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10511 No. 10511
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Night stands that specialize in grilled chicken are strange, aren't they...

>> No. 10515
File 122883766624.jpg - (318.41KB , 733x912 , mystia.jpg ) [iqdb]
10515
Loading User Commands:
[X] Continue toward Hakugyokurou at full speed. You can't get sidetracked here.

---

Grimnír can't afford to waste any time.

Eirin said that the ghost princess Yuyuko Saigyouji is a good friend of Yukari Yakumo. She lives in Hakugyokurou together with her gardener and retainer Youmu Konpaku. The lunarian doctor mentioned that they are both quite amiable as long as he doesn't do anything offensive. Hopefully, he can get the help he needs without trouble.

He takes one last look of longing at the street stand as he passes over it. Some grilled chicken and a beer would be a great, but now isn't the time. He sighs as he checks his things again.

"Got no money anyway," he mutters to himself.

He hears a faint melody as he flies by, but he pays it no heed. Soon, the red-lantern stand is far behind him. He probably didn't miss anything important.

Maybe.

...

A few minutes later, he finds himself flying over a heavily forested mountain. To the left, he can see a large peak reaching high into the clouds. He can't see the top of the peak from here.

Grimnír pulls out the map Eirin left him. According to the map, that large peak is Youkai Mountain. He is getting pretty close to Hakugyokurou. Perhaps he can make it there without incident.

He takes a moment to examine the contents of his sack as he continues onward. He looks sadly at the small pouch full of mushrooms. It must be useful somehow, since Marisa gave them. He still has the beginner's magic book that he borrowed from Alice. He is almost halfway done with the book, though he still hasn't tried some of the more advanced exercises. He is carrying five blank spell cards and one special card of his own. He isn't exactly sure how to use them, so he should find time to ask someone about it.

"W-what the hell?" he cries as he barely dodges a shining ball of light.

Grimnír turns around and finds over a dozen fairies flying behind him. Small globes of light are already forming in their hands. This doesn't look good. Didn't Eirin say that this path is supposed to be safe?

"Oh shi-"

What should he do?
[ ] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[ ] Try to lose them in the mountains.
[ ] Stand and fight.

How should he deal with the attacks?
[ ] Dodge the projectiles. A moving target is harder to hit.
[ ] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.
[ ] Try your spell card. It might help somehow.
[ ] Attempt to counterattack. Fight fire with fire.
[ ] Use _____ magic. You don't have much choice.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10516
[x] Stand and fight.
[x] Use _____ magic. You don't have much choice.

With luck this will summon Yukari anyway. I wouldn't put it past her to do something like blinking Marisa out of existence in order to extort you.
>> No. 10518
[x] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[x] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.

Alice is still with your Grim! BELIEVE
>> No. 10519
>>10505
I do believe information is ordered by the shot.
>> No. 10520
[x] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[x] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.
>> No. 10521
[x] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[x] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.
>> No. 10522
[x] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[x] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.

We haven't trained in offensive magic, and the spell card is iffy. Passing out high up in the sky after using _____ magic doesn't seem to be a very good idea either.
>> No. 10523
File 122893893748.jpg - (22.88KB , 340x288 , steps.jpg ) [iqdb]
10523
Loading User Commands:
[X] Flee straight towards Hakugyokurou.
[X] Cast a protective barrier. Those things hurt when they hit.

---

Grimnír flies toward Hakugyokurou at full speed. It isn't very far from here, and he might be able to get help. Eirin said that the gardener is in charge of controlling rowdy spirits; perhaps she or the ghost princess can help him deal with these crazy fairies. He can't remember doing anything that would upset them. Why the hell are they after him anyway?

In the Forest of Magic, maybe they were just defending their territory. They probably considered him a threat (or perhaps food? He'd rather not think about it..). However, they followed him all the way out here - it can't be just that. Have they gone completely insane, or is it something else?

"D-dammit!"

One of the shots flies dangerously close to his head. If that hit, he would probably be falling down to his doom right now. If he doesn't do something fast, those foot-high little misfits will tear him apart. He takes a glance behind him. They are relentless in their attacks, and they look like they are catching up. This can't possibly end well.

"Terra...Anima... Murus..." he mumbles.

A yellow-orange spherical field forms around Grimnír. It isn't perfect, but he was able to use this spell to defend himself against Alice's assault earlier. She said that she was holding back only slightly, and that his barrier was pretty decent. It should be enough to take a few hits from these fairies. Sure enough, one of the shots hits its mark. He cringes as he feels it through the barrier. The force of the blow did little damage, but it really hurt. These cute little winged demons are out for blood.

"S-stupid fairies! Leave me alone!"

As he takes a closer look at his pursuers, he notices that the fairies have odd blank expressions on their faces. They aren't even chattering to each other like those he encountered at the Forest of Magic. Something is wrong with them. Even as a newcomer to Gensokyo, he can tell that this isn't natural.

"What's going on?" he asks loudly.

...

The chase continues for several long minutes. Thankfully, the fairies are fairly inaccurate with their shots. However, the sheer volume of energy globes is dangerous. Every so often, one of the shots manages to hit him. Each successive shot weakens the barrier considerably.

"Not good," he mutters.

Another shot hits the barrier. Grimnír flinches in agony as he feels it burn his left arm. The barrier is getting weaker. He can't take much more of this. He looks below to see that the terrain has changed. He seems to be flying over a ridiculously long set of stairs now. He must be getting close to Hakugyokurou. But his vision is blurring.

"..."

He can see something approaching from somewhere in front of him.

[ ] A ghostly presence
[ ] A scythe wielder
[ ] A young child
>> No. 10524
{X} A young child
>> No. 10529
[x] A scythe wielder

Angry over her sweet bun, now gone forever, no doubt.
>> No. 10545
[x] A scythe wielder
>> No. 10547
[ ] A ghostly presence
>> No. 10548
[x] A scythe wielder
>> No. 10553
[x] A young child
>> No. 10555
[ODIN] A ghostly presence

While Machi-Machi is fun to encounter we shouldn't fall for obvious distractions.
>> No. 10559
Votes are kinda close, so I'm leaving this open for a little bit longer.
>> No. 10561
>>10524
{X} A scythe wielder

My password died. Changing vote.
>> No. 10563
Calling it.
[x] A scythe wielder
>> No. 10568
File 122902460326.jpg - (53.65KB , 667x500 , komachi.jpg ) [iqdb]
10568
Loading User Commands:
[X] A scythe wielder

---

Without warning, several projectiles fly toward him from the newcomer.

"W-what the fu -"

Grimnír doesn't have time to dodge them. He closes his eyes and braces for the impact, but it never comes. Slowly, he opens his eyes.

"..."

Grimnír watches the scene with mouth agape. Dozens, maybe hundreds of projectiles fly past him. Several of them miss him by only a few inches. While he finds it strange that they aren't hitting him, something else grabs his attention. The projectiles seem to be coins, or some similar currency. He can't help but feel that this is out of place. Why would someone use coins as a weapon? Wouldn't that be extremely inefficient in terms of cost?

"Pop!"

After a few moments, he realizes that he isn't the target. He turns around to a pleasant sight. The crazed fairies have begun to retreat. He watches in awe as several of them are hit by the speeding coins. The unlucky few that are hit by the barrage suddenly disappear with a comical "Pop!". Somehow, he is reminded of bubblegum or popcorn. The rest flee back down toward the mountains.

Grimnír heads down to the ground, landing deftly on one of the steps. It seems like he isn't going to end up as a meal for these insane fairies today. He actually has a few more cards to play in case the barrier broke, but he is thankful for the assistance all the same. He sits down and takes a few minutes to catch his breath.

A tall figure pauses above him for a moment. He can't make out much of the details, but the person seems to be carrying a long scythe. He waves at the stranger to show that he is alright. After giving him a wave back, the person heads back in pursuit of the fairies.

...

Before him stands a tall and confident presence. The woman's shining red eyes sparkle with life. Her short wavy hair is tied comfortably in two different places. She is wearing a white and blue dress of some sort. A wide belt is tied around her delicately slender waist; a single large coin is tied at the center like some sort of buckle. She is carrying a dangerous looking scythe carelessly with her right hand.

She raises a hand to silence him before he can speak.

"Always a pleasure to help out a future customer," she says cheerfully. "Just as a formality, may I ask if you are currently dead or dying?"

"Neither, I guess?" he answers carefully. That's a pretty morbid question to ask.

She sighs in relief before smiling brightly at him.

"That's convenient. I don't really feel like working right now."

Grimnír scratches his head in confusion.

"I don't really get it, but thanks," he manages. "You saved my life just now."

"D-don't mind! Don't mind!" she says as she blushes slightly in embarrassment. The girl strokes one of her stray hairs nervously. The gesture is pretty cute.

"..."

The two look at each other in an awkward silence for a few moments. Grimnír decides to speak first.

"Thank you very much for your help," he says. "My name is Grimnír. I'm an apprentice magician staying with a friend at the Forest of Magic. Pleasure to meet you!"

He extends his hand at the girl, but she just chuckles. Instead of shaking his head, the girl simply ruffles his hair.

"I'm Komachi, the Shinigami in charge of Sanzu River."

Grimnír pauses to think.

He can probably talk about one or two things.
[ ] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[ ] Ask about Shinigami.
[ ] Ask about the Sanzu River.
[ ] Offer to repay her somehow.
[ ] Offer to stay and chat for a while.
[ ] Offer her a mushroom.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10570
[ ] Offer her a mushroom, if you know what I mean

Ahem.
[X] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
>> No. 10572
[x] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[x] Offer her a mushroom.
Magic mushrooms! What do they do? Let us find out in the name of SCIENCE!!!
>> No. 10579
File 122904737663.jpg - (566.06KB , 875x875 , 1220282713531.jpg ) [iqdb]
10579
[!/] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[!/] Offer her to accompany you there, ask if she has a last name. Or Machi~machi.
>> No. 10610
[x] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[x] Chat with her while travelling.

Machi just wants someone to talk to... :<
>> No. 10611
[x] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[x] Chat with her while travelling.

Machi just wants someone to talk to... :<
>> No. 10612
[x] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.
[x] Chat with her while travelling.

Machi just wants someone to talk to.
>> No. 10696
File 122922101079.png - (223.27KB , 400x700 , chen.png ) [iqdb]
10696
Loading User Commands:
[X] Ask for directions to Hakugyokurou.

---

Grimnír stands up and brushes the dust off his robes and sack. Nothing seems to have been damaged during the chase. He takes the walking stick before turning back to Komachi.

"I am currently on an urgent errand," he says. "May I ask if you know the way to Hakugyokurou?"

"The ghost princess' place?"

"That is correct. I need to see the good Lady Yuyuko Saigyouji as soon as possible."

Komachi pauses for a moment. She seems to be in deep thought. Somehow, such a serious expression doesn't fit this girl. She seems pretty friendly and carefree, if not a little bit odd. She has a strange, macabre air about her. The scythe she carries is especially disconcerting. He wonders idly about what a shinigami does for a living.

"Alright then," she says finally.

The girl turns toward her left and peers into the deep fog. There are a few gloomy trees near the steps.

"Why don't you come out now? This guy seems alright."

Grimnír follows her gaze toward an ancient old tree. A small child steps out in view. She is wearing a red and pink outfit with gold trimming. A comfortable looking green hat covers her her brown hair. Her dark orange eyes are strange, but that isn't what catches his attention the most. She has a pair of cat ears protruding from hair and two long cat tails poking from under her dress. Is she some sort of cat demon?

"Come on closer, don't be shy," Komachi says.

