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23302 No. 23302
“I thought I was done,” I say, scratching my head. “What, is there something you’d like to see me in?” I ask with a bit of a smug grin, though I can’t expect the answer to be in the affirmative, but I can afford to have a little fun sometimes, can’t I?

“Idiot, not that,” Yuuka says dismissively, “You may be done buying your own clothes, but are you sure that’s all you should be purchasing?”

“What are you talking abou-”

Ah! That’s right! I did say I was going to get something for Kana, didn’t I? Urgh… I would have looked terrible if I’d said that and returned without anything for her. My bad. I was being thoughtless. Still, it’s not like I really know what to get for a girl…

“Hey, can you help me pick out-”

“No,” she replies before I can even finish my sentence, “Pick it out for yourself.”

Well, even if you tell me that, it’s not going to help me choose. I don’t know what’s going to fit her beyond visual estimation, and if you tell me to just get what I like, I can’t be sure she’s going to like it.

Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to pick whatever catches my eye and hope she’ll like it. Hell, since I’m doing this out of the goodness of my heart, she should be grateful to me no matter what I get her, right?



It didn’t take me too long to find something appropriate (I hope). Conveniently enough, the other two girls had finished their purchase around the same time as mine, and so we headed out of the clothing store. On our way out, we also stopped to buy a few necessary goods from the supermarket department.

“And so, uh…” I say as we walk down the street, my hands occupied with plastic bag, “Can anyone tell me why I’m the only one carrying stuff?”

“It’s because you’re a man, aren’t you?” Elly says, snickering at me, “You wouldn’t make ladies like us carry heavy things around, would you?”

“Give me a break!” I say, indignant. Also, "ladies"? You two are monsters, though I keep that to myself in fear for my life. “This was all bought with my money, you know! And you’re making me a pack mule on top of that?”

“Can you really say it was your money?” Yuuka says coldly, stopping on the spot and turning around to face me.

Of course it is, I earned that money-

Oh.

She steps forward and snatches the largest of the bags from me, silently turning around to continue walking. I try my best to ignore the smug look on Elly’s face as she follows after Yuuka. My lips twitch slightly, brows furrowed in slight anger. That was a low blow. Real low.

“Um… I can carry some of the bags, too…” Ellen offers helpfully.

“…No, it’s fine,” I say. Heaving yet another sigh, I resume walking. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. If this goes on for too long, I might start to get wrinkles before I even reach the age of thirty!



“We’re back~!” Elly calls out as she steps through the door I opened, Yuuka and Ellen stepping inside after she does. I head in last, closing the metal door behind me. Inside, Kana greets us with a smile, touching the tips of her fingers together.

“Welcome home,” she says happily, bowing politely as we step further inside.

“Finally,” I say as I lower the bags in my hand, placing them against a wall. That was a long walk, and even things that aren’t heavy start to weigh on your arms given enough time, and I’m not exactly the fittest guy around to begin with. I should have let Ellen carry some of it for me…

“Did you get all your shopping done?”

“Of course,” Yuuka answers for us.

“I can’t wait to see everyone in their new clothes,” Kana says with a laugh.

As everyone else leave us to head to the living room, I pick up one of the bags I placed on the ground, reaching inside. Kana watches me curiously, cocking her head to the side as I search the inside of the bag. Finally, I produce a pure white dress from the bag, and offer it to her.

“This is…” she says as she takes the dress from me, examining it closely as she runs her gloved fingers across the surface of the fabric.

“I said I’d get you something, didn’t I?” I say, feeling a little embarrassed. “It’s a bit simple, but I thought it was kind of nice… I wasn’t sure you’d like it, though.”

“Yahaha… You didn’t really have to, though,” she says sheepishly, somewhat flustered herself. With deliberate movement, she hugs the dress closely to herself, closing her eyes. “Thank you very much, master. It’s lovely.”



After we put the clothes and the stuff we bought from the market in their proper places, it was dinnertime. Following that, everyone took turns taking a dip in the bath. Fortunately for me, nothing weird happened in there for me today. Maybe I really was just hallucinating at that time. It wouldn’t surprise me if that turned out to be true, considering the stress on me lately.

As I step out of the bathroom, I see Yuuka and Elly heading out the front door. What are they up to?

“Hey,” I call out to them before they fully step outside, “Where are you guys going?”

“Out for a bit,” Yuuka replies.

“Don’t follow us,” Elly adds.

Like I was planning to. If they want to go on an evening stroll, that’s their business. Shrugging it off, I head for my room and lock the door.



About an hour passes before I get up from the computer, stretching my limbs as I walk out of my room and to the kitchen.

“…another body was found near Kanda Station. Authorities have confirmed that the body was found in the same condition as the case in Aoyama and have concluded that the perpetrators of both murders are one and the same…”

“Oh no, that’s terrible!”

Judging from the sound, Ellen’s watching the news. Walking past the living room, I step up to the fridge and open it. With habitual motion, my hand moves to where I keep all my cans of beer and…

There isn’t any? What the… I’m sure there was one left when I checked last time! Where’d it go!?

WHO TOUCHED MY BEER.

Seething, I rush back to my room and change into my new pair of jeans. I’ll just have to buy some more from the local liquor store, then. I march back outside, and outside.

It’s very dark outside, even though it isn’t even that late yet. Well, the days have been getting shorter, after all. As quickly as I can, I hurry to the liquor store down the street, a ten-minute’s walk away.

“Thank you, come again,” the cashier says to me as he hands over a plastic bag contain two six-packs of beer.

With it in hand, I start to return to my home, walking at a much more leisurely pace. It’s kind of cold in the evening, but I didn’t think to put on a jacket or anything before I left, so it’s my fault I’m feeling this chill. But, damn it, who drank the last can, anyway? …There’s no way it could have been Ellen. I bet it was Elly. Damn he-

I suddenly feel uneasy. Even though it’s not that late, I don’t see anyone around. What’s going on? It should be busier than this at around this time of the day, right…? Gulping, I hurry my pace. Something’s wrong. Something feels wrong. I feel the hair on my arms standing on their ends, goosebumps covering my skin.

My heart begins to pound harder as I gradually quicken my pace even further, practically jogging now. Why do I feel so anxious? What am I so afraid of? It’s not like I haven’t gone on an evening stroll myself. There’s nothing to be scared abou-oh shit I think I saw a shadow behind me.

I turn around, a low whimper escaping my throat. No one there. A trick of the light from the nearby lamppost? My breathing becomes ragged and terrified. Trying to calm myself, I keep walking at a steady pace now. Don’t get scared, don’t look back, don’t jump at every shadow you see or think you see- there it is again!

“K-Kana! Is that you?” I decide to call out this time. Is she trying to scare me? This is too much even for a prank.

There’s no answer.

Completely freaked out now, I break into a run. I’m not too far from my house. If I can just make it there, I’ll be safe, safe in the comfort of my own home and the company of those two and not whatever creepy-crawlies there are out here. There! I’m safe, I’m-OHGODWHATTHEFUCK

As I turn to look back behind me out of paranoia, something fucking jumps on top of me, pinning me to the ground. A sharp, iron grip digs into my shoulders. It feels like hot iron is being pressed into my skin, but that’s the least of my worries right now.

Peering down at me, its face obscured by the blinding light of the lamppost above it, is a fucking monster. I don’t even need to know what it looks like to say that it’s hideous and savage, its mouth full of sharp shark-like teeth with claws that rip and tear and rend.

This is a dream this is a dream this is a dream is the first thought that comes to my mind as I stare up at the horrible beast that’s got me on the ground. How I hope it’s a dream! But then I think back to the news reports about the murders oh shit is this the thing that killed those two guys and ate them why did I go out after watching those reports shit shit shit.

It hasn’t killed me yet thank god but it’s not biting down on my throat because it knows I’m scared it knows I’m horrified and I think it wants to draw it out longer and oh god I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to die someone please save me please anyone help me.

Is this how everything ends? Pathetically calling for help in my thoughts? I want to scream, I want to kick the monster off me and run away and call the police or the JSDF or anyone that can help me right now but my body won’t move and my throat won’t make any sounds someone please help me please I don’t want to die I don’t want to die I don’t want to-

Splat.

Something impales the monster through its chest, lifting it up from me. It’s sharp, and hooked, and the light from the lamppost gleams off its surface. Elly’s scythe.

“Yoohoo~!” I hear her voice above me and turn to look at her. She’s not looking at me, but elsewhere. “Got another one, Yuukarin!” she yells.

“Good,” Yuuka’s voice comes from the direction Elly’s got her face pointed to. She calmly walks up next to her, who’s still holding her scythe point up towards the sky, the beast hanging limply from it. Yuuka examines the beast, and then flicks it in the head with her finger. Immediately, the beast dissolves completely, leaving no trace of itself behind.

“Seems there’s a lot of them around, huh?” Elly asks.

“Much more than I thought originally,” Yuuka says, thoughtfully placing a hand to her chin, “Still, it naturally follows that the unpleasant ones would have been forced over here as well.”

“Are we going to wipe ‘em out?”

“Mmm… I suppose there would be some fun to seeking them out and killing them all,” Yuuka says with a sadistic grin, “But our priority is to find her first.”

“I wonder if she’s even in this country,” Elly sighs.

They turn to leave, completely ignoring me, still on the ground. Shakily, I stand up, reaching out to them with a hand as I stumble forward. “W-wait!” I call after them desperately.

They stop, and look back at me.

“Go home,” Yuuka says simply.

With that, they turn and start walking again.

[ ] Go after them. You need answers. Now.
[ ] Go home, like they said.

>> No. 23303
[x] Go home, like they said.
-[x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.

We got lucky this time. This might be why they're here, doing a bit of clean up.

So far Kana seems to appreciate it (She's been oddly normal nice this scene)

Though Ellen proves herself the token sane nice girl of the bunch.
>> No. 23304
[x] Go home, like they said.
-[x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
>> No. 23305
>Lion!!MyZwtjMQtj
No wonder I like this so much.

[X] Go home, like they said.
- [X] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [X] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [X] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23306
[X] Go home, like they said.
- [X] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [X] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [X] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23307
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.

Adding one very important thing to >>23305
's vote.
>> No. 23308
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23309
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on. And ask her who touched my beer.
>> No. 23310
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23311
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23313
[x] Go after them. You need answers. Now.
>> No. 23315
[x] Go home, like they said.
- [x] Hug Ellen. It's good to be home. And safe.
- [x] Have a beer and do something to take your mind off what happened for the moment.
- [x] Yeah, just take your mind off of it. Spare it nary a thought. No need to dwell on nearly getting eaten by a horrible monster that doesn't look like anything that should exist in this world and could have killed you before you had a chance to scream and there could be more of them out there and--
- [x] Fuck that. Kana showed up here with Yuuka, right? Ask her what the hell is going on.
>> No. 23332
I want to ask them what the hell’s going on, but it feels like my feet are glued to the ground. Unable to take a step after them, I do my best to keep standing despite the sudden bout of weakness in my legs. This is a nightmare. This can’t actually be happening. I don’t want to accept it.

Still shaking, I gather the cans of beer that spilled out of their bag when the monster jumped me, and stumble all the way back to my home. On the way, I feel like I’m jumping at every sound and movement, terrified that there might be another monster waiting to jump on me at any moment. Constantly, I look back behind me to make sure there’s nothing tailing me, but even though I see nothing I’m not reassured at all.

Finally, after what seems like the longest minute of walking ever, I reach the stairs to my house. I climb up the metal staircase with haste, my breathing wildly irregular. Jerking the door open, I step inside and shut it behind me with a loud bang.

It’s warm in here. So very comfortably warm.

I don’t think I want to ever go outside again.

I steady my breath as I take off my sneakers, making my way to the living room. I set down the plastic bag of beer on the dining table, and reach inside to take out one of the cans of beer I purchased. With it in hand, I walk toward the sofa and sink down in it, leaning back.

“Ah…?” Ellen’s voice comes from beside me. She’s sitting next to me at the moment, after all. “Did something happen, mister? You look pale…”

Not responding, I flick the tab of the can open with trembling fingers. I can’t stop shivering. I can’t. I need this to calm my nerves because I’ll keep shaking and twitching if I don’t.

“Uwah!” Ellen yelps as the can explodes, spurting out its foamy contents.

A stream shoots out from the hole of the can and hits me in the face, while a good half of the stuff spills from the can and onto the carpeted floor below. Undaunted, I lick my lips and wipe my mouth with the back of my dry hand. It must have gotten shaken up when I fell down.

“Yahahaha,” I hear Kana’s laughter as she walks up to me, “You’re so careless, master.”

“Ah, yeah,” I say distantly as I take a swig from the already half-empty can of beer, the liquid still dripping from the bottom of the can. I… I need reprieve. I don’t want to think. I just want to get smashed and forget about all of this… I…

But I can’t stop thinking about it! That… there was a monster. A fucking monster, for god’s sake. It didn’t even look like anything that should exist in this world, with its big arms that were as long as its own height and a sharp clawed hand that was as wide as I am, like something straight out of a goddamn horror game. If it weren’t for Elly… if she hadn’t shown up then, it would have eaten me. It would have killed me and chunks of my flesh and bone would be floating around in its stomach and I-

I nearly died.

Back there, I nearly died.

Even though there was so much I hadn’t done and I wanted to do, I was going to die fucking clueless about everything and begging for help right up until the moment the monster sank its teeth into me.

I nearly died.

My hands tremble more than ever, and the can of beer slips out of my grip and falls on the ground, spilling the rest of what it holds onto the ground. I lean forward with my elbows on my knees, holding my head in my hands. I can’t… I can’t stop shaking… even though it’s not cold I can’t stop shivering. I…

“…Master?” Kana’s voice, “Did something happen outside?”

“Hey…” Ellen gets up from the sofa, stepping over the wet rug and leaning forward so that her face is level with mine. With a worried expression, she asks, “What’s wrong?”

Hastily, fearfully, desperately, I throw my arms around her and pull her close, hugging her tightly and eliciting a soft, surprised cry from her. It’s just now really, truly sinking in. At that moment, I could have really died. I know it’s pathetic for a grown-up like me, but my eyes fill with tears of fright.

“I don’t want to die… I don’t want to die… I don’t want to die…” I continually mutter under my breath, choking back a sob.

“H-huh?” Ellen seems understandably confused, not sure what to do, “Um… please don’t cry! You need to calm down…”

I feel a hand stroking the back of my head, comforting me. Pulling away, I furiously dry my tears. Damn it, how emasculating, crying like that in front of two girls. But… I couldn’t help it. My eyes just started flowing like waterworks when I realized just how close I’d gotten to death.

