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11436 No. 11436
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>> No. 11438
I fucking love bugs
>> No. 11439
Loading User Commands:
[X] An amusement park. A bit expensive, but you don't mind.

---

"World of Illusion and Fantasy," he reads aloud.

"Wow! You have surprisingly good taste," says Yukari. "I give you 9 out of 10."

"What? Why not the full ten?" he asks.

Yukari smiles enigmatically.

"Figure it out," she says. "You're a smart guy. I'm sure you'll understand in time."

He has seen the commercials on TV, but he has to admit that the place looks just as good up close. Unlike those cheap, filthy "Carnivals" that he visited as a kid, this amusement park looks well designed and maintained. The widescreen display up front advertises a large collection of rides and other entertainment attractions. They have several interesting rides, including the Border Coaster and the Underground River Raft. Before he can watch the whole advertisement, he feels someone tug lightly on his shirt.

"We're next," says Yukari. She looks pretty excited.

His eyes widen as he sees the entrance fee. Imagine how many manga volumes or figurines he could buy with that amount. He takes a glance back at Yukari. She only cocks her head to the side and smiles at him innocently.

Damn this girl. She isn't even his girlfriend! He will have his revenge one day (though this really is his own fault, choosing an expensive place like this). After paying the cashier, he takes one last forlorn look at his wallet (now much lighter) before replacing it in his pants.

"So, where do you want to go first?" he asks, forcing a small smile.

Yukari glances at him before turning back to the site map. She examines it closely, pacing back and forth every so often. Finally, she sighs to herself and turns back to him.

"I can't decide," she says. "Why don't you choose for us?"

He steps beside Yukari and examines the site map. The amusement park seems to be split into several themed sections.

Where should they go first?
[ ] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.
[ ] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
[ ] The East Gate Shrine. Includes several combat-related games and rides.
[ ] The Mystic Woods. Looks like it has a medieval/fantasy theme.
[ ] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
[ ] The Eternal Moon. This definitely has a space exploration theme.
[ ] The Chronicles of the Wind God. Definitely of a historical/archeological theme.
[ ] The Underground Palace. The newest wing of the amusement park.
>> No. 11440
[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.

Delicious Yukarin clinging onto our sleeve
>> No. 11442
[!/] The Underground Palace. The newest wing of the amusement park.

Koishi~
>> No. 11443
[ ] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.
>> No. 11444
[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.

both of them need to hug each other like the world is about to end in the mansion of red mist.
>> No. 11445
[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.

Sure why not
>> No. 11446
>>11440
>>11444

I like how you think.

[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.
>> No. 11447
[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.

This picture
>> No. 11448
[x] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.
>> No. 11485
Loading User Commands:
[X] The Mansion of Red Mist. Seems to have a horror theme.

---

He points toward one of the sections near the entrance. From the crowd nearby, this area seems to be popular with small groups and couples.

"The Mansion of Red Mist? I do hope you aren't planning anything perverted~" says Yukari playfully.

"Of course not," he says.

This section just caught his eye. Somehow, it seems like a pretty good way to kill some time. While he has no interest with developing that sort of relationship with Yukari, she did order him to choose something interesting.

"Is that so? How disappointing," she says. "But I suppose that's just the way you do things."

"Huh? What's wrong with it?" he asks.

Yukari just shakes her head and gives him a cheerful smile.

"Forget about it. Anyway, I heard that this place is pretty popular for being realistic. Let's go and get a good scare!" says Yukari as she drags him toward the Mansion section of the amusement park.

Upon entering the place, he suddenly gets a bad feeling. Unfortunately, he only realizes the reason later.

...

Suddenly, a bunch of snakes drop down from the ceiling.

"Uwaaaah! Get them off me! Get them off me!"

"W-what the? Hold still! You might fall off!'

Then, a bunch of spiders begin crawling upon them.

"They're in my hair! THEY ARE IN MY HAIR!"

"Calm down, dammit! There isn't anything in your hair!"

Without warning, something begins grabbing at their legs.

"Oh my -LET GO OFF ME! AAAAAAAHHH!"

"Relax! Geez, s-stop clinging so tightly to me!"

...

"T-that was horrible!" he stammers. "People actually enjoy that sort of thing?"

"Most people do," replies Yukari. "Wow, you weren't faking any of that, were you?"

"F-faking? Those things grabbing my legs and landing on my hair were freaking me out! I can still remember the sensations." he says. "You heard me, didn't you?"

"Of course I heard you," says Yukari, frowning at him. "I'm sure that the group of high school girls giggling behind us heard your screams quite well, too."

"W-what? Sorry about that, but that ride really freaked me out!" he cries. "Especially that last part where a bunch of maids crying blood start throwing knives at you!"

"I thought that was pretty funny, actually," says Yukari, smiling at him. "It was overdone, in my opinion."

He doesn't reply as he start to calm down. After the fear and shock passes, he feels himself blushing as he remembers what he did. He was fine - for the first five seconds. Then, he started grabbing on to this girl's hands (unconsciously, of course). He probably started panicking and screaming when the spiders started crawling in. At some point, he must have grabbed Yukari tightly and hid his face in her hair. By the time the ride was over, people in line were staring at his frozen, nervous self clinging to Yukari as if his life depended on it. Good thing she had the sense to pull him away before things could get complicated.

"Are you feeling better now?" asks Yukari carefully.

"Y-yeah, I think I'm ok. I guess I wasn't acting very manly back there, was I.." he replies despondently. He must have looked like a damn kid.

"Don't worry about it," says Yukari. "If I knew that you scare easily, then I would never have agreed to coming to this place.

"E-er..." he mutters.

Yukari turns to him with a worried expression on her face.

"Why didn't you say anything?" she asks.

He pauses to think. There really was only one reason he chose this place. A stupid reason too.

"I-I guess that I just chose this place because I thought you'd like it," he mutters.

"E-eh?" says Yukari. Her eyes widen, and her cheeks glow delicate pink at his words.

"I mean that I was following your orders," he adds quickly. "If I didn't choose an interesting place, you'd punish me, right?"

"Ah! O-of course," replies Yukari. She turns away a bit, seemingly interested in one of the posters. "I guess that I had some good fun this time, so don't worry about it."

She smiles enigmatically.

"It isn't every day that I see someone your age get freaked out by an amusement park ride," she says. "Oh, I will enjoy reminding you about this day for a loooong time..."

He plants his palm upon his face, hard.

"So, where should be go next?" asks Yukari. "We shouldn't waste time."

Shouldn't waste time? Somehow, those words echo in his mind. Wasn't there something else that he needed to do?

"Err..."

[ ] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
[ ] The East Gate Shrine. Includes several combat-related games and rides.
[ ] The Mystic Woods. Looks like it has a medieval/fantasy theme.
[ ] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
[ ] The Eternal Moon. This definitely has a space exploration theme.
[ ] The Chronicles of the Wind God. Definitely of a historical/archeological theme.
[ ] The Underground Palace. The newest wing of the amusement park.
[ ] There is something wrong here...
>> No. 11487
>[ ] There is something wrong here...

Hmmm...

[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.

You only get only get so many chances to spend with a young 17 year old Yukari.
>> No. 11492
[X] There is something wrong here...
>> No. 11493
[X] There is something wrong here...
>> No. 11496
{X} There is something wrong here...

What is this tomfoolery
>> No. 11498
>>11485
Not as planned.


[X] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.

Grey wizard needs food badly.
>> No. 11501
[†] There is something wrong here...
>> No. 11503
[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
I do hope this isn't the last we'll see of her.
>> No. 11506
[ ] There is something wrong here...

what could possibly be wrong?
>> No. 11509
[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
>> No. 11510
[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
>> No. 11511
[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.

We need her help, might as well keep her entertained for a bit.
>> No. 11512
[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
>> No. 11513
> 17 year old Yukari.
Oi! Oi!

[x] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
[x] There is something wrong here...

Why not?
>> No. 11528
[Z] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.

It is a nice dream, even if Yukari is riding along in it. don't end it yet.
>> No. 11536
[X] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.
>> No. 11561
Loading User Commands:
[X] The White Jade Buffet. It's full of restaurants and food-related attractions.

---

"Hurry up! Hurry up! It's about to start!" cries Yukari as she drags him forward.

"W-what the? I thought we were going to get something to eat at the buffet?" he says.

Yukari turns around and grins at him cheerfully. She ruffles his hair a few times, giggling to herself. Somehow, this gesture doesn't make him feel much better. This can't possibly mean anything good.

"Cut it out," he says. "Just tell me what's going on."

"Something fun, of course!" she says. "I know that you're gonna love this!"

"Could you be a little less vague, if at all possible?" he asks.

"It's related to food, and I need you to help me," she says.

He frowns at her, but Yukari simply smiles and gives him a wink.

"It's classified information~" she says.

"..."

He sighs as he lets himself get dragged into yet another mess. He thought that getting something to eat would be pretty simple and straightforward, but apparently such words do not exist in Yukari's vocabulary. He only hopes that this won't be too foolish. Or painful.

...

"So those are the rules.. any questions?" cries the shop owner.

"Yukari, can you tell me what this is again?" he asks, saying each word slowly and carefully.

"A spicy curry eating competition," replies Yukari. "It looked fun, so I signed us up!"

"It looked fun, so you signed us up," he repeats. This girl is such a pain.

"Yep! I always wanted to try one of these things," says Yukari. "But it is embarrassing to join this sort of contest alone, since I'm a girl."

"Geez, what a bother!" he cries out.

While he likes curry, a contest like this isn't his idea for a pleasant lunch at an amusement park! This girl has to realize that normal people don't do these things! He should just stand up and walk away right now.

"You don't want to?" returns Yukari.

Suddenly, Yukari looks up at him, her eyes starting to tear up. Startled by the change of atmosphere, he can't help but look away. Using a tactic like this, she really doesn't play fair, does she?

"I-I guess it's fine, since you want me to," he mumbles.

Yukari perks up almost immediately.

"Now that's much better!" she says. "Maybe I should give you a promotion."

"A promotion? Why would I want that?" he asks blandly.

"Ara? Maybe you need other motivation~" she says playfully.

Without warning she grabs his arm and pulls herself right beside him. He can feel the gentle softness of her chest pressing against his skin. His mind tells him to pull away, but his body can't move, for some reason.

"If you win, maybe I'll treat you to something special~" whispers Yukari into his ear. The sensation of her warm breath excites him more than a little. This feeling is surprisingly enjoyable. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to try to win?

...

"Hey, are you alright now?" asks Yukari. She pats his back to comfort him, though he only looks back at her with vindictive eyes.

"I can'th feel meh thongue," he replies. "Thoo spithy."

He turns away from Yukari. Somehow, looking at her just makes the pain worse. During the contest, he could barely finish one and a half platefuls before giving up. Yukari, on the other hand, just kept on going. He doesn't even remember how many plates the crazy girl finished. If it weren't for that equally insane nun at the other table, she would have won first place.

"Show me your tongue," demands Yukari.

She takes a moment to examine the inside of his mouth. Upon her face is a calm and serious expression. At this moment, he suddenly remembers that Yukari is older than him. For some reason, her concern doesn't seem out of place at all.

"It doesn't look too bad," says Yukari. "I'll treat you to something cold and sweet. That should help with the swelling."

He nods weakly in reply. Yukari walks to a nearby stall, and in a few moments, she returns with two ice creams. Somehow, the ice cream helps reduce the pain. Soon, his tongue starts recovering. Yukari doesn't say another word, and neither does he. They finish their ice creams in silence, sitting side by side.

...

"What's that?" he asks, pointing at the package she is carrying. "You weren't carrying that before."