The cat girl takes a few steps closer. Grimnír takes care not to make any sudden moves. Somehow, he feels that she might run off if she is startled. After a few more encouraging words, the girl finally steps beside Komachi. The shinigami ruffles the smaller girl's hair.

"This is Chen," Komachi says. "We both just came from Hakugyokurou."

"N-nice to meet you," the cat-eared girl says with a bow. "M-my name is Chen."

Grimnír returns the bow before continuing.

"I am Grimnír."

"Grim-nier?" Chen asks. "G-Grim-near? Grim-neir?"

He shakes his head as she tries to pronounce his name properly.

"Just call him Grim," Komachi says.

"Grim," Chen repeats. "B-big brother Grim?"

Grimnír nods reluctantly. It will do for now.

"Anyway, why don't we head back to Hakugyokurou together? It's just a few minutes away," the shinigami suggests.

"Weren't you leaving?"

"Not really. We were just asked to have a 'time-out' of sorts. Nothing you need to worry about."

Grimnír has a slightly bad feeling about the way she dismissed the question.

"Anyway, we should get going. They need to know how many guests we are having for lunch."

Before he can reply, Komachi grabs his hand and takes off into the air. It takes a moment for him to recover and fly on his own. Chen follows close behind Komachi. Soon, all three of them are flying over the endless stairs toward Hakugyokurou.

[ ] Start a conversation with Komachi.
[ ] Try to talk to Chen about something.
[ ] Stay silent. Let them speak first.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10697
File 122922282236.jpg - (220.12KB , 700x700 , 10623b2d5a74abaa84b793821156d73d.jpg ) [iqdb]
10697
[!/] Try to talk to Chen about something.

Shit hits the Vincent fan.
>> No. 10698
[ ] Try to talk to Chen about something.
>> No. 10699
[ ] Try to talk to Chen about something.
>> No. 10718
[x] Try to talk to Chen about something.
>> No. 10728
[x] Try to talk to Chen about something.
>> No. 10737
File 122935322977.jpg - (247.96KB , 700x700 , chen_cats.jpg ) [iqdb]
10737
Loading User Commands:
[X] Try to talk to Chen about something.

---

Grimnír flies a little bit closer to Chen.

"So Chen, what sort of things do you like?"

"E-eh?" the cat girl stammers.

She quickly hides behind Komachi. The shinigami chuckles a bit.

"Careful there, Grim," she says. "Despite her appearance, she is a top class nekomata. Her combat skill is at a different level compared to yours. Unless you are hiding some kind of world shattering power, I would be careful."

Komachi pats Chen on the head encouragingly.

"So-sorry about that," he manages. "I couldn't help myself. Anyone would want to get closer to a cute little girl like her."

Chen peeks from behind Komachi, blushing slightly.

"Such a dangerous thing to say, Mr. Magician," the shinigami comments.

"I-I mean that I want to be her friend! Don't misunderstand!"

"Of course! Of course!"

Komachi turns to the nekomata.

"So, would you like to make another friend today?"

Chen takes a long look at Grimnír before speaking.

"I like big brother Vincent better!" she says finally. "This guy looks pretty weak."

Grimnír smiles weakly.

"That's a pretty mean thing to say, even if he is just a human," Komachi says sternly. "You should apologize."

"I don't wanna! This guy is weak! I don't like weak guys! They're useless!" she whines.

"Don't make me tell Ran about your rude behavior," the shinigami adds.

"E-eh? Please don't tell Ran! Please don't tell! I promise to be good!"

"Then apologize."

The cat girl flies in front of him and bows politely.

"I'm very sorry!"

...

Several minutes later, they find themselves at the entrance to the Hakugyokurou grounds.

"Wait patiently at the dining room," Komachi instructs Chen. "I'll see if I can find Youmu. She must be in the kitchen by now."

Grimnír pauses to think.
[ ] Accompany Chen in the dining room.
[ ] Follow Komachi to the kitchen.
[ ] Take a walk around the grounds.
[ ] Wander around aimlessly.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10739
{X} Accompany Chen in the dining room.
>> No. 10741
[X] Take a walk around the grounds.
Flowers are pretty
>> No. 10749
[ ] Accompany Chen in the dining room.
>> No. 10750
[X] Accompany Chen in the dining room.
>> No. 10760
[x] Accompany Chen in the dining room.
>> No. 10761
[!/] Accompany Chen in the dining room.

Not as plan'd.
>> No. 10768
File 122945540512.gif - (22.55KB , 380x430 , chen.gif ) [iqdb]
10768
Loading User Commands:
[X] Accompany Chen in the dining room.

---

"Chen," she mutters weakly.

"Master Ran! Are you alright?"

"He is too strong... You have to get out of here..."

"I can't leave you behind! Just hold on to me and -"

"..."

"Master Ran! Speak to me! Master Ran!"

Chen holds back her tears. She has to be strong. With Ran defeated and Yukari missing, she has to defend Mayohiga. No matter what happens, he can't let that man through. Her family. Her home. Her world. All of it will end if he makes it through. This person is not a man, he is a destroyer! He will consume everything in Gensokyo, and even that will not be enough. He will devour the Outside and the countless other worlds across the boundaries.

Chen carefully lays Master Ran on the ground. It is too late for escape. She has no choice - even a shikigami's shikigami must fight. She knows that she is not strong. She knows that she is not smart. She knows that she is not wise. But she will not stand and watch idly as everything she loves burns down to the ground.

"Is that all the great Calculator is capable of? You disappoint me Ran," the dark wizard says. "I expected much more from the fabled disciple of Yukari. Perhaps I was mistaken to think that the Yakumo family was a threat."

Chen stands up and turns around. She carefully lands on the last portion of the destroyed mansion. She looks up to see the dark wizard approaching through the fog of war. Master Ran said that he was magician from another world. He fooled Lady Yukari into teaching him the secrets between the borders, then swallowed her up to strengthen his own powers. This person has lost his humanity long ago, no doubt. He crushed the magician of the forest and the shrine maiden like flies when he unleashed his true wrath. His power threatens to break the boundaries of Gensokyo itself. But she won't run away. This time, as a shikigami...

"I won't let you pass!" she shouts. She spreads her arms and bravely hovers before the dark wizard.

"Oho? The servant's servant dares stand in my way? Don't you realize the futility of your efforts?"

"I will fight and I will defeat you!"

The dark wizard chuckles, then breaks out into laughter. His voice echoes eerily into the devasted landscape.

"Very well then. I will make your death worthy of a thousand songs in Valhalla!"

He raises a single hand lazily at the young nekomata.

"Open... the gate..." he mutters.

Without warning, thousands of black spears start falling from the heavens. Chen barely dodges the swift projectiles that easily impaled her master. If there is anything that she is confident in, it is her speed. She manages to weave in and out of the barrage completely unscathed.

"Not bad, for a servant," the dark wizard says. "You will need to do much more than that if you are to defeat me, however."

Chen grits her teeth. She has no choice. She must use her ultimate technique. She closes her eyes and begins to focus.

"Giving up already? Well all the better then."

It took her over two hundred years to master this technique. She trained in the mountains in secret, hiding it even from Lady Yukari and her beloved Master Ran. In all honesty, the technique is still incomplete, but she has no choice. She won't have enough stamina to use this if she delays any longer.

"I will make your death swift, in respect to your bravery."

Chen opens her eyes and looks at the dark wizard in defiance.

"No..."

The focusing seal is almost complete, but this will use all of her strength. She has only one chance.

"It is your death that will be swift."

She draws out her last spell card.

"Ultimate Servant, 「Legion of Promised Victory」"

...

"And with the power of the ultimate shikigami, she defeats the dark wizard and saves Gensokyo from destruction!"

Grimnír clears his throat loudly.

"I-I see. That's great and all, but you should really get down from the table, Chen."

Chen gets down from the table, blushing slightly. The cat girl seems to have a great imagination, at the very least. What was all that about a dark wizard? And for some reason, why does he feel that he should be greatly annoyed at this, as if it was a rip-off from something he has seen before? Too bad he can't remember anything from his own past.

"And that is why I need to become strong!" Chen says with confidence. "Someday, I will protect both Master Ran and Lady Yukari all by myself!"

"That sounds great! Good to hear that you have found your own drive to succeed," he manages. A little encouragement won't hurt.

Grimnír takes a moment to examine his sack. After making sure that he hasn't lost anything, he raises his head.

"E-eh?" he says, startled. Chen is standing right beside him now, sniffing at him.

"Something smells good," she says.

He pauses. There isn't anything on his person that has any particular smell except for...

"..."

This doesn't look good. He has no doubt that Chen can take the mushrooms by force if she really wants to.

[ ] Let her have a mushroom. She says that it smells good.
[ ] Challenge her to a magician's duel. You need to distract her.
[ ] Try to talk about something else. Tell her that she must be smelling lunch.
[ ] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
[ ] Tell her that you need to use the toilet. Escape before she can argue.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10771
>>10768
[X] Let her have a mushroom. She says that it smells good.
But only one, she cannot spoil her appetite for dinner
>> No. 10772
[!/] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
>> No. 10781
[ ] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.

as funny as a cat-girl tripping on 'shrooms would be...
>> No. 10786
[ ] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
>> No. 10801
[x] Let her have a mushroom. She says that it smells good.

What could possibly go wrong?
>> No. 10802
[x] Let her have a mushroom. She says that it smells good.
Ok.
>> No. 10803
{X} Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
>> No. 10804
[X] Let her have a mushroom. She says that it smells good.
>> No. 10805
[X] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
>> No. 10808
>>10768
>Servant
>Promised Victory
I see what you did there.

>What was all that about a dark wizard? And for some reason, why does he feel that he should be greatly annoyed at this, as if it was a rip-off from something he has seen before? Too bad he can't remember anything from his own past.
Well I'm sure this is totally not something to worry about.
>> No. 10809
[X] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.

Hungry Chen is hungry.
>> No. 10824
Calling it.
[x] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.
>> No. 10825
File 122962572085.jpg - (408.79KB , 773x800 , yuyuko.jpg ) [iqdb]
10825
Loading User Commands:
[X] Make up an excuse and head for the kitchen. You need to get away.

---

What could possibly go wrong? It wouldn't be too bad if Chen started hallucinating and jumping around the room like crazy. He might even have a chance to see her cast spell cards at imaginary opponents in the room. Perfect for dinner and a show. Or perhaps the mushrooms would alter her perception and hormones. It might be nice to watch her struggle in discomfort until she snuggles up to the closest warm body she can find - namely himself. Maybe when the others arrive, they'll want to join in the fun too. Alternatively, the mushrooms might just make her sick. Nursing the cute little cat girl back to health sounds quite appealing, for some reason. Maybe she would begin to think of him as a real big brother then.

Grimnír shakes his head. No. He can't let Chen have even one bite of these mushrooms. That would be dangerous. That would be irresponsible. That would be downright idiotic. He has absolutely no idea what they do, and Marisa is in no condition to explain what they are for. It simply won't do to even consider such an option.

"Er, Chen?" he manages. "Are you hungry?"

The little nekomata nods vigorously before returning to her sniffing. She seems to be enjoying the aroma of the mushrooms quite a bit. Grimnír himself didn't smell anything especially good about them; maybe her sense of smell is like that of a cat?

"Then why don't we get you something from the kitchen? Maybe we can find you something nice."

Chen's eyes light up at the suggestion.

"I want a sweet bun!" she cries. "Big sis Yuyu~ always has great sweet buns!"

He pats her gently on the head in an attempt to calm her down. This wasn't exactly what he had in mind, but it did get her attention off the mushrooms. Still, his nervousness only increases. For some reason, he has a really bad feeling about the sweet buns.

