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File 135485125053.jpg - (739.39KB, 768x1024, BathingBug.jpg) [iqdb]
26706 No. 26706
Previous thread: >>24655

[X] Since she's offering I'd like to share some of the latent worries caused by today.

Although I don’t want to burden Wriggle with my worries, getting them out in the open should help. “It was just crazy today when Reimu kicked the door off of its hinges. She looked far more menacing than any youkai and started making various accusations about Miss Keine. Most were rather crude, and Reimu also threatened her with some 'secret' that she knows. Father and Mr. Yaguu arrived to stop her from doing more, and she left saying that Keine's position was created solely to spite her. If what Reimu said is right, the more it seems that the biggest thing trying to subvert the order of Gensokyo is the better part of the council. Those old fools… have they no respect for history?” There goes the water and the shampoo… oh that feels nice. I don’t know how I’ll manage to wash my hair myself now that I’ve felt how Wriggle does it.

“I’m not really sure about all that, but I know that Keine isn't someone who'd abuse her power… or looks,” answers Wriggle. “I think Reimu was just driven to say those things in anger. Cheer up though: the village has a bright future since those old men won't be around forever, and will be replaced by people with more sense, like you.” Now she's moving to the back... ah, that feels so nice.

“Wriggle, that really feels nice. I can't think of anything else to say that doesn’t come off sounding cheesy…” I say. I really can’t say much else; something like 'I don't know how I could have lived without this' or something equally worse would ruin the moment. I think I've cleaned up everywhere else as Wriggle rinses me off. I stand up to let her sit down.

“Yuki, could you wash my back now? I'd ask you to do my hair, but with these, it's better to be careful,” Wriggle says, pointing to her antennae. I nod and start working the soap into a lather before I try my best to replicate what she did. Leaning into my hands, she says, “Yuki, don't worry so much; just do it normally and it'll feel nice.” I adjust my scrubbing, making sure everything is clean then focus on the spots she's most responsive.

I need to get something else off my mind. “I'm surprised at the moment as I have a tendency to pass out from certain material or thoughts… but the last few weeks- Sorry if I'm-” Wriggle interrupts me.

“I understand… you're not the only one who knows people who like talking about perverted things. I bet that womanizer was the one who showed you whatever it was you’ve seen, right? I have a pretty good idea of what it was like as Kurumi seems to have similar stuff. I'm not fond of it either, but this is different: I don't mind spending time like this.” I stop paying attention to what I’m doing as she talks, and I find my hands slipping off her back and under her arms. I hope she doesn't take this the wrong way.

“Sorry, my hands slipped,” I apologize as I get my hands out from under her arms. I think one of Kamui's comics had a scenario like this in it.

She giggles, responding, “Yuki, don't worry about it. I know you wouldn't hurt me or do anything that I don’t want.” Cleaning finished, she rinses herself off and heads towards the tub, and I follow suit.

Soon after getting in, Wriggle sighs contentedly. “Ahhh~ This is the first time I've been in a Japanese style bath. I actually had to ask Kurumi for some advice.” Come to think of it, I remember that Yuuka’s place had a western style bathroom.

I respond, “How did you clean up besides the stream when we first met? I ask as I'm trying to remember what's at your mother's house.”

“A shower and bathtub, though she never told us how she got them. But this is nice, especially with you,” Wriggle answers. As things fall into a silence, I feel her taking my hand in hers as we enjoy the moment.

My relaxation gets interrupted by her giggling. I look, and end up seeing her breasts above the water. “Sorry for laughing, Yuki, but I realized I can say that this isn't the first time you’ve see me bathing, and I don't mind at all. I hope I don't sound like a Yukari for saying that!”

I couldn't say that at all, as she's not flaunting anything towards people but rather revealing herself just for me. “No way. I couldn’t think that at all since it isn't true. I know you would never be that sort of woman.” Looking at Wriggle like this, I'm not sure if I could really say no if she were to ask something of me.

We get back to relaxing for a bit before getting out. As I get out first, I hear a gasp… wait, Wriggle just saw me completely nude! As I blush, I hope that her gasp was made in a good way. I head over to the dry towels and put one around my waist, then take another over to the tub as Wriggle gets out. I must admit it’s a very good view: the angle is such that I can see a good amount, including the curve of her butt. Gah, time to divert my mind from that; I'm just a nudge away from giving into my impulses, such as if Wrigg- Oh what the... wait, I can think about such things without really panicking. I guess talking with her was helpful.

My thoughts are interrupted by Wriggle. “You know Yuki, you're definitely attractive yourself, and I think I know how you feel after that day. Kurumi said something like bigger isn’t better, but no matter what, the important thing is that Yuki is Yuki.” She must be referring to the day when we first met.

Any thoughts I might have had because of Kurumi's remark are swept away by what came after. “Just as Wriggle being Wriggle is the important thing, not size,” I reply. The rest of the drying goes quietly but I know she liked that. Compared to earlier, I can't help but feel a great sense of ease.


After we make sure the bathroom is clean, we head back to the living room to see if my parents are home. Father is sitting down and reading, and he looks up as we walk in. “Your mother is making dinner. I also apologize for this morning; if I kept a better eye on things, the incident wouldn't have happened. You should focus on relaxing today and leave the poking around for tomorrow. I know you're curious about what Reimu mentioned, and I hope you're not too worried.”

“He isn't as I helped him out, Mr. Kojima,” Wriggle answers.

Father chuckles as he answers, “That's very good to hear; you two should go to the dinner table as your mother should be finishing soon.” That sounds like a good idea so we go towards the kitchen and help mother set out the food. Dinner's quiet, likely due to today's incident. I’m not exactly eager to let Mother find out about the bath as she'd have something incredibly embarrassing to say. The rest goes without real note, and Wriggle and I head downstairs afterwards.


“Yuki, were you going to ask your dad tomorrow about how Keine’s position was founded?” Wriggle asks. That's a good question.

I answer, “I probably could ask him, and I'm definitely going to get some advice on who to ask, but…”

[ ] I'll definitely ask him as he’ll have an idea
[ ] I don't want to bother him with this, at least not so soon.


[ ] We should see Akyuu as I'm certain her family kept a record of it
[ ] I think asking Miss Keine would be good, though we'd have to word it carefully. I think she could use some friendly company anyways.
[ ] We should try to catch Mr. Yaguu as I'm sure he knows about it.
Expand all images
>> No. 26721
[x] I don't want to bother him with this, at least not so soon.
[x] We should see Akyuu as I'm certain her family kept a record of it.
>> No. 26725
[ ] I'll definitely ask him as he’ll have an idea


[ ] I think asking Miss Keine would be good, though we'd have to word it carefully. I think she could use some friendly company anyways.
>> No. 26730
[X] I'll definitely ask him as he’ll have an idea
[X] I think asking Miss Keine would be good, though we'd have to word it carefully. I think she could use some friendly company anyways.

Father is mostly likely going to give us a (relatively) unbiased perspective, a good foundation for gauging Keine with to see her perspective.
>> No. 26735
[x] I don't want to bother him with this, at least not so soon.
[x] We should see Akyuu as I'm certain her family kept a record of it.

Keep it in the family, but be cautious.
>> No. 26741
First vote wins.
>> No. 26742
[X] I'll definitely ask him as he’ll have an idea
[X] I think asking Miss Keine would be good, though we'd have to word it carefully. I think she could use some friendly company anyways.

>> No. 26745
Update should be up in about a week.
>> No. 26858
Life's gotten busier than I first thought so I may be late with the update. I'm also considering doing another christmas short this year but I can't make any promises.
>> No. 26867
Take your time. I'm traveling for research purposes, and the guest internet won't let me get on IRC, so I can't proofread. I'll be back on the 21st.
>> No. 26909
New reader here, really enjoying the story so far.
Keep it up!
>> No. 26924
File 135631698072.jpg - (361.03KB, 638x900, disstressedkeine.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] I'll definitely ask him as he’ll have an idea.
[X] I think asking Miss Keine would be good, though I'll have to word it carefully. I think she could use some friendly company anyways.

“I think we should ask Keine first, partially because I want to know what her side of the story is and because she seemed like she needed cheering up. I know she seemed confident about her opinion before Reimu showed up, but I think that may have happened because she deals with people on the council. I'm definitely going to talk to father as well,” I reply. I think Keine’s position of village guardian is one where she answers to the council instead of being a part of it.

Wriggle replies, “I'm curious about that too, as she's been very understanding of me and I want to return the favor. We can go see her tomorrow, but for now, can we look at some of those fantasy comics before bed?”

“Sure, I think I'm about to start the second set,” I answer as I pick a volume up to read.

We read the part introducing Orson, who seems very mellow until his friend is attacked and, well… gets angry, to say the least. Part of me wonders if Mr. Yaguu would have a similar reaction if he and Aya were in the same situation.

“Wow… I didn't know some people could fall into such a rage,” Wriggle remarks.

“It's not common, but some people do have that tendency, and I’ve heard of a few youkai that do, too. Akyuu told me that it's something to be careful about as that trait often leads to the person's death. I think she was referring to a rage so fierce that it blinds one to even their well being. I don't think even Mr. Yaguu is that bad, though,” I respond.

“I can imagine certain youkai being like that, but I'd rather not have such a trait. I’d prefer to win my battles with smarts instead of suicidal brute force. Still, this sort of unstoppable rage makes for more enjoyable reading. I mean I know how senseless it is, but it’s still entertaining in its own way.”

“I agree on both parts: I'll never be or want to become that sort of berserker. Back when I wound up verbally blasting Mr. Miyamoto, I was very shaken afterwards. I would hate to see how someone feels after such a rage wears off; I doubt they could really handle it.” I barely finish speaking before I yawn. Today must have taken more of toll than I thought.

Wriggle says, “Going to bed early wouldn't be a bad idea, especially with that tendency of yours.” I chuckle a bit; what else can do I when she's undeniably right? I put the book away as she changes into her pajamas, then follow suit. We both climb into the bed, and her warm embrace helps me fall asleep within seconds.


I wake up feeling pretty good… and for once, not groggy. I notice Wriggle moving around as well. “Sorry if I woke you up,” I say.

She answers, “Don't be. I think it's about time to get moving anyways.” She points towards the sunlight coming in through the window. We get dressed quickly in order to catch Father before he goes to work. We don't look at each other since such a distraction would only slow us down.

We get upstairs and see Father sitting at the table, nearly finished with breakfast. “Pardon me father, but may I ask about your experiences concerning Miss Keine and how she got her position?” I ask, sitting across from him.