Yukari smiles as she pulls out a small plush toy from package. The toy looks like some male character from a TV show. Dressed in tight-fitting blue and silver clothes, the little guy has short blue hair. The toy seems to be carrying a long thin spear as a weapon.

"The shop owner gave it to me for getting second place," she says. "He's cute, isn't he? I think I'll name him Cú~"

"It doesn't look so bad," he says as he examines it closely. The doll looks pretty well-made, for a toy.

Yukari closes her eyes as she gives the plush toy a tight hug. Then, she looks up at him, her cheeks a delicate pink.

"Thanks for coming with me," whispers Yukari. "I couldn't have joined that alone."

"Err.. no problem," he mumbles. He turns away quickly, his eyes looking for some distraction. Any distraction.

After a moment, his eyes land on a nearby map of the amusement park. But somehow, he feels that there is something strange going on. Wait, what?

[ ] The East Gate Shrine. Includes several combat-related games and rides.
[ ] The Mystic Woods. Looks like it has a medieval/fantasy theme.
[ ] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
[ ] The Eternal Moon. This definitely has a space exploration theme.
[ ] The Chronicles of the Wind God. Definitely of a historical/archeological theme.
[ ] The Underground Palace. The newest wing of the amusement park.
[ ] Something feels off...
>> No. 11562
{X} Something feels off...

Enough already
>> No. 11564
[X] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
Let's get her a silly hat.
>> No. 11565
[X] Something feels off...
>> No. 11567
[Z] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.

Wonder what happens when you go through the whole dream? might be worth investigating.
>> No. 11568
[x] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
>> No. 11574
[x] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
>> No. 11582
[x] Something feels off...

We wouldn't want to dream away Marisa's fading life now, would we?
>> No. 11599
>>11582

Sure is CtC, I mean MiG in there.

[!/] Something feels off...
>> No. 11600
>Yukari smiles as she pulls out a small plush toy from package. The toy looks like some male character from a TV show. Dressed in tight-fitting blue and silver clothes, the little guy has short blue hair. The toy seems to be carrying a long thin spear as a weapon.

>"The shop owner gave it to me for getting second place," she says. "He's cute, isn't he? I think I'll name him Cú~"

WHY YOU DO THIS
>> No. 11606
[x] The Youkai Village. There are many shops that sell souvenirs and curios.
>> No. 11612
[x] Something feels off...

Yukari would be cute in this if we weren't so sure that she was plotting something horrible...
>> No. 11615
No clear winner. This is an important decision point, so I'll leave this open another day.
>> No. 11617
[x] Something feels off...
>> No. 11624
[x] This girl is an eyesore.
[x] Slash her throat open.
>> No. 11628
[♪] Something feels off...

Enough of that. Do not want "Endless Dream" end.
>> No. 11635
[x] Something feels off...
>> No. 11638
[x] Something feels off...

End on a happy note.
>> No. 11656
Loading User Commands:
[X] Something feels off...

---

His eyes carefully survey a nearby map of the amusement park. He frowns as he considers the options. While there isn't anything especially unusual about this place, he feels that something odd is happening. The truth is at the tip of his tongue as he ponders the situation, but to no avail. It is probably nothing important. He has had a little too much excitement for the day, after all.

"Hey! Is something wrong?" asks Yukari suddenly. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Huh? No, I'm fine!" he replies. "It must just be my imagination."

"Tell me," Yukari says sternly. She looks unusually serious.

"Well.." he mutters. "I can't really describe it very well, but this place doesn't feel very real to me. It's like I know that I'm in a dream, but I don't."

Yukari doesn't reply. He laughs awkwardly and turns away. She must think that he is acting weird for no reason. Perhaps he should just drop the subject. In any case, he should consider getting his head checked and..

He gasps in surprise as Yukari puts her hand on his shoulder. She holds him firmly, then looks up straight at his face. Her expression is solemn, if not a little bit sad.

"Close your eyes," instructs Yukari. He does so obediently, idly wondering at the reason to her sudden change of mood. Without warning, he feels something sharp smack into the side of his head.

...

"G-goddamnit, Yukari!" he curses. "That hurt!"

He opens his eyes to find himself standing in the familiar darkness. No trace of the amusement park can be seen. However, he isn't alone.

"Welcome back, Wizard," says Yukari. "It is good to see you again."

Instantly, he realizes what has happened. After falling unconscious from that last spell, she must have entered his mind once again. Grimnír grits his teeth as he slowly understands.

"I wish I could say the same," he manages. "But this is becoming a very bad habit of yours, intruding into my mind like this."

"Forgive my intrusion," she says as she gives him a polite bow. "Though I certainly thought that you were expecting me, since you accepted my invitation."

"Walking inside my already messed up head right after I fall unconscious from physical and mental exhaustion isn't exactly what I had in mind, Ms. Yukari." replies Grimnír, hiding no trace of harshness in his voice.

Her eyes widen visibly, and her mouth falls agape as she gasps in surprise. The parasol she is holding wobbles dangerously as she takes in his words in full. She opens her mouth, as if to argue, but closes it after a few moments without saying a word. Slowly, she lowers her eyes.

"I-I didn't know," says Yukari. "I'm sorry."

Grimnír mumbles something in reply as he looks away to think. This is beginning to turn into something complicated. He has to stay focused.

"I'll be going now," whispers Yukari, barely audible. Slowly, she turns around to leave.

"Wait."

[ ] Custom
>> No. 11661
[x] Ah, still, I should have let that peaceful dream continue.
Ug, there has to be a better way to say this.
>> No. 11662
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
>> No. 11663
>>11656
[X] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[X] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[X] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
[X] GENUFLECT

Genuflection was made for times like these.
>> No. 11664
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
>> No. 11665
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
>> No. 11668
[X] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[X] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[X] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her."
[X] GENUFLECT

agreed, GENUFLECT is not used often enough
>> No. 11669
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
>> No. 11676
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her."

Never seen genuflection do any good.
>> No. 11690
[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately.
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her.
>> No. 11792
Updates?
>> No. 11869
Calling it.

[x] "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you like that, I'm just on edge because of what's been going on lately."
[x] Turn around to hide the smile on your face. "Besides I did have fun with you, even if it was a dream."
[x] Turn back around. This is a time for seriousness now. "I'm in need of your help. Marisa is dying and I think you're the only one with enough power to actually help her."

Unable to connect to the Internet for the past few days, but this will continue in a bit.
>> No. 11918
Loading User Commands:
[X] Custom

---

Yukari opens her mouth, as if to argue, but she closes it after a few moments, unable to find the words. Slowly, she lowers her eyes in apology.

"I-I didn't know," says Yukari. "I'm sorry."

Grimnír mumbles something in reply as he looks away to think. This is beginning to turn into something complicated. The strangest part is that she sounds sincere, but it could be another one of her tricks.

"I'll be going now," whispers Yukari. Her voice is barely audible. Slowly, she turns around to leave.

"Wait," he says. He has no idea why Yukari created that illusionary world, or what other devious plans she might have, but he did accept her invitation. If he plays his cards right, she might be able to help Marisa. At the very least, he doesn't want to make her his enemy.

"..."

"I guess I shouldn't have snapped at you like that," he says. "I'm a little frustrated right now, with everything falling apart and not going as planned. I'm just feeling angry because of how helpless I feel in all of this."

Yukari turns her head to face him. Grimnír clears his throat before continuing.

"W-what I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry, too," he mutters. Carefully, he looks away to hide his face. "I suppose that I did have fun with you, even if it was an illusion."

"It wasn't an illusion," she says with a smile. "And I'm glad that you enjoyed it too."

"What?" he replies. "What was that place, then?"

Yukari winks at him mischievously.

"Now that's a secret~" she returns. "No fun if I tell you right away."

Grimnír sighs in exasperation. He is beginning to tire of these games.

"Anyway, I did have a good reason to accept your invitation," he says seriously.

"And here I thought that you just enjoyed my company," returns Yukari as she looks away and pretends to wipe away a tear.

"I never said that I didn't," replies Grimnír. "But there is something else. We need your help."

Yukari's smile widens, as if she was expecting something like this. For some reason, he feels really irritated. Does she enjoy confusing him?

"Marisa is dying," he finishes.

"Huh?" mutters Yukari blankly. Whatever she was expecting, it wasn't this.

"She was attacked by someone in the Forest of Magic," he says. "The injury isn't natural. Even Dr. Yagokoro can't figure it out."

Yukari pauses to collect her thoughts. She looks quite serious as she thinks. Somehow, such an expression doesn't seem to suit her. After a few minutes, she finally speaks.

"The black-white is still needed," says Yukari solemnly. "She can't be allowed to fall just yet."

Grimnír sighs in relief. Perhaps this is the best course of action, after all. A Youkai as powerful and influential as Yukari should be able to easily resolve this incident.

"However, I can't go over to Eientei right now," she says. "It will be dangerous if Reimu finds out about Marisa. Even more so if she discovers your abilities."

"I see," he answers. He hasn't heard much about the shrine maiden, but he does remember hearing about her reckless way of doing things.

"There is another way I can help," she says. "But I need someone to do the legwork for me. And I know of the perfect person to do it."

Without warning, she raises her fan and points it toward him. He doesn't like the way she is smiling. Not at all.

"W-what?" he stammers. He has a really bad feeling about this.
>> No. 11919
Grimnír opens his eyes. He stares blankly at the ceiling for several minutes as he tries to clear his mind. Turning his head from side to side, he finds himself lying on one of the hospital beds in Eientei. There are curtains drawn around him, so he can't see much else.

He takes a couple of minutes to feel for his limbs. He sighs in relief when he finds that they are all intact, though he still feels pretty exhausted from the ordeal. The last thing he remembers is plummeting down toward the ground after casting that dangerous spell a second time. Under normal circumstances, he should be dead from a fall at that height.

"..."

Grimnír blinks blankly. He can feel a presence. Someone else is nearby. Only after a few minutes of scanning the area does he realize that this person is right beside him. He still doesn't understand how he didn't notice her earlier.

Alice is sitting on a small chair beside his bed. She cushions her head with her folded arms as she sleeps peacefully. Shanghai sits lifelessly against one of her arms. She looks especially vulnerable (and cute) like this.

A glance at the other side tells him that his sack is lying beside his bed. He can probably leave without waking Alice if he is careful enough.

[ ] Gently nudge Alice awake.
[ ] Pull a prank on the sleeping dollmaker.
[ ] Continue watching her sleep.
[ ] Cover her with your blanket.
[ ] Leave the room silently.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11920
[x] Gently nudge Alice awake.

We have good news for her.
>> No. 11921
>>11919
[X] Cover her with your blanket.
[X] Leave the room silently.

Man-time.
>> No. 11924
[X] Cover her with your blanket.
[X] Leave the room silently.
>> No. 11925
[X] Cover her with your blanket.
[X] Leave the room silently.

Bathroom~
>> No. 11927
[!/] Cover her with your blanket.
[!/] Leave the room silently.
>> No. 11936
[x] Gently nudge Alice awake.
>> No. 11938
[X] Cover her with your blanket.
[X] Leave the room silently.
>> No. 11941
Loading User Commands:
[X] Cover her with your blanket.
[X] Leave the room silently.

---

Alice is sitting on a small chair beside the bed. She cushions her head with her folded arms as she sleeps peacefully. Shanghai sits beside her, unmoving. The magician looks especially vulnerable right now. Grimnír quickly looks away, very much aware that his face must be bright red. He can't just wake her up, and staying here and staring at her sleeping face makes him feel like some stalker or pervert.

