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377 No. 377
Gensokyo, a legendary land of magic sheltered from the outside world by the Great Hakurei Barrier. A great many powerful people call this place home, and every year it seems more and more of it's residents decide to start some mischief. These incidents are a fact of life for the people of Gensokyo, but for many they're something that they only experience in passing. In the days between events, life is a lot more peaceful, though not without it's own little exciting moments...

A small house stands at the corner of a busy intersection of the village, just up the street from the market.

“No, you're going alone today!” a girls voice rings out from inside, and a few minutes later, a man exits into the street, tying back his hair with a short length of cord, grumbling to himself. He sets off alone.

**

Late morning, the man arrives at a small lot behind a shop in the 'upper village', a section of the town where the rich and powerful families live. This particular store happens to be one of a few buildings that not only make use of the new power supply generated by the kappa of Youkai Mountain, but also contains enough electronics to not be a simple wasted luxury. It's not that difficult to imagine where the electronics within came from, but getting an official statement on the matter is another story. That said, it's the closest thing to a modern grocer in Gensokyo, and it gets a lot of business due to a combination of novelty and convenience. This is where this man, you, come in.

--

“Ah, there you are,” an older man says as he exits the building, the store owner. “Where's that girl that's always with you, Tsukiko was it?”

“She's still asleep,” you reply, trying to keep your annoyance at the situation concealed.

“Well, she is a youkai I guess, though on the bright side you'll be able to pocket more of the money yourself!” the store owner says, looking toward a cart full of crates. “Anyway, there's the stock. You know the job well enough by now, right?”

“Sure thing,” you reply, already feeling sore just from the sight of the crates. You walk to the back of the cart and pick up a crate, and begin the task of carrying them all inside. The owner wedges the door open for you, then heads back to the store front. You haul the crate to the storage room, and set it on the ground next to the wall, starting from the corner. From the looks of things, this cart came at a good time, the storeroom is nearly empty. You find yourself wondering if this cart is going to be enough to last. If this place's popularity picks up, it might not be able to keep it's shelves and fridges stocked, and that would cause some problems, especially for you. This is the only 'stable' job you get.

You return to the cart to pick up more crates. You continue the process of carrying the large boxes of assorted goods into the store for over an hour, and begin to push two before you start seeing the end of the workload. You've already started to feel fatigued though, and though you're not tired enough to stop working, you know by now that you'll be sore later. As you carry up another box, the store owner appears at the back door and stops you.

“You're still working on this?” he asks, looking at you over the top of the box. “Here, bring this box in and come up front and take a break. I'll give you one of those bottles of soda everyone loves.”

[] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”
[] “I'd rather just finish what I have left. I can rest afterwards.”

---

I think a few people should already know what I'm doing here. For those that don't... well, maybe that's for the better.

Anyway, I want to write, but I don't want to start up a thread for anything too permanent yet, so this is going to have to do.

Picture chosen at random.

>> No. 380
[X] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.” Rest never hurts on a hard day, and in some jobs you might have to wait alot longer for a break.
>> No. 382
[x] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”

First 2 to win?
>> No. 385
[x] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”

“Thanks,” you say, hefting the crate slightly. “I'll take a rest after this then.” The owner steps back to allow you past, and you carry the crate into the storeroom. Setting it on the end of a low stack, you return to the owner, and he lets you through into an area behind the counter.

“Have a seat there if you'd like,” he says, gesturing to a chair against the back wall as he leaves the counter to walk over to one of the large fridge units along the wall. After fetching out a bottle of ginger ale, he returns, handing it over to you. “Here you go.” You accept the bottle and twist the cap off. It's been forever since you actually had a soda, it was a rare 'outsider luxury' until this store opened. A half finished bottle occasionally turned up at Kourindou, and more often than not it was finished off before anyone else even knew about it.

“Thanks, old man,” you say, downing nearly half the bottle in one go.

“I've got to thank you again for your work so far,” the owner says, leaning on the counter. “I just wish you'd come on as a regular worker.”

“It's better if I stay a freelancer,” you respond, taking another drink. “It'd be a waste to going back to a life like I lived on the outside after all I've been through here.” The old man grins at that comment and stays silent. He looks to be thinking of something to say, but the silence doesn't last for long.

“Slacker!” an angry voice calls from the front of the store. You can't quite see over the counter from your position, but you can see the messy red hair and grey dog ears.

“Ah, so you're awake already Tsukiko?” you call out as the girl storms up to the counter. You can feel her eyes boring holes in your head already. You, however, can't help but notice she's wearing a long shirt for once.

“As if! I was thirsty so I came to buy myself a case of that soda,” she barks in response. You mockingly wave around your mostly finished bottle.

“The true joy of a cold drink is known only to the working class,” you say. She doesn't seem too amused, though the store owner seems so.

“You know, you can have the same enjoyment if you help with unloading the cart out back,” the old man speaks up. The girl's glare changes targets, and a few seconds later she slaps down a handful of change on the countertop.

“I want a cold case of cola,” she says, then walks around the counter, looking down her nose at you as she passes, and heads out back. You and the store owner exchange glances.

“I'll put a case in a cooler for her,” the owner says. “You go help her out.”

“Yeah, I sat long enough,” you say, finishing off the bottle and tossing it into a bin behind the counter and heading back outside. Tsukiko passes you carrying two crates as you leave the back of the store, not saying anything to you. You decide to leave her alone for now and simply finish up the job. With Tsukiko's help, fueled by her temper, what would have taken you another 40 minutes is done in just under twenty. You place the final box in the store room while Tsukiko stands by the door. She closes it behind you as you leave, and the two of you head up to the front.