He appears to think a bit before speaking. “I remember it well, as it was one of my first days on the council. The village needed someone to protect them until Reimu could handle things herself, so the elders called a vote. Not knowing any better, I blindly supported it without considering the details. I later learned that the village didn't have a protector at that point because Reimu’s mother, Namami, was protecting the village.” He sighs. “That day taught me an important lesson about why you shouldn’t go along with things blindly, something I see you're trying to learn now.”

I nod, glad to hear his praise. “After hearing what Reimu said about Keine’s position, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Wriggle and I are planning on asking a few other people, starting with Miss Keine. From how she looked after Reimu left, I think she could use some cheering up.”

“That's good of you; the incident shook her up pretty badly. I will warn you to be careful with your words when speaking with her, though. If you want to know more about how her position was created, Lady Akyuu has records of the meeting and I’m sure Hayato remembers it. I'll be looking into this myself as after what happened yesterday, I think it's something I should know about,” father replies.


After a fairly normal breakfast, even with Wriggle around, we go towards the school where Miss Keine likely is there. I gently knock on the door. “Who is it?” A soft voice calls out from the other side.

“Yukikaki and Wriggle, Miss Kamishirasawa,” I answer. She soon opens the door, letting us in. “We don't blame you for what happened and...” I try to speak before Miss Keine interrupts me.

“I know, Lady Akyuu’s already told me about the history behind my position, and of the anti-Hakurei agenda some of the elders have. She also apologized for not doing this sooner. It turns out the position existed for a long time, mainly to protect the village if the shrine maiden was away handling some sort of incident. As times became more peaceful, the position ended up vacant as the Hakurei clan was able to cover it themselves. I was so eager to get into the position that I didn't think about what might happen, or that the words of the elders may be suspect. I guess I should have listened to Mokou and Rinnosuke more, as they both warned me to look out for any catches to the job.”

I listen intently before replying, “Yesterday appears to be a wake-up call for how the village actually works.”

Keine nods. “I've been thinking about what to do in response to this. The more I think about it, the more evident the elders' moves against Reimu become. I remember Mr. Hayato said something about a gap that they were taking advantage of. He also argued for me to be under his watch, which they refused, which might be because of his status as the oldest moderate in the council. He should know the recent history well, perhaps better than Lady Akyuu's records.”

Keine’s being very helpful, but it’s a little strange that she's giving away so much information. Wriggle speaks up, “Pardon me, but you're revealing an awful lot of things that sound very sensitive, so I have to ask… why?”

“Lady Akyuu said you two might come asking around today, and that you two could be trusted. It's almost scary how well she knows you, Yukikaki. She thought that bit of history would be useful and didn't want you two to waste time visiting for information she shared with me.” She smiles at us. “I'm glad you two came to visit me though; I’m starting to feel better now that I've vented some things.” After that last remark she guides us out the door; we go along as we don't want to hold up her work any longer.


“Sorry if you couldn't get a word earlier Wriggle,” I say.

She shakes her head. “Nah, it’s ok. I don't know as much as you do about this stuff and it was nice to listen. I'm content with being there for moral support.” We reach the end of the street, and she turns to me. “Yuki, think we can hang around the clearing a bit before continuing? It's pretty early and I'd like to relax closer to nature, but if you think going to see the head hunter now would be a good idea, I can wait.”

[ ] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”
[ ] “If we wait too long, he might be too busy hunting…”
-[ ] “But go ahead anyways, Wriggle. I'll catch up when I'm done.”

I'm glad to hear that.
>> No. 26931
[X] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”

Wriggle Time! GO GO GO!
>> No. 26932
[X] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”

More Wriggle is always welcome.
>> No. 26933
[X] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”
I could get behind this, yes.
>> No. 26934
[c] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”

Wriggle time. No guts, no glory.
>> No. 26939
[T] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”

Hopping on the Landslide Victory For Wriggle bandwagon
>> No. 26955
[x] “If we wait too long, he might be too busy hunting…”

Gonna miss important information, yo.
>> No. 26968
Taking a break in the clearing wins. Update should be up in a about a week.
>> No. 27023
File 135730356363.jpg - (285.24KB, 850x1393, Wriggleinforest.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] “That actually sounds quite nice and he's probably still busy.”

“That actually sounds quite nice. He's probably still busy, anyways,” I answer, knowing he's usually busy at this time of day.

We walk down the path away from the school, and it doesn't take long to reach the clearing. We sit down, spending a few moments in silence. Wriggle leans back with her eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths of morning air tinted with the scents of the forest around us. She opens an eye and notices me looking. As it closes, she smiles. “Ahh~ Breathing in the forest air feels so nice.”

“You’re right about that. There’s something about it that makes me feel more at ease myself,” I reply. While the clearing is been a nice spot to relax, I can't help but notice being here has a bit more of an effect on me.

A few more silent moments pass before Wriggle asks, “Are you planning on visiting Reimu?”

“Not until tomorrow at the earliest. I'm planning on bringing a decent sized donation with me as well to help ease things a bit. This rift that seems to exist between her and the council won't be easy to fix.”

“Yuki, are these elders really as bad as they sound? What I've heard about them recently doesn’t make a particularly nice picture, and I'm starting to think they're all as bad as that Lord Kaiba.”

I think about what to say before answering, “No. Despite their leanings, they look out for the village's interests as best as they can. I can understand their fear of youkai as well: they grew up in a time where they had to guard against almost anything that wasn’t human. The shrine maiden and guardian in those times really had a good amount of work.”

Wriggle nods, downcast. “If you say so. I never thought I'd end up learning about human politics when I met you.”

That's true… then again, I also hadn't thought about them much. “I’ve been learning a lot, too. Growing up, I never had any plans to get involved in politics, but I'm starting to change my mind. Someone has to continue supporting moderate viewpoints, and I don't want any more cases like Mr. Yaguu and Miss Shameimaru to happen.”

She smiles, leaning against me. “I'd think you'll do a wonderful job of that. You're already picking up on things even your father wasn’t aware of when he was your age.” That's right, I remember Father said he was more focused on his studies at the time. Still, I'm not sure if I'd have picked up on the tensions in the village if it weren’t for Reimu bursting in.

“I can't say I totally agree; I'm only aware due to what happened with Reimu, otherwise I'd have stayed in the dark,” I say, getting up to stretch. “We should probably see if Mr. Yaguu has returned by now.” I hold my hand out to help her up.

She takes my hand, gently pulling herself up and into my arms, to my surprise. “Thanks.” We start walking down the path, side by side.


As we enter at the hunter's area, we can see various hunters arriving. I recognize some of the hunters that tried to attack Hatate before by the looks of terror they give Wriggle. None of them approach us, and we eventually arrive at Mr. Yaguu’s house. I knock on the door, and he soon answers it.

He glances at the both of us before standing aside. “It's about yesterday isn't it? Well, come on in then, and I'll tell you about it.” We follow him inside to a sparsely furnished living room, and sit down.

“Sir, I'd first like to know the exact history about the village guardian’s position. Miss Keine already told me about the more recent history and how you tried to get her under your watch.”

“The history? Fine. Traditionally, the guardian was there to protect the village when the Hakurei was away dealing with something else. From what my parents told me, it's been this way since the formation of the village. I wanted her under my watch to better prepare her for dealing with ferals, and to ensure the radicals on the council didn’t turn her into a tool. I know them quite well and their vendetta against the Hakurei stems from the simple fact that they can’t be controlled. The moderate streak that Reimu's parents had didn’t help things, either. I went along with the vote for a protector because the village needed one. Keine was a good candidate since she was raised by Miss Fujiwara and was particularly powerful for her age. My father was there too, and as a radical strongly supported the idea, though at the time of my youth, any sort of moderate mindset would have been considered insane.”

Hearing about everything that lead up to Reimu’s outburst makes it seem more and more difficult to resolve. “I'm not sure how we'll ever fix this burnt bridge. I can imagine in earlier days that the guardian and the shrine maiden would work together, but now such a thing seems so unlikely. The Hakurei are one of the two main pillars of Gensokyo; a rift between it and the village may be worse than we can imagine.”

Even though I’m being serious, Mr. Yaguu chuckles. “Hearing you speak reminds me of my younger days after I met Aya as it opened my eyes to many things. The difference is you won't have your hands tied behind your back by those old men. But you shouldn't worry about all this for now; you're young and should enjoy your youth. It's our job to worry about these things.” He must be referring to Father and other moderates on the council.

I think about the scenario and ponder about the Hieda's role in it. “Could I ask one last question, sir? How did the Hiedas vote on that issue?”

“They were among those who wanted the guardian under my watch, but without the Child of Miare their influence wasn’t enough. I fear what plans Lady Akyuu is concocting considering how badly she reacts to certain things… and the fact nothing has happened yet is even more worrisome.”

“Mr. Yaguu, Yuki said he believed these people were ultimately good despite things like this; is this true?” Wriggle interrupts.

“In general it's true, though some doubts are coming up about the oldest ones. Ah, by that I mean members that are easily older than I am,” he answers. “Really, the only exception I can think of is… Lord Kaiba. The radicals may not be fond of youkai, but they are not suicidal with their plans; he’s unique in that respect. I hope you two pay Reimu a visit, just to show that someone besides me or your father doesn't show her any ill will.”

We nod and get up to leave, thanking Mr. Yaguu for his answers.


The walk out of the hunter's area is uneventful, and near the edge we see Hatate walking towards us. She looks a bit nervous, though considering she was nearly kidnapped by people who live near here, it's understandable.

“I'm not sure if Kazuma's home, Hatate, or is there something else you need help with?” I ask.

“I want to practice an interview with you two and find out about some of Aya's stories from the source itself!” she responds.

Wriggle answers, “You mean like the ship landing? I'm a bit curious about that as well!”

I try to think of other occurrences as both girls look at me expectantly, but the only things I can come up with are Hatate’s near-kidnapping, the ship landing, and… not much else. “Well, we should go somewhere like the inn to sit down so we can do this,” I answer.

Hatate smiles brightly, replying, “Oh, you're agreeing to do this? Aya always said it was pretty hard to get interviews, though Miss Momiji says that's because she’s too pushy.” I can believe that.

“Well I don't see why not, plus you asked nicely,” I respond as we head towards the Inn.


After taking our seats and ordering some snacks, Hatate asks, “So what would you two like to talk about to start?”

There’s quite a few things that happened recently, and each is interesting in its own way.

[ ] Talk about Miss Ozaki's ship landing.
[ ] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate.
[ ] Anything else news worthy I forgot? (Write in)
[ ] “I have no preference.”
>> No. 27024
[x] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate.
>> No. 27025
[T] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate
>> No. 27026
[x] Anything else news worthy I forgot?
-[x] Talk about how Arthur's recently been investigating the syndicate and their fortresses, and about what he's found out.

