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20273 No. 20273
Onis are massaging! This is unprecedented serious affair.

>>21095
Grammar Nazi doesn't really begin to cover it. I am the grammar Führer. If allowed to run unchecked, it is likely that I will, one day, establish the Grammar Reich. And now there's going to be a grammar error somewhere in this post.

---

If she said it, she must have meant it, right? Standing up with a small groan, you make your way around the table, stripping off the baggy shirt Yuugi lent you as you go, and sit back down with your back to her. You hear her inhale softly as you land, then chuckle lightly. "Didn't think you'd actually do it the first time I asked," she says, pressing her hands against the top of you spine, where your neck meets your shoulders. You involuntarily tense at the contact at first, then exhale, willing yourself to relax as her warm hands work their way down your back, lightly tracing above the skin without applying any pressure.

"What exactly does that mean?" you ask, feeling a sudden surge of self-consciousness that earns you another laugh from Yuugi.

"Just what I said," she replies plainly. "Humans got pretty brave since I was last above ground, that's all. This where it hurts?" she asks, pressing a finger against your right shoulder, right at the center of the bruised area. You wince, feeling her touch reach something deeper than just the bruise, and nod silently. "I'll get goin', then," she says, putting a hand on either side of the bruise.

She still hasn't answered your question, though. Is she trying to distract you? "I still don't know what that's suppooohhhh..." Your voice trails off into meaningless noise as Yuugi digs her fingers into your muscles roughly, causing a bit of pain that quickly sublimates into pleasure as your whole body goes slack.

"You say somethin'?" Yuugi mocks, keeping up the pressure as you give way around her hands.

"I... mmm... did I?" you manage before your mind slips back into blankness. If she gives an answer, you don't hear it, letting yourself fall into a state of semi-unconsciousness, not reacting to any stimuli except the feel of Yuugi's hands. When you come out of this mini-coma, she's still going, having switched to massaging both of your shoulders to no lesser effect. "How did you... get so good at this?" you ask breathlessly.

"Well, I dunno if you heard, but us oni like fightin' people." You know you're meant to respond with something witty here, but nothing comes to mind, and you just sigh audiably. "That's it, basically. You fight a lot, you get hurt a lot, and you get hurt a lot, you start comin' up with ways to get rid of the pain." Her hands move down, behind the blades of your shoulders. "Just about every family's got their own technique, handed down through the line for however many generations. Of course, mine's one of the best," she says with more than a hint of pride.

"I don't doubt it," you say appreciatively. "Just one of the best?"

"Ah, well," she begins, and her pleased tone falls a little. "Had a buddy once with a lot of talent. Didn't even have to use her hands." You hear her shift behind you, knocking against the wood floor, and you feel something soft and heavy -- make that two somethings -- come to rest atop your head. Before you have too much time to consider them, though, you feel Yuugi draw the heel of her palms against your back, from the shoulder all the way down to the base of your spine, with the most force she's used yet, making your back arch and drawing out another groan.

"I betcha even she'd have a tough time with you, though," she teases. "S'it real stressful up above ground or somethin'?" she asks, laughing, and you laugh with her, deciding not to mention that you've probably accumulated more stress in the past 24 hours than you would have in a year living your normal life.

Thinking about stress returns your mind to your memory problems, and you find that, with a little distance from the problem and Yuugi at your back, thinking rationally and objectively about things has become a lot easier. You should keep notes, you decide; some kind of writted record of anything important you do. Odds are you won't turn out to need it, but it'll be there in case you lose anything else. You don't know how difficult it'll be to get your hands on paper down here, but it's not like you need a calligraphy set; a simple brush and ink you can keep with you and some scrap paper should do it.

After a few more minutes of silence, Yuugi claps you a few times on the shoulder. "Try movin' it around a bit now," she says, and you do, rotating it around in circles gently, then back and forth to test the range of motion.

"The bruise still hurts a little, but all the muscle's never felt better," you say. "Thanks, Yuugi."

"If you wanna thank me, I got a better way," she says, a note of amusement in her voice, and you turn around only to have your shirt dropped on your head. Putting it back on, you look up to see Yuugi's back facing towards you.

"You want me to --" you say, then shrug to yourself. "I doubt I'll be as good as you, but I'll give it a try," you say, tentatively placing your hands on her shoulders. Before you do, though, she grabs your hand, trapping it against her shoulder, and turns around, an odd expression on her face.

"You're actually gonna do it?" she asks, sounding a little incredulous.

"Why do you keep asking that?" you ask, beginning to feel a little annoyed at whatever strange doubts Yuugi seems to be entertaining about you.

"Actually, can you do my back, then?" she asks, letting go of you and twisting her midsection around in a stretch. "You kinda did a number on me, too," she says, pressing a palm against the side of the stomach you remember hitting her in.

"Of course," you reply. rolling up your sleeves. "Just get comfortable and I'll do my best."

"'Kay," she says, turning back around and changing position, lowering her stomach to the ground to lie down. She only gets halfway, though, before stopping and returning to an upright position. "Oh, right. Nearly forgot," she says, turning back towards you, grabbing her lapel, and pulling her right arm out of her sleeve. You wonder what she's doing as she does the same with her left arm, then coils them around her stomach, grabbing handfuls of her shirt and bending forward slightly to -- wait, is she going to --

[ ] Keep watching.
[ ] Avert your eyes.

>> No. 20285
[X] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so.
>> No. 20286
File 124374869110.png - (117.57KB , 250x400 , 2da2502731ebb9be1349f55ed2667e5c.png ) [iqdb]
20286
[!/] Stare stupefied.
[!/] Make a comment about how "brave" oni's are.

CAST OFF!
>> No. 20287
[x] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so.
>> No. 20289
>some kind of writted record
Operation Typo Valkyrie
>> No. 20290
[ze] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so.

Accidentally jostling the vase, are we?

In before this is a courtship ritual.
>> No. 20301
Feeling kinda warm and fuzzy in here.

[x] Keep watching.
[x] But cock your head to the side and gauge her reaction. Is she testing you in some way?

The Villager consistently surprises Yuugi. Ever since that fight when he shrugged and accepted a challenge to wrestle with an oni I think. I believe this is due to his endlessly accommodating nature and good faith.

The fascination is understandable, not because of any exceptional qualities in the Villager, but because of circumstances where the unexceptional becomes the exception. Oni society seems to be built around confrontation and competition. Likely, courting is coached in these terms as well--that oni boy in the street earlier likely had an interest in her, and was expressing it in a rather circuitous fashion, something Yuugi has no patience for. And as for humans they're the kind of thing that would only exist in legends and long forgotten memories to those in the underground, who would likely be thought of as duplicitous, capricious, and unappreciative as a whole. But this human doesn't act anything like a 'human' should, or like her fellow oni do.
>> No. 20302
[ ] Keep watching.

Why not be a little more honest with ourselves.
>> No. 20303
>>20273
"Grammar Nazi" is such an ugly term. I prefer Comma Police.
>> No. 20308
[X] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so.
>>20303
You bloody commanist scum.
>> No. 20310
>Grammar Reich

Also known the "Thousand Word Reich"
>> No. 20313
>>20308
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get when you miss full stops
>> No. 20315
[X] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so.
>> No. 20318
[X] Keep watching.

Brave~
>> No. 20321
[O] Keep watching.
>> No. 20322
[X] Keep watching.

We shall see the top of the mountain. And be worshiped as god.
>> No. 20323
>>20301
>that oni boy in the street earlier
He wasn't an oni. That was kind of the main issue at the time, remember?
>> No. 20324
[X] Keep watching.
>> No. 20328
[X] Keep watching.
>> No. 20329
[X] Keep watching

this is delicious yuugi, you must oogle her
>> No. 20334
>>20323

Different boy. Not the one who got punched.
>> No. 20336
>>20334
I don't remember, when was that?
>> No. 20338
>>20336

While they were going to the mansion the first time. There was an oni she knew by name, Rasetsu. A shapeshifter, he was using his powers to tease Taizou. Yuugi thought he was insufferable. Taizou was more blithe about it.

Here: >>13887
>> No. 20347
[x] Try to avert your eyes to be polite, but ultimately fail to do so
>> No. 20384
[X] Keep watching.
>> No. 20387
[x] Keep watching.

[x] Courage option
>> No. 20393
[X] Reaction Paralisis
>> No. 20398
[Q] Keep watching.

The one true path.
>> No. 20413
File 124389590438.jpg - (400.86KB , 724x1024 , 39.jpg ) [iqdb]
20413
Oh, you naughty, naughty Anon. For shame.

Back at work now, so daily updates are going to get more rare, but I should be able to speed myself up somewhat by doing my writing away from the computer.

---

You know you should look away, if only to be safe, but a moment's hesitation holds you back, and you find yourself continuing to stare as Yuugi straightens back up, pulling her shirt up over her navel and--

Stops. You blink, disoriented, and tear your attention away from... where it had been, looking up into Yuugi's face, only to be met with a half-frown and a pair of red eyes staring directly into yours. You look away first, and the two of you are silent for a moment before she speaks.

"You... were gonna look," she says, voice strangled, and you sneak another look to find her covering her mouth with a hand, eyebrows arched. "You..." she repeats, more quietly than think you've ever heard her speak before.

"I was--" you begin, trying to think of something to say to defend yourself and coming up blank. "Yuugi, I--"

"Bahahahahaha!" The hand not covering her mouth slaps herself across the knee once, and she bends double, apparently no longer able to restrain herself. "You were-- you were--" she tries before bursting into laughter again, clutching her stomach. "You were really gonna look!" she finally manages before collapsing entirely, literally pounding the floorboards and rolling with laughter.

You... were not expecting this. Unsure of whether to apologize or laugh along with her, you sit silently while she gets it out of her system, and before too long, she manages to control herself and sits up.

"Wouldn'ta figured you to be such a horndog, Taizou," she says, smirking as she wipes a tear from her eye. "Am I gonna hafta put a lock on my underwear drawer now?" she asks in a mock-serious tone, clapping a hand on your shoulder.

"I-- That's not--" you stammer, feeling yourself flush, and Yuugi laughs again, shaking you back and forth a little with her hand.

"S'not what? Go on, try to talk your way outta this one," she says, meeting your eyes with a mocking gaze. "What, were you gonna play it off like you thought oni women just run around flashin' the goods to anyone in sight?"

You open your mouth to deny it, but you have to admit the thought had crossed your mind that it was just a cultural thing. A logical excuse, maybe, but clearly not one Yuugi's going to buy. Trying to ignore the heat on your face, you turn your head away. "Sorry," you mutter without meeting Yuugi's eyes.