“C-can you tell us what happened…?” Ellen asks, sitting back down on her spot at the couch.

Kana’s stooped on the ground in front of me, cleaning up the mess the beer can had caused with a paper towel. She looks up at me with an uncharacteristically serious look on her face. “Did someone try to kill you, master?” she asks in a cold voice.

“N-no, not someone. It was a something,” I say, having calmed down enough to speak coherently, “…Kana. You were here with Yuuka, weren’t you? Why are there monsters in the streets outside? Why are Yuuka and Elly going around killing them? No, better yet, what are they? The monsters… and those two, there’s no way they’re human, is there…?”

“I didn’t think you believed in monsters, master,” Kana says, standing up from the floor with a blank look, “So Miss Yuuka and Miss Elly dispatched the monster, then? I’m glad you’re unharmed, master.”

“Answer my questions,” I say firmly. How can I deny that monsters exist when I was attacked and nearly killed by one?

“I don’t think I’m the right person to tell answer those questions, master,” she says with an apologetic smile, folding her hands together, “It might be best to save them for when those two return.”

“I want to know now,” I say, my voice shaking again.

“Do you, master?” Kana asks, the smile falling from her face, “You might regret it, you know.”

“Wha…”

“Well, master? If you insist, I can answer your questions. But you might just end up wishing you’d never known. So, what will it be?”

[ ] Ask her now.
[ ] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.
>> No. 23334
[ℤℯ] Ask her now.
>> No. 23335
Huh. Didn't think that was what the write-in was supposed to mean. Not that I voted. Or that I dislike your update. But someone might...
>> No. 23336
[X] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.
>> No. 23337
[x] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.
>> No. 23338
[x] Ask her now.
The fear of the unknown is always stronger.
>> No. 23339
[x] Ask her now.
>> No. 23340
[x] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.
>> No. 23345
[x] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.

I think we should ask Yuuka since she'd have a better idea than Kana.
>> No. 23347
[x] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.

Kana is being serious for once. We should do as she says and wait.
>> No. 23354
File 126030549968.jpg - (31.66KB , 250x307 , uoooooooo.jpg ) [iqdb]
23354
>How can I deny that monsters exist when I was attacked and nearly killed by one?
Clearly we need tips from the master.

>>23335
Eh, I'm >>23305, and I was expecting a freak-out of about this magnitude.

[X] Ask her now.
We're already at the maximum level of 'wishing we hadn't known'. I don't think we can wish we'd never known any harder than we already are.
>> No. 23360
[X] Don’t ask. Save the questions for later.
>> No. 23397
File 12604250094.jpg - (23.79KB , 328x450 , 20080706122954.jpg ) [iqdb]
23397
“I…” I open my mouth to speak, but instead I find a lump in my throat that makes it painful to speak. Swallowing hard, I avert my gaze from Kana, looking to the floor instead. With a still shaken voice, I force myself to continue, “I… I don’t know. I want to know, but…”

“But you’re scared,” Kana finishes for me, adopting an empty smile. “That’s understandable, master. If you feel that you’re not ready to take in the truth, then there’s no need to rush. You’ll be safe inside, and I’m sure Miss Yuuka and Miss Elly would be willing to fill you in when they return.”

“Y-yeah, I guess…” I say, rubbing the back of my neck with my dry hand. On a whim, I look over to Ellen, who’s still staring at me with a worried gaze. I urge myself to put on a smile, false as it might be. “I’m okay now,” I say, smiling so hard that the muscles around my mouth feel strained, “Sorry you had to see that.”

“I’m still not sure what happened, but it’s okay…?” Ellen says, confused as she tilts her head to the side while still scrutinizing you.

“Thanks.” I keep smiling as I lift my hand to pat her on the head. It’s strangely calming, like the way people relieve stress by stroking a cat or a dog. Well, not that I’m trying to compare her to a pet, but…

“You should rest in your room now, master,” Kana says to me, her hands neatly folded together on top of the apron of her maid uniform.

“Yeah, I should.” I nod, and try to get up. My legs still feel pretty weak, so I nearly fall back onto the couch, but Kana catches me by the arm. With her wrapping both of her arms around mine and supporting me, I’m finally able to take a step forward.

“Thanks,” I say to her as I break away, confident that I can stand alone now. She responds with only a serene smile. It’s a bit disturbing how calmly she can smile all the time.

She follows me to my room without any urging, and as I head in, she steps inside with me. She walks up behind me, and begins lifting the bottom of my shirt.

“Wha-!?” I’m startled as she pulls the shirt up and off of me.

“I’ll wash this before it gets stained,” she says punctually as she drapes my shirt over her arm. “Oh, you spilled some on your new pants. That’s terrible.” Without shame or hesitation, she reaches for the zipper of my jeans.

“Whoa, hey!” I object, my face flushing. “I-I’ll change on my own.”

“Yahaha, are you embarrassed master?” Kana laughs at me. “Do you want me to turn around?” she asks in a teasing manner.

“Yeah…”

Obediently, she turns her back to me, as do I to her. Damn, that really is a shame, spilling beer on my new jeans the first day I get ‘em. Well, I suppose it could have been worse. I could be dead right now. I give another involuntary shiver as I change out of my jeans and into my shorts and another shirt. I fold up the pants and hand it over to Kana, who places it on her arm along with my shirt.

“I’ll go put these in the wash,” she says as she walks out of the room.

Now that I’m alone, I sink onto the bed, sprawling myself out. The whole experience’s left me pretty tired, and I think if I shut my eyes right now, I’ll fall asleep. Actually, that sounds like a good idea. Slowly, I close my eyes…

“Going to sleep already, master?”

I heave myself up, sitting up on the bed. With a drowsy head, I look over to Kana, who steps in through the door and stands next to the bed.

“You can’t go to sleep like that, master,” she scolds, wagging a finger at you, “You’ll catch a cold if you don’t tuck yourself in properly.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I say with a weary smile. Sliding on over, I slip under the cover of my blanket, resting my head comfortable on my pillow. Leaning over me, Kana pulls up the sheets a little higher, and flashes me a smile.

“Don’t dwell too much on what happened,” she says soothingly, placing a hand on my forehead, “Or you’ll have nightmares.”

“Geh,” I groan. “I wouldn’t have thought about it if you hadn’t reminded me,” I say with a little bit of bitterness.

She giggles, hearing this. “Then shall I reassure you?” She asks, tilting her head. Crouching down, she looks under the bed. “No monsters here,” she reports as she stands back up. She walks over to the closet in the room, and flings the door open.

“…Oh no, a monster!” she says with a shriek.

Har har, very funny, Kana. I roll my eyes as she looks back at me with a sly grin, stepping aside. “Well, it’s a monster of a mess, anyway,” she says, pointing inside the closet, where heaps of crumpled articles of clothing lie, "I'll have to clean it up later."

“Yeah, that’s not helping,” I sigh.

“Cheer up, master. You’re safe here,” she says, stepping back to me. “Then, how about a story?”

“…Eh?”

“A story for the evening,” she repeats, sitting down on my bed.

“What am I, a kid?”

“That doesn’t matter right now, master,” she says, “Would you like to hear it or not? It has a happy ending, I promise. You’ll like it.”

“…Alright, fine.”

Kana giggles, looking happy. Shifting herself a little closer to you and placing her hands on her lap, she clears her throat before beginning.

“A long, long time ago, there was a girl living in a mansion. Let’s say her name was…” she trails off, taking a moment to think before continuing. “Ana. Her name was Ana.”

“Ana was a really pretty girl, and her mansion was very, very big. Ana was smart and learned. She was kind and caring. She lived in the mansion together with her vastly wealthy and popular parents.”

“For those reasons, Ana herself was very popular as well. Would-be suitors would line up in front of the mansion just for a chance to talk to her, though she would admit none inside.”

“But Ana was also a very ill girl. She was constantly sick in bed, and her body was frail. But her parents loved her very much, and spent fortunes to care for her health.”

“One day, Ana felt much better than usual, and called her father. She wanted to request only one thing from him. “Father, I would like to see the sea,” she said to him.”

“Ana’s father replied to her, saying “Of course, my dearest daughter. I will take you wherever you wish. I shall arrange a vacation to the beach, and you will see the sea.” Ana was, of course, very happy about this.”

She stops there, her expression difficult to read. One hand seems to unconsciously drift to the brim of her hat, affectionately running her fingers across it.

“The End,” she says, standing up from the bed.

…huh?

“H-hey, what kind of an ending is that?” I say in an annoyed tone of voice.

“A happy one,” Kana replies with a smile, “She’s going to get what she wants. Isn’t that a good end?”

“That’s not a proper ending,” I retort.

“Yahaha~” she laughs it off, “Forgive me, master, but that’s all I can remember about the story at the moment.”

“…You forgot it?”

“Well, maybe I just don’t want to tell the rest right now,” she says, “I’ll tell you the rest some other time.”

I decide not to argue with her, silently settling back on my pillow. Kana heads on over to the door, and before she steps out, she flicks the light switch off.

“Good night, master,” she says as she heads out the door.



I wake up much earlier than usual the next morning, probably because I went to sleep much earlier than usual. Stifling a yawn, I step outside the door.

“You’re up early, master,” Kana greets me as I walk into the hallway connecting the bedrooms. “I’m afraid I haven’t even started on breakfast yet,” she says apologetically.

“Nah, that’s fine,” I reply, “I’m not hungry right now anyway.”

“Miss Yuuka and Miss Elly returned late last night,” she helpfully informs me. “I was just on my way to wake Miss Elly and Ellen, actually.”

“Right…”

“That said, could you go wake Miss Yuuka for me, master?”

“Bwuh?”

“I leave it in your hands,” she says, bowing to me before heading for Fluffy and Curly’s room.

A little dumbly, I rub the back of my neck. Why do I have to go wake her up? What if she’s not a morning person, huh? She’ll kill me, that’s what.

…I wonder what her sleeping face looks like.

[ ] Go wake her up.
[ ] Leave her alone.
>> No. 23399
[X] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23400
[X] Go wake her up.

I have to say, I love seeing Kana's softer side too... you really do have an absolutely lovely Kana, Lion.
>> No. 23401
[x] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23402
File 126042710068.jpg - (108.16KB , 646x505 , kagetsu2dp8.jpg ) [iqdb]
23402
>A story for the evening
Hanepin~
>> No. 23403
[x] Go wake her up.
Yes, I have a death wish. Stop asking.
>> No. 23408
Hmmm.

[x] Go wake her up.

It is a good day to die.
>> No. 23414
[x] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23416
[X] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23417
[x] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23424
[X] Go wake her up.
>> No. 23452
[x]Go update this up.
>> No. 23453
File 126059235129.png - (440.32KB , 560x560 , be4465171e9266fd125058feead50cd1.png ) [iqdb]
23453
Oh well, maybe she won’t be as violent in the morning. Maybe. I can only hope, as I nervously open the door and step over the threshold with slow, deliberate movements. I peek inside, and see a relatively empty room with nothing notable inside it save for the bedroll laid out in the center of the room.

Hesitantly, I step further into the room, and kneel down next to the roll. Comfortably slumbering on it, Yuuka’s still soundly sleeping while clutching her pillow to herself, wearing a pink nightgown and a matching cap she must have picked out back at the department store. The blanket lies haphazardly off to the side; she must have kicked it off of herself while tossing and turning in her sleep.

…She’s unexpectedly cute while she’s asleep. The dress has a surprisingly cutesy design, too.

“…Hey, Yuuka,” I say in a low voice. She doesn’t seem to hear me, so I raise my voice a little higher.

“Yuuka,” I repeat her name. No response this time, either.

“Yuuka! Wake up!” I say with a firmer voice, daring to put a hand on her shoulder and give her a shake. Absolutely no reaction at all! Not even a stir! If it wasn’t for her steady breathing, I’d think she’s dead or something. Geez, she’s out like a log…

“Why do you have to be such a bother when you’re sleeping, too?” I sigh as I lift my hand to her face, pinching her cheek.

“…mmm…” she moans in her sleep, scrunching up her expression a little as I tug on her skin. Ah, finally got a reaction out of her.

“Oi, wake up already, your majesty,” I say as I tug a little harder, snickering a little as her cheek is so stretched out that part of her mouth opens up. Hahaha, she could sleep through a war!

“…Uhhnn…lemme alone… stupid…”

A fist lashes out all of a sudden and punches me in the nose. I feel my eyes water up as the pain spreads throughout the rest of my head, and reflexively I let go of her cheek and cup my nose with both hands.

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow! That hurts! She broke it, she definitely broke it! I heard something crack!

The pain begins to numb as I let out silent gasps of pain. I wipe at my nose to see if I’m bleeding. Nope. I guess she didn’t hit me as hard as I thought she did. Still… ouch, that smarts. Sniffling loudly, I turn back to look at her. Ugh… she’s still asleep.

“Yuuka, come on, wake up!” I say, my voice dulled somewhat by the pain in my nose, though I dare not touch her this time.

Just as I’m about to give up, she suddenly springs herself upright, surprising me. With half-open eyes she robotically turns her head to me with an inquisitive stare.

“…what’s wrong with your nose?” she asks when she sees me rubbing my injury with one hand.

“Nothing you need to worry about,” I say, in fear that she might remember me pinching her cheek.

“Oh… Why are you in my room?” she asks a second question after a silent pause, rubbing her eyes.

“Kana asked me to wake you up,” I say.

“I see,” she says in a monotone voice, “Good night.”

She immediately collapses back onto the roll, clutching the pillow to herself even tighter now.

“H-hey, don’t go back to sleep,” I say.



After a tiring ordeal of coaxing Yuuka out of bed, I step into the living room with her. Elly looks just as tired as Yuuka was, her face planted on the surface of the table next to her untouched breakfast. Ellen, at least, seems to have some life in her, as she eagerly turns and greets the two of us as we take a seat.

“Good morning,” she says in a pleasantly cheerful voice. She’s wearing yellow, cat-printed pajamas. Cute.

“’morning,” I return her greeting with a somewhat tired smile. I woke up this morning without feeling groggy at all, but waking the sleeping beauty terror over there was a pretty harrowing experience that’s worn me out before the day’s even begun. And left me with a sore nose.

“Your nose is all red,” Ellen says as she examines me a little closer, cocking her head to the side, “What happened?”