"W-well then, why don't we see what's cooking?" he suggests.

Before he can say anything more, Chen grabs his hand and practically drags him out of the dining room. Half-running and half-tripping, Grimnír finds himself in the kitchen before he can get himself oriented. He rubs his head as he waits for his vision to clear.

"Is this the magician you were talking about?" says a blue-white blur on the left.

"Yep, that's him. Funny-looking fellow, isn't he?" replies a taller blur that could only be Komachi.

"Oh. I thought it might have been Vincent," comments a slightly disappointed voice from the back.

"Now that's why I told you to be nice to the man," the blue-white says. "He might just run off with someone else, and I know that I wouldn't turn him down~"

"L-Lady Yuyuko!" cries the voice from the back.

"Quit teasing her, you scheming ghost princess. The guy isn't that special. He's just a little bit different from the others." Komachi says.

"Ara? But didn't you say earlier that he was pretty cool when he protected Chen? Perhaps the lazy shinigami is scheming as well, I wonder~ I wonder~" says the blue-white.

"Stop listening only when it's convenient! A-and don't mind what I said! Don't mind! Don't mind!" argues Komachi.

Grimnír pauses. He heard a saying about this in the past - something that went like, "Wherever there are three women, it is noisy." He feels a bit guilty to overhear such a conversation.Somehow, he feels like he shouldn't hear any of this, even if the discussion doesn't seem to be about him.

Chen lets go of his hand and runs toward the blue-white blur. She seems to be excited.

After a few more moments, his vision returns to normal. He looks around. They all seem to be in a large kitchen, not unlike those in restaurants and hotels. Surely, such a large mansion is well-equipped for large parties and other events. There are several different cooking implements hanging on the walls, as if in display. He then notices that the owners of the three voices seem to be preparing dishes at different sides of the room.

To the left, a kimono-clad woman of otherworldly beauty cheerfully stirs a soup pot, adding a few ingredients every now and then. The childlike expression in her deep maroon eyes goes well with her antics. Dressed lavishly in a blue and white kimono, this must be Yuyuko Saigyouji, the Ghost Princess of Hakugyokurou. Chen is chatting with her animatedly.

To the right, a familiar girl seems to be stir-frying something. Wait, did she just add something like a snake into the pan? Her red eyes are full of focus as she concentrates on her cooking. For some reason, the look doesn't suit her. With her trademark scythe lying against the counter nearby, this is definitely Komachi, the shinigami from Sanzu River.

Somewhere toward the back, another girl is multi-tasking as she runs back and forth between three different counters. The speed at which she moves is incredible - she is but a blur in his eyes. As the silver-haired girl pauses to wipe her forehead, he manages to get a closer look. She wears a neatly pressed green and white dress of an Eastern design, yet that is not what catches his attention. A large ghostly wisp hovers beside her as she hurries with her work.

"Umm..."

[ ] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
[ ] Have a chat with Komachi.
[ ] Approach the silver-haired girl.
[ ] Don't talk to anyone. Head back to the dining room.

Optional:
[ ] Specify topic of discussion.
>> No. 10826
File 122963035371.jpg - (155.84KB , 485x500 , d8a33db8b703fd8b402975cfd15e403c.jpg ) [iqdb]
10826
[!/] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
[!/] "Chen says you have great buns"
[!/] if you know what I mean,
[!/] right Chen?
>> No. 10828
[X] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
Yuyuko is pretty, and we need to move on
A sort of win and lose
>> No. 10829
>>10828

Pretty much, gotta get that help from her and all.

[X] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
>> No. 10830
[x] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
[x] "Chen says you have great buns"
[x] if you know what I mean,
[x] right Chen?
>> No. 10832
[X] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
>> No. 10834
[X] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.
>> No. 10840
File 122972373090.jpg - (111.84KB , 492x663 , yuyuko.jpg ) [iqdb]
10840
Loading User Commands:
[X] Talk to Yuyuko Saigyouji and Chen.

---

This must be Lady Yuyuko Saigyouji, the Ghost Princess of Hakugyokurou. Grimnír didn't know what to expect when he first heard of the Immortal Spirit, but most certainly, he did not expect this. In contrast to her regal title, she actually seems very cheerful and friendly. As he observes her chat with Chen, she seems quite good-humored, and perhaps even a little playful. She really looks like type who would spend her days drinking tea and taking it easy, rather than some grand judge and executioner of the netherworld. For a moment, he completely forgets that he is staring at a dead person.

"Ara? I didn't notice you there. Did you want something?" she asks him suddenly.

Grimnír mumbles incoherently as he tries to calm himself. When did he step so close to her? Was he drawn to this beautiful woman unconsciously? For indeed, she was beautiful. Her eyes reflected a duality, both childlike innocence and aging wisdom, something he never expected to see in one place.

Her short wavy hair is smooth and silky. He wonders idly about how it would feel to the touch. Everything about her: her face, her lips, the way her clothes caress her delicate curves, is simply dazzling. But there is something else as well. Something he can't explain. He feels safe around her. Safe.

"If you keep smiling and mumbling like that, you might scare Chen," she whispers. The sound of her voice is enough for him to feel warm and excited inside.

"I'm not scared of him!" Chen retorts. "I can take care of myself!"

"Of course, of course," says the ghost princess as she strokes the nekomata's hair. "I'm sure Ran would be proud of your efforts."

Grimnír manages to shake himself free of her trance in the short moment she turns away. He quickly bows to the ghost princess as an apology.

"F-forgive my indiscretion," he says, "Such a lapse of judgment will not happen again, I assure you."

"Your name then?" she asks. "Komachi mentioned that she found you while cooling off outside."

"Grimnír the Grey, or simply Grimnír. I'm an apprentice magician of sorts."

"I see," says the ghost princess as she adds some herbs to the soup pot. Her eyes widen slightly. She quickly turns away to focus on her cooking. Somehow, this seems far too deliberate. When she heard his name, she seemed almost startled.

"Is something wrong?" he asks her.

"Nothing wrong. I was just thinking for a little bit," she says. "However, I do believe that your urgent question may be answered after lunch."

Yuyuko turns to look at him. She smiles kindly, but sadly.

"You are having lunch with us, of course?"

"O-of course! Your generosity is well received by this humble traveler."

Her smile widens at his answer.

"Well then, I could use some help with the cooking," says Yuyuko.

"I'll help!" cries Chen, glowing with enthusiasm.

"Or you can help the others if you like," Yuyuko adds.

[ ] Help Yuyuko and Chen with the soup dish.
[ ] Help Komachi with her stir-fry.
[ ] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.
>> No. 10841
[X] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.

Machi-Machi is delicious, Yuyuko and Chen are adorable, but poor Youmu is overworked.
>> No. 10842
[X] Help Yuyuko and Chen with the soup dish.
>> No. 10843
[x] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.
Clumsy moe moments with Youmu, then Vincent arrives. This is just too good not too miss.
>> No. 10847
[x] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.
>> No. 10848
File 122974575922.jpg - (77.60KB , 500x683 , 0e3a8eb115662a6046465ae376ff95a1.jpg ) [iqdb]
10848
[!/] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.

Take it easy~
>> No. 10874
File 12302062364.jpg - (277.75KB , 600x800 , shanghai.jpg ) [iqdb]
10874
>> No. 10883
File 123028360317.jpg - (459.71KB , 700x700 , mystia_wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
10883
"This is our last stop for today," he says. "We will continue with advanced manipulation of light and heat tomorrow."

Wriggle nods obediently as she follows. The day's lesson was harsh and tiring; she never expected it to be so difficult. The black-white really does make it look a lot easier than it really is when she casts those ridiculously flashy spells. Master himself mentioned that this kind of magic takes a lot of hard work to master, and despite how she acts, Marisa was not an exception. Her Mini-Hakkero is powerful, but all in all, it is still only a focusing device that reflects the energies of its user.

"We have arrived," says Master. "It's been a while since I've tasted her specialty."

"W-what? But isn't this -" Wriggle says.

"Something different is nice once in a while," he interrupts. "Variety is good for a magician."

Suddenly, a strange melody comes from behind the counter as they sit. This night stand is surprisingly popular in the area for its specialty. Wriggle heard that humans, youkai, tengu, and other strange beings travel from far away places just to taste the dishes. A few restaurants even offered to buy the recipe, offering quite a bit of coin, but the owner refuses to sell. A bit of a weird one, the owner seems satisfied with managing this little red-lantern stand.

"Night bird, night song~ Human shall turn off the light in the darkness~" sings the owner as she turns to her customers.

For a moment, the owner, a Night Sparrow youkai, looks at them with mouth agape. Wriggle gives her a polite smile and a wave, while her Master just nods slightly. But before Wriggle could say another word, the owner leaps from the counter and gives her a tight hug.

"I-It's great to see you too, Mystia," Wriggle says in a muffled voice.

"Firefly of the Evening~ On a journey she did go~" sings Mystia. "Leaving poor Mystia~ Alone I missed her so~"

Mystia takes Wriggle's hands and dances merrily around the night stand, singing a beautiful melody as they went. Twisting and turning, and interspersed with hugs, the sparrow lead her three times around before finally letting go and returning behind the counter. Throughout the commotion, Master said nothing and stayed completely silent.

"Now I shall cook something special~" Mystia says. "Something special for my long lost sister!"

"W-what?" Wriggle cries.

"We are the closest of friends~ the world cannot deny! Far more than best friends~ we are sisters, you and I!"

Mystia smiles brightly as she serves them each a large serving of grilled lamprey. The night went on pleasantly, with plenty of good food and polite conversation. The night sparrow was in such a good mood, that she even offered them a discount on the food.

"Just don't tear me up so badly next time," Mystia says playfully.
>> No. 10888
File 123036589189.jpg - (58.28KB , 390x450 , youmu_cooking.jpg ) [iqdb]
10888
Loading User Commands:
[X] Help the silver-haired girl with the other food.

---

"I believe that the silver-haired young lady at the back might have better use for my assistance," Grimnír says. "She looks pretty busy."

"Well said," says Yuyuko. "I'm sure Youmu would appreciate the help. Chen can help me with this special soup, instead."

"Yay! Let's finish the special soup for Vincent!" cries Chen happily.

Grimnír nods politely before heading towards the back of the kitchen. As he approaches the girl, she pauses to have a look at him. Her eyes are a beautiful shade of blue, but they seem to reflect some kind of unease.

"Good day, Miss Youmu," says Grimnír, "My name is Grimnír. May I offer to assist you with the cooking?"

"T-thanks I guess," she mutters. "Could you take care of the dish to your right? Just make sure it doesn't get burned."

Following Youmu's instructions, Grimnír easily takes over the counter beside her. The smell of the dish is wonderful as it sizzles against the pan. It seems to be some kind of chicken dish wrapped in bread crumbs and fried with hot oil.

...

Grimnír takes a glance at the newcomer. Dressed in worn traveller's clothes and a heavy coat, he seems like a rugged fellow. For some reason, the person is heavily armed. On his waist lies a scabbard complete with a dangerous looking sword. Slung behind his back is a large crossbow.

Heavily armed? Has this person come to attack them? Grimnír quickly reviews the chant for his defensive spell in his mind. He might not be experienced in combat, but if it comes to it, he has a few cards of his own to play.

Before he could warn anyone, the newcomer rushes straight toward Youmu, who, busy with the cooking, was clearly unaware of the visitor.

"Ah! V-Vincent?" cries Youmu.

Youmu takes a step back from the man, looking at the newcomer uncertainly. This doesn't look good. If he attacks from this range, she's finished.

Suddenly, the man, completely unashamed, rushes close to Youmu's face.