"Hey, hey, no reason to get all serious about it," she says, shoving you away lightly with the hand on your shoulder and slipping her arms back into her shirt. "I was just screwin' around, figured you'd get all embarrassed and turn around real quick." She chuckles again lightly. "Didn't figure you were gonna try to sneak a peek." She yawns loudly, scratching her stomach under her shirt. "Anyway, let's get this done with so we can get some sleep," she says, and reaching down to her shirt again, she quickly rolls up her shirt to above her midsection again and ties it in a knot, then leans forward to lay on the floor, resting her head in her arms.

She's just going to let it drop? You're surprised, but in no mood to object; you scoot over to her side, looking over her lower back. Now that you get a good look at it, you can see she wasn't kidding about taking some damage during your fight; she doesn't have a lot of bruising on the surface, but her entire left lower back is covered with dark red spots indicative of internal bruising. Touching the area lightly, you can feel the swollen tissue relative to the rest of her back, and as you move your fingers around her side to her stomach, you collide with some raised scar tissue around where you remember making contact. Holding in a gasp, you return your hands to their original position around the center of Yuugi's back. "Ready?" you ask.

"Whenever you are," she says lazily, closing her eyes. Taking that as your cue, you start to apply some pressure, moving your hands in broad circles over her back, searching for areas of knotted muscle. You find them easily, small areas of tension peppered around her back, and increase the pressure of your movements, warming her muscles before starting in on them. After a few strokes, you can feel her start to relax under you, and she lets out a deep breath and a small moan. "Mmmm... harder..." she says, and you find yourself abruptly reminded that you're rubbing down a beautiful woman who doesn't seem especially concerned about the prospect of you looking at her breasts and whom you happen to be living with. Gulping slightly, you try to keep focused on the task at hand, increasing pressure again, as you stretch your arms across her body to switch to the opposite side ofher back.

Your increase in tension isn't lost on Yuugi. "Y'know, it'd probably be a lot easier for you if you got yourself centered around the area you were rubbin'," she says, the peaceful expression on her face belying her mocking tone. "If ya know what I mean."

Centered? So she wants you to... oh, hell no. As attractive as the prospect of straddling Yuugi sounds, you've been put through enough questioning of your intentions for one day; you'll stay right where you are. In fact, with her pretty clearly making fun of you now, you wouldn't mind turning the tables on her at least once today. "So you're saying you want me on top of you?" you quip, too tired to wonder whether you're crossing the line or not.

Apparently, the answer is no; your comment sets Yuugi off laughing again, and this time you laugh along with her. "See, now you're gettin' the hang of it," she says. "Gotta keep your guard up around an oni, 'specially if you're a human. Smarter with words than y'all ever give us credit for." Yuugi's words are getting more and more slurred with some combination of fatigue and alcohol, and she punctuates her last sentence with a loud yawn. You decide to let her rest; if she's feeling anything like you were earlier, she's in no state for conversation right now anyway. You continue to massage her lower back in silence, switching to short strokes to work out the tight spots in her back, then back to a cool-down massage after you take care of them all.

"Want me to keep going?" you ask, looking up at Yuugi's face. Her eyes are still closed, and her mouth hangs open slightly, her head still cradled in her arms. "Yuugi?" you call softly after a couple of seconds with no response. She replies by shifting her head slightly, touching her horn against the ground, and letting out a soft snore.

...Well, this is somewhat problematic. As pleased as you are that your massage technique was apparently well received, it'll be an exercise in futility if she sleeps on a hard wood floor. What to do?

[ ] You can't very well leave her here; try to wake her up and get her to bed.
[ ] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 20414
[ ] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
>> No. 20415
[x] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
>> No. 20416
[ ] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
>> No. 20417
[X] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
>> No. 20418
File 124390080273.jpg - (26.63KB , 250x250 , aac2f57c1a2a15383dae267fa4ab4160.jpg ) [iqdb]
20418
[!/] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.
>> No. 20420
Can't we at least move her to the couch or something? Sleeping on the floor is not fun.
>> No. 20421
[X] Move her onto the couch at the very least, then get a pillow and a blanket for her.
>> No. 20423
>>20420

In during:

I'd move her to the couch, if you know what I mean.
I'd move her to the bed, if you know what I mean.
>> No. 20426
>>20423
You lost me.
>> No. 20429
[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.
>> No. 20430
[x] Best not to wake her; bring a pillow and blanket out here.

>>20429
Can we even lift her?
>> No. 20432
[ ] You can't very well leave her here; try to get her to bed. (No waking up)
>> No. 20436
[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.

>>20430
You know how the cliche goes around here. Strong enough to kill you with a single punch, yet light as a feather.
>> No. 20444
[ze] You can't very well leave her here; try to wake her up and get her to bed.

Sleepy oni hijinks!
>> No. 20447
[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.
>> No. 20449
[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.
>> No. 20456
>>20430
I'd imagine doing various odd jobs for a while would make this fine man at least a tad bit manly.

[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.
>> No. 20463
You don't pick up an oni bridal-style. You carry her on your back.
>> No. 20468
[+] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.

>>20463
Anon must always choose the option that causes the most misunderstanding.
>> No. 20469
>>20468

Bonus points if she wakes up in the middle of it.
>> No. 20470
>>20469
She's only feigning to sleep in the first place.
>> No. 20472
>>20468
I agreed!

[x] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.
>> No. 20474
By my count, it's a 7-7 tie, but counting >>20432 for "[X] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed" gives it the win. I hope you've been working out, Anon.

Writing.
>> No. 20482
>>20474
>I hope you've been working out

We did manage to hold our own in a fight against her, how out of shape could we be?
>> No. 20496
File 12440106062.jpg - (315.91KB , 816x565 , 40.jpg ) [iqdb]
20496
On the plus side, I broke my record for longest update. On the minus side, don't expect one tomorrow.

>>20420
For the record, in case I haven't made it clear in the narrative, Yuugi's house is Japanese-style circa the sealing of Gensokyo, which means there's relatively little in the way of furniture, and certainly no sofa.

>>20482
Just funnin'; no need to fear ONI DROPPED ON HEAD END. Though I will point out that being in shape and being strong are two different things, and you held your own against Yuugi primarily by avoiding her attacks.

---

[X] Pick her up bridal style and carry her to her bed.

As tired as she seemed before, you'd rather not wake her, but you're certainly not going to leave her out here. That leaves you only one choice; one you hope won't wake her up. Stepping over her body to give yourself more room, you crouch next to her, sliding one hand under her knees and putting the other against her shoulder. Taking a short breath, you stand up in a single motion, catching her legs in one arm and her shoulders in the other as her body falls against your chest.

You take a moment to adjust to the weight; she's not light by any means, though she's not as heavy as you expected. Taking a test step, you find that her body gets in the way, keeping you from moving too far with each step; not altogether unexpected, considering that she's taller than you by nearly a head. Still, this seems like a good decision; another snore and a quick look at her face confirms that you didn't wake her up while lifting her. Her head, though, is dangerously close to falling off of your shoulder; you nudge it gently and it rolls into place in the crook of your neck. She mumbles something unintelligible in her sleep, voice muffled by your chest, and you feel her warm breath against your neck.

Yes, there are definitely advantages to carrying her like this. Moving slowly to avoid jarring her, you make your way into the main hallway, sliding the door to Yuugi's room open with your foot. You step inside, turning sideways to avoid hitting your passenger against the doorframe. The room is pretty bare, about as you would have imagined it; Yuugi doesn't seem like the type to spend much time lazing around at home. A simple chest of drawers sits against the far wall, and a futon is laid out in the opposite corner. Your eye catches on what looks like a medium-sized boulder in the near corner, and you wonder for a moment about Yuugi's design sense until you notice the scuff marks on the floor surrounding it and the small handholds carved into the side. Weight training? The thing's about half as big as you are; it must weight at least half a ton.

Shaking your head slightly, you crouch over the futon and lay Yuugi down, grabbing the pillow (which you notice has a few large holes; one of the hazards of having a horn?) and putting it under her head, then pulling the covers up to her neck. You stand up and turn to leave, but you only manage to get halfway before a voice stops you.

"Thanks, Taizou..." You freeze. You woke her up? Turning around, you prepare yourself for another round of mockery, but she looks to be still fast asleep, mouth hanging open. You wait silently for another moment, and she lets out another small snore, followed by an indistinct "Mhmmm" noise.

Talking in her sleep? You breathe a sigh of relief; this is one good deed you'd rather not be recognized for, at least not right now. Still, you can't stop yourself from saying "You're welcome" under your breath as you step out of her room, closing the door behind you. You step into your own room and slip into the futon, and you're asleep almost as soon as you close your eyes.

---

Continued in next post.
>> No. 20497
File 124401064135.jpg - (609.14KB , 1240x1530 , 41.jpg ) [iqdb]
20497
You wake up, blinking the sun out of your eyes, and sit up, stretching your arms over your head. A few seconds later, you realize that you're no longer in your own body.

The subsequent freak-out only lasts a few seconds, as you realize pretty quickly that you're also incapable of moving this body of your own volition. After a moment of contemplation, you decide that there's not much to be gained by freaking out when you have no corporeal form of your own to speak of, and decide to sit back and try to enjoy the ride until your figure out what's going on. As your body yawns, you consider the fact that strange things have been happening to your brain one after the other for some time now; maybe you're not eating right?

Your musings and your body's yawn are both cut short by a shadow falling over you and someone shaking you by your... your what? You're not used to whoever's body you're in; you can feel yourself being drawn back and forth roughly, but you don't feel anyone touching you. You do, however, know who's responsible; your body leans back and looks up to see a little girl standing over you with a huge grin on her face, hand extended to your forehead. Not just a little girl, you realize after a moment; she's an oni, judging by the pair of twisted horns protruding from under her long, orange-red hair. For the first time, you find yourself relieved you're not the one driving this body; you don't know how whoever you're in is supposed to react to being woken up by an oni.

Your body apparently does, though; you find yourself raising your hand and wrapping your fingers around one of her horns, shaking it back and forth lightly. "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to pull on people's horns, Suika?" you hear yourself ask, and the girl sticks her tongue out at you, bending down to whisper in your ear.

"Ssh! We found a real tough one this time!" She's definitely an oni; you can smell the alcohol on her breath, and she slurs her words roughly. Your body doesn't seem to mind, however, jumping out of bed without another word and following Suika as she runs into the forest. As the two of you run, you try to make sense of your surroundings as best you can without the ability to move your body as you want. You're definitely outside, but you don't recognize the scenery at all; trees like these don't grow in the Forest of Magic, and there aren't any other woods as dense as these in Gensokyo, at least as far as you know. Are you outside the Border?