After a few moments of contemplation, he carefully gets off the bed from the other side. He checks his things, then slings the sack behind him. He probably won't need anything, but he is starting to develop a habit of carrying his stuff with him.

He takes a moment to look at Alice. Very carefully, he pulls his blanket over her shoulders. She might catch a cold, after all. With one last glance at the sleeping dollmaker, he gently closes the door and walks into the hallways of Eientei.

Before long, he finds himself lost within the labyrinth that is Eientei. Keeping his head, Grimnír carefully maps out the immediate area in his head. If he approaches this logically and consistently, he should be able to find his way to the dining room or main clinic. The thought of opening a door and running into someone changing is enough to discourage him from entering rooms randomly. He would ask for directions if he could, but he hasn't met anyone in the halls. Is it possible that the mansion staff is busy with other duties?

It takes him the better part of a half hour, but he finally finds his way to the dining room without incident. He sighs in relief as he sees a familiar face smile at him. Grimnír takes an empty seat and starts to eat dinner. Hunger is good motivation, he notes.

...

During the meal, Dr. Yagokoro explained that he had no major injuries. It seems like Alice used her dolls to catch him before he hit the ground. However, his body was severely strained by the training. She recommended that he avoid acting recklessly in the future, as he may not be as lucky the next time it happens.

She also mentioned that she developed a drug that would slow down the effects of Marisa's injury. After careful testing, they managed to stabilize her condition (he did notice that Reisen shivered slightly at the word "testing"). They have bought her at least a few more days, which is very good news.

Dr. Yagokoro did ask a single, strange question, though.

"Did you have any unusual dreams?" she asked.

Grimnír gave her a nod, but stayed silent.

"Interesting," she said. "I suppose that you'll be able to explain it better in the morning, so I won't push any further."

...

Reisen escorted him to one of the mansion guest rooms. She said that it is too dangerous to travel at night, especially during these troubled times. There is another room prepared for Alice, and Marisa's condition seems to be stable, so they need not worry. The bunny-eared girl told him that he should focus on resting.

"Doctor's orders," she says with a kind smile.

"Hmm?"

"Please don't do anything reckless," explains Reisen. "While Dr. Yagokoro's patients are generally hardheaded, I'm sure that she would appreciate it if you would be an exception."

"Is that so?"

"I would appreciate it, too, if you would take care of yourself," adds Reisen in a whisper.

After she leaves, Grimnír finds himself alone in his assigned room. After a moment, he realizes that he doesn't know where Alice's room is. Also, neither of them mentioned anything about Wriggle. He wonders idly if some information was purposely being kept from him.

"..."

But in any case, rest seems to be in order, for now.

[ ] Explore Eientei.
[ ] Try to find Alice's room.
[ ] Go to sleep.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 11951
[X] Explore Eientei.

What could possibly go wrong?
>> No. 11954
[ ] Try to find Alice's room.
>> No. 11955
[X] Go to sleep.
I like sleeping
>> No. 11957
[ ] Try to find Alice's room.
>> No. 11963
[x] Go to sleep.

We have a lot to do in the morning, apparently.
>> No. 11973
[x] Go to sleep.
>> No. 11976
Loading User Commands:
[X] Go to sleep.

---

"So tell me why you came to visit," Grimnír says.

"Eh? Do I need a reason to visit you?" replies Wriggle. She grabs another sweet biscuit and munches on it hungrily.

"... I suppose not." he says.

Since he moved out of the Human Village into the Forest of Magic, he hasn't received many visitors. While the place is a little lonely, he doesn't mind. Here, he can practice magic and develop new spells without disturbing anyone else.

He can still remember the time when he accidentally blew up the school house (thankfully, no one was hurt). Man, Keine was pissed! Somehow, he got away with only a few cuts and bruises. Who knows what would have happened if he caught her during the full moon...

In any case, he moved into a small cottage in the Forest of Magic. Here, he would be free from the daily disturbances of the village. However, another daily disturbance replaced it instead.

This youkai girl in front of him.

He doesn't remember when, but before he knew it, Wriggle started visiting him regularly. The firefly girl seemed a bit interested in his experiments, but it couldn't possibly be just that. In fact, he should just ask her straight out.

"Hey Wriggle, why do you keep visiting everyday?" he asks.

Wriggle pauses for only a split-second before replying.

"It's because I like bothering you!" she says.

He slams his palm against his head. Hard.

"..."

Suddenly, he remembers something important. Master is coming to visit today.

What was her name again?
[ ] Alice
[ ] Marisa
[ ] Yukari

You should get rid of Wriggle.
[ ] Ask her to leave politely.
[ ] Tell her to get the hell out.
[ ] Drive her out with spells.
[ ] Kill Wriggle.
>> No. 11977
[x] Marisa
[x] Ask her to leave politely
>> No. 11978
[A] Alice.
[A] Ask her to leave politely.
>> No. 11979
[X] Yukari
[X] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11982
[†] Marisa
[†] Ask her to leave politely
>> No. 11983
{X} Alice.
{X} Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11985
{X} Alice.
{X} Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11987
[X] Marisa.
[X] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11988
[x] Alice.
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11989
[x] Alice.
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11990
{X} Alice.
{X} Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11993
[x] Beatrice.
[x] Kill Wriggle.

Suddenly, it all makes sense.
>> No. 11994
[x] Yukari
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 11996
[x] Wriggle. From the Future.
[x] Kill Wriggle.
>> No. 12002
[x] Marisa
[x] Ask her to leave politely
>> No. 12003
[X] Alice.
[X] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.

Wriggle should probably leave, so lets have her stay.
>> No. 12005
[x] Alice.
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.

\アリス/
>> No. 12008
[@] Alice
[@] Ask her to leave politely.

Marisa who?

...Man, I felt like a dick writing that.
>> No. 12009
[x] Yukari
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 12013
[x] Yukari
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 12014
Calling it.

[x] Alice
[x] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.
>> No. 12016
Loading User Commands:
[X] Alice
[X] Well she can probably stay, it couldn't be all bad.

---

"Magic Sign, 「Artful Chanter」!"

Grimnír doesn't have time to avoid the attack. He raises his hands and quickly chants a barrier spell. As he is bombarded by explosions, he focuses his mind on reinforcing the spell shield. Every second passes painfully as he blocks the attack. At any moment, the barrier can break.

The last time she broke through his shield, he spent two weeks recovering at Eientei. While she is usually calm, Master Alice can become exceptionally dangerous at times. And it seems like this is one of those moments.

After a few minutes, her barrage ends. He sighs in relief as he catches his breath. The normally timid dollmaker changes into a completely different person in battle. But it isn't necessarily a bad thing. If his life wasn't in jeopardy, he would probably admit that he finds this Alice quite attractive as well.

"W-what the hell, Alice? Are you trying to kill me again?" he cries out.

"Do you think so? What makes you think that?" she replies coldly.

Alice frowns at his puzzled expression. It lasts for only a moment, but her eyes glance at the firefly girl watching below. Then, he remembers. Master always trains him in secluded, quiet places, away from prying eyes. The noisy and energetic Wriggle Nightbug is the perfect foil to her visit.

"Damn it, Wriggle!" he whispers under his breath.

At first he thought, "Well, she could probably stay". While a little nosy, she is far more well-behaved than the stupid ice fairy or the darkness youkai. She and Alice seem to be civil enough around each other. It couldn't be all bad. What could possibly go wrong?

"You can do it, Grim!" cries Wriggle suddenly. "She isn't that tough! The black-white could do better than that!"

"Ahahaha..." he mumbles uneasily.

Alice smiles grows wider at her words. Her left eye seems to be twitching slightly. Oh wow, Wriggle. Is that bug really trying to get him killed? By the looks of it, he'll be looking at another trip to the hospital. Or worse. He better try to get Alice to calm down before she starts going spell card crazy.

"Hey Master," he says, as calmly as possible. "You said earlier that you wanted me to try another kind of magic?"

"So you were listening?" she replies. "I couldn't tell because of a certain uninvited guest."

"What did you mean when you said, 'use your own magic'?" he asks, ignoring the comment.

"I meant it exactly as I said it, 'Grim'," returns Alice. "Focus on your own unique powers. I've seen you do it before."

"B-but you said that it's too dangerous to use," he argues. "You told me never to use it."

"Your awareness and control has greatly improved," she says. "You should be able to imbue the magic into a spell card this time."

Grimnír pauses. He always wondered about how to use his powers, but is this the right time to try it? He doesn't even fully understand how they work, and he almost got himself killed last time.

"Like I explained earlier, you seem to have the ability to alter materials in ways that go beyond known magic. Patchouli said that your skill with the elements was far greater than that of most magicians. Even that Black-White said that you could dodge her spark attacks even when there is no possible direction of escape. You can cause subtle changes between planes, with unexpectedly powerful results."

"But I almost got killed last time," argues Grimnír. "And I only succeeded because I was trapped and cornered!"

Alice only smiles at him. A cold and calculating expression, this only makes him shudder. She can't possibly be thinking...

"I'm tired of waiting," she says. "You are going to learn how to use that power, or die trying. Slowly and painfully, if you choose the latter."

Before he can think of anything else, his eyes are drawn to the spell card in her hands.

"War Command, 「Doll's War」!" cries Alice.

... What the hell is she so pissed about anyway?
[ ] Create a new possibility.
[ ] Manipulate an existing possibility.
[ ] Destroy a future possibility.
>> No. 12017
[ ] Create a new possibility.
>> No. 12018
[X] Destroy a future possibility.
Like: Us getting hit.
>> No. 12019
[x] Manipulate an existing possibility.
>> No. 12020
[X] Destroy a future possibility.
>> No. 12021
[X] Create a new possibility.
>> No. 12022
[X] Create a new possibility.
>> No. 12024
{X} Create a new possibility.
>> No. 12128
Loading User Commands:
[X] Create a new possibility.

---

Grimnír pants heavily as he catches his breath. He doesn't have much strength left, and Alice isn't stopping. As he watches, the magician draws another spell card and begins chanting. He won't be able to block this attack. Is she really going to kill him this time?

"No," he whispers. "I'm not going to die here!"

His bracelet begins glowing strangely. Engraved upon it is a serpent biting its own tail. The eyes of the snake flash bright red as he watches. Then, he begins to understand.

Grimnír raises his staff as he chants a new spell. He can feel the power of the elder gods fill him as he utters each command word. This once forbidden magic is in his hands. The possibilities are endless.

He smiles confidently at the dollmaker. Alice doesn't stand a chance.

"Hey, are you alright?"

...

"Whu-what?" he mutters sleepily.

"Are you alright?" asks a familiar voice. "You were talking in your sleep."

Grimnír opens his eyes to see Alice standing over him. She looks a bit worried.

"I'm fine, I think," he manages. "I guess I was dreaming..."

"What was that spell?" she asks suddenly. "You were muttering command words."

"Huh?"

Grimnír closes his eyes as he tries to remember, but he can't recall much of the details. But he can remember something else. A single word.

"Jörmungandr," he whispers.

"..."

"Er... sorry, I don't really remember, ahahaha..."

Alice frowns at him. This time, her expression is grave.

"D-did you see Yukari again?" she whispers.