Considering that the reason those hunters tried to kidnap Hatate in the first place was because they were trying to join the syndicate (>>23483), I'm sure she'd like to hear more about it.
>“I’ll let you two go if you refuse to say a thing about the fact we’re about to join that syndicate with this tengu brat as our ticket,” the leader says.
>> No. 27027
[x] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate.
>> No. 27031
[x] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate.

I don't exactly remember what the options are, but this one seems interesting.
>> No. 27032
The near-kidnapping goes first. Update will be up in about a week or so.

Even though it didn't won, it'll be included as the vote was what goes first.

>>24055 is what the first choice refers to while the other refers to >>23483 and the next few posts.

I will be making an addition to the /words/ thread shortly.
>> No. 27085
File 135857935576.jpg - (321.32KB, 688x958, HatateSitting.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Talk about what happened after Miss Shameimaru intervened to help save Hatate.

Because Hatate already knows about the kidnapping, it’d be best to tell her more about what happened. “You’d probably like to hear my side of the story regarding the kidnapping incident, so I’ll start there. I went over to Kazuma's house to ask him about the fortresses that had been appearing, and he thought it might be related to how some hunters had gone missing. He decided to escort me out of the Hunter’s District when we ran into your captors.” I skip over the fight since Hatate was there to see it. “After Miss Shameimaru stepped in, I ran over to the Inn to alert my parents and Kazuma's father but was confronted by three hunters. I was too worn out to really do anything but that's when Wriggle came to the rescue.” I’m stopped from continuing as Wriggle cuts in.

“I heard bits of rumors going around as well, so I had gone to the village to see if he was alright and saw that mob. Now pay attention, Hatate, as I'm going point out what I did as a lesson.” Wriggle certainly seems confident in her abilities. “I took them by surprise with some danmaku sprays while hiding my body with my swirling cloak. Then while they were terrified I hit the biggest one with a diving kick, completely demoralizing them. It would have been a harder fight if it weren’t for going some psychological warfare. My mother taught me one very important thing: youkai draw power from belief, usually fear, and that means your attacks should leave more of a mental impact instead of outright killing the target. There are exceptions in dire straits of course, but she did mention that some youkai these days think that brute force by itself makes them notable.” Hatate takes down notes from Wriggle's explanation. Wriggle appears to think before asking, “Just why were you in that area, anyways?”

Hatate bashfully answers, “Well... I heard about Aya and the lead hunter so I decided to see what the big deal was. I kind of fell for his son, though… I was too shy to really knock on the door so I just watched instead. He was very understanding about it.”

Of course, there’s still more to say, so I resume after Hatate is done. “After that, we went into the Inn and told our story to father and Mr. Yaguu. They told us about how Arthur took the fight to the syndicate, who had created the fortresses, and that… he has three allies.” I don't reveal that Alice is one of them as I'm not sure whether she wants to stay anonymous.

Hatate nods while writing. “I’ve heard lots of stuff going around about him and his allies, the ‘Doll Princess’ and the ‘Silent Giant.’ It's hard to talk to another woman in the Tengu village without hearing about him. As far as the juicy details are concerned, though, I can’t find anything out for some reason. I guess it’s fine though; I already have my hero and he's not Arthur.” She smirks at me and winks. “Oh and don't think I didn't notice your little omission. I won't pry, but next time just say that you don't want to talk about it.”

Gah, she caught me. “I apologize, Hatate. I didn't want to reveal anything that’s potentially sensitive. Was I that obvious?”

“Yuki, you looked like you were thinking a bit right before you said that,” Wriggle responds. “But how did you notice that, Hatate? It usually takes people a couple of meetings to notice quirks like that.”

Hatate proudly replies, “I'm an aspiring reporter who got some lessons from Aya herself! Though, I'm still in training for self-defense and danmaku. I might have to ask you for some hints even though I'm not sure how to feel about being outdone. Tengu pride and all that other stuff.” Her tone gets more humble after the first statement.

“Tengu pride… ah!” I suddenly remember what Aya said at the inn as well, about how she killed the hunter who had attacked her after she interfered with the kidnapping. “I don’t know if you can answer a question of my own, but what happened to Aya after the kidnapping incident? I think I remember her mentioning that the leader of the kidnappers wouldn’t stay down, and, well…”

Hatate frowns as my voice trails off, and responds in a serious tone. “Aya had to deal with both human and Tengu councils for what she did to that hunter. The Tengu investigated whether she had abused that law, originally made to discourage reckless attacks against the Tengu to protect the alliance between us and the village. When she mentioned the threats he was making to the Tengu as a whole, they warned her not to abuse the law but left it at that. Tengu are deathly serious about any threats made because of our history when the Oni were still around. Abductions were rather common, so once the Oni left Lord Tenma and the council decided to ensure something like that never happens again. I don’t know all the details, but I'm not stupid enough to try going underground to find out more, risking my life and break all sorts of rules in the process.”

Does that mean that the Oni are living underground, then? I should stay focused on what Hatate’s saying for now, though. “What happened between the village council and her?”

“Some members, same as the Tengu, only wanted to check if the law was abused, while others thought Aya really overstepped her bounds. They debated for days, arguing that Aya retaliated with more force than the hunter was able to match, so she wasn’t justified in claiming the self-defense clause. She explained about all the threats that guy said before using one of the Humanists favorite quotes, that ‘All threats must be taken seriously.’ Even though most said that that didn’t affect whether she could invoke the clause or not, they didn’t want to push the issue and damage relations with the Tengu as a whole.”

“I’m not surprised that they’d go after her for that, but I guess father was right when he said the Humanists do care about the good of the village.”

Hatate nods in agreement. “While they dislike Youkai, it looks like they're not so foolish as to pick big fights or throw away the Tengu's aid. Aya told me their attitude is founded on how past generations had to endure youkai attacks. That much of their view is understandable, at least. On top of training, she's been teaching me more about youkai I should be wary of; according to her, even though many are agreeable, there's still a decent number that would quickly take advantage of a foolish person. Ah, I hope you're not offended at my remark about humans. I know you're not all bad, but I just hope you never end up in that situation.” I nod, and make a mental note to ask Father about the Humanists later tonight.

“I agree completely. Thank you for telling me what happened.” Now that I know what happened to Aya, I can move on and talk about the ship incident. “So, you were both curious about the ship landing, right? The day after your kidnapping, I was visiting the Shrine with Lady Akyuu and enjoying Reimu's hospitality along with Marisa. She was talking about a robot maid she’d, uh, acquired, when Marisa saw the same ship in the sky as the one the maid's original creators flew. They decided to investigate, and I got a lift from Marisa. They didn’t want to fight though, so Reimu started talking with them for a bit. The older one, Yumemi Okazaki, tested a strange invention on me that detects pheromones to see if someone is in a relationship or not. It’s a very specific invention, but it works.”

Wriggle speaks up first, blushing slightly. “I still can't believe someone would invent such a thing.” I remember briefly mentioning the device to Wriggle, but left out the specifics.

“And I thought the Kappa made some strange inventions,” Hatate adds.

Nodding, I resume. “A while later, Shinobu arrived at the clearing after being shot at by Rika's tank. Ginji apologized profusely and managed to get away with simply purchasing a replacement outfit, and Rika had to do some maid work.”

“Oh, so did the whole idea to dress everyone up as maids come from her, or was it just something Rika did on her own? Not that I minded the outfit… I actually still have it,” Hatate says.

I answer, “It was Rika's idea, and I’m guessing she thought something like ‘If I'm a maid, I'll look the part.’ Maybe she thought buying the outfits in bulk would be cheaper, too.”

“Akyuu's terribly fond of buying me clothes, though I can't complain considering her taste in fashion. Yuki, maybe you should suggest that she help could more people to use her fashion expertise more often,” Wriggle says. Her kindness only extends to certain people close to her, though.

The only other topic of interest I can think of is the current issue with Keine’s position, but would Hatate be interest in that? Mr. Yaguu should be getting home soon, too.

[ ] Tell her, it might help her.
[ ] Don't, telling her before we have a full picture might prove troublesome.
>> No. 27086
>I’ve heard lots of stuff going around about him and his allies, the ‘Doll Princess’ and the ‘Silent Giant.

I'm curious. And I'm liking this Hatate already.

[c] Tell her, it might help her.
>> No. 27087
[x] Don't, telling her before we have a full picture might prove troublesome.

A lot of what we know about Keine's position is speculation, not facts. Aya's the one in charge of the rumor mill, not Hatate, and we have to keep in mind not to talk about sensitive subjects to anyone we meet.
>> No. 27088
[x] Tell her, it might help her. However, use caution in what you say, and caution her that you do not have the entire picture.
>> No. 27099
[X] Tell her, it might help her.

Information wants to be free.
>> No. 27106
Hatate tagging along wins with what >>27088 said.

Update should be up in 1 to 2 weeks as I'm also working on a few other things.
>> No. 27112
>tagging along
Sorry, what? I voted to tell Hatate about what's going on with Keine, not invite her to come talk to Mr. Yaguu with us.
>> No. 27116
I apologize as that was part of the plan that I revealed early. If you or anyone else wants that part to be made a choice, I'll do so for the next update.
>> No. 27190
I'm not dead, just busy with stuff. I've completed the Tengu Christmas short and all it needs is proofing. I have one more thing to do before starting on my update, so It might take me another week or so to do fully.

Upon thinking on the matter, I decided to change the plan of Hatate tagging along as it wasn't really vital to the update.
>> No. 27262
My second side project ran into a wall so I'll start writing my update soon and leaving that for another time. I apologize for the wait. It should be up in a week or less from today.

Good news is that I have completed my Tengu Christmas short: >>/shorts/835
>> No. 27276
I'm working on it but work and the related energy issues haven't made it easy. I will try to get it done in about a week.
>> No. 27286
I did finish writing the update, but my proofreader has appeared to be missing at the moment. I apologize for the massive delay this has turned out to be.
>> No. 27293
File 136289774640.jpg - (431.97KB, 907x1370, Cutebug walking.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Tell her, it might help her. (However, use caution in what you say, and caution her that you do not have the entire picture.)

Well I don't see the harm in telling her, though I'll avoid being too detailed about anything sensitive. “Lastly, I think you already know about yesterday's incident involving Reimu. Because of something she said, we decided to look into the true history of Miss Keine's position by asking those who’d know about it.”

Hatate replies, “That was pretty scary; I’m glad she stopped when she did. That spike of power could be felt all over, even by some of the scouts out in distance sectors. I think the only ones who couldn’t have felt it would be typical human villagers, as I heard most aren’t even attuned to such forces. You must have sensed it for sure, Yuki.”

