[Return]
Archived Thread

File 12656993814.png - (29.59KB , 500x312 , machine.png ) [iqdb]
24880 No. 24880
1:30

You tear your eyes away from your watch and sigh. It's still a few hours till class begins... but who cares? Your next class, you can't even remember the name, is so boring and pointless. It's the kind of thing you'll probably have forgotten about within a month of finishing the class. Life is just so dull. Sure, you'll eventually graduate from college, and then enter the excitement of the job market. But won't that get boring also, once the mystique wears off? College looked interesting at first, too...

And, as you are busy pondering life, you fall through a hole in the ground and into a strange, fantastic world.

...you wish. As if something predictable like that would happen. Life is never so direct, you have to take what you want.
And you're going to!

You return to your dorm room, and gaze at your bed. There was no other place to fit this thing, but it's so worth not being able to sleep on your bed. It's cost over a hundred dollars in scrap metal, cheaply-cut glass jewelry, and other odds and ends, but the thing is almost done. Your own personal means of rescuing yourself from ennui. A super magic machine that will send you to some place which is bound to be way more exciting then this dump of a college! And it's almost complete, too.

It's going to work, you've consulted the greatest experts! You've gone around town, visiting all sorts of strange, badly-kept men with signs full of all kinds of complicated diagrams. You've visited all sorts of web sites too, like that one with all of the loud, colorful text (what was it called again? Something about cubes, anyway.) You've basked in their wisdom, and used it to make this amazing machine.

Now, other people might not think it's a machine, or even think that it some kind of modern art sculpture. But your methods are systematic. Your choices are deliberate. Your plans are...

Oh dear, you seem to have misplaced your plans. Well, it's no matter. You look around the pile of (what others call) junk on your floor, trying to remember what that last part was.

Er, wasn't it... (pick one)
[ ] ...this bent coathanger?
[ ] ...this lampshade?
[ ] ...this metal ring?
[ ] ...this marshmallow peep?
[ ] ...this plastic cup?
[ ] ...this shiny (but fake) jewel?
[ ] ...this loop of paper with things written on it?
[ ] ...this trick can of peanuts you got from a joke store?

---

Let's see how what happens, starting my first adventure thingamabobber, and right at the beginning of the semester too.
Since it's like 2 AM I'll be going to sleep pretty soon after posting this, though.

>> No. 24881
[X] "It's finished!"
[X] Start that bitch up.
>> No. 24882
>picture
Oh god nostalgia attack.

[X] ...this trick can of peanuts you got from a joke store?
>> No. 24883
[X] ...this bent coathanger?
>> No. 24885
[ø] ...this loop of paper with things written on it?
>> No. 24889
[ ] ...this metal ring?
>> No. 24891
[x] ...this marshmallow peep?

The best possible option. Soft and fluffy~
>> No. 24892
[X] ...this trick can of peanuts you got from a joke store?

Surprises.
>> No. 24897
[ ] ...this marshmallow peep?
>> No. 24899
>[ ] ...this bent coathanger?

Abortions!

>[ ] ...this plastic cup?

Fluid Samples!
>> No. 24904
File 126573588241.jpg - (79.21KB , 395x569 , whosthatpokemon.jpg ) [iqdb]
24904
Well, it does not seem like I am going to get a clear majority any time soon, so I'm calling it for the first one to hit two votes.

---

[X] ...this trick can of peanuts you got from a joke store?

"Of course, it's this can of 'peanuts'!"

You laugh a bit. How did you forget? The power of surprise contained inside this can will provide the spark that activates the machine's mechanisms. It's all based on the principle of disguise; people think that peanuts are inside, but really it contains a nasty surprise.

"Now, I just need to install this..."

"How? It's a can. It's not like you can screw it in."

How? Well, that's a good point, whoever you are. Oh, right.

"Right here, there is a spring-loaded vice for that very purpose. Now, I just pull it open, put the can in, and let it snap shut... alright, time to start this bitch up!"

"How? I don't see any buttons."

How? Well, that's a good point. Maybe you should poke it?

Poke.

Nothing happens.

"Well, maybe the first poke only turned on the subsystems."

Poke.

Nothing happens.

"This is pretty stupid," your roommate says.

Poke.

"Okay, I bet that poke primed it. Third poke'll definitely work," you respond.

Wait, since when was your roommate in the room?

Poke.

The can of 'peanuts' blows open, and fake plastic snakes leap out with surprising force and shower onto you. The lights suddenly flicker off in your room, and the ground begins to shake. You experience, for a brief moment, a horrible gut-wrenching sinking feeling, and the suddenly the world is filled with light.
That was, overall, a much smoother landing than you had expected. You must complement Gene Ray the next time you get access to the internet. But... where are you, anyway?

You take a look around. You seem to be on a countryside road of some kind. One end leads to, in the distance, a village of some sort. The other end stretches farther then you can see, but it seems to be going uphill. You can't see anyone nearby... you wonder briefly if your roommate has been transported also, or if he is back in your room wondering what just happened. Well, whatever.

You pick a snake out of your hair, and then start to walk in the direction of the village. If this really is some awesome world of fantasy they will probably have an inn where you can get quests, right? And if not they will have a telephone so you bum someone for a ride back.
But... whoah, what's that? A rather large monster seems to have stepped onto the path ahead of you. It issues a strange animal cry... or was that an animal cry? It might have been the sound of a laugh, or of a baby, or of a bird...

It speaks up. "So, human, what are you doing traveling this road? I do not see any spark of magic in you. You should know it is dangerous for normal humans, even during the day."

You take a closer look at the creature. It looks to be a strange tiger with the tail of a snake. Perhaps some other animals are mixed in there, and you simply can't recognize them. It is surrounded by wisps of black smoke, and a glimpse of it's open mouth while it was speaking has shown you that it has a great many ultra fine and also triple sharp teeth. So, overall, not the kind of thing a normal person would want to stop them on the road, even if it sounds more curious than menacing.

There's no time for that question, though! You have more pressing things to say. You clear your throat.

[ ] "Oh cool! I've been here for a little more then a minute and I have already seen my very first fantastic creature!"
[ ] "Know any cool places I can go?"
[ ] "What big teeth you have, grandmother. Seriously, I mean, what's up with those teeth. They are freaking me out."
[ ] "What, follow you into the van? You have candy? Sweet, candy!"
[ ] "Please don't eat me."
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 24905
Oh noes! My first error! He said he poked it three times, but he really poked it four times! This totally ruins everything!

...nah, let's just pretend our anon lost count.
>> No. 24906
[x] "Know any cool places I can go?"
>> No. 24909
Our fellow's very cheerfully 'round the bend, isn't he?

[X] I'm not a human, I'm a rat snake!
[X] I'm on vacation.
>> No. 24910
[X] "Oh cool! I've been here for a little more then a minute and I have already seen my very first fantastic creature!"
[X] "Man, you have all kinds of animals represented there! Got any cute girls?"

It would be my first question, anyway.
>> No. 24911
File 126575641285.jpg - (261.04KB , 800x800 , wrigglenotincluded.jpg ) [iqdb]
24911
Eh, I have free time right now due to sudden massive snowfall, so gattai da etc etc

---

[X] I'm not a human, I'm a rat snake!
[X] I'm on vacation.
[x] "Know any cool places I can go?"

You pause. A clever plan formulates in your mind. Before you ask questions, perhaps you could try... deception.

"Good sir, you are quite mistaken. I am not, in fact, a human. I am a rat snake."

"But you are obviously a-"

"Now, now, I know what you are going to ask. Why am I, a rat snake, here? Well, I'm on vacation! I hear this... place... is quite nice at this time of year. So I came here."

"But that's not-"

"Now, now, you don't have to complement me on how totally sensible and not-made-up my story is."

You stop for a moment, and look at the very confused monster. Deception... successful.

"Now that you know what I am and why am I here, can you reccomend any cool places I can go? A local's opinion would be helpful for a tourist like me."

The monster pauses, still a little dumbstruck. "You aren't from around here, are you?"

"Of course not. I did say I was on vacation, did I not?"

"Ah, an outsider. The shock of being abducted into here must have driven you mad."

"Abducted? I came out of my own free will."

"Right, right. Well, I'm sure Byakuren would want to see you, so she can, uh, help you. If you continue down the road in the direction you were going, you'll see a temple soon enough. Byakuren lives in there."

Alright! A direction! Mention of a potential ally! Maybe this Byakuren person can help you slay dragons or whatever other epic quests you are sure to pick up in town! It'd be nice if she had some armor or weapons to lend you also, since you just realized you forgot to bring the pack of supplies you had prepared for your adventure.
You start down the path again, but the monster speaks up again after a moment.

"I was just thinking... you seem like a kind of creepy guy. Er, snake rat. I bet all of the other... snake rats... back at your home were afraid to talk to you, right?"

That hit... uncannily close to home, actually. Maybe not quite afraid, but most people thought you were uncomfortably weird. You nod.

"Well, I have this 'scaring people thinktank' set up and I could use more then two members. If you want, you can join our next meeting."

"I'll think about it."

"Very well. I'll meet you once you get to the temple."

And with that, the monster suddenly transforms into a ball of light, shoots a couple dozen feet into the air, and then zooms down the path.
You shrug and continue down the path.

What a strange land this is, where even the monsters give you quests. It was pretty nice for a monster, actually. You hope that they aren't all that nice to you, or else you might feel a bit guilty with going around being an awesome monster slayer.

---

After about ten minutes of walking, you reach what looks to be a temple. There isn't anybody outside, but you can hear sounds of talking and eating coming from inside. Eating? ...Well, now that you think about it, it does seem to be later in the day then 1:30. Maybe the super awesome magic transportation took a few hours? Well, regardless, you stand in front of the door, wondering what to do.

[ ] Knock.
[ ] Open it.
[ ] Listen at the door.
[ ] Break in through a window.
[ ] DYNAMIC ENTRY!
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 24912
...oh hell, another person voted while I was picking a picture. Er, sorry?
>> No. 24914
[X] Come in through the window. Well, if it's just one of those paneless windows, or one of those sliding windows.
[X] Otherwise, knock.
>> No. 24915
[x] Knock.

Vain attempt at doing the reasonable thing.
>> No. 24916
>>24912

;_;

It's chill, brah. Maybe next time.

[X] Knock.

I like this guy. He seems relaxed as all hell. Let's just coast.
>> No. 24918
[x] Open it.

You never/rarely have to knock in video games.
>> No. 24920
[x] Ninja onto the roof, slide down the chimney (or any other available openings), creep your way into the temple and help yourself to their treasure room.
>> No. 24921
File 126576523751.png - (23.33KB , 640x480 , foodtiem.png ) [iqdb]
24921
[X] Knock.

Okay, you've got to think this through. You briefly consider breaking in through a window, but you discard it because it would be a shame if you accidently damaged a window. But you still want to make a surprising entry... however, aren't they expecting a surprising entry? You are one tricky person, right, so they are probably expecting you to come in through a window or knock the door down or something. You'll have to do the one thing nobody expects.

You knock on the door.

Knock.

Knock.

After a few moments, the door slides open.
A woman with short blonde hair in a very elaborate dress stands before you. Real tiger-pattern motif going on here. She has an apron on also, and is carrying a ladle. Might be a guy in drag though; she does look kind of androgynous. Well, whatever. She gives you a very slightly harried look.

"Temple services are not available at the moment. We're eating dinner. If you want, though, you are welcome to stay and wait until we are done, though."

"You aren't going to offer to let me eat?"

"Oh, you're hungry? Well, I guess I can't say no... Byakuren has told us to help people who are in need."

She leads you inside. Oddly, even though your last meal was less then an hour ago, you feel pretty hungry. Maybe magic teleportation is more draining then you thought, even if it was done by a machine? Or maybe your last meal is currently lying on the floor of your dorm room, half-digested.

You come to a low table, with a number of people around it. All women, oddly enough. Well, some of them would be better described as "girls".
There's a girl with short black hair and what looks to be a sailor outfit. Behind her, a heavy-looking anchor is resting on the ground.
There's a girl with short grey hair, mouse ears, and a tail, dressed in an elaborate-looking grey dress. There seem to be several mice scurrying around her plate, carrying nuts. That reminds you of the roommate you had freshman year. Maybe this girl is a junkie also?
There's a young woman in some kinda nun outfit with blue hair, who seems to be sharing her plate with a pink cloud. Somehow, just by looking at her you can tell that the aforementioned cloud is probably her only notable character trait.
There's a girl, also with short black hair, who has a short black dress and a set of wings (?) that look like they would make the weak-of-heart faint. She is the only one at the table who is looking at you, and oddly enough she is even smiling. Her very sharp teeth seem somehow nostalgic to you.
And finally, there's a woman with brown hair that fades to purple at the roots, a very kind demeanor, and a dress that she must have mugged a Jpop starlet to get.
It is the last one who is the first to speak. She turns to the tiger-woman. "So, Shou, we have a visitor?"

"Yes, Byakuren. He said he was hungry."

The one with the weird wings pipes in. "He's the one I mentioned! The weird guy." What, was she watching you? You pride yourself in your ability to notice people who wear skirts that short... she must be very stealthy.

Byakuren smiles at you. "Well, if you are hungry, then feel free to take a seat. Shou, if you will?"

Shou nods and scurries off, presumably to get some food for you. You sit down in the only spot without any plates, which happens to put you between the girl with the wings and the young woman with the cloud. Shou comes back, and brings you a plate of curry, with a side of vegetables. She then sits down back at her seat next to Byakuren.

Conversation topics
[ ] "So, what super awesome world of fantasy have I found myself in?"
[ ] "Why are you all girls?"
[ ] "When's the next meeting of that thinktank?"
[ ] "That weird chimaera knew you, Byakuren. Why's that?"
[ ] "Do you have any quests?"
[ ] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."
[ ] Write-in.

How will you handle questions they give you?
[ ] Tell the truth.
[ ] Stick with the story you told that monster.
[ ] Come up with an even more outrageous lie.
[ ] Optional - what will your story be?

---

By the way, I'm not really confident in my ability to write romance, so you probably shouldn't expect that. I hope that the plot ideas I have are enough to excuse the lack of opportunities to put your ponos into someone's vagoo though.
>> No. 24922
Conversation topics
[ø] "So, what super awesome world of fantasy have I found myself in?"
[ø] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."

How will you handle questions they give you?
[ø] Stick with the story you told that monster for now, while speaking jokingly.
[ø] Tell the truth.
>> No. 24923
[X] "Why are you all girls?"

I bet if we'd come in through the window--a distinctly unnatural thing to do--they would've been beasties, all of them.

[X] Stick with the story you told that monster.

She was watching you. She knows your story. You'd better not contradict it.
>> No. 24924
[x] "So, what super awesome world of fantasy have I found myself in?"
[x] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."

[x] Stick with the story you told that monster for now, while speaking jokingly.
[x] Tell the truth.
>> No. 24925
[ø] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."
Questions questions...
[X] "Why are you all girls?"
[x] "Do you have any quests?"
[x] Optional - what will your story be?
-[x] You're a legendary monster slayer that came from the really smelly town of Po-po. You were transported here by a giant dragon with whiskers and lost all your weapons and experience in the way here.
>> No. 24926
Hey.

If we can get enough people to humor our belief that we're really some sort of rat snake youkai thing, would we be able to become the very identity that we have defined?

You know, like that Borges story, with the encyclopedia entry.
>> No. 24927
If you manage to actually convince enough people, yes. At the moment Nue just thinks you are crazy or joking, and she hasn't mentioned the specifics to the others.
>> No. 24928
>>24927
Sounds like we have a new mission.
>> No. 24929
Eh. Calling it for

[x] "So, what super awesome world of fantasy have I found myself in?"
[x] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."

[x] Stick with the story you told that monster for now, while speaking jokingly.
[x] Tell the truth.

If you want to convince people you are really a ratsnakeyoukai, you can just find others to convince. Maybe even get some of the UFO cast to help make the act more believable or something.
>> No. 24930
>>24929
But we are talking to the UFO group. Right now.

We lied to them once. Let's keep consistency. They're not going to just help us become a youkai, especially if they find out we're a casual liar.
>> No. 24932
File 126577824274.jpg - (203.60KB , 850x531 , herehaveabyakuren.jpg ) [iqdb]
24932
I kind of assume that powerful, experienced youkai can tell the difference between humans and other youkai. Presumably humans smell tastier or something. And you can't say for sure they ALL won't help. Byakuren and Shou are pretty straight-laced, yes, but at the very least Nue isn't. And a shapeshifter would be a pretty powerful ally if you are trying to convince people you are something besides yourself.
...also I had already written this entire segment by the time I saw that post. Maybe I should give it more time next time or something?

---

[x] "So, what super awesome world of fantasy have I found myself in?"
[x] "Thanks for helping me, by the way."

[x] Stick with the story you told that monster for now, while speaking jokingly.
[x] Tell the truth.

You dig into the food. It's alright, but nothing all that special. Curry isn't exactly your favorite, though, so maybe you shouldn't be the one to talk.
You look around. The sailor girl looks like she is really enjoying her curry the most. That weirdo wings girl is still smiling at you. She's barely touched her food. First stalking you, now smiling? Is she trying to creep you out? Well, uh, maybe you should try talking to someone else.

"So, uh, Byakuren. What is this super awesome world of fantasy, anyway?"

The wing girl leans forward a bit. "Oh? So you came here without knowing what it was?"

Drat! Your cover story is already cracking! Well, you should try to at least salvage the situation. "Er, you know what blind dates are, right? Well, this was like a blind date, except with a country instead of a person."

Byakuren answers before that wing girl can comment on that. "This land is called Gensokyo. It is a world of fantasy, separated from the outside world by a powerful magic spell. Here, forgotten creatures of legend of all kinds thrive, while those that still insist on living outside decline."

Well, that answers some things. You'd want a more detailed answer at some point, but it might be a bit much to expect to be entirely filled in during one dinner.

Shou looks up from her recently-emptied plate. "So, what are you doing here? Were you abducted here against your will?"

"No, I came here on purpose. I'm a rat snake on vacation."

Byakuren gives you a somewhat concerned look. "You don't look like an animal youkai, to me."
She turns to that wing girl. "Nue, do you think he really means that?"

"Of course I mean that!"

Nue laughs. "No, he's lying. In this shape, my senses are good enough to tell you that, at least. His heart rate keeps raising every time he affirms his story."

That must be some impressively good hearing. Wait, 'in this shape?' Could this Nue girl be the chimaera from earlier?
...you suddenly feel glad you chose not to badmouth it.

"Alright, alright. I'll admit it. I'm just a human."

Byakuren looks a little relieved. "And how did you get here? Was it really on purpose?"

"Yeah. I made a machine that sent me here."

Huh. That got everyone's attention.

Byakuren looks a little less relieved. "Oh dear. I am sure that Reimu will not be pleased when she notices that someone broke through the border again..."
During the ensuring awkward silence, you all finish off your meals. You thank them for the meal, but it doesn't really do anything to lighten the atmosphere.

Byakuren stands up. "Well, you are welcome to stay here until this all blows over. You don't seem like a bad person, so I'm going to give you the benifit of a doubt and assume you aren't here to conquer Gensokyo or anything silly like that. But, for now, I have work to do."

And then she hurries out. All of the others except leave (my, they are looking a bit spooked. Is this Reimu person scary?), except for Shou, who is cleaning the table. You decide to help her out.

"Now, I can't require you to, but as long as you are staying here it'd be nice if you found some way to be useful."

"As long as it's not boring."

"Just ask around. We all have jobs to do here, and we could all probably use some help. I do most of the housework and handywork, though Nazrin helps me." She notices your blank look. "She's the one with the grey hair. Ichirin and Unzan, that's the one with blue hair and her Nyudo partner, guard the temple from attacks. But we almost never get attacked, so I guess they mostly just hang around and play cards. Byakuren handles all of the actual visitors, and while I doubt you know enough about Buddhism to help her out with that, she could probably find a job for you. ...oh, yeah, and Nue and Murasa, she's the sailor one, do basically nothing I guess. But if you kept Nue busy I'd be happy, she can get a bit annoying at times."

Well, that was a lot to absorb at once! You find yourself nodding a bunch, and then hurrying away before she decides to infodump you more. So, might as well see what you can do?

(pick one)
[ ] Check out that 'think tank' Nue mentioned.
[ ] See if Nazrin has any work for you.
[ ] See if Shou has any work for you. (That'd be awkward, you just walked away from her!)
[ ] See if Byakuren has any work for you. (She's busy right now, right?)
[ ] See if Ichirin and Unzan have any work for you.
[ ] See if Murasa has anything to keep you busy.

But before that... (optional)
[ ] Maybe there's an indoor bath in here?
[ ] Maybe I could find the kitchen and get myself some dessert?
[ ] Maybe I could look around the temple and get a feel for the layout?
[ ] Write-in.

---

You know, I'm not actually sure what the layout of the temple is supposed to be like. Is there any kind of requirements in the design of Buddhist temples, or can I just make something up and explain off any weirdness with "it was made from a downed ship"?
>> No. 24934
[X] Check out that 'think tank' Nue mentioned.

NueNueNue.

[X] Maybe there's an indoor bath in here?

Clean for Nue.

Clean with Nue...

>>24932

I believe there are requirements, and several of them architectural at that. I recommend that you google it, or even wiki it if you're desperate.
>> No. 24935
[x] Check out that 'think tank' Nue mentioned.
>> No. 24936
[X] Check out that 'think tank' Nue mentioned.

[X] Maybe there's an indoor bath in here?

Sure, why not.
>> No. 24937
File 126578629475.png - (285.39KB , 850x680 , closeenough.png ) [iqdb]
24937
I am so glad that I do not have to figure out the layout of the temple tonight. I looked around some and this seems pretty complex.

---

[X] Check out that 'think tank' Nue mentioned.

[X] Maybe there's an indoor bath in here?

Well, you might as well take Nue up on her offer. But it might be a good idea to take Nue up on her offer while clean. You set off in a random direction.
Maybe this door? Nope, that's the kitchen.
How about this one? Storage room.
This one? Looks like somebody's room. Pretty spartan, but you guess that if you live in a temple you probably shouldn't expect lavish quarters.
Oh, hey, there's that sailor girl. Murasa. Right. "Is there anywhere in here I could take a bath?"

"Huh? Who are you?"

"...I'm a visitor. I was at dinner. You didn't notice me?"

"I was too busy eating."

"You were staring right at me, at the end there."

"I heard Byakuren say something about Reimu being mad and went numb from shock."

Huh. This Reimu person must be pretty scary.

"Well, we do have a small bathhouse. It's mostly meant for the people who live here, I guess, but visitors aren't banned from it or anything. Just there are larger, more elaborate bathhouses in town, so few people care to use our one. It's that way. The door is labeled, so you can't miss it."

You thank her and make it to the bathhouse without incident. This temple is surprisingly large, really. Well, regardless, you strip down and enter the water, briefly wondering what that area with the stools and stuff was for.
In defiance of every law of romantic comedies ever, you manage to get yourself to a satisfying level of cleanliness without anyone else mistakenly entering the bath without noticing your presence. Weird how they left all of the cleaning products in that other room, though.
Lacking anything else to wear, you put your old clothes back on and set off.

It's at this point that you realize that Nue never told you were in the temple to go.
You wander around for a bit, wondering if Murasa will know where Nue hangs out also. You are about to walk back to where you last saw Murasa when you feel a poke in the back. You jump a bit, and turn... Nue is standing behind you.

"Surprised?"

"That... that was a cheap surprise. It lacked substance. If that's all your vaunted think-tank can come up with, then you really need someone to come and shake you people up out of your complacency."

She sighs. "Whatever. While you were using the bathhouse wrong, I was setting up the meeting. It's ready when you are."

She briskly walks off, and you follow.

---

You are lead to the land behind the temple, out of view of the road. Nue taps a specific patch of dirt twice with her heel, and the ground in front of her parts to reveal a hidden staircase. "This is the location of our secret clubhouse."
Secret clubhouse? You will admit that a hidden underground lair is cool, but clubhouse?
You shrug and follow her down.

Inside, you reach a medium-sized circular room with walls of stone, dominated in the center by a round table. The only illumination comes from a single dim globe of light hanging from the ceiling... not a lightbulb, on examination, but presumably some sort of magic. Nue snaps her fingers and the light brightens.
Taking a better look around, there are four chairs around the table. On the other end of the room from you is a wheeled chalkboard, with "property of Keine" and "please don't steal this" written on it in very neat handwriting. Next to the table is an umbrella stand, which is currently occupied by a purple umbrella. And standing in front of the chalkboard, with her back to you, is a blue-haired girl in a blue dress. She seems to be writing on the chalkboard.

"Kogasa!" And the blue girl jumps in fright, and then turns around.

"Oh! Nue. You scared me!" Huh, one of her eyes is red and the other is blue. "Who's that?"

"It's our newest member. Newbie, this is club treasurer and secretary Kogasa Tatara. I'm club president, of course."

"Wait, club? I thought you said this was a thinktank."

Nue pauses. "What's the difference?"

...she has you there. "One of them... involves thinking?"

"Well, this is a club that involves thinking, so that's basically a thinktank, right?"

You scratch your head. "I guess it doesn't matter too much. So, shouldn't you be starting the meeting or something?"

Nue pushes you into a chair. "Right. This meeting of the Scaring Humans Thinktank is now in session." She leaps into the tallest chair, and would have knocked it over in the process if her wings hadn't pushed the ground on landing. "Kogasa, tell the newbie what our itinerary is."

"Er... right!" Kogasa pulls out a pair of reading glasses, and peers at a clipboard. "Today, we were going to decide on a course of action for our next production. Nue has chosen a number of people she thinks would make good targets, and we were going to decide on which to scare and come up with a plan of action."

Nue gives you a look. "Since you are the newbie, I figured tonight I'd let you pick who to target. Kogasa, show him the list."

Kogasa pulls a page out of the clipboard and slides it to you. You glance over it.

"...I thought you were the Scaring Humans Thinktank. None of these people are human, according to this."

"It's just a name! Pick something, okay?"

Well, according to this... (pick one)
[ ] One "Suika Ibuki" is in town, unescorted, to purchase alcohol.
[ ] The owner of the "Scarlet Devil Mansion" is currently out, and has left it with relatively light guards, so now would be a good time to try to scare this "Patchouli Knowledge" person.
[ ] "Parsee Mizuhashi" is easy to trick, if you know how. (Wait a sec, she lives in hell? That doesn't sound nice at all!)
[ ] The "Aki Sisters" are a safe option.

What's the plan? (pick one)
[ ] Go with whatever Nue comes up with.
[ ] Go with whatever Kogasa comes up with.
[ ] Go with what you come up with.
[ ] What do you come up with? (write-in)
>> No. 24939
I want to think a good plan but ´s hard to come up with something really effective that doesn't cross the line
>> No. 24941
File 126582080457.png - (76.40KB , 512x384 , mokou_despair.png ) [iqdb]
24941
>Well, regardless, you strip down and enter the water, briefly wondering what that area with the stools and stuff was for.

FFFFFFFFFF

I would start small with the Aki sisters, but maybe we should let them give us a demonstration first. Hmm.
>> No. 24942
File 126582847267.jpg - (161.45KB , 600x600 , niceknowingyou.jpg ) [iqdb]
24942
What the hell, I felt like writing and this is a short segment anyway.

---

[X] I would start small with the Aki sisters, but maybe we should let them give us a demonstration first. Hmm.

"Well, before I pick, what kind of ideas do you have in mind for plans?"

Nue sighs. "I guess it's reasonable to ask that. Well, I have a lot of years of experience in this stuff. There was a point in my life where my best scares just involves turning into a big beastie and leaping out and roaring, but I've learned better in my stay in Gensokyo. I've learned that it's best to stay hidden or in disguise, and it's most fun if you make it into a big production. I can tell you that if you go with my plans, the victim will never know who we were, but never forget the scare."

Kogasa puffs her cheeks out. "But your ideas are mean sometimes, Nue! It's much nicer to just leap out and yell 'Boo!' in my opinion! That's the classic way, too."

Well, that wasn't all that specific. Probably because you haven't picked a target yet. Hum...
>> No. 24962
...Just in case it wasn't clear, I'm still waiting for votes. That update was just a clarification of what kind of plans you would get if you were to rely on Nue or Kogasa for ideas.
>> No. 24982
File 12659141094.jpg - (16.60KB , 350x300 , e158a3cf73b2ea7bf9a58d48f2add67a.jpg ) [iqdb]
24982
[x] "Parsee Mizuhashi" is easy to trick, if you know how. (Wait a sec, she lives in hell? That doesn't sound nice at all!)
[x] Go with whatever Kogasa comes up with.
Adorable!
>> No. 24983
[ ] One "Suika Ibuki" is in town, unescorted, to purchase alcohol.
>> No. 24984
[x] "Parsee Mizuhashi" is easy to trick, if you know how. (Wait a sec, she lives in hell? That doesn't sound nice at all!)
[x] Go with whatever Nue comes up with.

This should be fun.
>> No. 24986
[x] "Parsee Mizuhashi" is easy to trick, if you know how. (Wait a sec, she lives in hell? That doesn't sound nice at all!) 
[x] Go with whatever Nue comes up with. 
>> No. 24987
File 126593213720.jpg - (96.60KB , 459x740 , isntitsad.jpg ) [iqdb]
24987
[x] "Parsee Mizuhashi" is easy to trick, if you know how. (Wait a sec, she lives in hell? That doesn't sound nice at all!)
[x] Go with whatever Nue comes up with.