[ ] Custom
>> No. 12129
[X] Inventory
A neatly handwritten note. Alice wrote it.
A short pamphlet. "A Draft of Spell Card Rules"
A small sack. It can hold a lot of items.
A long walking stick. It looks sturdy.
A hooded cloak. It can cover your head from the rain.
A set of grey robes. It has many pockets.
A small pouch full of mushrooms. You have no idea what they do.
A beginner's magic book. "Basic Magical Theory and Simple Applications"
An ornate silver bracelet. Engraved on it is a serpent biting its own tail.
A spell card. "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"
(5) Several blank spell cards. You can inscribe spells on them.
A small calling card. The name "Yukari Yakumo" is written on one side.
>> No. 12145
[!/] "Yea, I meet her"
[!/] Inscribe Jörmungandr to a blank spell card, if possible. If not, just remember it.
>> No. 12146
>>12145
good thinking

[x] "Yea, I meet her"
[x] Inscribe Jörmungandr to a blank spell card, if possible. If not, just remember it.
>> No. 12147
Goddamnit, you people know nothing about spelling and grammar.

[x] "Yeah, I met her."
[x] Inscribe Jörmungandr on a blank spell card, if possible. If not, just remember it.
>> No. 12149
[x] "Yeah, I met her."
[x] Inscribe Jörmungandr on a blank spell card, if possible. If not, just remember it.
>> No. 12185
[x] "Yeah, I met her."
[x] Inscribe Jörmungandr on a blank spell card, if possible. If not, just remember it.
>> No. 12251
Loading User Commands:
[X] Custom

---

Alice frowns at Grimnír, her expression grave.

"D-did you see Yukari again?" she whispers.

At hearing the word "Yukari", his head begins to ache. He can recall everything clearly, but his brain is reacting badly to it, as if telling him that their meetings didn't exist. Technically, the two of them never actually met. Perhaps having her step into his mind causes inconsistencies that his logical sense can't resolve. Either way, he is sure that their method of communication can't be doing his mind (and possibly his body) much good.

"Yeah, I met her," he replies carefully. "Though not in the way I expected."

"What happened?" she asks quickly.

"A case of bad timing I think," says Grimnír. "She visited after I went unconscious during our training."

"W-what? Did she hurt you? Are you alright?" cries Alice.

"Ah, I'm fine, so don't worry about it," he says. "I have to thank you for catching me back then. Sorry for troubling you."

Alice lowers her head.

"That was all my fault. I-I'm so stupid!" she begins to say as she covers her face with her hands. "I'm such a horrible person!"

"It was an accident. It wasn't your fault." says Grimnír.

"B-but I almost killed you!" she cries, looking up at him with damp eyes. "Marisa was right. I'm no good at dealing with people. I should have never -"

Grimnír places a single finger on her lips to silence her.

"I'm fine," he says. "Besides, some good did come out of it. I might not have met Yukari if that didn't happen."

"Eh?"

"Well, she did mess with my dream a little bit, but no harm done," he says. "We were able to talk, and I think that she is going to help us. Seems like Marisa is still necessary to her."

"She messed around with your mind?" she asks carefully, frowning.

Suddenly, he recalls her words. "It wasn't an illusion," Yukari had said. Somehow, the way she said this worries him a little. She sounded honest.

"Well, maybe not exactly," he says. "I suppose that she just came to visit or something along that line of thought."

"So, she started teaching you spells?" asks Alice.

"Huh?"

"You were muttering command words in your sleep," she says. "High level ones, if I might add."

Grimnír shakes his head.

"I didn't see her again last night," he says. "That might have been just me."

He doesn't need to tell her that she was in his dream. That might just cause unnecessary complications.

"Then that is even more troublesome," she whispers darkly.

He finds that he has nothing to say in reply. The two of them stay silent for a few moments. Finally, the atmosphere is broken by a loud gurgling noise. Grimnír blushes as he rubs his stomach. Alice giggles lightly at him.

"Maybe we should have breakfast?" she suggests with a smile.

"That might be good," he mumbles.
>> No. 12252
After Alice left the room, Grimnír had a curious idea. He patiently meditated on the word, "Jörmungandr". Perhaps he could learn a new spell. Maybe he could even inscribe it on a spell card. But after ten minutes of concentrating, he gave up.

He can't remember much from the dream, and he has other things to worry about right now.

...

They had breakfast with both Dr. Yagokoro and Reisen. Their conversation consisted of mostly a briefing on a plan that the Lunarian doctor had formulated. She explained that she would need more data to analyze Marisa's injury. Grimnír mostly stayed silent as Alice spoke with her about some technical magic terms that he wasn't familiar with.

"So basically, you need to collect some readings from the source of the injury?" asks Alice.

"That is correct," replies Dr. Yagokoro. "I'm confident that we can find a cure if we closely analyze the actual weapon that did this kind of damage."

The Lunarian doctor nods to herself before she continues.

"Of course, taking that lance from that crazed human in the forest might be too dangerous. I took some time to prepare an alternative."

Reisen brings out something from under the table. It seems to be a long, rifle-like device. Somehow, it reminds him of something from his childhood (Was it a laser blaster?).

"I already instructed Reisen on how to use this. She simply needs to keep this device focused at the target for about 2 minutes to complete the reading. I'm confident that she can handle the task."

"So we can simply sneak up on the human and use this on him?" asks Alice.

Dr. Yagokoro shakes her head.

"The range of the device is pretty short. You two will have to keep the human occupied until Reisen completes her reading."

Grimnír sighs. This sounds really dangerous.

"Of course, I can try to find another way," the lunarian doctor says. "But I will need a few more days. I can't guarantee that Marisa will -"

"We'll do it," says Marisa suddenly. "She would have done the same for us."

A solemn moment of silence passes before the doctor speaks again.

"I'll leave it to you three, then," Dr. Yagokoro says. "However, I do have something that might be of interest to our human friend here."

She pulls out a large syringe filled with a luminescent blue substance.

"This will temporarily enhance his abilities," she explains. "However, I can't guarantee that it won't have a few minor side-effects."

Grimnír pauses to think. She is the best known drug developer in Gensokyo, but the way she said that last part troubles him. Alice seems a little concerned, but she says nothing. Reisen, on the other hand, seems to be concentrating on the floor as she avoids his gaze.

[ ] Have her administer the drug now. You need all the help you can get.
[ ] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.
[ ] Refuse the drug. You don't need it.
[ ] Custom

Optional (up to two):
[ ] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[ ] "Where is Wriggle?"
[ ] "Who exactly is the target?"
[ ] "Do you have other drugs?"
[ ] "Why are you helping us?"
>> No. 12254
[ ] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.

[ ] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[ ] "Where is Wriggle?"
>> No. 12256
> "We'll do it," says Alice suddenly. "She would have done the same for us."
Fixed. Yeah, typo. I have no idea why I typed Marisa there. Don't look deeper into it.
>> No. 12257
[X] Refuse the drug. You don't need it.
[X] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[X] "Where is Wriggle?"
>> No. 12274
[x] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.
[x] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[x] "Where is Wriggle?
>> No. 12284
>a luminescent blue substance.
In before the wacky consequences of Eirin's shady shiny new drug.
>> No. 12286
{X} Refuse the drug. You don't need it.
{X} "How is Marisa's condition?"
{X} "Where is Wriggle?"
>> No. 12306
[x] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.
[x] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[x] "Where is Wriggle?
>> No. 12307
[x] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.
[x] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[x] "Where is Wriggle?
>> No. 12330
Loading User Commands:
[X] Take the syringe with you. You might need it later.
[X] "How is Marisa's condition?"
[X] "Where is Wriggle?"

---

Dr. Yagokoro pulls out a large syringe filled with a glowing blue substance.

"This will temporarily enhance a human's ability," she explains. "However, it might have a few minor side-effects."

Grimnír pauses to think. He doesn't know what she means by "side-effects", but such a drug might come in useful. Perhaps he can save it for an emergency situation.

"Can I take it with me?" he asks. "I only need to inject it to experience the effects, right?"

The lunarian doctor nods as she replaces the syringe inside a small plastic case. She hands the drug to him with a calculating expression on her face.

"It might take a few minutes for the drug to take effect," she explains. "Make sure that you don't wait till the last moment to use it."

He places the item into his sack carefully.

"How is Marisa's condition?" asks Grimnír. "Any new developments?"

Dr. Yagokoro hesitates slightly before speaking.

"Her condition is still stable," says the lunarian doctor. "But without more data, I can't do much more than this."

"I see," he replies. "We don't have much choice, then."

"Just make sure that none of you get hit with that weapon," says Dr. Yagokoro seriously. "I'd like to avoid having too many patients."

Grimnír slings his sack behind him, preparing to leave, when he suddenly remembers something.

"Oh yeah!" he cries. "Where is Wriggle? I haven't seen her since yesterday."

"The bug youkai?" says the lunarian doctor. "I believe that she left this morning. She said that she had some important things to do."

"I see," says Grimnír. Hopefully, the firefly girl isn't planning to do anything reckless.

"Enough talk," says Alice sternly. "We should leave for the Forest. We still have to find the fool who did this to Marisa."

The dollmaker starts walking immediately, Shanghai floating nearby. Grimnír quickly follows behind her. Reisen, carrying the device in her arms, bows to Dr. Yagokoro before turning to leave.

"Wait," says the lunarian doctor.

"Eh?" asks Reisen.

Grimnír is almost out of earshot when Dr. Yagokoro speaks. However, he catches her final instruction to the lunarian rabbit girl.

"Don't use your eyes."

[ ] Head straight to the Forest of Magic.
[ ] Pass by the Human Village first.
[ ] Pass by Alice's cottage first.
[ ] Pass by Marisa's cottage first.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 12331
[X] Head straight to the Forest of Magic.
No reason not to.
>> No. 12342
[ ] Head straight to the Forest of Magic
>> No. 12345
[x] Ask Alice if she needs to stop at her house for anything.
[x] If not, head straight to the Forest of Magic.

Although we're going to the forest either way, so...
>> No. 12352
[x] Ask Alice if she needs to stop at her house for anything.
[x] If not, head straight to the Forest of Magic.

Way to be ominous, Eirin.
>> No. 12406
Loading User Commands:
[X] Custom
[X] Head straight to the Forest.

---

"Enough talk," says Alice sternly. "We should leave for the Forest of Magic right now. We still have to find the fool who did this to Marisa."

The dollmaker makes for the exit immediately, Shanghai floating nearby. She doesn't seem to be in the mood for small talk. Grimnír quickly follows behind her, taking a moment to make sure that all of his things are in his sack. Reisen rushes after them only after talking to Dr. Yagokoro.

"S-sorry about that," mumbles Reisen as she steps outside. "Just received some last minute instructions."

Alice says nothing in reply. Instead, she starts hovering a few feet above the ground.

"I guess we should go," says Grimnír. He gives the timid rabbit girl a small nod to encourage her before stepping off into the air. Reisen gives him the tiniest of smiles before following.

The trip from Eientei to the Forest of Magic is generally uneventful. Along the way, Grimnír spots the red-lantern stand that he saw yesterday. He manages to take a better glance at the stall as they fly over it. Dressed in odd brown clothing, the owner seems to be humming a tune as she grills some meat. He notes that she has wings. Perhaps the owner is a youkai girl as well.

"Hey Alice," says Grimnír in an attempt to make conversation. "Do you think we should pass by your house for anything? I don't think that it would take that much time and -"

"No!" interrupts Alice harshly. "This all ends now."

...

For the next hour, their small group carefully sweeps the Forest of Magic. The three of them stay together as they move, but the magician and lunarian seem to have other means of searching the area.

Alice summons several other dolls to scout the area. Each of them wield weapons several times their size, but they don't seem to have any trouble moving and floating around. The dollmaker magician sends them in different directions to investigate. Only Shanghai remains to stay by her side.

Reisen peers into the depth of the forest, routinely reporting the number of youkai and animals running about. She even describes their exact distance and heading, as well as their potential threat level. Her eyes seem to be exceptionally accurate when searching from a distance, and by the way she speaks, he wouldn't be surprised if she was once a soldier of some sort. However, this idea seems out of place for a timid girl like her, so he quickly shakes it away.

