat now?” You as her, stifling a yawn. Not a good sign that.
“Sure thing.”
“Alright, I'll give things a finishing touch and I'll call you when ready.”
“Warm up what I made just a bit and take it to the table. I left it on the stove.”
“I'll do that.” You say, completely hiding the apprehension you feel.

The finishing touch necessary is deliberately easy. You did all the heavy lifting earlier, and so it's basically just cooking things a little bit more before they're ready. You set the table while your dishes cook and stew, finding plates and glasses in the kitchen. You grab the wine from the pantry and make the table look as formal as you can make it look. Your improvisation mostly works. With the lamplight it looks more than presentable.

You hurry back to the kitchen, stopping food from overcooking. You don't have much in the way of serving bowls and end up having to use (inelegantly enough) a few pots as they are to hold the food. Despite that, the feast looks good. Your stomach growls, making its approval known without being asked. In the poor lamp-lit room, surrounded by other dishes, even Kaguya's creation looks... decent.

“Milady.” You come to Kaguya, extending your hand, “Dinner is served.” She takes it with amicably and you walk her to the adjoining room.
“It's quite the feast.” She remarks, looking on from a distance. “You really went all out with this.”
“I tried my hardest to make something nice.”
“And I'm sure you succeeded.” She compliments. You leave her at her seat, pulling her chair for her.

As you sit down, you give her a quick explanation of what you've made. You recommend she try one thing first and tell her of the flavors to expect. You proudly tell her the highlights of every dish, and silently hope that they'll live up to the hype you're giving them. They were fine for your tastes, but her tastes are another matter entirely. You performed miracles with canned and dried foods to make the assortment that she looks at with admiration.

“I almost forgot to tell you,” You add one last thing before beginning your meal, “I got us a good wine.” Or so you think. You have an improvised cork remover on the table which you use to open the bottle. A satisfying pop sounds as the cork comes out cleanly. You take Kaguya's glass, filling it with the appropriate level of wine. Even in the poor illumination you see that the body has a fine ruby red body and a consistent sheen. You pour some for yourself.

You each take your respective glass into your hand. The ruby (or perhaps vermillion depending on the lighting) liquid sloshes slightly in the glasses. Kaguya looks at you with a satisfied smile, she's appreciating the effort you went through. You smile back, looking her straight into her clear eyes. You wish to leave a single smart impression on her.

You begin to say something, the start of a toast and maybe hinting at something else...

[] “To two good friends having fun.”
[] “To good food and good drink.”
[] “To Eientei.”
[] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
---
Choo choo! Train making a 40-minute stop because the conductor can't focus well enough. Enjoy your added choice.
>> No. 19209
[X] “To Eientei.”

are you sure you're not just tired
>> No. 19210
[X] “To Eientei.”

This just seems like a good choice. Without Eientei, they probably would not have ever met in the first place. I'm sure there are probably better reasons but that's all I can think of at the moment.
>> No. 19212
[X] “To Eientei.”

>>19210's logic seems sound to me.
>> No. 19213
[x] "To Terra..."
>> No. 19214
[x] “To Eientei.”

Concise and open-ended. The others may be limiting, depending on interpretations.
>> No. 19215
>“If Udonge can manage then you can. No excuses.
We shall put it on our to do list. But get her one too, i am sure it will suit her just perfect.

[x] “To Eientei.”
all the choices don't seem to bring us closer to Kaguya. Maybe this one might do the job.
Like >>19214 said.
>> No. 19219
I'm currently busy and unable to write. I'll probably only be able to begin writing in several hours' time. When the time comes I may need a boost so that I don't collapse.

Can't say that I enjoy unanimous voting, merits of the choice notwithstanding. If there were only one correct thing to say or do, then there wouldn't be options to begin with.

>>19218
You see possible implications in one thing, hypothesize about your choice, but can't speculate on the others? I assure you that bringing up a group that was necessarily left behind for the evening to occur in the first place isn't the most personal and intimate (or witty) thing to say. It may have other purpose, but establishing a special rapport isn't it. It may send a vibe different, but perhaps as equally powerful, as the one you ascribed to the possible implication of the other choice.
>> No. 19221
[X] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”

I can't tell if this is meant to relate to Kaguya dressing up so nicely, or for Shirou's previously unseen desire to become either a glam rocker or a transvestite, which is kind of the same thing but without a guitar.

The generic "food and drink" one is fine, too.
But comemorating this intimate evening out with your lady friend by making the two of you think about the place you ran away from amidst the planning session for dealing with the small-scale war that is apparently looming? Talk about a buzzkill.
>> No. 19224
>>19221

I agree.

[X] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
>> No. 19226
[X] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
>> No. 19228
>[] “To two good friends having fun.”
Neutral. Nothing bad about it, but it's not very mock-formal. "Having fun" is also very Kaguya.

>[] “To good food and good drink.”
We haven't tried her dish yet. This doesn't seem like a very useful toast in general, either, unless you have nothing else to toast to.

>[] “To Eientei.”
Where we are not.

>[] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
And ties that we do not have.

1 or 4, I'm conflicted, and I would go with one for opposite reason that I would for the other. I think the fact we already noticed and complimented on the lipstick in canon was enough; either she keeps a gift from Eirin in a piece of luggage that probably doesn't see much packing, or it intentionally found its way there. There's no point in speculating since the compliment was already paid. Like I said, the first one also have a very Teruyo Kaguya feel to it.
[+] “To two good friends having fun.”
>> No. 19230
>>Neutral. Nothing bad about it, but it's not very mock-formal. "Having fun" is also very Kaguya.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say there was anything outright bad about that particular toast, I wonder if there aren't some ways it could be considered slightly negative.