"I suppose I'll go with this Parsee person."

Nue nods. "Alright. Do you have any ideas you want to try?"

"Not particularly. I don't know enough about... her? I'll just go with whatever you come up with, Nue."

Nue steps up to the chalkboard. "Okay, listen up everybody. Here's the plan."

---

After listening to the plan, you three spend about ten minutes putting together costumes for you and Kogasa from the stuff in the storage room. Apparently Nue doesn't need a costume. You both have loose, simple clothes with plenty of tiger-patterning (perhaps some of the pieces were stolen from Shou's wardrobe?), along with wigs and fake horns. Oni disguises, you are told.
Kogasa also has a hollow club, to hide her umbrella in. Can't she just leave that here? Not like it looked like it would rain on the trip there. But, speaking of the trip there, a thought occurs...

"So, Nue, how are we going to get to... hell?"

"Well, the fastest way is by flying. You can't fly, though, so you can ride me."

Ride her. Okay. A bit erotic-sounding there. "Gotcha."

Nue snaps her fingers, and the stairs up reveal themselves again. She climbs out, motioning for you two to follow.
You let Kogasa go ahead (ladies first, right?), and are greeted by the sight of Nue in chimaera form once you are outside.
Oh, ride her. Okay, makes more sense now. You get on, and hand Kogasa the bag of disguises so that you can get a good grip on Nue. And... off you go!

Riding your faithful chimaera mount, you are off to hell! (You are very glad you did not choose to say that out loud.)

---

"So, this innocent-looking cave enterance leads to hell?"

"Yeah. Now, get off, so that I can shift into a smaller shape."

You carefully climb off Nue's back, and approach Kogasa. "How are you holding up? I'm sorry I couldn't help carry the disguises."

"Oh, it's okay! These aren't very heavy at all."

"Alright, you two, let's go down. Follow me, I know the way best."

And so you follow Nue down the path. After an indeterminant length of walking, you reach a large cavern. "Okay, Parsee guards a bridge to the underground city. It should be... that way."

More walking. A fairy flies down in front of you and starts looking at you curiously. Kogasa sticks her tongue out at the fairy, and it responds in kind. After a minute or two the fairy gets bored and leaves, though.
And, there... in the distance, you can see a river with a bridge across it. You and Kogasa change into your disguises (Nue provides a small dark cloud for modesty's sake), and when you are done, you notice that Nue... no longer looks the same.
Now, she is wearing a blue and pink dress, and her hair and eyes have turned pink also. She has a strange eye hovering above her chest, with a number of veins floating around her body and terminating at various points. The eye stares at you unblinkingly. Kinda cool, actually, if a bit creepy.
Nue speaks up. Huh, even her voice sounds different. "We should stealthily fly over this river. Parsee would be suspicious if we were to come from the direction of the outside."

And thus you do. This time you get to cling onto Nue in human form as she flies you across. Is it more embarrassing or less considering that she has shape-shifted into someone else's form?

And then you approach and enter the bridge. About midway through, a girl with short blonde hair and a weird-looking brown and blue dress is leaning against the railing and watching the other end. Nue walks up right behind her, with you two in tow, and then suddenly barks out "Parsee Mizuhashi!"

The Parsee in question jumps and turns around. "Ah... Satori? What do you want with me? I'm on duty, here."

"Effective right now, you no longer are." Nue puts extra emphasis on 'no longer'.

Parsee looks confused. "Huh?"

You turn to Nue. "Hey, boss-lady, how long will this take? I want to get this moving done as soon as possible. I've got a kegger starting in an hour and a half."

"This is the new bridge guard." Nue points to Kogasa. "She is more qualified then you for the job, and willing to work for less."

"I..." Parsee is beginning to look mad. "I knew it! Being replaced, out of favoritism or something! I've worked here for so long, and all of the good jobs go to the stupid oni! What have I ever done that's wrong? Nothing, I tell you!"

Nue smiles grimly. "You thought I'd never find out, would you?"

Parsee freezes. "Er, find out about what?"

"You know what I mean... you thought you could keep it a secret, did you? But to my third eye, the secrets of your heart are laid bare. It was mere foolishness to assume that you could hide anything from me."

"I... I never... I didn't know it was your pet at the time... I..." Parsee looks around her, in a panic. You flex your muscles, grinning, and Kogasa looks away. "You'll never take me alive!"

Parsee jumps into the river.

Nue laughs and shifts back into her ordinary human shape. "Oh man, the look on her face was priceless!"

That was some pretty good fast-talking on Nue's part, you have to admit. "How did you know she had done something wrong? If she hadn't, that wouldn't have worked at all."

"Oh come on! Everyone's done something that comes back to haunt them later, and that's just the surface world. Down here in hell, use enough generalized guilt and you'll get anyone with a drop of morality left in their body."

You turn to Kogasa. She looks conflicted. "That was kinda mean, Nue. But... it was also more of a rush then just jumping out and yelling boo."

You aren't entirely sure what to think, also. On one hand, you still get XP for defeating encounters without a fight. On the other hand, ...oh, who are you kidding, that was fun.

---

You returned to the temple, rather tired. Byakuren had asked you where you went, but you gave a rather vague answer ('I was out playing with Nue and Kogasa.') Apparently, Nue has been keeping her activities a secret from the other people in the temple. You wonder what would have happened if you had asked about the thinktank over dinner.

You enter the guest room Shou had assigned to you, to find Nue inside.

She walks up to close to you, and begins whispering into your ear. "Hey, I was thinking. Byakuren thinks that it'd be safest for you to lay low, but I got another idea. What if I helped you learn to fight back?"

Fight back? That sounds interesting.

"You must have some magic latent magic, if you were able to make a machine that teleports you across the boundary. What if I told you there was a way for you to become a youkai, without any forbidden magic rituals or human sacrifices or anything?"

Huh. That does sound interesting. Cool magic powers, superior physical strength, and used (of course) for the side of good. You'd be like a superhero or something.
It is a slightly suspicious offer, though. Why's she whispering it to you, and why did she wait until you were separated from the others?
After thinking for a moment, you...

[ ] Accept.
[ ] Refuse.
[ ] Ask to hear some details before choosing.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 24989
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.
>> No. 24990
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.
>> No. 24991
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.

Tally-ho!
>> No. 24992
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.

Full steam ahead! There's no room for dalliers in Gensokyo!
>> No. 24994
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.
This is going to bite us in the ass so hard that we'll get tetanus
>> No. 24995
File 126595255862.jpg - (108.50KB , 600x600 , nuetakescharge.jpg ) [iqdb]
24995
[x] It is impossible for this to have any negative consequences whatsoever.

You nod. Nue smiles at you. "Alright, newbie, come back to the hideout tomorrow morning, and I'll explain the plan then. Remember, make sure nobody is watching you when you enter."

And with that she leaves. You might as well get some rest...

---

You look down at the mask in your hand. On it is the face of a snake. The face of a rat-snake youkai. You must not let anyone see you without this mask on, or they might realize that you are not really a rat-snake youkai. That you are really a human.
You feel your resolve building, as you silently promise to yourself to never burden anyone else with your problems even if it ends up killing you and all of your friends.
A girl with green hair walks in. "Oh, hello Honshuu-

You wake up in a cold sweat. What were you dreaming about? All you remember is that someone called you a really stupid name. You can't remember what it was, though.
You leave your room, yawning, and go into the dining room. The only person here is Shou, who seems to be eating breakfast. She turns to you.

"Oh, you're up early. The others won't be up for at least half an hour... well, actually, Nue is up already too. She looked busy, though, and left right away."

You come up to the table, but before you can reply to Shou something catches your eye. A newspaper, apparently the "Bunbunmaru", sits on the table. "Oh, the Bunbunmaru? It's the only newspaper in Gensokyo, but it's not really all that reliable. The stories tend to have some... creative liscense taken with them."

You pick it up. "Hakurei Shrine donation box crushed by strange metal object. Shrine maiden declares an Incident, and says that whomever is responsible will be brought to justice."
It even has pictures? Apparently this place was a little higher-tech then you thought. ...hey, wait. "That's the machine I made! So it ended up in Gensokyo too? And caused property damage in the process."

Shou almost chokes on her breakfast. "I think that's not something you should mention. Reimu is already probably pretty mad as it is."

"I wasn't planning on marching down there and bragging about it, or anything." Actually, that sounds kind of fun. "But, first, breakfast."

"Oh, alright."

---

After a short breakfast, you return to the back of the temple. After making sure nobody is watching, you take a step forward and... stomp! Nope, not there. Stomp! Not there either. Stomp! That was the one.
The ground once again opens, and you go down inside.
Inside, Nue is nowhere to be found, but Kogasa is... sleeping on the table? What, does she not have a home or something? Not wanting to disturb her, you quietly take a seat.
And, a few moments later, the enterance opens again and Nue hurries down. She is carrying two bags. As Nue comes down the stairs, Kogasa sleepily opens her eyes.

Nue gives you a hurried look. "Alright, I'll explain the plan, but I'll have to make it quick. If we are swift we can get this done by the end of the day. I was hoping we would have more time, but for some reason Reimu is on the prowl much earlier then I expected."

Kogasa gets up, yawning and stretching. "Oh, Nue? So it's time already?"

Nue puts one of the bags on the table. "Kogasa, I want you to change into this. Take your time, it'll take a bit for me to explain the plan to the newbie here. I'll treat you to dinner tomorrow, how about?"

Kogasa brightens considerably, and picks up the bag and drags herself off to the storage room.
Nue spins around in her chair to face you. "Alright, kid. I bet you are curious as to what this will involve."

You nod.

"Well, let me explain something first. Gensokyo is a land where belief has power. It was made for creatures who are not longer believed in by the modern world to live in. There have been documented cases before where someone who is feared enough becomes a youkai. That's how Murasa became one, I think. So, I figure, in this land of belief, if we can get enough people to think you are a youkai, you'll become one."

"Is that really all it takes? That sounds pretty easy."

"Well, normally it'd take years. But if I pour a bit of my power of disguise and transformation into you, it might catalyze that process and make it go faster."

"It might?"

"Well, I've never tried this before or anything."

"Fair enough, I guess. So, what, you going to get me to dress up in a silly outfit and parade around town yelling about how I'm a youkai?"

"More or less. Going to the main human village would be too risky, it would attract attention you don't want. So I've planned out a circuit of smaller villages to move through. If we stay on schedule, by the end of today you'll have gotten a lot of exposure but not gotten into any real danger."

That seems sensible... but wait. "If I do get a lot of exposure, though, won't Byakuren hear about this also? Presumably she wouldn't approve, with how you are keeping this a secret."

Nue smirks. "And that's where Kogasa comes in... done changing yet, Kogasa?"

Kogasa walks out of the storage room, still yawning. She is now dressed like you. Nue stands up out of her chair and walks up to Kogasa, and puts her hand on Kogasa's forehead. What must be half a dozen snakes slither out of Nue's dress, down her arm, and then around Kogasa. They press down and meld into her skin... and a moment later, you are looking at yourself.

That seemed to have woken Kogasa up. She hops around a bit, giggling. "This feels so weird!" She even sounds like you. Creepy.

Nue pokes Kogasa. "Listen up. I want you to let those seeds of non-identification feed on your powers. The disguise should last a few hours if you do."

Nue turns to you. "Go outside, and then tell Shou that you want to spend the day in the village. Then come back here, and we'll leave to go tour outlying villages. Kogasa will wander the village some, making sure that people see her but not attracting anyone's attention. She's your alibi."

She turns back to Kogasa. "You know where to meet me once the disguise wears off, right?"

Kogasa nods. "This better be a good dinner. I'll go hungry, trying not to attract attention."

Nue grins. "I'll let you go to Mystia's, Mokou's, whatever place you want, alright?"

Nue stretches a bit, and her wings rustle. "Alright, newbie, hop to it." For someone who is doing a whole lot of work, Nue sure looks like she is enjoying this. Maybe she has an ulterior motive, some reason to enjoy a plan that involves flying around and scaring entire villages of humans left and right?

You leave the hideout, pondering what your excuse should be to Shou.

[ ] "I want to see the village to get a feeling for Gensokyo."
[ ] "Staying in the temple would get boring."
[ ] "Maybe if I go to the village, I could find some more people willing to help me."
[ ] "If Reimu catches me, I wouldn't want you or Byakuren to get in trouble."
[ ] Write-in.

---

Consider that Shou might object if you have a dumb reason for supposedly visiting the village, but also that Kogasa isn't going to do any complex tasks while posing as you.
>> No. 24997
>You feel your resolve building, as you silently promise to yourself to never burden anyone else with your problems even if it ends up killing you and all of your friends.
>A girl with green hair walks in. "Oh, hello Honshuu-

>You wake up in a cold sweat. What were you dreaming about? All you remember is that someone called you a really stupid name. You can't remember what it was, though.

OH YOU.
>> No. 24999
[ ] "If Reimu catches me, I wouldn't want you or Byakuren to get in trouble."
>> No. 25000
[x] Tell her you're going to go find a red light district. No questions asked.

If she can even form a coherent response.
>> No. 25002
[x] Tell her you're going to go find a red light district. No questions asked.
So dumb it has to work.
>> No. 25009
[Q] Tell her you're going to go find a red light district. No questions asked.
>> No. 25010
>>25009
Who are you and why do you sign yourself as me?
>> No. 25011
>>25010

Oh, didn't know someone else did that. My bad.
>> No. 25012
[ø] Tell her you're going to go find a red light district. No questions asked.
>> No. 25013
>>25010
Since when did you own the rights to the letter Q?
>> No. 25014
>>25013

Since he became Doc Q, obviously.
>> No. 25015
File 126601139034.jpg - (26.54KB , 266x400 , horkhorkhork.jpg ) [iqdb]
25015
Picture is the first google image result for "snake man". It has nothing to do with this post, but I put it in anyway so tough.

---

[x] Tell her you're going to go find a red light district. No questions asked.

You walk back into the dining room. It looks like Shou is now getting breakfast ready for the others, though she is still alone.

"Oh, you're back. Could you give me some help?"

"I'm sorry, no. I have important business to attend to. I'll be in the human village for most of the day."

"Important business?" Shou looks at you skeptically. "You really should be keeping yourself out of the public eye. Being in town would not help you avoid Reimu at all."

You nod. "Important business I said, and important business is what I meant. I'm going to the red light district. Can you reccomend any specific places?"

Shou almost drops the tray she was carrying. "Can I... what do you think I... why?"

"Do I really need to explain? I have my needs. Plus, I doubt Reimu is going to look there. If I don't get into trouble, you won't get into trouble. So you shouldn't complain."

"But... you don't have any money. What do you plan to do, spending all day there?"

That's a good point. "Well, I figured that once they saw me, they would recognize how manly I am and immediately let me in for free."

Shou sighs. "I... you know what, I'll just stop asking questions." Good, that makes it easier for you. "Just go, alright? Try not to get into trouble, and I won't bother Byakuren with the specifics."

You walk out, waving back. "I'll tell you how it goes!"

"Please don't."

---

You return to the hideout. Nue has the disguise laid out on the table, along with a makeup kit and a map. She continues studying the map, not even bothering to turn around to talk to you. "You're back. Good. I assume Shou accepted your excuse?"

"Yeah." You glance at Kogasa, who is currently poking herself. "Although, Kogasa, you'll want to hang around the red lights district. I told Shou that I'd be there all day."

Kogasa replies after a moment. "Okay. ...why do have that weird look on your face, Nue?"

Huh, Nue does have a weird look on her face. "Er, Kogasa, it's a human thing. Don't worry about it. If the women who aren't dressed in much clothing start to get a bit pushy with you, politely tell them to leave. My disguise won't last under... careful scrutiny, alright?"
Kogasa looks confused, but agrees.

You examine the disguise on the table. "So, what's all this makeup for? Can't you just use your powers to make me look like a youkai?"

Nue shakes her head. "It only works on youkai, or humans who have learned how to use magic. Disguising people is harder then disguising inanimate objects, so it needs some upkeep on the end of the person disguised. Now, put on these clothes, and then I'll let you apply the makeup..."

---

Nue is good at this. Is this a girl thing, a youkai thing, or is disguise her specialty? Well, regardless, your skin now shows patches of faint scaliness, your eyes have creepy snakeeye contact lense things on, your nose is plugged up, and your tongue is forked (she had to use magic for that part; apparently, it will have to be renewed every ten minutes or so.) She even provided a fetching light brown outfit with yellow stripes and a general snake-theme going on.

"So, you are not only a master of disguise, but also a fashion designer?"

"Actually, Kogasa picked out the clothes. I had to keep telling her that you wouldn't want to wear a dress, though."

Kogasa pouts. "But all of the youkai I know wear dresses!"

"Yes, well, all of the youkai you know are female."

There's no time for bickering. "Okay, Nue, I think I'm ready here. Shall we go?"

Nue stretches. "Alright, let's go. Kogasa, you know what your job is. Stay safe, alright?"

Kogasa hugs Nue, who reluctantly recriprocats. "Okay! You two stay safe, also!"

---

And off you go! You ride Nue, who takes the form of a large bird, and soon enough find yourself nearing a village. She lands and turns back, and the two of you look at the small farming village. Nobody seems to have noticed you yet, but you are going to have to pass through some open farmland to get to the village proper.

"So, here we are. You need to make sure people know you are a youkai. You can drum up belief all kinds of ways. Now, the traditional way is fear, but it's up to you. After all, this is going to be their first impression of you."

You pause for a moment to think of how you will handle this.

What should your strategy be?
[ ] Be helpful.
[ ] Be polite but creepy.
[ ] Be threatening, but avoid violence.
[ ] Rough them up a little, maybe kidnap one or two and drop them off unhurt elsewhere.
[ ] SMASH! LOOT! KILL!
[ ] Write-in.

What should Nue do?
[ ] Stay out of sight.
[ ] Pretend to be your lackey.
[ ] Optional - what kind of youkai should she pretend to be?
[ ] Pretend to be a villager, and help work them into a panic.
[ ] Pretend to be your mount.
[ ] Optional - what kind of mount should she pretend to be?
[ ] Write-in.

---

Consider that you have no training or experience in combat.
>> No. 25016
...my formatting for the options keeps disappearing. Maybe I should use more then a single space to indent the ones I want indented.
I hope you can figure it out anyway.
>> No. 25017
>>25016

"Unnecessary" spaces and indents are automatically removed by the board software. That's why, for example, nobody here indents the first sentences of their paragraphs. If you want to indent a sub-option, the best you can hope to do is insert a character before the line; most people use the hyphen.

Your options then end up looking something like this:

[ ] Option
-[ ] Sub-option

It's not perfect, but we roll with what works.
>> No. 25018
What should your strategy be?
[X] Be polite but creepy.

What should Nue do?
[X] Pretend to be your girlfriend.

Always fun.
>> No. 25019
[X] Be polite but creepy.
-[X] Pretend to be your girlfriend.

Nothing can go wrong.
>> No. 25020
>>25011

It's not a problem. Just confused, since I was fairly sure I hadn't made that post.
>> No. 25021
[X] Be polite but creepy.
-[X] Pretend to be your girlfriend.
>> No. 25022
[x] Be polite but creepy.
Nue should:
[x] Pretend to be a villager, and help work them into a panic.

The two choices may seem at odds, but if played right, Nue getting them worked up over what we might do could be far more effective than actually doing anything. Fear of the unknown and all that.

Also:
[x] Introduce everyone to your familiar, and frequently consult it for advice... what do you mean you can't see or hear it? It's right there!

If we gather enough faith, maybe we can get a bat-snake for our rat-snake!
>> No. 25023
[X] Be polite but creepy.
-[X] Pretend to be your girlfriend.
>> No. 25024
File 126602497056.jpg - (425.23KB , 2000x700 , ehcloseenough.jpg ) [iqdb]
25024
[X] Be polite but creepy.
[X] Pretend to be your girlfriend.

"Alright, Nue, I've got a plan. First step, shapeshift into a hot girl."

"Huh?"

"You are going to pretend to be my girlfriend."

"Wait, is that really necessary?"

"Nobody will fear a youkai who goes into town with a hot girl and is only just friends with her."

"Couldn't I just-"

"There's no time for questions! Quick, quick!"

Nue looks annoyed for a moment, and then suddenly grins devilishly. "You want me to pretend to be your significant other, right?"

"That's what I just said."

"Alright. I'll become hot, give me a moment..."

Nue closes her eyes, and changes.

...into a rather handsome man. She now is wearing a tuxedo, with a red swirl on the leg, a red tie, and golden snake cufflinks.

"Come along now, dear."

She walks towards the village.
Well, that didn't go as planned. You run a bit to catch up, and take the lead. "Try not to flirt with me too much? It'd be embarrassing."

"Oh, but why would it? You were the one who asked for this." Nue chuckles.

"I asked for you to be my girlfriend!"

"I'm still female biologically. You only specified that I was supposed to look 'hot', though, and I think that this body does look quite hot."

Okay, correction, not a man. A trap. Not like the villagers will be able to tell the difference.

You sure hope that the power of belief doesn't turn you gay or something.

---

You reach the village. Along the way, all the farmers you passed would glance at you, but look away if you looked in their direction. Well, it's working so far.

A man hurries out. He looks a bit nervous, but determined. Perhaps a village leader of some kind? "Ah, honored sir, I trust you have come to our village in peace?"
You notice a few people hanging back, armed with various weapons.

You smile, making sure he can see your teeth (Nue used magic to make them very sharp when she renewed the disguise on your tongue, saying that she had meant to do so earlier but forgot.) Time to ham it up. "Yesss, of courssse. I come in peace, yesss yesss."

Nue clutches onto your arm. "Those men look pretty tasty, dear."

"Don't eat them, it'sss not polite."

The man is sweating, and the armed men look pretty nervous too. "So, if I may ask you, good sirs, what are you here for?"

"I am new to thisss place, so I felt I should sssee what the villagesss are like. Perhapsss I can leave a... good impresssion?"

The man nods, and then scampers off. "Right... right this way, sirs! I will show you around."

You smile, and follow him on an impromptu and very nervous tour.

---

You and Nue land outside the second village. "Hey, Nue, it just occured to me. If I pretend I have some kind of cool familiar, would it become real also?"

"Well, it might. I'm not an expert at this. It'd probably be diluting the belief you get, though, and make you end up weaker. I wouldn't reccomend doing it."

"Okay." Wait, better thing to ask. "Er, can you not go around acting like my boyfriend this time?"

Nue smiles. "No."

Okay. You can't really argue with her, since she is helping you out and asking for nothing in return. And plus she could probably crush you like an ant.

You enter the village. This one doesn't have any welcoming committe. Maybe it's because you didn't approach this one going over farmland. You walk into town square, with Nue hanging on your arm, and notice that this place has a traveler's inn.

You can smell food cooking inside. Your stomache grumbles. You realize that you had skipped breakfast.

---

"Ah, ah, we don't serve youkai here-"

An older man, presumably the owner, pushes the man at the counter aside, hurridly whispering something into his ear. The man turns to you. "Ah, excuse him. What are you here for, sir."

You lick your lips, letting them see your forked tongue. "I'm hungry. Can you prepare some food for me?"

The man ponders for a moment. "Well, we have a few mice in here. I'll go get them, right away!"

...mice? You see the flaw in your plan. Nue, meanwhile, has asked for a menu.

[ ] Man it up. Eat the goddamn mice, and you are sure to creep them out.
[ ] Maybe... maybe you can come up with a good reason to refuse?
-[ ] Optional- what will your reason be?
[ ] Wait, why does a traveler's inn stock mice? That must be a health code violation!
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 25025
[X] Man it up. Eat the goddamn mice, and you are sure to creep them out.

I wonder how mice actually taste?
>> No. 25027
File 126602785320.jpg - (832.14KB , 900x1273 , 43954c5a4f1e48a87747cfea356ac431.jpg ) [iqdb]
25027
[x] SSHHHHA! The mice are my besssst friendssss! How could you even sssssssuggest that they are food!
[x] I sssshould burn thissssss place and eat you! (Suddenly calm down and look to Nue) But that wouldn't be polite no, ssssssssssss. I'd ssssssssettle mysssself with cow meat... well done. (stare at him again)
>> No. 25028
[x] SSHHHHA! The mice are my besssst friendssss! How could you even sssssssuggest that they are food!
[x] I sssshould burn thissssss place and eat you! (Suddenly calm down and look to Nue) But that wouldn't be polite no, ssssssssssss. I'd ssssssssettle mysssself with cow meat... well done. (stare at him again)
>> No. 25029
[x] SSHHHHA! The mice are my besssst friendssss! How could you even sssssssuggest that they are food!
[x] I sssshould burn thissssss place and eat you! (Suddenly calm down and look to Nue) But that wouldn't be polite no, ssssssssssss. I'd ssssssssettle mysssself with cow meat... Medium-rare. (stare at him again)
>> No. 25030
[X] Man it up. Eat the goddamn mice, and you are sure to creep them out.
[X] Dude, meat is meat is meat.
>> No. 25031
[x] SSHHHHA! The mice are my besssst friendssss! How could you even sssssssuggest that they are food!
[x] I sssshould burn thissssss place and eat you! (Suddenly calm down and look to Nue) But that wouldn't be polite no, ssssssssssss. I'd ssssssssettle mysssself with cow meat... well done. (stare at him again)
>> No. 25032
File 126603898522.jpg - (31.59KB , 569x613 , Iseewhatyoudidthar.jpg ) [iqdb]
25032
[x] SSHHHHA! The mice are my besssst friendssss! How could you even sssssssuggest that they are food!
[x] I sssshould burn thissssss place and eat you! (Suddenly calm down and look to Nue) But that wouldn't be polite no, ssssssssssss. I'd ssssssssettle mysssself with cow meat... well done. (stare at him again)

No, you'd rather not eat mice. You focus the full force of your glare on the poor man and hiss disapprovingly. "SSHHHHA! You expect me to eat mice? I know many mice! Sssome I would even call friends! How would I like it if I ssserved you your friendsss as food?"

That man is definitely sweating now. Better keep up the pressure. "I ssshould burn thisss place and eat you! That would be fitting for your disssressspect."

You pause, and look at Nue. She does not seem to be very concerned. "But no, that would not be polite. No, no, no. I will let you go with jussst a... warning."

You turn back to the man, who has frozen in fear. "Remember your place, human. Do not disssressspect me or my friendsss again, and I will let you go."

You stare at him for another moment, as he sags in relief. "I'll sssettle for cow meat, thisss time. Well done please." Wait shit you forgot to elongate the esses on that last sentence. You hope he didn't notice.

"R-r-r-right away, sir!"

Okay, yeah, he's probably too busy pissing himself to notice.

Nue tosses the menu away. "I'll have whatever he's having." Must not have been a very good selection or something.

---

Well, that was a good meal. You rub your stomache as you leave the inn. "I could ussse sssome ressst right now. Feeling pretty sssleepy."

You glance around the village. Nobody in sight. They are probably all hiding. Nue elbows you. "Looks like word spread while you were eating. We're done here."

You nod. The disguise on your tongue and teeth wore off halfway through the meal, also, so it's for the best. Well, off you go.

---

The rest of the tour concludes without incident. You unfortunately don't get any chance to eat again, but you sure got a lot of beef in during 'breakfast'. And for free, too. Threatening to burn down the place worked like a charm.

You return to the temple after changing back to your normal clothes and removing all the makeup. You and Nue have dinner with the others, but everyone seems a bit too uncomfortable to talk with you. Maybe they heard about that 'red light district' thing after all. Hopefully they will get over it; it occurs to you that you haven't really gotten to know anybody but Nue, thus far.

You decide to take another bath after dinner. You approach the bathhouse, but notice Nazrin's dress folded outside. Not wanting to get into any hilarious wacky romantic comedy situations, you wait until she's done before you take a bath of your own.

And finally, you return to your room. Once again, Nue is waiting for you there. Is this going to happen every night?

"I'll have to be here while you sleep. The process of pouring power into you will take a while. If anyone comes in I'll tell you that you couldn't sleep and wanted me to read you a bedtime story, alright?"

Wait, what? What the hell kind of lame excuse is that? Is Nue out to make you seem as unmanly as possible?
"Okay." Wait, did you just agree? What kind of idiot are you? Maybe the promise of awesome superpowers is doing something to your judgement.
You go to sleep, watching Nue's bored face...

---

You look down, once again. My, you didn't expect this kind of transformation. You're kinda hot now. Not very snakelike, though. For some reason, you get the feeling that Reimu no longer will want to hurt you, either.
What's with all of the damaged furniture lying around, though?

---

You wake up. You open your mouth, and flick your tongue out into the air. Nue's still here, you can smell her. She doesn't smell all that good, actually. Fur, sweat, and sulfur.
Why are your eyes open? You were sleeping. You try to close your eyes... wait, no, you can't. Your eyes are already closed? Apparently, your eyelids are now transparent.
You turn your head. Yep, she's still there. Sleeping at the moment. You look down. Your arms are now scaly.
So, this appears to have worked. Pretty cool.

You sit up, and Nue stirs. "Good morning, Nue."

"Morning." She stretches. "I think... whoah!"
Suddenly, she reaches forward and puts the palm of her hand on your forehead. You feel a strange tingling sensation. "It... it appears this has worked far better then I intended. You have an alarming amount of magic power inside you now. It had almost broken the spell I put on you to conceal your presence."