Grimnír, on the other hand, has no special skills or magic to help in the search, so he simply flies behind the other two silently. As they systematically search the labyrinthine Forest of Magic, he wonders idly if he would be useful at all in this task. He only knows how to fly and create barriers. Apart from his other, extremely risky magic, he has no way to restrain or attack an opponent. Hopefully, Alice has some sort of elaborate plan to create a suitable diversion.

"I-I think I see him!" cries Reisen suddenly. Before they can reply, she dives deep into the trees below.

Alice and Grimnír quickly follow the lunarian into the depths of the Forest of Magic. After a few minutes, they find Reisen crouching behind some nearby bushes. They follow her lead and stay hidden beside her. The rabbit girl beckons them to follow her through the foliage. After a few minutes of careful sneaking, she points toward something leaning against a huge tree.

It takes Grimnír a few moments to recognize the thing she pointed at. Almost completely hidden by the shadows of the trees, someone seems to be sleeping underneath it's shade. From this distance, the person looks like an ordinary, tired traveller. Dressed in a thick worn coat and some old pants, the man sleeps peacefully against the tree. He seems to be using a long hooded cloak as a make-shift blanket as he rests. The man seems very ordinary, and he seems no older than Grimnír. Far too young to be a wandering hermit. There is nothing visibly unusual about him.

Grimnír would have thought that this was the wrong person if it weren't for one thing. Resting against his shoulder is a long trident made of some strange dark metal. Even from this distance, he can recognize several ornate designs engraved all over the weapon. Some of them look like magical runes, but he can't decipher them from this distance.

As he watches, he suddenly feels something strange in his head. The trident seems to glitter brightly in response to his gaze. He can't help but feel curious about how the weapon feels to the touch. Is it cool or warm? For some reason, he can almost hear a tiny voice calling out to him. The weapon itself seems almost.. alive.

"E-er... Mr. Grimnír?" whispers Reisen suddenly.

"Eh?" he replies blankly.

"I-Is she alright?" the lunarian says.

Grimnír blinks blankly until the lunarian points toward Alice's direction. He turns to look at the dollmaker magician. The sight doesn't register in his brain until a couple of seconds later.

"..."

His eyes widen in horror as he realizes that Alice has gathered all of her dolls around her. They seem to be arranged in some sort of combat position. Alice's once kind eyes are now filled with a fury he has never seen before. She seems to be chanting spells to augment the power of her dolls, as well as her own magic. Even Shanghai has an angry expression upon her face.

Alice looks like she is ready to kill.

[ ] Help Alice kill the stranger. This is a good chance to end it early.
[ ] Try to convince Alice to calm down. This isn't part of the plan.
[ ] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.
[ ] Step out of the bushes and try to talk to the stranger before Alice attacks.
[ ] Stay silent and watch the events unfold.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 12407
[ ] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.
>> No. 12412
[x] Help Alice kill the stranger. This is a good chance to end it early.
>> No. 12413
[!/] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.
>> No. 12420
[X] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.

This is not how lawful good works.
>> No. 12424
>"No!" interrupts Alice harshly. "This all ends now."

>His eyes widen in horror as he realizes that Alice has gathered all of her dolls around her. They seem to be arranged in some sort of combat position. Alice's once kind eyes are now filled with a fury he has never seen before. She seems to be chanting spells to augment the power of her dolls, as well as her own magic. Even Shanghai has an angry expression upon her face.

>Alice looks like she is ready to kill.

[ ] Do something stupid like grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.

THIS SHIT WILL NEVER WORK

[x] Step out of the bushes and try to talk to the stranger before Alice attacks.
[x] Be prepared to inject yourself with the drug.

We're trying to cure Marisa, not get revenge. Studying the weapon might be all that's needed, but we can't know for sure. Of course, we could always kill him afterwards.
>> No. 12434
[x] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.
Gently, but firmly. We fuck up this mission and Marisa dies, this is no time for mindless rage.

Also:
[x] If you can't analyze his weapon from here, plan to steal it.
but maybe that's the next vote

>>12424
>THIS SHIT WILL NEVER WORK
>try to talk to the stranger
lolwut
>> No. 12441
[X] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.
>> No. 12564
Loading User Commands:
[X] Grab Alice and stop her before she does something stupid.

---

Grimnír's eyes widen in horror as he watches Alice gather her dolls around her in combat formation. The dollmaker chants spells under her breath. She carefully augments each of her dolls, as well as her own offensive magic. Her preparations can mean only one thing.

The magician's once kind eyes are now filled with fury and rage. Each of her dolls ready themselves in threatening stances. Even Shanghai has an unmistakably angry expression upon her face.

Alice looks ready to kill.

Grimnír glances back at the stranger. Shivering slightly, the man twists to his side and pulls the cloak up his shoulder, eyes still closed. The trident shifts in position, but it still leans upon him. He seems completely unaware of the situation, still peacefully snoozing under the shade.

He turns to Reisen, who shudders slightly as she looks back at him. She looks confused and scared, and her crumpled rabbit ears are noticeably shaking. The lunarian bites her lip and says nothing, as if afraid of making any decision.

"This all ends now," whispers Alice.

In the next five seconds, Grimnír's mind goes into overdrive as it analyzes the different possibilities of this circumstance. Carefully he recalls everything he knows about the Trident Lunatic.

Wriggle said that he was an odd hermit who wandered around the Forest of Magic. He had been living here for a while now, and he hadn't caused any trouble for the forest youkai, so she didn't mind him much. At least, not until recent times.

Keine mentioned that both human and youkai travellers around the Forest of Magic were being attacked by a stranger carrying a trident. She had left warnings on the signs along the paths herself. The perpetrator must have had significant power to cause damage to even youkai.

Marisa was attacked by this human and easily defeated. Her injury was one even Eientei couldn't treat. As such, Dr. Yagokoro sent them to take some readings from the weapon. They were to keep the human distracted while Reisen used the device. It would be too reckless to try to take the weapon from a crazed and powerful individual.

Yet Alice is now preparing to kill this person. Even if one forgets the ethical question of a pre-emptive attack, she might just get herself injured or killed. She is far too emotional at this point. Her feelings are confusing her badly. He could understand this, of course. Marisa is more than just a friend to her.

But he can't just watch another tragedy unfold. He must find some logical way out of this. The facts are incomplete, but with some careful analysis he can-

"This is for hurting my friend," declares Alice. She steps out of the bushes with her dolls and pulls out something from her dress. Grimnír recognizes it immediately.

It's a spell card.

"No! Don't do this!" cries Grimnír. His body moves automatically, and before he realizes it, he finds himself standing between Alice and the sleeping stranger. He raises both his arms to block her path.

"Get out of my way," says Alice darkly.

The dollmaker glares threateningly at him, but he stands his ground. Her cold cruel glare causes shivers to run down his spine. His mind keeps telling him to back off, but something within pushes him forward. There is still something he can do. This is a stupid idea. This is an idiotic idea. This is a completely foolish idea. But even so...

Without warning, Grimnír closes his eyes and jumps forward at Alice to stop her. The dollmaker gasps in surprise, but she manages to sidestep before he can reach her. As he begins to stumble clumsily, Grimnír's hands flail about in panic. Something catches onto his right hand, and he twists and pulls upon it in a futile attempt to regain balance. Unfortunately, he finds out in the next moment that he isn't holding a tree or bush. He grabbed Alice's arm.

The next moment, he receives two consecutive blows. His eyes tear up in anguish as his brain recognizes the first. He landed hard on his back, and to make things worse, something that felt like a rock hit the back of his head as well. But he doesn't have time to cry out because in the next second, something heavy falls on his stomach. He feels the air being forced out of his lungs at the sudden impact.

Grimnír almost blacks out, but he isn't that lucky this time. When the weight of the second object disappears from his chest, it takes him several seconds to even recover his breathing. His brain processes it a bit late, but the object felt a bit soft for some reason.

"W-what are you doing?" cries a voice close by. His vision is blurry, but he recognizes the owner immediately.

Grimnír fights the pain and manages to sit himself up. He cringes for a moment before looking straight into the magician's beautiful blue eyes.

"D-don't do this," he whispers. Before he can speak another word, he coughs violently.

"W-wait, are you hurt?" cries Alice suddenly.

He shakes his head. But before he can argue, Reisen lands beside them. She seems to be looking intently at the stranger. Grimnír carefully follows her gaze.

"..."

The stranger is completely awake now. He takes a couple of confident steps toward them, the trident leaning comfortably against his shoulder. He carries the weapon as if it was a part of him. He seems to be sneering at them. The man licks his lips before he speaks.

"Did these rabbits lose their way in the forest?" he cries loudly. "How rare for the prey to come willingly!"

Without warning, the stranger holds the weapon in both hands and rushes toward them with incredible speed. By the time Grimnír blinks, the stranger is only a few feet away from delivering a fatal blow. Everything stands still. Alice simply stares at the tip of the trident pointed at her heart, while Reisen watches in shock nearby. The stranger stands frozen in place, only inches from striking with his weapon. Grimnír himself, still numb from the pain, can only stare in anticipation.

Then, the stranger pulls his weapon away and takes several steps backward. He covers his face with his other hand as he retreats.

"No... not... again..." whispers the stranger. "Not... this time... not... this way... not... me..!"

Before anyone can reply, the stranger turns around and runs into the depth of the Forest of Magic. Grimnír blinks in surprise as he watches the man flee with inhuman speed. The stranger races into the shadows as if possessed by some wild animal. Is this person really human?

Killed us. He could have killed us all. Easily. With that weapon. Couldn't even get a good look at it. But he didn't. He didn't. What the hell..?

"Alice! Grimnír!" cries Reisen suddenly. "He's getting away!"

[ ] Chase after the stranger and try to kill him.
[ ] Chase after the stranger and try to take his weapon.
[ ] Chase after the stranger and try to get some answers.
[ ] Let the stranger go.
[ ] A better plan? (Specify)
>> No. 12566
[X] Chase after the stranger and try to take his weapon.
>> No. 12567
[x] Chase after the stranger and try to get some answers.
>> No. 12581
>[x] Grab Alice and stop her

>The facts are incomplete, but with some careful analysis he can-
>he finds himself standing between Alice and the sleeping stranger

what the
>> No. 12606
[x] Chase after the stranger and try to get some answers.
>> No. 12624
[x] Chase after the stranger and try to get some answers.
>> No. 12648
Loading Commands:
[X] Chase after the stranger and try to get some answers.

---

Before they can reply, the stranger flees into the depths of the Forest of Magic. Grimnír can only blink in surprise as the man runs off with incredible speed and agility. The stranger races into the shadows as if possessed, and soon he disappears from their sight. Is this person really human?

"Alice! Grimnír!" cries Reisen suddenly. "Snap out of it!"

That man is dangerous. Alice couldn't even react to his movements. If the stranger didn't retreat, he could have killed her where she stood. He could have killed all of them with that weapon. It was only for a moment, so he couldn't get a good look at the trident.

"We can't go back without the reading," says Reisen. "And that man is getting away as we speak."

"Eh? W-what... I don't -" mumbles Alice, still confused.

They need to save Marisa.

"Let's go after him," says Grimnír as he stands himself up with his staff. This may be dangerous, but they need to push forward. Perhaps he can come up with a plan as they catch up with the stranger.

...

"Just stay away! I don't want to hurt you!" cries a desperate voice.

Before they can answer, a shower of spears wrapped in black energy fly at them from the trees below. Alice gasps loudly as she evades the attack. Grimnír barely avoids them as he follows. Reisen dodges the projectiles as she leads the chase.