I answer, “Yeah, it was pretty terrifying. Now that I think about it, how much of an uproar could that cause around Gensokyo? Such a surge would certainly rile up ferals.” I might have to ask Mr. Yaguu about that in addition to my other questions. “Anyways, I would say more but the issue involves some dealings with human village politics that I don’t feel comfortable sharing.”

She looks a bit dejected, but cheers up as she replies, “Sounds like something too complicated for me to go looking into. Good! Now I can visit Kazuma without feeling like I'm slacking off! If you don’t mind, I’ll be going now.” She stands, and leaves after I nod. No reason to keep her here if her investigation’s finished.

Wriggle speaks up. “That surge made me feel terror at its most basic level. It had no intent or direction, but was more of a feeling that it would overwhelm anything it confronted.”

Without thinking, I reply, “Don't worry. If it comes down to it, I'll protect you.” What?! I'm not powerful or brave enough for that… I think.

She smiles. “Thanks, I appreciate the sentiment. You shouldn’t put yourself in harm’s way just for my sake, though. I’d feel bad if you got hurt.” I can’t help but grin and nod, and we get up and leave after paying for the snacks.


“Yuuki, we already went to his house earlier today!” Wriggle remarks as we enter the Hunter’s District again.

I shrug sheepishly, knowing it’s my fault that we’re back here. “I know. I goofed by leaving early; I forgot to ask Mr. Yaguu for more details on a few things.” As we walk, I notice Wriggle looks a bit worried. “Is there something wrong?”

“I’m just wondering if we’ll run into those three that I beat up. I'm not upset or scared, just curious about what they’ll do,” she answers.

I pull closer, replying, “I wouldn't worry about it. If we do see them I think they’ll be too busy needlessly worrying about their lives to react.”

“I'm not worried about them. I want to see this through with you, Yuuki,” she answers.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a few hunters reacting to our presence, though I don't pay it much mind to avoid drawing too much attention. I’m surprised when a tall one runs and trips over himself. After he falls to his knees I recognize him as the hunter Wriggle kicked. I'm a bit ashamed of myself since that’s the only thing I can remember him by, even if it was kind of funny seeing how badly scared they were.

We walk up to Mr. Yaguu's house and I knock on the door. He answers it, and seems a bit surprised to see us again. “I wasn't expecting you back, but I'm sure it's for a good reason. Please come in.”

We accept his invitation, taking off our shoes in the threshold before following him to the living room. As we sit down, I ask, “Sir, how did you figure the reasons behind this second visit?”

“Reimu’s confrontation with Keine was too much of a spectacle for people concerned about either of them not to think about. You’re also curious, so I figured you’d want to know more in general. Your father was the same when he was younger, and was just as prone to getting mixed up and forgetting things. So, where would you like me to begin?”

I think about it and start with the first logical thing. “I was curious about the exact details of the past of the village guardian position, as well as the politics surrounding it.”

Mr. Yaguu leans back. “Alright then. Someone from Lady Kotohime's family took the role when I was a young man. Her family has a stronger talent for magic than most, though they focus on more defensive applications. From what my father told me, usually a villager capable of flight with considerable power takes the position. That’s why it was easy to see another motivation behind Keine’s appointment. You already heard about the issues surrounding the vote, so I won’t repeat it. I'm not sure if they’ve ever really forgiven me for changing my family's position.” Interesting… but the last point raises a question.

“Sir, what do you know of the political factions on the village?” I ask, hoping it won't offend.

He sighs before responding, “I know a good deal about the Humanists; despite my recent frustration with them, they keep the village in mind. Individually, they vary a good deal: people like Lord Hojo are rather understanding, and at the other end are outright racists like Lord Kaiba and my father. It might have been understandable for my father to have the views he did because of what he lived through, but when I met Aya and took a closer look, I couldn’t blindly label anything as a ‘monster,’ even the ferals. I’m not proud of his view; he was very fond of saying ‘the only good monster is a dead one.’ He was also an ardent Humanist and a major supporter of their power.

“When he passed away I took over as lead hunter, and when I revealed my views on things it was a major shock. No lead hunter ever went along with the moderates until I came along. Frankly, the Humanist faction is existing on borrowed time. More and more people from each generation will be of a more moderate mindset. I think the Humanists now are trying to teach the moderates about how dangerous youkai can be so the village won't go soft after they're gone.”

Yaguu raises a good point; the village wouldn’t last long if everyone no longer kept in mind how different from humans youkai are. Wriggle speaks up, asking, “Is Miss Kamishirasawa that easily influenced? She doesn't seem like someone who’d readily distrust youkai like that. She seemed really nice when I talked to her.”

Yaguu nods and responds, “She hasn’t gotten into the details of politics and is rather naïve about some things. Now I’m not saying she's a naïve woman, just that she still has a considerable number of things to learn about the village. For reasons I cannot disclose, she's sympathetic towards reasonable youkai, but because she’s stuck with the brunt of the work defending the village and dealing with people, certain words from the Humanists ring truer than they actually are. I personally intend on finding out just where she got the notion that she was replacing the Hakurei, as that's rather extreme even for their ideology. Knowing Keine, she’ll be upset once the impact of her words sinks in. It will take some time before things are fully patched up between those two.” Yaguu pauses, glancing at me. “Now I must ask, what do you want to do with your life, Yukikaki? Asking about Keine and I brings the question to mind.”

Ah! Me? I’d originally have said I’d be a scholar, but after everything that’s happened I don't think I could just sit easy with books. I reply, “To be honest, until I met Wriggle I figured I would be a scholar and was less concerned about my future than I was about liking girls. But now? I fully want to continue my father's work both in study and politics so those that want to co-exist can do so without problem. I want to uncover the truth from whatever webs of intrigue surround them.”

Yaguu raises his eyebrows before surprising us by laughing. “Ahh, you're growing up faster than I expected, speaking like a man. I figured Miss Nightbug to be a fine young woman, but I’ve underestimated her. There's an old saying that goes ‘The root of a man's greatness is a great woman.’ It may sound a bit old fashioned, but I like to think it refers to the inspiration and support a man draws from the woman he adores. But don't worry about those matters; you're both still young. The only thing you need to work on is keeping a cool head no matter what is said about Miss Nightbug.” Ah, he must be referring to the time I shouted at Ginji’s dad.

I reply, “Sir, I will be sure to do that, though such advice coming from you is quite… particular.” Sorry Mr. Yaguu, but its’ strange to hear that from someone with an infamous temper.

“I understand the oddness, but I've made efforts to keep my temper under control. The Council has a code of conduct against crudely insulting people inside or out of the room. Debates are to be settled with facts, not insults or intimidation tactics,” he replies. He makes a good point; I don’t want to think about a place of debate where such things are allowed.

“Thank you again for your time, sir. I hope you have a nice day.” He nods and escorts us to the door.


Outside, Wriggle asks, “What do you want to do now, Yuki? I was thinking we could stop by Kourindou but I'm open to suggestions.”

[x] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.
[x] Maybe we could head to Suzunaan? I could introduce her to Kosuzu and see if there’s any books she’d like.
[x] It’s getting close to lunch, and we’ve only had snacks so far. We should head back to the café.
[x] Relaxing at home sounds best.
>> No. 27294
[x] Relaxing at home sounds best.
>> No. 27295
[x] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.

Sounds fun.
>> No. 27296
[x] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.

Let us take Wriggle's advice.
>> No. 27297
[x] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.

Visiting Rinnosuke is like being presented with a new Item of the Day.
>> No. 27298
[c] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.

Alright, let's do this.
>> No. 27299
Going to Rinnosuke wins. Writing begins tomorrow.
>> No. 27370
File 136384947873.jpg - (637.90KB, 800x800, NotQuiteThisGun.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Kourindou sounds interesting; maybe Rinnosuke found something new.

“That sounds like a nice idea, Wriggle. You never can tell what you might find.”

Wriggle answers, “Great! You did bring your moneybag, right? I don't want you to try buying something only to find your pockets are empty.” I suppose I should be glad she reminded me since I did forget to bring it last time.

“I have it on me; I've made it a habit to carry it around. Thanks for the concern though. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again.”

She gently takes my hand into hers as we walk. “And I'll try my best to make sure it doesn't happen, Yuki. It's sort of cute when you forget things, but it’s troublesome, too.”


We arrive outside Kourindou and hear some talking inside as we approach the entrance; one of the voices sounds quite unfamiliar. It’s refined, yet young. Children of nobility don't usually talk like that in casual scenarios, so I’m not sure who it is.

“Do you know that person?” Wriggle asks.

“No, but it should be fine to head in. I don't think anyone dangerous would visit Kourindou, anyways.”

As we walk through the doorway, we see Rinnosuke talking with a cloaked figure with a box. “–it's nothing, this price is a bargain compared to the outside world.” Noticing us, she continues, “Oh, hello. I wasn't expecting anyone to come in. I heard that the shop doesn't get many customers.” Rinnosuke looks unamused at her remark, though the fact that she bought something is probably blunting his discontent.

A flicker passes my vision and I feel a hint of magic…! Wait, what just happened? Where’s the visitor? Seeing my confusion, Rinnosuke explains, “She has a bad habit of vanishing like that, even when coming into the store. I have no idea how she does it.” She left!? I guess that explains what I felt.

“Who is she? You seem to know her well, Mr. Rinnosuke,” Wriggle asks politely.

He grimaces. “First, don't call me mister; I'm not THAT old in any sense, even if it is better than Marisa's new nickname. Anyway, that customer said her name is Tsubaki and that she arrived here a short time ago. It appears my store is the only place that sells the things she often needs. She’s taken an interest in the weapon shops as well. A real mystery, that one. Now, as for you, I don't have anything new from your series, but I found something that may be interesting.”

He points towards a small case with several plastic squares in them. “DDP BLUE ROM source code? What's a source code?”

“Not sure. All I can tell is that you can make a game using these, but I don’t know how it’s done,” he responds. “What I can tell is that this is something believed to be missing in the outside world.”

Wriggle calls me over to the book section and I join her in scanning the shelves. One that stands out is a collection of writings talking about a Man from Nantucket. “Why is there a red label saying ‘highly vulgar’ on it?” Wriggle asks.

“Because, to be blunt, even hunters widely known for their vulgar tastes were shocked by its contents,” Rinnosuke answers. Back before his incident with Mystia, I think Takami would have liked such a thing. Not sure if he still would, now.

Oh? A fantasy book titled Eragon? I look through it a bit, skimming the pages, and get the feeling that I'd read it before. “Not interested, but someone less well read might like it.”

“Yuki, are you really that familiar with western style books?” Wriggle asks.