“Your soda's in the unit there,” the manager says, pointing to the same unit he took your complimentary bottle from. Tsukiko continues straight to the cooler, opens the door, picks up the case and heads off without another word, leaving you to wrap up business. The owner has an envelope waiting for you, and hands it over as Tsukiko leaves.

“Thanks again for the job. If you need anything short term, you know who to ask,” you say, delivering your typical line as you pocket the envelope.

“You'll find a bit extra in there,” the old man says with a smile. “Cheer that girl up some with that.”

“Will do,” you reply with a smile in turn, heading around the counter. “See you later.”

You see Tsukiko a short way down the road already, and jog to catch up to her. She hears you coming part of the way, and stops to wait. She doesn't look any less upset than she did at the store.

“I'm still mad at you,” she says as you catch up. “Shooting me in the back like that. I'm all bruised thanks to you, I have to hide it or else people would stare.”

“I already apologized for that, not my fault you're going to carry a grudge over it,” you say, folding your arms. She glowers once more.

“Maybe next time we go out exterminating I should shoot you in the back and see how much you like it,” she complains, turning away and continuing back towards home. You follow wordlessly, knowing that arguing the matter wouldn't change anything and only make her worse. More importantly, you check the pay you got this time around, opening the envelope. To your surprise, there's more than just 'a bit extra'. Where normally you could just barely pay rent for a month with the pay, you could easily pay rent and have enough left over for two weeks groceries. This is good, but what to do with the extra...

[] Save it for a rainy day.
[] Go out for dinner.
[] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
[] Keep it for yourself.

---

I think I might be taking this too seriously for something 'temporary'.
>> No. 386
[x] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
>> No. 388
>I think I might be taking this too seriously for something 'temporary'.

Sorta like giving your sea monkeys individual names.
>> No. 392
!?

...Is this what I think it is?

FUCK YEAR

[x] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
>> No. 411
[X] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

One hand giveth, the other taketh away.
>> No. 412
[x] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

Or at least get her a gift or something, don't just hand her the money, what the hell.
>> No. 413
[x] Take Tsundere out for dinner with the extra.
>> No. 417
ffff I write an update, and then post to find out that something else won with more votes.
>> No. 420
[x] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

You go over the money in your hand. There's definitely more than enough to cover a good night out for dinner, that would definitely lift her spirits.

“I got some extra money today from the manager,” you say, getting the girl's attention. She looks at you over her shoulder, and not with a sense of annoyance like she had for the entire day so far. “I was thinking we should go out for dinner tonight.” With those magic words, Tsukiko's eyes light up, and she gives you a cocky grin.

“You must really be sorry,” she says, turning her attention back to the street. “Well, I guess I can accept that apology, I've been mad at you long enough.”

“Anywhere you want to go in particular?” you ask. Might as well put it in her hands.

“We should go to Myschi's stall. She brings out the best stuff on a full moon night,” she replies.

That's right, tonight's going to be a full moon, a time when youkai start to act up. It's also the time that youkai exterminators do most of their work. You find yourself wondering if you're going to get a request for your services tonight as you reach your shared home. Tsukiko's already gone inside and is occupied with stowing away her drinks in the mini-fridge you keep, humming to herself. The spread of electrical power through the village had even reached here, which you're thankful for at least, if only because of the conveniences it brings. On top of it, the power is free, as the kappa apparently haven't heard of electrical bills.

It's about noon now, and Mystia doesn't open her stall until nightfall, so you have a few hours until then and nothing to do with the rest of your day.

[] Take a nap.
[] Just rest.
[] Go out and find somewhere to kill time.
>> No. 422
>>412

This
>> No. 423
[x] Take a nap.

Get refreshed for the neverending night!
>> No. 426
[] Just rest.
>> No. 460
fffff conflicting votes.

If I don't get a tiebreaker in an hour, I'm choosing the winner myself.
>> No. 461
[x] Take a nap.
>> No. 490
[x] Take a nap.
>> No. 512
[x] Take a nap.

Nothing to do for now, and nothing happening until night time anyway. You might as well get a few hours sleep in case you have more work to do later on, after your dinner.

“I'm going to take a nap,” you say, kicking off your shoes at the door. “You're going to be up all night anyway, I might as well try to keep pace with you.” Tsukiko snorts in response.

“You do that long enough and you'll become a youkai yourself,” she calls after you as you pass through the living room area to the door to your room. You trust her to wake you up if you sleep too long, but you doubt that you'd really get more than 3 hours at best. You crawl into your bed and close your eyes. It takes a few minutes, but once the fatigue starts to really set in you fall asleep.

**

You slept longer than expected, opening your eyes to find the sun lower in the sky. There's maybe an hour and a half of daylight left. You exit your room, and realize that you're alone. Tsukiko's room is next to yours, but the door is open, so you know she's not in there. You don't see her in the front room or the kitchen either. You're not terribly concerned though, since you still feel fine. If she was in danger of any kind, you'd know through the shikigami contract you have.

You suppose you should find something to occupy your time until night fall.

[] Kick back and read something.
[] Go for a walk.
[] Practice some sword drills.
>> No. 516
[x] Go for a walk.

Other options sound too boring.
>> No. 517
>>512

>shikigami contract.