"Oooh, so I'm really powerful now?"

Nue looks concerned. "I don't know why you would be... there's no way a human could have this much latent power and not express it earlier, and I don't think I gave you that much of my power..."

Suddenly, it looks like she had a realization. "The way you made it clear that you are new here... most people have surely heard that an Incident has been declared, and that something broke the border... maybe people thought that you must be a youkai with the power to break through the border?"

"And that made them fear me more and that unusual amount of belief has made me much more powerful?"

"Probably, yes. If you really made that much of an impression, though, then Reimu has surely heard of you. It'll only be a matter of time before she finds you..."

Nue roots around in her dress, and produces a number of blank cards. "Take these... they are used in danmaku, the form of magic combat of this day and age. You'll need some if you want to fight Reimu. I'll explain the rules to you, but as you are now a youkai some of it should come naturally."

You pocket the cards. Magic artifacts? Magic combat? This sounds pretty awesome!

You stand up and start off for the door, but Nue stops you. "You should let me disguise you, so that you appear human to the other people here."

"Oh, right. ...Actually, though..."

You concentrate. You can remember the feeling of being disguised by Nue, of your tongue and your teeth shifting inside your mouth...

You feel your entire body shudder, and suddenly your skin peels away. The old skin slides down your body and through your clothes like water, and pools on the floor. You look at yourself again... you look like you did before.

Nue whistles. "That was pretty slick. A bit inefficient, but a good enough disguise for this purpose. Pretty thematic also."

You grin as you open the door, the pool of old skin evaporating into nothingness behind you. Being a youkai rocks.

---

Breakfast again. You aren't up as early today, so everyone but Murasa and Nue are here already.

Byakuren looks up as you enter. She blushes a little when she sees you... pure and innocent, huh? "Did you sleep well?"

"Oh, yes, quite well."

Nazrin glances at you, and in a perfect deadpan says, "Nue's bedtime stories must be very good, then."

You knew it! You knew that stupid excuse would cause you suffering! "No comment."

You sit down, when Shou pokes you in the shoulder. "Good news! It looks like you aren't going to have to fight Reimu after all!"

She hands you today's Bunbunmaru.

BREAKING NEWS: PERPETRATOR OF INCIDENT FOUND, DEFEATED, TEA PARTY'D
And the illustration has a picture of a person you assume is Reimu having tea with... your roommate?

...

That bastard! Taking credit for your work! You knew he was a good-for-nothing idiot before, but didn't know he was a cheat!

You leap out of your chair, teeth grinding, and run out. You are going to go down to Hakurei shrine and clear up this misunderstanding!

Nue catches up with you. "Hey, hey, I heard the news. I'm not sure why you are so mad over this, but if you are doing what I think you are doing then you are going to end up fighting Reimu right away. You should learn how to use danmaku first!"

"I don't have time! Once this becomes public knowledge, nobody will believe I was the perpetrator anymore, and my power will fade, right?"

Nue blinks. "That's true. You'll probably have lost most of this excessive power by the end of today... but can you at least have a few pracice duels or something?"

[ ] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.
[ ] Stopping to have a practice duel or two would be worth losing a bit of your power, you guess.
>> No. 25033
[ø] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.
This power
>> No. 25034
[ø] Stopping to have a practice duel or two would be worth losing a bit of your power, you guess.
>> No. 25036
[x] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.
>> No. 25037
[x] Stopping to have a practice duel or two would be worth losing a bit of your power, you guess.

Battle plan.
>> No. 25039
[x] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.
We need to team up with Tenshi pronto. They'd do a nice team.
>> No. 25040
[x] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.
>> No. 25042
File 126604543596.png - (327.63KB , 769x1000 , ithinktouhouisaprettycoolgirl.png ) [iqdb]
25042
[x] There's no time to waste! She can just explain the rules on the way to the shrine.

You shake your head. "That would just waste time. I need to do this as fast as possible."

Nue sighs. "Alright. I'll explain the spell card rules on the way, then. But, first things first..."

She darts over to you, picks you up with one arm, and throws you straight up. "Fly, little bird!"

Okay. Flying. Alright, you're reached the apex of the throw. Maybe you should push down with your mind... not quite it, no. Pull up? The ground is getting awfully close... and a moment before you hit the ground, you stop in midair. That's it. Flight.

Nue grins. "Alright, let's fly to the shrine, then."

Man, being a youkai sure is making this learning magic stuff convenient.

---

The path you are flying over gives way to a staircase. You can see those shrine arch things up over on top of the staircase. A woman with long blonde hair and a rather complicated poofy dress sits on the bottom of the staircase, sipping tea.

"My, my. You are here earlier then I expected."

"You were... expecting me?" You notice that Nue is beginning to look a little agitated.

"Of course I was. Reimu still has yet to start Extra Stage, after all, and if you weren't the EX boss it would be a letdown. I didn't expect you to come for a half an hour or so, though... I suppose you skipped out on practicing?"

"Extra Stage?" You turn to Nue, who shrugs.

"Well, I'll go tell Reimu she has a visitor." The woman whips out a paper fan and covers her mouth. "Ufufufufu~" And then she promptly falls through the floor. A discomforting hole in space remains on the ground for a moment, watching you with a sea of unblinking violet eyes, before closing.

Nue nudges you. "That was Yukari Yakumo. She is the most powerful youkai in existance, I think. Or at least the most powerful one in Gensokyo."

"Should I be worried?"

"I doubt she's going to fight you. She is notoriously lazy."

"Well, onward and upward."

---

You reach the shrine. Standing in front of it is a young woman in red and white. You recognize her from the newspaper pictures. She gives you a sour look. "Are you here to donate, or?"

Yukari's upper body pops up out of a tear in space behind Reimu. She leans forward silently, and slips her hands into Reimu's shirt...

WHACK! Yukari slinks back into the hole, nursing a bruise on her head. "Reeeeimu, that was mean."

These are some seriously messed up people, not that you should talk.

You clear your throat. "Actually, I am here to correct a grevious error!"

Reimu does not seem to care.

You take a step forward, letting your human disguise shed. Oddly, Reimu does not seem to be the least surprised. "According to the Bunbunmaru, you found and defeated the person who was responsible for breaking through the border." You stick your thumb out at yourself. "However, that is not true, because the person who is responsible is yours truly! That bastard was taking credit for my hard work!"

Reimu facepalms. "So of course, another freak comes to me. What, did you expect me to give you a trophy?" She locks eyes with you, and you almost recoil. "Looks like I have one more person to beat up before I can rest."

Yukari's voice sounds out from directly behind you. "Don't forget that you need to fight the midboss first!" She shoves Nue forward.
Nue shakily pulls out a card from her sleeve. "Nue Sign: Danmaku Chimaera!"

They both take to the sky, and Nue begins firing a shower of lasers. Each laser splits into a line of energy bullets, and the bullets spin around and reform into lasers. With your enhanced youkai vision you can see Reimu roll her eyes as she dodges around the attack. "Come on. Couldn't you at least go with a better spell then that?"

Reimu pulls out a handful of pieces of paper and begins throwing them. After a few moments, Nue fails to dodge one of them, and... ouch, that looks like it hurt. Nue crashes to the ground, desperately trying to pull what appear to be magic amulets off of her arm. You wince in sympathy.

Reimu turns to you. "Right. So, a danmaku duel."

You nod. "Three-card match."

That seems to mildly surprise Reimu. "Huh. Mostly you powerful youkai tend to want long duels."

You, however, can't afford a long duel. "Let's get this over with."

You both rise into the air. You pull out a blank card... except it's not blank, anymore. You declare your first spellcard.

[ ] Immigant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"
[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"

---

And that's all for tonight.

While write-ins are possible, I reserve the right to reject them if I don't think they fit.
>> No. 25043
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
>> No. 25045
>>25044

HOLY BALLS SLOWPOKE.
>> No. 25046
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"

Bang.
>> No. 25047
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
>> No. 25048
>>25046
Inb4 foam bat.
>> No. 25049
File 126607609485.jpg - (358.17KB , 1920x1200 , whysobald.jpg ) [iqdb]
25049
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
Since we don't know the rules, we can shit on the rules. No matter how strong or fast the shrine maiden is, I don't think she can outrun a bullet. Or a homing bullet. Or a thousand of them.

Just sayin'
>> No. 25079
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
>> No. 25082
File 126610082621.jpg - (532.13KB , 1000x1000 , noshedoesntshootyou.jpg ) [iqdb]
25082
A bit short, but whatever.

---

[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"

"Immigrant Sign: Outsider Weaponry!"

You feel an incredible, comfortable warmth wash over your body as the spell takes hold. Suspended in the air around you, what must be at least two dozen guns appear. You glance back and forth. Most are pistols, but there are a few submachine guns there, and even one assault rifle. Each gun is pointing at a different angle. From each, a thin beam of light extends.
You point your pointer finger at Reimu, thumb extended upward. "Bang." A single energy bullet flies out from your hand directly at her.

All of the beams of light vanish at once, and the guns open fire.

Hooly shit. You've never used a gun before in your life, and this is definitely making up for it. Reimu, however, is less then impressed. None of the shots seem to be hitting her... in the single moment that those guiding lights showed, did she manage to get into a safe area?
No time to think, she has started throwing those amulets. You clumsily dodge one by flying to the side, and then wheel around to avoid another. Man she sure throws those things fast.
You need to take the pressure off yourself... you aim your finger at her again. All of the guns suddenly stop firing and change their angles, extending beams for another moment. You shoot her once again... and she has moved to another safe spot. Goddamit.
She throws a few more amulets, so you reangle the guns before she can get back into the flow. You reangle them again. Then again. Then again.

Okay, you are getting the hang of this. You move the guns around as fast as you can, and Reimu is so busy keeping out of their lines of fire that she can't even attack you. C'mon, all this needs is one slip-up on her part, and she is dead meat. (Wait, isn't that against the spell-card rules? You remember Nue telling you it's supposed to be non-lethal, while you were on the way here.)

Maybe the next one will do the trick... then, suddenly, with a gut-wrenching feeling all of the guns vanish at once, the bullets still in midair all poof away into nothingness, and the warmth of the spell drains away.

Better declare your next spell card. No sense in letting Reimu beat the crap out of you more. You reach into your deck, trying to feel for a stronger one, this time... here you go. Hopefully this one won't indicate where you are going to attack beforehand. You pull out another card, and hold it up towards the sky.

[ ] Position Sign "Bilocation"
[ ] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
[ ] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
>> No. 25083
[ø] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
>> No. 25084
[x] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
>> No. 25085
[x] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
>> No. 25087
[x] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
wtf
>> No. 25092
File 126612046227.png - (1.72MB , 1500x1071 , bombtiem.png ) [iqdb]
25092
[x] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"

"Unidentified: Invasion of Curiosity!"

Once again, a warmth spreads throughout your body. You keep your hand held upward, palm towards the sky, and a yellow orb of light forms there. It begins to spiral out from you, leaving a dense trail of smaller yellow energy-bullets that fly away from you. You feel another orb of light form, and another, and another...

Within a few moments the sky is full of yellow light. You shake yourself out of the dreamlike feeling of activating the spell, to find an amulet closing in on your face. Shitshitshit you can't move your hand from this position or the spell will end, you can feel it in the back of your mind. So, instead, you spin in place and the amulet sails by. Another amulet... you curl your legs up and it passes below you. Another amulet... you have to twist your waist to dodge that one. Another amulet... going straight towards your hand. It looks like Reimu caught on. The amulet, however, hits one of the balls of light leaving your hand, and the ball of light and amulet destroy each other. Oh, okay, so the balls can block shots... another amulet!

Reimu is beginning to get a hang of the pattern, you can see. That isn't a good sign for you, since then she will be able to devote more attention to attacking... but you have a surprise yet.

The oldest yellow bullets, back from the very first orb, finally reach the edge of their range. And then they double back, aiming themselves straight at Reimu. She very nearly gets hit, dodging the bullet so narrowly that you swear it passed through her arm. And there are more doubled-back bullets coming from behind her... she has dodged herself into a corner!

She pulls a card out of her sleeve. A spell of her own? Well, you can't hear what she called it, but a bunch of rainbow-colored orbs of light fly out of her, and they are flying towards you shitshitshit you have to dodge oh wait they home-

You feel the spell break around you, all of the yellow orbs exploding into smoke and the yellow bullets fading away. The warmth is driven out, and replaced by pain...

That hurt.

You've used two spellcards, and she's used one. Not doing all that well. You feel around in your deck, and pull out the strongest card your hands come upon.

[ ] Travel Sign "Immobility"
[ ] "Bridging Two Worlds"
[ ] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"

---

Man, I can not remember what the ReimuB bomb is called. Spirit Sign "Fantasy Orb" or something, right? I spent a truly excessive amount of time trying to look it up before giving up. Accuracy to the original is a very important goal of mine, which is why I am writing shitty fanfiction.
>> No. 25093
[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"

HEAVEN
OR
HELL
>> No. 25094
>Man, I can not remember what the ReimuB bomb is called. Spirit Sign "Fantasy Orb" or something, right?
Yeah, you got it correctly.
Going with SWR cards,
Spirit Sign "Fantasy Orb" costs 2 cards, and the powered up version, Divine Spirit "Fantasy Seal" costs 5 cards.

[ø] "Bridging Two Worlds"
>> No. 25095
[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"
>> No. 25096
[x] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"
>> No. 25098
[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"
>> No. 25100
[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"
SWR Sucked. IMO.
>> No. 25101
>>25100
I liked it. It's better than IMP and UNL, in my opinion.
>> No. 25102
>>25101

>UNL

Fuck
No
Not this shit again

"Unthinkable Natural Law" is just a nonsensical machine translation of Hisoutensoku. "Lacking Perception of the Natural Law[s of the East]" is much more accurate, though still completely pointless because "Hisoutensoku" is just the name of the giant shadowy thing. If you must use an abbreviation, just call it "Soku".
>> No. 25103
File 126617119658.jpg - (86.74KB , 469x428 , coolface_png.jpg ) [iqdb]
25103
>>25102
>> No. 25104
[X] "Bridging Two Worlds"

>>25102
Most everyone I know calls it UNL, me included. Stop being hysterical over a name.
>> No. 25105
>>25102

Except saying "Lacking Perception of the Natural Law[s of the East]" just makes you sound like a nerd. "Unthinkable Natural Law", otoh, sounds awesome and is in the style of the usual, in this case ommitted, English subtitles.


At any rate,

[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"

This sounds cool, and we had better go out with a bang, because otherwise we'll be remembered as the poorest EX-Boss ever, and considering what's happened so far in this story, that might negatively impact us in a very literal way.
>> No. 25107
[X] "Bridging Two Worlds"

Spellcards without prefixes tend to be used late in matches, so this seems strongest.
>> No. 25110
File 126621912972.jpg - (101.65KB , 490x690 , andyukariwasneverheardfromagain.jpg ) [iqdb]
25110
Today was a very productive day, in the sense that I did a great deal of nothing.

---

[x] "Bridging Two Worlds"

You hold the card aloft, and shout out the name. "Bridging Two Worlds!"

Huh. Pretty grand name there. Let's see if it lives up to it.

You feel warmth and power flow into you, far more then before. A blinding white light envelops you, but oddly you can see through it as though it was not there.

You are in the middle of a cloud of white light, and inside the cloud a constellation of yellow orbs appears. Floating in from the surrounding area, a sea of green orbs begin filling up the sky outside the cloud. Reimu twists away from the encoming green orbs, and throws an amulet... which evaporates the moment it touches your white cloud. So this spell is defensive also? That means you won't have to focus on dodging, which is a relief.

You concentrate further, and the green orbs begin spinning around you in wide orbits, each making it's own path. It starts out slow, though, and Reimu easily passes through the chaotic mess. Then, the yellow orbs begin launching themselves in her direction. At first only a few, and then more, and then more... soon enough it is a veritable torrent of yellow orbs, going out so fast that new ones can barely re-appear in time.

The green orbs begin going faster and faster, also. Reimu soon finds herself having to avoid green orbs coming from her left and right, and yellow orbs coming in from ahead. Her dodges become closer and closer, as the tempo increases more and more. Alright... you can feel that this spell will become near-impossible soon enough. The spell she used last time was powerful but short, so hopefully she will have to use two spell cards to simply not get hit this time.

She glances around, and pulls out a card. Alright! "Well, whatever. I'm getting tired of this... Fantasy Heaven!"

A ring of ying-yang orbs appear around her, and she stops dodging immediately. A bullet hits her... and passes through her body as though it was made of fog.

She lazily drifts towards you, passes through your white cloud unharmed, and gets up right next to you and wait is she going to hit you with that stick with the white tassle ouch ouch hey stop ouch ouch...

---

You are lying on the ground, exhausted. That last spell of yours breaking took a lot of out of you. You notice that Nue and Yukari seem to be having tea now, and are (uneasily, on Nue's part) making small talk. Well, it's nice to know just how riveting your battle was.

Reimu lands in front of you. "Alright. You got what you wanted, right?"

"Huh?"

"You came here complaining about somebody taking your credit, and I beat that guy up, so I beat you up also."

That... come to think of it, you really did not think coming here through. Maybe it was some kind of adrenaline rush from becoming a youkai? Or maybe you are just kind of stupid. "Er... I guess I did."

"Right. So, before you do any more bad things, remember the humiliatingly easy time I had beating you and remember that I can do it again."

But... did you really do anything bad in the first place? You scared a couple people, got a free meal, and damaged the border (but you didn't know that was a bad thing at the time.)

This is probably not a good time to argue. You nod.

Reimu slumps. "Alright, now it's time to take a bath. I feel slimy after seeing that disguise thing wear off."

"Give me a moment and I'll join you!" Yukari calls out happily.

"Like hell you will, you hag."

Alright, that... failed? Succeeded? Whatever.
You turn around, and signal to Nue that you are done here. She seems relieved to have an excuse to get away from Yukari.

As you pass the golden-haired woman, she whispers to you, "Congratulations on losing to Reimu for your first time. Don't worry about looking weak, it happens to the best of us." Then she smiles and skips over to the shrine, pulling a crystal decanter of some expensive-looking shampoo out of nowhere. Oddly enough, you feel sorry for Reimu for a moment.

Well, enough of this place. You'd rather distract yourself from this battle. You feel your ego hurting by being beaten up by a random girl with a stick and a bad attitude (and also awesome magic power and huge combat experience but whatever.) The two of you walk down the stairs, passing Shou on the way.

Wait, what?

Shou coughs. "Well, I knew something was up since yesterday, but that was a surprise."

Uh-oh. "I had Nazrin follow you yesterday, to make sure nothing bad happened to you. She reported that you exhibited odd behavior... hanging around the red light districts but not talking to anyone, and taking frequent breaks to go jump out and yell 'boo' at people. I wasn't... entirely ready to say that this wasn't just some strange fetish you had, but now I think I know what has been going on."

Her eyes narrow. "I'll be nice. I'll give you a choice: do you want to explain yourself to Byakuren alone, or everyone at once? We will accept whatever her judgement is either way, of course, but you might find one or the other more comfortable."

Nue laughs nervously. "Well... I'm off!"

Shou grabs Nue by the shoulder. "Don't think you will go unpunished either."

What to do?
[ ] A little one-on-one never hurt, right?
[ ] Maybe it'll go easier if there are more people there?
[ ] ANEMIA OPTION.
[ ] Write-in.

Strategy
[ ] Apologize sincerely and offer to make up for your deeds.
[ ] Come up with an excuse.
-[ ] Optional - what excuse?
[ ] Maybe if you give Byakuren puppy-dog eyes she will forgive you unconditionally. REAL MEN ARE NOT CUTE
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 25121
[x] Sure, you may have lied about where you were going, but you haven't put them in any danger. You haven't hurt anybody. So far you've been a nice guy; it was just a prank, so what's the big deal?
[x] Apologize to all of them for the trickery, but don't go out of your way for something so small and silly.
>> No. 25122
[x] Maybe it'll go easier if there are more people there?
[x] Apologize sincerely and offer to make up for your deeds.
>> No. 25126
[x] Sure, you may have lied about where you were going, but you haven't put them in any danger. You haven't hurt anybody. So far you've been a nice guy; it was just a prank, so what's the big deal?
[x] Apologize to all of them for the trickery, but don't go out of your way for something so small and silly.
>> No. 25128
You know, that write-in is nice, but it doesn't answer if you want to talk to Byakuren alone or not.
>> No. 25129
Actually, nevermind, I misread it. You confused me by hiding the answer to the first question in the second write-in and the answer to the second question in both write-ins. Sorry.
>> No. 25133
[X] Maybe it'll go easier if there are more people there?
[X] Come up with an excuse.
-[X] Having fun with Nue and Kogasa, seeing the land, and generally messing around seemed like fun.
>> No. 25134
>"Right. So, before you do any more bad things, remember the humiliatingly easy time I had beating you and remember that I can do it again."
This is the best line of Reimu's in any story that I can recall. I can almost see it being canon.
>> No. 25135
File 126630647515.jpg - (757.77KB , 849x1200 , gottiredlookingforapicture.jpg ) [iqdb]
25135
Well, I called it for this write-in, because I wanted to get at least one post before I sleep tonight.

---

[x] Sure, you may have lied about where you were going, but you haven't put them in any danger. You haven't hurt anybody. So far you've been a nice guy; it was just a prank, so what's the big deal?
[x] Apologize to all of them for the trickery, but don't go out of your way for something so small and silly.

"I'll go with everyone at once, okay?"

"Very well."

"But, uh, what was the big deal? I tricked them, sure, but-"

"Reflect on that yourself."

Well, that was helpful. You sigh. Shou turns to Nue. "Nue, you'd been doing so well lately. I think Byakuren will probably want to have a long talk with you. Meanwhile, I'll be investigating more into this and related matters. I better not find that you've been doing more things in secret, alright?"

Nue does not look happy at this juncture. You suppose you could rat her out, but she's been pretty nice to you so far.

You begin the trip back, preparing yourself for what is to come...

---

"Well, uh."

You are awkwardly sitting down on the floor of the room. Man, these japanese sitting positions are hard on the knees. The others are watching. Byakuren looks a little upset, Shou is giving you a tired look, and Ichirin and Unzan look disappointed. Nazrin looks uninterested, though, and Murasa doesn't even seme to be paying attention. Nue, however, is absent, you notice.
Byakuren speaks up quickly. "Go on. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"I... I know I tricked you guys. I pretended to be out visiting whores while I was really out going around scaring people with Nue.
I know I was betraying your trust and all. You are giving me free food and lodging and stuff, though I haven't had that many meals.
So... I apologize to you guys, for lying to you all."

Byakuren stares at you for a moment, and then gets look of sad resignation. "You have been a youkai for so little time, and you already think like one. But, I suppose I will have plenty of time yet to get through to you..."

But... you apologized. "So, do you accept my apology?"

"I do. But you haven't apologized for everything you have done, only for the lying. I have devoted my life to trying to promote peace and harmony between humans and youkai. To prove to humans that youkai can be good, and to teach youkai that humans are not just animals to play with and eat. For you to think of terrorizing humans as something so insignificant..."

"But it wasn't anything big, right? I just walked around, acted creepy some," and threatened to burn down a building or two, but you decide not to mention that, "and if I had done that back home... people would have thought I was a circus freak or furry or something and avoided me, yes, but they wouldn't have quaked in fear and given me free stuff to placate me. So it was their own faults for getting scared, right?"

Ichirin is the one to speak up, this time. "Yes, they are prejudiced, but acting creepy on purpose will just cement those beliefs... right, Byakuren?" Byakuren nods and smiles at Ichirin, and Ichirin and Unzan execute a terrorist fist jab in celebration.

Byakuren turns back to you. "For you to have become a youkai off their fear, you must have truly scared them a great deal. I will not know the full extent of this until Shou has done investigating, but I will eventually want you to make amends for it. As long as you agree to that, I will let you continue staying here."

Well, you could keep getting free food and lodging, or you could leave and find somewhere else to stay after purposefully tainting your own reputation.

[ ] Agree to her proposal.
[ ] Dis-

As if you would pass up on that offer. Once Shou confirms that all you unjustly got was a plate of beef, making amends will be easy, right? Right.
You nod.

Byakuren looks rather relieved, and Ichirin and Unzan are a bit happier looking too. Shou still looks tired (conducting investigations, doing construction work, cooking all the meals... just how much does she do around here anyway?), and Nazrin is looking at you blandly. Murasa seems to have fallen asleep.

Byakuren stands up and gives you a determined smile. "Well, I'll make a good youkai out of you, then! You are all dismissed, I'll accept that as an apology."

Byakuren leaves the room first, slowly refilling with energy as she goes. Shou walks up to you and whispers, "Byakuren might trust easily, but I'll be watching. Don't do anything funny." Ichirin and Unzan follow Byakuren out, and Shou soon leaves too. Nazrin follows Shou, lingering a moment to stare wordlessly at you.

You are currently alone in the room, except for the sleeping sailor girl.

What to do?
[ ] You should really check out the town this time, to get your mind off this.
[ ] Maybe you could try and make up for this after all, by helping out...
-[ ] Byakuren.
-[ ] Ichirin and Unzan.
-[ ] Shou. (It'd look really suspicious if you tried to "help out" Shou as she investigates your actions!)
-[ ] Nazrin.
-[ ] Murasa.
-[ ] Nue. (Nue is beyond help at this moment. You're not even sure where she went.)
[ ] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy... oh, wait, steal some food for her!
[ ] Eh. That's all too tiring. You'll just hang around house all day being a bore.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 25139
[ ] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy her some.

no no no, bad baby youkai, no stealing, we just promised to be good!
>> No. 25146
[x] Maybe you could try and make up for this after all, by helping out...
-[x] Murasa.
Maybe she needs a partner for her sleep-a-ton marathon? I can do that.
>> No. 25147
[X] Maybe you could try and make up for this after all, by helping out...
-[X] Byakuren.

Hey, she was blushing around us before, so why not?
>> No. 25148
>>25139
Well, the problem with buying Kogasa a meal is that you have no money. So either you will have to steal a meal, or you will have to find some work first.
>> No. 25149
[x] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy... oh, wait, steal some food for her!
>> No. 25150
[x] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy her some.
-[x] Or find a way to work for it.

Should have sincerely apologized.
>> No. 25151
>>25139
Append
[] Work/trade for it
>> No. 25153
[x] Ichirin and Unzan.
One of the few people who might actually be doing something useful we could assist with.
>> No. 25156
[X] Maybe you could try and make up for this after all, by helping out...
-[X] Ichirin and Unzan.

Lold at the terrorist fist jab.
>> No. 25157
You know what, calling it for

[x] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy her some.
[X] Ichirin and Unzan.

You have basically the whole day ahead of you, so gattai da etc etc. Class will begin pretty soon, so I won't be done writing for a few hours.
>> No. 25164
>terrorist fist jab
what?
>> No. 25166
File 126637260698.jpg - (191.96KB , 686x1007 , youkaimoe.jpg ) [iqdb]
25166
You know, when I said that you had no money, this angle simply hadn't occured to me at the time.
Also, it's this point that I realized that the protagonist has no name. Stopping for a vote would have broken up the flow, so instead I have used a stopgap measure.

---

[x] Didn't Nue promise to treat Kogasa to a meal today? You could go out and buy her some.
[X] Ichirin and Unzan.

You leave the room, thinking. Nue promised Kogasa to treat her to a meal, but Nue probably won't be any position to go anywhere soon.
You are about to leave the house when Shou stops you. "And where are you going?"

"I'm going to the village. I need to fill a commitment Nue made, because she's probably on house arrest now."

"Oh?"

"Well, Nue promised to treat Kogasa to lunch today."

Shou pauses. "Alright, fair enough." She measures a little money out of... presumably her wallet. "Take this, then. I know you don't have any money. I'll expect you to pay me back at a later date. If this is another ruse, or if you find yourself thinking that you might just take this money and run... well, I don't really need to tell you what will happen, right?"

"That's pretty nice, considering all the stuff I did."

"Well, it'd make Kogasa sad if she was stood up, right? I don't think she needs more disappointments in her life."

She lives in a glorified cellar, apparently, and sleeps on the table. A sad life indeed, now that Shou mentions it. Shou catches your attention again. "Tell her that I said hi, alright?"

You nod, and leave. Now, where would Kogasa be, this time of day?

---

The clubhouse is empty. Well, that's a bit unfortunate. So where do semi-homeless youkai go to play?
You open the exit again (it takes a bit for you to figure out how to do that snapping fingers thing Nue did, but you eventually figure it out.) Standing outside is Nazrin. She is staring at you. Again.

Is this girl mute or something? "So this is some sort of hidden room Nue constructed." You stand corrected.

"Er, I guess?"

"This patch of ground did give off a slight reading. Now that you have shown me the secret passage, I know why." Readings? Maybe those bent metal rods she have some kind of detecting magic or something.

A number of mice scurry by you into the clubhouse. "They will examine and inventory the room. What were you doing here?"

"I'm not sure where to find Kogasa. This is where I last saw her."

Nazrin turns around suddenly. "Follow me."

"Er, what?"

"I will locate Kogasa."

"Really?"

"Yes."

She takes off into the air, and you follow. You aren't sure if she is being rude of just very, very concise. But eh, it's convenient, so who cares.