"What the hell?" says Grimnír. "He can use magic?"

"T-that idiot almost hit Shanghai!" cries Alice. She looks positively furious.

"I think we should focus on not getting hit," warns Reisen. "I can't observe the details clearly, but those things seem to be made up of some powerful and dangerous energy."

They continue the chase, making sure to avoid the stranger's attacks. Alice looks quite angry, but even she seems to understand the danger of this situation. She keeps Shanghai close to her as she flies to the left of the lunarian rabbit. Grimnír stays along Reisen's right side. As a precaution, he raised a barrier around them, though he feels that this is a futile gesture against the dark energy.

At the lead, Reisen looks extremely worried for some reason, but she stays silent as they continue after the stranger. Unlike the timid girl he met at Eientei, this rabbit seems to be completely focused on the mission. Perhaps she did things like this in the past? For some reason, Grimnír feels that asking her would be a rude, if not dangerous, thing to do.

Finally, the stranger stops running. He is standing in the middle of a small clearing, and he seems to be waving his weapon threatingly at them.

"Damn your persistence," he cries angrily. "You are nothing but women and children!"

The three of them land a good distance from the stranger.

"Do you think we can kill him with just the three of us?" whispers Alice.

Grimnír shivers at the tone of her voice. She asked the question in a completely business-like manner.

"It's too dangerous," replies Reisen. "Maybe we can try to take the weapon instead. Dr. Yagokoro can easily create a cure if she can examine that trident closely."

Grimnír quickly shakes his head, interrupting both of them.

"I can't explain it right now, but something doesn't feel right," he says. "Maybe we should get some answers before we do anything rash."

Suddenly, the stranger waves mockingly at them.

"It's rude to speak about someone like that," he says. "Don't you have any manners at all? Even if you are girls, you shouldn't gossip about someone right in front of you!"

"Girls?" repeats Grimnír. He looks down at his clothes. He isn't wearing anything like a dress, though he must admit that the robe isn't exactly very masculine.

"And you there!" cries the stranger as he points at Grimnír. "Don't you think that your voice is too low for a woman?"

"What? Wait a sec," argues Grimnír. "I'm not a girl! Are you blind or something?"

The stranger gives him a puzzled look, then squints at him. After a few moments, he shakes his head.

"Well, whatever," he mumbles. "It doesn't really matter to a crazy man like me."

The stranger sneers at them threateningly.

"You all should leave before I lose control again," whispers the stranger. "I can't guarantee your safety. After all, my weapon hasn't tasted blood this day."

The trident glints in the sunlight as he speaks. As he looks at it closer, the weapon seems to be releasing a powerful crimson aura. Somehow, the desire to take the trident into his own hands grows stronger and stronger as Grimnír stares at it.

The bracelet around Grimnír's wrist seems to be growing warmer for some reason.

[ ] Try to kill the stranger.
[ ] Try to steal the stranger's weapon.
[ ] Try to subdue him without hurting him.
[ ] Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.
[ ] Try to talk to this "crazy" man. (Specify)
[ ] Use an item. (Specify)
[ ] Use magic. (Specify)
[ ] Custom
>> No. 12649
[ ] Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.
>> No. 12651
...I just noticed only now, but now I cannot stop seeing the :V in the thread title.

Quack.
>> No. 12654
{X} Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.
>> No. 12663
[X] Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.
[X] Use the needle
>> No. 12664
[!/] Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.
>> No. 12665
[x]Use magic
[X]Barrier the Trident from the man's hand.

Bro&, Providing practical use for impractical powers.
>> No. 12666
>>12665
>> No. 12681
Loading User Commands:
[X] Try to distract him while Reisen takes her reading.

---

"You should all leave before I grow impatient," whispers the stranger. "After all, my weapon hasn't yet tasted blood this day."

The tip of the trident glints brightly in the sunlight. As Grimnír looks at it, he observes a powerful crimson aura emanating from the weapon. He feels uneasy as the unnatural energy field starts to spread. This weapon is definitely dangerous. Just looking at it feels painful.

"Ugh..." he mutters, slowly turning away.

He can feel it inside him. Another feeling is growing from deep within. The pain only increases the temptation. Somehow, the desire to hold the weapon in his own hands becomes more and more difficult to resist. While the logical part of his mind says that it is foolish to try and take it, something deeper and more primal tells him that this thing belongs to him.

"Are you alright?" asks Alice. She looks concerned.

Grimnír shakes his head. Focus. They can't afford to make stupid mistakes here.

"The plan," he whispers. "We'll stick to the plan."

He takes a glance at Alice, then at Reisen, making sure that both of them understand. After a few moments, the lunarian rabbit clears her throat before speaking.

"I'll head back to report our findings," she declares loudly.

Reisen quickly flies off and out of sight. Grimnír and Alice watch her disappear into the distance before turning back to the stranger. He notes that she will need some time to double-back and use the device. They need to make sure that the stranger doesn't move from where he is standing.

Grimnír takes a couple of steps forward and gives the man a low bow. A short introduction and some small talk should work nicely. He makes sure to speak in a slow and calm manner.

"Good morning, good Sir," he says. "Forgive our prior indiscretions. I believe that we should start from the beginning."

"Really now," replies the stranger. "Very well then. I have all the time in the world, after all."

"My name is Grimnír, and this here beside me is Miss Alice," he continues. "We have come on behalf of our friend Marisa, whom you may have met yesterday."

"I have no name to give to you," he replies. "Even if I had one, I wouldn't give it to you suspicious lot. And I don't recall meeting anyone with that name yesterday."

"She is dressed in black and white, and she carries a witch's hat and broom," says Alice. "Are you sure you haven't met someone like that?"

The stranger frowns and grows visibly irritated.

"Black and white?" he repeats slowly. "Did this Marisa happen to be an energetic blonde girl with a single braid tied on one side?"

"So you met her then?" says Grimnír.

Suddenly, the stranger sneers at them.

"Met her?" he says. "That bitch tried to kill me in my sleep! She should be thankful that I didn't finish her off when I had the chance."

Grimnír blinks stupidly. Wait... what?

"So you two are with that assassin?" he continues as he brandishes his weapon. "Now I understand. You've come to finish me off, haven't you?"

"No, wait! Don't misunderstand! We didn't come here to fight!" cries Grimnír.

"Then why is your other friend aiming a gun at me?" replies the stranger. "An ambush? Such dishonorable tactics... you lot are disgraceful!"

D-damn! He knows about Reisen! She must be using the device from behind the trees.

"Don't think that I don't understand," continues the stranger. "Your Outsider weapons won't work on me. Not in my territory."

Suddenly, the terrible crimson energy engulfs the whole area. When they open their eyes, they find themselves standing in the same clearing, but the whole place is now tinted with the sick color of blood.

"I'll start with the rabbit girl," whispers the stranger. "I'm a monster, after all."

He licks his lips as he turns around to face the lunarian.

[ ] Try to protect Reisen.
[ ] Retreat from the clearing with Alice.
[ ] Attack the stranger while his back is turned.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 12682
[ ] Try to protect Reisen.
>> No. 12683
[!/] Attack the stranger while his back is turned.
>> No. 12684
{X} Attack the stranger while his back is turned.
>> No. 12687
[x] Try to protect Reisen.
>> No. 12688
[x] Try to protect Reisen.
>> No. 12690
[x] Try to protect Reisen.
>> No. 12734
[x] Try to protect Reisen.
>> No. 12845
Updates?
>> No. 12850
Server is currently undergoing emergency maintenance.

Please wait warmly for updates.

It's only a flesh wound.

---

Preliminary Report:
After finally recovering from fever-induced delirium, survivors claim that a certain stupid ice fairy caused this incident. Code-named "BAKA", this fairy was spotted throwing sharp icy projectiles at the server farm. When asked for a comment, she said that the servers should be free in the wild and not kept in such farms.

If you see this fairy, do not approach.

She is extremely stupid.
>> No. 12949
Loading User Commands:
[X] Try to protect Reisen.

---

"Your Outsider weapons won't work on me," says the stranger as he raises his weapon. "Not in my territory."

Suddenly, he pierces the trident deep into the earth. The ground rumbles as a terrible crimson energy engulfs the whole area. A single, blinding red flash fills the Forest of Magic, and in the next moment, they find themselves standing in the same clearing, but the whole place is tinted with the sick color of blood.

"I'll start with the rabbit girl," whispers the stranger. "I'm a monster, after all."

He licks his lips as he turns around to face the lunarian. Before Grimnír can react, the stranger raises his weapon toward the woods behind him. Several runic circles begin materializing around the stranger. Countless black spears begin to form around the glowing command runes. For a moment, the stranger hesitates.

"Welcome to my Scarlet Paradise," he whispers.

Suddenly, the black spears vanish, leaving the stranger standing alone with the trident. The sky begins to grow dark as they watch. Then, thousands of spears start falling from the heavens. The cursed weapons tear the forest apart as they crash into the trees.

Then, a single white speck begins to fly out of the chaotic black and red. Reisen barely dodges the swift projectiles that easily destroyed a section of the Forest of Magic. She manages to weave in and out of the barrage completely unscathed. All throughout the attack, she manages to maintain the device pointed at the stranger. Grimnír sighs in relief.

"Impressive," says the stranger. "Fast little rabbit, isn't she? I wonder how fast she can outrun a true predator..."

The stranger raises his trident high into the air before thrusting it deep into the earth. The forest rumbles again with the impact. Then, dark shadows begin seeping out of the crack in the ground. Slowly, they begin to take the form of red-eyed wolf-beasts.

"Tear her apart," whispers the stranger.
>> No. 12950
The shadowy wolf-beasts growl menacingly as they emerge from the cracks in the ground. Their cruel red eyes reflect the primal cunning of an animal. Their silver teeth glint under the crimson red sun above them.

"Tear her apart," whispers the stranger.

Without delay, the shadows rush toward Reisen. The lunarian's eyes widen as the beasts approach, and fear turns into terror as she watches. She can barely change direction in mid-air.

Grimnír can already the ending. The possibilities have run out, and there are no options left. There's no need to talk about the obvious outcome.

Reisen is going to die.

He closes his eyes tightly as he curses his weakness. If only he had chosen to be more cautious. If only he had planned this out more carefully. If only he had thought this through.

If only he had more power.

Power.

Grimnír opens his eyes, and finds himself alone in the vast darkness.

What would you do with more power?

Suddenly, a single image grows clearer in the darkness. There is someone lying in a hospital bed. Dressed in black and white, with bright blonde hair, she seems to be coughing violently. Someone in strange blue and red clothing is standing over her, administering an injection. The expression on the doctor's face is grim.

The image suddenly changes, showing a different scene. A strange woman seems to be standing off against a horde of insects. Her fiery red hair sways in the wind as she attacks with her bare fists. She seems to be wearing a green martial outfit as she fights the creatures alone. Behind her lies a tall steel gate. He can spy a large Mansion in the distance beyond it.

The image blurs once more, displaying another place. A barren wasteland, with only a single large river flowing along it. Nothing lives in the river, and the water is black and dead. However, a single person seems to be walking along its side. The man seems to be walking in a daze. Before he can observe further, the man collapses on the ground.

What would you do with more power?

...
>> No. 12951
Grimnír opens his eyes and raises his arm toward the shadow beasts.

Suddenly, the space between Reisen and the stranger blurs violently, transforming into an indescribably miasma of color and shape. The trees, the ground, the beasts, everything is swallowed into the chaos.

Then, he sees it. There is something monstrously huge within the energy field. Grimnír watches with mouth agape as a gargantuan serpent opens its mouth to swallow everything within the field. And just as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes into the chaos, as if it never were. Then, the ground begins to rumble as the trees, the ground, and the shadow beasts collapse into itself. As the vortex vanishes, the area falls into unearthly silence.