“Nothing. I just, uh, I fell out of bed,” I reply, covering my nose.

As I prepare to dig into my breakfast, I hear an unearthly, zombie-like voice coming from somewhere nearby. Oh wait, it’s just Elly. I watch as Yuuka tugs at the back of the girl’s own scarlet nightgown, jerking her back so that she’s leaning against the back of her chair. She’s upright, but her eyes look dead inside, and soon she plummets back down, her face landing smack in the middle of her dish. Geez, what were they doing last night?

Sudden flashes of the monster’s assault and Elly’s dispatch of it run through my mind. Oh, right.

The atmosphere feels pretty dead, with Elly completely incapacitated, and none of us being much in the mood for small talk. Yuuka’s slowly and silently eating her meal. Ellen’s already finished hers, and is now nervously looking back and forth from me and the other two girls. Kana’s presumably in the kitchen.

[ ] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
[ ] Just eat your breakfast. You can talk later.
>> No. 23454
[X] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
- [X] Maybe you and Yuuka can talk in private. It doesn't seem right, talking about it while Ellen's in the room.
>> No. 23455
[X] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
- [X] Maybe you and Yuuka can talk in private. It doesn't seem right, talking about it while Ellen's in the room.
>> No. 23456
[x] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
>> No. 23459
[x] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
>> No. 23462
[X] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
- [X] Maybe you and Yuuka can talk in private. It doesn't seem right, talking about it while Ellen's in the room.
>> No. 23464
[X] Just eat your breakfast. You can talk later.
>> No. 23465
[x] Just eat your breakfast. You can talk later.

Want them to be awake and alert.
>> No. 23466
[x] Just eat your breakfast. You can talk later.
>> No. 23488
[X] Would now be a good time to bring up last night’s events?
- [X] Maybe you and Yuuka can talk in private. It doesn't seem right, talking about it while Ellen's in the room.
>> No. 23497
Would now really be a good time to ask the questions that have been bothering me since last evening? I mean, she seem literally seems dead tired, and Elly’s… well, she’s out for the count as of this moment. Just how late did they stay out for them to be this exhausted?

I poke at my breakfast with my fork, not feeling very hungry. My stomach’s churning and I don’t think I could keep much down right now.

“What’s wrong with you?” Yuuka asks me with a scratchy, weary voice. Her eyes are still droopy and only half-open, but she’s definitely still awake and looking at me. “Not feeling hungry?”

“I guess not,” I say as I shove some egg into my mouth, chewing on it steadily before swallowing it. “Hey, Yuuka…”

She ignores me and continues to finish up her breakfast. Hey, come on, have you lost interest in me already? Can’t you see that I’m really in need of some answers here? I wish she could read what I’m thinking right now, in my mind, because the question I want to ask isn’t something I can easily bring out of my mouth.

“Yuuka!” I repeat again with furrowed brows, raising my voice a little, “Aren’t you going to tell me what’s going-”

“Be quiet,” she says sharply, cutting me off, “Don’t be so noisy in the morning. And didn’t you ever learn not to talk while you’re eating? If there’s something you want to talk about, then ask me after breakfast is over.”

Sheesh, you don’t need to lecture me like that. You’re not my mother. Grunting impatiently, I keep playing with the food on my plate, waiting for the woman to finish her damned breakfast so I can get some desperately needed answers to ease my boggled mind.

Finally, she cleans the plate, and reaches for a napkin, daintily wiping her mouth before crumpling the paper up and leaving it on top of the dish. She looks to the side, glancing at Elly, who hasn’t so much as twitched in the last ten minutes or so, and shakes her shoulder lazily. But instead of waking her, she elicits from the girl an undead moan, but no movement. Giving up already, she stands from the chair and extends her arms to the ceiling, stretching.

“So?” she says, glancing towards me, “What did you want?”

What did I want? You’re kidding me. Isn’t it obvious?

“Answers,” I say simply, scowling.

“Red, no, and nothing,” she says, stifling a yawn as she sits back in her chair.

“…Huh?” I voice my confusion at her seemingly.

“The answers to the questions ‘Your favorite color”, ‘Will you go out with me’, and ‘What are your ambitions for the future’,” she says.

Still scowling, I reply, “I didn’t ask those things.”

“Well I didn’t hear you asking anything else, either,” she retorts with a devious smirk, “You’re going to have to be a little bit more specific when you demand something.”

She always says such infuriating things. I think she absolutely enjoys rubbing people the wrong way. Well that’s just fine.

“Then, can I ask you a question?”

“You already did just now, but whatever. Go ahead.”

Ignoring the snide remark, I cast a concerned glance towards Ellen, who’s left the dining table and is currently sitting on the sofa with her cat on her lap, scratching it behind the ears. No matter how I look at her she’s a normal girl, isn’t she? No pulling a scythe out of nowhere, and no superhuman strength, either. She’s a bit of an airhead at times, but she can’t be a monster like Yuuka and Elly. Is it okay to talk about this in front of her?

“…Can we talk somewhere else?” I ask, turning back to Yuuka.

Yuuka raises an eyebrow as if to question my notion, but she wordless rises from the table, pushing the chair in. I follow her movement, setting down my eating utensils on the plate. Only ate about half of what was there, but I don’t feel much like finishing the rest. As we leave the table, though, Elly seems to jerk herself awake, her face covered with bits of scrambled egg. She mumbles something completely incoherent as she attempts to stand up, but she ends up tumbling to the floor a moment after.

“…is she alright?” I say, watching her twitch on the ground.

“Don’t mind her,” Yuuka says coolly.

Shrugging, I lead Yuuka to another part of the house, to the hallway just outside of the bedrooms. Turning around, I see her crossing her arms together as she leans against the wall.

“So,” I begin, unsure of how to phrase this, “…what’s going on?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean…!” As I speak, I find myself gesticulating wildly, swinging my arm from frustration and confusion. I don’t want to say it. I don’t want to be reminded of what happened. But I don’t have a choice. “Why was there a monster, why did that thing attack me, what was it, and what… what are you!?”

“I’ve already answered one of those questions, haven’t I?” she says with a dead serious look on her face.

“Wha…?”

“I told you before,” she continues, “I’m a youkai.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I say, my anger rising, “Youkai don’t exist!”

“Then how would you explain what that ‘monster’ was?” Yuuka asks, “It’s your choice whether you believe me or not when I say youkai exist. If you don’t want to believe me, then it’s not my problem. But you’ve seen one for yourself. You can’t be ignorant enough to believe that what you saw with your own eyes and gave you…” she pauses to place a hand on my shoulder. Ouch! A painful sting, from the small scratch that monster gave me with its claws when it jumped me, “…something to remember it by doesn’t exist.”

I don’t want to admit it.

But she’s right. The thing last night. That wasn’t human at all. It barely even resembled a humanoid figure. I can’t deny that it happened. It was, without a doubt, a painful reality, proven by the scratches and tears in my shirt and skin. That monster, was it a youkai, like Yuuka’s saying? And if that’s true, if that’s true… then Yuuka and Elly really are-

No! No no no no no no no no no! Why are there youkai in the streets!? And… and they’re the ones behind the recent murders and attacks!? What is this, a fucking horror movie? A survival horror game!? This can’t be true, this can’t be!

…Wait a minute.

Yuuka is a youkai.

And so is Elly.

In all the old stories and myths, youkai… youkai are evil creatures who eat humans. They may look like normal, attractive girls, but they’re… they’re really the same as that thing that attacked me last night.

I want to scream.

[ ] Panic. Let everything you’ve kept bottled up out.
[ ] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23499
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23500
[ø] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23501
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.

I prefer this to the other option. Get answers while you can.
>> No. 23505
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23506
[x] Panic. Let everything you’ve kept bottled up out.

Just let everything out. The guy's practically nearing a nervous breakdown.
>> No. 23507
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23509
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23510
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23515
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.

Questions are good, advancing the plot is good. But I'm hoping our MC doesn't forget his first encounter with Yuuka and provoke her with question like "So, why haven't you killed me?".
>> No. 23516
[x] Panic. Let everything you’ve kept bottled up out.

He cried like a bitch, why not let that frustration out, as well?
>> No. 23518
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23522
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23523
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.

Well, there are several questions left...
>> No. 23528
[x] Force yourself to keep calm. There’s still more you want to ask.
>> No. 23533
But I hold it in. I hold it in even though I want to let out a scream of fright and frustration. How badly would you take it if you were told that man-eating supernatural monsters exist, and you realize that you’ve been living with two of them for a couple of days now? I feel my breath quickening again, and all of my blood draining from my head. I must look as pale as a vampire right now.

“Go on, I’ll wait for it to sink in,” Yuuka says to me with a somewhat sadistic and satisfied smirk. Does this woman enjoy watching me squirm? I wouldn’t put it past her.

But… but let’s give this more logical thought. Elly certainly wanted to kill me when we first met, I can be sure about that. But she also said Yuuka objected to that idea, didn’t she? And if Yuuka wanted to kill me, she could have done it on the day that we finally spoke to each other for the first time. That’s right… they’re not planning to kill me. A little bit of warmth returns to my face, and my heart feels slightly more at ease.

“Then…” I manage to say in a shaking voice, “Then… you were serious when you said you’re a youkai.”

She nods.

“And Elly is a youkai too?”

She nods again.

I gulp, placing a hand to my head. Calm down. Calm down. They’re not… they’re not actively seeking to kill me at the moment, right? They… they may not even be planning to kill me at all, even. Yes, that must be it. It would be all too easy to do it if they really wanted to. Even that Elly girl wouldn’t kill me unprovoked… would she? P-probably not…

“S-so…” I say with a higher pitch to my voice. Not good, I’m starting to panic again. Breathe. Breathe. Calm down. I take a large gulp of air and expel it before I continue, “Why are those monsters here?”

“Probably for the same reasons we are,” Yuuka answers, turning her head away and looking unconcerned, “And before you ask, I couldn’t tell you the reason why we’re here myself.”

“Huh?” I frown, confused, “What do you mean by that?”

“Let’s say you’re just having a normal day,” she says, raising a finger up, “And you’re just passing time like you always do. And then, all of a sudden, you find yourself lost among a crowd of unfamiliar people in unfamiliar scenery, and you have no recollection of any sort of transition between the two scenes. Can you say you’d know what happened?”

“…No, of course not,” I grudgingly say, “But wait, just where exactly are you from?”

“A forgotten region of Japan known as the land of fantasies,” she says, folding her arms together once more, “It’s a haven for youkai and gods from all over the world. It’s a nice little place, though a bit small to my liking.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

“I’d like to get back to it as soon as possible,” she notes, “But unfortunately, it might take some time.”

“…So how many of those monsters are around?” I ask nervously.

“Honestly? I have no idea,” Yuuka says while examining her fingernails, “I counted five killed last night. I can tell you one thing, though; those things are definitely not from where I was.”

“Then where are they from?”

“From a dream. Or possibly from the world of demons. Or maybe they’re something else entirely,” she shrugs, “They die just as easily as anything else, though.”

A dream… the world of demons… what… what is she even talking about? I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. Do I even want to get it? No, all that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re here at all, and they’re attacking and killing people.

“Are you… going to hunt them down?”

“Hm?” Yuuka looks up from her nails, “Can’t say. They’ve all been too easy to kill. It’s gotten boring already, so maybe I just won’t bother.”

What’s with that! Just… just kill them all, damn it…!

“I’m going back to sleep,” she says, turning away to head into her room.

I don’t try to stop her. I don’t want to hear anymore. I do, however, want a can of beer. I need it to calm my nerves. Hey, maybe if I drink enough, I’ll forget about this whole thing and just continue in blissful ignorance. With that mindset, I head to the kitchen.

I step up to the fridge and pull it open. Nearby, I hear the sink running. So Kana must be doing the dishes, huh? Well, she may be a bit creepy at times, but at least I can rely on her for keeping up with the housework. This place has never looked so clean before. With an appreciative smile, I turn towards the sink after pulling a can out of the fridge.

"Hey, thanks for your hard work, Ka-"

I see a dishrag moving by itself, cleaning a plate levitating in the air.



I forget what happened after that. I think I completely lost it and ran out of the house after hurriedly getting dressed in my old clothes, screaming something about running away, but I can’t be too sure. It all just happened so fast.

But anyway, I seem to have ended up outside.

Again.

There’s something in my pocket poking my thigh, so I reach in and pull it out. It’s that pamphlet that religious woman gave me. I hadn’t taken it out of these pair of pants since the day I got it. There’s a small map showing off where it is. It’s pretty close-by.

That woman said she liked to listen to other people’s problems… it might be the best chance to get things off my chest.

But, well, I’ve never been religious, and I’m not even a Christian.

[ ] Go for a walk in the park.
[ ] Visit the church.
>> No. 23534
[x] Visit the church.

Let us get the smell of Jesus upon us.
>> No. 23535
{X} Go for a walk in the park.
>> No. 23536
[x] Visit the church.
>> No. 23537
[x] Go get some hard liquor and a porn mag. Your situation is crazy and neither religion nor peaceful scenery can calm your nerves right now. You're frustrated and living with four cute girls, all of which can kill you with ease. Let it out, just let it all out.
[x] You may also consider getting a large knife or cheap gun with which to defend yourself for the time-being, since you can't put your faith in Yuuka and Elly to always be there for you.
>> No. 23538
[x] Visit the church.
>> No. 23539
[x] Go for a walk in the park.

Like the old hentai games.
>> No. 23542
[X] Visit the church.

"Sister, you aren't going to believe the problems I have..."
>> No. 23543
[x] Visit the church.
>> No. 23544
[x] Visit the church.

Why not pay a visit? It might be helpful.
>> No. 23547
[x] Visit the church.
The tranquility you can find inside a church is relaxing, religious or not.
>> No. 23548
[x] Go to the nearest public bathroom.
>> No. 23549
The good sister is going to haul us off to a mental ward.
>> No. 23550
[ø] Visit the church.
>> No. 23551
>>23549

You assume that she isn't someone from Gensokyo.

And with his luck, she will be someone from Gensokyo.
>> No. 23552
[X] Visit the church.
>> No. 23580
[X] Visit the church
>> No. 23588
It’s not even Sunday today, but that woman… what was her name? I forget, but whatever. She said she did volunteer work at this church here, and she seemed awfully curious about what was worrying me. I don’t really enjoy the company of nosy, meddlesome personalities, but this might be the only chance to get all this stress off my chest before it mutates into one of those things from that one movie and bursts its way out of me.