Did he just kiss her?
>> No. 10889
File 123036908764.jpg - (29.18KB , 453x486 , youmu_red.jpg ) [iqdb]
10889
Youmu stays silent, her cheeks are bright red as she looks away from the man. After a moment, the man turns around, and by the expression on his face, he just realized that everyone is watching.

Everyone continues to stare silently at this shameless act of affection. Komachi looks completely shocked. Yuyuko looks amused. Chen, on the other hand, seems to be pouting.

Youmu whispers something into the man's ears, words of affection, no doubt. Grimnír blushes and turns away quickly. Somehow, he feels like he is watching something of a private nature.

Without warning, the man grabs Youmu by the hand and leads her behind one of the shelves at the back. He can't see what they are doing from the counter, but he has a few guesses. Maybe girls really do prefer an aggressive approach, he notes.

For the next few minutes, Grimnír tries to focus on his cooking. It really doesn't matter what those two are doing behind the shelves; it isn't any business of his. His business here is serious; Marisa is dying. He needs to find Yukari quickly. A Youkai as powerful as her must be able to do something.

Suddenly, he hears Youmu cry out from behind the shelves. What the hell? There is a child in the room, for crying out loud! Can't they do such things in private? Grimnír continues muttering to himself, bitterly aware that deep inside, he is a bit jealous.

After a few moments, Youmu and the man step out from behind the shelves. They finished far more quickly than he expected. He wonders idly if they actually enjoyed doing such things in a place where they can easily get caught.

"Sorry about that. I just needed to have an urgent talk with Youmu," the man says. "Strictly business," he adds.

Youmu nods in agreement, though her face is still quite red.

"Ara?" says Yuyuko with a smile. "Then why are you still holding hands, I wonder~ I wonder~"

[ ] Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[ ] Support Yuyuko during the conversation.
[ ] Support Komachi during the conversation.
[ ] Support the lovers during the conversation.
[ ] Custom

Optional:
[ ] Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.
[ ] Escort Chen out of the kitchen before this gets out of hand.
[ ] Try to find an excuse to leave.
>> No. 10890
{X} Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
{X} Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.

It's like I'm really japanese.
>> No. 10891
[†] Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[†] Escort Chen out of the kitchen before this gets out of hand.
>> No. 10892
File 123040663525.jpg - (366.86KB , 655x817 , a3350cfc2dd79eb589e4d60e72ba5c6f.jpg ) [iqdb]
10892
[!/] Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[!/ Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.
>> No. 10900
[x] Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[x] Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.
>> No. 10904
[x] Dont say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[x] Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.
>> No. 10906
File 123046339547.jpg - (143.36KB , 714x750 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
10906
Loading User Commands:
[X] Don't say anything. Bad idea to get involved in this.
[X] Continue cooking. Try to be invisible.

---

"Ara?" says Yuyuko with a smile. "Then why are you still holding hands, I wonder~"

Youmu gasps audibly, her whole body shuddering in embarrassment. Grimnír isn't completely sure, but the ghostly wisp hovering behind her seems to turn slightly pink as well. Is that thing part of the girl?

"There is a perfectly good explanation for this," returns the man. The others wait intently for him to continue, not bothering to mask their excitement.

Grimnír focuses his full attention on his cooking instead. He isn't going to be part of this conversation. The whole thing sounds like trouble, and he has his own problems to worry about. Also, he has no idea about what is really going on right now, and he doesn't want to make it worse. Maybe if he just stays quiet like this, no one will notice his active non-participation.

"T-that is, umm..." mumbles the man. A glance tells Grimnír that the man seems conflicted and lost for words. Poor guy.

Suddenly, something else catches his eyes. Someone is peeking inside from a window on the left. She is wearing a boyish costume with a cape. A pair of antennae protrude from her healthy green hair. What is Wriggle doing here?

"Err..." the man says. For some reason, this guy's love problems don't seem that important right now.

Grimnír nods slightly at Wriggle before quickly turning back to his cooking. Glancing with the side of his eye, he can see the youkai girl motioning for him to meet her outside. While this is an unexpected surprise (She does look pretty cute when she is playing a mime, he notes), nothing explains the main question in his mind. What the hell is Wriggle doing here?

"She is someone important to me," says the man with finality.

What? Did this guy just make a public confession? This guy is digging his own grave, it seems. But Grimnír has something else to worry about right now. A quick survey of the room tells him that pretty much everyone is engrossed in the current scenario. None of the others have noticed Wriggle waving at him by the window.

Grimnír pauses to think. This might be a good chance to sneak out. He needs to think of a subtle way to leave the kitchen.

[ ] Just walk out. No need to explain anything.
[ ] Excuse yourself politely, saying you need to use the toilet.
[ ] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
[ ] Let something catch on fire as a diversion.
[ ] Try throwing one of Marisa's mushrooms into the dish.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10908
[†] Just walk out. No need to explain anything.
>> No. 10909
[x] Try throwing one of Marisa's mushrooms into the dish.

This can't go wrong.

[x] Just walk out. No need to explain anything.

Nobody's paying attention to us anyway.
>> No. 10910
[X] Just walk out. No need to explain anything.
>> No. 10911
File 123049000970.jpg - (73.44KB , 600x486 , 6b18067e37e8f6d33523b46f2bfc2bd1.jpg ) [iqdb]
10911
[!/] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.

Because unfinished and/or burnt food makes a Yuyuko, a mad ghoast.
>> No. 10912
[ ] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
>> No. 10916
[x] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
>> No. 10919
[x] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
>> No. 10924
[ ] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
>> No. 10928
[x] Motion to Wriggle to wait just a moment.
[x] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.

I wonder when we'll get to ask Yuyuko about how the hell to contact Yukari.
>> No. 10933
Open for a little bit longer.

This needs a clear winning vote at Kaleidoscope Midnight (/border/) to proceed.
>> No. 10960
Calling it.
[x] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.
>> No. 10974
File 123068879447.jpg - (131.39KB , 850x1071 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
10974
Loading User Commands:
[X] Quickly finish cooking the dish, then bring it out with a tray.

---

Grimnír doesn't know what Wriggle wants to say, but it must be something important if she travelled all the way here to find him. According to her actions, she doesn't want the others to know that she is here.

"A-anyway," says the stranger, raising his hands toward him, "I don't believe we've met before."

"E-eh?" Grimnír says. Oh wow, what horrible timing.

"My name is Vincent," says the stranger. "I am a guest of Hakugyokurou. Nice to meet you."

Grimnír nods politely, taking a quick glance at the window as he does so. Wriggle isn't there anymore, thankfully.

"I am Grimnír. I'm an apprentice magician of sorts," he returns. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Vincent walks over to him, and the shake hands. Grimnír observes that the guy's coat isn't of the same design as the clothes of the others. Vincent said that he is a guest; perhaps he comes from the Outside too? Maybe they should find time to chat, but first, he needs to find Wriggle.

"So... what's for lunch?" says Vincent as he turns toward the others.

"Oh no!" cries Youmu. She hurries over to her counter.

"I took care of it while you were... busy," Grimnír returns. "Don't worry about it."

"Thank you very much!" Youmu says, complete with a formal bow.

Grimnír carefully transfers his now cooked dish onto a plate and prepares to carry it out of the kitchen. This is his chance to escape unnoticed!

"I'll take these to the dining room," says the magician before heading out of the kitchen. He tries to act naturally as he speedwalks out.

A few moments after leaving the kitchen, he feels someone gently tug at his robe. Grimnír recognizes the youkai girl immediately.

"Sorry about the wait. I didn't want anyone to get suspicious," he says.

"Mr. Grimnír, you're a magician, right?" asks Wriggle.

"I guess you could say that," replies Grimnír, not meeting her eyes.

"I-I need your help! Can you come back with me to the Forest of Magic?"

She looks really worried about something.

[ ] Go with Wriggle immediately.
[ ] Ask her for the details right here.
[ ] Find someplace they can talk in private.
[ ] Tell her that you need to finish here first.
[ ] Refuse to get involved.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 10975
[X] Find someplace they can talk in private.

Oh what the fuck.
This had better be related to the whole Marisa dying thing, because there's no way I could resist cute little Wriggle.
>> No. 10976
[x] Find someplace they can talk in private.
>> No. 10977
File 123069131521.png - (268.20KB , 575x669 , 1213241352672.png ) [iqdb]
10977
[!/] Find someplace they can talk in private.

USE THE SHROOMS.
>> No. 10980
[x] Find someplace they can talk in private.
>> No. 11016
[x] Find someplace they can talk in private.
>> No. 11032
File 123089212845.jpg - (115.62KB , 559x760 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
11032
Loading User Commands:
[X] Find someplace they can talk in private.

---

Grimnír looks thoughtfully at the youkai girl. How did she find him? Why didn't she ask someone else for help? Why is she hiding from the others in Hakugyokurou? Everything about this situation smells like trouble, and he has enough on his hands right now. The logical, practical and reliable part of his mind is telling him to refuse. He can't let himself get involved in this. He needs to stay focused and find Yukari.

"Please, can you come? I can't do this alone," cries Wriggle.

She clamps her hands together as if praying, and looks up at him with her shimmering blue-green eyes, which, upon closer observation, seem to be slightly damp, as if she had been crying.

He sighs, wishing he could plant his palm on his face, hard, several times. How can he refuse her? Once again, he resigns himself on doing something completely stupid.

"Alright, I'll hear what you have to say," says Grimnír, not looking her in the eye.

"T-Thanks! We should hurry and -"

Grimnír raises his hand to cut her off.

"We can't talk here," he says. "Let's find a room where we can speak in private."

For a moment, Wriggle looks like she is going to argue, but in the end, she simply nods and follows him obediently. They easily find an empty room, since the place is pretty huge. Grimnír places his tray on a nearby table before turning to Wriggle.

"So, what's bugging you?" he starts.

"What's that supposed to mean?" cries Wriggle. "I resent that!"

"What?" stammers Grimnír.

"Don't look down on us bugs! We have feelings too, you know? Hmph!"

"I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," he replies.

"Yeah, I'm sure you didn't. You humans just push us around and step on us like we don't exist!" returns Wriggle.

"I'm sorry," he says.

"I, for one, take pride in being a bug, and I refuse to stand while some human insults -"

Wriggle stops abruptly, blinking at him in surprise.

"W-what did you say?" says Wriggle, slowly and carefully.

"I said," he replies. "That I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you or your kin."

Wriggle shuffles around uneasily.

"T-that's alright then," she mutters. "You're alright."

Grimnír nods patiently at the youkai girl. While a discussion of bug rights and their history of persecution might be mildly interesting, they do have some other business that they need to talk about. After Wriggle composes herself, she turns to him, her face a picture of worry.

"Something's wrong with them," she says. "No matter what I say or do, they just won't listen to me any more! Some of them even started attacking travellers, and there was a whole bunch that just flew off somewhere! Something must be driving them all mad!"

"Slow down," interrupts Grimnír. "First of all, who are 'they'?"

Wriggle stamps a foot hard on the floor.

"The bugs of the forest, of course! Who else do you think I was talking about?"

Oh wow. This is just great. He can't say he is surprised. All this panic for a bunch of bugs. He doesn't have time for this. He needs to think of an excuse to get rid of this girl. A sharp prod at his side interrupts his line of thought.

"W-what?" he stammers, rubbing his side. It hurt quite a bit.

"Hey, are you listening? Like I said, I think that it's being caused by that crazy trident guy wandering the forest. Even the black-white agreed when I told her about it this morning," says Wriggle.

"Wait, you mean Marisa?" Grimnír asks.

"Yeah, the reckless black-white. She said that she could take care of it herself, but she was easily beaten. That nut even drove his spear through her chest! I was surprised that she survived at all! It was lucky that Eientei wasn't too far away."