Before you can get any more information, your body comes to a halt, standing at the edge of the forest looking out onto a cleared path. You turn your head to look down it, and even as far away as you must be, you can clearly see the traveler; definitely a warrior of some sort, based on his armor. "He's not even carrying a sword!" Suika says excitedly. "He's gotta be tough!"

"What's the plan?" you ask. Suika takes a moment to think, but you find yourself wondering about something else entirely; does your voice sound familiar? It's obviously not your own voice, but you feel like it's one you've heard before somewhere.

"I already sent Kogane and Ongyou down there to give him the challenge. You and me're getting too well known nowadays," she says with a grin. "Once they give us the sign, we'll make an entrance. You want the first shot?"

"S'all yours," you say, eyes focusing on the man again, now squaring off against two more oni. "I got a good feelin' about this one makin' it to round two." That voice -- this voice -- you've definitely heard it somewhere, but you just can't figure it out. Someone from above ground? Underground? Before you have a chance to consider it, Suika starts jumping up and down.

"That's the signal! Let's go!" And with that, she... dissolves, vaporizing like ice dropped in a skillet and blowing away in a cloud of colored smoke. Your body doesn't seem surprised by this in the least, and, turning towards the traveler, you feel yourself crouch and jump, sailing over the tree line in a wide arc towards the others.

You land silently next to Suika, who somehow made it here before you andreconstituted herself, and the man's attention turns to you immediately. That doesn't seem to sit well with her, though. "Hey! You hear me?" she yells shrilly, stomping her foot.

"I just gotta take a single punch from each of you, right?" he asks, lips curved upwards slightly. "Some challenge. Who's first?" You feel your own mouth draw back into a sneering grin; he talks big, but you can hear the stutter in his voice and see the shake in his hands. Or at least, whoever you're currently inhabiting can; you can practically feel your body shake with anticipation.

"That's me," Suika says, taking a step towards the man before pulling her arm back and falling into a fighting stance. "You got any last requests? Final words? Some memento you want me to give your widow? I'm generous like that, y'know."

"Let's get this over with." The man drops into a stance of his own; a peculiar one, squaring his body to Suika and twisting his arms to his hips, as though he's about to draw an invisible sword. You find your consciousness giving in to your body's excitement; you can't imagine the man stands a chance, but you really want to know what he's got up his sleeve.

"Ready..." At Suika's command, the two of them tense, moving deeper into their poses.

"And go!" Suika takes a step and swings, and your eyes shift to the man, but he doesn't block; instead, the hand by his waist slips into his clothing, and comes out an instant later with something short and metallic. You feel yourself shout, but Suika is already committed, flying towards the man, who takes a step back, pointing his metal thing at her, and--

BANG. The loudest noise you've ever heard. Suika's momentum carries her forward, but you can see the hole in her abdomen, and she collapses onto the dirt. Your eyes linger on her for an instant before returning to the man, who's already taken off in the opposite direction, looking back over his shoulder as he runs. The other oni rush to Suika, kneeling over her, and you want to do the same, but your body has other ideas; you crouch again, and in a second, you're right behind him, aiming a kick for his head. As you lift your leg, though, he ducks, and your strike passes over his head. You twist your body around, preparing yourself to punch with your left hand, but as he rises, you notice another one of the metal weapons in his left hand, and you can't react before the--

BANG. The sound is much quieter this time, even though you're much closer. You feel something sting your chest, and gasp slightly, only to find that you can't breathe anymore, there's just a wheezing sound from the hole in your chest, and you try to deliver your punch, but your muscles are already too weak and you fall forward, and you taste something metallic on your tongue and everything's turning white and everything's getting quiet, but you think you hear someone calling your name just loud enough for you to hear--

"Yuugiiiii!"

---

Continued in next post.
>> No. 20498
File 124401068488.jpg - (631.54KB , 517x800 , 42.jpg ) [iqdb]
20498
You jolt out of bed clutching your chest, covered in cold sweat. You feel around inside your clothes, and there's no hole in your chest, but you can still feel the pain as sure as if there was, and you double over yourself, slapping a hand to your mouth to keep yourself from throwing up. What was that? You've never had a dream that realistic before in your life, and you've never been anyone else but yourself in your dreams.

Let alone someone you know, you append. You were Yuugi? You didn't recognize any of the other oni or the man, though, not even as people from the city that you might have passed by on your way to or from the palace. Who were they? Still breathing hard, you lurch out of your futon, stumbling to the door and leaning against it. It feels early, earlier than you would normally wake up, but not so early that you could go back to sleep. (Not as though you could anyway, after that.) You'll have to get yourself a drink or a snack or something to take your mind off of it.

You aren't the only one up early, though; sliding open the door, you find yourself face to face with Yuugi, who appears to have just opened the door to her own room. "Agh!" you cry, hanging onto the doorframe to keep from falling over in shock, and Yuugi does the same, stumbling backwards slightly.

"Taizou? What're you doin' up this early?" she asks, recovering and fixing you with a suspicious glare.

"You're awake, too," you point out evenly, bringing a hand to your chest to calm your heart.

Yuugi furrows her eyebrows in response, looking as though she's trying to figure out an appropriate comeback. "Good point," she eventually concedes, looking away and standing up straight. "I need a drink. C'mon, let's get some food," she says, stepping into the hallway, and you nod in agreement, following after her.

You don't even make it to the dining room, though, before you hear something; the sound of someone banging something metal from the direction of the kitchen. You gasp sharply, but before you have a chance to get too worried, Yuugi waves you down, stepping forward. "That you, Yamame?" she calls into the kitchen, prompting another clanging noise, and after a second, Yamame steps into the hall, clad in the apron from the kitchen and holding a ladle.

"Miss Yuugi? And Mr. Taizou! You two are up early!" She looks back into the kitchen for a moment, then returns her attention to the two of you, smiling broadly. "Breakfast is almost ready, so you can wait at the table!" she chirps before ducking back into the kitchen.

"You're a lifesaver, spider-girl," Yuugi calls after her, and the two of you follow her instructions, sitting down across from each other at the table. True to her word, Yamame comes out a few minutes later with breakfast; rice and miso soup, with green tea to drink. You barely manage to wait for Yamame to seat herself before digging in; anything to get that metallic taste from your dream out of your mouth. Once you stop to actually taste the food, though, you find it quite good; it's not exactly a hard dish to make, but this is one of the better recipes you've tasted.

"This is very good, Yamame," you say, and she beams back at you.

"Thanks, Mr. Taizou!" After she speaks, though, her face clouds in confusion, and she looks back and forth between you and Yuugi a few times.

"Something on your mind?" you ask.

"Actually..." She stops for a second, as though trying to figure something out. "Did you sleep with Miss Yuugi, Mr. Taizou?"

You drop your spoon halfway to your mouth, and a bit of soup goes down the wrong pipe, sending you into a coughing fit through which you try to protest the latest in this series of baseless accusations about your actions; looking up, you see Yuugi across from you doing the same. Yamame leans across the table to pat your back, concern written across her face.

"Are you alright? What did I-- ah!" Yamame makes a small noise, then draws away from you, blushing furiously. "Not like that! I just thought since you kinda smell the same as she does that maybe you had spent a lot of time near each other or something and that maybe if you were sleeping near each other that you might start to smell the same and I didn't mean to say that you two were doing anything weird or anything like that and I'm sorry!"

"Relax, spider-girl," Yuugi finally manages, having cleared her throat with a swig from the gourd you left on the table last night. "S'because we were up drinkin' the same stuff last night, that's all. No weird stuff," she says, giving you a wink, and you find yourself flushing slightly at the memoryof what did happen last night. Yamame, still red-faced, doesn't pursue the matter, and you leave it without response as well.

Breakfast finishes without further incident, and after the three of you move the dirty dishes into the kitchen, you all reconvene around the table. "So, Taizou, got any plans for the day? How about you come shoppin' with Yamame and me? Get yourself out of the house, do somethin' exciting?"

Though promises of excitement are more likely to keep you in the house, shopping doesn't sound too terrifying, and you wouldn't mind spending some time with Yuugi and Yamame at all.

[ ] Sure thing! Go along with them.
[ ] Actually, you had other plans for today. (Write-in)
>> No. 20501
[ ] Sure thing! Go along with them.
Need you ask.

I'll admit that I haven't been reading your story thus far. I've been missing out. Whle I don't think my standard is good enough to comment on your grammar and such- I do like your portrayals of Yuugi and Yamame.
>> No. 20502
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.

Yuugi is awesome, and Yamame is adorable. What sane man could possibly refuse attending to both lovely ladies?
>> No. 20503
File 124401284782.jpg - (850.46KB , 1500x1199 , 4a83d9380f3f65d4f8276a9e243acaa6.jpg ) [iqdb]
20503
[!/] Sure thing! Go along with them.

Questioning moemoe Koishi can wait.
Beer Spider cousin time!
>> No. 20506
[ ] Sure thing! Go along with them.

No where I'd rather be than with these two lovely ladies.
>> No. 20507
>>20502

My question is --- WHERE IS MAH PARSEE MIZUHASHI?! I DEMAND MY ELF-EARED GREEN-EYED TSUNDERE.
>> No. 20508
>>20507

We chose not to explore the bridge area that she was no doubt stationed at earlier. The fact that we did this blows my mind, as Anon has demonstrated in the past that we as a collective love Parsee to bits.
>> No. 20514
>>20508

PARSEE HAD HER CHANCE. IT'S YUUGI TIME NOW!
>> No. 20517
{X} Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20519
[Q] Sure thing! Go along with them.

I only see one option here.
>> No. 20520
>>20514

NO I WANT MOE-MOE Yamame!

{†} Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20523
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20524
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.

No reason not to.
>> No. 20525
[+] Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20529
>>20520
It would appear you have misunderstood something. This is a Yuugi route, fuck Yamame.
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20531
>>20529
>Fuck Yamame

That's the plan.
>> No. 20535
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20537
[HERF] Actually, you had other plans for today-
[DERF] Go confront Satori about your memories.
>> No. 20538
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.

A Yamame is preferred.
>> No. 20539
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.

Yamame is cute and all, but I only have eyes for Yuugi.
>> No. 20554
[z] Sure thing! Go along with them.
[e] You can still remember what really happened yesterday, right?

Yamame~
It's been too damn long~

>>20501
>I'll admit that I haven't been reading your story thus far. I've been missing out.
Then go read the previous threads, if you haven't already. They should all still be up.
>> No. 20578
File 124416715044.jpg - (640.42KB , 1200x1200 , TaizouBrandpump.jpg ) [iqdb]
20578
>> No. 20579
>>20578

dat ass?
>> No. 20589
[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.
>> No. 20639
File 124443104674.jpg - (245.75KB , 750x750 , 43.jpg ) [iqdb]
20639
Sorry about the delay.

>>20537
What's the story behind this 'taken into consideration' thing, anyway? I failed THP History I.