Is Tsukiko the shikigami or are we?
>> No. 518
>>517

She is.
>> No. 519
[x] Go for a walk.
>> No. 547
[x] Go for a walk.

You should get outside for a bit. There's not a whole lot to do inside anyway besides read and work, and neither of those sound too appealing to you right now. Back to the front door, you slip on your shoes and slide the door open, exiting back into the street. The area is still fairly busy even though evening creeps on. While the amount of foot traffic the place gets can get kind of hectic, it's one of the better places you could hope to live with the 'profession' you have. You walk off without much of a goal, just looking to kill some time for now.

Though you set off without a goal, you soon find one for yourself by accident, recalling distant memories of the various areas you've walked in the past, the places and people you met when you first arrived in Gensokyo. Your eyes wander to the eastern mountains, where you first appeared in Gensokyo roughly a year and a half afo, in Reimu's home no less. The walk from there was especially harrowing. In fact, Tsukiko tried to attack you back then, but you were saved by quick thinking and some villagers that came to bring you the rest of the way safely. A lot of things have happened since, your attempts to return to the outside, traveling Gensokyo and learning how to survive, and even a few brushes with death and your past. Lastly, the shikigami pact you made with Tsukiko, after having butt heads with her for nearly a year. You still never learned to fly, even with the power boost increase from the contract.

You stop walking at the edge of the village, looking out over the road leading out into the forest. The sun is setting by now. Nightfall will be in a few minutes. You'll be coming back this way later, Mystia's stand is out along this road. If you went back to get Tsukiko, it'd be dark be the time you got there, the timing would be pretty good, you'd have first pick of everything. You turn on your heels and make your way back home.

**

“Where'd you go?” Tsukiko asks as you enter the house. She's sitting just inside the front door, seems she was waiting for you. “You didn't gamble away dinner, did you?” she asks, already getting herself angry over her imagination. You produce the envelope of money, unspent, and she calms down again.

“Relax, that was a one time thing,” you say, stepping back outside. “Besides, I was already piss drunk by the time I decided to risk money. We should go now though, it'll be dark by the time we get to Mystia's.”

Tsukiko hops up with a smile and heads through the door. You close it behind you and lock it, another luxury that's become common recently.

“You didn't answer my question, by the way,” the wolf girl starts.

“I went for a walk, found myself reminiscing about the time I've spent here,” you say. You receive a laugh in response.

“How human,” the girl replies. “I guess you're starting to become an old man already. Is grey hair next?”

“Probably,” you say with a grin. “Though since it's question and answer time, where did you go while I was asleep?”

“Family business,” is her response. “One of my brothers came by, told me that dad was short on hands at his restaurant and no one else was free to help.”

“Did you get paid?” you ask, jumping to the important part. Tsukiko gives a sigh of disappointment. That seemed like the typical response.

“Let's hurry up, I'm getting hungry,” Tsukiko says, running ahead a few steps before flying off into the air. The best you can manage is to keep up on foot. Even without having the power to fly, you can glide short distances between jumps using spiritual power at least.

**

The full moon is already in the sky by the time Mystia's stand comes into view, and you can practically hear the forest humming with activity. Tsukiko especially, being a wolf youkai, seems quite high spirited in the moonlight.

“Myschi~” Tsukiko calls out, landing near the stand several feet ahead of you. You can see the winged girl already working on opening her stand as she's greeted.

“Rare to see you out here, Tsuki,” Mystia says. “You here to play?”

“Nope, I'm here to eat!” Tsukiko declares happily, taking up one of the stools. Mystia leans back and sees you approaching, and nods.

“I see, taking your pet out to dinner,” she says with a smile.

“Actually, it's his treat,” Tsukiko responds, casting you a glance as you reach the stall.

“A man treating a girl to dinner, hmm...” Mystia hums, grinning suspiciously at you as you take a seat as well.

“I don't know what subtext you think you're reading, we're just here to eat,” you say.

“The best you have!” Tsukiko points out.

“Alright then~” Mystia practically sings, fishing out a couple of eels from a tub behind her and getting to work on cutting them up to serve, singing one of her strange songs while she's at it. After a few seconds of listening to her, you suddenly remember.

“Don't try any of your nightblindness tricks either,” you say, interrupting Mystia's song. She responds with a guilty smile.

“Why should I listen to you?” Mystia asks, skewering a piece pieces of eel in the meantime.

“If I can't find my wallet in the dark, you won't be getting paid,” you retort. Mystia smirks at your comment.

“Don't screw with his eyes, for my sake,” Tsukiko butts in. “It's not his fault he's just a human and has human weaknesses.” Mystia smiles at that, and then turns her head to you.

“I guess I can let you be for tonight,” she says, laying on her sarcasm thick. She returns to her singing again, though this time a lot quieter. A few skewers are completed, and she sets them on a plate, then onto the counter for the two of you to share. The first plate goes rather quickly between the two of you, but Mystia is quick to replace the plate of skewers with a second plate. As much as she loves to trouble you any time you meet her, you have to admit that Mystia is good at this job of hers, singing happily to herself while she expertly works. You get full by the halfway point of the third plate, but Tsukiko manages to work through the rest and half of a fourth before she's done as well. Mystia moves to take the plate away, but Tsukiko stops her.

“Hey, could we take the rest home with us?” Tsukiko asks. Mystia smiles.