"That guy hurt Marisa?" he repeats hollowly.

"I was hiding when I saw how strong the guy was, but I think that's what happened. The black-white should be fine though, since that moon bunny girl found her."

No, Marisa isn't fine. If nothing is done, she is going to be erased, permanently.

"A-anyway, could you help me fight that trident guy? I think we can bring him down if we both attack together. You're a magician, after all, so we shouldn't have trouble."

Trident Lunatic, was it? If he could defeat and injure Marisa so easily, they don't stand a chance! Wriggle must think that all magicians are as powerful as Marisa or Alice. Maybe he should have told her that he is just an apprentice.

"Please," whispers Wriggle as she looks up at him desperately.

His decision...
[ ] Offer to fight alongside her right now. He is a magician, after all.
[ ] Suggest gathering allies before going. Alice and Reisen must be somewhere in the Forest of Magic.
[ ] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[ ] Refuse to get involved.
[ ] Custom

Wriggle looks pretty emotional right now. She might just run off...
[ ] She can take care of herself.
[ ] Try to calm her down with words.
[ ] Block her path if she tries something reckless.
[ ] Don't let her leave this place alone, even if you have to fight.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11033
[†] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[†] Don't let her leave this place alone, even if you have to fight.
>> No. 11034
{X} Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.

{X} Block her path if she tries something reckless.
{X} Try to calm her down with words.
>> No. 11047
[ x] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[x ] Try to calm her down with words. (Explain why you're here, etc.)

Since, you know, was what we're doing here anyway.
>> No. 11048
[!/] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[!/] Don't let her leave this place alone, even if you have to fight.
>> No. 11050
[x] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[x] Try to calm her down with words. (Explain why you're here, etc.)
>> No. 11052
[x] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[x] Try to calm her down with words.
>> No. 11053
[x] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[x] Try to calm her down with words. (Explain why you're here, etc.)
>> No. 11056
File 12309752387.jpg - (68.40KB , 398x711 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
11056
Loading User Commands:
[X] Tell her that they will need extra help. He needs to contact Yukari.
[X] Try to calm her down with words.

---

"This person you are talking about," Grimnír starts. "Is he that Trident Lunatic attacking travellers?"

"Keine and the villagers call him that," says Wriggle.

"And you are telling me that this person defeated Marisa single-handedly?" he says.

"He didn't answer Marisa's challenge for a spell card duel," Wriggle answers. "He just started attacking as soon as she got too close."

"This is the same person who beat you the first time we met?" asks Grimnír.

"Y-yes," she says, looking away. "He was ridiculously powerful, and he didn't fight fairly."

"I see," replies Grimnír. "Then, may I ask you a simple question?"

Wriggle nods slowly, though she still looks confused.

"If you can't beat him, and Marisa can't beat him, what makes you think that this guy can be beaten with only the two of us? Just so you know, I may be a magician, but my skills are nowhere close to that of Marisa."

The firefly girl looks down despondently, but she stays silent.

"For something like this, we will need some extra help," says Grimnír. "It just so happens that I am currently searching for a way to contact Yukari Yakumo."

"W-what? The gap youkai?" Wriggle asks disbelievingly.

"Yes. I believe that she is more than capable for resolving both of our problems."

"..."

"All we need to do is convince Yuyuko to give us a way to talk to Yukari. Hopefully, we can get her help to resolve this incident. So, why don't you just calm down and -"

"Shut up!" she whispers fiercely.

Grimnír takes a step back in surprise. Her reaction caught him off-guard.

"W-what?" he mumbles.

"I said shut up, you big idiot!" cries the firefly girl. "You're all the same! None of you understand!"

Without warning, Wriggle raises her hand and fires a bright yellow energy ball at him. Grimnír barely has time to raise a barrier to block the shot.

"Hey! No need to be violent!" he argues.

"You all talk and talk about your plans and schemes," says Wriggle. "You calmly sip your tea and discuss incidents like they are part of everyday gossip."

She fires another bolt at him. Grimnír cringes at the impact.

"I-I thought you were different," whispers Wriggle.

She looks up at him, tears flowing freely from her eyes.

"My friends are dying!" she cries. "I will not stand here and watch, while you discuss it over some lunch party!"

"J-just listen for a second," says Grimnír.

"Shut up!" shouts Wriggle. "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"

He raises both of her hands toward him, gathering energy from the air. In seconds, the room glows bright yellow with the light in her hands. If she launches a full barrage at close range, it will definitely tear this room (and possibly him) apart.

"W-wait! Try to be reasonable!" cries Grimnír desperately.

"Get out," she whispers. "I'll save my friends alone, if I have to."

"What?" he says.

"Get out of my way," says Wriggle. "You damn... human."

She looks serious. He has time to try one or two things.
[ ] Let her do what she wants. No need to get involved any further.
[ ] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[ ] Attempt to counterattack. You can probably try Fire element magic.
[ ] Try declaring the spell card. It reads, "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"
[ ] Use _____ magic. You have to stop her.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11057
[†] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[†] "Please Miss Nightbug! Marisa is isn't okay! We need to help her too!"
>> No. 11076
File 123103883496.jpg - (100.63KB , 1004x988 , 1231006617067.jpg ) [iqdb]
11076
[X] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[X] "Yo dawg, I heard you like dying, so we put a hopeless situation in your hopeless situation so you can die while you die."

Doesn't have to be literally said like that, of course.
>> No. 11078
File 123104327541.jpg - (90.94KB , 750x600 , 1229134856079.jpg ) [iqdb]
11078
[!/] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[!/] "Yo dawg, I heard you like dying, so we put a hopeless situation in your hopeless situation so you can die while you die."

This.
>> No. 11079
[X] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[X] "Yo dawg, I heard you like dying, so we put a hopeless situation in your hopeless situation so you can die while you die."
>> No. 11080
>MEME OPTION

Dude, no... Just... no. Jesus fuck.

[x] Let her do what she wants. No need to get involved any further.
[x] But first, give her a brief explanation as to what happened to Marisa. Tell Wriggle that if she absolutely has to engage that man, that she needs to avoid getting hit by that trident, if that's what caused Marisa's current condition. Tell her to forward that information to Alice and Reisen as well, assuming she encounters them.

We came here for Yukari. I don't feel like letting ADD take over now.
>> No. 11081
[x] Let her do what she wants. No need to get involved any further.
[x] But first, give her a brief explanation as to what happened to Marisa. Tell Wriggle that if she absolutely has to engage that man, that she needs to avoid getting hit by that trident, if that's what caused Marisa's current condition. Tell her to forward that information to Alice and Reisen as well, assuming she encounters them.
>> No. 11082
[x] Let her do what she wants. No need to get involved any further.
[x] But first, give her a brief explanation as to what happened to Marisa. Tell Wriggle that if she absolutely has to engage that man, that she needs to avoid getting hit by that trident, if that's what caused Marisa's current condition. Tell her to forward that information to Alice and Reisen as well, assuming she encounters them.
>> No. 11083
>>11080
That's more or less what I meant by yo dawg, etc. etc.
>> No. 11087
File 123106081367.jpg - (50.27KB , 477x507 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
11087
Loading User Commands:
[X] Strengthen your barrier and block the door. You can't let her fly off.
[X] Custom

---

"I said, get out of my way!" cries Wriggle.

Grimnír pauses. If he lets the firefly girl leave now, she is probably going to do something stupid, dangerous, or both. While he has no special liking for youkai girls, he can't just let her fly off to her doom.

He quickly completes chanting his barrier spell, strengthening it up to full power. This might not be enough completely deflect her blasts, but it will slow her down, at the very least. After making sure the barrier is prepared, he steps in front of the door, blocking Wriggle's path.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

"I can't let you fly off and get yourself killed," answers Grimnír.

"I-I don't want to hurt you," returns Wriggle. "But don't think I won't do it!"

Grimnír takes a step toward the firefly girl. She trembles slightly at his approach.

"Just so you know," he starts. "Marisa is dying."

"W-what?" she says. Her eyes widen in surprise.

"I just came from Eientei. Dr. Yagokoro says that she will be dead by the end of the day if nothing is done. She has never seen that kind of injury before. That man can probably do the same to any of us, even to beings that aren't human."

"H-how?" mumbles Wriggle. The energy between her hands is beginning to dissipate into the air harmlessly.

"We don't know," says Grimnír. "Alice and Reisen are collecting some herbs in the hope that Eirin can create something to buy Marisa more time. I came here to search for Yukari Yakumo. Even if she doesn't understand what is happening, the gap youkai might know of other ways to help Marisa."

Wriggle's antennae droop slightly, though she glares back at him with defiance.

"B-but you don't know for sure!" she counters. "The gap youkai rarely helps others."

"No, I don't," admits Grimnír. "But I am sure that this is a better choice than going off alone without a plan."

Wriggle lowers her arms and lowers her eyes in despair.

"Your friends would not want you to die for nothing," he adds.

The silence that follows is deafening. Wriggle lowers her head and stares down at the ground quietly. He can't see the expression on her face. Just to be sure, he keeps his barrier up.

"So this is what you were up to~"
>> No. 11089
File 123106118877.jpg - (68.32KB , 450x665 , yuyuko.jpg ) [iqdb]
11089
Both Grimnír and Wriggle turn to face the newcomer. Yuyuko Saigyouji is standing just a few feet to his left. When did she come inside? How did she come inside? And how long had she been listening?

Yuyuko smiles brightly at their confusion, clearly amused. Before he can say anything, she pulls out a small card from inside her dress (does that thing even have pockets?). She quickly hands it to Grimnír with a smile. About the size of a standard calling card, the item is completely unmarked except for a single name written on one side.

"Yukari Yakumo," Grimnír reads aloud.

"Yukari-chan is a very busy person," Yuyuko explains. "Even if you find a way into Mayohiga, she probably won't be there."

"How did you -"

Yuyuko raises her hand to silence him.

"However, if you hold on to that thing for a bit," she says. "She will find you soon enough."

What? Who is this person? Where did she get such a thing? When did she find out his purpose here? Why is she helping him? So many questions. Grimnír's head spins as he tries to analyze her motives. By the time he recovers, Yuyuko is already about to leave, carrying his tray with her.

"No need to thank me," she says without looking back.

"Wait," he cries.

He needs to...
[ ] Head back to Eientei.
[ ] Head to the Forest of Magic.
[ ] Have lunch at Hakugyokurou.
[ ] Custom

Wriggle is still in shock from the sudden turn of events.
[ ] She can take care of herself.
[ ] Insist that she come with you.
>> No. 11093
[X] Head back to Eientei.
[X] Insist that she come with you.

Waitan gaems.
>> No. 11097
[X] Head back to Eientei.
[X] Insist that she come with you.

sure
>> No. 11098
[X] Head back to Eientei.
[X] Insist that she come with you.
>> No. 11101
File 123110002838.jpg - (71.55KB , 450x500 , 1215465862239.jpg ) [iqdb]
11101
[!/] Head to the Forest of Magic.
[!/] Insist that she come with you.

Cue big damn heroes event.
>> No. 11102
[X] Head back to Eientei.
[X] Insist that she come with you.
>> No. 11136
File 123114044882.jpg - (219.08KB , 590x820 , yuyuko.jpg ) [iqdb]
11136
Loading User Commands:
[X] Head back to Eientei.
[X] Insist that she come with you.

---

"Wait," cries Grimnír.

"Hmm?" says Yuyuko.

"Why are you helping us?" he asks.

"Why? That is a good question," she says. "I wonder why~"

She smiles cheerfully at him.