>>20578
I was going to make a Dig Dug joke, and then I looked at the filename and saw it had already been made. Well played, good sir.

---

[X] Sure thing! Go along with them.

"That sounds good to me," you say, and Yamame gives a small cheer, jumping up from the table.

"We'll get goin' now, then. Should be less idiots runnin' around this early, and I'll take ya 'round town while we're at it. There's a few people you oughtta meet," Yuugi says, standing up from the table herself. "You ready, spider-girl?" she asks. Yamame nods happily, and the three of you make your way outside, but you don't even make it to the door before Yamame lets out a small "Ah!" from behind you. "What's up?" Yuugi asks from outside, slipping her shoes on at the front step.

"Miss Yuugi, we need a list!" Yamame says with a serious grimace that you have to struggle to avoid smiling at. "I'll go make one right now!"

"Ah, it'll be fine. We'll just buy all the usual stuff and figure out the details when we get there," Yuugi says, waving a hand dismissively.

"But we always forget something, and then we don't notice until it's time to make dinner and then all the shops are already closed for the night so I have to make something different, and then we have to go all the way into the city the next day just to buy one thing and--"

"S'not that big a deal," Yuugi laughs, cutting off Yamame's monologue (thankfully -- she looks a little out of breath, cheeks flushed and breathing heavily). "It works out most of the time, right? C'mon, let's get goin' before it gets too late."

"But Miss Yuugiiii!" Yamame says, stretching the last syllable out in a high-pitched whine that reminds you briefly of the cat back at the palace.

Coming from Yamame, though, the sound has a different effect on Yuugi. "Okay, okay," she relents, slouching, and waves Yamame away with a tired grin. "I'll wait here, you go make a list for us."

"Okay!" Yamame replies. "You wait here too, Mr. Taizou!" she says to you before turning on her heel and running back into the house, and looking inside, you see her run past the kitchen once before stopping suddenly and doubling back inside, face red. Chuckling slightly, you take your shoes from the entryway and move out onto the front step with Yuugi to put them on.

"Cute kid, ain't she?" Yuugi chuckles, and you find you can't help but agree. "So serious 'bout the strangest things."

"It sounds like you two have done this a lot before."

Yuugi nods, looking towards the city and letting her feet dangle off the front porch. "We go pretty far back. 'Bout since I came down here, as a matter of fact." She smiles fondly, still staring off into the distance. "Showed up at my front door carryin' a side of beef 'bout as big as she was, askin' if we could be friends. In my book, if you give someone half a cow as a welcomin' present, that ain't a question that needs askin', but I suppose that's just how she is. Ever since then, she'd come by just about every day and make breakfast and dinner, so after a while, I just started bringin' her along when I went shoppin' and let her pick what she wants. Works out pretty well for the both of us. She doesn't have to hunt 'cept every once in a while, and I don't have to cook."

"But she doesn't live here?" you ask.

"Nope," Yuugi replies. "She mostly lives 'round where she found you, I think, over across the bridges. Not really the type to settle down and stay in a house for too long." She chuckles. "Not that I can say I blame her. Hell, I'll come sleep out here myself once in a while when I find myself gettin' nostalgic over the old days up in the mountain, sleepin' in trees."

Trees? The images from your dream return; the other oni, the fight... a glimpse of Yuugi's perspective of 'the old days'? You still don't know what caused that dream, but you're sure now that it wasn't an ordinary one.

You don't wonder for too long about what it meant, though, before Yamame reappears, clutching a small sheet of paper to her chest. "I made the list!" she announces, jumping onto the porch and slipping on her shoes.

"Then let's get goin'!" Yuugi says, and the three of you set off shortly thereafter. The road to the city passes quickly, with Yuugi and Yamame chatting idly to pass the time, and before long you enter the city proper. Your reception is somewhat friendlier in comparison to yesterday, but it seems to be an effect of the early hour; there aren't very many people on the streets at all, and the few who are out seem to be busy opening their shops or going somewhere.

"What's first on the list?" Yuugi asks Yamame, who leans over the piece of paper in her hand.

"First is meat!" Yamame says, raising a finger to point to one of the shops along just down the street from you, and the three of you file in.

The first thing you notice is the cold. The temperature in the room is very different from that of outside, and looking around, it's not hard to see why; the room's major feature is a what looks like a long icebox spanning the width of the room, and the mass of uncovered ice around it is large enough that you see small clouds of cold air above it. Stepping forward, you see what must be the shop's wares displayed inside: various cuts of meat, and freshly slaughtered, from the looks of it. You're a little surprised at the variety; this place could rival one of the stores above ground. Do the oni raise livestock the same way they raise crops?

Stepping forward also gives you a glimpse of something else; an old, heavyset man, bent at the waist behind the icebox. It looks like he's laboring with something, but you can't see what it is from where you're standing.

"Hey there, old guy!" Yuugi booms from next to you, and the man raises his head immediately, looking towards the source of the sound. As he sees the three of you, he straightens up, flashing a lopsided grin barely visible beneath his gray, scraggly beard, and walks around the icebox to meet you.

"Yuugi! How're things?" the man booms, and the two clasp hands (causing a small sonic boom in the process) and shake roughly. The man's voice seems young and full of excitement, in contrast with his mop of gray hair and the gnarled horns protruding from under it.

"Can't complain," Yuugi says easily, and the man laughs a little too loudly, clapping a hand to Yuugi's shoulder.

"That's what I like to hear," the man says, giving her a pat on the arm. As he does, his eyes fall on you, and his unkempt eyebrows disappear up into his hair. "You're Yuugi's human, are ya?" he asks, squinting at you with consideration.

Before you have a chance to answer him (or question his use of the possessive), Yuugi steps away from the two of you and speaks. "Ah, right. Taizou Hori, meet Zenki Yanada. Hardest workin' guy on the council," she adds with just a hint of a smile, slapping the man on the back.

"Only 'cause you ain't a guy," Zenki says, and the two of them share another round of raucous laughter before the man's attention returns to you. "Pleased to meet ya, Taizou! Put 'er there!" he says, thrusting out a hand.

"Likewise, Mr. Yanada," you say, returning the handshake. That must not have been the right reaction, though; you're met with a narrowing of the eyes and a small frown.

---

Continued in next post.
>> No. 20640
"Nuh-uh. None of this 'mister' stuff you humans love so much. Just Zenki, got it?" He keeps his grip on your hand, but the frown is replaced with a thin smile now, and you see a twinkle in his eye.

"All right, then, Zenki. I'm Taizou," you say, restarting the handshake without breaking eye contact. Your reception is much better this time; the man's smile widens, and he returns the handshake vigorously, slapping a hand to your shoulder. It's a gesture you're becoming used to, but this is the first time you've found yourself appreciating Yuugi's restraint; if your hand wasn't fixed in place by Zenki's, you're sure you'd be sent to the ground (if not through the ground) with the force of the impact on your shoulder.

"Much better," he says with a chuckle, then takes a step back and returns his attention to Yuugi. "So, what'll it be on the business side of things?" he asks her.

"Made your picks, spider-girl?" Yuugi asks, looking over your shoulder. You turn around to find that in the time you were talking, Yamame must have been shopping; in her arms now is a pile of what looks to be about two weeks' worth of meat.

"All done!" she says, stepping forward to allow Zenki and Yuugi to examine the stack.

"That's, what, 'bout eight bottles' worth?" Yuugi asks.

"Seven, and don't you try to refuse. Just make sure I get the first shot at the good stuff," Zenki says with a grin. Meanwhile, you're trying to fill in the blanks; you can tell they're bartering, but for what? Bottles of...

"Understood. Seven bottles top-notch liquor, all yours." Aha. You probably should have expected that from a pair of oni. "Mind if I drop 'em off this afternoon? We've still got all our shopping to do," Yuugi says.

"Sure, sure, no hurry," he says, moving back behind the icebox. "You all have fun, then."

With that, he returns to whatever he was doing before you entered, bending back over behind the icebox, and you step back out of the shop and into the street. followed by Yuugi and Yamame.

The three of you spend the next few hours going from store to store, picking up various items according to Yamame's list. In each store you enter, Yuugi introduces you to the store owner and anyone else in the vicinity; you try to commit their names and faces, at least, to memory, but you doubt you'll be able to pick one out of a lineup within a day. Likewise, not all of them seem that excited to meet you, or, rather, to meet a human; nobody comes out and says anything, but they pretty clearly want to keep their distance, and the welcome Zenki gave you turns out to be the warmest one you get.

Still, the shopping seems to be going as planned. It occured to you after you left the house that you don't have anything to carry your groceries in, but that doesn't seem to be a problem; Yamame hands everything off to Yuugi as she picks it, and Yuugi doesn't seem to have a problem carrying them all with one arm in a big pile. Occasionally, Yuugi writes an IOU for something, but most of the payment is worked out through bartering, with Yuugi offering bottles of liquor in exchange for just about everything. Lots of bottles of liquor, actually; you stop counting by the time she's promised fifty bottles to various people. "Do you really have enough liquor to trade for all this, Yuugi?" you ask as you leave yet another store.

"Of course! S'my profession, after all," she says.

Profession? "What?"

"Ah, right, haven't told ya yet. Council work doesn't pay, so I make liquor on the side," she says. "The stuff we had last night was one of mine. S'a matter of fact," she says, looking towards the palace with the expression of someone looking at the sun to check the time, "I probably oughtta get over there around now, change all the filters and start the new stuff goin'. You okay with the rest of the shopping, Yamame?"

"Yep!" Yamame says, puffing her chest out slightly.

"Bring everything on over to the shop when you're done, then," she says. She adjusts her carrying arm slightly and turns to leave, but stops halfway and turns her head to look back at you. "You wanna come with, Taizou?" she asks.

[ ] Go with Yuugi to her store.
[ ] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20641
[ ] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20642
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20643
File 12444341272.jpg - (154.14KB , 500x621 , 861329b8157b91c063d9c465dd1f074d.jpg ) [iqdb]
20643
[!/] Keep shopping with Yamame.

We can't leave a little girl out alone on these tough streets!
>> No. 20644
[x] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20645
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

We could probably earn our keep by helping out around her shop. And something tells me there's trouble waiting for her...
>> No. 20647
[x] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20648
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
This is oni country.
>> No. 20650
>>20648
Good point. We should stay with her as much as we can until the citizens feel more comfortable with us. Otherwise we'd just be asking for trouble.
>> No. 20651
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

For some reason, this is the first time I've imagined Yuugi with a Southern accent.

And I imagine we'd just slow Yamame down.
>> No. 20652
[X] Go with Yuugi to her store.

All the above reasoning for this, and the fact that I'm curious about this.
>> No. 20653
[x] Keep shopping with Yamame.