With a sigh, I half-heartedly begin to follow the map towards the church. I didn’t even know there was a church so near my own home, and I certainly didn’t expect that I’d ever have any reason to go there.

Soon, I’m standing in front of a small local church. Never been in this part of town before. There’s a few people standing around in the grass nearby, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular. Still, that’s a bit more people than I’d have expected, especially on a weekday.

…But wait a minute, even if there aren’t a lot of people around, how am I going to find that girl? It’s not like I even really came to attend a sermon or anything like that, and it’s not as if I have the courage to go around asking to see someone I don’t even really know. This was a stupid idea in the first place. Since when was I the type to seek out someone to talk to? I should just go home and shut myself up in my room and just try to drink my worries away. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

Suddenly whipping around, I turn to change my course. I’ll just buy something heavy on the way back home and get myself smashed on that.

Bump.

Whoops, looks like I wasn’t looking carefully enough and bumped into someone.

“What th-!?” a high-pitched exclamation reaches my ears. “Hey, watch where you’re going you big oaf!” the girl I bumped into says hotly, glaring at me.

“Ah, sorry,” I mutter carelessly, walking past her and another girl at her side.

Truth is, I don’t really feel like going home yet. Not right now, anyway. I still need a little time to myself before I’m ready to go back to that house, where those girls are. Ugh… it makes me feel queasy just thinking about it. I’m living with two girls who can kill me with ease and another one that’s apparently some kind of a psychic or a ghost or something.

Thinking about it makes my legs feel weak again, so I head for a nearby bench. It’s already occupied by someone else, so I sink down onto the far end of it, leaning back and looking to the sky above.

Why me? Why did I have to get involved with all this…?

No, I suppose it’s not fair to think I’m the only that’s involved. After all, if there are more of those youkai lurking around, then potentially anyone could be in danger. There were already at least two victims… Should I try to warn people? Nah, who’d believe me. Maybe I should put more effort into trying to convince those two to mop up the rest. It’s not like I could do it myself. I’ve never even been in a fight. I don’t have any sort of superhuman reflexes or demon killing instincts.

…Maybe it’s just better to stop caring.

On a whim, I glance at the person sitting on the other end of the bench. A teenage girl with a pale countenance and short, blonde hair skillfully works a needle on… a bundle of cloth? No, wait, it has identifiable features, I think. It’s… a doll? A stuffed doll… and she’s making it by hand, huh? That’s an unusual hobby. Maybe she’s making those to sell them?

Anyway, she’s totally not minding me at all, working on that doll with a detached, bored look on her face and not a single sound out of her mouth. Still, it’s kind of fun watching her. I’ve never seen how a stuffed doll is made before, so it’s kind of fascinating to me.

“Oh, hello there!” a vaguely familiar voice calls to me from behind. Tossing my head back, I see the upside down image of a woman in her twenties with long, platinum blonde hair; the same woman who invited me to visit that church.

“You’re…” I begin, though it’s a bit awkward because I can’t remember her name.

“It’s Rei. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already,” she says with a disappointed look on her face.

“Ah, right, sorry,” I mumble, standing up from the bench and turning to face her.

“Well, it was just a joke,” Rei says with a lighter expression, “Anyway, it’s great that you decided to come here after all.”

“Uh… yeah…” I say, rubbing the back of my neck. My eyes dart to the side, to where the doll-making girl is sitting. She’s looking at us, though she quickly returns to her work when she notices my glance.

Even though I chanced a glance for only an instant, Rei seems to have picked up on it, following it to the girl on the bench. With a playful smile, she walks up behind the girl, then reaches with both of her hands and pinches both of the girl’s cheeks, turning her face toward me, “Oh, you know this girl?” she asks.

“Ow, ow, leggo!” the girl drops her doll and struggles, pushing away the woman’s arms. With an embarrassed expression, she stands from the bench, packs up her stuff, and shoots Rei a dirty look before stomping off.

“Uh oh, I think she’s still angry at me,” Rei remarks, looking surprisingly unfazed. She turns around, facing me again, “Now. You did come to attend the sermon today, didn’t you?” she asks with hopeful eyes.

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.
>> No. 23589
[x] No.
[x] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23591
[x] No.
[x] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?

I wonder which brand of Christians these are.
>> No. 23592
Looking on Wikipedia, it seems Protestants and Catholics have about the same amount of followers, so it's probably either branch of Christianity. It seems for Protestants that Baptists are the most numerous.
>> No. 23593
[X] Depends. Would the sermon be boring, droning, and extremely long? Because that might be just the sort of thing to keep you from thinking too hard.
[X] Otherwise, she said she was a good listener, right?

"Rei," is it? I wonder...
>> No. 23597
[x] No. You had a rather traumatizing experience with a priest when you were young.
[x] Anyhoo, you said you were a good listener, though, right?
>> No. 23598
{X} No.
{X} You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23600
[X] Depends. Would the sermon be boring, droning, and extremely long? Because that might be just the sort of thing to keep you from thinking too hard.
[X] Otherwise, she said she was a good listener, right?
>> No. 23601
[x] No.
[x] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23602
[x] No.
[x] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23603
[X] Depends. Would the sermon be boring, droning, and extremely long? Because that might be just the sort of thing to keep you from thinking too hard.
[X] Otherwise, she said she was a good listener, right?
>> No. 23605
[X] Depends. Would the sermon be boring, droning, and extremely long? Because that might be just the sort of thing to keep you from thinking too hard.
[X] Otherwise, she said she was a good listener, right?
>> No. 23606
[ø] No.
[ø] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23607
>>23591 changing votes:

[X] Depends. Would the sermon be boring, droning, and extremely long? Because that might be just the sort of thing to keep you from thinking too hard.
[X] Otherwise, she said she was a good listener, right?
>> No. 23612
[X] No.
[X] You said you were a good listener, though. Right?
>> No. 23627
“No,” I say frankly, jamming my hands into my pockets, “I’m not interested at all.”

“Ergh…” Rei groans, deflating a little and giving me a look of disappointment. A wisp of hair on top of her head seems to wilt. “You could have found a nicer way to say that,” says the woman in a quiet, dejected tone of voice.

“Sorry.”

“Well, that’s fine,” she says, instantly cheering up, “Then did you come to talk to me?”

Pretty much, but it’s a little embarrassing to put it that way. Makes me seem like I’ve got no one else to talk to about my problems than a complete strange-wait, oh wow, that’s surprisingly true. I actually feel kind of sad now. Rubbing the back of my neck and looking away with one hand still in my pocket, I answer her.

“…You said you were a good listener, didn’t you?”

“I did,” she replies with a smile. Walking around to the front of the bench, she gestures toward the seat, “Let’s sit down.”

I sit down on the bench again, and the woman moves to sit down next to me. Placing her hands on her lap, she turns toward me and asks, “You said there was something troubling you, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“And is it still troubling you?”

“Yes.”

“Then maybe you’ll feel better once you tell someone.”

Maybe I will, but where should I start? No, wait, hold on a minute. I can’t possibly go on and tell this woman that I’m living with youkai, can I? That would be stupid. But it’s completely possible that she knows about youkai, isn’t it? Maybe it’s actually a more common knowledge than I thought was likely. That settles it, then, the first question I’m going to ask is:

“Do you believe in youkai?”

“Eh?” the woman interjects in confusion, “What do you mean?”

“You know, like ghosts or… or monsters,” I say, grasping for words. This is going to make me look stupid, isn’t it? No, wait. With my luck, it’s going to turn out that this woman is a youkai herself, and she’s going to bare her teeth to show ferocious canines and say “Oho, I’ve been found out!” or something like that.

“Of course they don’t exist,” Rei replies after a moment.

A completely normal response. I expel a sigh of relief.

“Wait a minute,” I say, as the more cynical side of me manages to bring itself to the surface, “What makes you say that? You’re a Christian, aren’t you? What makes you think that your God is any more real than Japanese youkai or mythical creatures?”

“That’s a good question,” Rei says, the smile on her face unchanging, “You’re right. I can’t prove that He exists any more than youkai or ghosts. Actually, in a way, they’re very similar.”

“…Huh?”

“The reason humans believe in God and myths,” she says, turning away from me and looking up to the sky, “is because they have a limited knowledge of their world. Simply put, because humans had no way of explaining the various mysteries of the world, they attribute those mysteries to beings higher than they. We know now that the release of energy in the crust of the Earth resulting in seismic waves is the cause of earthquakes, but old myths explain it in that it’s because a giant catfish is thrashing under the ground.”

“In the same way, people may have believed that there was an Almighty Creator who brought the universe into existence, and gave birth to life, simply because they could not comprehend how the world came into being, and thus concluded that only a being with supreme powers could have been responsible.”

I’m sort of following you. Sort of.

“It’s kind of funny, actually. If you follow that line of thinking, then people created God in order to explain what created them,” she finishes with a giggle, looking at me.

“You mean, you don’t believe in God?” I ask, scratching my head.

“No, that's not it. But I can understand that some people might truly think that way,” she says, “As for myself, I think the most important thing about following a religion is the set of values it practices.”

This stuff is mostly over my head.

“Is that what’s been bothering you?” she asks, returning to her original pose with her hands folded together elegantly on top of her lap.

“Huh? No, no, it’s just something I wanted to ask,” I say hurriedly, “The problem is… well, something else.”

“Well, go on. There’s still some time before I needed inside,” Rei says gently, urging me to continue.

“Uh… right, um…” I hesitate, still not knowing the best way to put this. “Let’s say, hypothetically, there’s a bunch of…weirdos forcing their residence in your own home,” I say, fumbling for words, “And a few of them are demanding and threatening and… downright creepy, and you can’t just throw them out. What would you do?”

“I’d call the police and have them remove the unwanted guests,” she answers immediately.

Right? That’s the normal thing to do in that situation, isn’t it?

“Well yeah, you’re right,” I say, frowning, “But they don’t really have anywhere to go, so I’d feel terrible about forcing them out into the streets.”

“That is a problem,” she says, contemplating, “…Then perhaps you should act kind and polite?” she suggests, “I don’t think there are many people who would repay kindness with vice. Even if you don’t mean it, treating them as respectfully and as affably as you can might convince them to treat you better in return.”

“Act kind, huh?” I frown, crossing my arms together, “It’s my own home, though. It’s degrading for me. I dunno if I’ll be able to do that.”

“I’m sure you can. You’re already a very kind person for letting them stay,” she reassures me.

“Hey, Miss Rei!” a girl’s voice calls from somewhere behind us. We both turn around to take a look. The girl I bumped into earlier is standing a short distance away from the bench, with her hands cupped around her mouth as she yells energetically, “We haveta go inside now!”

“Coming!” she yells back. Turning back to me, she flashes a smile one last time before rising from her seat, politely giving me a bow. “I apologize, but I have to be going now,” she says as she straightens herself, “Consider visiting us again, won’t you? I’d like to hear if you’ve solved your problem.”

“Ah, yeah,” I say, waving her goodbye as she walks off to join that loud girl and the girl’s quiet friend. I watch as the three of them walk into the church together, and it’s not until they’ve all disappeared through the doors that I rise up from the bench. That… actually did make me feel a little better. I’m still a little iffy about the advice she gave me, though. Won’t acting all kind and polite to those girls just make it easier for them to boss me around?

Sighing, I place my hands in my pocket, and begin walking aimlessly along the sidewalk. What should I do now?

[ ] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
[ ] Head back home.
>> No. 23628
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.

I am sure youkai all hunt at night and that this cannot go wrong in any way whatsoever.
>> No. 23629
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.

Let's see what happens and if we'd run into anyone else. We can stand to have another nicer influence in the house perhaps.
>> No. 23630
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23631
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23632
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23633
[X] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23634
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23635
{X} Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23636
[X] Head back home.
>> No. 23637
[X] Head back home.
>> No. 23638
>that loud girl and the girl’s quiet friend

'sup Yuki and Mai.
>> No. 23641
[x] Take a stroll around town. It’s not even noon yet.
>> No. 23650
I’m not quite ready to go back home yet. I think I’ll take a stroll around town for a bit. Youkai are nocturnal, aren’t they? Wait, Elly and Yuuka are mostly fine during the day. I guess it depends on the youkai. Maybe I should go home? Hm… now I’m really conflicted…

Well, I won’t be out here for too long, then. I’m still a bit scared, but those two killed a good number of them already, didn’t they? And the fact that there have only been two murders reported so far means that the infestation can’t be too bad, or there’d be a lot more dead bodies lying around.

Still, right now I’m a lot more scared of my own home than the streets right now, so I guess it won’t hurt to take a stroll after all. Go window-shopping or something to get my mind off things for a while. Maybe I’ll even have a go at the pachi— No, wait, bad idea. Bad.

I reach into my pocket and fish out a pack of cigarettes, shaking out a stick and putting it in my out as I take out my lighter. Cupping my hands together in front of my face, I light the cigarette and take a deep drag on it. Ah, damn it, now I remember that I just left the beer can out there in the kitchen. I should have brought it out with me.

My shoes feel loose on me, so I stop and crouch down, tightening my shoelaces. As I get back up, I take a look around, wondering in which direction I should go next. Behind me, I catch a glance of a tall woman wearing a red sleeveless haori and a kimono underneath looking in my direction.

Right, let’s pretend I didn’t see that and move on.

Anxiously, I quicken the pace of my walk. She wouldn’t remember my face, would she? No, of course she wouldn’t. I was uninvolved, a total bystander who just happened to be there when she attacked Yuuka. Come to think of it, what is she, anyway? A youkai too? Give me a break!

I look back behind me. The woman is following after me, shoving past people. Oh shit, wait. Calm down. It’s just a coincidence, that’s all. I’m not involved. I shouldn’t be involved! I-

I break into a run. I run as fast as my weak, skinny legs can carry me. I look back behind me despite myself and oh shit she’s definitely chasing after me oh god no wait, she wouldn’t do anything to me in broad daylight, right. No way, I’m not risk it! I gotta run I gotta run I gotta run!

“Why are you chasing me!?” I yell, my breathing already harsh from the running.

“Because you’re running away!”

Shit, shit, shit! I should have just gone straight home! That’s it, I can’t run anymore. I slow down to a stop, panting hard with my hands on my knees. The sword lady catches up to me not long after, looking not even a little winded. As I straighten myself up while massaging a stitch in my rib, I quickly notice that she’s got her thumb on the hand guard of her sword, like she’s ready to reach for it at any time.