---

You come to a forest path, and land somewhat to the side. Kogasa is huddling behind a tree, hidden from the view of the path. You walk up to her and tap her on the back, and she jumps. "Aaah! Oh, you. You scared me!"

"Blame Nazrin, she was the one who lead me here."

"Nazrin?" Wait, where did Nazrin go? Jeeze, no wonder Shou has her shadow you, she is one quiet mouse.

"Nevermind. You remember how Nue promised to treat you to a meal?"

"Yeah? Yeah?" She looks excited.

"Well, Nue won't be able to make it today, so I'll be doing it instead."

"Aw. Why's she so busy?"

Telling Kogasa the truth would feel like telling a little girl that her daddy is in jail. "Uh, something really important came up. She was sad she couldn't make it, though."

"Oh, okay."

"I don't really know the local restaurants, so you'll have to lead me."

"Okay. There aren't that many places which like to serve youkai. Mystia's fried eel stand is one, but I dunno if it's open this time of day. Mokou's yakitori stand is cool also, though, so let's go there!"

Sure, whatever. "Okay. Lead the way."

Whoosh flight whoosh whoosh.

---

So. A few customers here, but not many. It smells nice, though. Since you currently have your human disguise on your nose works okay, but it still feels natural somehow to flit your tongue out and get a better smell. You disguise it as licking your lips.

There's a woman behind the counter. Tall, long silver hair, and an outfit that combines poofy red pants and suspenders into a unified whole yet somehow doesn't seem totally dorky. Kogasa runs up and waves. "Mokou! Mokou!"

Mokou glances at Kogasa. "Oh, hey, Kogasa. I don't see you often. You here to eat, right?"

Kogasa nods happily. "He's treating me, cuz' Nue couldn't come."

Mokou turns to you. "Oh. Nice to meet ya. I'm Fujiwara no Mokou. I'd shake, but..." she wiggles her hands, which are currently occupied with chicken on a stick. "And you are?"

You introduce yourself, and root around for the money Shou gave you.

As you pay her, Mokou gives you an odd glance. "You have a weird aura. Are you a youkai in disguise or something?"

Your instincts are telling you that she is human. Kogasa said she served youkai also, so presumably she is a human who can stand against youkai, like Reimu. "Yeah. I just have a disguise on, since I don't want to get too many odd looks."

"Fair enough, fair enough... here, your food is ready."

She hands you a few sticks of chicken. You walk back to Kogasa, who promptly snatches all but one of them out of your hand and begins hungrily devouring them. So, she presumably doesn't have regular meals either? Er, conversation topic.

"So, uh, how was your day, Kogasa?"

"It was okay. I tried to scare a human, but failed. So I went to that road and decided to try to ambush someone, and then you scared me." She glances back at the food. "How was your day?" She immediately begins eating again, but watching you this time. Apparently table manners isn't something all youkai are taught.

"Uh. Well, I flew around some, and eventually ended up fighting Reimu."

"Oh! Did you win?"

"No. I threw my best spells, but she didn't even get hit once."

"Aw. Well, I've fought her twice, and lost both times. I've heard she has beaten every major youkai in Gensokyo at least once, even Yukari."

Well, that's not too surprising. But this conversational topic seems about exhausted. "So, Kogasa, yesterday when I visited earlier you seemed to be sleeping in the clubhouse. Why don't you stay with the other people at Myoren temple?"

"I'm a proud, individualistic youkai! I won't rely on other people for hospitality."

"But... you were basically living in Nue's basement. She made that place, right? So you were relying on her hospitality."

A beat. "I... I guess I'm not a proud, individualistic youkai then."

"They give you free food if you stay there."

"You... you think they'll let me stay?"

"Byakuren seems pretty nice. I don't see why not."

"I'll go ask if I can stay there later then, after I'm done playing today! Thanks for pointing that out!"

So... good deed for the day #1? Or was that a bad deed, since it means there will be yet another person sponging off Byakuren's hospitality?
Eh, even if it turns out bad nobody can fault you for helping out Kogasa.

---

You track down Ichirin. She is currently sitting around in a room near the main enterance to the temple, playing cards with Unzan. It's kind of funny to see the big cloud man carrying a hand of cards. But, this is no time for thought, it is a time for action.

"So, Ichirin. And Unzan too, I guess. Can I help you two guard?"



Ichirin turns to you. "I suppose you can if you want. But will you really be able to help?"



"I have youkai powers now. That should be at least some use for guarding, right?



"That's true." She pauses, then turns to Unzan. "Know any good card games that work with three people?" Unzan whispers something back, and Ichirin turns back to you.



Oh hell. You've been a door guard for less then five seconds, and a big problem has already come up. "No, sorry."



"Well, you can just watch. Unless you want to play me or Unzan."



"Shouldn't you at least be doing this outside, in case anyone attacks?"



"There has not been a single person to attack so far. If someone were to attack, we are close enough to run to the door and deal with the intruder."



That doesn't seem like a very smart philosophy. "How are you going to see attackers coming?"



"There's a window."



"But you are busy playing cards. And a window doesn't give you that wide a view."



"I can feel the presence of powerful youkai."



"But what about weak youkai? Even a weak youkai could hurt a human coming to the temple, right?"



"Youkai don't attack the temple, so I don't need to worry. I go outside to guard during high-risk times, like when the youkai are stirred up."



Oh, whatever. "Eh, I'll just watch you play cards." You sure hope that the temple gets attacked, so it doesn't look like you are slacking.



---



A few hours later, not long after, you are assured, Byakuren has begun lecturing Nue, the main door bursts open. You, Ichirin, and Unzan scurry out of the room. A young woman in black and white has entered, with a sack slung over her shoulder. She pants out, "I'm being chased by youkai!"



Well, this sounds like an attack! You rush outside to meet the attackers.



Outside the temple are three youkai, all rather young-looking. The first is green-haired with a blue dress, and elaborate wings. A fairy, probably. Bigger then the other fairies you've seen before, though. Perhaps an unusually powerful one? One has white and blue hair, with a black dress and three red wings (one coming out of her head, for some reason.) Some kind of bird youkai? What kind of bird has head-wings? She looks like the weakest of the three. The third has brown hair, some simple, loose-looking white clothes, a brown mantle, short horns, and goat legs. A satyr? Satyress? Whatever. Time to guard the shit out of this temple.



You step forward, letting your disguise fade away as you do. All three of them suddenly recoil in shock. Now that you think about it, it is kind of creepy looking.



"I won't let you at-"



You are cut off mid-sentence. Not in the sense that you are attacked or such, but your sentence suddenly stops. In fact, the entire world has gone quiet. The satyress steps forward, arms to either side, and the other two seem to be making soundless words. The saytress holds up three cards. So, a three card duel, eh?



Well, that's too bad. You are still too tired, and you probably only have enough energy to use one card. Still, she doesn't look that strong. You nod.



Strategy:

[ ] Focus on dodging, time out her cards.

[ ] Play aggressively, try to get as many shots in as possible.

[ ] Play defensively until you see a good chance, then attack.

[ ] Write-in.



What spellcard should you use?

[ ] Immigant Sign "Outsider Weaponry" (Odd, you can't seem to touch this one. Maybe they are once-per-day use?)

[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"

[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"



How should you use the spellcard?

[ ] Use it right away.

[ ] Keep it in reserve as a bomb.

[ ] No spellcards. You'll capture all her cards or die trying!

[ ] Write-in.

---

So, yeah, probably should name the main character. I'll take votes for that unless you people really like him being nameless.

Votes for the name of his roommate also if you want. I'm not that good at coming up with names, and this way it'll be like pokemon where you name your rival.
>> No. 25167
File 126637277694.jpg - (450.74KB , 950x600 , hnnng.jpg ) [iqdb]
25167
Whoah, newline explosion!

If you wondered why the second half of the update had so many spaces, that's because I did half of this update in gedit and the other half in notepad.
>> No. 25168
[x] Play defensively until you see a good chance, then attack.
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
+[x] Keep it in reserve as a bomb.
>> No. 25169
[ ] Focus on dodging, time out her cards.
[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
[ ] Keep it in reserve as a bomb.

Don't really care about a name.
>> No. 25170
[x] Play defensively until you see a good chance, then attack.
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
-[x] Keep it in reserve as a bomb.
>> No. 25172
File 126639281335.jpg - (127.06KB , 700x592 , somefairies.jpg ) [iqdb]
25172
It is disturbingly hard to find images of Satyrs which do not involve sex, nudity, or seductiveness. (Which I guess makes perfect sense, but still.) Have some fairies instead.

---

[x] Play defensively until you see a good chance, then attack.
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
-[x] Keep it in reserve as a bomb.

Alright. Gotta be careful. Wait until there's a good chance for you to land a hit. You decide to save your spell so it can be used as a last-minute defense, like Reimu used hers.

You both lift into the air, and the fight begins.

She swings one arm and a half-circle of fast brown kunai fly out. She swings the other and a half-circle of slow-moving brown orbs fly out.

She continues doing that, alternating which side the attacks come from. It's a pretty simple pattern overall, so over the course of a few waves you get fairly close and then throw a yellow danmaku bullet from a short range. She jerks to the side, but you were ready and lead another shot straight into her. She winces, and then pulls out her first spellcard.

Oddly, despite the fact that the world around you is shrouded in total silence, you can still hear her declare the card. "Silence Sign: Tinnitus!"
She draws a short knife and points it at you, and it glows with a faint brown light. Brown orbs wink into existance around you and then fade away momentarily. None of them appear touching you, but it's still enough to make you a bit nervous.

She waves the knife, and a wave of brown kunai danmaku flies out.

You just barely dodge them. These brown orbs restrict your movement too much. There's no way you can do this again... you calm yourself down and watch more carefully, as she launches another wave of kunai. A moment before one of the brown orbs appears, you can see energy gathering in the air... it's fairly subtle, but if you concentrate on dodging it's enough for your boosted youkai reflexes to keep you from dodging the wrong way. You dodge the kunai more easily this time, now that you know that you can make larger movements as long as you watch the air around you.

Now that you've figured out the trick, it's time to get onto the offensive. You wait until the moment before she throws another wave of kunai, and furiously shoot as many danmaku bullets as you can in that span, changing the angle a little bit with every shot. She is caught by surprise and dodges into one of your bullets. The spell fizzles, and she slumps a little bit.

She resheathes the knife, and then swings one arm. A full circle of slow-moving brown orbs erupts from her, along with a full circle of fast-moving kunai. You dodge out of the way of the kunai, and after a moment she does it again. The orbs she fired last time begin rotating around her as they fly away, and this time around you have to dodge both their slow angular motion and the kunai's fast linear motion.

Okay, think. This attack is a bit denser then the first one she used, so you won't be able to get close. You will have to put more into offense. Pow pow pow pow pow... you fire a concentrated stream of danmaku towards her, and this time she seems more used to your shots and goes for over twenty seconds dodging around before you can land a solid hit.

She pulls out another card and declares it.
"Silence Sign: Symphony of Silence!"
She pulls out her knife once again, and points it at you. Around her a few dozen brown orbs appear, and they all take off in your direction in strange, seemingly random arcs.

You weave through the shots. Their odd trajectories make them fairly hard to dodge. She slashes with her knife, and a line of brown kunai instantly appear mostly perpendicular to you and fly at you quickly.

By the time you are done dodging those, she has created one big brown orb and thrown it straight at you. It comes at you with surprising speed, and midway through explodes into a ring of brown orbs.

Then she repeats. This eclectic pattern is harder to adapt to then a single repeated trick, but the individual parts aren't that hard. By the third repetition you have it down fairly well, and have decided that you can probably get into close range with this. You'll just have to time it right... those kunai are too fast for you to dodge at point blank. So you wait until she next fires kunai and... now!

You fly forward as fast as you can, banking to the side to avoid the big orb, and open fire immediately while she begins to gather up curvy shots. She seems to have been expecting this, though, and flits to the side. Shit... she fired off the curvy shots. Luckily they don't curve that fast, so at this short range their trajectories are basically straight. You dodge through... she slashes down... and you nail her with a shot. A brown kunai evaporates what must have been half a foot in front of you. Close call!

She grits her teeth, and immediately pulls out her last spellcard.
"Silent Killer!"

She waves the knife around, and a dozen streams of brown bullets fly out of her, each at a different angle. They are coming out in a cone-like shape, overall. The cone-shape begins to narrow as the streams turn towards you. In a few moments it will be a cylinder... you feel an uncomfortable sensation right behind you and wheel around entirely on instinct.

A brown kunai! You fly backwards. That thing appeared almost directly behind you. If you hadn't looked away from her...

You feel a sudden gust of wind from behind you. Shit! A knife breaks skin on your back as you whip out a card. In a moment you feel a warm rush of power, and a ring of snakes of yellow light erupts out of your body. You turn around to find the satyress directly behind you and reeling backwards, knife dropped from her hand in shock from getting hit by your spell point-blank. The spell immediately fizzles, and she falls to the ground with an audible "thump".

You land yourself gently on the ground... wait, audible? It seems like sound has come back. You clear your throat. "Well, I won! The temple is safe another day... unless one of you two wants to fight me, of course."

The other two do not look very sure of themselves.

"That's enough." Ichirin's voice?

She walks out, and Unzan deposits the young woman who had burst in. Huh, you hadn't noticed how beat up she looks. Now that you get a better look, she sure dresses weird. Witch hat, an apron with a big M on it... seriously now.

The witch (?) coughs. "You got lucky. I so would've won if it hadn't been in such close quarters there."

Ichirin laughs. "No way. Nobody can beat the strength of Unzan's fists... our last fight was the fluke, not this one!"

Wait a second. They were fighting? You were out here being a model gate guard, and those two nincompoops were attacking the poor person who came in seeking help. This is so backwards! "What's going on here?"

Ichirin turns to you, realization dawning. "Oh, right. You haven't heard of Marisa. Well, she's notorious for robbing people. I figured something was up if she was running into the temple while being chased, so I beat the crap out of her. All in a day's work, of course!"

Those three youkai stomp up to Marisa, looking angry. "Give me my books back!" "Give me my headphones back!" "Give Cirno back!"

Ichirin yanks at the sack Marisa is still carrying, but isn't able to get it to budge. After a moment Unzan comes to help, and it looks like it's taking all of their strength to get Marisa to let go of it. Having liberated the bag, Ichirin removes a couple books, a pair of brown headphones with white trim, and... a bound, gagged, and unconcious fairy?

The three youkai run over and pick up their respective items. Maybe you should be doing something professional and guardlike. You resolve to stand there and look tough.

Ichirin, on the other hand, seems to have offered for them to come inside and have tea. Oh, whatever, you're thirsty after that anyway.

---

So. Tea. You've gone from fighting to bewildered to sipping tea.
Marisa is pretty animated now. "I needed more books for my library, okay! Patchy has put in better security measures, so I need to find a new source."

"Can't you buy some or something? I'm tired of having people steal my books!"

"And what about Cirno? She was minding her own business and you-"

"That fridge I got from Kourin broke down, okay? I needed something, just for a little bit, until I got a new one. Otherwise all of my mushrooms would go bad!"

"Why my headphones?"

"Uh, I dunno. They look pretty snazzy, I guess."

Ichirin leans forward and smiles giddily. "So, how did it feel to get owned?" She and Unzan high-five, for no apparent reason. Ichirin seems to have been made way too happy by a victory that was supposedly no big deal.

Marisa shrugs. "Eh, it happens. That time the big shadow or whatever showed up, Cirno beat managed to beat me. Doesn't mean she's better then me. Sometimes people get lucky."

All this talk of a battle you didn't even see is kinda boring. Time for some small talk, maybe? You turn to the satyress. "So, uh, good fight."

"I guess. It was my second danmaku battle."

"Really? Mine too. Does that mean you are new here also?"

"Yeah. I've been looking for a way to get into Gensokyo for a while, a few months by now. But two days ago the border weakened for some reason and I managed to get through. I ended up in some mountains near this one shrine-looking place. I hadn't even been here for a day when this mean lady in red and white beat me up and asked me if I knew anything about a squashed donation box, though. I said no, and she left."

"Oh, Reimu? She beat me up too. I hear it happens to almost everyone here." Wait, is that Marisa leaving in a huff? Did Ichirin start badmouthing or something? ...actually, she looks kind of shocked, so maybe she did go too far or something.

Well, a relevant question comes to mind. "Uh, Ichirin, is Marisa powerful?"

"Yes. She is almost on the same level as Reimu."

Okay. You don't like the sound of that. Yes, it might be a good idea to not offer to guard any more in the future, in case something actually dangerous comes for Ichirin.

Well, you still did good enough with this day of guard duty... kind of. You beat up the wrong person, yes, but at least you beat up somebody who had some malicious intent of some kind. Can you call that good deed of the day #2? Okay, why not.

---

Dinner goes by without much incident, after you spend a few more hours "guarding". Nue is back, and Kogasa is here also. Byakuren seems to have cheered up some. Perhaps it is because of the one, possibly two, good deeds you did today.

You take a bath, once again having to wait for someone else to leave the bathhouse. Kogasa and Nue, this time... you only saw Kogasa's clothes outside, but both her and Nue leave. Are Nue's clothes all generated by her shapeshifting ability, or was she just bathing fully clothed? If she really does wear clothes that are really part of her body... well, matters like this are very important things to reflect on while entirely naked.

You return to your room. The day isn't really over yet, but after having two danmaku duels in one day you are pretty exhausted. Before you go to sleep, though, maybe you should plan out tomorrow.

Plans... (pick two)
[ ] Check out the human village.
[ ] Help out Byakuren.
[ ] Help out Shou. (She said she will have finished the investigation by the end of tomorrow.)
[ ] Help out Nazrin.
[ ] Help out Ichirin and Unzan. (Guard duty wasn't that exciting. Maybe sometime later.)
[ ] Play with Nue and Kogasa.
[ ] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.
[ ] Write-in.

---

By the way, your current knowledge of the incident:

stage 1: ???
stage 2: mountains near Hakurei Shrine
boss: unnamed (?) satyress, youkai of silence
stage 3: ???
stage 4: ???
stage 5: ???
stage 6: ???
boss: your roommate, ???
extra stage: hakurei shrine
midboss: Nue Houjuu, youkai of unknown form
boss: you, youkai of travel
>> No. 25173
[x] Help out Byakuren.
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa.

Not worried about the order. Helping out Byakuren should be interesting and will hopefully get us brownie points, but I also want to see where we stand with Nue right now.
>> No. 25174
[X] Check out the human village.
[X] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.

Ichirin seems like fun in this. Im thinking Murasa must be bored without any seafarers to terrorize.
>> No. 25175
[X] Check out the human village.
[X] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.
Sleep all day? Sing me in.
>> No. 25176
[X] Help out Byakuren.
[X] Play with Nue and Kogasa.

I do believe I will wait on helping out sailor girl.
>> No. 25177
[X] Check out the human village.
[X] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.

>you, youkai of travel

How does that work?
>> No. 25178
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa.
[x] Help out Nazrin.
>> No. 25179
[x] Help out Nazrin.
[x] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.

As much as I'd like to hang around with Kogasa and Nue, laying low would be a good idea and we should get to know Nazrin and Murasa. We also owe Nazrin for helping us find Kogasa.
>> No. 25181
>>25177
Ex boss > Last boss

While we should have been the last boss due to being the cause of the incident, we were actually stronger than our roommate. This is probably the reason for it... or nobody believes we really did cause the incident, and our roommate gets the credit anyway.

This is kind of cool, though. We've just started out and we only have one more level until Phantasm.
>> No. 25183
>>25181
I kinda meant the whole "youkai of travel" part, not why we were an EX boss.
>> No. 25184
>>25183
Probably because of our breaking into Gensokyo from the outside. People likely think that we can travel anywhere.
>> No. 25186
[x] Help out Byakuren.
[x] Check out the human village.

I would vote to play with the resident troublemakers, but doing that after potential Byakulecturing won't be as fun.

>>25172
>satyress
I'm not sure what makes me cringe more; the outdated, archaic, unnecessary "-ess" or the whole notion of a female satyr, which sort of defeats the point of satyrs, as I recall.

Aside from that, damn fine update.
>> No. 25187
Oh, yes, Satyrs were all male in the original myths. Female satyrs were entirely an invention of artists, I believe. I was doing it in the grand Touhou tradition of throwing mythological accuracy out the window for the purpose of moar lolis.

By the way, at the moment

[X] Check out the human village.
[X] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.

is winning, if I counted right. I'll write in a few hours. I'm not going to call it yet, though, in case some last-minute votes come in.
>> No. 25193
>>25187
>I was doing it in the grand Touhou tradition of throwing mythological accuracy out the window for the purpose of moar lolis.
I sort of guessed.
>> No. 25213
File 126648024538.jpg - (17.15KB , 420x420 , pimpmybottle.jpg ) [iqdb]
25213
[X] Check out the human village.
[X] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day.

It seems like a good idea to check out the human village. You'll be living near it for however long you stay in the temple, after all. Also, maybe you should go see what Murasa does all day. Of all of the people in the temple, she is the one who has interacted with you the least.

With that resolution, you go to bed.

---

Huh, you can't remember a single thing about your dream. Maybe you didn't even have one? For some reason, you half-excepted to dream about Kogasa. You've heard that dreams often have to do with what you were thinking about in the day, and Kogasa's situation did strike you pretty strongly. Well, no use dwelling on silly dreams. You have an agenda to pursue!

Once again, Shou is the only one up. She doesn't look very good. "Didn't get much sleep?"

"This investigation is taking up a lot of my time, but I still have to do housework and cooking."

"Er, speaking of, how is it going?"

"Wait until dinner. I'll announce my results then."

Oh the suspense. You get some breakfast from her quickly and then tell her you are going to visit the human village, to see the sights. She doesn't stop you (although, who knows, maybe she is having Nazrin tail you again.)

---

Oh man that was a funny joke. Nazrin. Tail. See, Nazrin has a tail, so... oh, nevermind.

Well, you've reached the human village, anyway. It's pretty bustling. Village is too weak a word, honestly. This is at least a full-blown town. You can see all kinds of people here, and the streets are lined with shops. Maybe you walked into the market district?

You idly browse the stalls. Most of this stuff is pretty low-tech, things you presumably would expect to find in Japan a few hundred years ago, but there are also some hints of improvement. Items that require electricity, for instance. So Gensokyo is in the process of modernizing, it seems? You know some about how youkai and magic work, and a little bit how Gensokyo works, but it strikes you that you know very little of what goes on here. Bad things happen semi-regularly, and a girl with a ridiculous red and white outfit with detached sleeves goes around beating people up. That is roughly all you know. Maybe you could find someone here who knows more about the history of Gensokyo?

You shrug and wander off, leaving a vendor looking mildly dissapointed that you don't want one of the handsome fired clay pots on display.

After some aimless wandering, you come to a rather impressive statue of a dragon. It's eyes seem to glow faintly. You surmise that this is town square, by the arrangement of the streets. Well, this is a nice statue and all, but you can hardly ask it what the history of Gensokyo is like... can you?

Actually, on second thought, you wouldn't be that surprised if this was a magic statue that answers history questions. You lean closer to it and whisper, "So, know anything about the history of Gensokyo?"

...

No answer. Guess it's not a magic question-answering statue.

You turn around, and a little girl is looking at you curiously. "You were talking to the statue." Not a question. A statement of fact.

"I suppose I was, yes."

"And you are new here, too." Oh, right, your clothes do make you look a bit out of place... still need to get a new outfit.

"I suppose I am, yes."

"And, on top of that, you are a youkai."

"I suppose I- wait, how did you know that? I mean, of course not!" Sheesh. Does this human disguise fool anyone?

"I had recieved word that a youkai had entered the village. There are magic spells here, designed to detect such intrusions."

"That makes sense, I guess." Maybe that's why Kogasa took you on a path that skirted the village when going to Mokou's place, yesterday? "So, uh, why are you here?" ...also, how is she so articulate? She smells like a human, but she does not talk like a kid of her apparent age. Also, while you are willing to forgive youkai for having weird hair colors, pink hair and pink eyes are inexcusable on a human. (Though, now that you think of it, you do remember seeing some ordinary people in town with blue hair...)

"I was curious. I keep a record of all the youkai in Gensokyo, and I have heard that some new youkai have entered recently." A pint-sized biographer, then?

"So, you want me to tell you my story, for your records or whatever?"

"As long as I have a chance."

You remember what you were thinking of earlier. "In exchange, can you find me someone who can tell me about the history of Gensokyo?"

She smiles. "It's a deal."

---

Wow. Her house is pretty posh. Is she of a noble family?

You both sit down at a table, and a servant prodives tea. After taking a few sips, the girl turns her attention back to you. "I am Hieda no Akyuu, a historian and chronicler of Gensokyo."

"You look pretty young to be a historian."

"As the ninth child of Miare, I have access to all of the memories of my previous lives. I have accumulated a great deal of history."

Oh. Okay, past lives, whatever, you'll believe it without question by now. "So, what did you want to ask me about?"

"Well, first I'll want to know where you are from..."

---

The interview goes on with little incident. Akyuu offers you the chance to request something to be put into your entry when the newest version of her report is published. You tell her you'll consider it.
She fills you in on quite a deal of the history of Gensokyo. It's not amazingly interesting, but you feel it's probably valueable information. You get some information on newer history also. Details on the events in the last few decades, things like that.
You thank her, and leave. This is probably enough of the village for today.

---

Lunch is a bit lonely. Shou and Nazrin are both out, but Shou left some food for Ichirin to reheat. There's some table-talk. Kogasa seems quite happy to be having regular meals, and Byakuren spends most of the meal talking with her. Ichirin tries to brag about beating Marisa, but Nue will have none of it. It got pretty old last night. You talk with Nue some. She won't say what her punishment was, but she does seem a little down. Probably some kind of house arrest or probation. And Murasa once again goes without doing much.
Murasa. You really need to figure out she she does all day. After lunch is over, you follow her, and she... goes back to her room. Does she really sleep all day?

"Hey, Murasa, can I sleep with you?"

That sure got her attention. Why is she giving you that look- oh! "I don't mean that in a sexual way. I just realized that I hadn't really interacted with you, and if your preferred method of recreation is sleeping I'm okay with that."

"It's okay. I guess I have been sleeping a lot, lately. But if there's another person, I won't be resting. We could be doing much more interesting things." Wait is she flirting with you? "Can you help me with something?"

Okay. You never figured you'd find yourself making out with a sailor, but apparently that time has come. "And can you bring some sandpaper?" Wow, Murasa, that's pretty kinky.

You find sandpaper surprisingly quickly (Shou had left some in a supply closet, presumably for construction work,) and go to Murasa's room. There you find... a mostly-complete model ship. Oh.

"I've been making this recently, when I feel like it. I want to put it into a bottle once I am done."

"Well, I'll be... happy to help." You try your best to keep the mild disappointment from entering your voice. Your ridiculous, utterly misplaced hope was wrong after all.

"Okay. I have glue and wood here. The tools are here. This is almost done, but it could still use some sanding." Thus the sandpaper. Yes, yes.

---

You spend an hour or so finishing the assembly, and then sanding it down to a reasonable level of polish. It is at this point when a question occurs to you.

"How are you going to get the ship into the bottle? I thought you were supposed to assemble it inside a bottle, not outside."

Murasa gives you a thumbs-up. "Not a problem. I have just the trick... get the bottle I prepared over here, alright?"

You pull the bottle out, and set it on the dresser next to Murasa's futon."

She lifts the ship, and holds it over the bottle. She motions for you to hold it in place, and then pulls out a ladle.

Concentrating for a moment, she taps the model ship. In an instant, the glass of the bottle ripples like water and the ship sinks through the top of the bottle, landing inside with a slight splash. Ripples pass through the bottle, but after a few seconds it returns to it's original smooth shape.
You tap the bottle. Solid again. "That was pretty cool. How did you do it?"

"I have the power to make ships sink."

And that was certainly a creative use for the power. You stand back, admiring your handiwork (though it was mostly Murasa.)
Murasa does too.

Silence prevails.

You look back at Murasa, and she is staring at the bottled ship almost longingly. "To think that for so long I was trapped, never able to leave the ocean, until Byakuren freed me. ...and now that I am here, I have begun to wish for the sea again."

You aren't sure what to say.

"Not being able to leave this place was okay back when it was the Palanquin Ship. I was the captain. I had freedom, and I had a task to do. But now that the Palanquin Ship is gone, and we live in this temple..."

She has begun to tear up a little. "...I don't have anything I can do for Byakuren anymore."

She turns away from you. "I don't feel like talking anymore. Goodnight."

Alright, alright, you can read the atmosphere. You leave, and close the door behind you.

So... you have a few hours until dinner, but not enough time to do anything major. You were already out once today, anyway. At dinner, Shou will give a report on the results of her investigation into your little outing, so if you have anything special to say over dinner it might be a good time to do so now.

Until dinner... (choose two)
[ ] Take a bath.
[ ] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little.
[ ] Hang out with Ichirin and Unzan some.
[ ] Look around the temple some.
[ ] Write-in.

At dinner... (pick any that apply)
[ ] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[ ] Apologize again.
[ ] Ask if you can get any clothes that don't stand out as much.
[ ] Write-in.
[ ] Don't do anything special.