Yuugi can take care of herself.
>> No. 20654
[x] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20655
[X] Keep shopping with Yamame.

Can't leave the poor girl all on her own, can we?
>> No. 20656
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20669
[X] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20671
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

Although I really want to go with Yamame.

>>20639
"Taken into consideration" is something from Scorn's "Limited Adventures" (It wasn't a term for describing a restricted-area-of-focus story, back then; that was the first of its kind, and that was --and is-- its actual name.), I believe. Sometimes, when a character-related vote would go unanimously in favor of one character ("[ ] Help Marisa research magic" vs "[ ] Help Alice with her dolls"), he would say, after closing voting, that "the lack of <option that nobody chose> has been taken into consideration."
This signified (or maybe only implied; I can't recall if he ever actually DID it) that the next update would have David (the protagonist of LA) helping the chosen girl happily and wholeheartedly, but almost entirely or disinterestedly ignoring the other one.

Something like that.

This also might have been from a different story, like MiG or HY's EoSD, but definitely one of the early ones.

Either way, go read the archives for LA and EoSD. All of you.
>> No. 20673
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20675
{X} Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20676
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20677
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

She asked us if we wanted to come with, and I don't want to cause Yamame to be involved in an altercation.

>"Not that I can say I blame her. Hell, I'll come sleep out here myself once in a while when I find myself gettin' nostalgic over the old days up in the mountain, sleepin' in trees."

Wonder if Yuugi'd come with us if the way ever opened up again and we offered?
>> No. 20681
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

Every bit counts.
>> No. 20682
[!/] Go with Yuugi to her store.
Happiness!
>> No. 20683
File 124448669619.png - (141.97KB , 500x400 , 1242108527382.png ) [iqdb]
20683
>>20671

I've been here since the purge. No need.

It is a shame Scorn is probably never going to continue LA and Captain Rex though.

And other writefags continue to write spin offs only to put them on an eventual Starcraft:Ghost status.
>> No. 20684
[†] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20685
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.
>> No. 20686
[X] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20691
[X] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20696
[x] Keep shopping with Yamame.
>> No. 20697
>>20685
>>20686
>>20691
>>20696
Obvious votespam is obvious.
>> No. 20698
[x] Go with Yuugi to her store.

>>20643
>We can't leave a little girl out alone on these tough streets!
As far as the oni are concerned, WE'RE the little girl. This is a really bad idea.
>> No. 20704
File 124453537855.jpg - (168.48KB , 512x512 , 583990c0c7b00904be2ffbb29a739583.jpg ) [iqdb]
20704
>>20698

Two little girls are better then one, amirite?
>> No. 20707
>>20683
...And I made him a nice suited gentleman playing with his friendly beer spider.
Damn. >:
>> No. 20709
>>20697
>>20704
>>20707
Obvious votespam is obvious.
>> No. 20714
File 124458179682.jpg - (26.39KB , 539x375 , 2AWESOME.jpg ) [iqdb]
20714
>>20707

That was me

>>20709

LOLWUT
>> No. 20719
>>20709
>>20714
Obvious posts are obvious.
>> No. 20720
>>20714
>20709
>LOLWUT
My sentiments exactly.
>> No. 20721
>>20697
This is way more votes than normal, but what's the point of a votespam too small to give your choice the win?

I'll call it for Yuugi, though, just in case. Updates... will have to compete with Umineko episode 4 for my attention, but I'll do my best.
>> No. 20756
>>20714
I meant another beer spider respect knuckles image I did... Oh well, doesn't matter
>> No. 20766
File 124481051080.jpg - (412.81KB , 700x780 , 44.jpg ) [iqdb]
20766
[X] Go with Yuugi to her store.

A liquor store? That could be interesting. "Sure," you say, falling in step next to Yuugi as she turns and continues down the road. The two of you walk quite a distance through the city, and you find yourself struck by just how big it really is. Had something this size had been right under your feet every day in the village? For the first time since you came here, you really take a look around, examining the scenery of the city. The houses don't look too different from what you might see in the village; they're taller and crammed together more tightly, but the basic building materials seem the same. Houses seem to be mixed together with businesses with no particular pattern, and even the businesses are hard to tell apart from each other; a small sign the size of a nameplate is all that identifies some buildings. Everything gives off a very... urban feel, somehow; the city itself probably isn't any larger than the village in terms of size, but the ambiance makes it seem much bigger.

After a while of looking around, you find your attention shifting from the scenery to the people on the streets. Whatever advantage you might have had in coming to the city early is long gone; the city is as crowded now as it was the first time you walked through it. At least the citizens' reaction to you has tempered somewhat; you still get more than a few stares, but more people seem content to ignore you and go about their business than before.

"This is the place," Yuugi says, stopping and turning in front of one of the nondescript buildings. Pulling a small key from a pocket in her skirt and unlocking the chain, she slides the door open and steps inside, and you follow after her.

The first thing that hits you as you enter the store is the smell. The overwhelming stench of alcohol is everywhere, surrounding you, and it feels like taking a few deep breaths in could get you drunk. The air is so saturated with it, you swear you can feel the liquid against your skin, like stepping into a heavy fog. The atmosphere is constricting, and though you try to ignore it, taking slow breaths in through your mouth, it turns out to be too much; you gag slightly and cough, your body trying to expel the burning sensation in the back of your throat.

"Now you know why my house is outside the city," Yuugi says, waving a hand in front of her face in a futile attempt to clear the air. "Most people just live above their stores, but that doesn't really work for me. C'mon upstairs, it gets a little better," she says sympathetically. You nod and follow her to the stairs in the back of the room, keeping a hand over your mouth and nose as you go. As you go, you glance around at the storefront. It's organized with the same minimalistic fashion of all the store's youve been in so far; nothing decorates the bare wood of the walls, and the only fixed object is a small counter positioned near the door and stocked with unlabeled bottles.

The two of you head up the stairs, and as you step onto the second floor, you not that Yuugi was right; you still wouldn't want to take a deep breath here, but the air is a bit drier and the smell isn't nearly as noticeable. What you don't understand, though, is why; there's more alcohol here than you've ever seen in one place before. The back wall is covered with bottles, enough to obscure the wall itself completely, and you see several open vats of the stuff scattered around the room. Even more amazing than that, though, are the things that aren't alcohol; the room is crammed full of odd devices, with barely enough room on the floor to walk through them. You recognize few of the machines as parts of a simple still, but there are others whose functions you can only guess at, and still more for which you can't even do that. Your eyes move from a complex system of buckets, dripping liquid into several open containers, to a metal tub full of what looks like the remains of a cooking fire, unsure of where to start. Almost unconsciously, you step up to the most incredible apparatus: a strange mish-mash of tubes and bulbs cast entirely in glass that looks more like a work of art than a tool. "How... What..." you try to begin, only to let your voice trail off.

"It's a glass still, for gettin' the real pure stuff," Yuugi says, standing beside you. "See, the mash goes in here, and when you heat it up, the good stuff goes up and over through this bit." She traces a course along the series of tubes with a single finger as she speaks. "Then you cool it down by runnin' cold water through here, and it drips down and collects in the bottom part."

As she points out the pieces, you begin to see how it fits together compared to the simpler stills. Still, you've never seen anything like this in the village; you doubt human technology has even advanced this far yet there. "Did you make this yourself?" you ask.

"Just the design," she says shaking her head. "Cost me an arm and a leg to actually get it made, too. The glassblower said it took him a couple dozen tries before he could get the thin bit at the top to cool without cracking. Works like a charm, though," she adds, voice colored with a childlike excitement and just a hint of pride. "Yields double just about everything else in here, and the purity can't be beat. S'not that great for keepin' the source flavors in, but that ain't always important enough to mind, 'specially for the high-purity stuff. Plus I got another method for that I'm tryin' out now! Y'see, instead of heatin' it up to separate the alcohol, you freeze it, and then--"

She stops suddenly, apparently noticing herself beginning to ramble, and looks off to the side for a moment, a slight blush coloring her cheeks. "Anyway, there's plenty of stuff I gotta get done. Actually," she says, turning back to face you, "you mind helpin' a bit?"

"Not at all," you say. "I don't think I'll be any good for anything too complicated, though."

"Well, this is about as simple as it gets," she says with a grin. "See the vats with the colors on 'em in the back? Just fill up about a dozen bottles from each one and load 'em up on the cart over there."

"Can do," you say, making your way across the crowded floor to the area she pointed out. The vats are the size of a medium-sized wash basin, holding enough liquid for a few dozen bottles, and are sitting on a small table, putting the spigots attached to them at about waist height. Next to each of them are bottles, simple clear glass with a solid-colored label wrapped around them. The label colors, you notice, correspond to the colors on the vats, and you take down a red one and begin to fill it.

Bottling doesn't prove to be that onerous a task, and after the first few bottles, you find you can do it more or less on automatic. As your mind wanders, you find your eye drawn to Yuugi as she goes about the more difficult tasks. She looks... invigorated, somehow, and there's a bounce in her step as she moves from machine to machine, swapping parts back and forth. At one point she even gives a small fist pump as she examines an off-white liquid in a glass container, then records something on a piece of paper attached to the device that produced the liquid. You'd ask, but you're not sure you'd be able to understand the answer; apparently this business is more complicated than you ever realized.

Around the time you finish bottling, Yamame shows up with the rest of the groceries. You walk over to rejoin her and Yuugi, taking the cart of full bottles over with you.

"Got 'em all done?" Yuugi asks, and you nod in reply. "Well, normally, I'd go out and get everything delivered now, but considerin' how early we got here, I guess we got some free time. Got any ideas, Taizou?"

[ ] Offer to help out with Yuugi's deliveries.
[ ] It's about lunchtime; suggest everyone gets some lunch.
[ ] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
[ ] Actually, there was something you wanted to do in the city...
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 20767
[X] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
>> No. 20768
[X] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
>> No. 20769
[X] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
>> No. 20770
[x] Ask what Yamame and Yuugi normally do in their free time.
Subtly different.
>> No. 20771
[X] Ask what Yuugi normally does in her free time.
Subtly different.
>> No. 20772
[X] Ask what Yamame and Yuugi normally do in their free time.

I love 'em both, but we haven't been spending much time around Yamame. Want to get to know her better.
>> No. 20773
[X] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
>> No. 20775
Well that was a nice interlude.

[x] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.

Is it drinking?
>> No. 20777
>>20775
[x] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
[x] If it's drinking, suggest everyone get lunch instead.
>> No. 20793
[×] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time.
>> No. 20799
[X] Ask what Yamame normally does in her free time.

Dubtly sifferent.
>> No. 20875
[x] Ask what GM normally does in his/her free time.