“Yeah, Father has a decent sized collection of western stuff. He's a big fan of J.R.R Tolkien, particularly the history in his stories.” I refrain from mentioning how he’s working on making a timeline of events in those books as a side project. With the Myouren scrolls investigation not panning out, he might return to the timeline again. Maybe he’d let me show Wriggle if she's interested.

Ah, this one was made in the village, judging from the cover material and feel. “Wintry Steam, a Suzunaan published story by Hedena Nine.” Never heard of a miss Hedena before. Wriggle and I start looking through it. A young noblewoman desires a boyish scholar named Yukimura who lives in the same city as her… why am I getting such a familiar feeling? We keep reading until the heroine imagines- OH WHOA. That's very… vivid.

I hurriedly put the book away before glancing at Wriggle. She looks even more embarrassed than I am. “Are you alright, Wriggle?”

“I'm just surprised, that's all. Um, how about we look at the toy area in case there's anything cool there? You’ve added some new things, right Rinnosuke?”

Rinnosuke remarks, “Not really. Someone made a big purchase from there recently, cleaned out just about all the models and mechanical action figures.” Well, looking won’t hurt anything. “I was certainly surprised by that book though. Miss Hedena is a very talented writer.” Ahh, just don’t think about it.

We look through and I find a device that sort of looks like a portable lamp. I’ll pick it up for now and ask Rinnosuke about it. Huh, the large pile of boxes has been completely cleared out, except for a single box with some sort of mechanical windmill doll inside. Who would buy something like that?

I spot Wriggle by the racks of clothes holding a bag and a sort of... wait, that hat’s similar to Gandalf's. “I didn't think there'd be a hat of that style here.” I always did consider his hat rather stylish for magical headwear… though that's not something I'll admit easily.

“It caught my attention as it looked like something wizards would use. They seem like they’d always appreciate having a nice hat,” Wriggle replies.

Thinking of all the wizards I’ve read about, the color red comes to mind. “Maybe a red sort of wizard would use it, though red's an odd color for a neutral branch of magic.”

She smiles and hands the hat to me. “Try it on!” I do so, finding it fits rather comfortably, even though it’s a bit rough. “Well, I think it fits alright, and it'd do wonders for keeping the sun off my head.” I struggle not to perform some dramatic motion as my thoughts turn to the wizards I read about.

Wriggle holds back a laugh, saying, “It's my gift to you since you like it so much. And I'll pay for it myself; I know how you like to pay for things but gifts for others should be bought with your own money.” I have no idea how much money she has but if she feels that strongly about paying for it, then the gift itself has strong thoughts behind it.

“Thank you, Wriggle,” I reply as we head towards the counter with our purchases.

Rinnosuke looks up from his book at the mini-lamp I have with me. “That's a sort of book light that attaches to the back cover so you can easily read at night. It runs on a small battery, and for a little extra I'll provide a couple of spares. Ginji Miyamoto brought the other light to try to make his own version.”

Wriggle remarks, “I didn’t know you knew Ginji.”

“Well, I do. We became acquainted when he and his parents stepped into the shop while I was working on a project, a device for focusing magical energy into a blast. It really inspired him; I ended up abandoning the project but he's made great progress. Before you get too worried about it, yes, I reminded him to mind the balance of things.” I think Ginji mentioned something like that a while ago, but he isn't going to sell anything along those lines any time soon.

We pay for our purchases, though Wriggle merely shows Rinnosuke what’s in the bag without taking anything out. Well, she probably has her reasons, so I don't dwell on it. We bid Rinnosuke farewell as we leave the store. The sun’s already setting, so it’s getting to be pretty late. I think there's enough time to drop by and introduce Wriggle to Kosuzu, but we can’t do any book shopping today.

[ ] Try to drop by the store
[ ] Go straight home.
>> No. 27371
[c] Try to drop by the store
>> No. 27374
[x] Try to drop by the store

Does Wriggle squee over cute stuff/girls? We'll see.
>> No. 27376
[x] Go straight home.

I think that's Akyuu, not Wriggle.
>> No. 27377
[x] Try to drop by the store

I think we have time for this.
>> No. 27381
[x] Try to drop by the store

Let's give it a shot.
>> No. 27382
Going to the shop wins. Update should be up in a week.
>> No. 27430
File 136505720286.jpg - (471.05KB, 1100x1200, konekosuzu.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Try to drop by the store.

“While it's too late to really go shopping there, I can still introduce you to the owner's daughter, Kosuzu. Just to warn you, she does have a way of making up nicknames” I tell her as we head towards the shop.

Thankfully it’s still open when we arrive. We run into Miss Motoori as we enter, who happily waves at us as we walk by.

I don't think Kosuzu’s choice of books has changed, so she should be this way. It doesn't take long to find her, seated and reading a book. She looks up as we approach. “Who?” she asks, pointing at Wriggle.

“Kosuzu, this is Wriggle, and this is Kosuzu. She likes reading a lot, though I'm not sure how much she understands. Most days I can find her by the shelves somewhere, reading.”

“Wriguwrigu?” I see she came up with a nickname very quickly. I'm starting to dread what Akyuu might have said to her, the more I think about it. She smiles then closes the book in front of her. Looks like she’s reading some sort of western "fairy tale."

“That's pretty cute, what do you call Yuki, Kosuzu?” Wriggle asks. I brace myself for Kosuzu's response.

“YukiYuki, of course. That's cute right?” she says as Wriggle happily nods. Kosuzu stares at us for a bit before asking, “When you two get married, can I be the flower girl? You two seem to like each other.”

I can't even muster words to respond right away. Out of the corner of my eye I see Wriggle bashfully looking away. “We'll think on it,” I hurriedly say, the first thing coming to mind in this situation. I'm glad she's just a smart little girl without a mischievous side, like Akyuu.

There's a bit of an awkward silence before Wriggle says, “I think we should get going as I think your mother might need some help. But it was nice meeting you, Kosuzu.” I nod, and we leave the store after waving goodbye.


After we get home I can hear Mother working in the kitchen. Father's probably around the library reading up on something or writing down his findings.

[ ] Ask Mother if she needs help in the kitchen.
[ ] See what Father's doing.
[ ] Go downstairs and relax before dinner.

Sorry about the length after so much time, but I felt letting you choose is fairer to you in the long run.
>> No. 27431
Huh, that was a short one.

[c] Ask Mother if she needs help in the kitchen.
>> No. 27436
[x] See what Father's doing.

Mom's just going to tease us about Wriggle some more, and sitting around is boring. Time to see what dad' been up to.
>> No. 27443
[X] Ask Mother if she needs help in the kitchen.
>> No. 27444
[x] Go downstairs and relax before dinner.

Hooray, updatess
>> No. 27445
All I would say is that it wouldn't be just teasing if anything at all. There's a reason why I have helping Yuki's mother be a choice.
>> No. 27459
Helping out Mother wins, update should be up in about 8 or so days
>> No. 27556
File 13661697609.jpg - (71.96KB, 450x709, ShyYoukai.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Ask Mother if she needs help in the kitchen.

“We should see if Mother needs any help,” I say. Wriggle nods in agreement and we head into the kitchen.

As we enter, Mother looks up and greets us. “Oh good, you two are here. Can you cut up some vegetables?” For some reason, her mood seems different compared to usual.

We start cutting them, but the matter just refuses to leave my mind. “Mother, did something happen today?”

She nods. “I was buying my first set of kitchen knives from the Sunohara smithery when I heard some noise by where the old well used to be. It hasn’t been used in nearly twenty years, so I went over and found a girl in a bucket hopping out. I knew she had to be an underground youkai, but she didn’t seem very menacing and she was so cute I got worried she might be bullied by others!” Ah, that sounds like Mother. I think I remember reading an old article about the old well and how it was buried in wake of an incident there.

She continues, “Your Father told me that any youkai that seems soft or weak tends to get bullied. So I decided say hello and give her some self-defense tips. She was a very shy girl, but she listened to my advice and asked for a knife afterwards. She didn’t seem like she’d misuse it so I gave her one, and she thanked me, admitting not all humans were bad. She wanted some advice on how to harmlessly scare some kids and I suggested making a stick skeleton and tossing it at someone.” She sighs. “Didn't think I'd end up causing such a fuss in the end. But I do hope that girl's still doing well.” A fuss!? I might have to ask about it at dinner; for now though, we continue to help Mother cook.


By the time we finish preparing dinner and start taking it out to the table, Father is seated and waiting for us, looking in through the door. “Father, did something happen?” I ask as I put the plates down.

“Indeed. The council was talking about changing the self defense law concerning the Tengu to allow the offender to be questioned to see how dangerous they are. The rather recent event with Aya and that one hunter raised some concerns, and everyone agreed that some sort of compromise might be reached so someone doesn't unwittingly get themselves killed.

He sighs as he leans back in his seat. “As for Keine and Reimu, the issue is far more complicated. It revealed the rift between the village and the shrine and everyone is scrambling to deal with it. It doesn't help that a few opportunists are trying to take advantage of this for their own ends. I had to scold some the moderates for trying to use it against the humanists. While it could be said this altercation was a result of their actions, now is not the time for blame or political maneuvering. I fear a resolution won't be reached any time soon.” I wonder if I could help resolve the situation since Wriggle and I were planning on paying them both a visit to see how they’re holding up. I'm also a little curious about what exactly goes on in the council meetings as it seems like Father has some troublesome co-workers.

I feel a tapping, snapping me out of my thoughts. “Oh, Wriggle, sorry about that” I reply, noticing Mother and Father have already begun eating.

“Yuki, just remember that you can share your thoughts with me,” Wriggle says as she sits down and serves herself.

Alright, what sort of topic should I bring up…

[ ] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.
[ ] Ask Father about the exact details of both parties, if he doesn't mind.
[ ] Ask Father if he encountered a youkai on friendly terms before I was born.
[ ] Ask Father about his side project with the Tolkien books.
>> No. 27559
>[ ] New character development
>[ ] Background development
>[ ] Minor character past development
>[ ] Minor character present development

[ ] Plot
[x] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.

Voting for bucket loli.
>> No. 27560
[c] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.
Alright, then.

>[ ] Ask Father about his side project with the Tolkien books.
I'm very interested in this.
>> No. 27561
[x] Ask Father about his side project with the Tolkien books.

I am really interested in this one.
>> No. 27563
[x] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.
>> No. 27564
[x] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.
- If there is time: [x] Ask Father if he encountered a youkai on friendly terms before I was born.

The two seems fairly related, so I wouldn't say it is out of reason for one to lead into the other, even if the latter is less thoroughly addressed due to the time constraints of dinner taking a humane amount of time.
>> No. 27565
"[ ] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground" Wins.