Tomorrow, besides carrying out your punishment, what should you do? (pick one)
[ ] Check out the human village. (Eh, seen it already.)
[ ] Help out Byakuren.
[ ] Help out Shou.
[ ] Help out Nazrin.
[ ] Help out Ichirin and Unzan. (Guard duty wasn't that exciting. Maybe sometime later.)
[ ] Play with Nue and Kogasa.
[ ] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day. (Seeing her again so soon would be a bit...)
[ ] Write-in.

---

Sorry for making you vote for so many things at once, but I don't think dinner will be a long enough scene to warrant an update all for it, and it's getting pretty late as-is.
>> No. 25217
Until dinner... (choose two)
[x] Take a bath.
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little; ask them if there's anywhere else of note in the temple

At dinner... (pick any that apply)
[x] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[x] Apologize again.
[x] Ask if you can get any clothes that don't stand out as much.
[x] Perhaps ask the others about Marisa just to see who she is.
I want to try to make it known how Ichirin managed to win against Marisa; she needs this. And stopping Marisa is a very impressive feat that not even the SDM's best efforts could do.

Tomorrow, besides carrying out your punishment, what should you do? (pick one)
[x] Help out Nazrin.

We do still owe her for her help with finding Kogasa.
>> No. 25220
Now:
[x] Take a bath.
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little.
Not much else in the way of options, and I still want to have a talk with Nue.

Dinner:
[x] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[x] Ask about the history of the temple.
[x] Apologize again.
All play and no work makes Murasa a dull girl. Bringing up Ichirin's victory over Marisa will probably make her feel even more useless. Also want to follow up on what Murasa said about the Palanquin Ship etc.

Tomorrow:
[x] Help out Nazrin.
Some part of me thinks we should only choose the 'Help out Byakuren' option after we've helped out all her subordinates first.
>> No. 25221
Until dinner... (choose two)
[x] Take a bath.
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little; ask them if there's anywhere else of note in the temple

At dinner... (pick any that apply)
[x] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[x] Apologize again.
[x] Ask if you can get any clothes that don't stand out as much.
[x] Perhaps ask the others about Marisa just to see who she is.
Poor Muramasa ;_;
>> No. 25228
>Okay. You never figured you'd find yourself making out with a sailor, but apparently that time has come. "And can you bring some sandpaper?" Wow, Murasa, that's pretty kinky.
I have to say, that made me laugh.

Until dinner:
[ ] Take a bath. Why? Today wasn't particularly stressful and we can just shed a layer if we need to freshen up.
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little.
[x] Look around the temple some.

At dinner...
[x] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[ ] Apologize again. We'd just be picking at the wound.
[x] Ask if you can get any clothes that don't stand out as much.

Tomorrow:
[x] Help out Nazrin.


>>25221
>Poor Muramasa ;_;
Around here we call her Murasa. 'Muramasa' is the katanakana spelling.
>> No. 25229
>>25220 here. Change my '[x] Take a bath' to '[x] Look around the temple some.'
>> No. 25238
File 126653227643.jpg - (136.18KB , 640x640 , palmtoptiger.jpg ) [iqdb]
25238
>"Hey, Murasa, can I sleep with you?"
>"I don't mean that in a sexual way. I just realized that I hadn't really interacted with you, and if your preferred method of recreation is sleeping I'm okay with that."
>Your ridiculous, utterly misplaced hope was wrong after all.
Heh, I love this story.
>A pint-sized biographer, then?
apalmtoptiger.jpg
>> No. 25248
File 126656559727.jpg - (661.69KB , 1000x1800 , hnngspoilerz.jpg ) [iqdb]
25248
Until dinner:
[x] Play with Nue and Kogasa a little.
[x] Look around the temple some.

At dinner...
[x] Ask Shou to find something that Murasa can do.
[x] Apologize again.
[x] Ask if you can get any clothes that don't stand out as much.
[x] Perhaps ask the others about Marisa just to see who she is.

Tomorrow:
[x] Help out Nazrin.

Well, you might as well see what Nue and Kogasa are up to. Nue looked like she needed a little cheering up, anyway.

You almost head out to the clubhouse, but decide to swing by Nue's room first. Yup, she's there. Maybe this is a house arrest after all.

"Hey, Nue. I was checking in to see how you were going." You would just out and say that you were coming in to play around, but after that slip with Murasa it might be best to not say anything that could possibly sound sexual.

"Oh, it's alright." No it's not alright!

"Do you know if Kogasa is still here?"

"I think she's exploring the temple."

Well, that was convenient. Combines both of your goals in one go, even. "Want to go find her, give me and her a guided tour?

It'd be more interesting then moping around in your room."

"I guess."

---

Finding Kogasa wasn't hard. You found her staring at a closet. "Hey, Kogasa!"

She turns. "Oh, hi! I was exploring."

"Yeah. Hey, want Nue to show you around? I need to learn the layout of this place better, anyway."

"Okay!"

"Well, you might as well start right here. Nue, what's this closet for?"

"Uh, I think it's an umbrella closet."

Nue pauses. Why do you get the feeling that she realized something that just flew over your head? And why is Kogasa still carrying that umbrella while indoors?

"There are no umbrellas in it."

"I'm not sure why we have an umbrella closet in the first place, especially this distance from the door. I bet Shou made a few more closets then we really needed, and then covered it up by giving them uses like this."

You really are missing something. "Maybe you could keep your umbrella in there, Kogasa?"

"I'd be lonely!" Huh?

Nue notices your confused look. "Kogasa is a karakasa. That is, an umbrella that gained sentience and learned to magically take on human form."

Oh. Okay, that makes about as much sense as the other things you have seen so far. Also explains why the umbrella has, like, a huge tongue and (now that you look more closely) a little sandal. "You know, Nue, if you hadn't out and told me that I bet we could have had humerous misunderstandings for the next five minutes, easily."

"That kind of stuff isn't nearly as humerous for the participants as it is for people watching, you know."

"If I were to make an autobiography, I wouldn't want it to be boring. A few jokes and funny anecdotes could spice it up."

Kogasa looks confused. "But you broke through the Border and turned into a youkai and went around fighting people. That's not boring."

"I suppose so. But it's not funny either. Er, but anyway, shouldn't we be taking the tour instead of chatting?"

Kogasa nods, and you turn to Nue. "Lead on!"

---

Well, that was informative. Nue must have been taking the most confusing route through the temple as possible. You could have sworn you passed through every hallway at least twice. You do end up coming out with a lot more knowledge of how to navigate the place. It's pretty big for the relatively small number of people living inside, with several empty guest rooms. It's not as though you had huge trouble before, though. Kogasa ends up doing most of the tour sneaking around, probably pretending to be a spy or something. You provide some background music for her. The mission impossible theme, songs from James Bond movies, stuff like that.
Overall, a lot more fun then walking around a temple should be.

But now, you have to go to dinner. Not normally an arduous task, but you will learn the results of Shou's investigation. You hope that it will go over well now that everyone has had time to cool down...

You enter the dining room and take a seat.

Dinner starts out normally at first. Murasa is the only one absent; for all you know, she fell asleep in her room after then.

Shou had time to cook, apparently, so at least you don't have to eat reheated food. Of course, Kogasa seems to be happy with food period.

The moment everyone has sat down and been served food, Shou begins her report. "I know you all want to eat, so I'll make this quick."

She clears her throat, and then looks at you. "The village people were, over all, very creeped out by you. Obviously, because otherwise you would not have been able to become a youkai. They also were under the impression that you had to do with the breach in the border, which was also true. Of course, Aya's news articles and other, more reputable sources of news have since convinced them that someone else was involved."

She glances at Byakuren. "Now, you had for the most part not acted outwardly agressive. You only acted creepy yet polite, and I found that most of the villagers thought that was merely you 'being a youkai'. Now, that is a result of their own stereotypes, yes, but... if you really were acting naturally for you it could be excused, but since you were purposefully trying to do that it is reasonable to say that you contributed to reinforcing their stereotypes. However, because of the circumstances I cannot recommend that your punishment be to go and apologize to them, since they did not realize that you were doing anything wrong."

Byakuren nods her agreement, and Shou continues. "There is one matter of particular note, however. You entered an inn and demanded food, then threatened to burn down the inn. I understand that it was merely a bluff on your part, but you were still using their fear of you for your advantage. In addition, you left without paying." She turns to Byakuren. "Given that, I recommend that his punishment be to make up for the cost of the food he got for free, at least in part."

Byakuren thinks for a moment. "I will assign him his punishment later, in private."

"I would like to say that I am sorry, again. I didn't realize this was such a big problem when I did it, but I probably should have."

Shou nods. "Then, let us eat."

Immediately the tension in the air evaporates, and people begin eating. Well, you can at least engage in some smalltalk, right?
"Anyone knows a place I can get more clothes? The ones I have on now are comfortable, but they stand out a lot in public."

Byakuren nods. "There are some tailors in the village, as well as clothing shops."

Nazrin looks up from her food. Wait, are there mice on her plate again? "Or you could go to Kourindou. The man there stocks all kinds of things."

Kogasa pauses her eating also. "Or you could try on some of my clothes!"

"Wait, you have multiple sets of clothes?" Nue asks.

Kogasa nods happily. "They all look the exact same though!"

"I'm sorry, I don't think I'd look good in a dress." Kogasa looks a little sad. "Uh, but thanks for offering. I really appreciate the concern."

"Where do you keep the other sets? I didn't see you bring in more then one set of clothes."

"Nue, stop pestering her."

Right. Another question, then. "Hey, Ichirin. I must admit I don't know that much about the people here, so... who exactly IS Marisa, anyway?"

Ichirin looks happy to talk about her win again. "Oh, yeah. Marisa is this human witch, right? She is really good at magic and a pro at danmaku, so she's considered second only to Reimu in the art of danmaku dueling. I've heard that, despite the fact that she is a compulsive thief, she is more warmly-regarded then Reimu is."

Nue shoots Ichirin a wry look. "I think that's just because she keeps stealing people's hearts too."

"I don't know about that. But, anyway, me and Unzan beat her fair and square. Unzan's fists of fury, and my danmaku support... we're totally unbeatable. I mean, she and Reimu have fought deities and stuff. And we beat her!" By this point, Ichirin seems to be lost in her own world. Unzan is busy flexing, on the other hand. Well, 'flexing'. Does he even have muscles? He's a fucking cloud!

You tune out the rest. You've heard it like three times so far, and Ichirin doesn't even seem to notice you are attentively staring a bit to her side. Oh, wait, this is a part you should say something in response to. "Uh-huh. It was pretty cool, yeah." Okay, safe statement...

...

Having run out of ideas for smalltalk, you let the things overs say wash over you. Byakuren told an anecdote involving some lady's man monk. Maybe he was her brother? You weren't paying that much attention. Kogasa was still confused why you keep refusing to wear skirts. Unzan complemented Shou on the food in no weak terms... probably. For all you know, Ichirin could be saying the wrong things for fun, and Unzan could just be too good-natured to object.
After dinner ends, you realize there is one thing you could tell to Shou... you approach her as she is clearing the table.

"Hey, could you do me a favor?"

She glances at you quizically. "Maybe?"

"Well..." How to put this? "I was talking with Murasa earlier. I got the impression that she is, uh, feeling useless now and has fallen into some kind of depression. So... could you give her some kind of job, to make her feel useful?"

Shou pauses. "I... I have been so busy lately, I never even talked to her. I should have noticed this before, but now that you mention it, it makes sense."

She thinks for a moment. "I don't think she is any good at most household chores, but I'll find something for her to do. Thank you for showing me this."

Good deed for the day #1, it seems. Shame you don't have any time to do a #2.

---

You stop by Byakuren. She tells you that you are to work off your debt to that inn tomorrow, and she will consider asking you to do various goodwill-type deeds at future times in addition. It seems reasonable enough, so you agree.
You then take a bath, and go straight to bed.

---

You walk towards the schoolbuilding, filled with dread. Will today finally be the day? Will your girlfriend finally snap and kill you? Or will that other girl who keeps trying to sleep in your bed strangle you? Or maybe that succubus will kill you in a much more pleasant way.
Man, having so many girls with the hots for you sucks when they are all so dangerous. For some reason, you instinctively know

that if you try anything risky or decisive there are going to be a lot of people somewhere on the internet complaining about it, anyway.

---

Jeez, a dream about being a transfer student into a school full of quirky yet hot girls. Like you were the protagonist in an anime or something. But no use dwelling on stupid dreams. Off to breakfast, then off to go wait on tables or something.

Once again, Shou is the only person here. She seems more relaxed, probably due to that investigation being over. It's weird how you keep getting up so early though... you were never an early riser before, but you seem to be now.

You have a quick breakfast and say bye to Shou and you're off!

---

You shed your human disguise on the way, and pick up the ridiculous youkai outfit Kogasa made for you. This way they'll recognize you.
And... you have to admit, flying feels pretty good. It's unlike anything you've felt before. And the sun is so warm! You don't feel as good when it's late and cold, but right now it's pretty nice.

Ah, there's the village. You land and stretch. Flying straight up to it... people have definitely noticed.
But you wouldn't want to stand around and be creepy! You walk straight to the inn.

Oh, hey, there's that guy from last time. The older one. His eyes widen. "You- you're back? Do you want to be, er, served again?"

You frown. "Actually, I'm supposed to come here and apologize. For threatening to burn the place down and stuff."

He double-takes. "Really?"

"Yeah. I was told to by Byakuren Hijiri. Also, I'm supposed to work off my debt to you. For not paying for that last meal."

He seems a bit incredulous. "Well, maybe that weird blonde girl really was telling the truth." He shakes his head. "Well, I guess you can wash dishes. Unless you know how to cook."

"Washing dishes it is, then." Might as well get this over with.

---

There is nothing fun or amusing that can possibly happen when washing dishes. You are sure of that. Or at least, you tell yourself that, because anything fun or amusing would probably end up increasing your debt.
Luckily, nothing fun happens, and it is most definitely not an amusing way to spend half a day.

But... temple, sweet temple. It feels good to be back. You just missed lunch, sadly, but Shou saved some for you.
Om nom nom nom.

And now for the second order of business for today: helping Nazrin out. It seems she is going to leave soon to do... whatever it is she does all day, so now is the time for action!

Ah, there she is. "Hey, Nazrin. Can I help you out?"

"Yes."

Okay. Helpful. "It would be nice to know how I can help you out."

"Follow me, and I will explain on the way."

She immediately takes off. Ookay. You follow.

"So, Nazrin, what's the deal?"

"I suppose I should explain from the beginning."

Nazrin glances back towards the temple. "Shou has lost a certain... item. The Jeweled Pagoda of Bishamonten, to be exact. She has tasked me with retrieving it, but has kept it's absence a secret. It would be embarassing for her if others found out. I have spent the last week looking for it."

"Did you ask her to retrace her steps?"

"Of course. I have checked every area she could have possibly lost it in. I have no idea how she loses that thing so thoroughly."

"And how can I help you, then? I'm not anything special at searching."

"At the very least, you can comb the area my dowsing has located. You would be helpful if we ran into any powerful youkai, in addition."

"Okay. I have to warn you, my power has drained away significantly. I think it's leveled off now now, but I'm definitely not as strong as I was when I fought Reimu." You reach out with your mind, and 'feel' her aura. She does not feel very strong to you, though she is most definitely stronger then a normal human. "I'm stronger then you, though, so maybe if we ran into any medium-powerful youkai?"

She says nothing. Well, not everyone is willing to engage in this senseless banter with you, it seems.

---

"We have arrived."

Well, now, this is a pretty nice forest. There's a big mountain near it (you recognize the mountain as the location of that underground enterance Nue showed you), and it even goes a good distance up the thing.

The two of you land in the forest. "I have picked up a treasure reaction coming from this area. You search in that direction.

I will have my mice fan out also, and if the item is found they will notify you."

"Alright. Stay safe, and stuff like that."

And you split up.

Quite a nice forest, here. There are lots of trees, and grass, and flowers, and... oh hell, you know nothing about forests.

But you can still search. Search for... well, a jeweled pagoda. Nazrin never said what it looks like, so hopefully it will be very shiny and visible.

Okay. Not behind that tree.

Not in that bush.

Maybe it's in that ditch? Nope.

Maybe that lady knows? She sure is carrying a very shiny-looking thing...

One of the mice bites you, then scurries off. That wasn't very nice!

Well, time to introduce yourself. "Hey, babe, what're you doing in a forest like this?" Oh god, did you really say that?

She turns around. "Oh, a local?"

"A local? I guess that makes you an outsider, then... though I'm new here myself."

She nods. "This place is amazing. It's full of all kinds of historic artifacts. Perfect for me..."

She poses. "Raquel Whatley, world-famous (youkai) archeologist!"

Is this woman for real? "I've never heard of you."

She deflates a little. "Well, I'm not world-famous yet. I'm hoping that once I get a bunch of stuff here in Gensokyo then I'll become world-famous. But..." she puffs up again, "I will not be deterred. I, Raquel Whatley, will not surrender, no matter what manner of red-white or black-white attacks me!"

Nazrin flies up. "One of my mice told me you found the pagoda." She notices the other woman. "But it seems you were not the first."

Nazrin steps forward, staring menacingly at the archeologist. "That is the Jeweled Pagoda of Bishamonten. It belongs to my master, Shou Toramaru. Return it."

"Such an historic artifact as this? It does not belong to any one person, my friend, it belongs to us all! It belongs in a museum, where it will be preserved for future generations as an example of ancient religious artwork!"

Negotiations, in short, are not going well. Time to show these girls how men do diplomacy. "Hey, you! Yeah, you, world-famous youkai archeologist. I challenge you to a danmaku duel! If you win, I get the pagoda."

She poses. "And if the winner is me, Raquel Whatley, action archeologist, then you will guide me to more treasure!"

"Okay. Sounds fair. Four card duel?"

"Very well. Just give me a minute, my back is a bit sore from all this digging."

She begins doing stretches. While she does, you examine her. Not like that! She does have a nice figure and all, but more importantly you examine her to see what your chances of winning are. And... it's not looking all that good. She is a little bit stronger then you. You have never fought someone who had more power then you, yet... Reimu was more experience then power, and that goat girl was pretty weak over-all.

Nazrin notices your discomfort. She whispers, "If you want, I can steal the pagoda while you two fight and run away before she notices."

Strategy
[ ] Offensive!
[ ] Defensive!
[ ] A mix?
[ ] Write-in.

First Spellcard
[ ] Immigant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"
[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"

Accept Nazrin's offer?
[ ] No.
[ ] Yes.
-[ ] Pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda, when Raquel notices.

---

Don't reach too much into the dream, please. I've just been running a bit low on dream sequence ideas. This one was kinda a stretch.
>> No. 25259
[x] A mix?
Offensive when necessary, defensive when necessary.
[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
Something that's (presumably) confusing/tricky to read and that will keep her attention focused while...
[x] Yes.
-[x] Pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda, when Raquel notices.
... Nazrin makes off with the goods. Given our lack of experience and our opponent's supposedly superior strength, we'd likely lose this duel anyway.

>>25248
I like those dream sequences, such as how this one was based on GH.
>> No. 25262
I like the dream sequences. Also?
>"It would be mice to know how I can help you out."
Guys, since people will stop fearing us, we'll get weaker and weaker. SHould we try being the 'Youkai of X' or just keep dueling and pray that our strenght raises by itself?

[x] A mix?
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
[x] Yes.
-[x] Pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda, when Raquel notices.
>> No. 25269
[x] Snake-like! Stay defensive but punish openings swiftly.
-[x] Play up your own reputation before the show starts. "The great snake rat who shattered the border and matched spells with the Hakurei shrine maiden. A conqueror of satyrs, my very presence makes men tremble. Face me if you wish, but be warned, the snake strikes faster than the eye can see!" It may sound cheesy, but if she believes you're stronger than her...
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
[x] Yes.
-[x] If you lose, pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda.
-[x]If you win, you fairly acquired your spoils too quickly for her to notice.

She seems even newer than us, yet is already more powerful than our current state. She's probably gaining strength simply from flaunting that made-up reputation of hers. Faith in a lie made us what we are, so why not use some half-truths to better our odds now?
>> No. 25270
[x] Snake-like! Stay defensive but punish openings swiftly.
-[x] Play up your own reputation before the show starts. "The great snake rat who shattered the border and matched spells with the Hakurei shrine maiden. A conqueror of satyrs, my very presence makes men tremble. Face me if you wish, but be warned, the snake strikes faster than the eye can see!" It may sound cheesy, but if she believes you're stronger than her...
-[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
[x] Yes.
-[x] If you lose, pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda.
-[x]If you win, you fairly acquired your spoils too quickly for her to notice.

Deleted previous vote, going with this instead.
>> No. 25271
File 126661733752.gif - (8.21KB , 241x358 , yayscience.gif ) [iqdb]
25271
>>25270
Sorry, I had already written this up before you posted that.

If it's any consolation, convincing a single person who isn't even planning on sticking around in Gensokyo that you are awesome is not going to accomplish that much.

---

[x] A mix?
[x] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show"
[x] Yes.
-[x] Pretend that Nazrin has double-crossed you and ran off with the pagoda, when Raquel notices.

You nod, and Nazrin backs off.

Raquel finishes stretching, and then puts the Pagoda into her backpack. "Okay, I'm ready."

You both lift into the air. You shed your human disguise, and she pulls out... dual pistols? Shit, you really don't want to get shot.
Well, time to proactively not get shot. You point your hand at her, and release several concentric rings of yellow orbs. Time to test her defenses.

She quickly squeezes into one of the gaps in your attack, and then opens fire with the pistols. Oh, whew, they fire danmaku bullets. White bullets for the right gun, black bullets for the left gun (or are those suppositories?)

You dodge, and as you do that you clench your fist and you release a stream of yellow orbs. The angle of the stream quickly begins to oscillate, turning the stream into a wave.

She is pushed back, and ducks through a hole in the spreading wave. Looks like she is playing it defensive. She fires another burst of bullets, but they are easier to dodge from this distance.

Alright. Time for another wave of rings...

This time she flies straight forward, weaving through gaps in the rings, guns blazing. Whoah shit, time to use a spellcard.

"Snake Sign: Mysterious Snake Show!"

Two rings of snakes erupt from your body. One flies straight out, and the other curls around so it can fly out at a different angle a moment later.

However, she only sees the first ring. When the second one flies out, she panics and declares her first spellcard.

"Dating Technique: Carbon Dating!"

She flies backwards rapidly, as the sky behind her fills up with large brown orbs. She holds her arms out wide and swings them both forward, gun and all, and the large orbs lauch themselves towards you.

It's not a very dense pattern of them, though, and they aren't all that fast. There must be some trick... ah. Once the orbs reach about halfway to you, they begin to shrink and emit fast-moving white and black spheres.

You dodge past a rapidly shrinking orb, ducking under a white sphere, and release another wave of snakes. The orbs are easy to dodge, but those fast-moving spheres they give off are launched at seemingly random directions. Problematic, to say the least.

You quickly find yourself frantically dodging the fast-moving spheres, while she is obviously beginning to understand your pattern. While it's a surprise at first, it's not too hard after the first few waves. This isn't going well for you... it doesn't look like you are going to hit her, so your only chance is to time out-

WHACK!

A black sphere nails you in the head. That hurt!

A number of fleeing snakes evaporate, and you pull yourself back together before you can get hit again. Luckily, though, after a few more seconds of dodging spheres her spell ends on it's own.

Well, time to see if you can force her into using another card. You hold both of your hands in front of you and clench your fists, and two oscillating streams of yellow orbs fly out. She pulls back a bit and pushes her way through the streams, and then you are forced to halt them for a moment to regain energy. This time, though, instead of flying forward guns blazing she begins rapidly firing around at random angles.
And the shots begin curving around in midair, all towards you. Wonderful. You launch a quick ring of yellow orbs and then turn your streams back on, while weaving between the curving shots.

This time, she doesn't pull back any to dodge your streams. Instead, she pushes forward and squeezes between them. Getting bolder, eh?
However, she didn't plan it quite right. She pulled out from between the two streams while they were contracting inward, and thus found the stream she had pulled through swinging back towards her.

She quickly pulls out another spellcard. "Forgotten History: Rise and Fall of Sumer!" You can feel the energy from this card. It's definitely a step up from her last one.

A white sphere flies in from out of your field of vision and hits the stream, evaporating some of the bullets. It then stops moving.

More white orbs and black orbs begin flying in, destroying your own projectiles where they "land"

All is still for a moment, as her spell has stopped firing and you have not quite recovered enough to fire more streams of danmaku.

You hold your hands forward, but then notice that the spheres suspended in the air have begun to grow.

This doesn't look good.

You glance around, and you see more spheres surrounding the battlefield, probably preparing to come in also. You consider pulling out a spellcard. You haven't tried out all of your mid-tier ones, so maybe one of them would protect you against this? Although, it might be better to save a card like that for later in the match. (Also, is that a mouse creeping into her backpack?)

Choose a card.
[ ] Immigant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"
[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show" (You already used this one.)
[ ] Position Sign "Bilocation"
[ ] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
[ ] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"

Change Strategy?
[ ] Switch to the offensive!
[ ] Go full-defense!
[ ] No need.
[ ] Write-in.

---

I was going to make a joke about carbon dating, but after google image searching "carbon dating" I have already become sick of them.
>> No. 25273
[x] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
[x] Switch to the offensive!

By the way, is it immigant or immigrant sign?
>> No. 25275
>>25271
It's fine. I was the first one to vote for those options, so it's my own bed I'm lying in anyway.

>>25273
It's 'Immigrant'. Also, that card is pretty much all-out offensive (see Reimu battle), and we really want something defensive here.

Position Sign 'Bilocation' might work, as existing in several places at once seems to imply some sort of instantaneous free movement. Then again, it could just be kage-bunshin-no-jutsu with us still stuck in the middle of the oncoming attack.

Either of the Travel Signs could work as well, but it's hard to make anything from the names. 'Abundant Step' miiight encompass some sort of evasive manoeuvre, and 'Peerless Nomad' literally means a matchless ability to wander... eh, I dunno. Will vote after I've eaten.
>> No. 25276
Immigrant Sign.

By the way, if it wasn't clear, Outsider Weaponry, Abundant Step, and Mysterious Snake Show are your weakest spellcards. Similarly, Bilocation, Peerless Nomad, and Invasion of Curiosity are your average ones, and Impediement, Bridging Two Worlds, and Grudge Bow are your strongest ones.
>> No. 25278
[x] Position Sign "Bilocation"
Change Strategy?
[x] Go full-defense!
>> No. 25280
Actually, since this is only a 4 card duel, I can't really justify choosing Abundant Step if it's one of our weakest.

[x] Position Sign 'Bilocation'
Hoping this will get us out from the middle of the spheres + leave behind a double to take the hits or something. The name just gives me that kind of vibe. Peerless Nomad would be my second choice.

[x] Change Strategy
- [x] If this card gives us an opening, switch to the offensive!
>> No. 25281
[X] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
[X] Switch to the offensive!

I love the word "peerless". It makes shit sound badass, it does.
>> No. 25283
[x] Position Sign "Bilocation"
[x] Go full-defense!

And if/when Nazrin's 'treachery' is noticed, we can shout "That dirty, double-crossing rat!"
>> No. 25284
[x] Immigant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
Bring a gun to a gunfight
[x] Full defense!
>> No. 25285
[x] Position Sign 'Bilocation'
[x] Change Strategy
- [x] If this card gives us an opening, switch to the offensive!

>>25283
No anonymous, you are the (snake) rat.
>> No. 25291
File 126664421863.gif - (9.55KB , 377x287 , yaygoogleimagesearch.gif ) [iqdb]
25291
Counting votes for "offensive" as votes for the write-in.

---

[x] Position Sign "Bilocation"
[x] If this card gives us an opening, switch to the offensive!

You shouldn't waste any time. You pull out your own card. "Position Sign: Bilocation!"

You feel energy tingle around your body, and for a moment a strange sensation you cannot even describe. You turn your head to the side... and look yourself in the eyes. Creepy.

But... no time to waste. These orbs are growing, and the other ones have begun to fly in. The two of you split up, one going to the left and one to the right. You hear Raquel's voice ring out. "You think that will protect you? I can tell which of you is the real one at a glance."

And that does seem to be true. You notice that the density of orbs is much higher around you then around your duplicate. It seems she can't aim them, but can at least point them in your general direction.

This'll be tricky. You feel the attack instructions of the spell wash over you, and controlling two bodies at once while they are both using spells is almost too much. You nearly get hit several times, and your duplicate does in fact end up getting nailed at least twice. However, the orbs pass through without doing any damage.

So... start this out weakly. Focus on dodging at first. You let out several concentric rings of yellow orb danmaku, and then end it with a single targeted yellow kunai. The other you does the same time, although he starts a moment later. She dodges it pretty easily. It would be disappointing, but you know that this spell is capable of a lot more firepower... you just need to wait for the right moment.

The orbs are really choking off your moment now. You are in a single safe patch, and even though you are getting used to controlling this spell, you can barely dodge. There's simply almost no room to avoid the shower of orbs. In fact, in a moment, there will officially be no room at all...

The shower of orbs stops. A moment later, all of the swelling orbs pop, each giving off a light ring of small orbs. Suddenly you are in the middle of a chaotic cloud of small danmaku.

After a few tricky moments you come out unharmed... and to find that the spell is repeating. Alright. Wait for all the orbs to land in place, since they are going to destroy your danmaku as they land anyway, and... now! The moment the last orb lands in place, you ramp the firepower up to maximum.