“You want a doggie bag, Tsukiko?” Mystia muses, eliciting a frown from the wolf girl, followed by a nod. “Guess it can't be helped then.” Mystia takes the plate, and after a few seconds, produces a box that Tsukiko eagerly takes, and slides away from the stand to head back home. In the mean time, you pull out enough money to cover the bill. Handing over the cash, Mystia returns your change, and waves you off. “Hope you're the only one doing the eating in the forest tonight, human!” she calls after you as you head away from the stand. Tsukiko waits for you to catch up to her before continuing to walk.

“That was great, I'm so full,” Tsukiko practically whines. “I wish you would work more so we could go there every day.”

“Gensokyo would run out of eels if we did that,” you respond. Tsukiko groans in response.

“I'd hunt them to extinction if I could cook them like that,” she says.

“And then what? You'd need to find something else you love to eat besides eel,” you state. Tsukiko groans again.

“I'm too full to fly,” she whines.

**

It takes a little longer for the two of you to return than it did to get out, but the walk did some good, giving you time to digest on the way back, which may be for the better, as you see a man leaning against the wall beside your door, despite the fact there is still plenty of foot traffic around the intersection. Seems to be waiting for you to get back, could only mean one thing.

“Can I help you, man?” you ask, and the man looks over at you.

“You're the freelancer, right? You do youkai exterminations?” he asks, before he sees Tsukiko next to you. He suddenly looks embarrassed.

“Is it a big problem?” you ask, finding yourself kind of tired after all the eating and walking. The man raises up one of his arms. Even despite being covered in bandages the sight is unsettling from all the unusual lumps and odd patches of colours.

“Some youkai bug started acting up around my farm. I tried to fight him off, but I got bit up by all kind of things. Nothing poisonous, but...” the man trails off. Sounds like a headache, for sure. Tsukiko could probably handle it alone, actually.

[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
[] “Tsukiko, you can handle this alone, right?”
[] “Not interested tonight, sorry.”

---

Somehow it got this long.
>> No. 552
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
>> No. 557
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
[] Inventory check
>> No. 559
[x] “Tsukiko, you can handle this alone, right?”
>> No. 564
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”

Help her out, since she might be slowed down by all the food she ate. That and extra money never hurts.

But I think Wriggle's the bug youkai in question.
>> No. 571
[x] Inventory check

Items:
Envelope of money
'Yorozuya' haori
Plain yukata

Weapons:
Hand-to-Hand

Spellcards:
3x Sword Skill "Flashing Sword's Edge"
5x Shikigami "Tsukiko Mitsumine"
2x Combination "Hunter Under Moonlight"
>> No. 573
>>Weapons:
>>Hand-to-Hand

>>3x Sword Skill "Flashing Sword's Edge"

[ ] Acquire a sword.
>> No. 578
[x] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”

Well, a job is a job. You might feel tired now, but once you get into a battle you'll wake right up. You're going to need a weapon first though.

“I'll do it, gimme a second,” you tell the man, taking up the box from Tsukiko and heading inside. You place the box down on a table near the door and walk further into the living room, snatching up the old katana you used ever since you 'bought' it from Rinnosuke. You've long forgotten whatever history it had, but you know it works on youkai, so that's fine enough for you. You step back outside and relock your door. “Okay, let's go.”

**

You're lead through the village and out into the grasslands. The farm is thankfully a lot closer than you expected, saving another long trip for the night. You can see a figure floating over the fields, their back to you it seems. The farmer stops at the edge of his land, just outside a fence. You can see the air is rather thick with all sorts of flying insects, but even with a full moon you can't tell all of what's flying around. Flies, for sure, but you're definitely assuming there's wasps and hornets in there. You really wish you could fly right now.

“There he is,” the farmer says, pointing at the floating figure. “Think you can get him?”

“We'll see,” you say, hopping over the fence. Tsukiko just flies over, smirking down at you.

“You're not scared of bugs are you?” she asks tauntingly.

“How about you make yourself handy and carry me,” you say, getting laughter as a response. “Then the least you could do is go out there, grab that guy and bring him back here so I can hit him a few times too.”

“How about I just clear you a way there?” she asks instead, cracking her knuckles.

“That works,” you state, and you begin to draw your sword as Tsukiko generates a large orb of light in her hands. With a heave, she thrusts the ball towards the ground, where it kicks up a cloud of dirt and bugs, and you take a leap after it. The danmaku burst pushes through plant and insect alike, but leaves a very small wake of living and agitated bugs behind it, which you just barely manage to stay ahead of. You jump once to check how much farther you've got to your target, and notice they've already seen you coming. No time to waste then. You draw your blade back and swing it into the large orb, causing it to burst into a scatter of smaller orbs and close in on the flying youkai, using the surprise to reach out and grab... something, feels like some kind of silk cloth, and pull. You land one your feet with a very nasty sounding crunch as you drag the youkai out of the sky and toss them to the ground. You're prepared to start stomping like mad, but you notice that aside from the crushed remains of insects beneath your feet, there are no other bugs nearby. They've apparently formed a clearing, a patch of light ground surrounded by a seething sea of black. God damn, that's creepy.

“Who the hell are you!?” the youkai shouts, getting to his feet. Looks kind of young, short green hair, kind of high pitched voice... practically a kid among youkai.

“Pest Control,” you say, bringing your sword to bare. “Now let's get this out of the way so I don't have to worry about being eaten by bugs.” You get a better look at him now. White, puffy shirt, wearing pants, looks more like fancy western clothes. Is he wearing a cape too?