“You were with those two youkai the other day, weren’t you?” she asks in a cross voice, scowling at me.

“Nope… I have no idea… what you’re talking about,” I manage to say in short gasps, still trying to catch my breath.

“Liar. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have run away.”

Crap.

“Look, I don’t know anything!” I say, backing away, “If you’ve got a grudge against those two, go take it with them!”

“Calm down,” she says, approaching slowly, “I’m not going to hurt you, you fool. I just want to ask a few questions.”

“T-t-t-then why’ve you got your sword!?” I say in a high-pitched voice, pointing at the katana at her side.

“Just a precaution,” she replies, not slowing or quickening her pace.

Damn. But well, if she really just wants to talk, then I’ve got nothing to worry about, right? Like hell I don’t! I can’t trust someone who just goes around swinging a sword like a maniac! Actually I just wouldn’t trust someone who has a deadly weapon like that.

Piiiiiiiiiiii!

“Huh?” I mutter. A shrill whistle…? That was a whistle just now, wasn’t it?

The swordswoman looks behind me and her eyes widening. “Crap,” she hisses under her breath before turning and running away as fast as she can.

“Ah, hey, freeze! You’re in violation of the firearms and sword laws!”

A policewoman rushes past me, gun drawn. She stops only a few steps away from me, however, and watches as the woman runs out of sight.

“…She got away. It can’t be helped,” the policewoman says, shaking her head and folding her arms together after holstering her gun.

“Like hell it can’t be helped!” I yell at her, and she jumps in surprise, “I sure didn’t see you trying to chase after her!”

“Eh? What? Huh?” the policewoman interjects several times in a confused voice, “…Did I mess up?”

What’s with this redheaded weirdo? She’s not even looking at me, just looking all around with a dazed look on her face, “Shouldn’t you be calling for backup or something?”

“Um…” The girl pauses, seemingly pondering something, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

…is she asking me?

“How should I know?” I ask, frowning, “Aren’t you with the police?”

“I might be,” she says, “I think.”

What? What the hell kind of an answer is that?

“If you are, then hurry up and do your job,” I say with an exasperated voice.

“Do my job, huh…” she says, blinking several times as she stares at me with oddly vacant eyes. Is… is she right in the head? Slowly, she reaches down… and pulls out her gun, pointing it at me, “Freeze!”

Immediately I thrust my hands up into the air, my blood running cold. “W-what!?” I yell out, staring into the barrel of the gun, “What are you pointing that at me for!?”

“Because you told me to do my job,” she says with a cheerful smile, “This is what the police do, isn’t it? They point this at people and then say ‘Freeze!’ and then the bad guys all go ‘You’ll never take me alive, pigs!’ Ehehe.”

“But I’m not a bad guy! What’d I do!?”

“You are the criminal, obviously,” she says.

No. No, it’s not obvious at all!

“To what crime?”

“Your heart already know your crime,” she says with a solemn face.

…I want a lawyer.

“Now, turn around with your hands behind your back!”

This girl is insane. Nevertheless, I do what she says. Fuck, I should have stayed home. I feel slender fingers on one of my wrists, and the clanking of metal. She pulls my hands apart, and I feel something cold tightening around my right wrist. Damn it, she’s cuffing me? This is getting ridiculous… but I haven’t done anything, so in a situation like this, I should just keep quiet or I’ll end up getting hit with a “resisting arrest” charge.

“Eh? Ah? Huh?” I hear her interject several times again. My right arm is dragged away from behind me, so I decide to turn my head and take a look. She’s holding the handcuff up by the other end, looking dissatisfied.

“What now?” I ask, wanting to hurry this up.

“It didn’t make that click sound,” she says in an almost pouting manner, “You know, when you put on a handcuff in one clean motion, and it goes ‘ka-click!’ I wanted to do it like that…”

“Stop screwing around,” I growl. What’s wrong with her?

Ka-click!

“Ah, I did it!” she says, looking over her handiwork. I have to admit, it was clean. With only one problem. She put the other cuff on her own hand, linking her left wrist with my right.

“…Hey, are you really a cop?” I ask, using my free hand to massage one of my temples.

“I might be,” she says again. “Let’s see… Now I put you in jail, right?”

There’s no way this girl is a real cop.

“There she is!” a man cries out.

Looking over in the direction of the voice, I see a man dressed in a police outfit, with one hand on his holster and the other holding a radio to his mouth. “Suspect located, requesting backup. Suspect is armed. I repeat, suspect is armed.”

I knew it. She’s just some nut who stole police gear-

“Aaaagh!?” I yell out as the girl breaks into a run, dragging me along. I stumble and nearly fall over, but I manage to get my legs working, running at the fake policewoman’s side, “You’re not with the police!” I yell at her.

“I might not be!” she yells back in response.

“Hey, stop!”

What the hell!? Why do I have to run away from a real policeman!? This is insane… this is entirely this nutty idiot’s fault!

“Hey, don’t get me involved with this, damn it!” I yell at her, “Hurry up and take off these cuffs!” I raise my cuffed hand to her.

“How!?” she yells back.

Oh for crying out loud.

“Hey, he’s chasing after us!” I yell, looking back at the policeman. He’s middle-aged and a little potbellied. I can’t believe it, but he looks even more winded than I did just a while ago. “Hurry up. Use the keys!”

“Oh, you mean these?” the woman says, holding up a small ring with many different keys attached to it.

“Yeah, now hurry up!”

“Okay!” she nods, holding up the ring… and throwing it as hard as she can behind her. I watch in horror as it sails through the air, hitting the policeman directly in the face, impeding him for but a brief second before he resumes chase.

“W-what the hell did you do that for!?” I scream in frustration, grabbing hold of a clump of hair on my head.

“You said use the keys!”

“Not like that you freakin’ moron!”

Ugh… I’m handcuffed to this lunatic, who’s stolen a cop’s clothes, keys and gun. And now she’s just committed assault on an on-duty officer by throwing the keys at him, and he thinks I’m her accomplice or something. This can’t get any worse.

[ ] Keep running.
[ ] Stop stop stop!
>> No. 23651
[x] try to stop
-[x] try to call for help (as to show this isn't our idea!)

Just my shot, though if we tried to do a full stop, we might get dragged, hence a more slower one.
>> No. 23652
[X] Keep running

Kotohime~
>> No. 23653
[x] Stop stop stop!

Bad Kotohime. BAD.
>> No. 23654
[X] Keep running

Don't trust cops.
>> No. 23655
[X] Keep running.

I fucking love you, Kotohime, you screwball.
>> No. 23656
[x] Stop stop stop!
>> No. 23657
[x] Stop stop stop!
>> No. 23658
>“Your heart already knows your crime,” she says with a solemn face.
Never change, Kotohime.

[X] Keep running.
>> No. 23659
[X] Keep running.
>> No. 23664
[X] Keep running.
>> No. 23666
>“Okay!” she nods, holding up the ring… and throwing it as hard as she can behind her.
Hahahaha, this update was GOLD.

[X] Keep running.
>> No. 23667
[ø] Keep running.
I really should go play pc98 ones, shouldn't I...
>> No. 23668
[X] Keep running

haha, awesome.
>> No. 23670
{Keep running.}
>> No. 23695
Shit, I can’t let myself get arrested like this. My mom would never want to look at me ever again, my sister would laugh at me, and my dad would completely disown me! Not to mention what might happen to my home while I’m away from it! I gotta get away from here, even if it means letting this maniac drag me around.

“Hey!” I yell at her as I struggle to keep up with her, already panting hard, “Do you know where you’re going!?”

She fails to answer me, continuing the run without a word. Behind us, the old guy’s looking pretty tired out, so I think we’re going to be able to lose him soon!

“Stop right there!” another policeman yells from up ahead.

Shit, never mind. Backup’s arrived. We’re screwed.

“This way!” the fake cop girl says, pulling me into an alleyway. Whipping around as soon as she’s entered the narrow alley, she thrusts her palm forward at the entrance. “Invincible Barrier!” she cries.

…The what now?

The two policemen are catching up to us, running towards the alley we’re in. But when they try to enter the narrow passage, they fall back on their ass, like they hit a wall or something. One of them stands back up, and gropes the space between the two walls. Wow, that’s either the best miming I’ve ever seen, or there’s an actual invisible wall blocking his way.

While I’m staring at the bizarre scene in front of me with my mouth open in shock, I feel myself being dragged away by the girl, and clumsily I start working my legs again. What was that…? No, wait, more importantly…

“Hey, this is a dead end!” I yell out, staring at the solid wall in front of us. Goddamn it, I thought she knew where we were going.

“Ahahaha, it seems that way!” she says, laughing without concern.

Cursing loudly, I look behind us. The policemen are already hot on our trail. Looks like whatever she did to stop them back there was only temporary. Just as I completely lose hope of escaping them, I feel a tug on my wrist.

“Going up!” the fake policewoman says with a grin, pointing at a rusty looking metal staircase leading up the building.

Without hesitation, I follow her up the staircase, huffing and puffing. Ugh… I haven’t run like this since high school. I gotta quit smoking or something. Still, I manage to keep up with her as we ascend to the top of the building.

But getting up to the roof was fine and all, but where do we go next!?

…And it looks like I’m doing the worrying for both of us, because this nutty girl’s carelessly humming a tune even while we’re running across the roof. It’s like she’s treating this as a game of tag or something. No, not even that. She seems completely oblivious as to how much trouble we’re in. No, this has to stop.

“Ah?” she exclaims in surprise as I yank her back with my right arm, slowing her to a stop.

“We’re trapped,” I say, scowling. Any moment now, those policemen are going to catch up to us, and there’s no way we can escape them.

“No, we can still go down,” the girl replies with a big smile.

“What? No we can’t, they’re coming up the stairs now, and we-”

Oh no. She can’t be thinking of…

She is! She drags me to the edge of the roof, just as the police climb up to the roof, pointing their guns at us.

“No way!” I say, struggling against her. We’re at least three stories up! If we jump off of here, we’re going to die!

“Aww, come on,” she says, dragging me along with strength unexpected from her skinny frame, “There are a lot of stories where two strangers meet and jump off a roof together, aren’t there?”

“Those are double suicide stories!”

“Isn’t it romantic, though?”

Not at all!

“Then, we’re jumping~!”

No, stop! My heart isn’t ready for this. Or rather, I just don’t want to die!

“Whoa, hey wait! FFFFFFUUUUUUU-!

Despite my best efforts to impede, her, she jumps off the edge of the roof, and stumbling forward, I fall after her. Well, I guess this is how I’m going to die: chained to a lunatic who literally led me to my death. To my mother: I’m sorry I disappointed you. To my father: I forgive you for that time you threw out my games by accident. To my little sis: stop acting like a boy already and get yourself a man. To the world: this is the end. Farewell!

…Or so I thought. I don’t seem to have hit the ground yet. In fact, I don’t feel the wind hitting my face anymore. Slowly, I open my eyes and look below. I’m kneeling down on something white and fluffy. It feels soft to the touch, like grabbing a clump of cotton.

“By the way, I can fly,” the fake policewoman’s voice comes from nearby.

Lifting my head, I see her sitting down next to me, smiling in my direction. Wait. She can fly? We’re flying? Holy shit, we’re flying! On a cloud! We’re riding on a white flying cloud! I begin to laugh in wonder. I can’t believe it, but we’re flying on a cloud!

The look of shock the police officers have on their face as we zoom away on the cloud is priceless!



I let out a sigh as I jump off the cloud and onto the pavement below, far away from the part of town we were just in. Finally having caught my breath, I inhale deeply. We didn’t get arrested after all! I’m so happy I could dance!

…Like hell I can! We’ve still got a big problem here. Namely, this damned handcuff chaining us together.

“That was fun,” the girl says cheerfully as she follows me down, the cloud we were riding on disappearing into thin air.

I get the feeling that if I asked what that was, I still wouldn’t get a clear answer.

Conveniently for us, I don’t think anyone saw us touching down here. That’s just as well, too. Seeing two people riding on a flying cloud would definitely attract a lot of attention, after all.

“Who are you, anyway? You’re not a police officer,” I finally decide to ask.

“You don’t think I’m a police officer?” she asks, her eyes widening exaggeratedly.

Of course I don’t.

“If you’re not a police officer, then why were those cops chasing you?”

“That is, well…” she trails off, hesitating for a moment to bite the nail of her thumb, “…No, I’m sorry. I can’t tell you,” she says dramatically at last, turning away and dabbing at her eyes with her hand, “I wouldn’t want to involve you in it!”

“You’ve involved me enough already!” I yell, frustrated. I just hope those officers won’t remember me. Gaaah, thanks to her, I might be wanted for arrest.

“Well, the truth is…” she says, narrowing her eyes, “They were from a nefarious, evil organization, the Dark Police Empire!

What.

“The bane of law enforcement departments everywhere,” she continues, looking very serious, “They’re targeting police officers to replace them with their own agents! And if they succeed in taking over, they’ll undermine everything the police stand for! Instead of using Good Cop Bad Cop, it’ll be Bad Cop Badder Cop!

Annoyed, I give her a flick on the forehead.

“Ow!” she exclaims, covering the spot where I hit her with both hands.

“Just tell me who you are already.”

Still rubbing her forehead, she mutters, “I’m Princess Kotohime. I’m a princess. It’s in my name. My name’s Kotohime.”

I heard you the first time you said it.

“Right, Kotohime,” I say, lifting up my arm to show her the handcuff keeping us bound to each other, “And what do you say about this?”

“Eh?” Kotohime cocks her head, looking at me in confusion.

“How do you plan on getting this off?” I ask impatiently, “You tossed the only set of keys we could have used to unlock them.”

“Do we have to take it off?”

“Of course we do!”

“Isn’t it possible for us to learn to cope with having to live like this?” she asks innocently, grinning widely, “It might be fun.”

You must be kidding. Living like this? We’d have to do everything together, including bathing and sleepin- well, that part doesn’t sound too bad, but still.

“No.”

“Aww,” Kotohime frowns, looking truly disappointed. What is wrong with this girl? “Then, follow me. I have an idea.”

…Follow you? I’m not sure if that would be in my best interest. At all. In fact, I can confidently say that you’re just going to cause more problems for me and end up not solving this one at all.

[ ] Follow her.
[ ] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.
>> No. 23698
[x] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.