You begin raining out circle after circle of yellow orbs, and the other you begins rapidly alternating between circles of yellow orbs and aimed kunai. Your enemy is surprised by the sudden fierce intensity, and after a few moments she is overcome. Her spell immediately breaks, the standing orbs dissipating and the storm evaporating away, leaving a calm sky instead.

And not a moment too soon! This spell still has a fair bit of duration left, you can feel that, but doing maximum offense really winded you. You scale it back to just above the minimum level of firepower.

She points those guns back at you, and goes back to shooting. She uses the same strategy as she did before her first spell, although this time she is firing a bit faster and generally trying a bit harder. Well, you dodged it before, and you have no trouble now.

She keeps her distance again, but you notice that as she goes she begins creeping closer and closer again. Is this really true? Is she really going to make the same mistake twice in one battle? Well, there's only one way to find out...

You feel the duration of the spell winding down, and mere moments before it's over she suddenly charges you and begins firing guns full force. Nice try, but you timed that just a bit wrong. For the last few moments of the spell you suddenly go back to full power, and she is forced back by it. She pulls out another spellcard, and declares it.

"Discovery Sign: Return to Mortal Memory!"

The tail-end of your spell is destroyed by the force of her spell unleashing. A ring of white orbs erupts from her and then stops in midair, and turns black. She floats backwards, releasing several more such rings.

You assess the situation. You are feeling a bit winded at the moment, and you drained a fair bit of your power for that offense, but you can definitely fight on. You can definitely manage one more mid-tier spell and one of your best spells, though if you strain yourself you might manage two of your strongest spells.

Strategy:
[ ] Use a spell card right away.
[ ] Use a nonspell pattern until you really need to use a spell card.
[ ] Play pure defense until you really need to use a spell card, to rest yourself.

What spell card?
[ ] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"
[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show" (Already used this.)
[ ] Position Sign "Bilocation" (Already used this.)
[ ] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
[ ] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
[ ] Travel Sign "Impediment"
[ ] "Bridging Two Worlds"
[ ] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"
>> No. 25300
Strategy:
[x] Use a nonspell pattern until you really need to use a spell card.

What spell card?
[x] Travel Sign "Impediment"

Sounds like a good tactic as many.
>> No. 25302
[x] Play pure defense until you really need to use a spell card, to rest yourself.
[x] Travel Sign "Impediment"
A non-spell pattern seems unlikely to trouble her and will probably just be a waste of energy/concentration. If we play defensively and conserve ourselves, we'll have a much better chance at busting out two high-level cards. And we have to finish off with Grudge Bow.
>> No. 25317
[interior] >>25302
>> No. 25321
File 126669858427.jpg - (205.70KB , 1000x881 , thementalimage.jpg ) [iqdb]
25321
>>25186
...actually, it's entirely possible that she was a Faun instead, and the main character just misidentified her species. I mean, Fauns looked basically the same as Satyrs anyway, and the main character never actually called her a Satyr to her face.

---

[x] Play pure defense until you really need to use a spell card, to rest yourself.
[x] Travel Sign "Impediment"

No, it would be best to regain some energy first. You decide to let this spell card play out for as long as possible before using a spell card of your own. Time to focus on dodging, then.

She stops moving back, pauses for a moment, and then immediately charges forward. As she passes through the rings, all of them immediately turn white again. Half of them then explode outward, and the other half begin to shoot themselves towards you one orb by one.

Okay, drift a bit to the side, and let the aimed shots just barely miss you... what was this called again? Streaming? You won't get hit by any of the non-aimed shots at this angle... there.

She floats to the left, leaving another line of deactivated rings. Then she charges back across it, and once again the rings activate and fill the air with bullets. This is pretty formulaic, yes, but you can tell that this time was faster. Presumably she will keep doing this faster and faster until you are dodging nonstop. Well, you can probably dodge it until that moment.

Okay, stream some more to the side... oh, wait, that non-aimed shot is about to hit you, so you accelerate some and end up messing up the streaming. Well, no matter.

Yes, she is definitely doing it faster now. Once you finish dodging the orbs, she is already charging forward to activate another line of rings. And then she immediately goes back to laying another line. Huh, this has hit it's stride much faster then you expected...

Okay, now this is getting hard. You are streaming like mad, but the unaimed shots are fouling up your path. You can't... just a bit more... okay, no more choice now. You whip out a card.

"Travel Sign: Impediment!"

Over a dozen yellow laser beams erupt from your body, on a plane perpendicular to her. Luckily, this clears out the bullets around you, although you can tell this spell wasn't designed with defense in mind. The lasers then bend in midair and fly towards Raquel, and then bend again to form a spherical cage of laser beams around her. She barely manages to halt herself mid-charge.

You hold out your hand, and a large yellow orb appears above it. Fling... and the orb passes through the cage, and she has to nearly flatten herself against one of the "walls" to avoid getting hit by it.

Okay, time to throw another. Let's see how long she can last... she dodged that one. Maybe you should throw them faster.

...wait, why has her attack stopped?

Oh! She must need to be able to move to use this spell card. Oh, that's rich. Well, no need to waste energy, then.

You stop attacking, and stretch a bit. You can see she is gritting her teeth.

Okay, time to wait...

...

Yep, her spell's duration just wore off. She pulls her guns out again, and begins firing those curved shots. Alright, time to go back to throwing orbs. Let's see her concentrate on shooting you if you throw a big orb with one hand and a small orb with the other...

She barely dodged that. Let's try it again, before she has a chance to get back to shooting... okay, she dodged that one also, but it was a close one. Again... again... finally, a moment before your spell times out, she gets cornered, and pulls out her last spell card and declares it.

"Wood Sign: Dendrochronology!"

Your spell poofs away as a single ring of black orbs comes out from her. That's a very dense ring of danmaku, yes, but some of the bullets are missing... are those gaps in it purposeful?

As the ring expands, a ring of white orbs fades in, a little bit smaller then it and with the gaps between the bullets shifted a scant degree. And then another ring of black orbs fades in behind that, again with the gaps shifted...

By the time the ring has expanded enough to reach you, there are what must be at least ten rings behind it. You have to twitch back and forth in order to make it through the narrow holes in these expanding rings. And she has launched another one, you see.

Well, at this point, you could concentrate on trying to hit her, or concentrate on trying to ride this spell out.

[ ] Try to hit her!
-[ ] Immigrant Sign "Outsider Weaponry"
-[ ] Snake Sign "Mysterious Snake Show" (Already used this.)
-[ ] Position Sign "Bilocation" (Already used this.)
-[ ] Travel Sign "Impediment" (Already used this.)
-[ ] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"

[ ] Try to ride it out!
-[ ] Travel Sign "Abundant Step"
-[ ] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
-[ ] Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity"
-[ ] "Bridging Two Worlds"


---

Just to be nice, I have grouped your spellcards into "more offensive" and "more defensive" for the purpose of this vote. After earlier votes, I realized I probably should have given you people a chance to actually try your spellcards out outside of battle.
>> No. 25325
[x] Try to ride it out!
-[x] Travel Sign "Peerless Nomad"
>> No. 25327
Well, since we didn't attack for a while and even had time for a stretch while our opponent was caged, we can probably end with one of our high-level cards here. Grudge Bow is likely an all-out offense and would hopefully finish her off before her card gets nastier (which it doubtlessly will if it's her last). Bridging Two Worlds has the defensive cloud thing, but I'm not sure how far it goes in absorbing spell attacks, and it takes a while for the offensive element of the card to build up.

In terms of mid-levels, Unidentified "Invasion of Curiosity" would take too long to get going, and we have no idea what the other two do.

Will vote shortly. As an aside, if her 4th card runs out before ours does, do we win? Or will it be a draw unless one of us actually hits the other?
>> No. 25330
[X] Try to hit her!

-[X] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"

Finish her!
>> No. 25331
>>25327

The person whose fourth card runs out first is the loser. The only purpose hitting the other person serves is to break their spells, or to knock them unconscious so they lose by default.
>> No. 25336
>>25331
Thanks. Ah, what the hell, I'll put my faith in Nue. Plus I want to see how this card works.
[x] Try to hit her!
- [x] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"
Though we should leave out the 'Borrowed Power' bit of the declaration if possible because it makes us sound kind of weak.
>> No. 25374
File 126673690041.jpg - (454.13KB , 1200x900 , datsnake.jpg ) [iqdb]
25374
[x] Try to hit her!
-[x] Borrowed Power "Grudge Bow"

Well, here's her last spellcard. You could try to survive this with a defensive spellcard. However, you get a feeling that this is the time to strike.

You wiggle through another series of rings, and pull out your last spellcard.

"Borrowed Power: Grudge Bow!" You kind of mutter the first part, though. To activate the card you have to say the name, but nothing says you aren't allowed to mumble. Wouldn't want to look weak!

You launch out a volley of lasers directly away from Raquel. You can see her surprised look. It will probably change in a moment, but you don't have time to bask in the moment... got to dodge through another series of rings.

Behind you, the lasers turn and fall, and turn into a shower of bullets as they go. It's all in your yellow, of course, and it's all coming from your reserves, but the energy feels a little bit like Nue's to you. You have very little practice using your youkai senses, so even in a spell this powerful you can barely feel it though. It will probably get a bit distracting as your senses sharpen. Must be why this is spell is given the descriptor 'borrowed power', though.

She flies out of the way of the shower, using small movements. Maybe that spell she is using hinders her ability to dodge?

Well, you won't win this fight by gawking. It's time to turn the heat up!

You fire out another wave of lasers, and then another, and then another, slowly building up speed.

Similarly, she begins releasing rings faster and faster.

Her spell was pretty tough to begin with, but the building up isn't increasing the difficulty too much. Your spell, on the other hand, is raising in tempo sharply.

From one side of the sky, a saffron rainstorm. From the other, monochrome ripples. The energies of two high-power spells in conflict clash in the middle, creating a roiling storm of charged air.

You pour all of your energy into this spell. You drain every reserve you have into it. More lasers. More bullets. More danmaku. More speed. More power. Morepowermorepowermorepowermorepower...

It's at this time that you black out.

---

You snap back into the realm of wakefulness. What the hell happened? Did you lose? Did you win?

You look around. You are still airborne... huh. That archeologist girl whose name you have already forgotten is on the ground, twitching. And, in front of you, there's a cone of splintered trees that goes on for at least a hundred feet. The ground has a thin layer of sawdust. Nazrin is nowhere to be seen.

Your flight cuts out, and you fall onto the ground in a heap. Hello, ground. Do you think that was a win?

You make a mental note not to fall unconcious while using your best offensive spell, next time. Apparently it makes it a bit hard to control properly.

You get up and stumble over to whatsherface. You shake her a bit. "Hey, you still alive?"

She mumbles.

"It wouldn't be very good if I killed you. I think that's against the rules."

She stirs a little.

"I'd probably have to fight Reimu again or something. Maybe."

She pushes herself up and stares at you for a moment. "I guess I lost."

"Yeah. Uh, sorry if I was a bit too rough there. I put a bit too much of my energy into that spell." And that's true. You feel weak, weaker then you were as a human. And your senses tell you that she still has some energy left. Maybe she was saving some energy up for a grand finale for that spell, but you K.O.'d her before she could get to it?

"Well, I suppose I should not despair. For I, Raquel Whatley, scholar of history unwritten, have many good points beyond my fighting skills!"

"Right. Look on the bright side, stuff like that." Maybe you could give advice also? "I think you need to learn to think more before you take big risks. You kept getting into trouble because of that."

She gives you a puzzled look. "I assure you that I, Raquel Whatley, veteran of a thousand trapped temples, would not do anything rash." But... she kept running headfirst into your spells! If she hadn't, she probably would have won!

Eh. No reason arguing with this kind of person. "Well, uh, anyway, can I have the pagoda now?"

"Oh, fine." She reaches into her backpack... she turns back. "It's missing."

You look around. "Wait, where did Nazrin go?" You pause, and then feign surprise. "Oh that thieving rat. I think she must have stolen the pagoda while we are busy and ran off with it."

Raquel immediately leaps to her feat, livid. "That... take me to here, now! I have something to say to people who rob me." Something to say with her fist it looks, from how she is balling it up.

Hum. Didn't expect that. Well, you can ad-lib.
You shrug. "I don't know where she is. She just hired me for this job. You know about as much about her as I do."

"So, you got duped also?"

"I guess. I insisted that she pay in advance, though, so it's not too bad for me. And even if it was... she was the tracker, I bet she could hide like anything."

She paces back and forth. "First that red-white comes and beats me up, then you come and beat me up, and now the only artifact I have found has gotten stolen... this trip to Gensokyo has been a disaster!"

"Huh, you fought Reimu?"

She pauses. "Yes. I had been here for less then a day. She was the first person I met. She said something about a donation box getting broken, and when I said I had no idea she beat me up. I heard her mention she was going to 'the underground', wherever that is, when she left."

"Well, there was a big ruckus recently... it's no concern, though." You pause, and something that Akyu told you comes to mind. "Actually, if it's any consolation, I heard of something that might interest you..."

She looks at you intently. "What is it?"

"I heard that there's this mansion in a middle of a lake, over in that direction." You point. "Inside it, there are two legendary weapons. Not sure which they are, this is just something I heard in passing."

It looks like she is getting excited. "Alright! That sounds like a good alternate plan! Thanks for the lead!"

And she flies off. Was that a good deed or a horribly cruel deed? Eh.

---

You return to the temple. You could barely fly, really, so it took a lot longer then the trip over took.
Oh, hey, there's Shou. You notice she has the Pagoda now. She greets you, and you mumble a response as you shamble past.

There you go. Bed.

---

You walk leisurely through the woods. It's night out, but you don't feel like sleeping (or are you sleeping already?) You come to a more open area. Oh, hey, there's a youkai, packing up some kind of shop. Some bird-type. You brighten a bit. "Hey, Mystia! Where are the others?"

"They'll be here in a bit. You're earlier then most times! Did you sleep well?"

You nod. Oh, hey, there's another one of your friends coming! It's the insect one.

You wonder what kind of fun you all will have tonight...

---

That was a relatively pleasant dream. You weren't in mortal danger or anything.
Well, time to get up and out of bed for another exciting day!
Let's hope this one involves less dishwashing and less getting beat up.

What to do? (pick two)
[ ] Check out the human village. (Eh, seen it already.)
[ ] Help out Byakuren.
[ ] Help out Shou.
[ ] Help out Nazrin. (Done that.)
[ ] Help out Ichirin and Unzan. (Guard duty wasn't that exciting. Maybe sometime later.)
[ ] Play with Nue and Kogasa. (Not sure what else to do, as long as she is on house arrest.)
[ ] Play with Murasa. Or sleep, or whatever it is Murasa does all day. (Seeing her again so soon would be a bit...)
[ ] Go look for your roommate. He's probably underground, right?
[ ] Go shopping in... (pick all that apply)
-[ ] Kourindou.
-[ ] Village (tailors.)
-[ ] Village (other.)
-[ ] Write-in.
[ ] Write-in.

---

I miss I, Youkai ;_;


Also, for anyone keeping track,

stage 1: ???
stage 2: ???
-boss: unnamed (?) satyress (?), youkai of silence
stage 3: ???
stage 4: great youkai forest
-boss: Raquel Whatley, youkai of dating
stage 5: ???
stage 6: ???
-boss: your roommate, ???
extra stage: hakurei shrine
-midboss: Nue Houjuu, youkai of unknown form
-boss: you, youkai of travel
>> No. 25380
[x] Help out Shou.
[x] Help out Byakuren.
Eh, I want to exhaust all the 'help' options before making any sort of move to advance the story (which I guess is what looking for our roommate would do).
>> No. 25381
[x] Help out Byakuren.
[x] Help out Shou.
>> No. 25384
[x] Go look for your roommate. He's probably underground, right?

That bastard.
>> No. 25389
Our character doesn't even get a 'thanks' for all his work? Meh unfair world.

[x] Help out Shou.
[x] Help out Byakuren.
In that order.
>> No. 25396
[x] Help out Shou.
[x] Help out Byakuren.

>I miss I, Youkai ;_;
Phobe~
You might want to take another look at the last thread. It hasn't started back up yet, but Klaymen's taking votes on the next leg of the story.
>> No. 25398
[X] Go look for your roommate. He's probably underground, right?
-[X]Before this, find Aya and drag her along with you, so she'll report it when we beat him up, thereby increasing our POWER.
>> No. 25400
[x] Help out Shou.
[x] Help out Byakuren.
>> No. 25403
Friends underground? Christ, now he's going to turn into radioactive Gollum or something. Fuuuuuck.
>> No. 25406
>[ ] Go look for your roommate. He's probably underground, right?
Grue ;_;

[X] Help out Byakuren.
[X] Help out Shou.
>> No. 25410
File 126680902286.png - (484.86KB , 849x1171 , donotwaaaant.png ) [iqdb]
25410
>>25396
Yay!

---

[x] Help out Shou.
[x] Help out Byakuren.

Well, you might as well help out Shou and Byakuren today. You've helped with or played with everyone else here, basically.
You stretch for a bit, and then go to the dining room. Nobody is here, though. Huh.

Oh, but there's sound from the kitchen. Looks like Shou is preparing breakfast. You got up even earlier, then?
You taste the air, and when you smell the food you realize that you didn't eat dinner yesterday. You are pretty hungry.

You saunter into the kitchen. Yep, there's Shou, making breakfast. She turns as you enter. "You keep waking up earlier and earlier."

"So it seems. Maybe it's a youkai thing?"

"Most youkai prefer the night, and if left to their own devices like to sleep during the day. This might be because you are taking the aspect of a cold-blooded creature." That makes sense. "Well, should I prepare you extra breakfast? You didn't eat dinner yesterday."

"That would be nice."

"I'd like to thank you for helping Nazrin recover the Pagoda. I would have said that yesterday, but you seemed too tired to talk."

"Is there any other way I can help you?"

She seems a bit surprised. "Well... I didn't really have anything planned. I could have you do some housework, but I have a system set up. I think you did enough for me by helping Nazrin."

"Oh, no, I insist." Might as well win points with the person who cooks all of the meals.

"Well..." She pauses, thinking. "I suppose you could go buy groceries. I was planning to do that today, but if you do it for me I could spend some time making sure Murasa is doing okay."

"Speaking of Murasa, did you find a task for her?"

"Yes. I assigned her with the job of maintaining the bathhouse. If it looks like that isn't enough for her, I'll probably give her a few hallways to clean also." That seems like an appropriate job. "Well, let's talk later. First I should finish breakfast."

Okay. You walk back to the dining room, and take a seat.

A few minutes later, Shou comes out and sets out breakfast. She gives you a plate, and you begin eating. Wow, you were hungrier then you thought.

She eats her own breakfast much more slowly, occasionally pausing to talk. "So... I'll give you some money and my shopping list. You go to the human village and purchase everything, and return here with the items. I don't really need them for another day or two, so don't feel rushed or anything. I made an estimate for how much the items cost, and it should be pretty accurate. If you have any spare money left over, you can keep it. If you don't have enough money, then you are on your own."

That's pretty cold. What if you are bad at haggling or price shopping or whatever? Well, if you do well you will get money for this, so you do have an incentive to do well. "Understood."

You finish your breakfast first, and return the plates to the kitchen. When you come back she has finished also, and has produced a wallet from somewhere. She counts out some money, and then hands it to you.

Alright. Time for a fetch quest. Or, well, you hope it's just a fetch quest. If you end up getting attacked while in the process of buying groceries, then this place is more messed up then you thought.

---

Well, here you are again, back in the market of the human village. Okay, looks like there's a lot of produce stalls there... you can buy meat over there... yeah, it won't be too hard to at least find the places. To find good prices, though, might be harder. Okay, time to work your legs some.

Okay. Go with items that will keep first, right, and then perishables last. Maybe you can haggle a little also. Is this the kind of place where you haggle, or is that too old-fashioned?

Okay, rice. Does that spoil or not? It's a grain, right?

Spinach? For Murasa, this says. Well, Shou doesn't seem like the type to put jokes on a shopping list...

Beef? Pork? Wait, don't Buddhists not eat meat? Or are you getting confused? Eh, not like you'd object.

Wow, that's quite a bit of candy. Is Shou planning on abducting small children or something?

Okay, tofu, no problem.

...

You apply yourself to getting the best bargain possible, not actually buying the items until you had figured out exactly what to buy and where to buy it. It takes a while, and a great deal of walking around, but you eventually get all of the items.

Happily, you do end up with some money left over. You get yourself two sets of more regional clothes, as bargain goods from some tailor. They both look a little bit too big for you, but eh. Now you have something to wear on future outings to the village and such.

So, now, back to the temple.
Along the way, you pass by a woman with pink hair in a blue kimono. She eagerly is dragging a girl with silver hair and a green dress by the hand. You were keeping a sharp eye out for attacks, though, and successfully sneak by. For some reason, you get the feeling that your mission would have been compromised if you had met them.

---

You return to the temple, carrying the bags of food. You make it into the kitchen when Shou finds you. "Oh, good, you are back. I said to take your time, but I didn't expect you to take hours. I'll take this, and store the things in the pantry. You can go relax until lunch, anyway."

"Okay."

You return to your room and stow the clothes away. Relax, eh.

Well, might as well take a bath.

---

Oh, it's Murasa. She's sitting outside. What, is she supposed to guard the bathhouse too, or is she just overeager? "Hi, Murasa."

"Oh, hey. You coming in for a bath?"

"Right. Don't watch me or anything."

You start to walk in, but Murasa stops you. "You're western, right?"

"Right."

"Well, do you know how to use a Japanese bathhouse?"

It's different? "I suppose not."

"Well, in that case, let me explain. You are supposed to wash yourself beforehand, see, in that area..."

...

Okay. Apparently, that joke Nue made about 'using the bathhouse wrong' actually wasn't just a joke. You thank her and take a bath, doing it the right way this time.

---

This is pretty relaxing, yes. You've been in here for half an hour, easily. Maybe even an hour. You hear a knocking on the door. Murasa's voice rings out, "Hey, can you finish? Nazrin is waiting."

Oh, fine. "Okay, I'll finish up. Give me a minute." Well, there goes relaxation. And since Murasa is here to warn people, you won't be able to see Nazrin naked and later pass it of as an accident.
Well, it's not like Nazrin would be your first choice. She has that whole mouse thing going on. From what you've seen, they are all over. They follow her around, sleep in that basket of hers, maybe even nest in her clothes... you wouldn't be able to stand the sensation, really.

Upsy-daisy. Okay, dry off, put on a change of clothes, and off we go.

Wow, Nazrin really is dirty. What was she doing to end up covered in dirt, with her hands splattered with mud? Was she prospecting or something? Mining? Or was this, like, mud arm-wrestling?

Well, it wouldn't be that polite to ask. And, more importantly, she probably would just ignore you if you did.

Still some time to kill before lunch. Eh, you'll just go on a walk or something. You think you should see if Byakuren has anything to do, but you think that she is busy until lunch anyway.

---

You come to the dining room early, even then. Nue and Kogasa are here before you, and Shou is setting the table, but nobody else is here. So, it seems like Kogasa is mostly keeping Nue company?

"Hey, Nue, Kogasa. How are you two doing?"

Nue turns. "Eh. More importantly, I heard you got into a fight yesterday." Wait, wasn't this supposed to be a secret? So that nobody would know about Shou losing the Pagoda?

"Uh, yeah. How did you know?"

She laughs. "It was obvious. You left for a while and came back exhausted and out of energy."

"Oh, I see." Oh, and you better make sure your reputation doesn't suffer. "I won, by the way."

She pats you on the back. "Of course, of course. Hey, why not give Kogasa and me a play-by-play?"

"Er, I'll make it quick. Okay, see, she started out with this one spell that fired big danmaku bullets which split up..."

You give a quick recount of your battle, including the part at the end. "...and then I woke up and there were a lot fewer intact trees then when I started."

Kogasa looks a little surprised, but Nue is thinking. "Well, that spell has always been hard to control for me. I modeled it after the thing I fear most, after all." She fears laser airstrikes? Don't we all. "You probably need more practice, anyway. Of course, more power would help too, but you can hardly go around gathering fear or anything." She doesn't look too happy, reminding herself of that.

Although... "Don't youkai get stronger as they age, also?"

"Kinda, yeah. The mechanics behind it are pretty complicated, but it happens. That won't help you much, though, unless you plan on not fighting for the next hundred years or two."

Kogasa leans forward. "What if he found a magic artifact? Like Shou's shiny thing, or your trident?"

"That trident isn't a magic artifact. It's not even a real weapon. I just grow it whenever I take on human form."

"Oh."

Speaking of, where is her trident, anyway? Does she keep it in her room when it's not in use? Furthermore, why a trident? Aren't those associated with the sea?

Oh, wait, here comes Byakuren. She seems to be chatting with Ichirin. Unzan follows, paying attention to their conversation and occasionally nodding. They sit down, and soon enough Nazrin comes too.
Murasa is the last to come. She looks a bit happier now, now that you come to think of it.

Come to think of it, until the last few days you have rarely sat at a table with an atmosphere like this. It's kind of like being at a family gathering, except nobody here is related to you. Well, Nue might kind of be family since she gave you some of her essence or whatever, considering... well, actually, you have no idea what the process involved. You were sleeping at the time. It might have been just the magic equivalent of a blood transfusion, or she could have engaged in that sort of mana transfer. Of course, if you asked about it you would look like a fool at best or a pervert at worst. One part of your mind insists on some sort of 'Oh, you found out? Well, let's do it while you are awake then!' scenario, but that kind of thing would never happen. Also, you probably shouldn't think too much about that while surrounded by women with inhumanly sharp senses.

It appears that while you somehow mentally segued from thinking about family gatherings to desperately trying not to get aroused, Byakuren asked you a question. "Oh, sorry, what was that? I didn't hear."

"I asked you if you have had a good stay so far, overall."

Besides the part where you got your ass effortlessly kicked by a petite japanese girl for no real reason? "Oh, yes. I have. Thank you for the hospitality."

She smiles. "You are welcome." Okay, that must have been a good answer.

Now, where were you? Something about getting aroused by family gatherings...

---

After lunch, you catch up with Byakuren before she can go off to do... whatever she does. Buddhist things, probably. She probably does monk stuff like meditate, tell infuriating riddles, punch rocks in half, whatever. Maybe she does diplomacy too. From what you have seen of the youkai of Gensokyo so far, they probably take one look at how elaborate her dress is and immediately prostrate in worship.
You have thus far avoided bugging her during the day, since she is so often busy with various villagers and youkai, and you would feel out of place.

So you stop her now, before she can go and take her worshippers on a field trip to a waterfall or something. "Hey, Byakuren, is there anything I can do to help?"

She smiles at you. "You have done much already, by helping my followers. I am happy that you are so eager to prove you can improve yourself."

Well, that basically means you are winning points with her, right? You probably just need to do one more side-quest before she will give you the next story quest. Or at least some high-quality level-appropriate equipment. Uh, wait, right, you should say something again. "Yes, I've helped them. But can I help you? You must have something I can do."

"Well, I don't think so... although, maybe..." She looks at you for a moment, and then grabs your hand. "Look into my eyes."
Uh, what. You look into her eyes.
She lets go of your hand, and pulls out a scroll. She unfurls it, and the room is full of rainbow light. That's one impressive scroll. Very magic-ey.
She reads something from it, then locks her eyes with yours. She closes her eyes for a moment, and then re-opens them. In each of her pupils, you can see a bright white light burning, shaped like a stylized lotus.
She stares at you for a moment, and you can't move yourself at all. Then she closes her eyes, and the spell is broken. You sag in relief.
She coughs. "Yes, I think you will be able to help me after all. I looked into your soul, and I think your ability will be of use here..." Wait, looked into your soul? You can do something kind of like that with your youkai senses, but the way she did it... you can't imagine ever being that good at it.
She touches one of the symbols on the scroll. The symbol fades, and a sealed letter floats lazily into the air.
Out of curiosity, you probe the scroll with your youkai senses. If you focus on a symbol, you can 'feel' it's purpose... perhaps the magic equivalent of tooltips?
Okay, this one says "Nirvana's Way in Cloudy Purple"... a spellcard?
This one says "Correspondence with Myouren"... why does that name sound familiar?
"Magician's Eyes"... maybe that's the spell she used there.
"Tetris"... wait, what?
You tear your attention away from the scroll, to find her holding the letter out to you. You hastily take it, and she re-stores her scroll. "Did you find it interesting?"

"I suppose. That's an odd way of storing things."

She laughs. "It's quite handy. I am the only one who can activate this, so no-one can rob me of what I put inside."

"Well, I guess I'll go deliver this letter."

"If you need directions, ask Murasa or Nazrin."

Murasa or Nazrin, huh.

You look at the letter.

"To: Shinki
Pandaemonium, Makai"

[ ] Ask Murasa for directions.
[ ] Ask Murasa to guide you.
[ ] Ask Nazrin for directions.
[ ] Ask Nazrin to guide you.
[ ] Real men don't ask for directions.

---

Even if you do eventually walk in on Byakuren while she is doing work stuff, don't expect to get many details. That would require me to do actual research, and that is too much for my pitiful self.
>> No. 25413
Oh, and also.

[ ] Sneak a peek at the contents of the letter.
[ ] You shouldn't look inside, it would be rude.
>> No. 25415
[x] Ask Murasa to guide you.
[x] You shouldn't look inside, it would be rude.