“What's the matter? Scared of bugs?” the boy says, crossing his arms. You can almost hear the chittering of the horde of creepy crawlies surrounding you. You notice Tsukiko float up in your peripheral vision. Well, at least your back up has arrived. The clearing of bugs seems to be closing in around you. You're going to have to act.

[] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
[] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
[] Get out of there, you can attack with danmaku.
>> No. 579
>>578

[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
>> No. 582
[] Get out of there, you can attack with danmaku.
LET'S FOLLOW THE RULES
>> No. 586
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.

Let's do this SWR style.
>> No. 590
[x] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
>> No. 600
[x] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
>> No. 693
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.

“Clear out these critters for me, will you?” you address Tsukiko. A blast of light hits the ground, scattering the insects. At the least they seem to run from danmaku, which is a plus. You close in to attack, swinging you sword at the youkai. He reacts with surprise and leaps back, as if he wasn't expecting you to attack. You still manage to score a hit across his chest, cutting his shirt open in the process. Suddenly, he lets out a shriek, and pulls his cape around himself.

“Wh-what are you doing!?” he shouts bewildered, turning red in the face. Another blast of light hits the ground nearby, sending the bugs further back.

“What, guys shouldn't have a problem if their chest is exposed,” you say, inching forward. The youkai flies up into the air, and despite your efforts to catch him, he escapes into the air.

“Guy? You-” the youkai looks really frustrated now. “Why does everyone think I'm a boy!?”

“... What?” is all you can manage to say.

“You stupid humans, are all youkai the same to you? Can't even tell when you're fighting a girl?” the youkai shouts at you. A girl? The bugs don't seem to be moving any closer for the moment, so you spare a second to look back at Tsukiko. She shrugs at you.

“Don't look at me, it's hard for me to tell too,” she says, sighing. “Maybe if I were a bug, but insects are way below wolves.”

“You two are horrible!” the... well, girl, shouts. “First I get attacked for just wanting my precious bugs to have some good food, and then you mock me like this?” She floats farther away, still wrapped tightly in her cape. “I'll get you back for this!” she shouts, and you notice the insects that had surrounded you are starting to follow her away. Once the bugs are gone do you finally recall; Wriggle Nightbug, youkai firefly. It's been so long since you've thought about the games, all the information that you had was stuck away far in the back of your mind. It wasn't a game to you anymore, after all, not for the last year.

“Well, shit,” you mutter, flicking your sword to clear off the slight amount of blood on it from the blow you landed. You produce a cloth from your pocket and wipe down the rest, resheathing the blade. You look down at the ground, many of the plants have been chewed to hell by the army of bugs, and a few still linger here and there. There's also a lot more dead insects than you could consider being responsible for.

“So that was it?” Tsukiko says, sounding rather disppointed. You turn back the way you came, seeing the gouge in the ground from the path you took. You're somewhat consoled by the fact that what crops were here had been long destroyed by the bugs, so you shouldn't get too much flak over that. You head back along the path, to where the farmer is still waiting.

“You let him get away?” he asks with a displeased tone. “That monster ruined my fields, I wanted you to cut him down!”

“Well, things don't always happen the way you want them to,” you remark, hopping the fence. “At the least I got her off your land, so job complete, I'd say.” The guy looks a little confused by your statement, but you're not about to explain it. He just furrows his brow and begrudgingly fishes out a couple wrinkled bills and a few coins. Hardly much, but you could buy lunch with it.

“With all the damage, I can't afford to pay you any more,” the farmer says, climbing over his fence. “I'm going to need to spend a lot to get through the winter.”

“Sorry about your farm,” you say, pocketing the money. From there, you and Tsukiko head back home. The walk is silent.

You're genuinely tired by the time you get home, even though Tsukiko looks lively as ever. You slide the door open, stepping inside.

“I take it you're not done for the night yet?” you ask, looking back at the girl. She shakes her head.

“Full moons are restless times for youkai, I couldn't sleep now even if I wanted to,” she says before floating into the air a few inches. “I'm going to go enjoy the night.”

“Alright then,” you reply. “Have fun.” At that, you step inside fully and slide the door shut. You carefully take your shoes off, vowing to wash them in the morning, and make your way to your room once more. You fall asleep faster the second time.

**

Morning comes, you slide open the door to your room. First thing you see is Tsukiko sprawled over a chair asleep. You just leave her where she is as you walk to the front door, pulling it open. Seems the paper came today, the thin issue of the Bunbunmaru sitting in a box next to the door. Despite the mostly worthless articles, it's still a decent resource for finding various jobs people want done. With paper in hand, you take the box of leftover eel and take up the unoccupied chair in the corner.

[] Search for any help wanted ads.
[] Just read to pass time for now.
>> No. 696
[x] Just read to pass time for now.

We can always glance at the help wanted afterwards.
>> No. 698
[x] "Wake up" Tsukiko.
[x] Read the whole thing, no need to differentiate any of the information you'll be getting.
>> No. 701
[x] Search for any help wanted ads.

interesting
>> No. 712
>>698

Not sure how to count this.
>> No. 715
>>712
Like this:

[] Search for any help wanted ads.
[] Just read to pass time for now.
[] Uninentionally ...think... about Tsukiko.
>> No. 716
>>715

Then that would mean there are two votes for both options.

Cool deadlock, bro.
>> No. 719
[x] Just read to pass time for now.
>> No. 723
[x] Just read to pass time for now.