[x] If it's nothing, suggest updates instead.
>> No. 20877
>>20875
>GM
You're doing it wrong
>> No. 20878
File 124544881257.jpg - (128.06KB , 447x640 , 45.jpg ) [iqdb]
20878
I started another CYOA (>>/sdm/29412); go check it out if you haven't already. This one is probably going to be longer, so I'll still try to spend more time on it, but you know how these things go.

---

[X] Ask what Yuugi and Yamame normally do in their free time

You have no ideas; free time in the afternoon isn't something you got a lot of above ground, and when you did, you usually spent it wondering what to do. "What do you two normally do for fun?" you ask.

The two of them share a brief look, and Yamame's eyes light up. "Danmaku!" she cries, jumping into the air slightly, and Yuugi chuckles lightly.

"Sounds good to me," she says. "You ever seen any, Taizou?"

"I still don't know what it is," you admit. Apart from the time Yamame mentioned it earlier, all you have to go on is bits of second-hand gossip from the village.

"Really?" she asks. "Then that settles it. You gotta see it at least once in your life. C'mon, spider-girl, let's head home!"

At Yuugi's command, Yamame is off like a shot, barreling down the stairs two and three steps at a time. Yuugi takes a more reasonable pace, and you follow after her, holding your breath through the storefront until you reach the street. The three of you move through the city at a brisk pace, a concession to Yamame's urging you to go faster.

"So what exactly is danmaku?" you ask Yuugi, but she shakes her head.

"I ain't gonna tell you anything that's gonna ruin the surprise," she says with a mysterious grin. "All you need to know before we get goin' is that it's a game you play with two people. Kinda like... play-fighting, yeah. Or sparring, but it's kinda different since--" She stops herself, and her smile reappears. "Well, you'll see soon enough."

If you weren't interested before, you certainly are now. 'Play-fighting'? You can't imagine Yuugi losing at anything like that, but Yamame looks a little too happy for someone who thinks she's about to get beat down. For that matter, why do you have to go back to the house for this? Is there some sort of equipment involved? In the end, you find yourself hurrying back to Yuugi's house along with Yamame, anxious to see what's going to happen.

The three of you make it back in record time, and Yuugi leads you around the back of the house, not too far away from her back porch. As you arrive, though, Yamame looks up at the cave ceiling and frowns as though she sees rain clouds on the horizon. "It might not be as fun to watch if you don't fly, Mr. Taizou," she says, giving you a look that make you want to sprout wings, or whatever it is that allows her to fly.

You don't think that's about to happen, though. "I'm sure it'll be fine even--"

"Got it taken care of," Yuugi says suddenly from behind you. She claps a hand against your shoulder, and you feel another slip under your other arm.

"Think fast."

You try to turn around, but it's too late; her grip on your arms tightens for an instant, and then you're lifted into the air, flying at least fifteen or twenty feet above the ground. Your limbs windmill wildly in midair as you try in vain to slow your descent to no avail. You reach the top of your arc and feel your stomach lurch as that instant of weightlessness before you begin to fall hits. Before you actually begin to move downwards, though, your momentum is stopped roughly by Yuugi's house as your body crashes roughly into the roof. The impact knocks the wind out of you, and you hear a few shingles crack under your weight, but you stay put, and after a moment to catch your breath, you crawl your way up to the flat portion of the roof and rest, looking towards the area you were thrown from.

Yuugi floats above the level of the roof soon after, smirking at you. "No problem, right?" she calls down with a laugh. You scowl up at her, saying nothing. What was she thinking, doing something that dangerous when she could have just flown you up here?

"Ah, lighten up," she says, dismissing your serious expression with a wave of her hand. "Least you'll be able to see from here. Let's move out a bit farther, Yamame," she calls to below her, and Yamame rises above the roof, flying backwards away from you as she goes. Before long, the two of them are far enough away that you can barely tell them apart. You see Yuugi cup a hand to her mouth in the distance and shout to Yamame.

"Ready? Let's go!" She draws a fist back, and Yamame does the same, the two of them settling into a sort of fighting stance in midair. As they do, the atmosphere of the cave seems to change; a wind sweeps over the area, and the light seems to dim. Your eyes move back and forth between them, waiting for one to charge forward and start the fight, when the two of them--

Explode. Colored lights, bright enough to hurt your eyes, fly from their positions, scattering out in all directions and traveling fast enough to cross your field of vision in a second. You jump involuntarily, startled by the sudden display, and your hand slips from its position, nearly sending you tumbling down the roof. Catching yourself, you look back up at the spectacle, trying to make sense of what you're seeing. Yamame and Yuugi are still there, you realize, though you can barely see them against the harsh lights, flying back and forth jerkily through the sky. The lights seem to float around in the area between the two of them, zipping back and forth with no apparent pattern.

...No, wait. There is a pattern. Looking closer, you find you can separate the lights into two colors: the bluish ones traveling away from Yamame seem to form arcs, circling around her in a spiral, while the yellow ones coming from Yuugi look much more irregular, forming huge clusters that slowly fall apart into individual bullets. The display is actually quite beautiful, once you get used to it; the area where the two patterns meet each other is an amazing whirlwind of color, with the different-colored lights mixing together in a miniature aurora.

And you think you're starting to understand the purpose as well. Now that you realize that the lights are moving in different directions depending on who they 'belong' to, you can begin to guess how this could be used for fighting. Keeping your eyes on Yuugi for a while confirms your hypothesis; her movements through the air, which seemed to be at random before, are designed to avoid the blue lights, in some cases by a hairs-breadth. Yamame seems to be avoiding the yellow lights in the same way. You can't be sure from this distance, but it looks like she's having a bit more trouble than Yuugi; her movements are jerkier, and she seems to be in motion much more than Yuugi is.

Now that you understand, watching is a lot more enjoyable, and you find yourself getting into it, moving along with the bullets and willing the dots that are your friends to dodge at just the right time. The show is so immersive that you barely notice when one of the blue lights moves off course, making its way towards you. Distracted from the fight, you watch it travel, preparing to move out of its way if you have to, but it seems to lose momentum over time, and by the time it gets near you, it's crawling through the air at a pace slow enough that you could walk away from it.

Now that it's this close, you take a good look at it. The light is perfectly round, and pretty large; about a yard in diameter. It seems to be separated into two parts: an off-white core taking up most of the space, and a small halo of blue extending a few inches from the surface of the core in all directions. You can't identify what either part is made of; if anything, they look like condensed light, the output of a thousand lanterns crammed into a ball.

This is... amazing. Without thinking, you stretch a hand out towards the sphere, wondering what it feels like, then pull it back. You haven't seen anyone actually get hit by one of these yet; for all you know, they could explode when you touch them. But Yuugi said it was play-fighting, right? It can't be too dangerous... unless you're a human, playing around with things meant for youkai.

[ ] Touch it.
[ ] Avoid it.
>> No. 20880
[X] Touch it.

Just not with your hitbox.
>> No. 20881
[ ] Avoid it.
>> No. 20882
[x] Avoid it.

Safety first.
>> No. 20883
[X] Touch it.
>> No. 20885
[X] Touch it.

The big, blue, shiny bullet.
>> No. 20886
[X] Touch it.
>> No. 20887
[x] Graze it!

Watch me graze that danmaku!
>> No. 20892
[x] Graze it!
>> No. 20895
[x] Lay down and watch it pass over your head.

Like watching the stars~
>> No. 20901
[X] Touch it.
>> No. 20904
[x] Graze it!
[x] If not posible, Deathbomb?
>> No. 20905
[X] Touch it.

It can't be hot, it'd be obvious if you were that close.
You'd probably notice if it explodes on impact.
I can't think of any real reason not to touch it. Of course, you have to do it in a careful and scientific matter, IE, touching it several times at many different spots.
>> No. 20908
[ze] Touch it.

>>20885
The big, shiny, candy-like blue bullet...

>>20905
You are now imagining Taizou FotNS-ing the danmaku bullet, Bruce-Lee-chattering-wail and everything.
>> No. 20909
[x] Avoid it.
Touch danmaku? Seriously?
>> No. 20914
[X] Avoid it.
>> No. 20915
[x] Avoid it.
>> No. 20916
[X] Touch it.

WHY NOT
>> No. 20917
[x] Throw yourself face first into it.
>> No. 20918
[X] Avoid it

Bloody silly anon...
>> No. 20920
>The show is so immersive that you barely notice when one of the blue lights moves off course, making its way towards you.

I see Hell's Wheel of Pain
>> No. 20924
[x] Avoid it.

we can try this out later when we aren't on a roof
>> No. 20940
"[X] Touch it" wins; writing will occur.
>> No. 20942
hooray!
>> No. 20985
File 124584107727.jpg - (30.80KB , 743x427 , 46.jpg ) [iqdb]
20985
[X] Touch it

It's just a game, right? So it won't hurt you. Thinking that, you scoot yourself nearer to the light and stretch a hand out towards it.

Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to give off any head, and you can't hear any sound coming from it as it crawls through the air; its only salient property seems to be the light it gives off. As your hand brushes the outer halo of the sphere, though, you feel something different. It's nothing you can quantify with any of your senses, except a slight tingling sensation in your fingers, but it's definitely there; a feeling of... energy, of potential, like taking a deep breath and holding it in for a moment before you exhale. It's definitely a good feeling, and you prolong it, holding your hand just inside the halo as the light continues to move.

But what about the core? It has to be different, somehow; it wouldn't be much of a game if this feeling was the only penalty for getting hit. Extending a single finger, you reach farther into the glowing ball, until your finger makes contact with--

BZZT. A bright flash of light. A noise like an insect's cry fills your head, and a spike of pain shoots its way down your arm and into your chest, a feeling like claws ripping at the the inside of your skin. You clutch your arm to your body, letting out a grunt of pain, but it's not over yet; the pain in your chest suddenly explodes, like you've been kicked in the stomach, and you feel yourself recoil physically, moving backwards with the blow.

Backwards? Your pain-addled brain figures things out a second too late to stop your back from hitting the sloping roof, and you begin to slide down headfirst. Panicking, you flail your limbs wildly, managing to flip yourself onto your stomach and slow your descent by dragging your arms against the uneven surface of the roofing. Eventually, you grind to a complete halt, feet catching the eaves of the house. You try to take a moment to catch your breath, but your feel your feet slip against the tile shingles and decide to crawl your way back up to the flat portion of the roof.

...Ow. Your rub your chest, still feeling the sting from... whatever that was. You were expecting a sting, but nothing that bad; how could anyone take one of those and keep going? And they're going at it in midair, no less; what happens if they get hit while flying?