She might be a good counter balance, that and the quota for insanity has been met.
>> No. 23700
[ø] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.
yes.
>> No. 23701
[x] Follow her.
We've reached this far
>> No. 23702
If we follow her... I think she'll eventually have a solution. If we go home, we could probably get Elly or Yuka to break it...
>> No. 23703
[x] Follow her.
>> No. 23704
[x] Follow her.

LIOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN

ur a faget
>> No. 23705
I can't decide if I want Kotohime added to the mix or not.

Does anyone have convincing arguments for one side or the other? I'm kind of leaning toward not, but I'm willing to hear the other side out, too.
>> No. 23706
>>23705

Simple; her kookiness is of the more zany kind as opposed to the batshit insane kind (Kana, Elly), and it'd help make a better balance of things, sicne Ellen alone isn't enough to offset those psychos.
>> No. 23707
Do want Koto. I can't decide whether I like Lion's Kana, Ellen or Koto more.
>> No. 23708
[x] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.

I just want to see our home again, interacting with other character there.
>> No. 23709
[X] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.

I want to take her home. I want her to live with us.

"Hey girls, this is my new roommate. She was being chased by the police for impersonating an officer. We ran away together and jumped off a roof. It was pretty romantic."

We'll figure out how to get those cuffs off when we come around to it. Or we could, you know, buy a key on the way home, since handcuff keys are standardized and pretty universal. One key can unlock almost every pair.
>> No. 23710
[X] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.
>> No. 23712
[x] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.
>> No. 23719
[x] Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.
>> No. 23733
{Go back home, even if you have to drag Kotohime there.}
>> No. 23792
“No.”

“Eh?” Kotohime blinks, tilting her head in surprise.

Apparently, that wasn’t the reaction she’d expected. But unfortunately for her, I’m a man with some degree of common sense. I can see that following her along is only going to bring me more trouble, and I have to deal with enough of that already. Walking past her, I yank her along.

“Um…” She seems to want to protest, but nevertheless walks at my side, “Where are we going?”

“Home,” I say, not looking at her.

“…kidnapper?”

“Who is?” I ask as I turn to her.

She points at me.

“How does that make me a kidnapper?” I grumble, turning back, “Look, I just don’t want to get mixed up with you anymore, you got that? Once I get home, there’s a way we can get these off, and then we’re done.”

“That’s no fun,” she complains.

“None of this has been fun for me,” I say with a scowl. Well, okay, the flying part was actually pretty cool, but that came after the leap of faith, which was completely terrifying. I thought I was going to die for sure.

Though she looks disappointed, Kotohime obediently follows me along as I do my best to find the path back home. Understandably, we get a few stares from people passing by. It’s not every day that you see some guy leading a policewoman by the handcuffs keeping them linked together.

After many embarrassing minutes, we finally reach my house. Damn, I’ve been doing a lot of walking around lately. My feet hurt, my legs are sore, and I just want to lie down and doing nothing for the next hour or so. Groaning painfully, I climb up the stairs leading to the door and open it.

“Hey, I’m back,” I call out as I enter. Immediately as I step inside, I smell something… burning? Oh hell, those girls had better not have set any rooms on fire while I was out. I wasn’t even gone for that long!

“Ooh, what a nice place,” I hear Kotohime say as I kick off my shoes, courteously waiting for her to take hers off as well before proceeding in any further.

Huh, that’s odd. Kana’s usually around to greet me when I come back, isn’t she? Well, maybe she didn’t hear me this time. Ugh, thinking about her again, I’m reminded of that floating dish and the rag cleaning it by itself. Just what is she, anyway?

Putting that aside for now, I’d better attend to whatever is causing this burnt smell. Still yanking Kotohime along, I follow my nose and realize that the smell’s coming from the kitchen. A failed attempt at making lunch? I can’t see Kana being a poor cook, though…

“What’s going on in here?” I ask as I step into the kitchen, expecting to see the maid. Instead, it’s Elly, who’s panicking as she attempts to salvage… whatever the hell that black, charred lump on the frying pan is supposed to be.

“Ah?” Elly turns around, fanning at the frying pan with her hand. She scowls when she sees me at the doorway, “Oh, damn it, I thought you’d left for good,” she hisses. Immediately afterwards, the charred lump lights on fire, startling her.

“Whoa, what the hell?” she yelps as she holds the frying pan away from herself. Quickly, she shoves it into the sink and turns on the faucet onto full. A stream of water jets out of the tap and extinguishes the fire, causing smoke that makes her cough uncontrollably. Furthermore, the stream of water ricochets offs the surface of the pan and as a result, sprays water everywhere.

“Ah crap, what a mess!” Elly laments as she shuts off the water. Angrily, she turns around to face me, leaving the frying pan in the sink. The front of her dress is soaked, sticking to her skin. “This is your fault!” she yells at me with an accusatory tone of voice.

“What?” I say indignantly, “How’s it my fault? I didn’t do anything!”

“Well you distracted me and-” Elly stops abruptly when she sees Kotohime behind me. The anger in her face disappears, replaced by a look of confusion and curiosity, “…Who’s that?”

“Hello there!” Kotohime greets her energetically, “I’m-”

“Someone who’ll be gone soon enough,” I interrupt her. “Anyway, why were you cooking? Where’s Kana?”

“Dunno,” Elly replies with a shrug, “She got all moody after you left, and started throwing knives and forks and everything at me when I told her to make lunch. I haven’t seen her since.”

“And Ellen?”

“Little Miss Fluffy went out to buy something.”

“And you couldn’t wait until either of them were back?”

“I was hungry,” she says, frowning.

Well considering you tried to eat breakfast using everything on your face but your mouth; it’s not really a big surprise.

“So who’s that you’ve kidnapped?”

“I didn’t kidnap her-”

“We’re back!” Ellen’s voice calls from the direction of the front door, catching all of ours’ attention. Moments later, I see her face peer into the kitchen, accompanied by her feline companion at her feet. “Did something happen?” the girl asks, looking at the three individuals here with wide eyes.

Before I can answer her, however…

“Ah, kitty kitty kitty!” Kotohime says loudly the moment she spots Sokrates. The cat, knowing what’s coming, turns away and begins to retreat. And Kotohime goes after it, still muttering “kitty” under her breath.

Of course, I’m still handcuffed to her.

Naturally, she pulls me forward as well.

And unfortunately, this came completely out of nowhere. As she yanks me along with the kind of strength you wouldn’t expect from a girl like her, my feet stumble and twist around until I trip, and I begin falling.

Quick-Time Event!

[ ] L + R!
[ ] A + B!
>> No. 23793
[x] A + B!
L and R are for fags.
>> No. 23796
[X] A + B!

Real men don't use systems whose controllers have trigger buttons.
>> No. 23797
I hate quick time events. Fahrenheit, worst game ever.
[x] Button mashing
>> No. 23798
[x] L+A+R+A
>> No. 23799
[x] A + B!
>> No. 23800
[X] L + R!

Shoulder buttons are always what the maneuvering commands are mapped to. A and B are just weapon commands, and we hardly want to ruin our apartment, now do we?
>> No. 23807
[X] L + R!
>> No. 23808
>>23799 here

changing vote to:

[X] L + R
>> No. 23809
File 126185270362.jpg - (36.59KB , 400x309 , dynamite_cop-182670-2.jpg ) [iqdb]
23809
[X] Jump
>> No. 23812
[ø] A + B!
>> No. 23822
[X] L + R!
>> No. 23825
[B] Z + R twice
>> No. 23831
ergh

torn

cannot vote
>> No. 23832
…And I just keep falling, because my one free hand flails uselessly towards the wall as Kotohime continues to drag me forward. And what a spectacular fall it is. Having lost my footing, I practically end up throwing myself at the girl I’m chained to, and she has but a moment to turn my way in shock as we both fall down.

See, if this were a scene from an anime or an eroge, I’d probably end up on top of Kotohime as I fall, possibly getting a face full of breasts. This would presumably result in an embarrassing yet intimate moment between us.

However, life is never that pleasant.

So, rather than landing on top of Kotohime, I somehow manage to continue to stumble after knocking her down, my head bent low because my hand’s still linked to the girl’s. My momentum won’t let me stop, however, and I end up crashing into a wall headfirst.

An unbelievable wave of pain washes over my head. I can see only pitch black, and I can hear only a loud ringing in my ears. I drop to my knees, or maybe I’m still standing. Everything feels too numb to be sure, and before long, I lose the ability to think.



When I next wake up, I see a golden pair of eyes staring into mine. Startled, I crawl back, only to be hit with a throbbing pain in my head, prompting me to clutch it in my hands. Breathing through my teeth, I squeeze my eyes shut and wait for the pain to subside before opening them again.

I’m lying on top of my bed, with the sheets pulled up around me. It seems that until just now, I’d been resting with my head on the pillow.

Kana greets me with that unchanging smile of hers. “You’re finally awake, master,” she says, touching the tips of her fingers together, “You were out for quite a while.”

I try to respond to her, but all that comes out of my mouth is an unintelligible babble. Ugh, wow, that must have been a really nasty fall I took. Kana takes an opportunity to giggle. Shaking my head, I try again in a slow, slurred speech, “…how long was I out?”

“It’s almost time for dinner,” she says punctually.

“That long, huh?” I say, rubbing my temples. Must have been a pretty serious injury if I’d been knocked out for hours.

“Oh, I’m no doctor, but I don’t think it was that serious,” Kana says, as if reading my mind, “You looked more like you were sleeping than unconscious.”

Well, I had a pretty tiring day, after all.

“Does your head still hurt, master?” she asks with concern.

“Yeah, a little,” I say.

“Then would you like me to kiss where it hurts?” she offers with a coy look in her eyes.

“I’ll pass on that,” I say, my cheeks burning up. Well, it’s not that I wouldn’t mind getting one from her, but she seriously creeps me out sometimes, and every time she offers me something, I can’t help but think she’s planning to embarrass me or humiliate me or something.

That reminds me…

“Hey, Kana,” I call her, looking straight ahead, away from her.

“Hm?”

“…What are you?”

Kana’s smile freezes, and for a few moments, she stays silent and unmoving. Finally, she opens her mouth to speak. “…I’ll tell you later, master,” she says, “But for now, you should eat dinner. Do you want to eat at the table, or would you like to eat here? I’ll even spoonfeed you, if you’d like me to.”

[ ] Eating here is okay.
[ ] You'll join everyone else at the table.
>> No. 23833
[x] Eating here is okay.

We sound rather in pain.

Also hopefully Kotohime will feel bad about this and watch it with the loopy shit around him in the future.
>> No. 23835
[x] You'll join everyone else at the table.

Less chance of insanity I'd figure if everyone's there at once.
>> No. 23836
Think about it, when everyone's in the house and in one room, the insanity is quite low as opposed to the lead being somewhere with 1-3 of them.

That and if he stays in bed, chances are Kana will make some time just to mess with him.
>> No. 23841
[x] You'll join everyone else at the table.
>> No. 23842
[x] You'll join everyone else at the table.
>> No. 23843
[x] You'll join everyone else at the table.
>> No. 23845
[ø] Eating here is okay.
>> No. 23852
[x] You'll join everyone else at the table.
>> No. 23855
{You'll join everyone else at the table.}
>> No. 23869
>>23835
>>23836
This logic is amazingly terrible.
>> No. 23870
[x] You'll eat under the starry sky.
>> No. 23875
[x] Eating here is okay.
>> No. 23889
>>23869

Not really if you seen the previous eating scenes, they were quite sane compared to other scenes.
>> No. 23890
[X] You'll join everyone else at the table.

Though the thought of being spoonfed by Kana is mighty tempting.
>> No. 23900
File 126206133688.jpg - (35.89KB , 150x150 , 051.jpg ) [iqdb]
23900
“Nah, that’s okay,” I say, suppressing a yawn with one hand. Lazily lowering my hands to my side, I continue, “I’m feeling fine now, so you don’t have to worry. I’ll go eat with everyone else.”

“If that’s what you’d like,” Kana replies with a smile.

I lift the blanket covering me off myself, Kana backing away to give me some space as I get up from the bed. With a groan, I give my shoulders a pop and then stretch out my hands towards the ceiling.

Kana walks toward the door, and so I follow her out. As I step past the doorway, I remember something important all of a sudden. Ah, that’s right. The reason I was knocked out was because of that kooky girl. I take a look at my right wrist. No handcuff. Bringing my hand to my face, I clench and unclench it, as though testing if it still worked. There’s a faint red mark around my wrist from where the cuff chafed.

Well, I guess she’s gone, then. Probably once she got it off, she went home, wherever that may be. It’s really none of my concern, anyway. The most important thing is that I’ll never have to see her again. I can’t help but feel immensely relieved, either. I mean, sure Yuuka and Elly may be violent and possibly insane, but at least they’re sure to leave me alone if I leave them alone. But that girl… she’s just trouble, and I know it.

Following Kana into the living room, where everyone is gathered around the dining table, I take a seat at my usual chair, pulling it forward to sit comfortably before glancing at the plates and bowls set on the table. Picking up my chopsticks, I reach for a piece of sliced sausage.

“Ah, excuse me,” a voice says to my side as another pair of chopsticks quickly snatches away the slice I was going for.

What the?

I stand up in my chair in a panic, almost knocking it over as I turn around to look at the girl sitting next to me. Oh no, it’s her. Kotohime, apparently having abandoned the police uniform for an old fashioned kimono and a loosely fitting haori with red flower patterns, is happily having a meal at the table.

“Hello!” she says cheerfully after swallowing what’s in her mouth.

“It’s not ‘hello’,” I say, scowling. “What are you still doing here?”

“Eating,” she replies simply.

“I can see that.”

“Sit down,” I hear Yuuka command in a cold voice. “Don’t start a commotion when you’re eating.”

Looking over to her, I can see that she doesn’t seem to be in the best of moods. In fact, she actually seems to be ticked off about something, though it’s not like I have any inkling of why she might be so pissed. But one thing’s for sure: I wouldn’t want to annoy her myself right now, or my safety wouldn’t be guaranteed.

Warily, I sit back down in my chair. I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a big deal to let her stay for a meal. I reach out for the sliced sausages again, ready to grab one…

Swish!

Again, just as I’m about to pluck a piece off the plate, another pair of chopsticks get to it before I do. But it wasn’t Kotohime this time. Instead, it came from the opposite side of the table. Glancing up, I see Elly chewing on it, averting my gaze. What the hell, Elly? Are you bringing your grudge to the dinner table too? That’s so petty…

Mumbling a curse under my breath, I reach out for the side dishes again.

Swish!

Damn it, Elly, this isn’t funny.