You just woke up, and from how much you slept for the nap you took last night, you're up earlier than normal. Not even this typically busy area gets much traffic at this time of day. Even if you found a job right now, you'd still have to wait for whoever posted it to wake up before you went calling, so you just read the paper for the sake of reading.

Articles are still being printed about the latest incidents, sightings of a large flying ship, and lesser articles about a 'giant robot' seen walking in the mountains. The news is still fairly recent, but there must not be too much else exciting going on if they're still being covered. You do notice an article about an upcoming festival of some sort, no doubt that'll be a decent way to get some income, as much preparation as a festival needs, there's bound to be someone that needs a hand. You eventually get around to the few advertisements printed. The long running ad for maid positions at the Scarlet Devil mansion is still there, center page, as always. There's quite a few posts for usual requests as well; mushroom picking? Assistant researcher? Welcoming guide? You personally get a good laugh from an advertisement for a dog grooming service looking for an assistant, looking up at Tsukiko sleeping in the chair. Does it still count if it's a youkai? Maybe you should make an appointment. A few of those postings you wouldn't mind checking out later, it would be a good change to chase your own choices rather than being handed a task. Reading the paper only took the better part of an hour, though. You still have time to kill before everyone starts waking up. You've got a few ideas...

[] Go back to bed.
[] Go fishing.
[] Go to an all day diner for breakfast.
>> No. 731
[x] Go fishing. Think upon things and see if you can catch a nice fish for lunch. Also ponder on how you first arrived here yet settled in a rather mundane life.
>> No. 732
[x] Go fishing.

Sure, sure. Put some food on the table.
>> No. 740
>>723
[X] Go fishing.
>> No. 795
[X] Go fishing.
Early morning's the perfect time.
>> No. 802
[x] Fish going.
>> No. 803
[X] Go fishing.
>> No. 846
[x] Go phishing.

Let's steal Yukari's credit card number!
>> No. 854
[x] Go fishing.

Fishing sounds like a good idea, especially now when it's still early. Folding the paper up, you drop it on the chair behind you and head over to the small closet next to the kitchen and dig out your fishing rod. Not much more than a simple swatch of bamboo, really, but it works well enough for the fish, so you can't really complain. Don't have any bait handy either, but there's a youkai that runs a bait shop by the river, so you're not concerned. You also pick up a bucket, you intend to use it to carry any fish you catch that you'd want to keep. You set out with your tools, leaving the door unlocked.

The walk doesn't take long, given that you live fairly close to the river. You pick yourself up some bait, fill your bucket with water, and after choosing a good looking spot in the shade of a tree you cast your line. There are a few other people out fishing already, only a handful though, and all spaced rather far apart. You lean back, enjoying the peace. Surrounded by the bustle of the market and business districts of the town all day doesn't really give you much time to relax, more often than not you find yourself swept up in work or something else within an hour of waking up, and you only come home to sleep. A taxing lifestyle for a human to live, youkai seem to have it easier when it comes to working like that.

Your mind starts to wander, watching the reflection of the sky in the waters surface. To think that before you came here you were just a somewhat ordinary guy, working a boring job in retail, who spent his time off watching anime and playing shooters. Touhou, you had forgotten the word after so long, but the fight last night brought it back to you. You remember after arriving, having woken up at the Hakurei shrine, the surreality of it all and the excitement at the idea of being in a magical fantasy land populated with cute girls, the idea of being able to meet whoever you wanted and have crazy danmaku duels. It turned out to be so much different than the fantasy, it was hard. It took you nearly a month to properly focus what spiritual energy you had to be able to fire a single shot that traveled more than a foot before dissipating, and several more before you had the strength to put it into a spellcard. Even after a year and a half, you still can't fly, and even the smallest shots are painful when hit. The high point of your strength came after you managed to convince Tsukiko into becoming your shikigami, after a battle she started for revenge you just barely managed to win. You spent a week in the town hospital after that, and a few more were spent relaxing at home while your ribs healed.

Life here was normal, well, normal-ish. All the crazy girls that live here turned out to be fairly normal people. Even Marisa, who you initially went to for danmaku training, spent most of her days picking mushrooms, tending her vegetable gardens, or reading and writing magical books. Her trips to the Scarlet Devil mansion were rather infrequent at best, and she never stole a large amount of books at once, just a select few she needed at the time. Ran and Chen as well weren't that unusual. Chen was a prankster that came by the village occasionally to swipe food and play with strays, and Ran occasionally came in search of her, but more often than not she was only in town to shop for groceries and exchange a few pleasant words with the housewives in line. Life here was normal but peaceful, and to be honest you preferred it like this. You didn't have to worry too much about education, or transit, or bills. All you needed was the ability to work to pay rent if you lived in the village, and so long as you had the will to work, there was work to be done, and that's how you've lived for the past year or so, a freelancer ready to take any jobs needed. You got the occasional youkai extermination job, but pretty much everyone in the village handles their own problems.

A tug on the line snaps you back to the moment, and with a sharp jerk you pull the fish from the water. Fairly decent sized fish, a carp you think. You never really were that good with fish, but it would at least make a fairly decent meal. You bring the fish in, and after removing the hook, put it in the bucket. With more bait, you cast your line again. Your mind wanders once more, but stays more in your current situation. You spend time thinking over the various help wanted ads you saw and trying to decide which one you wanted to take. Some time passes while you're lost in thought before another tug on your line brings you back. One more jerk on the rod, and you pull yourself out another fish, a little smaller than before. You don't even know what kind of fish this is, looking it over. Well, it's probably not a carp. Your bucket isn't big enough for three fish this size, so you decide to make due with only a pair of them. Cook them up with some rice for lunch or so. Maybe if Tsukiko's feeling productive you could borrow her culinary talents for sushi, if the fish is good enough. You bring the left over bait back to the seller and head off back home with your catch.