A trip outside should be nice for her. Byakuren entrusted us with a task, it'd be very wrong to betray her trust.
>> No. 25416
[X] Ask Murasa to guide you.
[X] You shouldn't look inside, it would be rude.
>> No. 25417
> "Tetris"

So that's what she does all day when no ones looking.

[X] Ask Murasa to guide you.
[X] You shouldn't look inside, it would be rude.

You're a youkai now, not a man. Asking directions is ok.

And the only reason Reimu won is because of her God-Mod spell card.
>> No. 25418
File 126682275885.jpg - (427.84KB , 1024x768 , prettyscaryhuh.jpg ) [iqdb]
25418
[X] Ask Murasa to guide you.
[X] You shouldn't look inside, it would be rude.

You briefly consider opening the letter for a peek inside, but dismiss it as a betrayal of Byakuren's trust. Besides, you doubt it'd be too interesting. Probably old lady gossip.

Well, anyway, might as well get someone to guide you.
You could ask Nazrin, but you'd rather not interrupt her. She probably has another important task given to her by Shou. Judging by what you saw earlier, it might involve defeating horrific mud-monsters with her bare hands. You do not want to risk having to face mud-monsters, so you look for Murasa instead.

...yup, still outside the bathhouse. "Oh? Back for more?"

"No. Actually, Byakuren wants me to deliver a letter, and she said that I should go to you for directions." You hand her the letter.

She looks at it. "Makai, eh? I know how to get there, yeah. Back when I captained the Palanquin ship, I could get there directly, by slipping through the border lengthwise. But I do know of a fixed enterance to Makai, which you could reach on your own." She pauses. "I'll go get something to write on, and I'll make you a map..."

"No, actually, could you guide me? I figured it'd give you something to do."

Her face falls. "I can't, I'm afraid. I'm unable to leave the temple."

"Why?"

"Well... it's a long story, but basically I used to haunt the Palanquin ship, and it's wood was used to make this temple."

Wait, Murasa is a ghost? She doesn't look at all ghostlike to you. You reach forward and snatch her wrist. "Hey! What are you doing?" Huh. Her skin is cold. Okay, whatever.

You let go, and back off. "Oh. Uh, sorry, just checking something. A map would do, I guess, yeah."

She gives you an odd look. It occurs to you that you probably could have confirmed that she is a ghost with your youkai senses. Oh well.

She gets up and walks to her room. Having nothing else to do, you follow.

---

She has pulled out some paper, and started drawing on it. "Okay, so this is the temple here..." She draws a little temple.
"And there's Hakurei shrine..."

You let your eyes wander. Her room looks a bit more lived-in then yours. There's an anchor in the corner, and a ladle lying on her bed. There's also that model ship, on the dresser... a thought occurs.

"Hey, Murasa, where did the wood for that model ship come from?"

"I used some of the spare wood from Shou's supply. Why?" She freezes, then smiles. "Oh, I see... yeah, that would work."

---

You fly towards Hakurei shrine, gingerly carrying a bottled ship.

Murasa's voice comes from within, sounding slightly muffled. "I would be enjoying my newfound freedom a lot more if I wasn't stuck inside a bottle."

"Sorry."

"No, don't apologize. Just an observation."

A pause.

"Maybe I should get Byakuren to make this model ship able to fly."

You can barely stop yourself from laughing at the mental image.

"Well, if it really means that much to you, I bet she would do it."

---

"Okay, Hakurei shrine. Now, turn... you see that mountain there? Go that way."

---

"Follow that path. At the end is the gate."

---

You come to a modest cave-entrance.

To each side of it is a large boulder, wrapped with a rope with little dangly paper things.
Forming an arch around the cave enterance, there are hundreds of amulets plastered on the wall. They look like the kind of amulet Reimu uses.

On the ground in front of the gate, there's a blonde girl sleeping. She has a red dress with white trim, and a white bow in her hair.

(Pick one.)
[ ] Approach the gate cautiously.
[ ] Approach the gate boldly.

(Pick one.)
[ ] Wake the girl. This isn't a safe place to sleep.
[ ] Let her sleep. She must be tired.

---

Short update so I can go to sleep.
>> No. 25419
I'm curious if this is an PC-98 character or an original one that Reimu smacked around during the incident that we should have been the final boss of.
>> No. 25422
>She fears laser airstrikes? Don't we all.
I love this.

[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.

Sneaky sneaky
>> No. 25427
[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.
Sleeping gate guards, how I love thee. Her description isn't ringing any PC98 bells.
>> No. 25435
[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.

This would be best for now.
>> No. 25437
File 126687817050.jpg - (149.27KB , 600x646 , Soulcalibur_III_Tira_1P_3_by_xuexueyuehua.jpg ) [iqdb]
25437
[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.
Pandemonium GET? I can't wait to see him in pieces due to an above-average amount of knives in his body.
>> No. 25442
[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.
>> No. 25443
>>25437
I'm sure there's a good reason for posting that.
>> No. 25454
File 126689581823.jpg - (231.65KB , 405x450 , meetthenewfriendshinki.jpg ) [iqdb]
25454
I sped through a playthrough of mystic square on youtube to get a better idea of what Makai looks like.
I was totally wrong about the nature of the gate to Makai. Oops. Ah well. You won't feel too bad if I make some more stuff up, will you? Since I've already gotten this so wrong.

---

[x] Approach the gate cautiously.
[x] Let her sleep. She must be tired.

"Okay, let's check out the gate," you whisper.

Murasa hums in response. "Don't want to wake the girl?"

"Yeah. I know I hate it when people wake me up, too." Plus, she's probably a gate guard or something and it would suck if you had to fight your way through guards just to deliver a letter.

You creep up to the gate. "So, what's with all of these charms?"

"I heard this enterance to Makai was sealed by Reimu, about ten years ago or so."

"You heard? You don't know for sure?"

"I've been to Makai before, but I'm not really too familiar with it or it's history. I only went there because I had to."

Well, she won't be of much help then. So, presumably some combination of these amulets and these rocks prevents people from passing through this cave enterance.

You probe out with your youkai senses, and 'feel' a thin but firm film of energy over the cave enterance. Probably a force-field or something, then.

Well, time to sabotage this. Okay, try one: remove the amulets.

Just gotta reach up to the gate and start peeling them off. You reach up to the gate and... ouch! Touching these things hurts!

You nurse your hand for a moment. Well, okay, try two: remove the amulets with a stick.

"So, Murasa, what do you know about Makai?"

"Well, it's the realm of demons."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Pretty creepy place, full of demons and fairies."

"Is there anywhere in Gensokyo without fairies?"

"Not really."

Well, using a stick isn't working. The amulets don't seem to want to budge. Time for try three: (quietly) shoot danmaku at the amulets...

---

With your cautiousness, and your attempts at staying quiet, it is nearly half an hour until you discover that there isn't actually anything keeping you from just walking into the cave. Huh.

You walk into the cave. "That was... a bit of a let down."

"I'm pretty surprised. This enterance was definitely sealed. Maybe your youkai power is the ability to walk through magic barriers?"

Maybe indeed. Or maybe it was just a really lame seal.

This tunnel is very dark. There's a sort of oppressive feel, a deadness you can't quite explain.

So it's a relief when you finally leave it. The exit, you can see, has another "forcefield" over it. So, both ends of this were sealed? That's quite thorough.

You walk through that one with no problem either.

Well, now, this place is pretty impressive. You see a vast plain of blue, with some red patches, stretching out as far as you can see. The sky is dark and starry, with faint hints of red clouds. There is a light on the horizon, as though it were dawn... but you somehow get the feeling that that light will never rise.

Well, this place is kind of pretty, in a weird way. "So, Murasa, any idea where Pandaemonium is?"

"I think it's the capital city."

"Well, that doesn't tell me where it is. Let's look around, then."

Okay. You turn around. There's a cliff-face, extending far into the distance, and going up into the sky. It's like Makai simply stops a few feet behind you. For all you know, that might be literally true.
You turn the other way... oh.

Like an evil version of Minas Tirith, a massive city carved into a mountain of blue and red stone looms in the distance. At the center seems to be some huge diplapidated palace. Maybe you should have looked this way first. "Well, uh, that's probably Pandaemonium."

"I would assume so. It's much more impressive then Esoterica was."

"Well, let's go, then."

Whoosh flying.

Along the way, you run into several fairies. The fairies in Makai must be goth or something. They are all in black, white, and red. They attack you, but you fight them off pretty effortlessly.

---

"So, do you know who Shinki is? Or where I could find her, or I suppose him?"

"Sorry, no. Maybe you could ask around."

Ask around, she says. For such a huge city, though, this place is pretty desolate. The city district you landed in seems to be abandoned. Many of the buildings are smashed or burned, and most are boarded-off. "Well, I'll go look for a part of the city with people in it. Er, with demons in it, I guess."

"Demons are people too."

Oh, right. This is Gensokyo you are in. Well, okay, you are in Makai now, but still.

Let's try that path...

Ah-hah! This road has seen recent use. The place is better-repaired, and you can smell the scent of people.

You follow the road...

---

Oh, hey, this seems to be an active part of the city. There are people walking around, conversations being held, even a trendy-looking cafe over. Although, now that you look harder, some of the people have wings or horns or unnatural skin colors, and the cafe is... well, presumably a trendy demon cafe. With this great variety in appearance, though, you shouldn't stand out much...

Well, time to try and 'ask around'. You whisper to Murasa to keep quiet. Don't want your talking bottle to creep the demons out.

"Hey, mister. Do you know where I can find Shinki?"

The demon gives you a blank look. "Are you pulling my leg, kid?"

"Huh?"

"Or maybe you aren't from around here."

"Oh, yeah, I'm not." What was that place Murasa mentioned, again? "I'm from Esoterica."

"A country hick. Well, go to this address..." he rattles off an address, "and you'll be able to get an appointment to see her."

You thank him and leave. Well, this Shinki isn't an ordinary person... demon, that is. Not that you really expected Byakuren to know any ordinary people. You wonder what was with his reaction, though. Is she someone well-known?

Maybe she's a celebrity.

Okay, that looks like the right street. Just got to find the intersection with that other street he mentioned...

Oooh, maybe she's a game show hostess. Of a popular demonic game show in Makai.

This is a pretty long street. Now that you think about it, it seems to be going uphill, also.

You've always wanted to be on a gameshow. Maybe you'll finally have a chance. This letter will give you a bargaining chip in securing a position.

Huh, you've almost reached that big palace. From this distance, you get a better view of the damage... fully half of it is caved in and scorched, in a manner that you can't imagine was caused by just old age.

What kind of game shows would demons want to watch? 'Who Wants to be an Archduke of Hell'? 'Are you Smarter than an Imp'? 'Wheel of Torture'? Ooh, that last one was pretty good. Not the kind of gameshow you would want to participate on, though.

Okay, here's the address. It's a small, official-looking building in front of the palace.

You walk inside. There's a sign-up sheet with... wow, that's a lot of names. Jeeze, it will be weeks until you can appear on a gameshow, at this rate! Maybe they will see how you are such an interesting personality and let you in first thing.

Hopefully.

You sign your name on the sheet. "So, uh, what now?"

Murasa sighs. "I guess we wait, unless you have any other ideas."

---

After waiting for almost an hour, chatting idly with Murasa, someone enters the room. You look up. A woman with blonde hair, in a red and white maid outfit.
She looks pretty purposeful. Maybe she's the person in charge of looking over this list?
...does that mean that the gameshow is a maid-themed gameshow? You would be out of place.

She notices you. "What are you doing, waiting here?"

"Are you an official-type person who knows Shinki?"

"Yes. But, more importantly, who are you? You aren't a demon... probably not a witch..."

"I'm a messenger." You pull the letter out and present it to her. "I have this letter, from Byakuren Hijiri."

She takes it, and looks at it a bit incredulously. "I can't imagine how. The only reason her followers could get in here was that ship, and I would have heard if it had entered Makai."

"Really? I walked in."

She looks a bit surprised at that. "What, has the seal been broken?"

"Nah. I just walked through it."

"An exceptional youkai, then. If, of course, you are telling the truth. I'll bring you to Shinki, she will be able to check."

Hah! They saw how you have an interesting personality, and are letting you in first thing! Your ridiculous, utterly misplaced hope was right, this time. That's pretty sweet.

---

Okay, so the maid has lead you into that palace place. An undamaged part, anyway. This place is pretty nice. Carved out of blue stone, with the occasionally mildly creepy relief. She takes you outside a certain room, and motions for you to halt.

She goes on into the room, and calls out, "Shinki, you have guests." A moment later, she returns and leads you in. After a moment she bows and leaves. Her footsteps stop a mere second after she leaves the room, though. Obviously she doesn't trust you.
This room is relatively large, though hardly a throne room or anything. There is, lonely in the center, a desk. The desk is, while not exactly a small desk, much too small a desk for a room this size. Scattered over the desk are papers, and sitting at a chair behind the desk is a woman. She has a simple-looking red robe on, and blue hair with a single lock held out by two red beads.
She is looking up at you. "So, are you Shinki?"

"Yes, I am."

"When do I get to appear on the gameshow?"

"...I beg your pardon?"

"I... you are a game show hostess, right?"

"Why would you think that?"

"I... I'm not sure." You feel dissapointment wash over you. Your hopes dashed! Oh, your poor, poor childhood dreams.
Well, okay, you did succeed in that one about going to a land of fantasy and adventure, but at this moment, on this nadir of your life, that triumph has become naught but dust in your mouth.

Shinki obviously sees your dissapointment. She sighs. "Well, if it will make you feel more comfortable..."
Her eyes sweep across the room, and where they pass it changes.
The ground flows like liquid; it seeps uphill into the air and fills out into shapes, as though it was filling an invisible mold. Colors fade into other colors. A low, distorted noise of applause begins to fill your ears.

You look around in wonder. What used to be a nearly-empty room is now a sleekly-shaped set, in almost garish red, blue, and black. The walls on the far end are decorated by abstract shapes, and dominated by a large TV monitor. Above it is, in bold lettering, "Meet Shinki!" Around you, a sea of seats has sprung up. Inside each, a shadowy figure fades in, frozen into an position of rapt attention. You seem to be in an aisle between the two banks of seats.
And in the center of the room, on the stage, is Shinki. Her desk has metamorphsed into a flashy podium, and her outfit is now very glittery but otherwise exactly the same. In front of the stage is a lump of metal in the shape of a tv camera, manned by another static shadowy figure.
The main lights of the room dim, and a spotlight shines on Shinki. You glance up to see that the ceiling now has a number of spotlights.
She raises her hand, and becons for you to sit down on one of the chairs on stage. In this entire display, that was the first time she moved anthing but her eyes.

It is beautiful, oh so beautiful. If, hypothetically speaking, you had a gameshow fetish, you would be getting a boner now.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

You walk down the aisle, and take a seat.

"So, why are you here? Yumeko brought you in, so you must have something urgent to see me about."

You pull out the letter again, and hand it to her. "Letter for you."

She looks at the letter, and nods. She cuts the envelope with a fingernail, and then pulls out a set of slim reading glasses.
She spends a few minutes reading the letter, while you fidgit uncomfortably and try to think about safe things, like bug collecting or golf... wait, dammit, Tiger Woods. Uh...
Occasionally she mutters something, or goes "uh-huh". You wonder what the letter is about. It's obviously nothing shocking, anyway.
Finally she finishes, and turns back to you. "My my, a lot has happened in Gensokyo since we lost contact."

"Lost contact?"

"Well, the seal on Makai has prevented anyone from entering or leaving for the last ten years. The crew of the Palanquin Ship were the only ones to have been able to enter or leave. Speaking of..." she turns to the bottle you are still holding. "I assume it was destroyed?"

Huh. Well, she can redecorate rooms with her eyes, maybe you shouldn't be too surprised that she can see ghosts too. Murasa speaks up, not sounding that surprised, "Yes. It crashed."

"Then how did you enter?"

You raise your hand. "I just walked through the barrier on the enterance."

She raises an eyebrow. "I see. Well, you are definitely no-one normal. Hijiri chose her messenger well."

"So, if you don't mind me asking, who are you?" If she says that she really is a gameshow hostess you would be happy, but honestly it does not seem that likely at this point.

"Oh? She did not tell you? ...my, forgetfullness is not unlike her." Shinki has an amused look in her eyes for a moment, before sitting up a little bit straighter. "I am Shinki, the creator and goddess of Makai."

Oh. Okay.

Seeing your less then impressed look, Shinki laughs. "Well, it's good meeting someone who isn't intimidated after hearing that. Truth be told, I feel more like the mother of these demons then their goddess, at times. Oh, but speaking of children..." Oh shit, is she about to go tell you stories about her kids? "Hijiri had news about my real daughter, Alice. My, it's good to hear she has been doing so well... I can't say I approve of who she is dating, but she's a big girl now so I must respect her independence..."

You must stop her before she talks your ears off about this stuff! "Er, how are the, uh, important affairs of Makai doing?"

She pauses and sighs. Your attempts to change the topic of conversation were too transparent, it seems. "Well, we are still weak. When Reimu last raided Makai, she slew a great number of demons, and in her battle against me, large portions of Pandaemonium were destroyed."

"But... can't you just magic the city back into shape, like you magic'd up this room?"

"I only repaired the portions that would be used. There are not enough people left, anymore, to populate the entirety of Pandaemonium. And I was weakened a great deal, so I have been unable to make new demons quickly."

Man, Reimu, that's not nice at all.

Shinki continues. "Oh, but speaking of new demons... have you seen a lost child?"

"Lost child?"

"Yes. One of the younger demons went missing a few days ago. We sent out search parties, of course, but no-one has found her."

"So why did you think I had seen her?"

"It doesn't hurt to ask, does it? Most of Makai has been accounted for by now, probably, but I don't want to give up hope."

She turns back to her desk, and pulls out some paper. "Well, I do not want to detain you for longer..." She points at the paper and a spark flies from her finger. It strikes the paper, and you can see it suddenly filling with words. The paper folds itself in midair, and an envelope materializes around it. "Here is my response to Hijiri." She hands you the letter, and you pocket it. "I know she is probably expecting you back, but if you wish to stay in Makai for a time I will not object.

The demons here will treat you as a guest now that you have met with me, if you wish to explore."

You thank her and leave.

Yep, that maid is standing rigidly outside the door. She nods at you curtly as you leave the room.

You tap on the bottle. "Awake in there, Murasa?"

"Of course!"

"Then why weren't you saying anything?"

"I was listening! I didn't want to interrupt."

"Right. Well, you have any preference as to where we should go?"

"Not really. Seeing the sights would be nice, but as long as I am in this bottle it won't be that enjoyable. You do whatever you want to, okay?"

Where to? (pick one)
[ ] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights.
[ ] Maybe you could go to that cafe you saw...
[ ] What kind of entertainment do they have in Makai, anyway?
[ ] No need to stay in Makai. You should go back to the temple ASAP.
[ ] Write-in.

Before stopping back at the temple (pick any that apply)
[ ] Maybe you could visit Shinki's daughter?
[ ] Stopping by Hakurei shrine on the way back to bug Reimu sounds like fun.
[ ] That bottle is waterproof, right? You could let Murasa sail again, for a bit.
[ ] Actually, about that lost child...
[ ] Write-in.

---

Are we approaching autosage? I'm not sure when it starts or anything.
>> No. 25455
Where to? (pick one)
[x] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights.

Before stopping back at the temple (pick any that apply)
[x] Actually, about that lost child...

I think we should do a good deed, since I'm sure Byakuren would approve.
>> No. 25456
[x] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights.

[x] Actually, about that lost child...
[x] Maybe you could visit Shinki's daughter?

Seems like the Youkai of Travel is the only one (besides Yukari) who can go back and forth to Makai, so why not see if Alice would like to send a letter to her long lost mother.
>> No. 25457
[x] What kind of entertainment do they have in Makai, anyway?
[x] Stopping by Hakurei shrine on the way back to bug Reimu sounds like fun.
'Who Wants to be an Archduke of Hell' sounds like a good watch.

And auto-sage mark is 250.
>> No. 25459
[x] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights.

[x] Actually, about that lost child...
>> No. 25463
[X] What kind of entertainment do they have in Makai, anyway?
[X] That bottle is waterproof, right? You could let Murasa sail again, for a bit.
[X] Actually, about that lost child...

>Are we approaching autosage? I'm not sure when it starts or anything.
250 replies. We're still a few updates away.
>> No. 25465
[X] What kind of entertainment do they have in Makai, anyway?
[X] That bottle is waterproof, right? You could let Murasa sail again, for a bit.
[X] Actually, about that lost child...
>> No. 25475
[x] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights.

[x] Actually, about that lost child...
[x] Maybe you could visit Shinki's daughter?
>> No. 25483
>>25443
Uh? What do you mean?
>> No. 25484
[x] What kind of entertainment do they have in Makai, anyway?
[x] That bottle is waterproof, right? You could let Murasa sail again, for a bit.
[x] Actually, about that lost child...

>>25483
As in, 'what the shit does Tira have to do with this?'
>> No. 25493
File 126699298439.jpg - (118.82KB , 450x450 , 008aabb150480743d87629cf3f5737a5.jpg ) [iqdb]
25493
>>25484
Tira's catchphrase: >"I can't wait to see you in pieces"
My post: >"Pandemonium GET? I can't wait to see him in pieces due to an above-average amount of knives in his body."
>> No. 25498
File 126699466029.jpg - (117.83KB , 850x642 , houraiconfirmedformswordclippy.jpg ) [iqdb]
25498
I had already started this when I saw that last vote.
Ah well.

---

[x] Just wander around the streets of Pandaemonium, take in the sights
[x] Actually, about that lost child...
[X] That bottle is waterproof, right? You could let Murasa sail again, for a bit.
[x] Maybe you could visit Shinki's daughter?

"I think I'll just wander around Pandaemonium some. It's an interesting enough place just to look at, and I'm a bit scared to see what demonic entertainment is like."

"Okay."

You leave the palace, and start downhill.

The buildings here are almost exclusively stone. Presumably, Makai does not have enough trees to make wooden buildings. Although, couldn't Shinki just make wooden buildings? Maybe they just like the aesthetic. But... if these buildings are all stone, how did the abandoned ones look so scored and burned? Just how fierce was the battle between Reimu and Shinki, to set an entire city of stone buildings ablaze?

Why red and blue, though? That was Shinki's color scheme also. Does she just really like red and blue? They aren't bad colors, and this place would probably be a great site for a team-based FPS or something, but you would like to see a bit more color. Speaking of, though, are there even any types of stone that are naturally this shade of red or blue? These are pretty vibrant colors for stone.

Foot traffic in Pandaemonium is a strange sight, you must say. The demons are so varied in appearance. Some look like normal people, while others could walk onto the stage of a particularly religiously-minded PSA and not look out of place. There are a few children playing in the streets, but not many. It's no wonder Shinki is so concerned about that lost child; for a major city this place is sparsely populated to a depressing degree.

---

You spend about half an hour just wandering the streets before you get bored. In that period you get a better idea of the scope of Pandaemonium.
The majority of the city is abandoned. The populated parts seem to constitute only a bit more then a fourth of the city. At one point a truly impressive number of demons must have lived here.

...Thinking about this too hard is a little depressing. You leave Makai.

---

On the other side, you find that the girl who was outside is gone.
Speaking of, though...
Why would a gate that has been sealed for ten years have a guard? If the power of a goddess isn't enough to break the seal, you doubt that vandals will be very effectual.
So... maybe you have found that lost child, after all.

Just where is she now? "Hey, Murasa, any idea where the girl who was out here might have gone?"

"Not really. Why?"

"Maybe she was the lost child Shinki was looking for?"

"How could she have left Makai?"

"Maybe when I weakened the border, the seal on Makai weakened also."

"That's possible. Well, she was sleeping before, so if she woke up... maybe you should check for water, if she was thirsty or wanted to take a bath?"

Okay, that's better then nothing. "So, where's the nearest river?"

"Er... maybe that way?" You feel the bottle tug itself to the side a little, in your hands.

"Too bad Nazrin isn't here. She had those dowsing rods. Dowsing rods can find water, right?"

"So I'm not good enough company?"

"Oh, no, it's just... this is a situation where Nazrin's long metal things would be more useful then your salty sailor mystique." You probably could have phrased that better.

"I was just kidding."

You reach a river. You don't see anybody. "Maybe she didn't know where water was, and wandered in another direction?"

"Also possible, I suppose. Or maybe she wasn't thirsty, and left for food or to look for help or something. Maybe you should look for tracks?"

"Oh, that's an idea." You walk back to the Makai enterance, to find the girl there again. Oh, that's convenient.

She turns around as you enter. "Wh-who are you?"

"Hey, kid. Are you from Makai?"

"And... and what if I am?"

You walk up to her. "I was told that a kid went missing in Makai."

She looks surprised. "How did you know? The way's sealed again."

"That kinda seal isn't a problem for me. I can just walk through. C'mon, want me to see if I can help you back?"

She nods. Now that you get a better look at her, it's obvious that she has been crying.

"Here, follow me. Hold my hand. Let's see if I can do this with other people..."

---

It takes several tries, but you are eventually able to pull her through the barrier. It's pretty tiring, though; you could feel the 'weight' of her power as you pulled her, and though you can tell she is weaker then you, it was still exhausting to do so. There's no way you could do this with someone of your own level, let alone someone stronger.

On the way down the tunnel, you decide to chat a bit. "So, kid, what's your story?"

"I was playing outside Pandaemonium, when I felt the barrier on the gate vanish. I had always wanted to see Gensokyo, so I went through. I wandered the area around Gensokyo for a while, when I felt the barrier close behind me again." She begins tearing up. "I was so scared! I tried to get through over and over. I pounded on the barrier, and tried to destroy the seals, and..." She visibly pulls herself back under control. "Some weird lady in red and white showed up and beat me up and asked me something about a box, also. She didn't seem to care about my story, also. Some blonde lady showed up while I was trying to convince her to let me go back in, and told her something about her goal being underground, and then they both left." Okay, the series of events is slowly beginning to come together in your mind.

Well, here's the second barrier. You pull her through this one, and it's a bit easier this time but still no walk in the park.

"So, can you find your way back from here?"

"Yeah. Thanks, mister!"

And off she goes.

"Cute kid, wasn't she, Murasa?"

"I guess. So, what next?"

What next, indeed.

Well, Shinki mentioned she had a daughter. "Hey, do you know where Shinki's daughter, what was her name, lives?"

"I think she said her daughter was named Alice... probably that witch that lives in the Forest of Magic."

Oh, yes, you faintly remember Akyuu mentioning a witch named Alice as having tangential involvement in several incidents.

"Well, what way is the Forest of Magic?"

---

Man, this forest is big. You decided to fly over it instead of walking through it, which helps a lot. Even then, though, it takes several flyovers till you see a clearing with a house in it.

You land at the house, and walk up to it. Very disorderly looking place.
You knock on the door.

No answer.

Well, isn't this annoying. "What now?"

"Well, you could wait. Or you could keep looking."

"Why would I keep looking?"

"This might not be Alice's house. I think Marisa lives in these woods too."

"Oh. Good point.

So landing here might have been an utter waste of time. You lift off and search some more.

---

You come to another house. This one looks much neater.

You walk up to the door. Knock knock knock.

After a few moments, the door is opened.

In midair, a doll hovers, and gestures for you to enter.
Okay. Dolls. Fair enough.

You walk inside. The doll leads you into a living-room looking place, and you see a young woman with short blonde hair and a blue dress. Alice, presumably. She looks up from a book.

"And you are?"

"A visitor."

"I can see that."

"A youkai."

"You couldn't be a normal person, to get here uninjured. But that's what you are. I asked you who you are."

You feel an irrational desire to continue to not answer her question. "Who am I? You should be the one asking that. To yourself. Because you.... uh." That was not an amazing elegant reply that immediately satisfies her without actually answering your question. You must try harder.

"I repeat." Alice rises from her chair, and a dozen dolls flit in from various rooms. "Who are you?" Each doll brandishes a weapon. It would be cute if they weren't pointing them at you.

Okay. Maybe you'll do better this time. "NO U!" Oh, forget it.

The dolls charge forward, swinging their weapons. You try to dodge them, but their attack is well-coordinated. While you can tell that those weapons are not magically charged, you can't afford to parry them either while holding the bottled ship.

So you end up pinned to the wall by three separate lances. It... kind of hurts. You can tell that you won't suffer any perminant damage, but you aren't really happy about it either. Murasa's bottle is now on the floor; luckily it survived the fall without any damage. She hasn't spoken up yet. Maybe she's scared of the witch who just attacked you with a little legion of dolls.

Alice looks over you. A single doll hovers in front of her, pointing a sword at you. "Feel like answering now?"

"I'm just a messenger. Don't hurt me."

"A messenger? What's your message, then?"

"I don't have one."

The sword pokes you. "Then how are you a messenger?"

"I thought you might have one for me."

She pauses. "Why would I?"

"Well, have you ever wanted to send a letter to Makai?"

Now THAT surprises her. "Well, yes, but..."

"Maybe I should introduce myself again. I'm the youkai who was behind the last incident. The real person behind it, not that cheat in the underground who claimed to be the perpetraitor to Reimu."

"Well, I did hear that someone stormed up to Hakurei shrine and demanded that Reimu fight him... that was you?"