"Yukari-chan is a good friend of mine," says the ghost princess. "Let's just say that I am doing her a little favor."

"Huh? I don't get it,' returns Grimnír.

"Just be nice to her, alright? I'll get really angry if you make her cry," she says.

Without warning, he senses an immense amount of energy radiating from the princess of ghosts. Before he could react, that dark, powerful aura simply vanished, leaving an innocently smiling Yuyuko staring curiously at his surprise. It must have been just a moment, but it made his neck hairs stand on end.

"O-of course," he mumbles.

"Now, I must ask you an important question," says Yuyuko with a most solemn expression upon her face. "Will you be joining us for lunch?"

"Err... that is to say..." says Grimnír.

"You have some urgent business to attend to?" suggests Yuyuko. "That's too bad."

She smiles at them gently.

"Why don't you visit us sometime? Feel free to bring friends. We always appreciate the company."

"T-thanks," he says gratefully.

...

Wriggle didn't argue when he asked her to come with him. Perhaps she was still confused, or maybe she had no idea what to do next. In any case, he believed that it would be safer to travel together.

Thankfully, they haven't met any trouble on the way back. However, Wriggle has been completely silent ever since they left Hakugyokurou. They still have several minutes before they arrive at the Eientei.

He probably has time to talk to the firefly girl about one or two things.
[ ] Talk about magic.
[ ] Talk about insects.
[ ] Talk about spell cards.
[ ] Talk about herself.
[ ] Talk about Marisa.
[ ] Talk about Alice.
[ ] Talk about Yukari.
[ ] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[ ] Talk about Eientei.
[ ] Talk about the Human Village.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11137
[x] Talk about magic.
[x] Talk about spell cards.
>> No. 11138
[!/] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[!/] Talk about non-danmaku counter measures against TL.
>> No. 11140
[X] Talk about herself.
[X] Talk about magic.
>> No. 11144
[X] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[X] Talk about non-danmaku counter measures against TL.

Strictly business.
>> No. 11146
[X] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[X] Talk about non-danmaku counter measures against TL.

Whirlpool of Fate is now playing in my head.
>> No. 11191
[x] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[x] Talk about spell cards.
>> No. 11192
File 123131097298.gif - (77.68KB , 603x661 , wriggle.gif ) [iqdb]
11192
Loading:
[X] Talk about the Trident Lunatic.
[X] Custom

---

"Hey Wriggle," Grimnír says. "What do you know about the Trident Lunatic?"

"E-eh?" stammers Wriggle. She seems to be spacing out.

"You mentioned that you've seen him a few times before," he says. "Did you encounter him before we met?"

"Ah! Y-yeah, I did!" Wriggle says suddenly. "I don't remember exactly when, but he arrived at the Forest of Magic some time ago. I heard that he was a hermit of some sort, and he preferred to stay away from everyone. He kept wandering around, but he never bothered us, so we just ignored him."

"Hmm," mutters Grimnír.

"That's why I was surprised when Keine came into the forest asking about him," Wriggle continues. "She said that he was attacking travellers passing through the Forest of Magic. We didn't mind her much at first, since it wasn't our problem. Maybe some stupid human just got him angry. They fight over the strangest things."

"Sad, but true," he comments. "Humans can be very foolish."

"That's why I was surprised when he just jumped out and attacked me yesterday," Wriggle says.

"But he didn't hurt you that much, did he?" he asks.

"N-no! It was weird. After beating me, he just left suddenly," says Wriggle. "Then you arrived."

"I see," Grimnír says. "Do you have any suggestions on how to defeat him?"

Wriggle shakes her head.

"Now that I think about it, that guy is ridiculously powerful. He defeated Marisa so quickly, and he didn't even look tired after the battle. I'm not sure what we can do against that kind of strength."

A few minutes pass in silence. Seems like Marisa's attacker will be difficult to subdue. They need to form a good plan. Maybe Dr. Yagokoro and the others can give them more ideas.

Unexpectedly, Wriggle turns to him and smiles.

"Hey Grim," she whispers, "Thanks for stopping me earlier."

"D-don't mention it," replies Grimnír, quickly turning away. Wriggle's smile is breathtaking. He can't stand to look at such a cute sight for much longer. For some reason, the firefly girl looks extraordinarily attractive, and it takes all of his self-control to stop himself from just grabbing her in mid-air and holding the firefly girl against him in a tight embrace. She even smells nice.

Focus. This isn't time for such things.

They are going to arrive at Eientei pretty soon.
[ ] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.
[ ] Go to the dining room. You noticed it this morning.
[ ] Find an empty room somewhere. You can have a private chat with Wriggle.
[ ] Wander around aimlessly. You didn't have time to explore earlier.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11193
{X} Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.
>> No. 11194
[ ] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.

yukari will find us right? wouldn't it be best she found us right next to marisa
>> No. 11198
{X} Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.

Private chats with Wriggle after we save the day.
>> No. 11200
[x] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.
>> No. 11224
[x] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.

No idea why we'd do anything else.
>> No. 11253
[x] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.
>> No. 11254
File 123154287556.jpg - (85.12KB , 529x735 , eirin.jpg ) [iqdb]
11254
Loading User Commands:
[X] Head straight to Dr. Yagokoro's clinic. You should check on Marisa's condition.

---

"Back already?" says Eirin. "You returned far earlier than I expected."

The Lunarian doctor turns to Grimnír and crosses her legs suggestively. She has a sly smile on her face as she takes a better look at him and his new companion.

"Ran into a dead end? Or did you get a little side-tracked?" she asks. Wriggle shuffles her feet nervously.

"Yes and no, to both questions," Grimnír replies. "But first, how is Marisa faring?"

"There isn't any improvement in her condition," she says. "However, there is some good news."

"Please go on," he says.

"Alice and Reisen returned just a few minutes ago. They brought back the things I need to create an elixir. It should slow down the reaction."

Grimnír sighs in relief. At least they have bought a bit more time to look for a cure. Half a day isn't nearly enough time to search for a way to save Marisa.

"Don't relax just yet," Eirin says. "I can only guarantee extending her life by an additional one or two days, at most."

"I understand," he replies.

"So, were you able to meet Yukari?" asks the Lunarian.

Grimnír shakes his head.

"No, I haven't," he returns. "However, Ms. Saigyouji gave me one of Yukari's calling cards. She said that Yukari will be able to find me if I hold on to it."

The doctor's eyes widen slightly. Eirin looks at him carefully, as if observing his insides. A whole minute passes in silence as the Lunarian completes her silent examination. Somehow, he could sense her reaching deep inside him, even probing his mind a little bit. He feels pretty uneasy.

"I see," she says. "That is unusual."

Eirin drops the subject abruptly, turning to Wriggle.

"Next question," she says. "Did this bug give you trouble? Or perhaps you are the one troubling her? I do hope you aren't one of those strange guys who are obsessed with youkai girls."

"W-what?" cries Wriggle, her face red like a beet. "No way! I was just helping this guy out, since he looked so weak and pitiful! D-don't misunderstand!"

While he appreciates how the firefly girl is doing her best to prevent any misunderstanding, Grimnír feels a bit hurt from her words. First Chen, and now Wriggle - did he really look that weak? Honestly, compared to all these powerful beings, he feels pretty small. But surely, he can still do something to help.

"She is a witness," Grimnír says. "She saw how Marisa got injured."

"Hmm," Eirin says. "May I borrow her for a moment, then? I'd like to ask a few questions."

Wriggle glances at him nervously, but she gives him a slight nod.

"I-I guess I can tell you what I know," the firefly girl says.

"Please come with me to my office," says the Lunarian.

Eirin pauses to turn to Grimnír.

"This might take a while, and it can get pretty technical," she says. "Why don't you show yourself to Alice? She was asking about you earlier. Or perhaps you'd prefer to stay here to watch over Marisa?"

She smiles mysteriously.

"Then again, you look a bit tired. Why don't you rest in one of the guest rooms? A nap and a good dream can do wonders."

Grimnír pauses.
[ ] Follow them into Eirin's office. Wriggle looks a little nervous.
[ ] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.
[ ] Stay in the clinic. Marisa shouldn't be alone.
[ ] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11256
[X] Stay in the clinic. Marisa shouldn't be alone.

Sudden bad thought occurred, although if anything did happen to Marisa, we hardly could do anything but yell for help.
>> No. 11257
[X] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.

>>A nap and a good dream can do wonders.
>>a good dream
>>Yukari's calling card

I think you should be able to solve this.
>> No. 11258
[X] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.
>> No. 11259
[x] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.
>> No. 11260
[†] Stay in the clinic. Marisa shouldn't be alone.
>> No. 11261
[x] Stay in the clinic. Marisa shouldn't be alone.
>> No. 11263
[X] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.

Patch things up?
>> No. 11264
[X] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.
>> No. 11267
[!/] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.
>> No. 11269
[x] Stay in the clinic. Marisa shouldn't be alone.
>> No. 11272
[X] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.
>> No. 11273
[!/] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.
>> No. 11274
[x] Rest in a guest room. No harm in following the doctor's advice.
>> No. 11280
[X] Head to the dining room. I'm hungry.
>> No. 11281
File 123161919944.png - (165.53KB , 450x550 , 1d33362eced82ff9bf2b2064e56dce88.png ) [iqdb]
11281
[x] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.

If we could waste time helping cook lunch, we can spare a minute to talk to Alice. And speaking of lunch, we should really eat something.
>> No. 11284
Calling it.
[x] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.
>> No. 11286
File 12316353239.jpg - (209.12KB , 622x600 , alice.jpg ) [iqdb]
11286
Loading User Commands:
[X] Head to the dining room. Alice might be worried.

---

"I think I'll head to the dining room," says Grimnír. "I haven't had lunch yet, and Alice might be worried."

"She certainly seemed so when she asked about you earlier," says Eirin. "The doll-maker rarely gets concerned about anyone other than Marisa."

She gives him an enigmatic smile.

"You must be something special," she whispers.

...

On the way to the dining room, Grimnír feels like he is being watched, but he pays it no mind. He remembers that Eientei is populated by a number of rabbits, and while they are part of the mansion staff, they are generally skittish and avoid contact with visitors and patients.

The leader of the rabbits is supposed to be a bit less shy, but he hasn't had the chance to meet the person. What was the leader's name? It was Terry, wasn't it? In any case, the leader must be preoccupied with something more important, like organizing the defenses or training the new recruits. Or perhaps she is far too busy trying to harass or molest another person in the mansion. Wait, where did that come from? He isn't even sure if the leader is a girl.

Grimnír walks cautiously, but it looks like he isn't going to have another random encounter out in the hallways this time. He soon finds himself in the dining room. Alice and Reisen are almost finished eating. There is a single place to sit beside Alice.

"I'm back," he says. "Looks like I barely made it for lunch."

Alice looks up and smiles gently at him. Without warning, something soft hugs his face tightly. He recognizes the sensation immediately.

"I missed you too, Shanghai," he says.

"Ah! Come back here," says Alice. "Don't give him a difficult time."

Shanghai let's go of his face immediately, but she hovers just a few inches in front of him. The doll gives him a bright and cheery smile as she bows. He can't help but admire this doll. Even its facial expressions are incredibly lifelike.

"It's alright," says Grimnír. "I don't mind it at all."

Hearing this, Shanghai stretches her arms and does a little somersault in the air. After flying around the room a little bit, she finally settles down on his shoulder. Shanghai closes her eyes and giggles silently as he begins to stroke her hair.

"I-I suppose that its fine then," Alice says. "Anyway, would you like to have something to eat?"

"I'm sorry if it isn't to your liking," mumbles Reisen. "I only know a few dishes."