Think about the situation those two are in right now. A man and a woman, in a secluded little place, all alone, having a fancy dinner with fine wine and sort-of formal dress. If one didn't know any better, this would almost seem like the sort of thing you'd do on a date, rather than on a friendly outing with a buddy.

But then you must wonder; why does Kaguya have some of the things we now know she has? Why would she pack things like the sort of underwear we briefly peeked at her having? Why the formal clothing? Why the lipstick, when she admits to not usually seeing a reason to wear makeup at all?
Going back a little further, why the questioning about what Shirou thought about Eirin?

From all these little questions, a much larger question emerges; why did Kaguya agree to go along on this crazy little outing? Was it just a desire to escape for a little while, or was she possibly have something in mind that she wanted to happen? Or, at least something she hoped would happen?

Now, if we were to assume that these things are the result of Kaguya harboring certain feelings for Shirou, consider then what possible meanings she might derive from certain toasts. If, for example, we were to toast to "two good friends having fun", how might that be viewed by someone with such feelings? While it is certainly a technically true statement, it could very well be seen as Shirou essentially friend-zoning her, could it not?
>> No. 19232
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I'm sorry to say that I won't be writing now as I said earlier. I'm too tired, if I let go just a little bit I think I'll collapse. If I am able to get some rest, I should be ready to write sometime within the next 6-12 hours.

Until then I may as well keep the vote open for those of you who haven't voted, or wish to change your vote. I won't tally until I begin.

>>19228
The options here are supposed to be all mutually exclusive so if you want to go for the alternative because it may win, go ahead.

>>19230
Those types of questions should be taken into consideration. Right now the focus is more here and now, but the rest of the world shouldn't be written off just yet. If only to be able to have clear objectives and pull together in a more or less unified way. It simply wouldn't do to continuously send mixed signals to characters. Large misunderstandings are a sure way to achieve nothing.
>> No. 19235
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>>19230
She agreed on the whole thing because she hopes that something will happen between her and Shirou.
I did not pick "two good friends having fun" because it would be a hit in her face and would delay things even more. We need to take a step forward finally. "To Eientei." is a solid choice, not bad and not great. It is her home with all her friends after all. There should be a choice that hints that we want more but without being too clear about it because i think she would not take a "I love you!" all too well. It would only end up in the direct opposite.
The whole trip feels like playing poker with Kaguya. Gotta break her poker face somehow before taking the next step.
>> No. 19241
I completely disagree with the "To Eientei" choice for a number of reasons. But lemme first vote.

>[ ] “To two good friends having fun.”
Uh...good friends, huh? If this is a positive outcome it only means that nothing much really changes in the relationship between you two. If this is a negative one, you just decreased the relationship between you and Kaguya. This choice is too unsafe in my opinion.

> [] “To good food and good drink.”
A really safe choice, but could be problematic. If it's a positive choice, then she might be more receptive of the conditions, only assuming that she really isn't. If it's a negative choice, then all that'll really happen is that you don't get to talk to her for about a day.

>[] “To Eientei.”
A risky one. Here's why: If it's a negative choice, she'd threaten to go back to Eientei. Considering that most people saying "To Eientei" also want to point out the positive immediately, do keep in mind that there is no additive section to this vote. We do not know what will Shirou will say to justify the choice, if at all. The requirements to satisfy the entire positive route are highly suspect to reliability in my opinion; we have to mention Eientei, Kaguya has to not lash out or mull about it without response but ask Shirou what she means, and then Shirou has to have that response immediately in mind. To me, that's too big of a risk to choose the potentially best option.

>[ ] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
I don't like it personally because of the way it's phrased. Something about it seems awkward. If it's positive, she'll understand Shirou accepts even this side of her, but if it's negative, she'll refuse to show this side of her again. Kinda have to watch how this is implied.

My vote's this:
> [] “To good food and good drink.”

I hate choosing the safe option, but here I think the risk is too great for "To Eientei", the almost definite potentially best option...of course, in my opinion.
>> No. 19242
>>19241
Ack~
I meant to say "he", not "she".

>we have to mention Eientei, Kaguya has to not lash out or mull about it without response but ask Shirou what she means
>> No. 19244
>>19208
[X] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”

Doesn't this amount to drinking to her? I'm perfectly comfortable with that.
>> No. 19245
>>19228
Okay, I took another look at a the coin I flipped early this morning and discovered it was one of my two headed coins. Disregard that post, I suck cocks.
[+] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
I'll leave the justification tl;dw.
>> No. 19246
>>19218 here. Changing my vote to the below:

[X] To hot baths, wine, and a place to sleep after a day of walking.

I believe this implies that we finally get a chance to wind down and spend quality time together (doing something besides cramping our legs). I almost considered using "to our vacation", but that would bring about thoughts of how this is only a temporary thing (which it is, but we don't need that to worry Kaguya over dinner).

Must keep in mind that others aren't always going to take things the way we desire them to, and that the human heart seems to naturally take things in the way that will offend it most. The heart of a Lunarian is probably the same.
>> No. 19247
[X] “To lipstick and beautiful clothes.”
-[x] {Imply its positive.}
>> No. 19251
Writing now. New thread coming as well. Hopefully I'll be done before I have to go out (thus pushing the update back hours).
>> No. 19272
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