Reisen is standing safely on the ground, though her legs are shaking violently. She can barely keep herself standing, though she still has the device in her arms.

Alice is looking at the destruction in shock. Shanghai seems to be frozen in time as she hangs lifelessly beside the dollmaker.

However, the stranger is staring straight at him, as if seeing him for the first time.

After a few moments, he speaks.

"You have one as well," whispers the stranger carefully.

Grimnír blinks stupidly before replying.

"Have one?" he repeats.

Suddenly, the crimson field vanishes, leaving them all in an ordinary section of the Forest of Magic. The stranger looks at him thoughtfully before continuing.

"A curse," he whispers.

The stranger brushes some dust off his clothes.

"I suppose that we will be meeting again," says the stranger. "Try not to die too quickly."

Suddenly, the stranger takes his weapon and begins walking away. Did he just lose interest in fighting?

[ ] Let the stranger leave peacefully.
[ ] Call out to the stranger.
[ ] Stop the stranger from leaving.
[ ] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[ ] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
[ ] Examine the area.
[ ] Examine your things.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 12952
[x] Let the stranger leave peacefully.
[x] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[x] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
[x] Examine your things.
>> No. 12956
[X] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[X] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
>> No. 12967
[X] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[X] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
>> No. 12968
[x] Let the stranger leave peacefully.
[x] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[x] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
[x] Examine your things.
>> No. 12996
[x] Let the stranger leave peacefully.
[x] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[x] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
[x] Examine your things.
>> No. 13044
Loading User Commands:
[X] Let the stranger leave peacefully.
[X] Check Alice and Reisen for injuries.
[X] Ask Reisen if she completed the reading.
[X] Examine your things.

---

"You have one as well," whispers the stranger carefully.

"Have one?" says Grimnír. What is he talking about?

As quickly as it appeared, the crimson field vanishes, leaving them standing back in an ordinary section of the Forest of Magic. The stranger ponders for a moment before speaking again.

"A curse," he whispers. "Seems like we are fated to meet again. Try not to die too quickly."

Suddenly, the stranger takes his weapon and begins walking away. He quickly disappears into the depths of the Forest. Did he just lose interest in fighting?

For a moment, Grimnír considers going after him. But in the end, he doesn't say or do anything. That man is definitely dangerous. Even if they attack in full force, they probably can't win without taking a lot of damage in return.

When they mentioned Marisa, he had said that it was she who attacked him first. He may not be telling the whole truth, but something is wrong here. This doesn't fit at all with the story Wriggle told them. But he understands one logical fact.

One of them must be lying.

Suddenly, he feels someone tugging urgently at his robe.

"Are you alright?" cries Alice desperately. "A-are you hurt anywhere? That was too reckless! What were you thinking?"

Grimnír turns to face the dollmaker. Gone is the rage and hatred from earlier. Her face is instead filled with worry and concern. She looks a lot cuter like this, he notes. He smiles sheepishly as he replies.

"I'm fine, don't worry about it," he says.

"A-are you sure?" says Alice. "Last time, you fell unconscious from the strain."

"Yeah, I'm fine," replies Grimnír.

Upon saying that, he realizes that it is completely true. He doesn't feel tired or exhausted. Strange. He takes quick mental note of this observation. Every other time he used that power, he always fell unconscious. Something must have changed.

"Well, if you say so.." says Alice.

"If you have the energy to worry like that, I'd assume that you are unhurt as well." says Grimnír.

Alice blushes slightly, looking away from him.

"I-I'm just fine!" she says, her voice a little bit higher pitched than usual.

"Well, I suppose that Reisen is -"

His eyes widen and his throat grows dry. The lunarian is kneeling down on the grass, her hands covering her face. The device is lying beside her undamaged. Without another word, he and Alice quickly run to the rabbit's side. Grimnír starts examining her for injuries.

"Reisen!" cries Grimnír. "What happened! Are you hurt anywhere?"

The lunarian slowly shakes her head before looking up at him.

"I-It's nothing," she mumbles weakly. "Just a headache, I think. You don't need to worry about it."

She doesn't look Grimnír in the eye when she says that. Seems like she won't say anything more. He gives her a small nod to show that he understands.

"She looks fine," he says. "But just in case, we should hurry back to Eientei."

"Eh? B-but what about Marisa?" says Alice.

Reisen grabs the device and stands up. She examines it closely before turning to them with a smile.

"I got the reading," she says. "We can return unless you have other suggestions."

Grimnír pauses for only a split-second before replying.

"Let's head back to Eientei," he says.
>> No. 13045
The flight back to Eientei was uneventful. Once again, Grimnír spots the red-lantern stand from before. The owner seems to have a couple of customers. One of them is a boyishly-dressed girl with long violet hair. Her pants have several paper charms stuck on them. The other is a small blue-haired girl with crystalline wings. She seems to be arguing with the owner about something.

For a moment, Grimnír considers heading down to have a snack, but decides against it. They really don't have the time to take it easy. Perhaps he can check out the stand when this incident is over.

...

"Good work, everyone," says Dr. Yagokoro. "You got the reading, I assume?"

Reisen carefully hands the device over to her. The lunarian doctor smiles as she examines the results for a few minutes. Then, she suddenly frowns. She looks up at Reisen and whispers something to her. The rabbit girl nods solemnly. Dr. Yagokoro looks back at the device thoughtfully before speaking again.

"I'll need some time to study these results," she says finally. "You should all get some food and rest while you can."

Dr. Yagokoro quickly leaves the room with the device. She seems to be heading to the Laboratory wing of Eientei.

"I am going to prepare lunch," says Reisen with a smile. "Please wait patiently until it is ready."

The rabbit girl gives them a low bow before heading out. She turns toward the direction of the kitchen before disappearing from sight.

"I'm going to check on Marisa," says Alice.

Without another word, the dollmaker makes for the Hospital wing. She looks pretty worried.

"Umm..."

Grimnír blinks stupidly for a few moments as he realizes that he is suddenly alone. Everyone seems to be busy with something, but he doesn't really have any task to do until Dr. Yagokoro analyzes the results.

He examines the things in his sack for a moment. Everything seems to be there. Thankfully, nothing dropped while they were travelling. Nothing seems out of place except -

"Huh?" says Grimnír aloud.

He carefully pulls out a small sealed envelope. He is completely certain that he never placed this thing in his sack before. A few tiny words seem to be written on the back.

"For your eyes only," it reads. The handwriting seems to be unremarkable.

Grimnír doesn't know where it came from, but somehow he feels that it is extremely important to follow this instruction. He quickly pockets the envelope before slinging his sack behind him.

[ ] Look for Dr. Yagokoro in the Laboratory wing.
[ ] Follow Alice to Marisa's room in the Hospital wing.
[ ] Head after Reisen in the kitchen.
[ ] Return to your room and open the envelope.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 13046
[X] Inventory
A neatly handwritten note. Alice wrote it.
A short pamphlet. "A Draft of Spell Card Rules"
A small sack. It can hold a lot of items.
A long walking stick. It looks sturdy.
A hooded cloak. It can cover your head from the rain.
A set of grey robes. It has many pockets.
A small pouch full of mushrooms. You have no idea what they do.
A beginner's magic book. "Basic Magical Theory and Simple Applications"
An ornate silver bracelet. Engraved on it is a serpent biting its own tail.
A spell card. "Logos Sign, 「Calculated Risk」"
(5) Several blank spell cards. You can inscribe spells on them.
A small calling card. The name "Yukari Yakumo" is written on one side.
A large syringe from Dr. Yagokoro. It is filled with a luminescent blue substance.
A small sealed envelope. You aren't sure where it came from.
>> No. 13048
[ ] Return to your room and open the envelope.
>> No. 13049
[X] Return to your room and open the envelope.
>> No. 13054
[x] Return to your room and open the envelope.

might as well, before something else comes up
>> No. 13058
{X} Return to your room and open the envelope.
>> No. 13070
[x] Return to your room and open the envelope.
By simple elimination, this choice either leads to Yukari or Wriggle. inb4 Rinnosuke route.
>> No. 13081
>>12330
>Grimnír is almost out of earshot when Dr. Yagokoro speaks. However, he catches her final instruction to the lunarian rabbit girl.
>"Don't use your eyes."

>>13044
>The lunarian is kneeling down on the grass, her hands covering her face.
>"I-It's nothing," she mumbles weakly. "Just a headache, I think. You don't need to worry about it."
>She doesn't look Grimnír in the eye when she says that.
Gosh, I think Reisen may have used her eyes.
>> No. 13095
Loading User Commands:
[X] Return to your room and open the envelope.

---

"Huh?"

Grimnír carefully pulls out a small sealed envelope. He is sure that he never placed this thing inside his sack. Where did it come from? He examines it closely and notices a few tiny words written on the back.

"For your eyes only," it reads. The handwriting is unremarkable.

He doesn't know where it came from, but for some reason, he feels that it is extremely important to open this alone. He quickly pockets the envelope before slinging his sack behind him. After thinking for a bit, he starts heading for his room in Eientei. The envelope might contain something important.

The trip back to his room is completely uneventful. In fact, the hallways of Eientei seem to be oddly deserted. Marisa said that the place was usually full of activity, with the rabbits running about everywhere. But ever since they came here, he hasn't met anyone aside from Reisen and Dr. Yagokoro. He wonders idly if Marisa was exaggerating when she told that story.

"..."

After making sure that he is alone in the room, Grimnír drops his sack and slowly pulls out the envelope. He hesitates for a moment. What if this is a trap? He will have no way of getting help in time. Or perhaps this might contain a shocking truth? He may not look at the others the same way again. He spends several minutes considering the possibilities. A letter laced with poison? An anonymous death threat? A secret location for the best coffee in Gensokyo? A message from his future self? A spell of untold power?

"..."

This is stupid. All this guessing is a waste of time and energy. He might as well open it and find out. After nodding to himself one last time, he quickly rips the top of the envelope open.

"Huh?" says Grimnír aloud. "There isn't anything in here but..."

"Hi there!" says a tiny voice.

He blinks stupidly as something strange crawls out of the opening. Then, he drops the envelope and steps back.

"W-w-what the hell?" cries Grimnír.

A tiny girl quickly crawls out of the envelope and looks up at him. Looks like she can fit in the palm of his hand quite comfortably. She is wearing a pink and purple dress with a pink, poofy hat upon her long blonde hair. Her deep gold eyes blink curiously as he stares at her. A few moments later, she smiles brightly and waves her arms energetically at Grimnír.

"Nice to see you again," says the tiny girl.

"Y-Y-Yukari?" stammers Grimnír.

Is he losing his mind?

"Looks like it worked perfectly," she says.

She motions for Grimnír to wait. Then, she pulls out a familiar pink parasol out of a tiny portal beside her. After examining it, she looks up at Grimnír again. She has a mischievous smile on her face.

"Surprised?" says mini-Yukari. "I told you that I'd help out. I can't just watch Marisa get killed, can I?"

"But.. how did you... I can't even... this is... what the... I don't see how..." mutters Grimnír.

"Don't think about it too hard," says mini-Yukari. "If you keep trying to comprehend things with traditional logic, your brain might explode."

He plants his palm hard upon his face.

"This is... just...."

Insane.