However I may include bits of "[ ] Ask Father if he encountered a youkai on friendly terms before I was born" and "[ ] Ask Father about his side project with the Tolkien books" if possible

Update should be up in a about a week.
>> No. 27590
[x] Ask Mother more about the youkai underground.
-[x] Ask Father if he encountered a youkai on friendly terms before I was born.
-[x] Ask Father about his side project with the Tolkien books.

“Mother, would you or Father know anything more about underground youkai?” I ask as I resume eating.

Mother is the first to answer. “I did a little reading on them after meeting that adorable youkai. A mix of different youkai live down there: it’s natural for a few, others live there by choice, and a few are forced to stay. The commonly available books on the subject say that it’s a good thing, though I have my doubts. For creatures that are supposed to be all vicious and horrible, that girl I met was anything but. I'm tempted to ask Lady Akyuu for any books she has on the matter.”

Father adds, “I remember reading the reason didn't focus so much on their temperament, but on the fear of some of the powers. Particularly satori, youkai that can read minds. Their nightmarish ability lets them find out all your dirty secrets which they could reveal to the world. The various ruling youkai have even more to fear, so their reaction is natural even if no satori intend to use their power in such a way. Anyways, there's an agreement between them that the above ground and underground youkai don’t step into each others' territory. That little friend of yours caused a minor incident because she stepped beyond her boundaries, Kasumi.” He chuckles. “Maybe I could have had such an encounter in my youth if my head wasn’t buried in books.”

Mother looks like she’s about to respond to him, but stops. Odd, but I decide not to dwell on it as that's likely a mystery for another day. Oh yeah, there's that project of Father’s I mentioned to Wriggle earlier. “Father, I'm curious how that project of chronicling all of Mr. Tolkien's books is going,” I say.

“Well, I'm taking a break from that to work on a different project. Can’t say more than that right now, but you'll know when it's done, Yuki. I wound up making quite some progress in the wake of the Myouren scroll failure,” he responds.

Before I can ask for more details, Wriggle cuts in. “Myouren? There's an artist in the village that sells small paintings of a man of that name. Even though he's a Buddhist monk, I've seen a few girls buy his pictures, even Kurumi and Miss Elly.”

Father nods. “The scrolls did describe him as rather handsome. Among some of the other scholars that know of this, some wonder if his sister would be attractive or not. Whatever the case, there's not many records in the village of her, leaving such knowledge only in the minds of those that actually lived back then.” The names of Lady Inaba and Lady Yakumo come to mind, but I doubt they would be forthcoming about this.

“I won't ask what those stories said she looked like; I can already guess,” Wriggle adds before resuming eating. Dinner ends up leading into minor chatter and I focus on finishing my food before it gets cold.

As dinner ends, Mother takes Wriggle into the kitchen as Father leaves to either read or work on that mystery project. I decide to go downstairs instead of helping with the dishes; Mother’s probably bringing up topics not meant for my ears.


I turn on the lamp in the room as dusk passes into night, stretching the shadows in my room. I don’t have too think long about what to do to kill time since Wriggle comes down soon after. “I hope you weren’t too upset about Father’s story, Wriggle. I'm aware of how you dislike people focusing on certain things,” I say.

“Don’t worry; I'm feeling better. I know I shouldn't get upset at that but it just irks me when it happens. Your Mother cheered me up though. Her reaction at dinner made me wonder what she could be thinking about… but we can talk about something else as I know you have what happened recently in mind.”'

I think over the day's events…

[x] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too.
[x] Father's project reminded of my favorite series in the family library.
[x] Wait... I'm curious about what she got at the store.
>> No. 27591
[x] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too.
>> No. 27592
[x] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too.

talking about possible encounters like that in front of your wife isn't the smartest idea I would think.
>> No. 27594
[x] Wait... I'm curious about what she got at the store.
>> No. 27595
[c] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too.
>> No. 27596
"[ ] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too." wins. Update should be up in about a week, might take a bit longer.
>> No. 27599
File 136833942748.jpg - (475.19KB, 600x847, japaneseversionofthis.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] That’s alright; I noticed Mother’s reaction, too.

I noticed Mother’s reaction too; maybe Wriggle's on to something. “It’s fine if we talk about that. I noticed Mother’s reaction too, but I assumed it was some small issue between the two of them. What's your take on it, Wriggle?”

I think it deals with Keine's secret and

“I think it's something along the lines of what your father said about not encountering youkai in his youth. Maybe… what if Kasumi was thinking of Miss Keine? When I talk with her, I sense something a bit unusual, and her attitude towards youkai is surprisingly moderate for someone whose job focuses on fending them off. Also remember that Reimu taunted Keine about her ‘secret,’ which terrified her. If she was somehow part youkai, it wouldn’t be something someone in her position could easily reveal without causing some panic.”

When she lays it all out like that, I guess it makes sense, particularly how some would react to a youkai trying to pass themselves off as human. “I can see why she's worried if that’s the case, but if it’s true, then I suspect this secret is counter-productive. I hope she doesn’t have to worry about such messes in the future,” I reply. “I wonder if Akyuu can tell us any more about this?”

“She might be, but we could talk to Reimu or Keine directly when we visit tomorrow. I'm sure things will get better with you helping,” she responds, hugging me. “…How about we go on a date afterwards? Being tense like this isn't healthy. I was going to leave it a surprise, but it’s no problem telling you now. I managed to find some nice clothes at Kourindou, including a swimsuit.”

She has a point and I have no reason to turn her down. “Sounds like a good plan.” I suddenly remember that Kamui was going to have dinner at Wriggle’s house in a few days. “Were you going to go home for the dinner with Kamui? I'm just curious as I remember Kurumi was there.”

“Well, there's no obligation. Kurumi was there talking with Miss Elly about... 'bountiful girl matters,' as Shizuha puts it. I remember Mother saying she was really looking forward to meeting your parents after what I told her. She thinks she'd get along well with Kasumi,” she answers.

“How is Shizuha doing, anyways? I think she'd be excited for the upcoming fall festival as there's always at least a few people that can appreciate what she does.” I know that Wriggle hangs out at times with Shizuha and a few others, so she might know her plans.

“She's fine, and it probably has something to do with that artist who hangs around with her. He’s really motivated her to do the upcoming festival with some zeal.” All I can say is that I'm glad she has more confidence in herself.

I get up go change my clothes, noticing Wriggle quickly turning away, blushing. I guess she was thinking about that. I concentrate on the task at hand as I'd rather not get distracted by whatever state of undress Wriggle is in and end up falling over. I should calm down as my heart's beating faster... whew and my face's a bit warm. I turn around to find her wearing that oversized robe of mine. She does look cute in it, though I can’t help but wonder what she's wearing under there. Not sure if I should be ashamed or not for thinking about it.

We finish changing as we get into bed. “Can I keep this for myself? Please?” Wriggle asks.

“Sure, go ahead. It's too big for me anyways.”

“Thanks Yuki,” she replies, embracing me. With her in my arms I feel the stress of the day melt away, and I have no trouble at all closing my eyes.


Ah... that was a nice night's sleep, and Wriggle's waking up as well. After yawning, she blinks a few times. “Good morning, Yuki…” I look over and, thanks to the open robe, see that the only other thing she’s wearing is panties.

“Good morning, Wriggle” I reply as I get up to change, trying my best not to get distracted. Have to take care of today's tasks first. I remind myself to get my money bag and fill it with a considerable amount of money just in case I need it. I pack along that spell book just in case we run into anything on the way to the shrine. Whew, Wriggle's in her normal outfit; cute, and not distracting.

We both head upstairs, and I smell breakfast being cooked as we reach the top. Breakfast is ready by the time I get to the table and Mother wastes no time before asking, “You seem rather focused even though it’s this early. What are your plans for the day, I wonder? You don’t usually wake up looking so resolute.”

“We're planning on visiting both Miss Keine and Reimu to see how they're doing and seeing if I can't mend things between them. I can't just act like things are normal between them,” I answer, leaving off the part about our guess about Miss Keine.

Father adds, “You’re a little young to be concerned about such things. However, I don’t exactly see it as a bad thing, provided you don't overdo it. Better early than late; I recall one young man who wasn't so quick to look at the greater world and he came to regret it.” Judging from what I know of his youth and his reactions, he’s talking about himself.

The rest of breakfast goes by pretty quickly with a bit of small talk.


Outside the house, Wriggle asks, “Alright Yuki, what’s the plan, exactly? I think we can stop by Miss Kamishirasawa's place before we go shopping for Reimu's peace offering. I know you were thinking about something along those lines, right?”

“Yeah, an offering of food and money should improve her mood enough to listen to us. You have a good point about the timing, though,” I respond.

[ ] Let's stop by Keine's first since it'll be quicker, and we can take her apology over to Reimu. We might be able to see if we were right as well.
[ ] Deal with Reimu first by getting together a peace offering then visiting her. We can bring any good news to Keine afterwards.
>> No. 27600
[x] Let's stop by Keine's first since it'll be quicker, and we can take her apology over to Reimu. We might be able to see if we were right as well.

Seems more logical this way.
>> No. 27601
[x] Deal with Reimu first by getting together a peace offering then visiting her. We can bring any good news to Keine afterwards.

Placating the Reimu seems like the right way to go.
>> No. 27602
[X] Let's stop by Keine's first since it'll be quicker, and we can take her apology over to Reimu. We might be able to see if we were right as well.
>> No. 27603
[c] Let's stop by Keine's first since it'll be quicker, and we can take her apology over to Reimu. We might be able to see if we were right as well.
>> No. 27604
[x] Deal with Reimu first by getting together a peace offering then visiting her. We can bring any good news to Keine afterwards.

Anti-Miko measures are important. Also, we are now Touma Kamijou.
>> No. 27605
Going to Keine's first wins. I should have something with in a week if not sooner.

I would also like to know if I should make longer voting periods a standard thing or not.
>> No. 27614
I have finished writing.

To my readers, sorry this isn't an update, just a check to see if this would get my proofer to appear quicker.
>> No. 27631
File 136927918919.jpg - (0.98MB, 912x1409, Keinesitting.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Let's stop by Keine's first since it'll be quicker, and we can take her apology over to Reimu. We might be able to see if we were right as well.

“We should head to Miss Keine's first since it's closer than Reimu’s shrine,” I answer. “It’s probably best to see if she's doing better before even mentioning what we talked about last night, though.”

Wriggle nods as we continue walking to the school. “Good idea; I don't want to accidentally make her feel worse.”

As we approach the schoolhouse, I start looking for signs that she's- oh, the blinds are up. I knock on the door, and it doesn't take long for Keine to answer it. “Sorry, school isn't back in session. I’m busy composing my notes and writing an apology letter to Reimu.” She looks better than she was after the incident.

“We were stopping by to see how you were doing after what happened. We were also planning on seeing Reimu after this,” I answer.