"Yes. And penetrating barriers is my specialty." Wait shit that sounded sexual. Luckily, she doesn't seem to notice. "Just earlier today I discovered that I can go in and out of Makai basically at will."

"Well, I suppose I'll prepare a letter then..." She wiggles a finger, and one of her dolls flies off. In a moment it returns, with paper and a pen.

She begins writing. What, she doesn't have any flashy magic spells that write letters in an instant? What a letdown.

As she writes, several dolls come by and remove the lances. You stand up, brush yourself off, and take a seat. So now your clothes have several holes in them. As well as some bloodstains.

It looks like it'll be a bit till she finishes that letter. In the meantime, you enjoy a cup of tea, which several dolls provide. They also move the bottled ship to the table.

You tap it. "You okay in there?"

"Wuzzat?" Murasa's voice comes out, rather dizzily.

Oh. Maybe that fall was hard on her after all. "Think you are up to traveling, or do you want to stay here?"

"I... I wanna have a lie down."

"You can stay here while I deliver this message, then." Okay, totally unrelated, but while tea was never really your thing, you have to admit these dolls brew up a mean cup of tea.

After about ten minutes, Alice finishes. Two sheets of paper in full. She hands you the envelope. "Take this to Shinki."

"Okay."

"Also, can you take one of my dolls with you?"

'Huh. Why?"

"I've been developing some miniature next-generation dolls for intelligence-gathering purposes. I figure if I have one follow you around, I can verify if you really do visit Makai. And, uh, I can see my mother again, if only in a recording." That last part was mumbled.

"I guess so."

"Alright. Sealand, I want you to follow him."

And the tiniest doll, easily half the size of her other dolls, floats up to you and lands on your shoulder. It (she?) is dressed in red, white, and black, and has disportionately big eyes. Obviously an important feature in an automaton designed for image recording.

"Sealand has fully functioning senses of sight and hearing. In addition, she is semi-automatous, so she will continue to operate without me being neaby. Don't expect her to do anything more intellectually challenging then looking at whatever is making the loudest noises nearby, though." Apparently, the production of magically animated dolls is not that refined at the moment.

"While I'm gone, look after this bottled ship, okay? It's haunted by Murasa at the moment, and I'd rather not drop it again and risk hurting her."

Alice nods, and you take off.

---

Okay, here's the enterance to Makai. You walk through the barrier. Sealand has absolutely no 'weight' you can feel. Neither did Murasa, now that you think about it. Presumably she is a lot weaker while in that bottle, and presumably Sealand is operating off batteries or whatever at the moment, so it makes sense.

Okay, there's Pandaemonium. You hurry through the streets, going back to the palace. No time to sign up for an appointment... you are sure that Shinki will want a letter from her daughter, anyway, and if a guard tries to stop you you can use this letter as justification.

Halfway into the castle, you are stopped. Oh boy. It's that maid.
She is currently holding three swords in each hand. Uh. A bit overkill, there?

"Why are you back?"

"I have another letter. It's from Shinki's daughter. She probably wants to read this."

She looks at you untrustingly. "Alright, follow me, then."

---

Okay, back in Shinki's office. It's back to normal (but Shinki's robe is still sparkly... did she forget to turn it back?)

"Yo, Shinki my dawg, how's it hanging?" Oh god did you really say that.

She gives you a tired look. "What do you want now? I was in the middle of doing taxes."

"Well, I have another let- wait, taxes? Who do you have to pay taxes to?"

"I'm not exempt from paying taxes!"

"But... but you're a goddess. You created this world."

"That doesn't put me above the law. I need to give a good example."

Oh, whatever. "Anyway, I have another letter." You hand her the letter.

She looks at it. "It's from... oh. So you found her after you heard me talking about her, did you? How nice..." She opens the letter, and begins reading it.

You put Sealand down on the table, and orient her towards Shinki. Just in case.

---

You come back in. "Done?"

She smiles at you. "Yes. I'm sorry if I sounded snappy earlier, just administering Makai can be... frustrating, at times."

Well, you have no idea. "I'd imagine."

"Oh, and I heard that Camilla returned earlier. I assume that was your doing?

"Camilla?"

"The lost child."

"Oh. Yes... how is she, by the way?"

"Doing well, I believe. Right now she is sleeping, I think. I gather she did not get much sleep when in Gensokyo."

"Ah. Well, I should probably go now. I don't want to keep Alice waiting."

"Feel free to visit any time."

---

Shinki has finished reading the letter. She looks happier, but also sad in a way. "Well, I thank you for delivering this letter..."

"If you want to reply, Alice had me carry this doll. Apparently it records what it sees and hears, so you can leave a message on it or something."

"Ah, thank you."

You leave the room. Give her some privacy, you know.

---

"Well, Alice, here's Sealand back... is Murasa feeling better now?"

"I believe so, yes. ...also, do you want those clothes repaired? I was the one who stabbed you, so I'll sew your shirt back up for free if you want."

"Oh, okay. Not now, though, I don't have a change of clothes with me. I'll come back sometime later." Luckily this is one of your spare outfits, and not your normal clothes.

You take the bottle and leave, briefly saying goodbye to Alice.

Now, maybe you should make up for the time you lost with Murasa.

---

"Alright. This river looks pretty fast. You ready for a wild ride?"

"I have no idea. I've never been able to board rollercoasters or anything."

"Away you go, then!"

"Wait, I don't think I'm ready after aaaaaaaaaaaaaall-"

And off she goes! You are so glad you found some rapids.

...you should probably fly after her. Otherwise the bottle might break.

Shit, right, rapids. Okay, speed up... faster... faster...

Whew, that was close. If you had been slower the bottle...

Murasa sounds a bit terrified. "I... I don't think I want to do that again." You can't blame her.

"How about I find a... slower river?"

---

"So, how was your day?"

"Exhausting."

You're pretty hungry after all that. Dinner was being laid out by the time you got back, and Byakuren only had time to accept your letter. Presumably she will read it later.

"He did some good deeds, though." Well, it's good of Murasa to vouch for you. You are, obviously, so humble that you would never call attention to such things. Also far too handsome and intelligent.

"Oh?"

"Well, he lead a lost child back home, and delivered a letter from Alice to her mother."

"My, that is good." Byakuren turns to you. "You are definitely doing well. You have done many good deeds... how about you take tomorrow off?"

A day off? From helping people out with their troubles? That's a day off from getting XP and reputation! It's madness! "Yes 'mam." Or maybe you'll agree to it. Apparently.

---

And back to bed. Going to sleep with food in your stomach feels so good. Just eating a big meal makes you a little tired, even...

But maybe you should plan your day tomorrow, before you rest. Gotta keep organized or you might accidently do something productive!

So, what's fun? (Pick two.)
[ ] Bugging Reimu is fun.
[ ] Being well-dressed is fun.
[ ] Wandering at random is fun.
[ ] Checking out on your roommate is fun.
[ ] WHAT IS LOVE (Headbanging isn't good for your health)
[ ] Kogasa knows what is fun.
[ ] Visiting people is fun.
-[ ] Pick two people you have met before.
[ ] Write-in.

---

For those of you who are keeping track...

stage 1: ???
stage 2: ???
-boss: unnamed (?) satyress (?), youkai of silence
stage 3: sealed gate of makai
-boss: Camilla, lost child
stage 4: great youkai forest
-boss: Raquel Whatley, youkai of dating
stage 5: ???
stage 6: ???
-boss: your roommate, ???
extra stage: hakurei shrine
-midboss: Nue Houjuu, youkai of unknown form
-boss: you, youkai of travel
>> No. 25500
...I can see the update on /others, but not when I enter the thread. Mysterious.
Maybe I should re-upload it?
>> No. 25502
[x] Bothering Nue is fun.
>> No. 25503
>Sealand doll
I laughed.

>>25500
>...I can see the update on /others, but not when I enter the thread. Mysterious.
It happens occasionally when the boards are slow. If it doesn't fix itself after 10 minutes or so, ghost bumping usually does the trick.

[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.
[X] Wandering at random is fun.
We need to level up some more before taking on our roommate.
>> No. 25504
[x] Being well-dressed is fun.
[x] Bothering Spending time with Nue is fun.
>> No. 25506
[X] Bugging Reimu is fun.
- [X] better keep out of sight though, Fantasy Heaven really hurt. maybe you could think of a way to disable her invincibility somehow.
[X] WHAT IS LOVE (Headbanging isn't good for your health, but still quite fun)
- [X] Checking out on your roommate is fun, if you still have time. Yes, it will be very 'fun' for the both of you, hehehehe...
>> No. 25508
[x] Being well-dressed is fun.
[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.
>> No. 25511
[x] Wandering at random is fun.
-[x] See if Kogasa and/or Nue wants to come with on the little adventure if they have no work.
[x] Checking out on your roommate is fun.

Things are always more fun with company. That and we should see how he's doing since we have a day off.
>> No. 25512
File 126702398161.jpg - (20.40KB , 400x400 , understand_the_concept_of_love_jsr_video_game_post.jpg ) [iqdb]
25512
>Sealand doll
I missed the joke. Some help here?
Also, nice work with giving the feeling of repetitive and utterly pointless fetch quests.

[x] Checking out on your roommate is fun.
-[x]WHAT IS LOVE
[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.
>> No. 25513
[X] Being well-dressed is fun.
[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.
>> No. 25514
[X] Being well-dressed is fun.
[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.

>>25512
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand
>> No. 25515
[x] Being well-dressed is fun.
[x] Checking out on your roommate is fun.

Seriously, I can't abbandon my comrades.
>> No. 25530
[x] Being well-dressed is fun.
[x] Kogasa knows what is fun.

She does indeed.
>> No. 25534
File 126707888340.jpg - (808.57KB , 1028x1076 , picturenotrelated.jpg ) [iqdb]
25534
Reposted because I forgot to include a dream sequence, and instead included my ultra-exciting placeholder text.

---

[X] Being well-dressed is fun.
[X] Kogasa knows what is fun.

You might as well take Alice up on that offer to repair your clothes. Maybe you could persuade her to make you some more also, or reccomend someone who can. Somehow she strikes you as a person who can make clothes, though...

And then you can hang out with Kogasa. She looks like someone who knows how to have a good time.

Alright. You're satisfied. Time go to sleep, before it comes for you.

---

Aw man. You're a girl again? Why are you always a girl in these dreams?
Oh, wait, you aren't a girl at all. My. That's, uh...

Oh, whatever. At least there isn't anything out to kill you.

...Oh, wait.

Sorry Renko, but I'm leaving. Don't want to be in this dream.

---

You get up out of bed.

That dream was weird. Rather lucid.

So... get your clothes fixed first, or play with Kogasa first?

...Hell, nobody said that those two things couldn't happen at the same time.

Well, breakfast first.

---

Shou wasn't even here when you arrived. You had to wait ten minutes before she came to the dining table. Now, while it would have made sense to, say, make breakfast during that time, you still sat there waiting for her to do it for you anyway. Why not?

"Oh. You're up... even earlier. You must be getting up nearly as early as I do, now."

"Making breakfast isn't the first thing you do?"

"No. I've been up for about half an hour."

So she's an early riser too. Well, no surprise. She probably ate an early bird. "So, I think that as long as Byakuren wants me to relax today, I could go get that pair of clothes repaired."

"The ones with the bloodstains and the holes? Yes, that would be a good idea. I didn't comment on them for politeness's sake, but Byakuren was pretty worried about you after seeing that, until hearing the full story from Murasa."

"She was?"

"Well, for all she knows you were attacked in Makai."

You follow her as she walks into the kitchen. "Hey, I was attacked, still. It's just... it was an attack meant to disable me, and it was all because of my own stupidity."

"You shouldn't be too hard on yourself. You are doing surprisingly well here, given what you started with."

"I've prepared for this for years! Sure, I didn't know the specifics, but this is something I've always wanted to do. Studying languages I thought would probably be spoken in a sealed world of magic... pretending to cast magic spells as image-training... I've done all kinds of stuff. Yet I can't commit acts of goodwill without making the other person think I am a robber?"

She pauses, and turns back to you. "If you were preparing for a world of fantasy you knew nothing about, I would not be surprised if you did not think about goodwill acts. It's not the exciting part, after all."

Well, you sure didn't expect your ability to perform acts of goodwill to be that important. But, really, breaking into someone's house without them objecting is a cornerstone ability for any hero. You cannot truly count yourself into the illustrious ranks of virtuous, world-saving heroes until you gain the ability to walk into someone's house and take all their valuables while they watch without them voicing any objections.
You wisely refrain from saying that. "I suppose not."

---

After breakfast, you stop Kogasa. "Hey, Kogasa."

"Hello!"

"Do you want to play with me?"

"Okay."

"Alright. Want to go to the forest of magic?"

"But Nue still can't leave. Won't she get lonely."

"It's okay, Kogasa." You both turn. Nue is now standing behind you. "I won't mind. It's nice that you have been keeping me company all this time, but if you are getting bored... my period of house arrest is going to be over soon, anyway."

"Okay! Let's go!"

You thank Nue, and then go to your room. Kogasa follows.

"So, whatcha want to do in the forest?"

"Well, I have business there, but I figure I might as well take you there and have some fun while I wait."

"What kind of business?"

"Need to get some clothing repaired. It'll probably take a while, and I don't want to just sit around and watch Alice sew. So, do you have any fun things to suggest? You seem like a person who knows how to enjoy herself, and all."

Kogasa thinks for a bit, while you fold up the damaged clothing. "I think I know some things we can do."

"Alright. Let's go, then."

---

The way to the forest is quite uneventful. You and Kogasa chat some on the way, but she is not a particularly deep conversationalist. You gather she is fairly young as far as youkai go. Her straightforwardness is somewhat refreshing though, especially combined with her playful and somewhat roguish personality. She definitely isn't as clever as Nue, yes, but she also isn't as straightlaced as someone like Shou.
And there's Alice's house. You knock on the door, and once again a doll soon answers.

"Well, Kogasa, let's make ourselves at home." You would make some joke about carrying an umbrella around indoors, but it might be in bad taste.

"That's an odd thing to say without asking the hostess, do you not think?" Despite saying that, though, Alice looks to be in a better mood then she was yesterday.

"Alright, alright. Is Kogasa allowed to make herself at home, miss hostess?"

"She may." Alice smiles at Kogasa, then turns back to you. "I assume you are here to take me up on my offer?"

You hold up the clothes. "Indeed I am." A doll picks them up and flies off with them.

Alice looks to be in a good mood indeed, really. Maybe you should push your luck. "Can I ask for a favor?"

"I suppose it depends on what kind of favor."

"Are you any good at making new clothes? I could do with something snappy."

"I guess so... snappy, you say."

Some dolls come in with tea, and a little plate of tea cookies. Kogasa begins snacking.

"Maybe something in yellow. I seem to have a yellow color scheme going on."

"And any types of clothes in mind?"

Kogasa turns to Alice. "Make a dress! With lotsa frills!"

"Really? I didn't think he was into that kind of thing."

"I'm not!" You turn to Kogasa. "Why do you keep trying to get me to wear dresses?" Wait, Kogasa looks dissapointed. Wait wait you have to salvage this situation. "Er, maybe you can, uh, help her design the outfit?"

Kogasa immediately cheers up. Alice, on the other hand, looks amused.

Kogasa stuffs another tea cookie into her mouth and then gets up and runs off, presumably to go to the drawing board right away.

Alice follows, presumably to insure that Kogasa doesn't get lost or run into a wall or something.

Well, now you have all of the remaining tea cookies for yourself. That's not that bad a deal.

---

After ten minutes, Kogasa comes back out. Alice is smiling. "It will be a pleasure to make that... I'll have the repairs and the new outfit done by tomorrow, okay?"

"Alright. Thanks for helping out, Alice. And, uh, for humoring Kogasa."

"Oh, it was no trouble at all."

Alice looks altogether too happy about this. Suspicious.
Ah well. You leave and take Kogasa with you.

---

"So, what's your idea?"

"Well, I was thinking. We find a path which people pass frequently. Then we find a bush or something and hide behind it. And then, when someone goes by, we jump out and yell 'boo' and scare them!"

That plan sounds familiar. "Wouldn't Byakuren not like that?"

Kogasa pauses. "Oh... I guess you're right. She told me all kinds of stuff that I didn't really understand, but I do remember one part was like 'scaring people is bad'." She tries to imitate Byakuren's voice for that last part, but doesn't do a very good job.

Kogasa thinks for a moment, and then seems to get an idea. "I know!"

She roots around in her pockets, and then pulls out a handful of candy. (Hey, you recognize that candy. It's some of the candy you bought for Shou yesterday.) "After we surprise them we give them some candy! Everyone likes candy, so giving people candy is a good deed. So that'll make up for scaring them, and we'll be doing good after all!"

Well, that is an amazing and flawless plan. "Great idea. Let's go do it!"

You fly off and spend a bit looking for a good path. You come across some that don't look frequented enough, but after some searching you eventually find a nice-looking path.

You shed your human disguise. "This way, I'll be scarier."

"Oh, good idea. I'll be sure to stick out my tongue!" A biiig long tongue comes out of the umbrella. Holy shit that's creepy, but you're not going to say that or you might hurt her feelings.

Okay, this bush looks good enough. It'll keep people from spotting you, anyway. Now, you just need to lie in wait.

"So, Kogasa, you're the expert in this field. Know of any good techniques?"

"I like the jump out and yell 'boo', and close my eyes and stick my tongue out. There are some special techniques, but it's not fair to use them on humans!"

Special scaring techniques? Maybe she's talking about stuff like those psychological shapeshifting-based tricks Nue pulled when you two went with her on that scaring expedition. "Okay. I'll just do my best, then."

"That's the spirit! ...look, our first victim!"

A human coming down the path. He looks like a normal guy. Blue hair, but that's apparently nothing strange here. He is carrying a bag of something.

You both tense as he comes near your bush... and then jump out!

"Boo!" "Boo!"

He yells out and staggers backwards, dropping his bag and falling onto his behind. You can see a look of shock on his face.

You help the poor man back to his feet, and pick up his bag for him.

Kogasa roots in her pockets. "Mister, here, have some candy."

"Hu-huh? Okay." Looks like he's still in a state of shock.

Kogasa drops some candy into his bag, and then pats him on the back. He continues down the path, at first at an unsteady walk but then a run.

You both go back into the bushes. "That was fun!"

You have to admit it was pretty fun. "Yeah, it was."

---

Another victim! This time a woman. She didn't have anything to drop, but she sure was surprised all the same.

---

An old man this time. You talked Kogasa into letting him pass without scaring him, since if he fell he might break a hip or something.

---

Two teenagers. They were scared even worse then that first guy, no matter how tough they tried to act afterwards. They did accept the candy still, though. Yay candy!

---

"Hey, Kogasa, look. Another person."

This time a man in a flowing green robe is coming down the path. He has a white cloak with a hood on, though, so you can't tell much else about him.

She nods.

He approaches... and off you go!

"Boo!" "Boo!"

You both freeze in place. The man is suddenly standing in front of you, and his long sword is an inch from your neck.
You turn your eyes slowly, to see that the blade is also in front of Kogasa's neck.

If he hadn't halted that swing, he would have beheaded both of you without either of you having time to react.

His hood has fallen away, to reveal silvery white hair and a a long beard.

Kogasa slowly reaches into her pockets. The man turns his gaze to her.

"D-do you want any candy?"

He raises an eyebrow. "Candy?"

She raises her hand. It has a generous handful of candy.

He lowers his sword. Yay... candy?

"I... we are scaring people, and then giving them candy. So... do you want any candy?"

That bastard actually looks amused now. "And why offer candy?"

"So it's not a bad deed! Candy's a good thing, so it makes scaring people not a bad thing!"

You feel like you should add something. You nod. "I agree with her reasoning on this matter."

The man pulls his hood back on. "Very well. I will take some candy." He pulls a few pieces out of Kogasa's hand, and then walks off.

"T-that was scary!"

"I agree. Maybe we should try something else?"

"Okay. Uh..."

Kogasa thinks for a bit.

"I've been around Gensokyo some. Flying around, trying to scare people. I've seen lots of pretty fields of flowers. Maybe you want to see one?"

Flower fields? Eh. Well, maybe you should be more open-minded.

"Which do you think sounds best? Sunflowers, lily of the valley, or spider lily?"

(Pick one.)
[ ] Sunflowers are okay.
[ ] Lily of the valley? Aren't those poisonous?
[ ] Spider lilies would do.
[ ] Flowers? Bah. Not manly enough. Do you know of any fields full of raw meat?
>> No. 25535
[X] Spider lilies would do.
>> No. 25538
[X] Sunflowers are okay.

Yuka~
>> No. 25540
[ ] Sunflowers are okay.

This will turn out badly.
>> No. 25541
[x] Spider lilies would do.
So it's Yuuka and death, Medicine and death, or...?
>> No. 25542
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF....

[X] Spider lilies would do.
>> No. 25544
This is why you don't mess with Youki. Unlike Reimu, who will simply beat you up, Youki will turn you into shish-kabobs in a few milli-seconds.

[X] Flowers? Bah. Not manly enough. Do you know of any fields full of raw meat?

We must increase our MANLINESS and AWESOMENESS so we can make females LOVE US! Like the little lost umbrella for example.
>> No. 25545
[x] Sunflowers are okay.
>> No. 25546
[X] Sunflowers are okay.

SUDDENLY
>> No. 25547
[X] Sunflowers are okay.

This is a great idea.
>> No. 25548
So a choice between Yuka, Medicine, and... Komachi?

[X] Sunflowers are okay.

I spent alot of time deliberating on this vote, because I don't like choosing between Yuka and Komachi.
>> No. 25550
[x] Spider lilies would do.

Yuuka gets enough story time while Komachi hasn't. Yeah... Youki is a rare and scary experience...
>> No. 25551
[X] Spider lilies would do.
>> No. 25552
[X] Sunflowers are okay.

Though I am tempted to get Medicine to join our party.
>> No. 25553
File 126713081832.png - (465.66KB , 750x975 , bestfriends4ever.png ) [iqdb]
25553
[X] Sunflowers are okay.

Well, going to a flower field will be relaxing, right? It's not like the sunflowers will leap out and attack you (hopefully.) After that close shave with that old man, you really need to calm down before you can start enjoying yourself again.
As for what type... spider lilies are nice, but you feel like sunflowers more. The poisonous lily of the valley is right out, of course.

"I'll pick the sunflowers."

"Okay. Follow me, then."

You both lift off. It's not long before the destination comes into view: a field, with a few gentle hills, covered entirely in sunflowers. From the air it's dazzling, bright and beautiful.

"Here it is. The Garden of the Sun, I think I've heard it called!"

Kogasa lands, and you follow suit. Here on the edge of the field, at ground level, the sunflowers stretch farther then you can see.

"It's kinda beautiful." ...wait a second, that was you. Shit. You are going to lose your manliness cred here, if you keep saying things like that.

"Yep! Let's go further in!"

And you walk into the field.

While it's not exactly exciting, this is quite calming. You can feel your heart rate slowly returning to normal. After you have become nice and calm, you begin to focus more on looking around.

Now that you are paying closer attention, you notice that these sunflowers are quite unusually large. You've never seen sunflowers as big as these ones, which admittedly is not saying a whole lot. Maybe it's a species of sunflower that only grows in Gensokyo? Or maybe they are larger for some other reason, like magic.

...wait, are they turning? Yes, that seems to be the case. As you walk by, sunflowers slowly turn, as if they were trying to face you. That's... a little creepy.

You turn. Kogasa doesn't seem to have noticed. She is currently humming happily, swinging her folded-up umbrella around in slow circles.

Maybe you should just ignore this. It will only make you more nervous. It could be more magic or something. It's probably harmless.

---

"Hey, Kogasa, look. Someone else's here."

In the distance, you see a person. It's hard to make out, though. Whoever it is has a parasol. White, with a sunflower pattern.

"Lets go see who it is!" Kogasa runs off, and you follow.

You get closer, and get a better look of the person. She has a plaid dress on, and short green hair. She is lying down on a patch of ground with no sunflowers, and currently asleep. The parasol is stuck in the ground.

"So, Kogasa, do you recognize her?"

"No. Well, maybe... she looks kinda familiar, but I can't remember who she is..."

The woman opens her eyes, and blinks at you. She gets up, and smiles at you.

"Hello! I'm Kogasa!"

The woman smiles at Kogasa. "Hello, Kogasa. Are you enjoying the Garden of the Sun?"

Kogasa nods. The woman turns to you. "And what about you, child?"

"It's kinda nice. I've never seen sunflowers so big."

You hear faint noises like people whispering from behind your back. You turn, but all you see are more sunflowers.

"My, my." She leans over to one of the sunflowers, and seems to be listening intently to it. She nods and pulls out her parasol, then folds it up. "And now, I regret to inform you that you are tresspassing. I would play with you more, but an important matter has come up."

Kogasa sags. "Aw. Should I lea-" The woman, still smiling pleasantly, lunges forward and impales Kogasa through the chest with the parasol.

The woman gracefully pulls the parasol out in an arc of blood, and then turns to you. "Now, I am terribly sorry to say, you are next."

Uh. Not good. She draws her arm back. You try to dodge, but vines have grown around your feet, and are holding you in place.

Really not good! You gotta get out of here, fast!

You pull out a spellcard, as the woman begins to lunge. You don't have time to properly bring out your full power, and something tells you that even if you did you would be no match for this woman, but maybe you can escape-

"Travel Sign: Peerless Nomad!"

You feel calm, suddenly. You see the parasol approaching your chest, and idly note that it is aimed for your lungs.

But you don't want to be here. Your eyes move to the ground behind the woman, and you are there.

She actually overbalances and trips, her attack suddenly landing on nothing. As she pulls herself off the ground, you glance to Kogasa. You want to be there, next to her, so you are there. You pick her up off the ground, and feel the spell break. It appears that this hasty, unprepared activation did not last long enough for you to escape.
A shame.

The woman is now up, and facing you. She still is smiling, but that smile no longer touches her eyes. "If you wish to play, I will oblige." She points the parasol at you, and in a flash of light splits into two. "Double..."

Well, nothing else to do now but escape.

You shoot off the ground, and fly away at full speed. Behind you, two humongous torrents of light are unleashed from the woman and her duplicate, and race towards you.

You make a sharp turn to the right, and the beam just barely misses you. You turn and see that the duplicate has vanished, and the woman is now flying straight towards you.

You muster up all the energy you have and concentrate on simply flying. Will this be enough?

You turn back momentarily, to see that the woman is falling behind severely. She seems to be running out of breath.

So she's slow-moving! That is a flaw you can exploit. You'll make it after all-

Whoah she fired another huge laser. You barely dodged it. Maybe her composure is finally breaking?

Well, no time to check. Just gotta get out of this place...

---

Well, you finally shook her off. But... what about Kogasa?

She has a rather large, bloody wound. That parasol must have been magic or something, to do this much damage to a youkai.

You aren't really experienced enough to know if she will be able to regenerate from this. You frantically try to figure out what to do.

(Pick one.)
[ ] Maybe you can find someone in human village who can help?
[ ] Maybe Byakuren can help?
[ ] Didn't Akyuu mention that the people in the Bamboo Forest are good at medicine?
-[ ] Get Mokou to guide you.
-[ ] Get someone else to guide you.
-[ ] Try to find the way alone.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 25554
That went better than I expected.
[x] Didn't Akyuu mention that the people in the Bamboo Forest are good at medicine?
-[x] Get Mokou to guide you.
Not sure if there's really any alternative here. For all her talents, I don't think Byakuren's an expert at patching people up. Though I'd support seeing her & getting her opinion first if time isn't of the essence here.
>> No. 25555
[x] Maybe Byakuren can help?
>> No. 25556
Seems like it's been a while since we've had an openly homicidal Yuuka on THP.

[X] Try to use your travel powers again to get to the doctors in the bamboo forest.
[X] If that doesn't work, go to whoever's closest.
We haven't seen any example of how youkai handle organ damange yet that I recall, so it's probably best to treat this as an emergency.
>> No. 25557
[X] Try to use your travel powers again to get to the doctors in the bamboo forest.
[X] If that doesn't work, go to whoever's closest.
>> No. 25558
[X] Try to use your travel powers again to get to the doctors in the bamboo forest.
[X] If that doesn't work, go to whoever's closest.

Happy now, you fucking Yuukafags?
>> No. 25559
File 126714220945.png - (622.06KB , 668x503 , THP writer and readers.png ) [iqdb]
25559
>>25558
Very.

[X] Try to use your travel powers again to get to the doctors in the bamboo forest.
[X] If that doesn't work, go to whoever's closest.
>> No. 25560
>>25556
Just that many times whatever lead got on her good side, though even Phobe got a few hard knocks at first before figuring to mellow out on her powers while in Yuuka's area. But the risk was obvious, second only to Lily's area.

But it makes me wonder: What kind of absurd injury would Kogasa suffer if we went to the Sanzu, since this is "Have a huge hole knocked through you" and Medicine's area would have been grievous poison.
>> No. 25577
[x] Didn't Akyuu mention that the people in the Bamboo Forest are good at medicine?
-[x] Get Mokou to guide you.
Let's go to the best hospital known in Gensokyo
>> No. 25589
[x] Didn't Akyuu mention that the people in the Bamboo Forest are good at medicine?
-[x] Get Mokou to guide you.
>> No. 38004
[X] Didn't Akyuu mention that the people in the Bamboo Forest are good at medicine?
-[X] Get Mokou to guide you.