[ ] Custom
>> No. 13096
>>13095

...I'm at a loss for words.
>> No. 13097
I thought it supposed to be magical girls that get the cute little mascots?
>> No. 13098
[x] Unavoidable. You MUST play with Yukari.
>> No. 13102
[x] Unavoidable. You MUST play with Yukari.
>> No. 13105
[x] "...Sparta."
>> No. 13108
> Looks like she can fit in the palm of his hand quite comfortably.
She's the size of a fig, isn't she? Oh this should end well...
>> No. 13109
[x] Unavoidable. And Goddamned Cute. You MUST play with Yukari.
>> No. 13111
Oh dear god.

[x] Unavoidable. You MUST play with Yukari. (gently!)
>> No. 13121
I'm imagining a Yukari version of this.
>> No. 13125
Loading User Commands:
[X] Custom

---

"But... how did you... I can't even... this is really... what the heck... I don't see how..." mumbles Grimnír.

"Don't think about things too hard," says Yukari. "If you keep trying to comprehend things with logic, your brain might explode."

He plants his palm hard upon his face.

"This is... just..."

Insane. No, that word isn't enough to describe the situation. This can't be possible. Forget physics - this is against anything and everything he accepts about reality. Even in a world full of magic and strange powers, this is just crazy. How did she even - no, forget how - why did she do such a - can't see how this can possibly - doesn't make a grain of sense - can't even imagine this in - my god, what is she thinking?

Grimnír's head pounds violently and painfully. Then, something inside cracks.

"Hey, are you alright up there?" asks Yukari as she takes a few tiny steps closer.

He looks down at the tiny girl. She looks small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. As he cocks his head to look at her, his lips begin forming a wide smile. The tiny girl utters a little gasp, then she shuffles her feet nervously.

"Ara~" whispers Yukari. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

This idea in his head goes against everything logical and reasonable in his mind. Perhaps even against his own principles and moral code. But there isn't any other thought that he can focus on but this. Even the other voices in his head grow mute compared to this almost excruciatingly delicious thought in his mind. Until finally, only one thing remains in his mind.

He must PLAY with this little girl.

Grimnír's eyes become glassy as his smile turns into a huge maniacal grin. In one swift motion, he bends down and grabs the miniature Yukari. The girl squeals in surprise as he does so. He raises her up close to examine her.

"Ugh.. don't do that," says Yukari as she regains her balance. "That makes me really dizzy..."

The tiny girl stands herself up and looks straight at him. She is holding her parasol close to her chest. From this close, he can really appreciate the detail.

"The craftsmanship is incredible!" cries Grimnír. "I've never seen anything like it! Even Alice's dolls don't have such realism!"

"W-what are you - HEY!" argues Yukari.

He promptly ignores her as his fingers carefully grab one of her hands. It feels incredibly soft and it's warm too. What kind of technology is in this thing? What kind of magic could support such realism? Before he realizes it, he is holding her hand with two fingers, enjoying the sweet sensation upon his fingertips.

"Wow," he mumbles. "It feels nice. It even smells nice..."

The little Yukari quickly looks away, embarrassed.

"B-but we don't know each other that well yet," whispers the girl.

Suddenly, he finds himself waving her whole arm up and down. The joints on this thing are very well made. He can't even see any seams or creases on the arm. The flexibility is surprisingly organic, and the proportions are all accurate to the millimeter.

"Hey! T-That hurts!" cries Yukari suddenly.

He let's go of her immediately. The little girl sighs in relief before looking up at him angrily. But something else catches his attention. Her hat - her dress - her parasol - even her shoes look perfectly crafted and realistic. What kind of material was used for such accurate miniatures?

Very gently, he strokes her hat to feel the fabric. Yukari lowers her head to hide her face. Then, he carefully pokes at her shoes. She giggles a bit at the clumsy gesture, telling him to stop. For a moment, he feels against the tiny parasol in her hand. She only looks up with a puzzled expression. Finally, he starts poking at her dress. The tiny girl laughs and struggles in vain as he examines her. Her face grows a bit red as he feels over her skirt.

Then, he feels something odd. His fingers move down to the same spot to confirm a very strange sensation. Soft and fragile, it almost feels like pudding as he rubs over it. Very realistic, indeed. He wishes that he had some tools, perhaps a stirring rod or a surgical knife, to examine her more closely.

"Oh my~" whispers the tiny Yukari. "How naughty~"

Suddenly, something sharp stabs into his finger.

"Yeeouch!" cries Grimnír. "That hurt!"

His vision grows clearer with the pain. When he looks down, his hands are already empty. It takes him a few moments to realize that the miniature Yukari is already hovering right in front of his face. Before he can say anything, she smacks his head with the parasol. Hard.

"Oww!" says Grimnír.

"Pervert," says Yukari simply. "The border between your mind and your loins is much thinner than I thought."

"Wait, what was I doing again?" asks Grimnír.

For some reason, his memories of the last few minutes are blurred and unclear.

"Being stupid," replies Yukari. She seems irritated. Did something happen?

She lands gently on his right shoulder before speaking again.

"Anyway, like I said earlier," she says. "I'm here to assist you. You said that Marisa is dying."

Grimnír pauses for a moment, confused. Then, he remembers.

"Yes, she's hurt," he says. "Dr. Yagokoro sent us to collect some readings from the weapon that caused the injury. It was risky, but we got it somehow. She's studying the data at her Lab right now."

"I see," says Yukari. "I'll do what I can to help. Just remember that this form has only a fraction of my power, so I can only do so much."

"This form?" repeats Grimnír.

"I got the idea from a friend of mine," she says. "This method allows me to exist here while being with Reimu at Youkai Mountain at the same time. She won't notice anything unusual this way."

"I don't get it," he replies, scratching his head. "Did you split yourself or something?"

"Not exactly," says Yukari. "All you need to understand is that I'm here with you now. I'm also with the shrine maiden to investigate that other problem. There isn't any real issue with that, I think."

"..."

He still doesn't get it, but before he can ask her to explain, someone knocks on the door.

"Grim, are you in here?" says a familiar voice. "Lunch is ready at the dining room."

"Ah, gimme a sec, Reisen," he replies.

He takes a few steps before realizing that Yukari is still on his shoulder. She smiles mischievously at him, but she doesn't tell him what to do next.

Grimnír pauses to think.
[ ] Hide Yukari in your sack. Leave the sack in the room.
[ ] Hide Yukari in your sack. Bring the sack with you.
[ ] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.
[ ] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. Tell her to pretend to be a doll.
[ ] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. Act like she isn't there.
[ ] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. No need to hide anything.
[ ] Custom
>> No. 13126
[X] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.
>> No. 13129
[ ] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.

Moe~
>> No. 13133
[X] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.
>> No. 13135
[X] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. No need to hide anything.

I'm assuming we don't have a front pocket.
>> No. 13137
[X] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. Act like she isn't there.

Elephant in the room, maximum hilarity potential.
>> No. 13138
[ ] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.
>> No. 13139
[X] Let Yukari sit on your shoulder. No need to hide anything.
>> No. 13143
[x] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.
>> No. 13146
[x] Swallow Yukari whole. She can just gap out of your stomach.

Obligatory vore option.
>> No. 13147
>>13146

Thanks, Scorn.
>> No. 13148
>>13146

Fuck, can't unsee!
Brb, fapping.
>> No. 13149
>>13146
Don't give her ideas.
>> No. 13150
Somehow, I have this feeling Yukari will nick some of our stuff if we put her in our pocket.

Best to avoid that by:

[X] Let Yukari sit on your head. It feels somehow... right.
>> No. 13151
there are other options being that we're in the land of magic....

Pic Related.
>> No. 13152
>>13151

So, you want us to put our hand back up her dress?
Good thinking, Anon!
>> No. 13153
Loading User Commands:
[X] Hide Yukari in your pocket. Tell her to stay quiet.

---

Grimnír still doesn't get it, but before he can ask Yukari to explain, someone knocks on the door.

"Grim, are you in here?" says a familiar voice. "Lunch is ready at the dining room."

"Ah, gimme a sec, Reisen," he replies. "I'll be right there."

He takes a few steps before realizing that Yukari is still on his shoulder. He turns to her questioningly, but she only returns the gesture with a mischievous smile. Seems like she won't tell him what to do next.

Grimnír pauses for a moment to think.

"Yukari," he whispers. "Can you stay quiet for a while? You can hide in my pocket for the time being."

"Eh?" says Yukari. "Now why should I do that~"

"Well, umm..." mumbles Grimnír.

The tiny girl's smile widens as he hesitates. She seems to be enjoying this. He clears his throat before speaking.

"I believe that we should make this our little secret," he says, keeping his voice as neutral as possible.

"Ara~" says Yukari. "You want me to be your little secret? How suspicious~"

"Err..."

"But I like it," she whispers.

Before he can react, the tiny girl jumps into his robe. His eyes widen in surprise, and he barely remembers to keep his voice down.

"W-wait!" whispers Grimnír. "Where did you go?"

Suddenly, Yukari's head pops out from his left front pocket. He stares blankly as the tiny girl winks at him. A sly smile forms on her face as he watches. Then, he realizes that his robe doesn't have front pockets!

"W-what the -" he says.

"I'll get a better view from here," says Yukari. "Don't worry, I didn't damage your robe."

Before he can reply, her head disappears into the front pocket. Then, the front pocket itself disappears, too. Wait, what did she - when did she - how did she... ah forget it. Thinking too much about it might just end in something worse than a regular headache. Grimnír shakes his head and sighs.

He might as well head out for some lunch.

...

"We will talk about the results after we eat, and that is final," says Dr. Yagokoro.

"But we need to save Marisa right now!" cries Alice angrily. "Don't you care about what happens to her at all?"

"Believe me. I do," Dr. Yagokoro says. "But I am not going to explain anything until you calm down. The last thing we need is someone rushing out and doing reckless things instead of following a well prepared plan."

"W-what are you talking about?" says Alice.

"Reisen told me everything," says Dr. Yagokoro. "You were going try to kill that human in the Forest when I gave specific instructions against it. We're lucky that you all got back alive."

"B-But -" stammers Alice.

"You endangered yourself and everyone around you," says Dr. Yagokoro. "What would you have done if someone got killed? Reisen or your friend could both be in bodybags right now. Would you take responsibility for that?"

Alice glares at the lunarian for a moment. Then, she slowly lowers her head.

"..."

Dr. Yagokoro calmly takes her seat at the table. After a few moments, Alice follows suit, but she takes the seat farthest from the lunarian doctor. Shanghai floats listlessly beside her. Reisen, still shaking slightly, takes a seat across and between the other two. Grimnír takes the next seat, which is across from Alice, with Reisen sitting beside him on the right.

They start eating lunch in silence.

The atmosphere feels very heavy.
[ ] Try to talk to Alice.
[ ] Try to talk to Reisen.
[ ] Try to talk to Dr. Yagokoro.
[ ] Try to talk to Yukari.
[ ] Stay silent and eat.

Optional:
[ ] Talk about... (Specify)
[ ] Attempt to lighten up the atmosphere (Specify)
[ ] Custom
>> No. 13154
[ ] Try to talk to Yukari.
[ ] Attempt to lighten up the atmosphere (What would Marisa do...)
>> No. 13155
[X] Status
Alice - B
Marisa - C
Yukari - C
Wriggle - D
>> No. 13159
[x] Try to talk to Alice.
[x] Talk about dolls and puppetry magic.
[x] Talk about Shanghai.
[x] Talk about her play.
>> No. 13170
[X] Try to talk to Alice.
[X] Talk about dolls and puppetry magic.
[X] Talk about Shanghai.
[X] Talk about her play.
>> No. 13195
[X] Try to talk to Alice.
[X] Talk about dolls and puppetry magic.
[X] Talk about Shanghai.
[X] Talk about her play.
>> No. 13235
Server reconnected at: >>13234