“Oh, how thoughtful of you. Please, come in. I'm not going to let the two of you stand outside all day,” she answers, leading us inside.

After taking our seats, I fill Keine in on what we've heard about the Village Guardian’s position so far, and how I decided to look into it due to Reimu's remark. She’s smiling by the end of the brief story.

“It makes me feel better knowing that at least some in the village realize I didn't take this position to spite the Hakureis, but to do good for the village with my abilities. I'm sure you must be wondering why I said that remark in the paper.” Keine’s smile wavers, and I nod for her to continue. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I think I was mistaken, allowing myself to get caught up in the same sheltered sort of thinking that the villagers tend to have. Sometimes it's too easy to ignore what goes on outside the village… some council members thought that I was doing more for the village than Reimu, and I started to believe them. I hope you can forgive me for that.”

Wriggle shakes her head. “We're not here to judge you. We just wanted to see if you were alright after what happened. I can't judge someone in your position for being so nice.”

…Wait, when the incident happened, Reimu wrecked the school’s door, yet Keine opened it for us just now. “Miss Keine, how did you get the door replaced so quickly?”

“Mr. Miyamoto was kind enough to quickly put something together at low cost without much asking on my part. I didn't want to prove those... accusations of Reimu right,” Miss Keine responds.

Wriggle looks disgusted, replying, “That's going a bit too far… I can sort of see why Reimu would say that at the time, but it’s still a cruel thing to say to the other person. Recently someone said something similar to Kurumi though Mystia stepped in and threatened to chop off something 'not fit to be an appetizer.' Whatever you say about their rivalry, they do still look out for each other.”

“Ah… Though you’re right about Reimu; she was clearly very upset judging by how severe her remarks were,” Miss Keine replies. The conversation dies down into silence that stretches uncomfortably long. I notice Wriggle glancing at me, probably to see what I'll bring up next. It might be a bit early to reveal our theory, but Keine could always tell us if we’re wrong.

[ ] Keep quiet until we find out more.
[ ] Reveal our theory and see what happens.
>> No. 27632
Could've sworn that was an adult Cirno in the picture.

[c] Reveal our theory and see what happens.

Alright, then.
>> No. 27633
[x] Keep quiet until we find out more.

Keep it to yourself until you have more supporting reasons than "well maybe it's this?"
>> No. 27634
[x] Reveal our theory and see what happens.

Can't turn out that badly.
>> No. 27642
[x] Keep quiet until we find out more.
We can sit on this for a bit longer to make sure we have more to back up the theory.
>> No. 27647
[x] Keep quiet until we find out more.

Keine seems fine but talking about this might upset her. That and though anon knows we're right Yuki doesn't.
>> No. 27649
[x] Reveal our theory and see what happens.

Because why not?
>> No. 27650

Well now what? Wait for more votes, or call it based on who hit 3 first?
>> No. 27651
I'll wait for a tie breaker, that or waiting for someone to change their mind.
>> No. 27652
[x] Reveal our theory and see what happens.

Here ya go.
>> No. 27653
"Reveal our theory and see what happens." Update should be up in about a week, give or take a couple of days.
>> No. 27685
File 137023552031.png - (1.58MB, 1000x1495, the two sides of a teacher.png) [iqdb]
[x] Reveal our theory and see what happens.

I think it's a good time to do this, so I nod towards Wriggle. “We think we know why you’d panic so much if your secret got out. Is it because you're somehow part youkai?”

Miss Keine pauses before responding, “You're correct about that. I can't say I didn't see this day coming as I knew sooner or later you'd put things together.” She looks at me intensely. “I trust you’re going to be discrete about this?”

I quickly nod. “Of course! We're not going to reveal it to anyone else. We understand your worry that some might overreact badly.”

Keine sighs in relief. “Good. Now, more precisely, there's a few terms to describe me. Putting it simply, because of some happenings in my past I became a were-hakutaku; I turn into one on nights when the full moon is out. It’s very useful for my history recording profession, but I try to have people avoid me because I don't want to scare them.” I remember reading about hakutaku; they're described as very benign youkai appearing before virtuous rulers. I wonder what traits she expresses after transforming?

Wriggle speaks up, “So do you stay humanoid, or turn into a full-on hakutaku?”

“Well, usually humanoid, though I once dreamed of ending up as a cute ballish animal that Mokou found cute when I later described it. She suggested I make plushies based on it to help people think of hakutaku as friendly, making it easier to eventually reveal myself,” Miss Keine responds.

“Others besides us know about this, right?” I ask. Reimu obviously knows, and judging from my parents’ behavior, Mother does as well.

Keine answers, “Most adults do, especially those in the council, as well as Lady Akyuu. Usually a person finds out through their parent or a chance encounter during the night, such as your father. I had to assure Kasumi that I wasn't going to try to steal him away. I'm glad he didn't fixate on me as that would have been troublesome.” Wait, Father knew about this?!

Wriggle asks, “What do you look like usually? I don't think you'd look monstrous at all, not if you get responses like that. I wonder if that's why Yuki’s mother reacted that way when his father lied about not having any chance encounters.”

Miss Keine opens one of the drawers on her desk, pulling out some pictures before resuming writing her letter. “It was likely to maintain my secret, though I’ve seen Kasumi act envious a few times before they got married. She has nothing to worry about as I don't think Shin really dwells on it at all.”

We look at the pictures of Keine’s were-hakutaku form and see she looks much the same, except for her green-silver hair, horns, one with a ribbon tied on it, a very fluffy looking tail, and a green dress that seems... exceptionally snug. I can see why there were such reactions. I hope Wriggle can contain hers until after we leave.

“You're gorgeous like that! And that tail looks fluffy!” Wriggle exclaims.

I nod. “Excluding those who would be paranoid about someone with your condition, I don't think anyone would see you as threatening.”

“Thank you for your kind words, but while I'm not someone who needlessly attacks people, it's far better that I'm left alone on those nights. I don't want to accidentally hurt anyone since I'm far more prone to reacting on pure reflex. I also don’t want to give any innocent boys hopeless crushes. I fear that as this trend progresses, there may be a day where human girls would be envious over the youkai ones, but I think it'll be something your children or grandchildren would have to worry about,” Miss Keine responds.

“I know why that would be and even though I'm happy with Yuki, those days of being overlooked aren't forgotten easily,” Wriggle says.

I'm not sure how well I can help with that but I'm definitely going to try. Without thinking, I blurt out, “Wriggle, you won't ever get overlooked again, even for Miss Keine; I’ll always have you in my heart!” Wriggle goes red in the face while Miss Keine trys hard to write the letter as though she hadn't heard anything at all.

For a while only Miss Keine's writing breaks the silence, until she stops. “Being able to be honest with your feelings is a good thing, Yukikaki, especially so soon. Certain people can live for a long time and STILL not get it.” Oh dear… I notice Wriggle silently motion for me not to ask about it. “I'm finished with the letter for Reimu. Thank you for offering to deliver it; I'll visit her myself after I take care of putting together a new lesson plan. I don't think Reimu really meant the things she said, considering how angry she was,” she adds, handing us an envelope.

Accepting it, I realize we've so far only planned on getting food for Reimu. “Miss Keine, do you want us to pick up something for you while we're in the market?” I ask.

“Don't worry about me; Reimu will be more appreciative of anything you buy anyways. Don't let her know, but most places give me a discount. I’ve tried refusing, but they insist. I'm glad Tex extends the same courtesy to anyone doing something for her. Move along now!” She gently pushes us out the door.


“Yuki, do you have any idea what Reimu would like for food?” Wriggle asks.

“Hmmm. She doesn't seem too picky if it's free. I do remember she liked the food from the ‘Bar-Be-Que’ place, though. I’m not sure if she’s tried Mystia's Lamprey or Miss Fujiwara's chicken, but it’s pretty good too. Don't worry, I don't expect you to get near the place.” I remember how Wriggle felt uneasy around Mokou due to some past run in.

Wriggle’s gaze falls. “I do want to try it but I'm not sure how I can convince her that I won't get bugs all over the place.”

“I should talk to Miss Keine about that as I know she and Miss Fujiwara know each other. She can definitely vouch for Wriggle.”

“Yuki, you really don't have to say that… but thanks.” She smiles. “I’m looking forward to our date after we visit Reimu. Before we forget, what should we bring besides a donation? Think she'd like something from the candy store?” I'm reminded of something I heard from Lady Akyuu about the famed Yin Yang orbs: they're able to prevent weight gain from sweets. It makes me wonder about the priorities of whoever designed them.

Getting something would be a good idea, but we can't get too much.

Foodstuffs to choose from (choose 1-2 main things):
[ ] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[ ] Miss Fujiwara's chicken. I don’t know if Reimu's tried it yet, and there shouldn’t be any problems if I go by myself. Wriggle could go cover something else during that time.
[ ] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.

Sweets (choose one):
[ ] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices.
[ ] Some pastries from the bakery. The cafe we've been to twice uses their recipes, and they make easy to carry boxes.

Voting will be open until Wednesday night.
>> No. 27686
[x] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[x] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[x] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices.
>> No. 27694
[x] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[x] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[x] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices.
>> No. 27695
File 137034196731.jpg - (251.79KB, 850x915, chocolate and firefly.jpg) [iqdb]
[c] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[c] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[c] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices.
>> No. 27696
[x] Miss Fujiwara's chicken. I don’t know if Reimu's tried it yet, and there shouldn’t be any problems if I go by myself. Wriggle could go cover something else during that time.
[x] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[x] Some pastries from the bakery. The cafe we've been to twice uses their recipes, and they make easy to carry boxes.

Mokou's grilled chicken with the right amount of BBQ sauce would be heavenly. As for dessert, I think Reimu would like pastries better, they're more filling.
>> No. 27699
File 137051359172.jpg - (79.53KB, 590x590, Whatshedreamedabout.jpg) [iqdb]
"[x] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[x] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[x] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices." Wins, writing begins today, should be up in a week at most.

Picture related to the update.
>> No. 27723
File 137144248589.jpg - (277.47KB, 1000x1412, JustADayAtTheShrine.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Mystia's Lamprey. Not sure if she has any in stock but it'd definitely be something new for Reimu.
[x] The Bar-Be-Que place. Reimu likes that for sure and the owner seems to like her.
[x] Something from the candy shop. It has a wide variety at nice prices.

“I think a mix of Lamprey and the Bar-Be-Que place would be nice to have,” I say.

Wriggle responds, “Alright. I think it'd be faster if we split up. Anything you want to pass along to Mysty and the others?”

“Not really, though are you going to tell her that it's for Reimu?” I reply.