"What are you saying?" counters Alice. "Your cooking is wonderful. You should have more confidence in yourself."

"T-Thanks," the bunny mutters, turning a bit pink.

"If Alice says that it's good, then I won't hesitate to gorge myself, if you don't mind," he adds.

...

During the meal (which was wonderful indeed, he notes), Grimnír immediately updated the two about his progress. Personally, he feels like he wasted a lot of time. But to his surprise, both Alice and Reisen were visibly impressed when he told them that he was given one of Yukari's calling cards.

"Maybe we can get her help after all," Alice says thoughtfully. "I wouldn't hope for too much, though."

"Is it really that big of a deal?" asks Grimnír.

"O-of course it is!" says Reisen. "Yukari rarely makes it this easy to meet her. Most of the time, she'll just watch quietly as you run around in circles trying to find her."

"I see," Grimnír says. "So how were things on your end?"

Reisen explains their trip to the Forest of Magic. Thankfully, they didn't encounter anything dangerous. They were able to gather the herbs pretty quickly, so they returned to Eientei to report to Dr. Yagokoro. Eirin said that she needs a few hours to process the materials into something usable.

"I think you two can take a break for a bit," Reisen says. "We can't do much until master Eiren finishes the elixir. Depending on the results, we might have an idea on what we can do for a permanent cure."

"A break?" returns Alice. "I believe that there are better things we can do. Right, Grimnír?"

"Huh?" he says. "Sorry, I believe that you just lost me."

Alice smiles at him gently.

"We aren't finished with your training."

They have time for one topic, probably.
[ ] Master defensive magic (earth element)
[ ] Train offensive magic (fire element)
[ ] Train utility magic (water element)
[ ] Train _____ magic.
[ ] Refuse her training. You have something else to do. (Specify)
>> No. 11287
[X] Train utility magic (water element)
Why not! Let's learn some healan gaems.
>> No. 11288
[X] Master defensive magic (earth element)
>> No. 11289
[X] Master defensive magic (earth element)
>> No. 11292
[X] Master defensive magic (earth element)
>> No. 11293
[!/] Master defensive magic (earth element)

Support+Defensive=TURTLE TIME.
>> No. 11310
File 123171786129.jpg - (303.55KB , 600x500 , alice.jpg ) [iqdb]
11310
Loading User Commands:
[X] Master defensive magic (earth element)

---

"Pretty impressive," cries Alice. "I didn't think you could block that many."

"I had a good teacher," returns Grimnír. "I suppose I also did some extra training."

"Extra training?" she asks. Alice launches several more blue energy bolts at his direction.

"Maintaining a barrier while fleeing from crazed fairies should count for something," he replies. Grimnír raises his hand to block the attacks with his barrier. Unlike before, he doesn't get easily exhausted.

"W-what?" Alice says. She stops her attacks abruptly. "You didn't mention that earlier. You could have been killed! Why didn't you say anything?"

Grimnír pauses and looks at her thoughtfully. Eirin said that the dollmaker rarely worried about anyone other than Marisa, but he can't help but see this person as a kind and gentle girl. Perhaps she is simply misunderstood.

"I didn't want you to get worried," he returns. "If I mentioned it earlier, would you continue with our training?"

Alice folds her arms and frowns at him disapprovingly.

"Of course not!" she cries. "You should be resting!"

"Yet her I am, blocking your attacks with ease," replies Grimnír with a smirk. "I'm not as weak as you all think. Besides, the folks from Hakugyokurou arrived in time to drive off those fairies."

"Ah, that's good then," says Alice as she sighs in relief. "I was worried when you insisted on heading there alone."

An awkward moment of silence passes between them.

"Shall we continue with our training?" he asks. "Or perhaps, this is all you can do?"

"Eh? Is that a challenge?" returns Alice. "Do you really think it wise to challenge me?"

"Don't misunderstand it. I just thought you might be getting bored with this. You seem to be taking it easy on me," he says.

"Grimnír the Grey, do not think you can stand on equal grounds with this Puppeteer," says Alice. "Your power is only 14.2857% of my own."

The dollmaker looks at him with a confident smile upon her face. She pulls out something from a dress. Grimnír shudders as he recognizes the item. That thing is a spell card, isn't it? Is this girl serious?

"But since you insist, let's make this a bit more interesting," says Alice.

"W-wait! That isn't what I meant!" cries Grimnír.

"Oh? But this will make this training much more fun," Alice says. "Don't worry too much. I'm sure that Eirin can patch you up in case of accidents. We are pretty close to the best clinic in Gensokyo, after all."

The way Alice is smiling, he doesn't like this situation at all. She really looks like she is enjoying this. Does she like fighting? He needs to think of a way to change the subject. Or perhaps he can apologize or distract her somehow. Anyway, he can't just -

"Blue Sign, 「Benevolent French Dolls」" cries the dollmaker. Did she just declare a spell card?

Oh shi-
[ ] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.
[ ] Try to dodge the shots. You can't possibly block them all.
[ ] Fly away from Alice. This isn't funny anymore.
[ ] Attempt to counterattack. This girl is dangerous.
[ ] Use the spell card. It reads, "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"
[ ] Eat one of the mushrooms. Maybe something will happen?
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11311
[ ] Use the spell card. It reads, "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"
>> No. 11312
[X] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.
>> No. 11313
[!/] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.
>> No. 11314
[X] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.
>> No. 11315
[X] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.
Yandere Alice is delicious
>> No. 11316
File 123172602621.jpg - (61.28KB , 614x800 , 1226451820124.jpg ) [iqdb]
11316
[x] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training.

I love it when she shows her confident side. Let's show her how much we can take.
>> No. 11317
I think there's a reason barriers aren't commonly used in spellcard battles.

>[ ] Try to dodge the shots. You can't possibly block them all.
>You can't possibly block them all.

What can be considered to be barriers in spellcard battles are Cherry Borders, and Nitori bombs. They won't last a full spellcard. Granted, we will be focusing on defense, but it doesn't feel like it will be enough.

[x] Try to dodge the shots. You can't possibly block them all.
>> No. 11318
[X] Use the spell card. It reads, "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"

It may be a risk, but we already calculated along with that.
>> No. 11340
File 123208954879.png - (474.15KB , 471x600 , alice.png ) [iqdb]
11340
Loading User Commands:
[X] Stand your ground and form a barrier. This is part of the training

---

Another shower of energy blasts approaches Grimnir. He pours more of his own strength into his barrier as it approaches. He shudders at the impact, but he doesn't get knocked down. Panting heavily, he prepares himself for the next attack.

"T-that was close," he mutters to himself. Individually, the bolts are not much more powerful than the ones she used earlier, but coming at him all together at once, he can barely defend himself.

But this is still part of his training. He is sure that he will become stronger if he follows the magician's instructions. This most certainly isn't a waste of time, and even if he ends up injured, Dr. Yagokoro can probably patch him up. He can trust Alice, can't he? She isn't stupid or crazy enough to really hurt him...

The next barrage of energy pushes him back several feet. He can feel his stamina being drained. His barrier is growing steadily weaker, and he is starting to have difficulty hovering. She should be stopping her attacks soon, shouldn't she?

Grimnir takes a peek at the magician. Unfortunately, her spell card trance isn't complete yet. But that isn't what worries him. He notices something else. Alice is smiling.

"Oh shit," he mutters.

The dollmaker seems to be getting carried away. While such confidence is a new and refreshing change for her, he can't help but start to worry about the situation. She is moving from side to side as she attacks, as if this was an actual spell card duel. Has she forgotten that this is only training? He most certainly has no chance against her in a real battle.

Grimnir looks around. Eientei is pretty far from this part of the Bamboo Forest, and there is no one else in sight. It would be pointless to call for help.

He braces himself for the next attack. This time, the shower of energy pushes him down hard. The barrier is starting to make unusual popping noises. That can't be good. He needs to put more power into the barrier. If he can only-

Grimnir cries out in pain. One of the energy bolts breaks through the barrier and hits him solidly on the shoulder. The pain is excruciating, and he can smell burnt flesh. If that hit his head, he would probably be dead by now.

He back at Alice. Thankfully, her spell card trance seems to be over. Maybe he can talk to her now.

"Hey Alice!" cries Grimnir. "Can you hear me?"

Alice looks down at him. He stares back with mouth agape. So beautiful. He has never seen the timid dollmaker like this. Confidence and strength seems to radiate from her like the soft warmth of the sun. She weaves such power so elegantly and with grace. He is filled with awe at the girl.

"I'm impressed," says Alice. "Even in Gensokyo, there aren't many humans who can defend against my whole spell card. And you were able to do so without dodging the attacks."

"I-I try my best," he mumbles. "At the very least, I don't want to be a burden to anyone."

Her smile widens.

"A burden? I certainly doubt that," she says. "At the rate you are learning, you will soon be capable of far greater things. I look forward to the day when I can duel you without holding back."

She was holding back?

"Ahahaha," he says weakly. "Can we take a break for a bit? That took a lot out of me."

Alice stops smiling.

"Don't you dare try to escape from this! I won't be satisfied until I see your true limit," returns the dollmaker.

She pulls out another spell card from her dress.

"W-what the hell?" cries Grimnir. "Are you insane?"

Alice ignores him as she begins chanting. Grimnir is completely exhausted. He can barely keep himself a few feet above the ground. If this next attack hits, he is likely to be killed instantly. He doesn't even have enough strength to flee.

This situation is just as hopeless as before. But he didn't die that time, and he won't die now. Slowly, he remembers the magician's words.

"Something you can hold on to and believe in," he recalls.

His magic...
[ ] Form the strongest barrier. You must show your resolve.
[ ] Try to attack her somehow. Maybe you can interrupt her trance.
[ ] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.

His anchor...
[ ] Alice
[ ] Marisa
[ ] Yukari
>> No. 11342
File 123209062158.jpg - (144.39KB , 850x637 , sample-ba5f048e6a5502767b62f0d5ba7ec1b3.jpg ) [iqdb]
11342
[!/] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[!/] Yukari

IN SOVIET GENSOKYO, BOX THINKS OUT OF YOU.
>> No. 11343
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11344
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11345
[-?-] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[-?-] Yukari

This is the only choice.
>> No. 11347
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Alice
>> No. 11348
[X] Form the strongest barrier. You must show your resolve.
[x] Alice.
>> No. 11349
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Alice

>"Something you can hold on to and believe in," he recalls.
I don't believe in Yukari.
>> No. 11350
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Alice
>> No. 11351
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Hold shift for focused movement.
[x] Alice

I wanted to vote for Yukari, but it just wouldn't make much sense for Grimnir to "hold on to and believe in" her here.
>> No. 11353
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari

You guys don't believe in her? Choosing this wouldn't make much sense to you?

Why the fuck did we even go to Hakugyokurou then, under the pretense of getting Yukari's help, if we didn't believe in Yukari? Seriously.
>> No. 11354
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11355
>>11353

We've barely met her. If we had spent more time with her (and she tried to kill/seal us) then maybe things would be different. It's kind of a pity, poor Yukari only wants someone who she can relate to, someone with a power no one else could hope to understand.

[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Alice
>> No. 11356
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11357
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Alice
>> No. 11358
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11359
[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Alice
>> No. 11360
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari

Yukarin~
>> No. 11361
[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Marisa
>> No. 11363
[†] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[†] Marisa
>> No. 11364
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari

maybe she'll even show up!
>> No. 11365
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11374
[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Alice
>> No. 11379
[x] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[x] Yukari
>> No. 11384
[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Alice
>> No. 11385
{X} Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
{X} Alice

Why the hell Yukari?
>> No. 11387
[-] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[-] Yukari
>> No. 11388
>>11385
I guess they think she'll show up and save everyone if we think really hard at her. Which isn't the point of the "anchor" at all, it's pretty much giving up on our own strength.
>> No. 11392
Calling it.