It's been a while, about an hour and a half, maybe. People are definitely awake now, and the intersection outside your house is already getting plenty of traffic from various owners heading in to open shops. You decide it's time to go over the help wanted section one last time to choose what you want to do for today. Opening your door, you find Tsukiko awake, reading the paper herself and finishing off the leftovers.

“Went fishing, I see,” she says, glancing over at you. “Catch anything good?”

“Probably,” you reply, entering the house. You set down the rod next to the door and carry the bucket into the kitchen. Tsukiko just stays in the chair, reading the paper.

“You see these work ads yet?” she asks. You walk over to the chair, leaning over the back.

“Yeah, I was thinking of taking one of them,” you say, reading them over again.

[] Mushroom picking
[] Assistant researcher
[] Salesperson
[] Deliveryman
[] Road surveyor
>> No. 855
[x] Assistant researcher
>> No. 856
[x] Mushroom picking
>> No. 859
[x] Assistant researcher
>> No. 861
[X] Mushroom picking

Long time no see Marisa (Who else would put in such an ad) But I hope she's paying money instead of stolen goods.
>> No. 862
>>But I hope she's paying money instead of stolen goods.

There's a difference, to her?
>> No. 871
>>862
One is commonly used as currency, the other is... not that commonly used as currency.
>> No. 872
[x] Assistant researcher
>> No. 873
Calling it for Assistant researcher to prevent a deadlock.

Writing in a bit.
>> No. 1026
[x] Assistant researcher

“Assistant researcher sounds pretty interesting,” you say, your eyes falling onto the ad again. You don't know who could have posted something like that, but looking at the contact details directs you to the Youkai Mountain. That place is kind of far away, especially for someone that can't fly. It's not really specified what you'd be researching exactly either, but since it's at the mountain, the only thing that comes to mind is the kappa. The only details for the location is a cave behind the waterfall, no name for who you should be looking for. Well, that cave should be pretty easy to find at least. You can follow the river up from the lake.

“Sounds boring, I think I'll do something else,” Tsukiko says, slouching a bit in the chair. “Maybe I'll wait at home to see if anyone comes by with another job or something, I don't know.” You step back from the chair.

“It does sound boring, but I think it'd be a good change. I've been active lately, so I don't really want to exhaust myself by constantly doing physical work. Besides, if it's a kappa that placed the job, I might be able to set myself up a good deal to learn some engineering skills,” you say, walking back to the front door. The only bad part is the time it'll take you to get there.

**

Okay, you were wrong. The second worst thing was the time it took you to get there. The worst thing about the job was finding out that the cave that had been mentioned was about a hundred feet up from the basin, and the only way for you to get to it without being able to fly was to take a running leap from a foot path nearby and clumsily glide yourself into the rocks about 60 feet up, being stuck climbing the rest of the way on the slippery, wet rock face with only a few inches of clearance between you and the roaring waterfall behind you.

“God damn it, I better get paid well for this,” you grumble to yourself, inching up a step on the rocks and finally laying your hand on the edge of the entrance, and-

Crunch.

“Ah! Ow ow!” you shout as something hard comes down on your hand, only to move away a few seconds later.

“Wah! Human!” a voice shouts from above, a female voice. You look up to see a girl looking down over the rocks at you, partially out of view. You can just make out light blue hair and some kind of hat, though from how you're hanging you don't have the best view.

“Can you help me up!?” you shout, getting annoyed that the girl is just watching you. After a few seconds of her panicking, she kneels down and grabs your arm, pulling with what little might she can to drag you into the cave. It works better for you to use her as a weight to pull yourself up, and finally get your other hand on the cave entrance, pulling yourself up as the girl retreats a few feet into the cave. “Damn, thanks, but you could have watched where you were going.”

“Uh, sorry,” the girl mumbles, looking down. Now that you're gotten yourself into the cave and have a better look at the girl, you realize you recognize her. That blue dress, the backpack, has to be Nitori.

“Were you the one that posted the research assistant ad in the paper?” you ask, jumping right to the issue. Nitori looks a little uneasy.

“Y-yes,” she replies after a few seconds of silence, inching away. “But I didn't think a h-human would answer it, so I don't know...” she trails off.

“If you're worried I won't understand what you're doing, I'm from the outside originally,” you state, hoping that's what she's worried about. If not, at least it should make you sound a little better for the job. Whichever the case was, she seems suddenly eager.

“Oh, really? Then you should be much better for this!” she cheers. “I've been reading a lot of news about something the shrine maiden of the mountain saw, saying it was some kind of giant robot. I wanted to see it myself, but, well,” Nitori pauses, taking off her backpack and opening it to begin rummaging. “I thought it would be better if I made my own giant robot, so I managed to dig up some books on robots from the outside,” she produces a few books from her backpack, and you have to summon all of your might not to start laughing. Nitori is apparently insistent on using run down volumes of various Gundam related manga as the basis of her research.

“I see,” you say, playing your best straight face ever in light of this situation. “Very... good choice of materials.”