Swish!

Damn.

Swish! Swish! Swish!

Oh come on, quit that already!

Gritting my teeth, I look up menacingly at her. Even though her mouth is stuffed full with food, it looks to me like she’s flashing a smug, triumphant smirk at me. But there’s no way she can eat as fast as she can stuff food into her mouth.

I eye the last piece of sausage left on the plate, and Elly does as well. If she wanted, she could probably grab it before I can even notice. But she’s toying around, just waiting for me to try to grab one before taking it for herself. Well, if that’s going to be how it is…

I reach out with my chopsticks, and predictably, Elly attempts to snatch it away. But as the tips of her chopsticks clench around the piece of meat, I jab with my own… and spear through it.

“Mmmpha!?” I hear her gasp as I wrench the sausage from her.

Triumphantly, I bring it up and pop it into my mouth, shortly followed by a clump of rice. Victory is mine. I spare the girl opposite me a gloating look.

She’s furiously chewing everything she already has in her mouth, thumping her chest as she tries to swallow it all at once. When her mouth is finally free to talk, she slams the table.

“Hey, that was cheating!” she says, scowling. “Use your chopsticks properly and not like a little kid!”

“There’s no cheating in war, even if the battlefield is the dining table,” I say coolly.

She rolls her eyes at this, but after an annoyed glance from Yuuka, she docilely backs down, continuing her meal. Kotohime and Ellen seem to have been greatly interested in the private battle over food just now, but now that the spectacle’s over, they’ve gone back to eating their meal.