[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Yukari

Watch warmly, etc.
>> No. 11393
File 123224884045.png - (457.36KB , 525x745 , alice.png ) [iqdb]
11393
Loading User Commands:
[X] Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.
[X] Yukari

---

"Scarlet Sign, 「Red-Haired Dutch Dolls」" cries Alice. Several dolls begin appearing before the Puppeteer. Their eyes glare at him ominously.

Grimnír shudders as he watches the dolls raise their arms toward him. For a moment, each of their miniature hands start glowing like candles. Then, dozens of energy bolts begin flying in his direction. He wonders idly how something so beautiful could be so dangerous.

He blinks. This isn't time to get distracted. If those hit him, he is going to end up in a body bag (hopefully Dr. Yagokoro won't experiment on his corpse in the name of science). Focus your mind. Sharpen your perception. Think out of the box.

"Oh yeah!" he mutters aloud. He almost forgot that he had this option. Carefully, Grimnír pulls out a spell card from his robes. Instinctively, he knows what to do next.

"Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」" he cries aloud.

Time slows down before his eyes. The shots slow down to a crawl as they make their way toward him. The dolls move at a snail's pace back and forth. Alice doesn't even look like she is moving at all.

He blinks. Slowly, he analyzes the direction and angle of the dolls and the shots they are firing. He gasps as he realizes that he can see it. The different possible angles of attack are becoming visible to his mind. The pattern of the spell card isn't difficult. Carefully, he inscribes this knowledge and insight into his mind.

Grimnír tries to raise his arms, but finds that he can barely move. Then, he understands. The spell card only reveals patterns and improves his analysis. The world isn't slowing down, it is his own mind that is thinking at a greatly improved pace. The different possibilities are running through his brain more quickly than he can move. However, his own abilities aren't actually enhanced.

The spell card won't last much longer. He closes his eyes and quickly calculates the most likely locations of the energy bolts in the next few minutes. He can almost grasp the essence of the algorithm that her spell card uses. Carefully, he comes up with a plan to survive the attack.

The spell card trance breaks. It is time to put the plan into action.

Grimnír weaves in and out of the attacks seamlessly. He does not even bother putting up a barrier. His strength is limited, but he manages to dodge each of Alice's attacks. The pattern is clear. There is no way that she can hit him now.

"Is this all you can do, dollmaker of the forest?" cries Grimnír. He can't resist showing off. The tables have turned.

"W-what? H-how are you dodging my attacks?" says Alice. She doesn't slow down her offensive, but none of the bolts are landing.

"Spell card patterns are easy, ~ze!" he replies mockingly. "My staff not even drop!"

Alice looks at him thoughtfully. She smiles at him, clearly impressed.

"Very good! Much better than I expected!" she says. "Let's see if you can handle this, then.."

The magician pauses to chant her spell.

"White Sign, 「Chalk-White Russian Dolls」" she cries out.

Suddenly, the air is filled with energy bolts. Even if he can see the basis of the pattern, this looks grim. There are too many. He can't escape this. He is going to die.

No, there must be another way! Think. There is always another path. Focus. There are countless possibilities in this world. Analyze. The solutions are endless.

"..."

Grimnír pauses as he remembers the first time he used magic. When he was attacked by fairies, he used a unique skill to drive them off. It was a powerful, dangerous spell that he did not fully understand. To him, it seemed that it was an extremely primordial class of magic. A power that was the basis of magic, and perhaps the world itself.

He raises his head and calmly watches the hundreds of bolts flying toward him. Sighing, he resigns himself to this foolishness. He isn't supposed to use this here. He isn't supposed to use this yet. It is too early.

But now, he has no choice.

"Endless, 「The Unravelling」" cries Grimnír.

The space between Alice and himself blurs violently, transforming into an indescribable miasma of color and shape. Then, it begins to collapse into itself, swallowing up the energy bolts, the trees, part of the ground, and several of Alice's dolls. A deep, unearthly rumble spreads from its center, but the ground is not the only thing that shakes. He feels the very fabric of reality ripple with the force of the magic.

By the time he completes the spell, the space between himself and the magician has completely vanished. There is no trace of any battle, as if all was devoured by the void. Nothing lies between them.

Alice looks at him with mouth agape. She holds a spell card limply in her left hand. Her battle aura has vanished, and she looks completely shocked.

Grimnír's vision blurs. He loses control of his body and begins plummeting to the ground. Alice shouts something, but he doesn't understand. This is his limit.

All turns to black.
>> No. 11394
File 123225043658.jpg - (63.60KB , 480x689 , wriggle.jpg ) [iqdb]
11394
"..ake up.. ther," says a voice. It seems strangely familiar.

He mumbles something incoherent. Too sleepy. Just go away.

"Wake up, please wake up," says the voice.

"Mrrmgh.. sshleepy.." he mumbles.

He can hear someone stamping her foot on the ground. No more tantrums. I need rest.

"If you don't wake up, I'm going to pull off your pants and take pictures!" the voice cries.

"Fine, fine.. just.. what? What the hell?" he cries.

He gets up quickly to see a familiar face. There is no mistaking that short green hair and that childish body. The pair of antennae on her head twitch slightly as he looks up at her.

"Wriggle?" he asks drowsily. "Why are you waking me up? It's a weekend, isn't it?"

The firefly girl steps close to him. Dangerously close. She is only inches from his face. He feels himself blushing furiously. Slowly, he pushes her off him as he sits himself up.

"Get off me," he mutters. This girl is such a headache. "How many times have I told you not to get so close?"

"Eh? But there isn't anything wrong with being close to my big brother, is it?" she asks innocently. Without warning, she sits herself on his lap. She starts stroking his leg suggestively.

"I-I mean that," she whispers. "I only want to get to know my brother a little better.."

Forget inappropriate, this is getting far too weird for him. Cute little sisters are fine, but this is going too far. He carefully lifts her up and drops her roughly on the bed.

"You're too heavy," he says. "Are you gaining weight again?"

"W-what are you saying?" cries Wriggle. "I've been cutting down on the sweets! Don't say things like that!"

He mutters something in reply as he glances out the window. The newspaper girl rides past on her bike as he watches. Damn. It really is too early. There aren't any good TV programs on at this time. He should be enjoying his dream right now. This is a weekend - he should be allowed to sleep in!

"I know why you've been ignoring me lately," says Wriggle. She seems to be pouting. That is never a good sign.

"And why is that?" he replies lazily. He tries to stifle a yawn, but fails miserably.

"T-that's because you already have a girlfriend!" she shouts. Pretending to cry, she continues, "S-so mean. And I was saving myself especially for you."

"W-what? Don't say things that will cause misunderstandings!" he cries.

Wriggle giggles as she steps playfully towards the door.

"Anyway, your 'girlfriend' is waiting downstairs for you," she says as she leaves. "Big sister is nice, isn't she? You shouldn't keep her waiting."

"Yeah, tell her I'll be down in a few," he mutters. Why the heck would that girl be visiting now? And for the record, they aren't a couple. He just got caught up in something troublesome. But then again, that isn't any surprise to him. When that girl is involved, strange and unusual things always happen.

Suddenly, Wriggle pokes her head back inside.

"Just remember," she whispers seductively. "You can always come to me after she dumps you. You will always be my favorite~"

"G-get out of here!" he cries out.
>> No. 11395
File 123225254647.jpg - (404.70KB , 533x754 , yukari.jpg ) [iqdb]
11395
"Good morning, sleepy head!" cries out a cheerful voice. "How are you feeling today?"

He only groans in reply. Yukari seems to be in a really good mood. That always means trouble for him. Why can't she just bother someone else once in a while? She treats him like some kind of servant, or perhaps even her plaything. It isn't fair.

"I do hope you remember our wager," says Yukari. "If you forgot, I would be extremely disappointed in you as a man."

"Of course I remember," he mutters. "How could I forget? You reminded me each and every lunch break last week."

...

It happened exactly three weeks ago. He was just eating his lunch alone in the cafeteria, as was usual, when suddenly this girl sat beside him. When he mentioned that there were several free seats, she just smiled, saying that she wanted to sit with him. He didn't argue any further, since it didn't really matter to him. Before he knew it, they starting eating lunch together, as if it was a habit. They would talk about anything under the sun (which was mostly what Yukari was interested in/annoyed at).

After a few days, he learned that Yukari was his senior by one year, and that she actually lived pretty nearby. He didn't mind it much at the start, since they only met during lunchtime. She was just another odd friend, nothing more. Then one day, Yukari made a bet with him. The person who could guess what kind of lunch would be served the day after would win. The loser would have to follow the instructions of the winner for one complete day.

He took the bet simply because he knew the pattern of the cafeteria lunch. The next day would be curry day (which was his betting choice), and Yukari was guessing that spaghetti would be served instead. There was no way he could lose. The school didn't have the budget for much variety.

Imagine his surprise (and irritation) when spaghetti was served the next lunch break. What the hell? When he asked the lunch lady, she simply said that there were problems with the curry supply, so they switched the dishes at the last minute. Needless to say, Yukari was overjoyed.

...

So here she was, smiling excitedly. Today, he would have to follow any and every instruction of this unpredictable girl. He sighs despondently.

"So, where are we going?" he asks, trying to mask his annoyance.

Yukari puts a finger to her lips as she pauses to think.

"Good question," she says. "Where would you like to go?"

"Huh? What are you talking about? This is your day, remember?" he replies.

"Ara? Then let me rephrase that," says Yukari. "I order you to tell me where you would like to go."

".. what?" he mutters.

"It better be something interesting and within your budget," she declares. "If it isn't, I'll have to punish you~"

He plants his palm over his face. This is going to be a long day.

[ ] A family restaurant. There is a good place near the station.
[ ] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
[ ] A museum. She doesn't seem that picky.
[ ] A theater. Maybe she will enjoy a good movie?
[ ] A mall. Lots to do there.
[ ] A love hotel. What?
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11396
[X] A museum. She doesn't seem that picky.

Bitch, you're gonna learn some new shit, and you best believe you're gonna love it.
>> No. 11402
File 123225486469.jpg - (230.82KB , 600x800 , 1222653167599.jpg ) [iqdb]
11402
[!/] A museum. She doesn't seem that picky.
>> No. 11406
[x] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.

Why a museum?
>> No. 11407
[x] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
>> No. 11408
[x] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.

Vote changed.
>> No. 11409
[ ] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.

Motherfuckers better have the spinning cups.
>> No. 11410
[X] A museum. She doesn't seem that picky.
>> No. 11411
[ ] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.

Changing vote to something that's winning and might have a ferris wheel.
>> No. 11412
[†] A museum. She doesn't seem that picky.

"Whats wrong whit this Yukari girl?"
>> No. 11413
>>11409

Fucking hate those goddamn spinning cups

When I was 6 years old, I got on the spinny cup ride.

I started getting sick

Motherfucker wouldn't let me off

Barfed on my siblings.

Goddamn spinning cups.
>> No. 11414
{X} An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
>> No. 11415
[ ] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
>> No. 11416
File 123230173336.png - (104.67KB , 382x271 , 1232255441210.png ) [iqdb]
11416
>>11413
>> No. 11417
More Yukarin is always a good thing.

[x] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
>> No. 11418
[ ] A love hotel. What?
... do want, but need more affection points to trigger the flag. Also, is something STRANGE happening here?
>> No. 11419
[-] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't really mind.
>> No. 11437
Server reconnected at: >>11436