“Really?” Nitori asks excitedly.

“Yes, there are plenty of people that learn all about giant robots in the outside world from books like that,” you continue. Nitori looks absolutely ready to explode, and you're in the same situation for a much different reason.

“Say, you think you could see if Kourindou has any more of these?” she asks, dropping the manga back into the bag and fishing out a wad of money from one of her pockets. “As many as I can get would be fantastic.” You take the money, but in remembering the way out, you look back at Nitori.

“Uh, this waterfall?” you say, rather flatly.

“Oh, I'll have a ladder ready for you when you get back. Ah! Also,” Nitori kneels to her backpack once more and eventually produces a sheet of some kind of plastic. “That'll keep you from getting the books wet on the way back up.”

“Thanks then,” you say, turning back to the waterfall. “Now if you'll excuse me,” you pocket the money and wrap the sheet around yourself. With a jump you crash through the water and into the open air and guide your fall to land yourself at the river bank. You land fairly hard, but at least you're not injured. You start off on your journey to Kourindou, folding up the plastic as you go.

**

The trip takes a good hour or so, shortened by the fact you started half-gliding your way to the store once you got the poncho thing under control. There's no one in the front, so you wander up to the counter and give it a few hard knocks. Rinnosuke appears from the back rather quickly after that, and his expression sinks when he sees you.

“Oh, it's you,” he says, obviously so happy to see you.

“Yeah, I'm back to rob you again,” you say, pulling out the money from your pocket. “I'm giving you this worthless paper in exchange this time too.” Rinnosuke smirks a bit, but still doesn't look to pleased.

“So what are you here for?” he asks.

“Let me see your books,” you say. “Anything to do with robots.” Rinnosuke leaves the counter, disappearing amidst the clutter. A few minutes later he returns with an armful of books. Some of them have nothing to do with what you asked, but most of them are assorted volumes of different robot themed manga. There are a few legitimate texts on engineering and robotics, though. “How much for the lot of them?” you ask.

“More than you have,” Rinnosuke responds. You grimace a bit. You're almost sure he'd overcharge you just because he's pissed with you, but you can't exactly prove that either, since they're not exactly labeled with a price. Well whatever, you have your selection.

[] Get the manga. It's what she asked for, after all.
[] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.

---

So it was a tad more than a bit after all.
>> No. 1032
[x] Boot to the face.
[x] Get the hell out of there, books in tow.
>> No. 1035
[x] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
>> No. 1042
[x] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
>> No. 1043
[X] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
[X] try to remember why Rinnosuke is mad at you.
>> No. 1044
>“I've been reading a lot of news about something the shrine maiden of the mountain saw, saying it was some kind of giant robot. I wanted to see it myself, but, well,” Nitori pauses, taking off her backpack and opening it to begin rummaging. “I thought it would be better if I made my own giant robot

But... the giant shadow Sanae saw in UNL was the Hisou Tensoku, a giant robot action figure that Nitori did build.
>> No. 1045
>>1044

What.
>> No. 1049
File 125185717319.jpg - (884.32KB , 768x1024 , Hisou Tensoku.jpg ) [iqdb]
1049
>>1045

http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Touhou_Hisoutensoku:_Miscellaneous
>The enormous monster seen in the title of the game is named Hisou Tensoku. This Nitori made fighting action figure is the cause of the incidents in Sanae and Cirno's routes.

Also worth noting: Suwako helped design it.
>> No. 1050
>>1044
>>1045

At least it was something Kappa created if not Nitori involved; it's just that Suwako didn't tell sanae the details, and the rest of Gensokyo didn't find out until Aya's paper came out afterwards.
>> No. 1065
>>1049
>>1050

Where did that information even come from? Paper?
>> No. 1066
>>1065
The latest edition of the Bunbunmaru News, most likely.

No reason to disbelieve at this time. Still, I would recommend exercising Author Powers to nullify the contradiction.
>> No. 1073
>>1066

I was going to anyway, but damn.
>> No. 1190
>>1065

You can check the translation of Sanae's scenario to see Suwako's involvement - she knows exactly what the Hisou Tensoku is, and her refusal to tell Sanae is what goads the shrine maiden into challenging her to the final match of the story.

The endings for Sanae and Cirno feature several of the different characters reading the Bunbunmaru, which is how we know what the Hisou Tensoku was built for. The kappa intended it as an advertising tool; I can't remember exactly, and I can't translate it myself, but I think they were going to have some sort of convention or bazaar or something, and wanted something to attract people. IIRC, Cirno's ending even features an image of Reimu reading the paper, complete with an image of the Hisou Tensoku in the background, and a little speech bubble with Nitori in it.
>> No. 1295
>>1190

fffff

You see, shortly after UNL's release, I was going to have Milly translate the endings if I provided the screens, but my computer decided it'd rather not display text in UNL, so I abandoned that idea. Had the game not fucked itself, I'd have known this.

Anyway, bumping to ask: Continue this now that the site is restored?
>> No. 1368
Yes.
>> No. 1372
Of course. Continue this. You should already know that this is my answer.

You should also know that this is my answer: UPDATE BC.
>> No. 1373
Of course. Continue this. You should already know that this is my answer.

You should also know that this is my answer: UPDATE BC.
>> No. 1374
[x] Damn straight you will.
>> No. 1375
Lol, chmod error and it ended up posting it twice
>> No. 1409
Then I'll have this moved to others, I suppose.