…But damn it, there’s no more meat left.

~~~

After finishing dinner, Kotohime and I are standing around in the living room.

“Thank you for the meal,” she says as she gives a polite bow, her hands folded on top of her lap.

“Yeah, well, that was really no problem…” I say, scratching the back of my head. “But you really need to-”

“It was very delicious,” she cuts me off.

“That’s great and all, but-”

“Ah!” she suddenly gasps. Cupping her mouth with her hand, she points the other at you.

“What, what is it?” I ask, startled.

“You fell earlier!” she says, apparently only just now remembering what happened in the afternoon.

“Well yeah,” I say, sighing. “I’m fine, though, but you really need to-”

“I give you my deepest apologies,” she says, bowing to me again.

Well, it’s hard to be mad at someone when they’re apologizing to you, but I really wish she’d stop cutting me off. It’s like she’s shutting out everything I’m saying while she’s carrying on this one-sided conversation.

“It’s okay, so you should-”

I’m interrupted by the sound of the telephone ringing. Letting out a frustrated groan, I begin to walk towards it… but Kotohime rushes over and picks up the receiver before I do.

“Ah, hello. It’s a good day, isn’t it?” she says naturally, in a tone of familiarity. “No. Yes, probably. Okay, goodbye~!” She cheerfully places the receiver back down.

“…What was that?” I ask. Did she actually know the caller or something?

“Somebody I don’t know was asking for someone I don’t know,” she says, grinning widely. “It was a very complicated name.”

…You!

Twitching my face in annoyance, I step up to her and pinch her cheeks, pulling them apart. “Don’t. Take. Calls. That. Aren’t. Yours,” I say, stressing each word with a tug at her face.

“Awaawaaah!” she cries out as I shake her by the face. “That huuurts!”

Sighing, I let go of her. “Well, if you’re done eating, you should hurry up and go home.”

“I can’t stay here?” she asks pitifully, rubbing her cheeks.

“Don’t you have a place to stay?”

“Ehhh…” She pauses, swaying her head from side to side, the ponytail behind her head swishing around her back as she hums to herself. “I wonder if I do or not,” she says to seemingly no one in particular save herself.

“You don’t know!?” I slap my forehead. Just talking to her is going to give me a headache. “How do you manage to not know!?!”

“Hmm… it kind of feels like I do,” she says, swaying to one side. “But it also feels like I don’t,” she continues, swaying to the other side. “You know what I mean?” she asks with a smile, folding her hands together.

“I don’t get it at all.”

“So I’m staying here then?”

“No one’s said that yet!”

Letting out another sigh, I take a wary look back at the other girls. Kana’s doing the dishes right now, so she isn’t present. Elly and Ellen are watching us, the latter with a greatly interested expression and the former with an amused sneer. Yuuka… well, Yuuka just doesn’t seem to care.

[ ] Let her stay.
[ ] No way.
>> No. 23901
[x] Let her stay.

When you have a bag full of party nuts, what's one more nut?
>> No. 23904
[x] No way.
Head hurts.
>> No. 23906
[X] Let her stay.

Adding to our homespun brand of trail mix.
>> No. 23907
[x]No way
>> No. 23908
[X] Let her stay.
>> No. 23909
[x] No way.

Not until you are housebroken, you whacko bitch.
>> No. 23910
>>23909
Wait, scratch that (can't delete it.)

[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.

She is a menace when unchecked.
>> No. 23913
[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23914
[x] "Well, you can't live here, but I have some friends who'd be willing to give you a place to stay."
-[x] Call the police.
>> No. 23916
[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23917
[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23918
[x]No way
The idea here isn't to cause enough mental strain to the protagonist to make him go over the edge and kill someone... i think.
>> No. 23919
>>23918
that and with the protagonists money problems I don't thing he could afford to have another person stay
>> No. 23920
{Let her stay.}
>> No. 23921
[ø] Let her stay.
[ø] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23924
>>23919
True.

We should start putting our Touhoes to work.
>> No. 23925
>>23910

The same could be said of a few other folks in the house.
>> No. 23934
>>23924
And get that pimp coat
>> No. 23935
[B] Let her stay.

>or my safety wouldn’t be guaranteed.

I see what you did there.
>> No. 23938
[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23939
[x] Let her stay.
[x] But only if she promises to adhere absolutely to your word while she stays there.
>> No. 23968
“Fine,” I say with a resigned sigh. Whatever, I don’t even care anymore. At this point, I feel like I wouldn’t give a shit if I had to take in fifty homeless people. Actually, I take that back before something like that really does happen.

“Hooray!” Kotohime says, clapping her hands once and looking pleased.

“But,” I add hastily, “on one condition!”

“Ehhh?” She cocks her head to the side curiously.

“You have to adhere absolutely to my word while you’re staying here!” I say, pointing a finger at her for emphasis. This is for the best. I’m doing something noble here. By keeping this maniac in check here, she won’t be allowed to wreak havoc on the streets with her inexplicably lunatic whims! Well, I’m probably exaggerating there, but even so…

Kotohime blinks several times in succession, covering her mouth with her hand. She’s got a difficult to read expression, and I can’t tell if she understood what I meant or not. Finally, she leans forward and speaks uncertainly, “… Um, does that mean I have to call you ‘master’?”

… Huh?

She’s looking over my shoulder, so I turn around to take a look behind me. Kana’s standing there with her usual smile, quietly watching the two of us. When she notices that I’m staring at her, she raises one hand and gives a little wave. I look back to Kotohime, who’s still staring at the maid. She’s totally got the wrong idea here.

“No, I don’t want you to be a maid,” I say, waving my hand dismissively.

“Oh,” she smiles, looking relieved. “That’s good. I was worried because I don’t have a uniform.”

That’s what you were worried about? Well, you could order one from the net or something, if you really wanted it, but- Wait, that’s not the point here.

“Anyway,” I say, getting myself back on track. “I just want to minimize the damage you’ll cause here.”

“Damage?”

“That’s right.” I frown, folding my arms together. “I can’t understand what’s going on in your head at all, and if I let you go about the house without some kind of a leash, I’ll be troubled.”

“Ah…” Kotohime cocks her head to the other side now. “Do you think I’m strange?”

“Beyond strange.”

“I think I’m pretty normal.”

“No. You’re definitely strange.”

“That’s too harsh,” she says in a pouting sort of way.

“No it’s not. You’re so strange that I don’t think anyone would decide otherwise if they’ve known you for even a minute.”

“You should take a closer look at something before you judge. It might turn out to be very different from your initial reaction.” She reaches into her kimono, taking out a magic marker. “For example,” she says, waving the marker, “while at first glance, this may seem like a perfectly ordinary marker… If you take a closer look at it…”

…?

She holds it up in front of her face, staring at the marker intently. Drawing a deep breath, she concludes in a cheerful voice, “… it’s still just a marker.”

Did that even have a point in there somewhere?

“So you’re admitting that you’re strange, then.”

“Ah!” Kotohime seems to realize what she just proved as well, stowing the marker away. “That might be so,” she finally admits.

“Now that we’ve got that out of the way,” I say while sighing, “for your first order: you’re not allowed to go outside.”

“Why not?”

“Because those police officers are still going to be looking for you, aren’t they?”

“Ah, right,” she says, nodding. “Understood. I won’t go outside.”

Well, that was surprisingly easy.

“That’s all for now,” I say, waving her away. “Go check out the rest of the rooms, if you’d like. Oh, but don’t touch anything.”

“Okaaay~!” she says excitedly, hurrying away to explore the interior. I wonder if it’s a good idea to let her loose like that? Well, if she’s obedient enough, I suppose it wouldn’t really matter all that much.

But well, now that the moment’s passed, I’m beginning to really worry about my situation here. It’s not like I have much freedom in the way of finance here, and by the sound of it, I don’t think I could get my mom to send me money for at least two months. Dad would never send money here. I could try pleading my sister for sympathy, but that’s totally embarrassing, and I’d feel bad because she’s paying her own tuition through university…

…Oh shit, I forgot about my work. Well, the deadline’s still far off, anyway. I can afford to push it back a little more. But even with the job, it’s going to be a while before I get paid, so I might need some immediate form of cash.

…You know, thinking about it kind of irritates me. I’m doing all this worrying because of the five other residents here, but among them, Kana’s the only who’s not freeloading. And while Kana’s great help with the housework, that’s not going to bring me any money. Can I convince them to… get a job or something?

[ ] Time to call for a meeting.
[ ] Don’t worry so much about it. You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
>> No. 23971
[x] Don’t worry so much about it. You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
-[x] Try to figure out what job would nice for Yuuka nad Elly.

I think Yuuka would do nicely in a gardening job if she keeps that temper in check.

I'd say something about Ellen but she's a bit too air headed to hold much of a job.
>> No. 23974
[x] Brothel
>> No. 23975
[x] Don’t worry so much about it. You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
-[x] Try to figure out what job would nice for Yuuka and Elly.
>> No. 23977
[X] Time to call for a meeting.
>> No. 23978
[x] Time to call for a meeting.
Work goddammit. Put that enormous strength to use: go do some construction work or something.
>> No. 23981
>>23978
Building pyramids singlehandedly moe~
>> No. 23982
[x] Don’t worry so much about it. You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
-[x] Try to figure out what job would nice for Yuuka and Elly

>I think Yuuka would do nicely in a gardening job if she keeps that temper in check.
Perfect. I can already see her with her own Flower Shop yelling at and insulting customers.
>> No. 23983
[X] Time to call for a meeting.

Moneys.

They make the world go round.
>> No. 23985
>>23982
And I can see said customers forming a crowd, clapping in awe at her lectures.

Yuuka will probably end up making more money than us, dealing a harsh blow to our already bruised, manly pride.
>> No. 23986
>>23982

Yuuka's temper running wild wouldn't result in yells or shouts, but fatalities and splatterings.

But so far Yuuka has done a nice job of staying calm and even asked about pointless violence on TV.

The real loose cannon is Elly.
>> No. 23992
{Time to call for a meeting.}
>> No. 23995
>>23986
>Yuuka's temper running wild wouldn't result in yells or shouts, but fatalities and splatterings.
I don't think she would have that many problems living in the world. As long as she has her flowers and plants, she will be happy.
>> No. 23997
[B] Don’t worry so much about it. You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.
>> No. 24002
[x] Time to call for a meeting.
>> No. 24003
>>23995

Provided no one had the gall to go about killing flowers or such in front of her, I think things will be just fine.
>> No. 24011
[x] Time to call for a meeting.
>> No. 24081
Right, time to call for a meeting. My resources are limited, and I’ll end up in a real fix somewhere down the line if I don’t do anything about it. So, I’m just going to have to find a way for them to contribute to the “family” budget, the lousy no rent paying freeloaders.

Turning back around with a heavy sigh (for probably the hundredth time since this whole mess started), I clap my hands a few times and speak in a loud voice so as to grab the attentions of my housemates, “Alright, gather up everyone. We gotta talk.”

Dully, Yuuka turns her bored eyes from the television screen over to me. Elly similarly spares a disinterested glance over my way. Ellen quizzically turns her head, staring attentively while stroking Sokrates’s head. Kana steps out of the kitchen and quietly stands by the couch everyone else is sitting on. As for Kotohime… well, I don’t really care what she’s doing as long as she isn’t burning the house down or something. I can’t depend on her for something like this, anyway.

“So, what’s this about?” Yuuka asks, crossing her arms together and resting one leg on top of the other.

“Our financial situation, that’s what,” I say with the best authoritative tone I can manage, my shoulders raised high in an attempt to look bolder than I am. “You guys can’t just hang around doing nothing forever, you know.”

“Isn’t that pretty much what you do?” Elly remarks.

Urk.

“I-I do work from home,” I hastily say in defense. Immediately, I follow it up by pointing at her, in an attempt to turn the conversation back around. “But I still make money, okay!?” I say indignantly. “You guys don’t.”

“So what do you want us to do about it?” she says, shooting a sharp glance at me.

I take a step back, a brief pang of fear overcoming my resolve for a moment. “Well, I, uh…” I stutter, losing steam. “I, uh… I was hoping you guys could get a job, maybe? You know, we kind of need money for food and electricity bills and all that, and…”

“Do you really need to pay for all that?” Elly asks with a frown. “Can’t I just kill the guys coming to collect the money or something?”

“No.”

“Or maybe I could go out and kill some rich fool and rob him?”

“No, no killing,” I say with an exasperated sigh. “Is killing your solution to everything?”

“Preeeetty much,” she replies unconcernedly, covering her mouth as she yawns loudly.

“If you’re looking for someone who would do work, she’s the last person you should see,” Yuuka says with a scoff. “Slacker.”

“Geh!” Elly gasps as if struck with a knife in the side, looking pitifully at Yuuka. “T-that’s not really fair, Yuukarin…” she whines. “It’s not as if Mugenkan gets any visitors. It can’t be helped if I mess around a little when there’s no one to keep out.”

“I don’t want to hear excuses for incompetence,” replies Yuuka coldly, resulting in Elly reeling back even further. She stays quiet for a few moments before speaking up again. “Actually. I want you to do as he says and get a job here, Elly.”

“Huh, what?” she responds with an astonished face.

“The principal of give-and-take is a universal one,” Yuuka continues with an air of logical reasoning. “It might even help you get over those poor work ethics of yours,” she adds with a sneer.

“But Yuukarin~!”

“You’ll be searching for a job tomorrow. Try not to gut anyone while you’re out there,” concludes Yuuka, cutting off Elly’s protest.

She deflates a little, staring at Yuuka with rather pathetic eyes. Then, as soon as she’s sure that Yuuka isn’t paying attention to her, she stares directly at me in anger and draws a line across her neck with her thumb. Gah, so she’s blaming me for this?

“Then, what about you, Yuuka?” I dare to ask after taking a few seconds to calm my frayed nerves.

“I’ll think about it,” she says vaguely, not paying attention to me. “It might be fun if not a total bother.”

What might be fun? Getting a job? That’s not fun at all.

“Um…” Ellen speaks up, raising her hand.

“Yes?” I address her.

“I had a shop before,” she says demurely.

What the…? An airhead like her ran a shop?

“What kind of shop?” I ask, curious.

“A magic shop!” she says energetically, standing up from the couch in excitement. The cat resting in her lap falls limply to the floor, lazily rolling onto its front once it’s there. Ellen continues to speak, her tiny hands balled into fists in front of her as she speaks, “With a bunch of potions and spell books and charms!”

Magic shop? You mean like an occult shop or something?

“…That’s nice and all,” I say while sigh, “but it’s really not going to help if you don’t have a shop set up here. But I guess you can sell whatever you have on the streets or something. So, you got anything?”

Ellen blinks a few times. “I left everything at home,” she says after a while, her shoulders drooping.

…Well, it’s not like I expected much from her anyway.

“I can help!”

Whoa! I jump when I hear Kotohime’s voice behind me, turning around in a shock. She stands there, all-smiles. I hadn’t even noticed her standing there behind me until now. Just how long was she here…?

“I can work as a police officer!” she says enthusiastically.

“No,” I say in a flat, deadpan voice immediately.

“No?” Kotohime tilts her head. “Then, a forest ranger.”

“No.”

“A librarian.”

“No.”

“Animal tamer.”

“No.”

“Space alien.”

“That’s not an occupation,” I say, though I end up smiling slightly despite myself. “Look, I appreciate the thought, but you’ll just bring us more trouble if you go outside now. So just stay put here for a while, do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand,” she says brightly. “Then for now, I will be only a princess.”

“…What do princesses even do, anyway?”

“Hmm?” Kotohime tilts her head to the other side, smiling cheerfully. “I wonder, what do they do indeed?”

Humming an upbeat tune, she walks out of the living room towards who-knows-where, leaving a slightly stunned atmosphere in her wake. Her strangeness is just something I’ll probably never get used to, but if I can just get her to not do anything outrageously out-of-control, it might not be so bad living with her.

“What a strange girl,” Elly remarks.

“Strange in the head,” Kana follows-up.

“Weirdo,” says Ellen.

How scrambled do you have to be for other screwballs to consider you a total nutcase?



Even after the so called “family meeting”, the night is still young, even by the standards of a normal person who goes to sleep before midnight. What to do now…?

[ ] Are Elly and Yuuka planning to go on a night excursion today, too?
[ ] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
[ ] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
[ ] Keep an eye on that flake of a princess.
[ ] Go to your room.
>> No. 24082
[ ] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
Or is it too soon? If so,
[ ] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?

I reeeally like this Ellen.
>> No. 24086
[x] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?

This sounds good, and Kana might take the chance to freak us out.
>> No. 24088
[x] >>24082
>> No. 24089
[x] Are Elly and Yuuka planning to go on a night excursion today, too?

A house full of lunatics and Yuuka seems to be the most reasonable.
>“I can work as a police officer!” she says enthusiastically.
Hahahha, she is awesome.
>> No. 24094
[x] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
We got only 1 and a half people to work of all the freeloaders there. Terrible, but I expected worse.
Maybe when she finds a good work we can focus on the others?
>> No. 24095
[x] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
-[x] Go bother Socrates.
>> No. 24096
[x] >>24082
>> No. 24101
>How scrambled do you have to be for other screwballs to consider you a total nutcase?
Elly, I expected to say something, But when Kana and even Ellen are saying that... that's pretty bad, and they have a good chunk of the Nutty spectrum covered between them (crazy-nutty and spacy-nutty).
>> No. 24104
[B] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
>> No. 24105
[ø] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
[ø] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
Kana and Ellen are love. Although I don't mind Koto either.
>> No. 24106
[x] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
[x] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
>> No. 24107
[x] What’s Ellen doing in the kitchen?
>> No. 24119
[x] What's my imouto doing in the kitchen?
>> No. 24141
[X] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
>> No. 24142
{Go see if you can help Kana with anything.}
>> No. 24145
[X] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
>> No. 24146
[X] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.

Kana~
>> No. 24147
[X] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
>> No. 24149
[X] Go see if you can help Kana with anything.
>> No. 24156
…Since the only member of the house who’s working for their upkeep as of the moment is Kana, I should go and see if there’s anything I can do to help her. I’m not very good at housework, but I should at least show her that I appreciate what she does around here.

As I walk about the house looking for her, I hear the front door shut with a loud bang. I guess those two are having an excursion outside tonight as well. Well, good luck to them on the youkai hunting. It’s not something I have any business of getting involved in, and it’s definitely something I should stay far, far away from. After all, I’m just a normal human. I can’t be expected to meddle in the affairs of monsters. It’s a sad truth, but what can you do?

But come to think of it, where is Kana, anyway? Ellen’s occupying the kitchen at the moment (and judging from the foul smell coming from it, I don’t think I want to go in there to check what she’s doing), and I don’t see her out in the hallway. Maybe she’s in one of the rooms? On a whim, I decide to check my own first. Stepping inside, I gently close the door behind me as I flick on the light switch.

…There’s no one inside. I guess I’ll check one of the other rooms.

“Yahaha…”

I pause, hearing the giggle just as I’m about to leave the room. It came from my closet. Honestly, Kana, a silly prank like that? With a snort, I walk toward the closet, reaching out with a hand to open the sliding door.

But before my fingers even touch the handle, the door slides open on its own, and taken by surprise, I take only a single step back before being pelted in the face with a shirt. Blinded by the article of clothing covering my face, I stumble back, falling onto the bed behind me. I toss the shirt off my head and to the side. Kana climbs up the bed, straddling my waist before I can get up with a devious grin. Pinning my shoulders down with her hands, she leans in close to my face.

“Hello, master,” she coos into my ear. Her warm breath tickles the inside of it, and I give an involuntary shudder.

“I was looking for you,” I say, trying to look unfazed, though I can already feel heat rising in my face. “Were you hiding in here just to surprise me?”

“No,” she says, lifting her head to a more comfortable range from mine. “I told you I would clean up that mess of a closet, didn’t I, master?”

“Ah, yeah…”

Kana giggles, leaning forward and putting her mouth to my ear again. “Well, what did you want to find me for, master?” she asks in a whisper.

“I-I thought I’d help you with something…” I say, flustered.

“Oh?” Kana seems amused, pushing herself away from me. For a moment, she scrutinizes me with a playful smile on her face, before speaking again, “That’s so sweet of you, master. But you should leave the work to the maid.”

“But-”

She places the tip of her index finger on my lips, silencing me as she raises her other hand. She snaps her fingers, and in an instant, the crumpled shirt I tossed aside next to me rises into the air. The shirt folds itself neatly in midair, gently landing back on the surface of the bed. “See?” Kana says, satisfied. “Housework is my specialty.”

“…Kana,” I say, looking at the folded shirt with widened eyes. I glance back up at her before beginning to speak again, “Are you going to tell me what you are now?”

She folds her hands together, an enigmatic, unreadable expression gracing her. Finally, she takes a deep breath, and gives me a bright smile. “I asked you before,” she begins, still smiling cheerfully, “whether you believe in ghosts or not, didn’t I, master?”

“Yeah…”

“You’ve probably figured out already,” she continues, “but I am a ‘ghost.’ To be specific, a poltergeist.”

“Polter…geist…?” I repeat. Sounds like German.

“That’s right,” she says while nodding. “I said that housework is my specialty, but so is stirring up trouble. And making trouble for the inhabitant of the house a poltergeist is haunting is its job.”

I see. Then, that incident in the bathtub, and that nightmare I had. They really did happen, didn’t they…? Hey, wait a minute, wasn't that a confession to being here just to mess with me?

“And of course, since I’m a ghost…” she says, reaching down to the middle of my chest with one hand, “…I can do things like this.” Her hand slowly descends down into my body, and I gasp as an icy feeling chills my insides as her incorporeal hand travels through my chest, out my back and into the bed below me. I shiver as Kana continues to reach in even deeper, until her arm is in all the way to her elbow.

“Well, something like this is pretty basic of ghosts, isn’t it?” she asks. “Incidentally, what do you think would happen if I were to make my arm solid while it was still inside you?”

I don’t want to think about that.

“Well, it’s just a joke,” Kana says, sticking out her tongue at me. With one smooth movement, she pulls her arm out from me, and the frosting sensation in my body gradually fades back into warmth. “I’m glad that I can touch you like this, though,” she says. Her hands reach down again, seeking out my own pair. She takes my hands into hers, clasping each of them tightly. “It wouldn’t be as fun otherwise.”

Her fingers intertwined with mine, she leans over me, staring directly into my eyes. She’s so close that I can feel her breathing on my face. “Well, master?” she asks in a whisper. “Now that you know what I am, are you afraid of me?”

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.
>> No. 24158
{X} No.

Other than the arm thing, she's alright.
>> No. 24159
[x] "Which answer will get you to stay with me?"

I am not opposed to a Kana route in the slightest (with Ellen as a little sister... Of sorts).
>> No. 24161
{X} No.
>> No. 24162
[X] No.

This Kana is fucking great.
>> No. 24163
{Yes, but...
{I do like a good scare.}}
>> No. 24165
[x] "Anybody would be startled if someone were to jump out of a closet or run a finger down their back while they were preoccupied. You're going to have to do better than that."
[x] "Though in all seriousness, while you may be cold to the touch, and a little mischievous - your smile is warm, and despite the mess I've found myself in these past few days, you've made me genuinely happy."
[x] "What I'm trying to say is, I'm not afraid of you. You're more human than you think. In fact I'd go so far as to say you only do these things out of some misconception that it's all you can do to believe you're still alive. But that's wrong; you're just as alive as the rest of us, probably even more so than the sleepy mythical creatures or the shut-in you're living with. Regardless of your physical state, it really doesn't change who you are on the inside. You're a good person, and I enjoy spending time with you."
[x] Grin, "I guess that means you fail as a ghost."
>> No. 24169
[X] No.
>> No. 24173
[x] No

Her materialized hands are warm, aren't they?
>> No. 24174
So, let me get this straight: the two options ahead are 'No' (Implying 'you suck at what you do') and 'You fail as a ghost' (Implying...well, no, it's pretty straightforward)

Smooth anon, smooth.
>> No. 24175
You guys do know that Kana's canon backstory involves her leaving her old haunting grounds because the owner of the house was no longer reacting to her, and had started to ignore her, right?

You also know that she's said outright that she likes seeing our reactions to her little stunts, right?
>> No. 24176
[x] Yes
>> No. 24177
>>24175

Oh, damn...

[X] Yes
>> No. 24178
I suppose I'll rephrase my vote, given that this is something close to what I intended. It'll be clearer this way, I guess.

[X] Yes.
[X] But I think I'm starting to like it.
>> No. 24179
Changing >>24162 to

[X] Yes.
>> No. 24180
Regardless of what you all choose, I would recommend attaching some sort of conditional to your vote. I don't know about you, but a simple yes/no doesn't quite capture the depth of my feelings toward Kana.

On the one hand, her antics are genuinely creepy, and have creeped out the protagonist before. On the other hand, the surprises are interesting and... kind of exhilarating. Not to mention distressingly sexy.

So, I mean, whatever it is we should be feeling toward her, it can't be summed up in just one word.
>> No. 24182
[ø] Yes.
[ø] Call me a masochist if you wish, or the equivalent for surprise and fear, but Kana, you are about the only one that I wish to remain here with me even when there is a way to get back to the place where the lot of you came from.
>> No. 24184
[X] Yes, but...
[X] I do like a good scare.

I sure hope Lion does some sort of vote combining here.
>> No. 24186
>>24165
>>24182
>>24183
Oh my god. Are you fucking kidding me? These are terrible, sappy, unrealistic responses.

[x] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[x] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[x] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.

There's a -real- vote, free of bullshit.
>> No. 24188
This Story kind of grew on me Lion. I already like it better than your /youkai/ one. Doesn't look like much at first but once you read a thread it gets awesome. So yeah, good work. /others/ is like a dump, you never know what great things you may find if you take the time to wade through the garbage.

I would kill for daily updates.
>> No. 24189
>>24186

hard to use realistic when we're dealing with a ghost.

[x] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[x] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[x] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.

This has more or less the gist of things.
>> No. 24190
[x] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[x] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[x] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.
Changing vote.

I mean, 's still bullshit, but whatever works...
>> No. 24191
>>24174
I'm guessing the "No" voters don't look back at the story for a while, or else they would have seen your note and realized their screw-up.
>> No. 24192
[x] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[x] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
>> No. 24193
[B] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[B] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[B] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.
>> No. 24194
My god, it's amazing how one anon can change the majority of votes.
>> No. 24195
[B] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[B] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[B] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.

vote changing games
>> No. 24196
>>24174
What's wrong, too honest for you?
>> No. 24197
>>24195

ಠ_ಠ

Stop that.
>> No. 24198
I still think No is the best aavailable option.
>> No. 24216
[x] "You scare the hell out of me, honestly."
[x] "...But I really like having you around, all the same."
[x] "Times like now, for example. And I'm not just talking about the housework." Smile at her.
>> No. 24220
>>24186
As the author of this, I feel I should point out that the smile is kind of a joking kind, and "Times like now" is referring to the fact that she's pressed so close to him.

>>24189
>hard to use realistic when we're dealing with a ghost
You know exactly what I meant. Don't be a quibbling faggot, now. Realistic, practical, whatever. Thank you for the vote, but you really didn't need to make that comment.