“Yeah, I'm sure she wouldn't waste any time trying to get into her good graces, if for no other reason than to be in good favor of someone who can actually go toe to toe against my mother. Let's meet by the candy shop when we’re finished!” I nod, and we leave our separate ways. It feels sort of empty without her around, but I should focus on the task at hand.


I walk over to the Bar-Be-Que store where Tex, as he insists on being called, waits behind the counter, with a sign saying “Now hiring.”

“Hello sir, I'd like to place an order that's going to the Hakurei Shrine. I’m also curious about that sign; usually places around here do their hiring more silently,” I say.

He grins. “Well back where I came from, this is how we did things. I figure why not give some youngster a chance to make a honest living? It'd also help with those who don't appreciate good ol' Texan charm. Order’s for the Hakurei? Come back in about 15 minutes. Hope you don't mind some iced tea too; it's good, ‘specially in this weather, not like the heated stuff that seems so popular.”

I ask, “Ah, yes, that’s fine. How much is the order going to be, sir? I wouldn't feel right without paying up front.”

“About 2500 yen would do, should cover it fine. I'll adjust it once I'm finished with the order,” he replies as I hand him the money. As he leaves behind the counter to start cooking, I start heading towards the candy shop. I don’t think it’s too far from here.


Oh good, the “Open” sign is hanging in one of the store windows. As I walk inside, I see a red-haired greater fairy stand behind the counter instead of the old candy maker. “Oh, a customer!” She turns and excitedly shouts behind her, “Heeey! There’s a customer!” The clanging of pans from a door in the back interrupts the quiet music in the store, and after a minute the clerk comes out, drying his hands on an apron. “Ah, welcome back. I hope you’re well, and your girlfriend, too.”

“She is, she's just doing something else right now. We're trying to gather some things for the shrine maiden and we figured that she'd like some of the candy you make. If you could pick something out for her, I’ll pay for it and a small bag of the honey drops as well,” I reply.

He nods and moves from shelf to shelf, adding different treats to a paper bag. “How kind of you. Will a small bag of honey drops be enough? The weather’s starting to cool, and after a while they’ll be out of season until spring returns.”

“Make it a half kilo then. I’d forgotten some of your candy is seasonal; I might have stock up before winter comes.” I pause, glancing at the fairy trying to work the scale behind the counter. “May I ask about the fairy here? I wasn't aware that you were looking for help.” Greater fairies tend to look and act more mature than most.

“Oh, Altha? She came by a few weeks ago, but I’m sure she’ll want to tell you about it herself.” The fairy, Altha, quickly speaks up as the clerk goes through the back door.

“Hello! I'm from the forest by the shrine and I really like marshmallows! Once, someone left a bag in the forest one day and I found out what happens when you roast one over a fire, though I had to run from the fire lady. I tried making one myself but it was either too big or too small so I ended up eating the ones I had left… But then, I remembered there was a candy shop in the human village, so I came here and asked about them!” She motions towards the door that I think leads to the kitchen, judging by the fragrance. “He says he'll teach me stuff and help me make good roasting fires if I behaved so I'm behaving!” I’m stunned at her explanation; I think she's as energetic as Rika is.

“It was a while before she calmed down enough for me to answer, but we’ve since talked it over,” the candy maker explains over the clack of a knife. “I decided to teach her a few things for now, and if she does well I’ll take her on as an apprentice. Many hands make for light work, and… her presence would be soothing.”

“I'm glad nothing too terrible came out that discovery. It'd be terrible if an entire forest burned down,” I answer.

Altha quickly replies, “I don't think there was a chance of that as even the big fires aren't enough to set trees ablaze, not when they're healthy and well watered. Even I know better than to try roasting in a dry spot, but no need to worry about that now!” I get the feeling her aspect is related to the forest since she’s awfully knowledgeable about the subject.

The clerk comes back out holding a scoop filled with something small and puffy, and adds some to Reimu’s bag before placing the rest in a third on the scale. Sliding weights over it, he says, “Since this is partially a donation to the Hakurei who preserves the peace in the village, I'll just charge 800 yen.” That’s a bargain, considering how big the mixed bag is. I pay him and add 100 yen extra anyways. A smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. “I suppose your kindness won't ever change, though I thank you for it.”

“What are those puffy things? The marshmallows you mentioned?” I ask as he slides the bags to me.

“Yes, today's the first day I'm selling them. Altha was very helpful gathering the roots, and she's been taste-testing my recipe even though I was out of practice. It’s good she came by before all the mallow plants withered; we’ll have to collect and store more before winter comes.” He waves as I leave. “I hope the rest of your day goes well, young sir.”

Altha joins in, shouting “Bye! Have a nice day!”


I haven’t gotten far from the store when I see an imposing figure waiting for me across the street. It’s the lead Humanist on the council, Lord Hojo! I quickly kneel as he approaches me. “Stand up,” he orders, and oblige. He continues sternly, “I heard you'd been inquiring into the Guardian's position.” Crap, I hope he’s not too angry, but even if he i? “I'm here to praise your initiative on the matter. Also, if you’re going to the shrine, please deliver this letter. It holds a more proper amount for the job performed, and a letter of apology.” Shocked, I accept the thick envelope he hands me.

“I will hand it over to her, sir,” I respectfully respond.

He answers, “Good lad. If you can conduct yourself, I'll ask your father to bring you to the next council meeting. I'd like to clear up any misunderstandings that you might have about the Humanists, given your particular position. For now, know that we aren’t simply xenophobic, just mindful of the threat posed by youkai.” As he leaves, I place the envelope in my bag and quickly head back to the Bar-Be-Que place to pick up the order. I’ll talk to father about this later.


I return to see Tex set out the last of three containers, along with what appears to be 3 glass containers with handles filled with a kind of tea. “While the money was enough to cover the food, I'll have to ask for another 1000 yen to cover the glass mugs, mainly for expenses. The usual glasses aren't made for transport like this.”

I respond, “That’s fair enough; here you are.” As I try to think of a way to carry the three containers of food before me, Wriggle arrives carrying a covered plate.

“Oh, you’re still here, Yuki? Let me help with that, carrying that much isn't hard for me,” she announces. “Did you already go to the candy shop?”

“Yeah, I went there after placing the order with Tex,” I reply. “How did things go at Mystia’s?”

“They went pretty well. Mystia reacted as expected and was happy to get the chance to reach another customer, and the Matron wanted to help out as well, donating a plate for free,” she responds.

Tex says, “Happy trails!” after we secure the containers and start on our way to the shrine.


We follow the path to the shrine and eventually reach the gate, where Meira sits by a box made of some strange material. I’m about to ask why it’s sitting there when she blurts, “I heard it was a good way to hide and I really don't want to run into Reimu when she’s angry again!”

It’s probably best not to press the matter, so I nod before concentrating on flying, slowly lifting off the ground. Wriggle has no problems of course, and even though it’s a bit straining to keep up it’s easier than climbing up the stairs normally. At the top, Reimu’s seated on the steps leading into the shrine. As we approach, she asks, “May I ask what you're doing here?” Thankfully she doesn’t really seem angry or annoyed.

I respond, “We came by to see how you were doing and to drop off some offerings of both money and food.”

She perks up a bit when the scent of the food reaches her. “I'm doing alright, but nobody just comes by to visit. You’re here because of what Keine said.” I stiffen, but Reimu just sighs. “I feel like shit for saying what I did about her and making her take the blame for what she said. After thinking on it, it’s more likely that she was following orders.”

“What you said to her was very cruel... sometimes people talk to Kurumi like that for no good reason, and it’s all she can do to hold herself together,” Wriggle adds.

“Actually, we did some investigating ourselves and found the village guardian’s position had existed for quite a while. I also have a letter for you from the head of the Humanists himself, Lord Hojo; I ran into him on the way here.” Wriggle looks shocked as I hand the letter to Reimu; I guess I did forget to tell her on the way up.

Reimu glances through the letter while off handedly counting the money inside. “…Well, I can't say they underpaid me for the Makai incident now, and from the looks of it the letter sounds sincere enough. Now the only thing left to do is apologize to Keine… this is going to be tough.”

“About that, Keine had me bring an apology letter as well, and she’ll be coming by later in the day,” I reply as I hand over the second letter.

Reimu sighs, replying, “I know that, you don't need to remind me. It doesn't help that I had a nightmare of people calling me all sorts of unpleasant things, but I’ll be ready to talk to her when she gets here.” She suddenly gets more energetic. “Now, what's that food you have? I don’t recognize the smell.”

Wriggle replies, “This is BBQ pork made by that new Bar-Be-Que place. Tex was nice enough to send some iced tea along too. Oh, Yuki, don't forget about the candy and your donation, too!”

“Ah, right,” I say, digging out the bag of mixed treats and the money I had reserved for the donation, about 5,000 yen. It's a bit much, but it's for a good cause. While Wriggle sets out the rest of the food I drop the bills into the donation box, clapping twice afterwards.

“Hey Wriggle, you think you can share him? He seems like the type any girl would want.” Reimu asks- What!?

Wriggle gets flustered as she responds, “NO WAY! Ah, no offense, but I won't share him with you! Don't say such silly things!”

Reimu just smiles and laughs. “Good thing I was just joking, no need to make a certain person angry at me. Last thing I need is for her to launch some sort of media assault on my reputation.” Oh god, Lady Akyuu. No other person would even think of doing such a thing, but from Lady Akyuu it wouldn’t be unexpected at all. “Thank you both for stopping by today, I appreciate it. Not to be rude, but I'd rather be alone now, though. Don’t think I'm ungrateful for your efforts; I’m not. It's just that I'd rather compose myself for when Keine arrives. Ah, is there anything you two want to pray for?”

At first think about Wriggle and I, then the frightened figure of Meira at the shrine’s gate comes back to mind. We’re already doing fine; Meira could use the help more. “Yes, I hope that the trauma Meira sustained from you in the past will heal and fade.”

“I agree,” Wriggle adds.

Reimu grimaces as she responds, “Right, right. I'll see what I can do, and I'll try to apologize to her as I get the feeling she suffered needlessly. Genji was warning me all along to be more mindful. Well, I hope you two enjoy the rest of your day.” We nod and bid farewell, leaving with the remaining two food containers.

On the way down, Wriggle asks, “Where are we going to eat this?” Right, our date is supposed to start now. Where should we go?

[ ] The clearing is always a nice spot.
[ ] Try going home, I doubt mother will be too much of a pain and we can always go downstairs after eating.
[ ] The café has nice seating and scenery, plus we can get dessert there.
>> No. 27727
[x] The café has nice seating and scenery, plus we can get dessert there.
>> No. 27728
[ ] The clearing is always a nice spot.
The clearing. That’s our spot.
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