Looking up, you find that you may have the opportunity to find out pretty soon; the patterns have changed, and the projectiles shooting away from Yuugi are rapidly filling the sky. The bright clusters of yellow she was producing have vanished, and in their place are spirals of red that seem to dissolve not long after they're formed, sending their constituent parts towards Yamame. The shape of the lights seems to have changed, going from a perfect sphere like the one you saw up-close to a streamlined arrowhead shape.

You search the sky for Yamame's pattern, but you can only make out a few bullets going towards Yuugi through the curtain of red. Looking at Yamame, you can see why; she's constantly in motion, jerking back and forth in midair to avoid being hit, and her dodging looks even more awkward than before. It must take concentration to produce a pattern of her own, and Yuugi's barrage isn't giving her any room to think. Still, it's an amazing spectacle to watch, and before long, you're physically engaged again, leaning your body to the left as Yamame dodges one cluster of lights to the left and hunching your shoulders as she ducks under another.

You can tell it won't last, though; she's too far away for you to make out her features, but you see her limbs dangling from her body, and she seems to flop through the air heavily. After another minute of more of the same, it happens; she doesn't move quite far enough out of the way of a cluster of incoming arrows, and you wince as one catches her trailing leg, exploding in a burst of light. She takes the blow just as hard as you did, dropping a few feet, but she stays in the air and eventually regains control. By the time she does, though, it's too late; the lights are still coming at her, and she barely manages to dodge another one before being hit again, this time clean in the chest. She lurches back downard, and you see her reach up with her hands, as if trying to pull herself back into the sky, but it's no good; a third shot blindsides her before she can regain control, and then a fourth, propelling her farther downward into a freefall.

A freefall that just keeps getting faster, and she doesn't seem to be doing anything to stop it. Before she gets too close to the ground, though, you see Yuugi, swooping across the cave to catch her. They meet at about the level of the roof you're on, and stop for a moment, apparently talking about something, before Yuugi lets go of Yamame and the two of them fly back towards you.

"...just gotta remember to keep your concentration, even while you're dodgin'." The two of them are close enough now that you can hear a bit of conversation. "Your spell card's gettin' better, but it's doesn't matter if you don't make me deal with it."

"I'm still not... hah... very good at moving around in the air, though," Yamame replies, with a pause in between words for a breath. Her face is a deep red, and her flight is a bit more wobbly than Yuugi's.

"All that's gonna help that is practice," Yuugi says, giving Yamame a pat on the back that sets her wobbling precariously. The two of them reach your position on the roof, landing with a quiet thud, and silence reigns for a moment.

"So?" Yuugi asks, looking at you expectantly. "What did you think?"

[ ] Write-in

---

So I was going to describe touching danmaku in terms of sticking your hand in an electrical socket until I realized Taizou's never seen one. How did I go about determining an appropriate, non-technological description for the feeling of sticking your hand in an electrical socket? Well, never say I don't go the extra mile for you, Anon.
>> No. 20986
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.

As for myself I think I prefer drinking.
>> No. 20987
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.

Excellent.
>> No. 20988
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.
>> No. 20989
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.
>> No. 20993
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.
>> No. 21001
...
Wait, seriously?

Damn, man. Are you all right?
>> No. 21013
>>20985

Tingles, man. Got a shock as a little kid when I tried taking out metal prongs that somehow broke off the plug.
>> No. 21014
>>21013
I jammed my thumb into a socket that had its cover removed once. I've always wanted to do it again, it's surprisingly enjoyable.
>> No. 21038
>>21014

Wimps. Try playing around with the end of a tazer. Felt good but the other guys started screaming in pain when he tried it.
>> No. 21050
Mongrels.

Try twelve courses of bilateral ECT in just as many weeks.

Fucking years of my life, gone.

Those years were probably the shitty ones, though.
>> No. 21052
>>21050

I'm sure Ritalin has had the same effect.
>> No. 21053
[x] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[x] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[x] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.
>> No. 21054
>>21052

Actually, methylphenidate improves memory retrieval & acquisition, even in healthy people.
>> No. 21055
>>21053

I keep thinking the first line refers to Yuugi's bosom.
>> No. 21056
>>21038
Not sure how much electric cattle fencing compares to a tazer but I've had many of encounters with that.
>> No. 21057
>>21056

Both are high voltage, low current devices.
Their effects would be similar and really just comes down to how long they are "used" on a subject.
>> No. 21059
>>21055
not yet, not yet
>> No. 21109
did he die?
>> No. 21135
>>21109
Looks like it
>> No. 21137
>>21109
>>21135
Not dead yet; busting my ass at work in preparation for the 4th of July followed by actually enjoying the 4th of July cut into my time somewhat. Updates tomorrow.
>> No. 21167
>>21137

You have a very strange definition of 'tomorrow'.
>> No. 21189
File 124709661778.jpg - (93.41KB , 581x800 , 47.jpg ) [iqdb]
21189
>>21167
o........rz

---

[X] "Well, it was very pretty. Until I touched one of them. After a brief warmth, there was only pain."
[X] Ask Yamame, "Are you alright?"
[X] If she answers affirmatively, comment on how incredibly strong youkai are if they can tolerate so much pain for the sake of a game.

"It was... very pretty," you say earnestly; your bad experience aside, you'd never seen a light show like that before. "I just wish I hadn't touched one," you say, rubbing the hand that you were hit in.

"You got hit?" Yuugi's eyes widen slightly. "You okay?"

"It still stings a little, but I think I'm fine now. Those lights don't cause any permanent damage, right?" you ask.

"Nope, just the kickback and a little shock," Yuugi confirms.

A little shock? You weren't exaggerating when you said it still stung; the actual pain hasn't lingered, but your entire arm is still tingling minutes after the fact. You'd hate to imagine getting hit with more than one in a row like Yamame was.

For that matter, she did look pretty out of it when she landed, didn't she? "Are you okay, Yamame? you ask, bending down slightly towards her in concern.

"Yep!" she says, standing up straight and smiling at you. She seems to be telling the truth; she's no longer out of breath, and her movements don't suggest that she's suffered any injuries. "See?" She levitates slightly, bringing herself to eye level with you, and spins once in midair before touching back down onto the roof.

"Yeah," you say, distracted by her display. It had been easier to take their flying in stride when the two of them were so far away from you, but at this distance, it reminds you of just what you're dealing with here. "Youkai really are strong..." you say to nobody in particular.

"Hm?" Yamame looks at you inquisitively.

"Nothing, really," you say offhandedly. "It's just amazing that you can stand that much pain for a game."

"It's because it's really fun!" Yamame says exuberantly, stepping towards you and pushing her face up towards yours. "You should play too sometime, Taizou!"

"Sorry, but I still can't fly," you say with a small chuckle.

That doesn't seem to discourage Yamame, though. "You could learn! I could teach you!"

Yamame teaching you to fly? Putting aside concerns of whether that's even possible, you're not sure she would be the best teacher; she's a nice girl, but your near-fatal accident when you first entered the cave and your observations of her at other times give you the impression that her attention span might not be well-suited to dangerous activities. "I don't know..." you say noncommitally.

"Here, watch!"

And with that, Yamame grabs your hand from your side, trapping it between her own hands as she lifts herself into the air, hovering about a foot above the roof. She squeezes your hand, looking at you expectantly, but you don't feel any sudden changes. You try to play along a little, willing yourself into the air, but you remain motionless. Sighing, you try to break it gently to Yamame. "I don't--"

Woah. No sooner do the words leave your mouth than you finally feel something; an uneasiness in the pit of your stomach like the weightlessness you feel just before a fall. You feel your balance waver, and crouch lower to the ground, sticking your arms out to your sides slightly for support. The feeling remains, though, and you take a step back to steady yourself.

And miss the ground. Panic grips your heart, and you look down at your feet, expecting to see that you've stepped off the edge of the roof. Instead, though, the bottom drops out of your stomach as you see your feet dangling in midair, a foot or two away from the roof below you. A slight breeze moves your dangling limbs, and the feeling of weightlessness grows stronger still.

You're... flying.

The realization triggers something in your brain, and your muscles all tense at once, trying to reject what's happening. You grip Yamame's hand tightly, trying to keep yourself as still as possible, as though the wrong movement could send you tumbling back to the ground, but you can't manage it for long; the feeling of your feet dangling in midair quickly becomes unbearable, and you kick your legs, trying to stretch yourself back to the ground.

"Don't move too much, Mr. Taizou," Yamame says, with a note of worry in her voice. "I won't be able to -- ah!"

And you drop.

The distance you fall is only a few feet at the most, but it feels like your heart beats around 100 times before you finally hit the ground. You land on your butt, letting go of Yamame's hand as your palms hit the rough tile of the roof to break your fall. You quickly pull yourself onto your knees and lean forward, nearly lying prone as your body welcomes your return to solid ground. After taking a moment to recover, you look back up at Yamame's smiling face.

"See?" she says, dropping to meet you on the ground, voice full of excitement. "It's easy, isn't it? Here, let's try again!" She snatches your hand away from the roof again, and your heart skips as you drop your body to the ground, instinctively trying to keep yourself out of the air.

Before you begin to defy gravity again, though, Yamame's grip on your hand releases, brushed away by another hand. "Okay, okay," Yuugi says, putting a hand on Yamame's shoulder and lightly pushing her away from you. "Just let him recover for now, spider-girl."

"Ah!" Yamame flushes, and she shuffles away from you, looking away. "I didn't mean to scare you or anything, I just wanted to show you and--"

"I'm okay, I'm okay," you say, cutting off her apology before it has a chance to get started. "Just a little surprised, that's all."

"Me too, honestly," Yuugi says. "Wouldn't have figured someone who's never flown before could manage it just like that, even with help. You might be able to manage it on your own with a little practice." Her gaze lingers on you for a second longer, and you think you see a small smile. "Anyway, let's get down from here before someone ends up fallin' off."

The three of you make the short trip back down to the front porch, Yuugi holding you as she flies down. As you and Yamame turn to head inside, though, Yuugi heads the opposite direction, back towards the city.

"I gotta get everything delivered, so I'm headin' back out," she says with a wave.

She's going to deliver all those bottles by herself? True, she won't have any problem carrying them, but with the number of deals she made, it'll still be a long job for a single person. "I can hel--"

"Nope." She cuts you off with a grin. "You already did plenty of grunt work for me back at the shop. Just stay here and relax a while."

"...Okay." You wouldn't call filling a few bottles 'plenty of work', but you're in no hurry to argue if she says she doesn't need the help. Besides, you haven't seen much of Yamame since the first day you came here, and you wouldn't mind spending some time with her.

"I probably ain't gonna be back 'till 'round dinnertime, so go ahead and make yourselves somethin' if you feel like it," she says. "Make sure to lock up if you go see your friend, Yamame."

"Okay! Bye, Miss Yuugi!" The two of you wave as Yuugi sets off down the road, then Yamame turns to you. "What do you want to do, Mr. Taizou?"

[ ] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.
[ ] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
[ ] You're getting a bit hungry, how about lunch?
>> No. 21190
[!/] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.
>> No. 21192
[ ] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
>> No. 21194
>>21189
[X] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.

As alluring as flight sounds, I can't help but think Yamame would be overly enthusiastic to the detriment of Taizou's health. Besides, the story needs more touhous. Fingers crossed for bucket-loli.
>> No. 21195
[X] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
>> No. 21196
[z] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.
[e] But practice over something soft.
>> No. 21197
[x] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.

Meet new friends, is it
>> No. 21198
[X] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
>> No. 21199
[/!/] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.

Zombie Fairy?
Beer Spider???!!!!111!
>> No. 21201
[x] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.

in b4 Yamame teaches us how to fit in a bucket
>> No. 21205
[x] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.

Flying~

>>21199
Even bigger spider-girl with a thirst for human blood~
>> No. 21206
[~] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again. Special mention on being careful.

Citing his desire at the beginning to learn to fly, usefulness and impressing a certain oni when they get back.

That being said, I would be VERY disappointed with a DROPPED ON HEAD END.
>> No. 21209
[z] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.
>> No. 21210
[x] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
>> No. 21214
[ª] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new
>> No. 21227
[☢] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.
>> No. 21277
[x] Is it really possible for you to fly on your own? Ask Yamame to practice with you again.

I doubt Yamame will get us killed. Bruised body and pride maybe, but that's nothing new. Yuugi DID say she'd be gone awhile. Let's do some practicing and then go find bucket-loli.
>> No. 21279
File 124773705226.jpg - (329.22KB , 666x800 , 49.jpg ) [iqdb]
21279
[X] Another of Yamame's friends? You wouldn't mind getting out and meeting someone new.

You don't really have any ideas, but you find yourself interested by something Yuugi said. "What was that about going to see a friend of yours, Yamame?" you ask.

Yamame's face brightens, and she jumps forward, grabbing your hand with both of hers. "Yeah! We can go play with Kisume!" She punctuates her words with tugs on your hand, nearly jumping up and down in excitement. "We could play danmaku to show you again and practice flying together and I don't think she's ever even met anyone from the surface before and--"

"That sounds like fun," you say gently, cutting off Yamame's stream of words. She doesn't seem to mind the interruption at all, letting go of your hand and gasping for air slightly as she smiles up at you. You're beginning to get the impression that all of her sentences tend to continue on like this unless stopped by an external force. "Where does she live?"

"She lives over by the caves, near where I--" She gasps, and her smile grows even bigger. "I can show you where I live, too! Come on, let's go!" And with that, she turns around and takes off, leaving you behind as she flies away.

...Huh? You're too stunned by the sudden action to even say anything. Are you supposed to walk after her? Before you can call after her, though, she lets out an "Ah!", loud enough that you can hear it from the ground, and turns around to fly back, face bright red. "Sorry, Mr. Taizou," she says without meeting your eyes. "It's just since you were doing so well before I was thinking that you would fly after me but I forgot that probably don't know how to fly by yourself yet so I..." Her voice gets softer as she continues, until you can barely hear her at all.

"Don't worry about it, Yamame," you say, chuckling slightly. She really does remind you of a kid when she gets embarrassed like this. Before you can think twice, you find yourself reaching out and putting a hand on Yamame's head. Her hair is still pulled back in a bun, but her bangs are still free, and you ruffle her hair a bit.

"Ah!" Yamame's reaction is nearly immediate; her face falls, and she jumps backward, pushing your hand away with a surprising amount of force.

Startled, you pull your hand away and take a step back yourself. Did you offend her somehow? "I didn't mean to--"

"No!" she interrupts, her own tone apologetic. "I didn't mean to..." She stops, bringing up a hand to cover her face, and stays silent for a moment. When she pulls it away, her smile returns, if a little forced, and she speaks. "It's okay. You just startled me, that's all." Before you can say anything in reply, she lifts off from the ground again, hovering around to behind you. "Let's go, okay?" she asks over your shoulder.

"...Okay." That was a little odd, but you decide to let it pass for now; there's no point in trying to get her to talk about something she doesn't want to.

"We'll go the normal way this time," she says, grabbing you around the chest, and the two of you take off.

---

Continued in next post.
>> No. 21280
File 124773708494.jpg - (40.46KB , 690x800 , 48.jpg ) [iqdb]
21280
Unlike the last time you flew with Yamame, you aren't forced to dangle upside-down for this trip; she carries you with her arms under your shoulders, letting your legs dangle freely. Ordinarily, this would feel unsafe, but you're also moving much slower than you were last time you flew; from what you saw earlier, Yamame could probably stop and catch you if you fell going this speed. Still, the height is dizzying, and you try to avoid looking down for the majority of the trip, instead focusing on the walls of the cave. The space seems to get narrower the farther you get from Yuugi's house, and before long, you can see both walls clearly. Dotting the stone at all heights are small black dots; caves, you realize after a moment, probably big enough for you to stand in upright, but miniscule from this distance. Is one of those the one you came in from? Which way is the human village from here, anyway?

You don't have long to consider it as the two of you descend to the ground, Yamame making sure your feet are firmly planted on the stone before letting go of you and flying back around you, hovering a few feet above the ground and looking towards the caves. You're near the caves now, close enough that you could walk over and climb into some of the lower ones. You don't see anything like a house, though. Does Yamame live in one of these caves? For that matter, where's--

"KISUMEEE!" Yamame suddenly lets out an earsplitting scream towards the cavern wall, nearly bringing you to your knees as you clutch your ears. She's got quite a pair of lungs for a girl her size; you're surprised that didn't cause some kind of avalanche. Holding your head, you try to listen past the ringing in your ears as Yamame turns to face you, apparently having realized the effect her shout had on you.

"Sorry, Mr. Taizou!" she says, landing and rushing towards you, then stopping short of you, as though confused about what to do. "I didn't mean to hurt your ears or anything! I just wanted to figure out where Kisume was and I forgot to tell you that I was going to yell so--"

Suddenly, she stops speaking (on her own, thankfully; you don't really feel like stopping her apology just yet) and cocks her ear back towards the caves. "Ah!" She turns back around and jumps into the air, looking back over her shoulder at you. "I'll be right back, okay?" And with that, she takes off towards the wall, quickly disappearing into one of the caves about twenty feet up.

By the time the pain in your head is gone, she's already reappeared, flying out from a different cave than the one she came in, and carrying something in her arms. "I found Kisume!" she calls down to you as she lands, setting the bundle she was carrying on the ground at her feet. It's... a bucket. Plain wood, a simple metal band to hold it together, not full of anything. It's not even that big of a bucket; it only comes up to Yamame's knees, with a circumference of about a little over a foot at its mouth. You find yourself recalling your meeting with Koishi in the palace; is this Kisume?

"Um..." you begin hesitantly.

"Kisumeee! Come on!" Before you can ask anything, though, Yamame lets out a whine and, dropping to her knees, sticks her face into the bucket. Is she... talking to someone in there? Curiosity overwhelming your confusion, you take a step towards her and peer down, trying to get a look inside the bucket.

"Don't crowd her, Mr. Taizou!" But that earns you a scolding from Yamame, and you step back with a mumbled "sorry." As you watch, Yamame continues to talk into the bucket, too quietly for you to hear. At one point, she looks away and motions for you to sit down, which you do, crossing your legs over each other in the thin layer of dirt on the ground.

After a little while longer of this, she eventually straightens up, pulling her head out of the bucket, and waits, staring at it with a pose mirroring yours. You don't say anything for a moment, waiting silently for... whatever's supposed to happen, but nothing-- no, wait, that was something. Something... green. Hair? Two little tufts of green hair, like weeds, poking up from the mouth of the bucket. And they're rising, slowly but surely; you can make out bangs now, and a forehead. Before long, a pair of green eyes break the surface, peeking out from over the bucket to scan back and forth.

"Eep!" You hear a small voice chirp from inside the bucket, and the eyes descend back out of view. Yamame sighs, giving you a knowing smile.

"Kisume's a little shy," she explains, poking her head into the bucket again for a moment. This time, when she emerges, she reaches a hand into the bucket instead, and when she draws it out, it's holding another, smaller hand, and the hair and eyes you saw earlier come with it. The girl they're attached to recoils away from you as she emerges, trying futilely to hide hide behind Yamame without stepping out of the bucket. This girl doesn't look any more 'youkai-like' than Yamame; by looks alone, you would assume she was a normal 9 or 10 year old.

But she's clearly anything but normal, you think, looking down at the bucket again. No matter how she stretched herself, this girl couldn't possibly fit in the space she just came out of; it simply wasn't big enough. You try to think of an explanation -- a false bottom? maybe tunnels of some sort? -- but give it up before too long, chalking it up to the mysteries of youkai.

"Mr. Taizou, this is Kisume," Yamame says, trying and failing to move her friend out from hiding behind her. "C'mon, Kisume, say hi!"

"Hi, Kisume," you say gently, waving slightly and trying to look non-threatening. She stares at you from behind Yamame for a moment, unmoving, then hesitantly returns the wave before diving back behind cover.

"See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" Yamame asks happily. "Now, let's all do something fun together." She turns back to you. "What should we do, Mr. Taizou?"

[ ] Kisume can use danmaku too, right? You'd like to see another game.
[ ] Flying here just made you more interested in learning to fly yourself.
[ ] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
>> No. 21281
File 124774629165.jpg - (130.67KB , 652x573 , NEMESIA-DOOR.jpg ) [iqdb]
21281
[x] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?

In before she's actually a trapdoor spider.
>> No. 21282
HNNNG

[x] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
[x] Kisume will come too, right? It's not too late to eat lunch, is it?

People like new acquaintances who go as far as to prepare a meal for them. Seeing as Yamame probably lives in as much squalor as Yuugi, if not more so, then we have our work cut out for us.
>> No. 21283
[x] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
[x] Kisume will come too, right? It's not too late to eat lunch, is it?
>> No. 21284
[x] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
[x] Kisume will come too, right? It's not too late to eat lunch, is it?

Befriend
>> No. 21285
[†] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
>> No. 21287
>>21282
Yamame cooks for Yuugi pretty much every day, why do you assume that? And why do you call Yuugi's home "squalor"?
>> No. 21288
[O] Yamame said something about seeing where she lived, didn't she?
[O] Kisume will come too, right? It's not too late to eat lunch, is it?
>> No. 21291
>>21281

....distant relative of Beer Spider ;_;
>> No. 21293
FUCKING ADORABLE.

>>21287
Probably thinking of the council hall.
>> No. 21415
>>21414 is the new thread.